New England Winter Running Gear– Ski Suit or Bikini?

I think 9 times out of 10 I dress inappropriately for a run. This morning was a prime example. I was excited for temps in the high 30’s (with the cold we’ve experienced in the past couple months, that’s basically tropical). I wore full length spandex pants, a tank top, and this running jacket/windbreaker thing I snagged on sale that I thought “maybe I’ll still be chilly with only a tank on underneath but we’ll see”. Also wore an ear-warmer headband but skipped the gloves after stepping out and thinking it was pretty mild.

While the run was awesome, within the first mile I knew everything I was wearing was wrong. I should’ve worn capris, I already took off my ear-warmer and was using it as a glove since my fingers were frozen, and that stupid jacket was like a tin foil insulator. But I looked on that beautiful bright side and was happy to be outside running before the rain/snow mess that supposed to arrive later and not on a treadmill. 6 miles later, I was sweating like it was July but in runners high land so I was OK with it.

Don't let its lightweight-ness fool you. This will keep you warm in Antarctica.

Don’t let its lightweight-ness fool you. This will keep you warm in Antarctica.

When it comes to running in New England, there are those days where the debate between wearing  fleece lined long underwear or a singlet/shorts combo is a real thing. Below is a rough guide I try to follow (and still adjust on a daily basis when elements like wind/rain/snow/solar eclipses/etc. come into play)

  • <15deg F: Shorts or capri’s and a tank….indoors. Days like this it’s 95% likely that I’m going to choose CrossFit, the treadmill, or the couch instead of breathing in that arctic, frozen air.
  • 15-30deg F: cold weather, full length spandex, drifit coldweather long sleeve, sweatshirt/winter vest/or jacket, winter hat or ear-warmer headband, gloves
  • 30-40deg F: full length or capri spandex, drifit coldweather long sleeve, running vest, ear-warmer headband, gloves
  • 40-60degF: capri spandex, light longsleeve or tank w/arm warmers
  • 60degF+: shorts, short sleeve or tank

Like I said, I’m constantly playing with what works and what doesn’t.

Today’s Lesson: For me, anything below 40deg F (yes that even includes 39deg) I need gloves since I swear blood stops flowing to my fingers in the cold. 

What are your running clothes go-to’s? I know it’s different for everybody (there are those who swear by shorts in anything above freezing!) but it’s always good to hear what others are wearing and when to help my eternal experimentation. 

Hyannis Half Marathon 2014. Was the rare occurrence where I dressed correctly for the weather.

Hyannis Half Marathon 2014. Was the rare occurrence where I dressed correctly for the weather.

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Here We Go Again!

Hellooooo readers in blog land! It’s been quite a while since we’ve chatted. 7 months and 21 days to be exact. That sounds like a very long time when you write it out. Don’t worry, I’ve been running and crossfitting and a little bit of racing during that time and not become “Katie-born-to-lounge-around”. Some of it I probably should’ve blogged about it too. Not sure how you managed without seeing pics and commentary around the BAA 10k and the Tough Mudder at Gunstock mountain with CrossFit H2O peeps  in June, my first CrossFit competition with team Black and Yellow in August, the Electric Run in September, running stories from Ireland in October, and the cold and rainy Get your Rear in Gear 5k in November w/ some BBF girls. If you follow me on Twitter, you didn’t go completely uninformed. However, this whole time I really didn’t know how to start a blog post to follow my last one that covered such a personal, highly emotional, sensitive, tragic event. Until now.

It’s official people. I am going to be running the 2014 Boston Marathon. Not only do I get to run the Boston Marathon again this year, I get to run it with most of the same teammates from 2013 for the Boston Bruins Foundation. It really is such an honor, as the BBF received over 200 applicants for a select number of spots.

Team Boston Bruins Foundation 2013

Team Boston Bruins Foundation 2013

BBF Girls

BBF Girls

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bbf strong 2

Copley Square, made our mark

Copley Square, made our mark

Like I said in my last post, before April 15, 2013 I did not have any intention of running in 2014. Boston was a bucket list marathon and unless I qualified via a marathon time in the future, I didn’t plan on running it again anytime soon. However, with everything that happened on 4/15/13, I like many other runners and Bostonians felt some need to run again. For some people it’s an emotional healing, a way of getting back something we lost that day. For others, it’s a way of standing up for Boston, for everything we hold sacred as a country, for all the people who were affected by the terrible events of 4/15/13, and for a race we all put up on a pedestal. And for some select people, they actually enjoy running 26.2 miles for fun. I’m probably a combination of all of these reasons. Especially the fun part.

So let’s get this party started. I will most likely be hosting some really fun events in the near future to help reach the goal of raising $5,000 for the Boston Bruins Foundation. Remember meeting David Krejci last year? and Ray Bourque? And winning some really cool stuff like autographed Red Sox baseballs, Bruins gear, and tons of gift certificates to restaurants and shops around town? If yes, you know you want to continue the fun. If not, come join!!

If you’d like to give me an early Christmas gift, you can click HERE to donate.

Ray Bourque helping raise funds for the BBF

Ray Bourque helping raise funds for the BBF

Boston Bruins Player David Krejci signed autographs and hung out with everyone who came to support our cause.

Boston Bruins Player David Krejci signed autographs and hung out with everyone who came to support our cause.

Training “officially” starts 12/29/13 but expect a few running recaps and crossfit fun in the meantime.  Get ready for 4 months of running adventures that will all lead to Boylston street on 4/21/2013.

Finish Line 2013

Finish Line 2013

finishline1

finishline2

Now your turn! Are you running Boston in 2014? Or affected by what happened in 2013? Do you run to heal, sort out thoughts, or just zone out? I’d love to know!

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?

Finding Sidewalks after Finding Nemo

So Nemo happened. On Thursday night everyone and their brother seemed to be having a panic attack. Most of the world’s panic stemmed from figuring out how to ration their 17 loaves of bread to last until Sunday. Would 8 RedBox movies be enough (true story, I saw that happen)? How can they be out of Cheetos?!?

milk and bread outage

Mine was more DPW focused. How fast would the plows get out on the roads? Would local businesses adhere to the 6hr rule and shovel their sidewalks? Should I get a Boston Sports Club membership for a day just in case of a treadmill emergency?

To help ease some of this anxiety, I headed to CrossFit on Friday morning for the 6am party. At least if Nemo swallowed all the roads up over the next 36 hours I would have gotten some quality back squatting in. The plan was also to get in 4-6 miles around lunch time before the snow really started to come down, but after a good 1:1 with Coach B that morning, I decided not to beat up my body out of a fear of what if it snows and the roads disappear forever.

And so it begins...

And so it begins…

I had already planned on pushing out the usual Saturday long run to Sunday since my dependable weathermen from Channel 7 said that venturing outside was not a smart decision. So Saturday was spent sleeping in (til 8am!!), baking unhealthy things (just because I happened to have the ingredients), snow shoveling out our cars, and having a few beers to celebrate all our serious hard work..

So it snowed?

So it snowed?

Snow Forts! Memories! Can I play?

Snow Forts! Memories! Can I play?

Shoveling rewards nicely

Shoveling rewards nicely

From seeing what the roads looked like on the news (because during a snow storm there is news coverage ALL. Day. Long.) and from what I could see right around our apartment on Saturday, I knew Sunday’s planned mileage probably wasn’t going to happen.  I wanted to get in 17. I decided to just shoot for 10. Seeing as though I had no clue what the rest of the city really looked like I decided when I ventured out down my what seemed to be unplowed street, I would do at least 6 and see how it goes from there.

Well, I’m surprised I didn’t throw in the towel after the first mile. I headed up to Broadway and there were zero sidewalks. None. And the street was slush. Awesome.

At mile .5 I took a left and in an attempt to get onto the makeshift sidewalk, I slipped and fell. Nothing serious, I bounced right back up, but it was enough to mess with my head for a bit.

At around mile 3 there was a group of runners all finishing up at the Tufts gym and some had BAA jackets on. Head, thank you for returning to the game. Knowing there were other Boston bound or Boston been-theres out running in this mess was enough to help me make a mental comeback.

From there it was a decent run. Sidewalks were few and far between. However, anyone getting anywhere this morning was walking in the street and the cars that were out were going slowly due to the amount of foot traffic in the streets. A majority of the run felt like I was in a winter wonderland obstacle course, with most sidewalks being treated like an agility ladder to keep my footing and the leaps necessary to get over the slush oceans separating the crosswalk from the curb. But it was also fun to be able to see the aftermath of the storm in all different parts of the city.

Oh Mass Ave, you haven't met my friend The Plow? Awesome.

Oh Mass Ave, you haven’t met my friend The Plow? Awesome.

Davis Square looking nice and clear (and completely blocked off to any thru traffic which made my life a million times easier :)

Davis Square looking nice and clear (and completely blocked off to any thru traffic which made my life a million times easier 🙂

Final mile down a side street that seemed to just be waking up to discover it snowed..

Final mile down a side street that seemed to just be waking up to discover it snowed..

In the end, I got in 10 up and down miles. They were by no means pretty but it felt good to be outside moving. It helped that the sun was shining and temps had increased about 15 degrees since the overnight 7 degrees we were holding down.

Now you go: What do you do when the weather interferes with your workout? Did you also have to deal with Nemo? Anyone break out the board games? 

“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?