Hello, my dears, I’ve missed y’all! The winter season hit me hard this year and I’m guilty of having hibernated, procrastinated, and generally couch-potatoed. That is, until a couple of months ago. I got off my behind and started the Couch to 5K program again and checked New Hampshire off my 5K in Every State list. Ten states done. TEN. Can I get a woot woot!
I did the 16th Annual Mont Vernon 5K which supports the Neighbor 2 Neighbor program serving Mont Vernon residents who find themselves needing help with necessities like groceries and heat. Don’t you just love when people help each other? That’s community.
While the scenery on this course was breathtaking, the run itself was nothing short of ugly. I did a run/walk interval and still felt like c.r.a.p. the entire time. In my defense, I’m not quite half way through the C25K program, and my time was 47:01. A real runner might scoff at that (it’s a full 20 minutes behind the fastest in my age group), but I’m proud of (and thankful for) finishing without assistance from the medics. Damn proud.
As we lined up and awaited the start gun, I asked a couple with a baby in a jogging stroller if the course was fairly flat. They’re pushing a baby in a stroller, so the course can’t be too tough, right? Well, given the state in which this particular 5K was hosted, that was a nitwit question. It’s New Hampshire. No, the course is likely not flat. However, the couple looked at each other quizzically and said “there’s one big hill, but otherwise it’s pretty flat.” I thought to myself, wow, did I ever get lucky!
I wanted to hunt them down after the race, stroller and all, and explain how they needed to educate themselves on the definition of flat vs. G.D. lung-collapsing hilly. But, being the polite traveler I am, I didn’t. And maybe because it would be a half hour before I could breathe well enough to actually speak.
Shin splints and wheezing aside, it was awesome to have participated in this little local race supporting such a great cause. Mont Vernon was beautiful, the folks were friendly (although topographically confused), and they had a lovely Spring Gala happening along with the race. If you’re checking out small towns in New Hampshire, add Mont Vernon to your list.
But, the real reason for my visit to The Granite State, the OG, was to celebrate a friend receiving her law degree. Completing law school is an impressive accomplishment in and of itself, but the Fabulous Miss M did this after having been in the workforce for…a certain number of years. She had a wonderful network of friends and family supporting her, but I know from personal experience the drive, commitment, and forgone sleep it takes to complete a degree as an adult. Congrats, dear friend, you never fail to impress.
Do y’all have that one friend who knows exactly how to make everyone feel welcome? Whose home feels like home. This is that friend, and it was an incredibly lovely weekend spent with she and her husband, and a load of family, friends, babies, kids, and dogs. The food was potluck exquisite, and it went on forever! You know, when every guest brings the most amazing dish? It was that times a hundred. And with beer. And a bonfire. The weekend could not have been better.
I came home after this long weekend feeling recharged having reconnected with friends. When I think about the folks in Mont Vernon hosting a race each year to raise funds for their Neighbor 2 Neighbor program, I see that same spirit in the circle of friends around my New Hampshire peeps. The genuine kindness that exuded from this group was palpable. New Hampshire, the 10th state on my list, was host to a great trip. Beautiful vistas, really good food, and awesome people!