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About Me

About Me.   Hmmmmm…  Carrie, Carrie, Carrie.  What makes me tick?  How about some random facts and Carrie-tidbits?

Running in Wanaka, New Zealand

I run.  I’m not an elite runner by any stretch of the term, but I ain’t too shabby either.  I like to think I’m a fabulously average pavement-pounder.  My favorite distance is the half marathon, but I’m also obsessed with Ragnar Relays.  Running has changed my life in so many ways:  It’s given me more confidence, it’s changed how I view my body, & it takes goals to a whole new level for me (mentally and physically.)  I write about my running adventures and flops.  Among other things.  (Like spandex, push-ups or bike-lane drama.)

Me post-half marathon. Yes, in a skirt. RnR Half - Philly

When I’m not running myself, I organize and train dog-loving running volunteers for local animal shelters in Philadelphia.  I founded a non-profit organization, The Monster Milers that boasts over 250 active volunteers.  (We take shelter dogs for runs as they await adoption.  We also hold “Adopt a Running Buddy” events at races to find homes for homeless dogs.  Yeah, it’s the coolest volunteer opportunity, ever.  You’re jealous.  If you live in Philly, hop on board.) The whole thing grew from silly idea I had while I was out running my own two rescue dogs.  (“Would shelters let me run with their dogs?”)  I ran with it (literally and figuratively) and I never dreamed it would blow-up the way it has.  We’ve been on Runner’s World, USAToday and various national media outlets.  Pretty cool…

Out for a run with one of the shelter dogs. (He was adopted days later...)

I also own Philly’s largest dog walking service.  (I love dogs if you can’t tell…)  It started out as a part-time gig so I could afford to go back to school for my master’s degree.   My dog walking service soon won a few awards, and I decided that I had enough student debt already.  (See-ya-later student loans. Hello accidental entrepreneur.)  It’s a pretty sweet gig, though our first three years of business we never got a day off and I had to learn a thing or two about balance.  No really, we didn’t know what weekends felt like for nearly three years.  Forget traveling or vacations.  Now that we’re better about setting priorities, I love being my own boss.  (And my dogs get to have a stay-at-home mom.  Except when I’m out walking… other people’s dogs that is.  They’ve stopped sniffing me when I get home.  They just accept that I “cheat” on them on a daily basis.  Thankfully, they’re forgiving.)

Walking a dog in Philly...

This is my older dog Max.  He is a legend.  No really, he is.  He’s like a dragon without wings, who doesn’t breathe fire and isn’t scaly.  Ok, he’s nothing like a dragon, but he’s epic like a dragon.  Max is my hero, my protector, my “old man.”  He’s nearing 13 years young and has arthritis.  We have a wonderful acupuncturist who visits him weekly.  (Yeah, we’re those kind of dog people.)  Max came into our lives through a client whom we adopted him from a few months after they hired us to care for him.  Cute story:  They tried four other pet sitters before they called us.  Thankfully the other four were booked.  It was pure serendipity that he came into our lives.  Words cannot express what this creature means to me.  (Note:  Max passed away March 2012, but I don’t have the heart to remove this just yet.)

Don't try this at home. I'm a dog-professional. This is Max.

This is my running partner, Lola.  She’s the ying to Max’s yang (or maybe the yang to his ying?)  She’s goofy, emotional, a bit naughty, and has endless energy.  She was a “failed-foster.”  (We fostered her for our local shelter, fell in love with her, and decided to adopt her.  When we picked her up from the shelter she had been abused and was literally dying of pneumonia.  She’s now healthy and completely stable.)  You’ll probably see lots of pictures of her on this blog because unless I’m running in a race that doesn’t allow dogs, she’s usually putting in the miles with me.  Other than running she likes eating raw vegetables, fetching ANYTHING, and playing with our cat Ned (her BFF.)  She also makes super cute noises when she’s comfortable and her nose turns bright pink when she’s sleepy or happy.  You couldn’t ask for more in a running partner.

Lola, not only a city dog...

This is Ned.  He secretly thinks he’s a dog and wonders why the heck we don’t take him on walks as well.  He loves cardboard boxes and lives for trips to IKEA.  (Forts galore until recycling day!)  Ned is also a “failed-foster.”  We were actually fostering a litter of five brothers (Ned, Ted, Red, Fred and Jed.)  The other four found homes.  No one wanted Ned.  Their loss!

I’m a total foodie.  I swear I could never move away from Philadelphia because I love our local food scene so much.  I’m also an accomplished campfire chef.  I take my camping trips very seriously.  And yes, we will have a full eggs and coffee breakfast over the campfire every morning while we’re in the woods.  I simply love good food.  I try not to be a snob about it – but why eat boring food when there is so much stellar food to be found?  Yes, I would like a dessert menu.

Wating for the coffee to heat up while camping...

I can’t swim.  I actually hope to rectify this soon.  (Adult swim classes?  Yeah, I’ve already researched it.)  Ok, I can swim, but it ain’t pretty.  I can float surprisingly well and will happily spend an entire day snorkeling if I have a mask and flippers.   But swimming laps?   Oh man it’s ugly.   How’s a girl supposed to do a tri if she can’t swim?  Fail.  (Sink.)

On my bike and headed out for a snorkeling adventure in Bocas Del Toro, Panama

I have no backyard (not even a patio) so I grow as much as I can on my roof-deck each summer.  I love to get dirt under my fingernails, but some seasons are a total bust.  (Not all plants take to roof-conditions.)  Urban, container gardening is harder than many would think.  It would be so much easier if I had a normal garden.  But oddly, I love living in the concrete jungle and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.  It’s an internal battle (City = No Garden).  I also have a silly number of houseplants that I obsess over too.  I’m one of those people who really enjoy the houseplant competition at the Philadelphia Flower Show and dream of one day having a ribbon of my own.

Evil, evil tomato killer! Why you do me wrong? Imma gonna throw you off the roof if you don't stop eating my 'maters.

I live to travel.  I’ve been all over the world backpacking/traveling.  I lived in New Zealand and London for a while after graduating college. To me there is nothing like traveling to a new country, ordering food you can’t pronounce (and have no idea what it is), meeting other travelers and locals, finding unforgettable hostels and markets, discovering sleepy towns and villages, and eventually coming home.  I’ve been throughout Europe, Asia, Central America and the South Pacific.

Me in Malta, 2007

I fell in love with a dj while in New Zealand on a college exchange trip with Habitat for Humanity in 2001.  (OK, he was actually my “host brother.”  How is that for fate?)  Another cute serendipity story:  Our Habitat group voted on which country we’d travel to for our trip.  It was either South Africa or New Zealand.  I voted for South Africa, but New Zealand won by a single vote.  (I voted against future love without knowing it.  I don’t let myself read to deeply into that…)  We made it work as long as we could, but eventually the immigration service was looming over our shoulders.  After we ran out of immigration visas to stay in each other’s countries, we eloped at the courthouse, and I imported a Kiwi to Philly.  We’ve been happily married since 2004.  And for the record, no, it was not a green-card marriage.  We’re totally soul mates.  He’s fairly magical. Lindsay makes me awesome running mixes (he’s still a dj after all) and can make a killer pancake stack.  I have my own private workout mix-master and post-long-run pancake chef.  Our mothers are constantly bugging us to do a “real” wedding so they can fuss over everything and wear fancy wedding hats.  Love you Mom and Mum!

Lindsay and I in New Zealand, 2011

In my three decades, I’ve covered many miles.  Sometimes in a plane, quite a few on my bike, in both hemispheres and on various continents.  I’ve ridden in the backs of pick-up trucks in Thailand, in dugout canoes in Panama, on a fishing boat in Honduras, on sweet sailboats in Australia.  More often than not though, I’m on foot with a dog (or two) and a charming Kiwi as my co-pilots.  I hope to cover many more miles before I’m done exploring.  Welcome to MilesCovered.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 17, 2012 8:20 pm

    Wow, your traveling adventures (and The Monster Milers) sound pretty cool!

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