Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hub on Wheels

This was my second year (and our family's third) participating in the Hub on Wheels event. About 6,000 riders came out this year to bike either 10, 30, or 50 miles. We usually do about 35 miles (the 30 loop plus some of the 50), and this year I also biked to and from the event, which gave me a total of 44 miles for the day! The route takes you from Park Street, out Storrow Drive along the Charles River, back through Fenway and the Riverway, up around Jamaica Pond and the Arnold Arboretum, through Forest Hills cemetary and Franklin Park. After that we looped through Codman Sq., through Dorchester, and back up through South Boston and the Seaport. It was a really fun day of biking, and we could not have asked for better weather. We celebrated the ride by having a patio lunch in the North End.

In other news, the new Mumford & Sons album is available on spotify. You can bet I've been listening to it on repeat for two days now.

Happy Hump Day y'all!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Saturday in JP

Phew. What a weekend (I know, I know, it's almost Wednesday, but sometimes Monday and Tuesday just need to be ignored all together). Over the weekend we enjoyed a family weekend full of beautiful weather, JP Open Studios, dinner at the Salty Pig, and the annual Hub on Wheels bike ride around Boston. On top of some great family time, I was able to sneak in a 16 mile training run on Saturday with the Forest Hills Runners (the farthest I have ever run)! Here are some snippets from the weekend (full Hub on Wheels report coming soon)!

Friday, September 21, 2012

So I know this guy.

Meet Elvis. I met him in 2010 when I traveled to Tanzania to study abroad. In January of this year, Elvis embarked on an around-the-world bike trip (which he estimates will take him just over two years). His mission: to raise funds to support education of Tanzanian students studying wildlife conservation. He hopes to raise enough money to fund ten one-year conservation scholarships. He hopes to create more opportunities for Tanzanians to become educated in managing their own natural resources. 

I was lucky enough to host Elvis for his final two nights on the east coast this week. Elvis shared some incredible stories from the first nine months of his journey; he's experienced quite a lot so far (I cannot wait to hear all about his journey across Siberia next year)!

Check out Elvis's journey over at Chile to Kili, or his facebook page over here.

To top off a great visit I also got to see my good friend Eric for a hot second after he made a hefty drive to see Elvis!

On another note - have a great weekend! Candy and George are coming to Boston for Bike the Hub this weekend which should be a grand ole time. I'm quite excited for some cycling down Storrow Drive (although I'm sure my bottom will feel differently on Monday after 35 miles in the saddle).


Finally Friday

I know it's been a rough week when Friday comes around and this has happened:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend wrap up

Another weekend has come and gone. Sigh.
Here's the wrap up. I apologize for the writing quality here, I am a little delirious with tiredness.

Friday PM
6 pm: Drew and Jamie both horizontal on the couch.
6:30 pm: Drew and Jamie depart home and head towards Mansfield, MA for concert (last minute ticket purchasing happened last week).
7:30 pm: Drew and Jamie stop to get Dunkin Donuts to combat extreme sleepiness in order to enjoy concert.
7:35 pm: Jamie realizes she forgot the concert tickets. Drew doesn't get mad.
7:36 pm: Drew and Jamie turn around to retrieve concert tickets from home (total extra driving time: 40 minutes)
9:00 pm: Drew and Jamie arrive at concert just in time to see Florence + the Machine take the stage. Close seats + great music = everyone forgets Jamie forgot the tickets at home.
12 am: Drew and Jamie are fast asleep following great, great concert.

Saturday AM
After a mid-week decision to register for Physics lab I found myself calculating density and volume of lead cylinders before 10 am Saturday morning. What a wake up call that was. Luckily the first week of lab wasn't too strenuous and I remembered quite a bit from Intro Physics (which I took 5 years ago, ah).

Saturday PM
My friend Monica and I played an intense match of tennis (sadly I was not the victor). After the match we walked around J.P. searching for the Revolutionary War reenactment. Unfortunately we missed the major battles and only saw a few folks still in costume.

Sunday AM 
After staying up past our bed time on Saturday night Drew and I set out for 16 miles of back country running (back country actually being Brookline, Newton, West Roxbury, and J.P). It was almost perfect running weather (sunny, blue skies, and almost cool temps), and we got to see a lot of big houses, cemeteries, and woods. Towards the end of our run we accidentally ended up running alongside a 5K (whoops)! The volunteers were kind enough to offer us water and we got to enjoy car-free roads for a mile or so. My legs felt alright but I'm still wondering how I'm going to run 10+ miles on top of what I did this morning. Next week is a step down week, plus Bike the Hub on Sunday!

And finally, the one good Florence + the Machine Android photo I took (I apologize for the low quality, also forgot my camera in the ticket fiasco).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gettin' busy

This September marks the second year in a row I haven't packed up all my belongings, moved into a new dorm/apartment/house, and begun a new school year. Last year had a similar feel as I had just moved to Boston, was starting a new job, and fully taking the plunge into that thing people call the "real world". This September has a different feel about it. It marks the one year anniversary of my move to Boston, one year at my job, and one successful year of real world livin'.  It feels different for sure, but it is a good different.

Even though I am not moving to a new place, or drastically changing my day to day activities, I still get that feeling that September marks the beginning of a new chapter in life (and I'm not sure that feeling will ever really go away). This week I started the third and final trimester of Organic Chemistry, and am planning to tackle Physics lab as well this semester (goodbye Saturday mornings). I was pleasantly surprised to find out I hadn't forgotten all the chemistry I learned this spring/summer, which is always a plus.

On top of getting back into my "school year" schedule I hit two running firsts last week! I hit a weekly mileage high of 45 miles (I guess doing two long runs in one week will do that). Also, I ran the farthest I've ever run at one time (14 miles)! I won't say my legs weren't feeling both these things Sunday around 7 pm, but my 4 miles on the treadmill this morning felt pretty great.

On a totally unrelated note, here are some photos from the J.P music festival, salsa I made over the weekend, and Saturday night dinner a la Drew.

Sleepwalk with me

I saw this movie over the weekend and must say it was quite good. It was the perfect mix of comedy, seriousness and a little more comedy. If you get the chance, check it out.

Some weekend highlights will be coming this way later on today. 
Highlights may or may not include the JP music festival, grilling, with a side of running (surprising, I know).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Someone new in my life

Meet Juicee. 
Isn't she just the cutest? 
(Mom, stop freaking out. I did not get a dog)

Juicee is staying with me for the week while her Momma is in the Dominican Republic enjoying some much needed vacation. Juicee and I have been having the most fun going for walks in the park (where everyone we see comments on how gosh darn cute she is), relaxing on the porch, and taking naps on the couch. It's going to be hard convincing me to give her back next week for sure. In the meantime, I will just have to get in all the Yorkie cuddles I can!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Laborious Labor Day Ten Miler - Marlborough, MA

After arriving home from Connecticut Saturday evening I discovered that my left ankle was quite swollen, and going up and down stairs was more than uncomfortable. Turns out I may have gone a little too hard during the alumni game and quite severely twisted/mildly sprained my ankle; zero. fun. sir.

On Thursday last week, one of the women in my running group mentioned she was running the Laborious Labor Day Ten Miler this Labor Day in Marlborough, MA. My marathon training plan called for a 13 mile (long, slow, distance) this weekend, however following the Great Ankle Roll of 2012 (yes that is what I'm calling it) I decided that maybe a tough 10 miler was a fair compromise. 

This morning, after some 5:30 am carpool coordination, I hopped in my friend's van and was off the race (crossing my fingers that my ankle wouldn't cause me too much pain). We arrived at the start, dropped off our 10 canned goods, registered, and had plenty of time to hit the bathrooms and stretch before the race began (perks of a 50 person race on Labor Day). 

After a few pre-race announcements from the Highland City Striders (reminding us that if we went out too fast we would "die" on the mile long hill between Mile 8 and Mile 9), the 51 of us were off!

The good news is that my ankle felt okay after the first few minutes. The bad news is that almost instantly after starting the race I felt a sharp, shooting pain in my right shin that was all too recognizable as a nasty shin splint. I have since realized that maybe the 70 minutes of full field, field hockey on a surface I haven't played on in a year may have had something to do with the sudden onset of shin splints. Without going into too much further detail, the first 3.5 miles were how you say painful. I kept telling myself that after 30 or so minutes my shins would likely feel much better, whether it be from numbness or an adequate warm-up I do not know, but usually that is the case with my shin splints. I came through the 5K mark (actually just one of the race directors shouting out times as you ran past him ) in 29:34, ugh. 

True to form, my shins started to feel a bit better in the next mile, and by the time I passed the 4 mile marker the only pain I felt was coming from my ankle, success! At this point I had passed the 4 people I had been running with for those first few miles. Mile 4 went by at 37:something. After chatting with my new friend Sharon for a few minutes she waved me on ahead and I set my sights on "man with the blue shirt" who was about a 1/4 mile ahead. I remember coming through Mile 5 at 45:46 (the mile markers being paper plates tacked to telephone poles, another small race perk). 

I forgot to mention that up until this point that the course was weaving through neighborhoods in a pretty woodsy area. It was quiet a quiet and peaceful route (partly due to the fact that most of the race I was running alone, passing people only every so often). 

After a small stretch on a main road we turned off again into some more neighborhood-y/farm-y areas with a few steep sections but mostly flat/slow incline for the next few miles. I finally passed "man with the blue shirt" along with the three runners in his vicinity. This is also the section where I had been running for more than an hour and my mile splits are very vague (#garminlessrunnerproblems).

Mile 7 came just before a major turn marked only by a single arrow (although the very helpful volunteers told me where the mile 7 marker as well as the turn was going to be, thanks!). At this point I couldn't see anyone in front of me but knew that I needed to maintain my pace at least until the hill everyone kept talking about. 

Sure enough, just as we came up to Mile 8, the single race photographer, and the final water station I saw up ahead the dreaded Hosmer St. The girl handing out water shouted "good luck on the hill!" and I was off. Thankfully, I saw three runners not too far ahead and decided that I would just focus on catching them and hopefully that would take some of my thoughts off the hill. Unfortunately I passed them early on in the hill and had the final 3/4 mile of straight up hill to remind myself that running hills is definitely the single most important training tactic that I've encountered thus far (hills, hills, hills is my new mantra).

What seemed like a million light years later I finally reached the crest of the hill and after a short flat section began the descent. About halfway down the hill I passed the Mile 9 marker at 1:22, as well as another two runners who were chatting quite a bit and didn't seem too concerned about their time/pace. I picked up the pace a bit at this point thinking maybe, just maybe I could finish under 1:30. 

After a couple hundred yards running on the sidewalk of Route 20 the course turned left and I could hear/see the finish up ahead another hill. The last hill was far shorter than Hosmer St., but made that whole sprint to the finish thing much harder. I came through the finish at 1:30:37, good enough for 31st place!

Minus the first 5K, I'd say this race was a success. I really enjoyed the small crowd, beautiful course, and we couldn't have asked for better running weather. Our group of four all finished with great times, and as you can see we were all smiles afterwards!

I hope you all had a great Labor Day as well!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wesleyan Alumni Field Hockey Game

Yesterday I played in the annual alumni field hockey game at Wesleyan University. Although we lost 5 - 1, I thought we played a very solid game. In our defense, it was practically a million and one degrees on the turf and we got to wear those very breathable hot-as-death cotton shirts. I had to change to a tank at half time on account that I seriously thought I was on the brink of severe heat exhaustion (only half kidding).

Despite the heat, it was so great to see all my old teammates (and my last time seeing Hilary before she jets off to South Korea for the next year, gah)! Hopefully it won't be another year before I see everyone again.
Read the full game recap here.

P.S. My shirt is drenched from the large cup of water I dumped on my neck, not from sweat.