Because I Still Can’t Write the Words…

Since I’m still struggling with putting down on paper my Boston Marathon post, one that was supposed to be one of celebration, happiness, triumph, and an overall runners high, I will simply update with pictures from the weekend, Monday, and this week. For now, they will have to be worth a thousand words…

Team Black and Gold

Team Black and Gold

Boston Marathon Expo. Attending this alone delivers a runners high

Boston Marathon Expo. Attending this alone delivers a runners high

Expo KJC

All In

All In

Boston's 26.2, the Holy Grail of marathons.

Boston’s 26.2, the Holy Grail of marathons.

With Olympian and legendary American marathoner Meb

With Olympian and legendary American marathoner Meb

Marathon Prep

Marathon Prep

Representing Boston Bruins Foundation

Representing Boston Bruins Foundation

Alarm Ready to go Monday

Alarm Ready to go Monday

Friends and family scattered along the course, Chrissy with me the whole way in heart

Friends and family scattered along the course, Chrissy with me the whole way in heart

Body Graffiti pre-race... "Katie" on left leg, "Boston You're My Home" on right. Means more now than ever before

Body Graffiti pre-race… “Katie” on left leg, “Boston You’re My Home” on right. Means more now than ever before

Team Boston Bruins Foundation

Team Boston Bruins Foundation

BBF Girls before heading to the Hopkinton starting line

BBF Girls before heading to the Hopkinton starting line

Runners ready in Hopkinton

Runners ready in Hopkinton

5 start

6 start

7 start

Stephanie and I getting ready to start the 26.2 journey to Boston

Stephanie and I getting ready to start the 26.2 journey to Boston

In awe of what I just did, taking it all in

In awe of what I just did, taking it all in

2:48pm at the Finish Line

2:48pm at the Finish Line

Sun setting on Marathon Monday

Sun setting on Marathon Monday

Boston marathon results
Boston marathon results

Boston marathon results

Tuesday sporting my blue and yellow.

Tuesday sporting my blue and yellow.

My heart is broken right now for my running community, for my city, for Monday’s marathoners, for the amazing family and friends who support runners every day and were there on Monday and are now scarred either physically or emotionally. Another post to follow, for now please keep Boston and all that were affected by Monday’s horrific events in your thoughts and prayers.

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The Calm Before The Storm

I’ve said this a lot today, but I will say (ok, type) it again. I’m nervous that I’m not nervous yet. I mean, this is BOSTON we’re talking about. The oldest, most hyped up marathon in the world. And I’m walking around feeling pretty calm…nope, this is not normal. I think I would feel more confident about Monday if I WAS nervous!

The taper is always the hardest part I think because after months of racking up the mileage you are all of the sudden supposed to pull in the reins and take it down a notch. This week was especially hard mentally, as I forced myself to take TWO rest days (I know, I had trouble swallowing that one too).

Sunday was awesome, I ran in a 5k put on by Jess, who is running Boston on Monday too  for the Liver Foundation. I should have known that it would be hilly, it was in Newton for god’s sake (news flash, heartbreak hill town has hills!) I wasn’t totally prepared for it but I pushed pretty hard throughout the race. What really gave me the last .75-.5 mile surge was a woman, who as I came up on her left, said “No way am I letting another GIRL pass me!” I thanked her later for that. I don’t think she took it as a compliment. Either way, it helped me earn first place in my age group, and second female to cross the finish! First time that’s ever happened. I didn’t PR but it was still a great run.

Sun5K

Monday’s sunrise run was the last “Long”-ish run before the marathon. I add the -ish because when you’re long runs have been 16-20 miles, it seems silly to be calling 8 long. But it was a nice relief actually to only have to cover 8.

Favorite running route

Favorite running route– crazy how much a 3 hour difference can make between barren and overpopulated!

Love my river runs

Love my river runs

Tuesday was Rest day and Wednesday was CrossFit day. Wednesday night was the last Boston Bruins Foundation meet up and shopping fun at the South End Athletic Company where we got some pretty sweet  gear. They really take care of their team!

Bruins gear

Thursday I got in an easy 5 miles and today was a whole hour dedicated to mobility and foam rolling (went to CrossFit to do this since I really wanted to get this in and most attempts to do this in my living room result in Bailey thinking “YES playtime!”)

Then I got into work today to find that the best coworkers had done this!!

ptc1

And I got to practice winning too. Seriously Kara and Shalane, watch out, I’m in it to win it.

Might as well just award me the prize money now.

Might as well just award me the prize money now.

Now I’m off to the expo “quick” to grab my number and a jacket (I say quick– check back with me in 4 hours to make sure I’m not drowning in headbands and tshirts and free lara bar samples). Tomorrow I have an easy 3 miles planned with one of my favorite running partners before we go (again) to the expo to take in all things running and running gear and running energy (yes, runners have an “energy”. Sounds very zen).

Stay tuned this weekend for more updates from Boston Marathon land!

26.2Bs

As always, I want you to share! Are you following the Boston marathon this year? Are you running a spring race?? Give me some tips, I love advice!!

21 Great Things About This Weekend’s 21 Miler

Runners are analytical types when it comes to their sports. We track all the numbers; pace, miles, rank, temperatures, etc. I have excel spreadsheets that track training and race pace, weather, how I was feeling that day, what I ate before my run, and even if I ran without music.

So what better way to sum up the last long marathon training run than in list form?

  1. The best way to kick start a running morning is with the morning news and weather (what that’s not normal?) I’m usually a loyal 7news viewer, however they don’t start super early on Saturdays (which is silly, I mean what normal person ISN’T up at 5:30am on a weekend??) so Channel 5 it was. Well thank goodness for the Channel 5 weatherman, whose forecast I saw revolved around Boston Marathoners heading out for their last long run. His slight West North West wind report “with the wind at the backs of those running from Hopkinton to Boston today” was all I needed to hear to calm some of my nerves about what lay ahead.
  2. The Bruins Foundation for hooking up our small but mighty team with another charity team to trek out to Hopkinton with.
  3. The Spaulding Rehab volunteers for welcoming us with open arms at 7am on a Saturday and organizing a bus to get all of us crazies in training out to Hopkinton.
  4. Meeting a new teammate on the Bruins Foundation marathon team, Stephanie. It was nice to have someone to talk out our anxieties with on the ride out to the starting line! And having another person I’ll know during the few hours we’ll be waiting around Athletes Village for our 10am start on 4/15.
  5. My Tinkerbell key-chain  I needed to carry my car key with me since I wasn’t going to be getting back on the bus so I brought the key-chain that my dad bought my sister and I after we ran our first marathon as Tinkerbells. It definitely brought me luck (and I would be lying if said that I wasn’t hoping for some pixie dust to help me fly through that run).

    C'mon Tink, help me up those hills!

    C’mon Tink, help me up those hills!

  6. Arriving in Hopkinton and realizing how big this last long run really is. Driving towards the start and seeing cars lining the sides of the streets, masses of people unloading from buses, and police detail even closing some roadways all for a training run really put it into perspective how big a deal this run was to so many.
  7. The Easter crew. I’m not sure which charity they were running for but their entire team looked like Easter on steroids. There were men in pastel Under Armor with Easter baskets around their waists, women in tights, tutus and bunny ears, and plenty just sporting a cotton tail (well not JUST a cotton tail, they were in running clothes too).
  8. Neon. It was everywhere. Not sure if it’s because a lot of runs take place either before sunrise or after sunset, but runners tend to sport a lot of bright colors. I, of course, had my neon yellow shoes on, but some people’s ensembles looked like my winter jacket from the early 90’s. Saturday’s runway was long, but it was quite the fashion show.

    This is eerily similar to my winter jacket circa 1991

    This is eerily similar to my winter jacket circa 1991

  9. The weather. Despite it not feeling like we were a few days into spring, it was still dry and sunny which made for a fantastic 35 degrees. It was chilly in Hopkinton when we were standing around waiting to get going, but once we were out there with only a slight breeze at our backs (just like Mr. Channel 5 said!) the weather was close enough to perfect.
  10. The Irish Pub Rock Radio station on Pandora. Last weekend I had a not so great run and I was blaring Pandora’s “Workout Pop Hits Radio”. Every word that Pit Bull rhymed made me nauseous. The second I turned him off and switched to some Riverdance tunes the run was instantly better. So I kept with that momentum for this last long run and rocked out to Dropkicks and 12 different versions of “Finnegan’s wake”. It was great.
  11. The camaraderie. There is something special about the running community that only runners can understand. While many (including myself) were excited about the day’s run, I doubt anyone was thinking “21 mile run, BEST DAY EVER!!” In fact there were a lot of people who could’ve rambled off a million things they’d rather be doing. But once everyone started and was out on the course with hundreds of other runners, those complaints and stressors faded into the background. I normally am a solo runner however Saturday made me realize why so many people run in a pack. It mimicked race day in that I had my eye on someone and made it my goal to stick with them. Knowing there were so many out there doing the same thing helped me keep my pace relatively steady and my energy higher than usual. At mile 17 when the hills started to really hit, it helped to have people in front and behind me to give me that mental push. And in the last mile, seeing people make the final push (even though it was all uphill!) inspired me not to slow down.
  12. The Bruins Foundation interns. Kelsey, Julie, and Diane showed up in their Bruins gear and with their foam fingers bright and early to cheer us on and make sure we were all good. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I was in college I think the last thing I would’ve wanted to do at 7am on a Saturday was stand on the side of the road in March with a foam finger and a smile and cheer for people crazy enough to run 21 miles for fun. Seeing them at mile 9 and 17 (cheering as I approached) was a great mini pick me up to know there were people checking up on us, and you know, making sure we didn’t die.
  13. The police officers on duty Saturday morning. Not only were there cones out turning two lane roads into one, but the cops out directing traffic made sure that runners had the right of way, which really came in handy crossing some busy intersections and the 128 on-ramps. And all this for a training run! I made sure to say “thank you” to every police officer I passed, because not having to stop at every stoplight, on-ramp, and side street makes a big difference when you’re not sure your knees or calves will let you start back up again.
  14. The residents of Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, and Newton. There were two kinds of town residents out that day. The first were my favorite, the ones beeping and cheering and hanging out their car windows waving at all the runners. These were also the ones who set up water tables on their front lawns or brought their kids out on the steps to watch. The other kind were the slightly annoyed drivers who all they wanted to do was get from dance class to the grocery store to home in less than 6 hours and while us runners were trying their patience making this task difficult, none of them beeped in anger, flipped me off, or ran me over so for that I am grateful!
  15. All of the fuel table volunteers. The amount of non-runners that came out Saturday to help everyone as we cruised our way to Boston was incredible. Every charity had rounded up their troops to provide water, Gatorade, candy, Gu, pretzels, icepacks, and most importantly encouraging words. Even people not associated with the teams were offering aid. Lulu lemon had a team out with awesome signs, cowbells, and cheers and the Girl Scouts were offering water and jelly beans (although I felt a little jipped that they didn’t have any Thin Mints on hand to help get me through).
  16. Heartbreak Hill Running Company’s Gorilla . I’ve seen him in pictures with tons of different runners throughout this training season and was so excited to be able to finally get my pic with him! (Side note: I was wearing my “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” sweatshirt on Saturday and was forced to kiss the gorilla.)

    Mile 20!

    Mile 20!

  17. The feeling of “wow, I can actually do this”. That feeling came right about the time I was in an uphill battle (literally!) with either the 2nd or 3rd hill in the lovely Newton series.  I suddenly became aware that in a few weeks I would only have to go another 6 miles and I would have completed the Boston marathon. Just that thought quickened my pace about 15seconds/mi and pulled me right up that hill.
  18. The Church at Boston College. At the top of Heartbreak Hill on your right is the church at BC. It looks like a giant castle and on Saturday that castle was my finish line. It’s beautiful and was a great landmark to finish at. (I didn’t take a pic, I think I was slightly dehydrated and delusional at that point.)
  19. The finish (of 21). The Girl Scouts were back, and were full of cheers and signs of “WELCOME TO MILE 21!” It was so cool to look around at other people finishing and know that you all were officially in taper mode now!
  20. My brother with an enormous bottle of Smart Water. The benefit to my brother attending Boston College is that I was able to call him and mutter the words “water….water..” and he delivered. Well, not actually delivered, he made me walk to his dorm which was UPHILL (gahhh more hills!) but when I got there the 33oz of H2O never tasted so good.
  21. Getting my Boston Marathon Passport in the mail afterwards. I’ve already read every bit of collateral they’ve sent me, cover to cover. Twice.

marathon number

And now we taper…

 

I WANNA KNOW: What was your favorite part of your weekend? Did you run far too? Do you like reading things in list form?

“The Hardest Part is Stepping out the Front Door”

I was all set for Saturday’s long run. I only hit the snooze on my alarm once. I was up by 6am. By 7am I had drank a mini protein shake, a glass of water, and a cup of coffee. I had gotten dressed in my multiple layers. I had even toileted 3 times! (Please watch this fantastic video to get that reference.)

If you are a runner (or think runners training prep is ridiculous or just like to laugh) you will love this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2TRUUu2uHo

If you are a runner (or think runners training prep is ridiculous or just like to laugh) you will love this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2TRUUu2uHo

And then I went online. The weather said 34degrees with 20mph winds. That was just the depressing thing I needed to see to kick my procrastinating self into high gear. I proceeded to watch the news, scroll through my Twitter feed looking for run-spiration, and go to the hourly weather report on weather.com 1,345 times to see if it had changed. I even tweeted at weather people in search of a different response.

 

I know, I have a weather problem.

I know, I have a weather problem.

I completely understand how wimpy this all sounds. The sun was out. It wasn’t snowing or raining. I don’t even think there was a cloud out there! But the wind is something that makes winter running pretty close to miserable. Even with milder January temps, wind can send chills through your body no matter how many sweat wicking layers you’re wearing.

However, because I actually had things to do on Saturday besides sit and wait for the perfect running conditions, I finally forced myself out the door at 9:30. Well the first couple of miles proved to be exactly what I didn’t want to run in. Bitter wind burning my neck and face and every ounce of my being wishing I was in sweats on my couch. Around mile 3 however I started to get into a groove and finally felt psyched to be outside. At mile 6 I took a wrong a turn and got a surprise tour of Cambridge’s historical and HUGE homes. By mile 13, while I was happy that I only had a mile left, I was also happy I finally just took that step out the front door. It’s so true “The first step out the front door is the hardest”. The best trick in the book is to tell yourself, “FINE I’ll just run for 10 minutes.” Chances are once you’re out there you’ll be happy to stick it out.

 

How do the seasons affect your running schedule? Do you plan your runs around the weather? Do you live somewhere tropical and get to run on the beach even in January? (and if so would you like a running visitor??)

To run or not to run?

I’m entering week 5 of official marathon training. Despite the usual hectic schedule, I’ve been getting my weekend long runs in (which is relatively easy this early in the game..) This weekend’s plan was 10 miles, a little scale back from last weekend’s 12 miler. Well Mr. Born To Run has had some kind of bad flu-like thing for the last 4 days so yesterday we called in lazy. It felt good to lay around and watch movies and do nothing for a change. That being said, I had big plans for Sunday morning.

Sunday PLAN:

6am: ALARM ALARM ALARM (wake up)

6:05 Get geared up for run

6:15 take dog for walk

6:30 drink coffee

6:45 mini warmup session with some lunges, squats, news watching

7am Hit the Road for a beautifully mapped out 10 miles

The weather forecast was even saying “YES, I’m perfect for running in today!!”

52deg in January?? Run Run RUN!

52deg in January?? Run Run RUN!

Well 6am came this morning and things changed a bit. My nose was running, I was breathing heavy, and my eyes were throbbing in their sockets. What the hell?? I thought “Ok, lets go back to sleep for a little bit, maybe in an hour things will be completely different.”

Well that evil hour had other ideas and things stayed status quo. I said to Ryan that I still think I might go out and run. He looked at me like I had just proposed a swim in the ocean. After days of telling him that he needed to rest to get better and now suggesting the opposite prescription for myself, he thought I was being slightly hypocritical. So here I am, on the couch, dreaming of lacing of my Brooks and having the fresh air cure this annoying cold thing that won’t give (ok so I may be being slightly dramatic, it’s only been a few hours).

Just wanted to run this today!

Just wanted to run this today!

 

Nurse Bailey

Nurse Bailey

SO– I need your advice. I still feel like a run would help. What do you do when you’re feeling under the weather? Exercise to help flush it out? Rest and medicate? 

Thou Shall Honor the Rest Day

Last week was pretty great in terms of getting workouts in. Tuesday and Thursday were running days (5-6 miles each day) and Wednesday, Friday, Saturday were CrossFit days. And this week’s CrossFit workouts were pretty killer, with Saturday’s being the one that literally left me on the floor for a solid minute after it was done. I thought I was going to die from an overdose on burpees.

Still catching my breath...

Still catching my breath…

Chrissy sent me this. True Life.

Chrissy sent me this. True Life.

Sunday was a planned rest day. Monday I woke up feeling not as refreshed as I would’ve liked. I guess 6 days in a row will do that. So I packed a bag for CrossFit, and figured I would see how the day went. Well 5:30pm came, I was still at work and my energy levels were not screaming “woohoo lets go lift heavy things!” So I texted my sister looking for either motivation or for the OK to take a (Gasp!) 2nd rest day in a row. I was so happy when she gave me permission to skip the workout. Her response held weight, as someone who I didn’t think knew the meaning of rest between CrossFit, learning how to do surgery on feet, and constantly having to fill divots in her yard thanks to Khole’s (her husky) digging. She said she recently took a couple days off and the result was a kick ass workout.

Chrissy: She's new to rest days too

Chrissy: She’s new to rest days too

And so I rested. I went home, I sat on my couch, I watched Jeopardy – I know, I seriously know how to rage. When the alarm blared at 5 o’clock this morning, thanks to me being a good rester (I know, not a real word) I didn’t feel the need to throw it out the window. Instead I got up, strapped on the Garmin, and hit the streets. It was a pretty awesome morning. Temps were in the high 40’s, there was no wind, and only a little bit of drizzling rain left. Mass Ave was busy with runners, which always makes being out there so early in the morning more fun knowing you’re not alone. I got home after 6 miles feeling really great and thinking, no wonder Chrissy got into med school, she’s so smart!

Between double rest days and an awesome run this AM, the day seemed to fly by and I had a good amount of energy. So much so that after a quick pit stop home to let miss Bailey out, I headed straight to CrossFit. Deadlifted like whoa tonight and it was awesome (I apologize for my overuse of the word awesome, I get overly excited sometimes).

Now, I know the past couple weeks this blog has seemed less Katie-born-to-run and more Katie-born-to- sometimes-run -and-CrossFit-and-eat-holiday-food. But Boston Marathon training officially starts next week so mentally prep yourself for lots of run reports soon enough.

Now your turn—Do you rest enough in between workouts? Have a good run lately? Training for anything? Happy Tuesday!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Best moment of this morning’s 27 degree run? Turning the corner off my street and seeing the Somerville Public works people out decorating the lampposts for the holidays. Winning! (do people still use this term anymore? I know, Charlie Sheen is so last week.)

Wreaths! Lights! Bows! Oh My!

Wreaths! Lights! Bows! Oh My!

The holidays are one of my favorite times of year. Even when people are having a bad day, when Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is coming to town” comes on the radio, all of the sudden things seem better. That school of thought also applies to running in sub-freezing temperatures. Today’s pre-sunrise run included ear muffs, gloves, running tights, and a sweatshirt (I know all you lightweight, dri-fit people are probably cringing but sometimes when it’s this cold out a good ol’ hoodie is so cozy to run in). When I checked the temps after my alarm went off at 4:55 and read 27 degrees and 13mph wind, the tiniest part of me wanted to get right back under the covers and hit the snooze. BUT—a bigger part of me got really excited about listening to the Glee Holiday radio station on Pandora for the next 45 minutes – so off I went!

 

It helped that this past weekend kicked off some serious holiday sweating. Saturday was “Formal Wear Fran” at CrossFit. Those not familiar with CrossFit, “Fran” can be a bitch. And she doesn’t get any nicer when you try and attack her in a strapless dress. (“Fran”: 21-15-9 reps of Thrusters and Pull-ups for time). Despite the dress, I PR’d this workout by 2min 15 sec compared to when I did it (in normal workout attire) back in September. Yay for getting stronger! There was also a Paleo Potluck cook-off holiday party afterwards where I ate lots and lots of really awesome (and good for you) food!

Formal Wear Fran. We sweat with class.

Formal Wear Fran. We sweat with class.

 

Sunday was the Cambridge Yulefest 5K. This was really cool because I only heard about and signed up for this race because of a Twitter shout out. Dani, a really cool tweeter who’s always tweeting about different and fun ways to be active and healthy, posted that she was looking to fill the last couple spots on her team for the race. I figured why not, and without knowing much else besides the date, said most definitely count me in. The team was the Slumbrew Humbugs, which is instantly cool since it was a brewery’s team (representing the Somerville brewing company—who’s beer by the way, is fantastic) Everyone on the team was really awesome and welcoming to me with the Hi-I-know-nobody-here look I’m sure I was wearing.

So mini race recap:

-Weather: Freezing and cloudy

-Course: Started in Harvard Square. Loop, relatively flat with a couple hills thrown in

-Hangover: Slightly present thanks to a late night with too much red wine

-Other runners: Awesomely decked out in holiday swag from Santa hats to full on Reindeer gear. There was even a marching band that ran together, playing instruments and singing Christmas carols the whole way.

-My run: Finished in 22:43. Was only going to run this as a fun run then felt OK so tried to push out a PR halfway through. No PR, but was the top female finisher on my team so that was cool!!

28 seconds slower than 5k PR on Turkey day. But still such a fun run!

28 seconds slower than 5k PR on Turkey day. But still such a fun run!

Awesome race. Bonus: Cousin Eddie was on my team!

Awesome race. Bonus: Cousin Eddie was on my team!

Post race was all you could drink beer in a heated beer tent. Needless to say it got packed pretty quick (beer is the reason 99.9% of runners run…trust me, there was a poll). I stayed for one since I needed to try the Slumbrew booze—I tried the Happy Sol which was awesome. Even more awesome? Just for running on their team, I got to take home a giant bottle of it! Moral of this racing story: Thanks to Twitter and Blogs meeting people from the Internet is not as creepy as it sounds. In fact, it can introduce you to a whole lot of cool people!

Team Slumbrew Humbugs!

Team Slumbrew Humbugs! (Team Photo credit goes to Dani, team captain)

 

I want to know: Are you more of an Elf or Grinch this time of year? How are you staying active over the holidays? Have you ever met up with internet friends?

A Tale of Two Winter Morning Runs…

Happy Post-Thanksgiving week! Is everyone else still in a food coma? In typical Katie fashion I ate normal portions of good things until the dessert showed up and it was oh sure I’ll have a cookie…you know the drill, one thing lead to another and I ended up leaving NY on Saturday in a sugar induced coma.

Bailey was Thanksgiving’d out too…

Good news is I got some running in over the holiday! First was the Thanksgiving day 5K in Schenectady’s Central Park where I joined Joe, Andrew, and 1700 other thankful people for a brisk 3.1 run. I was feeling surprisingly good even though I knew absolutely nothing about this race except that it was going to help me justify Thanksgiving dessert. No clue about the course’s route, elevation, etc. or even what the weather was supposed to be like (clearly, since Joe graciously gave me his gloves to run in since my bare fingers had turned blue). The course turned out to be a figure-eight type loop with rolling hills and the weather was nice in the sun and freezing in the shade. I definitely pushed every step of this run and was able to squeeze a PR out of it! I beat my October 5k race PR by 5 whole seconds!

PR! (what, you don’t keep track of all your races in an excel spreadsheet??)

Joe, Me, and Andrew Post Turkey-Trot

Saturday’s run was even more scenic than a run in the park. Ryan’s parents basically live at the top of a mountain so even though it means killer hill work, it also means the greatest running views.

How could you pass up a run with views like these??

It also means be prepared for National Geographic like encounters at all times. At mile 2 of this run I legit almost got run over by a reindeer. OK, maybe it was just a regular deer. But it was a HUGE deer. I stopped so short and almost screamed. The deer jumped right out of some bushes in front of me, hopped across the street (yes, deer hop like bunny rabbits), and into a field. I tried to get a pic but my gloves (Joe sorry those gloves are officially mine, I will get you more for Christmas 🙂 ) and iPhone don’t work well together.  Lesson learned, always have one ear bud out when running outdoors to listen for things like cars, people, WILD ANIMALS.

Now if that vacation running wasn’t exciting enough, I got to meet this cutie pie before we headed back to Boston.

Ryan’s friend’s 8wk old english bull dog, Halo. I almost took her home in my purse, but then realized they might miss her. I know, nothing to do with running BUT ISN’T SHE SO CUTE?!?!

Bailey’s trying to figure out WHY her mom is holding this thing..

Since the Thanksgiving holiday left me feeling slightly lethargic and sugar-soaked I was determined to start the week off sweating. So even though the forecast was 28 degrees with 15-20mph winds, I suited up in my winter wear and hit the road. 5AM is a very cold, dark place in November. And on windy days it is that much less enjoyable. After 5 miles I was happy I sucked it up and got out there, but I also had no feeling in my body.

Fast forward to this morning. I was determined to keep it going. Again, temps were forecasted in the 28-32degree range so I Underarmoured and earmuffed it up. I stepped outside and it felt surprisingly comfortable. Difference? Almost zero wind. I set out to cover similar mileage as yesterday and enjoyed every minute. Don’t get me wrong, it was still pretty chilly. But not having to bow your head into the wind just to move forward and still having some feeling in your extremities makes the world of difference.

I guess that’s one thing that makes New England runners special. Even though our weather is moodier than me on a day without running, we still suck it up and get out there regardless. So happy winter running season!

ONE LAST THING! According to this article it’s “Giving Tuesday” today, the unofficial holiday to be generous and earn back some good karma after spending ridiculous amounts on TV’s and iPads and tickle-me-Elmos (ok, maybe that phase has passed) between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Either way, if you’re looking to give back in some way today, please consider donating to the Boston Bruins Foundation through my marathon fundraising. CLICK HERE to donate. An enormous THANK YOU to all of my family and friends who have already shown their support.

Now you go. How was your Thanksgiving?? Did you have retail rage on Black Friday? What’s your favorite way to sweat during the Winter months? 

Eat Happy, Run Happy

Wow, it’s been almost 2 weeks since I’ve last blogged. Since then we’ve had Halloween, a snowstorm, and a presidential election! Don’t worry I’m not getting political on you—more important things, Halloween workouts! A CrossFit Halloween workout is exactly how it sounds—spooktacular.

Costume Encouraged WOD @ CrossFit. Teamed up with Christine to tackle this one.

 

CrossFitting Tinker Bell

Buy in for WOD, bobbing for apples. Option to run 400m if you were not a successful bobber…..

…well after a few tries, 400 it is!

I was good this Halloween; I didn’t have one piece of Halloween candy. I think this is the first Halloween in my lifetime that has happened. Now, before you go patting me on the back, this doesn’t mean I went all chocolate free or anything. Quite the opposite. While I was almost a perfect Paleo follower, last week was a chocolate chip fest for some reason. I somehow justified it because I was putting chocolate chips in almond butter and dipping apple slices in it (that makes it healthy right?….no—so wrong). Anyways, all that time I was getting chocolate-wastedddd (yes, I just made a “Grown Ups” reference) I was feeling more “blahhh I just want to nap” than “Hoorah lets go workout and attack the day!” I still got out there to run and WOD but wasn’t feeling the usual fantastic endorphin rush. While a beautiful surprise floral delivery to my office definitely brightened my day, I still wanted to nap.

Someone’s campaigning for husband of the year… 🙂

So Saturday I started with the right mind set—and meal. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you know!

My staple breakfast: Egg whites & hot sauce, fruit, turkey bacon, coffee, and water. Not gourmet, but oh so good.

Saturday was an awesome day of sweating. The weather was gorgeous. Started out at CrossFit and a great team workout with Jill and Hannah. Then stayed for 45min of mobility. Then headed to Brighton for a run date with Jess. We set out for a lovely 5 miler around the reservoir and through Chestnut Hill. It felt more like early September outside instead of mid-November. No complaints here!

Sunday was an unintentional rest day as it was full of exciting things like laundry, grocery shopping, brunching, and football. So I woke up Monday feeling refreshed and ready to go. I laced up the Brooks and hit the pavement by 5:30. I didn’t have a route planned but I DID have a new playlist. So I just went and rocked out. I was planning on around 6 miles. I got to the first bridge over the Charles and the sun was just trying to make an appearance.

Gooood Morning Cambridge!

I was feeling good so I figured I would run for a while along the river. Well, combination of running on rested legs and the unseasonably warm temps got me caught up in the run and before I knew it I was 5 miles away and realized I still needed to run home. Woops. It didn’t help that I was supposed to be home well before 7am so Mr.-Born-to-Run could use my AAA card to get his car towed to fix the battery. All of these factors resulted in a very fast 5.5 miles home (yay negative splits!)

Wouldn’t you want to get up at 5am for this view??

So my planned 6 miler turned into a 10.8 miler. A Monday morning long run, dropping Ryan at the car dealership, and still making it to work by 9? Yep, I’d call that a successful start to the week.

Moral of the story, my body performs better when I don’t have dark chocolate running through my veins (no matter how strong our love is) and I am at my best in the morning, and need to plan to get back into my 5am wakeup call routine.

Do you have any nutrition vices? What’s your favorite time of day to work out? What were you for Halloween? I wanna know! 

Friday Favorites

Here’s a few things this week that have qualified as Friday Favorite worthy…

FastPaleo.com. This website has become my new favorite recipe website. It’s essentially a site where anyone can share their Paleo recipes. I’m not exactly known for my skills in the kitchen (that’s Mr. Born-to-Run’s area of expertise!) BUT when I find something that sounds manageable, seasonal, and delicious I get excited and go all Rachel Ray. So Tuesday night I made this Farmers Market Chicken and it was pretty freakin awesome. Definitely bookmarking this bad boy.

Farmers Market Chicken– AMAZING!

Fall Weather. Like I said in my earlier post , I have welcomed fall weather with open arms this year. It has been ideal running weather lately and has actually felt like fall (as opposed to last year where we had summer and then “Happy Halloween, here’s 8 feet of snow!”) Plus my utility bills are appreciating this in-between state where neither the AC or heat is needed—Bonus!

“Routine”. Since the marathon, I’ve been able to get back into what was my normal routine.  I’m going out for runs with no plan just to run for fun. Not that training isn’t fun—sometimes it’s just nice to step out the door and go without having a mileage or pace number to hit. I also am back at CrossFit 3x/wk. I was starting to fall into a 2x/wk habit the last few weeks to fit in some final mileage. Speaking of CrossFit…

CrossFit H2O. I love it here. Where else can you go to lift heavy things AND have dance parties AND play dodgeball all before 7am? Nowhere else I can think of. Even though I’ll be in Boston Marathon training soon enough, the next couple of months I really want to focus on getting stronger. I noticed  how much it helped improve my running since starting (umm hello 18+min marathon PR!) and want to keep it going!

Chocolate. Yes, the paleo gods are gasping right now. Since the end of the Paleo Challenge in September I’ve been sticking to eating Paleo for the most part. But I recently discovered “Enjoy Life” chocolate chips which are dairy, nut, and soy free (so of course they are healthy, RIGHT?) Almost every night this week I’ve had dessert of apple slices dipped in a mixture of almond butter and those “healthy” chocolate chips. Well let’s face it, chocolate is chocolate. I don’t feel guilty about eating it, but do realize that for me chocolate and portion control have never lived in the same school of thought. Moral of this story: I am the poster child for people in need of single serving packages.

Steve’s Original Pumpkin Spice KRUNCH bar. This time of year, anything Pumpkin is pretty great. But these babies are the best! I tend to need something to hold me over between lunch and the end of the work day so I don’t completely fade out. These are those perfect only-a-few-REAL-ingredients type bars that are Paleo friendly, SOOO delicious and the proceeds go to an awesome cause .

Your turn! What are some of your favorite things of this week? Or that you’re looking forward to this weekend? Anyone else share an addiction to chocolate??