Two Friends (True Friends)

There are two phrases that strike fear in the heart of my dear friend, Lindsay, when I utter them. The first? “I heard this story on NPR…” and the second: “Listen to this song I heard from this Broadway show…” Neither is ever met with much enthusiasm. But I know Lindsay loves me because of her willingness to indulge me and hear me out. Do her eyes glaze over? Sure. Is she looking for the exit? Absolutely. But she listens without too much grumbling.

This past year has been a truly special year in our lives and next year portends to be epically different, but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you. For picking me up when I was a mess. For listening when I needed to talk. For everything you’ve done. For everything you are. I can’t wait to see where life takes us. Now if you’ll indulge me one more time, true friend… to many more perfect days; the best is yet to come!

For Forever by Benj Pasek / Justin Paul
End of May or early June
This picture-perfect afternoon we shared
Drive the winding country road
Grab a scoop at À La Mode
And then we’re there
An open field that’s framed with trees
We pick a spot and shoot the breeze
Like buddies do
Quoting songs by our favorite bands
Telling jokes no one understands
Except us two
And we talk and take in the view
All we see is sky for forever
We let the world pass by for forever
Feels like we could go on for forever this way
Two friends on a perfect day
We walk a while and talk about
The things we’ll do when we get out of school
Bike the Appalachian trail or
Write a book or learn to sail
Wouldn’t that be cool?
There’s nothing that we can’t discuss
Like girls we wish would notice us but never do
He looks around and says to me
“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be”
And I say, “me too”
And we talk and take in the view
We just talk and take in the view
All we see is sky for forever
We let the world pass by for forever
Feels like we could go on for forever this way, this way
All we see is light for forever
‘Cause the sun shines bright for forever
Like we’ll be alright for forever this way
Two friends on a perfect day
And there he goes
Racing toward the tallest tree
From far across the yellow field I hear him calling, “follow me” there we go
Wondering how the world might look from up so high
One foot after the other
One branch then to another
I climb higher and higher
I climb ’til the entire
Sun shines on my face
And I suddenly feel the branch give way
I’m on the ground
My arm goes numb
I look around
And I see him come to get me
He’s come to get me
And everything’s okay
All we see is sky for forever
We let the world pass by for forever
Buddy, you and I for forever this way, this way
All we see is light
‘Cause the sun burns bright
We could be alright for forever this way
Two friends
True friends
On a perfect day

Seasons

Ecclesiastes 3

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance

I’ve been rather quiet lately. Not because I didn’t have lots to say, but because I didn’t quite know how to articulate everything I’ve been feeling. My father became increasingly ill after Christmas. This year he decided to skip Lent and on Fat Tuesday he became the newest guest in paradise. Words cannot express the heartache I feel and I miss him more and more every day. The only upside? My father will be looking down and watching over a new little soul that will be joining us in early July. I am still training rather diligently, but I will only be racing the back half of 2017. The death of my father and the expectation of a child have already made this year one that will never be forgotten. “To everything there is a season.” See you at the races.

Richard E. Mahany – Eulogy

MARY

Many people know our father as a businessman, a leader, a father, a member of the USAF. Daddy never really spoke about his time in Vietnam. Trying to shelter us from his sad terrible burdens and memories. But dad was a navigator for the Air Force. Earning honors and medals of Valor and heroics. Dad was a navigator in life too. For all of us. Planning our lives with love. Making sure we avoided hazards and horrors to the best of his ability, with his sweet sometimes strong-worded love. Providing the surest route to faith and lives full of happiness and joy. Because of the tragedies Dad experienced, from the loss of his older brother at 13 to his suffering at the end, he knew that flavor and beauty and determination, prayer and diligence led to the things of life we should all treasure.

Dad was always the first to celebrate any holiday in our family. Always cooking, making it a family affair. Mom was the sous chef. And the kids his assistants. One Thanksgiving, several years back, Dad was whipping up a storm of goodies for all of us to enjoy. Two turkeys, all the fixings. Basting the turkeys at regular intervals to make sure it was as tasty and delicious as he dreamed. One problem. The cheesecloth on one of the turkeys caught fire. “Open the door!!!” he a screamed. At all of us. We were a bit slow on the uptake. “Open the door!!!” I rushed to the front door. And opened it. Dad comes running at me with a flaming turkey. And launched it into his front yard. As luck would have it. The turkey landed at the base of a palm tree. And low and behold we had a bit of fireworks on Thanksgiving. That palm tree lit up in a flash fire for all to watch in awe. We had a larger than normal Thanksgiving planned that year with most of Mom and Dad’s children in town. We needed that turkey. Dad picked it up. Off the ground. Brushed it off and said, “No one will know the difference. It will still taste good.”

Dad did that for himself. Always. Picking himself up. Finding his faith in better things to come, in God. And moving forward. For the greater good. He knew that his God, his mom, his dad and uncle Pete always watched over him. Blessing his life with abundance. Remembering their good times. Those were his guide posts as he navigated his life. Daddy provided us all with guide posts as well. Diligence. Reliability. Integrity. Belief in education as the foundation of any success in this crazy world. But most importantly, faith that God and those who went before us provide respite, solace, care and love for us still navigating our way to eternal life.

MOLLY

I was lucky enough to spend several days with my parents in Charleston around Christmas time. Over the course of our stay one thing became apparent: Dad was slowing down. His wittiness was still intact but his response time was a little slower. Mundane tasks like eating breakfast became long drawn out affairs and breakfast became brunch. And simple tasks like getting up and going to powder his nose could take 20 or 30 minutes because he was so unsure of his balance and footing.

All of which made the events of the Tuesday after Christmas even more special. Cyrus and I went to the local grocery store for a few items and when we came back we were in for a surprise. I was putting things away when Cyrus walked over and whispered “Why is your Dad in the garage?” “In the garage?!” I said. Sure enough when I peaked through the door that leads from the kitchen to the garage, which had been left slightly ajar, you could see my Dad. Sitting in the front passenger seat of my parents’ car. In the pitch black garage, illuminated only by the dome light inside the vehicle. We can only guess how long he’d been sitting there.

Somehow the man who took 30 minutes to walk 30 feet had made it out of the living room, through the front hall, through the kitchen, down the ramp in the garage, and into the car. All by himself. An absolutely Herculean feat.

When I approached the car I asked Dad, “Where are you going, young man?” His response? “To church.”

I reminded him it was 3:45 on a Tuesday afternoon and there probably weren’t any services being held. He stared back at me with a look that said, “And? Are you coming or not?” So I grabbed the keys.

We drove the 20 minutes to my parents’ church and as I suspected there were no masses being held. But he wouldn’t let us leave until Cyrus got out of the car and checked every single door looking for one that might be open and gain us admittance. We had no luck, but just being there gave Dad a sense of peace and calm.

Dad’s faith was strong to the end; it gave him comfort and strength and community. He left such an incredible example of what faith is; what it means to be faithful and to be steadfast and to believe.

When friends who have never met our dad hear the news of his passing, I get some variation of the same response. “I didn’t know your dad, but his children turned out to be pretty awesome. He must have been an amazing man.”

They have no idea how right they are. Dad, you were truly amazing.

Thank you for your generosity. For taking in children and stepchildren and grandchildren when they needed help the most. For sharing your gifts to support the church and higher education. For dropping everything and giving your time to those in crisis.

Thank you for your integrity. For serving and showing us what true heroism looks like. For setting standards and stating your principles – then holding true to them come hell or high water. For showing us what a father should be.

Thank you for your guidance. For putting our schooling above all else. For being our first coach and mentor. For helping us take a step back and look at the bigger picture. For stepping back just enough to let us fly.

Most of all, thank you for your love. For your funny faces, your silly made up songs, family church outings and long breakfasts, holiday meals made with care, presents with the gift of time, always asking how’s school, how’s your running, how’s the weather? For making us feel special and cared for and cherished. Your love was the greatest gift a child could ask for.

You saw some things in your lifetime that would destroy a lesser man. We are so lucky to have had you in our lives for as long as we did. Thank you for everything. We love you bigger than the sky.

MARY

As Dad told us a little over a week ago, his faith in peace, comfort and eternal love still unwavering, happy days are here again.

Dad 2

 

New year, NEW sponsors!!!

2017 is already off to a great start and thanks to these sponsors it’s just going to get better!!! Many thanks! (If you have questions about any of these companies or products please don’t hesitate to email me.)

So grateful for this AMAZING line-up!

MAD, MAD, MAD-ISON!!!

In early September I competed in Ironman Wisconsin. It was my first venture to the cheese state and she did not disappoint. Great food, great people and a great (but HARD) course made for an unforgettable day. Here is my race report in pictures. Enjoy!

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The Capitol building before sunrise on race morning…

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Transition took up an entire level of a parking deck and it was hopping in the predawn hours.

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Water temperatures were in the low 70s while air temperatures were in the 50s. that makes for one cold warm up swim!

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And I’m off!

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After exiting the water we had to run UP a helix just like this, go into transition, get our bikes and then ride back down. Twisty, turny, fun!

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This was the one flat section of road on the course. Just kidding! But the hills on the bike ride were no joke!

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Coming into T2 and happy to be off the bike after a few mechanical issues.

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Let the run begin! The first lap felt pretty awesome and then I lost some mojo… But I finished on the podium in 10th!

 

Many, many thanks to my coaches and all of my sponsors (TenTen Coaching, CEEPO, DriveTrain Sports, Cobb Cycling RUDY Project, POLAR, Mac’s Smack, and Infinit Nutrition) who made this possible! I can’t wait to do it again!!!

What a summer!!!

Summer break just ended and I thought I’d share a few pictures from my adventures! In early July I took a short break from training to explore the National Parks out West and the trip was absolutely breathtaking. Enjoy!

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The calm before the storm… Adventure awaits!

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First stop! Muir Woods outside of San Francisco… Gorgeous!

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Next up? Yosemite! And the camping begins!

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The start of the 16 miles hike up to Half Dome and back… Beautiful and challenging!

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View from the top of Half Dome… It was a bit treacherous!

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Idaho Falls!

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The first of many short hikes around Yellowstone…

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Did some say “Bison!!!”? They were everywhere. So neat!

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Morning Glory in all her glory!

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Next park? The Grand Tetons.

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The reward for climbing an unmarked (and scary) “social” trail… Delta Lake!

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First hike in Zion National Park: Angel’s Landing!

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Permit required!!! Our last big hike required a few more skills and a lot more equipment.

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First time canyoneers!

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The reward? A beautiful section called “The Subway”.

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Did I mention it was a little cold? I should’ve brought my wetsuit!

 

A Tale of Two Races…

On June 5, 2016, I competed in Raleigh 70.3. Exactly one week later, I toed the line at Eagleman 70.3. Below you can see how each day played out. It’s been three years since I have attempted a “Dirty Double” like this and the Tuesday after Raleigh I was nervous that my legs wouldn’t come around in time. But my first race didn’t go exactly as I had hoped and getting another crack at the distance a week later was just what the doctor ordered. (I’ve included pictures from both races after the timeline to help tell this double story.) Many, many thanks to my coaches and all of my sponsors (TenTen Coaching, CEEPO, DriveTrain Sports, Cobb Cycling RUDY Project, POLAR, Mac’s Smack, and Infinit Nutrition) who made this possible!

Timeline

Raleigh 1

Shuttle bus to Jordan Lake for the start of Raleigh 70.3.

Raleigh 2

Beautiful morning for a swim!!!

Raleigh 3

Checking my baby into T1 at Jordan Lake. A bad storm rolled through the night before the race… I had to tuck her in carefully.

Raleigh 4

Haha! My face says it all. This run was HARD. Beautiful, but HARD!

Raleigh 5

“The TenTen Coaching Crew” after Raleigh 70.3

Eagleman 3

Eagleman!!! I’m back! Fun in the sun!!!

Eagleman 1

Oh, Choptank River… There was a little current to contend with…

Eagleman 2

Dismounting after a windy bike in Cambridge!

Eagleman 4

Ready for 13 miles of sun and heat!!!

Eagleman 5

Podium pic! 5th place PRO!

Eagleman 6

Many, many thanks to Jim Moriarty, the best homestay host a girl could ask for! Thank you!!!