Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tidbits & Marathon Training Update

 Marathon Training Update:
After running 12 miles on the treadmill last Sunday I made a commitment to run most of my miles outside this week! Luckily, the temperatures have skyrocketed and I haven't set foot on a treadmill in 4 glorious days. In  typical New England weather fashion, my Monday night run was in a snowstorm, Tuesday was actually quite chilly and Wednesday felt a lot more like April than January! I am just hoping that the higher temperatures will continue through the weekend so that the 20 miler I have on tap won't require two pairs of pants, a face mask and ear muffs. says it should be 32 degrees, so I'm not crossing my fingers just yet.

Overall I feel as though this training session is going pretty well. I'm getting in lots of miles during the week, some cross training and yoga and so far my legs seem to be holding up well. I haven't been at the track as much as Drew and I were in the fall but I have been getting in plenty of speed sessions on the treadmill and have been successful running under marathon pace for some longer runs.

Anyway! I am just about a month away from the Napa Valley Marathon (eeeeeeeeeek!) and am getting more and more excited as we move into February (see ya later January you miserable, miserable month - just being honest here). I still have two 20 milers and a half marathon (Feb 24th!) to complete but I am really looking forward to the next couple of weeks, running wise.

Here's the long run schedule for the next month:
Saturday 2/2 - 20 miles
Saturday 2/10 - 2 hour run
Saturday 2/17 - 20 miles
Sunday 2/24 - Half Marathon (I'll be running this one at an easy pace)
Sunday 3/3 - Napa Valley Marathon!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Because it's Monday and you've always wondered what my shower curtain looked like.

Today was a good Monday. 
Today is a day when lunch was free. 
Today changes at work seemed like they are finally happening (fingers crossed!). 
Today it snowed and as a result I got to run 5 very snowy fast-ish miles.
Today I made it through all 60 minutes of HIIT without giving up.
But most of all, today is a day I am having breakfast for dinner, at 9 pm. 
Bring it on Tuesday, I'm ready!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ohhhhh we bundled up!

Here is an assortment of photos from this weekend in VT. 
Other items of note (that didn't make it onto film): Django Unchained, sausage gumbo & sausage kale soup, flying cats, First Position, Australian Open and a visit to Montpelier. 

 ...home again, home again!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

10K @ 10 degrees

Where is my neck you ask?! Why it's just hiding beneath that snazzy buff!
Today my marathon training plan called for a 10-K race. Being in Vermont and all, there weren't any 10-K races going on nearby (apparently no one organizes races in January, in Vermont. Shocking really). So in true 2013 fashion, I made up my own race. You know, a race against myself. I decided to run 3.1 miles in one direction, then turn around and run back. 

I started off heading north on Pine St. I knew I'd be going into the wind (and uphill) for the first half of the "race" but the first two miles were still pretty tough. The sidewalk was covered with a thin layer of snow/slush in some places and I definitely felt like I was running slower given the effort I was putting in (oh the joys of winter running). 

After crossing Church St. and heading out towards the old north end I picked up the pace and started to feel like I was actually "racing". After a couple of straightaways and turns I hit 2.83 miles and decided to turn around. I continued to push the pace and the few times I looked at my Garmin I saw numbers in the 8's which was quite exciting (most likely because I was running downhill at this point). 

I reached the turn to my parents' neighborhood and my watch read 5.45 miles. I decided to forgo the turn and continued straight for another quarter mile. After I turned around at ~5.8 miles I found that I was running directly into the wind again, agh! Luckily I knew that I was almost done so I kept the pace quick for the last half mile towards home. 

Final time: 53:25 minutes (a "PR" for this distance!)

And for no one else's interest but my own, here are the splits:

Avg Pace

All in all, a very, VERY cold run. I was very happy to be inside at the end of this. 
And keeping with one of my goals for the year of regular yoga sessnions, I was able to make it to the South End yoga studio for an hour of vinyasa yoga with Momma! 
It has been a solid Saturday so far. 
I hope you are all staying warm!

Friday, January 25, 2013

"Great" ideas

Sometimes I like to look back through all the Googledocs I've created over the past couple of years and see what I was meaning to do/thinking about/working on at a certain time in life.

Today I found a document titled "Great Ideas". Well the title sounded promising, my one "great" idea from on this list was:

Shoes on the shelves in my closet. 

Apparently last year's self wasn't content with the nice shoe rack that currently hangs in said closet. 

And in "Life to Do List" I found this:

1. Get a dog
2. Change photos on photo wall
3. Take more pictures
4. Paint the apartment
5. Thrift

This list left me feeling pretty good considering I already accomplished 3 or 4 of these items. I guess one can always do more thrifting.

Sadly, I am not doing so well on the "Movies to Watch" list:

1. The Separation
2. The Help
3. The Descendants

Moral of the story - more thrifting, less shoes and more movie watching.

In other news! Today was the official retirement celebration for my dear momma bear.
Here she is in all her glory!
Congratulations Candy!!! You've worked so hard throughout your life and I know we are all excited to see what the next big adventure holds!

Happy weekend friends. 
I'm spending the next couple of days in Vermont basking in the post-retirement glow around our house. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The everyday stuff

I know, I know. I promised to limit the number of food photos this week. But it just so happens that's all I've got. Just a little bit of fried eggs, roasted vegetables, maple bacon, kale (it's hidden under the eggs, I swear), spaghetti squash, meatballs, salmon, broccoli, brussel sprouts and fried plantains. Mmmmmmm. I'm making myself hungry just typing this.

But seriously. Sometimes in life there are these little lulls
You know this time after the holidays, when the hype of the New Year has died down? When it feels like really big things should be happening and changing and yet nothing that big is actually happening or changing? And everything just gets a little bit more frustrating? You know that time? 
Well it's beginning to get on my nerves.

After a couple weeks of mini life crises, massive career change ideas and lots of sentences that started with "maybeeee....I could do this," I've finally accepted that it's okay to feel a little bit directionless and lost right now, things will work themselves out in time. I'm slowly learning that I don't always need to know the answer to life's big questions right this instant! As long as I continue to take care of myself, work hard, listen to good music and keep running, the direction and change will come. And in the meantime, even without the big changes and plans, life is actually really good.

So for now, it's going to be about my everyday stuff.  
The stuff that involves running the fastest 8 miles I've run to date on Saturday.
And the 18 miles that followed the very next day (the first 13 miles of which were sub 9:00 min miles, booyah!).
The good family stuff that involves a retirement, a party and a weekend getaway to Vermont coming up.
It's about how much better my body (and mind) feel after going to yoga regularly again.
It's about the fact that I've kept my January resolution (except one minor infraction) for a whole 22 days. 
And it's the stuff that happens when 5 people come to run hill repeats with you on a night when temperatures are in the single digits.

That's the good stuff. And for now, that's all I need. 

Sorry for all the deep sap and emotion today. It's late and I really should be sleeping. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

City from the ground

Sometimes being a tourist in your own city can really be a lot of fun. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013


For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to run home from work at least once a week. 
The quickest route home is two miles - the perfect distance to get the blood pumping and work out all of the day's stresses. 

The only downside is looking like this during the morning commute.
Trying to only bring the essentials to work means wearing running shoes, running jacket and running backpack on the T. 

Luckily, I only ran into my physics lab partner and our office intern while looking like this (maybe they didn't recognize me? One can only hope). 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Oh how I love...

...the snow! 

But really. I love it. It's just so fluffy and white and beautiful and oooooh! 
I don't even mind trekking to work through the stuff. Okay, maybe I mind a little.
I just hope it stays around long enough for me to play it in this weekend!

And here are my newest #knittedhatmodelingshots for Drew's Etsy shop.
Just kidding. She doesn't have a shop yet, but honestly, who wouldn't want a hat just like this one!?

Happy Hump Day!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

oh happy (mon)day!

I like to think I had a lot of witty, ground breaking and meaningful thoughts to share this evening.
Turns out it's 9:45 and I am exhausted. So instead of the aforementioned deep insight into my life, here is a list of really great things that happened today (in no particular order):

Received a beautiful wedding invitation in the mail from a very happy couple in Georgia!

Drank a glass of apple cider.

After contemplating skipping my regular High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class and just going for an easy jog (or skipping both all together) I enjoyed a garmin-free, balmy (is it really January?) run. AND due to the excess of endorphins acquired from this run, I also made it to HIIT (and proceeded to die in plank position for 1 hr straight. Only kidding of course, well, not really).

Made a delicious mushroom and onion pizza (I admit it; I may have overdone it with the mozzarella just a little bit). I then proceeded to eat over half of said pizza. Remember how I ran and went to HIIT? Did I mention how hungry that made me?

And a totally unrelated to Monday photo of the carrot cake my dear friend Monica brought over on Saturday. 

I promise this week I'll try and take some photos of things other than food. 
Wish me luck. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

You know it's marathon season when...

...the only photos you have taken in the past week were of food. 

Eggs, avocado, onions, peppers, fried plaintains, cheddar cheese and some toast (I made this for breakfast both Saturday AND Sunday)!

Grilled mango salmon, sweet potato fries and kale.

Ginger leek soup, kale, roasted sweet potatoes, beets and toast!

 These nachos were much more appetizing than they look. 
I swear.

Happy Tooosday to you!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Kelly Rink

Because it's Sunday, and sunny, and it's winter. And that's what you do when you live 5 minutes away from a free ice skating rink. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

1st Annual Double, Double!

So a while back I was searching for a race to run on New Years Day (you know, to start the year off right) and happened upon this race. While jet-setting to Allen, TX was not in the cards I thought that maybe I could complete two half marathons in two days on my own (I now regret this crazy idea). Since August I've been mentioning the idea here and there to some friends/random people I meet on the streets (only kidding). Turns out, not everyone was jazzed about the idea of running a half marathon on December 31st (or the next day as well for that matter), but I still held on to this idea thinking maybeeee I would attempt it!

So at our recent running holiday gathering I mentioned it one last time and low and behold, someone else was interested! And not just one person, but TWO people! So after some last minute details, three of us met around 2:30 pm on New Years Eve to begin the journey!

Fast forward 13.1 sunny, crisp, snowy miles (and one heartbreak of a hill) and part 1 of the "First Annual Double, Double" was complete! Here are some finisher (and pre-run) photos of the group. 

After I watched (read: slept through) New Years Eve, I watched some of Carson Daly's New Years Eve Special and although I hate to admit it, was asleep before midnight (I guess running 13.1 miles will do that to you).  

After getting a solid 8 hours of sleep I woke up and thought to myself "Man. why am I doing this again?!" After an hour on the couch contemplating whether or not I really wanted to another 13.1 miles, I decided I had to at least try to complete the second half marathon, laced up my sneaks and was out the door! My plan was to run at whatever pace my legs wanted and just enjoy the 2+ hours of good old fashioned running I had ahead of me!

I opted to run a different route than half marathon #1 and headed down the southwest corridor towards the Charles River. The first couple miles were slow and tired, but after I switched my music to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons I definitely noticed a little extra pep in my step. I headed towards the MGH bridge, across to Cambridge, back up to the BU bridge, and returned to JP via the Emerald Necklace. 

(enjoying the sights from the MGH bridge)

After 10 miles I was back at Jamaica Pond and happened to run into 7 members of the Forest Hills Runners!! I joined them for the last 3.1 miles and just like that, the First Annual Double, Double was over!

I am still a little amazed that I was able to finish the second half after Monday's (and with Monday being the first time I'd run more than 10 miles since the Philly marathon). It was a very cool experience to say goodbye to one year and welcome the next with so much running, but maybe next year I'll cut the mileage down a little and have more energy for celebrating the more "traditional" way. 

Either way, it was a great experience and I am very happy I completed both runs. 

Here's to 2013 being a great year of running, relationships and life in general!

Bring it on.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013