Monthly Archives: March 2013

Taking it Easy and Looking for Signs of Spring

It’s hard to believe that I’m just over 14 days away from running the Boston Marathon. 26.2 miles. Lots o’ hills. And people. And adrenaline. I feel confident, and know I will finish the Boston Marathon on April 15th.  Until then, my goal is to stay injury free, get rest (if that’s possible for anyone to do) and get pumped up!

Being home this weekend for Easter is a nice break from the craziness of things in Beantown. And it meant I could run with a friend this morning, outside instead of on a treadmill, and focusing on talking rather than mileages and speed. I was a little nervous beforehand because I have shin-splint paranoia, and made her promise to slow her speed a bit for me. We ran just under 4 miles this morning, enjoying the crisp, almost Spring air, and got some quality catching up in.  Tomorrow will bring 10 miles with another running friend; oh, it’s nice to be home and have friends to run with-they make the time and miles fly by and allow for plenty of talking.  I’m embracing this taper period, really trying to go easy on my body. I’m going to keep running, keep my legs moving, but do my best to enjoy the runs I do so that I am physically and mentally prepared for Boston in a few weeks.

Another perk of being home is having a wonderful mom who stocks the fridge with the foods I like, including a leaning tower of yogurt in my favorite flavors. Which I may or may not have put into a pyramid for a fun photo op (go ahead, make fun 😉 )

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I am enjoying time babysitting my favorite kids, being with my family, and looking out for signs of spring.  Playing outside today in just a light jacket was a welcomed change-now to see some buds on trees and flowers starting to bloom. Happy Easter Weekend!

Losing my lug nuts and my mind

Did you know lug nuts are pretty important and without them you should NOT be driving a car? Not going to lie, friends, I did not know this when I was loading up my car for the day ahead and saw this. There were three missing but I put one back on because I’m handy like that.

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After driving to work, which thankfully was a safe and uneventful trip, I sent this photo to my dad and received a frantic “do not drive and get your car towed” text. Big oops. After I drove the car again down the street to the mechanic, he informed me “someone is messing with your car.” And a similar event occurred 3 weeks ago. Creepy.  The police department was amazing and sent a nice officer over right away to investigate. Citing it as “malicious damage”, he told me detectives would be calling in the next few days. And to look for him in a few weeks as he is tackling Boston too. Nobody better come near my car tonight….and I will now be checking the lug nuts daily.

Now for the gym. I was ready to try out a new pair of shorts (experimenting to find the perfect shorts for the marathon-haven’t found them yet so suggestions welcome), and get an easy treadmill run in. My shins had other plans. Feeling quite defeated and distracted with the missing lug nut/needing to file police report/so thankful I made it to work safely this morning, I stretched and left the gym. Stupid shins. I don’t like you. You held up quite nicely for my long run on Saturday and for lifting yesterday, so I guess it’s my fault for not resting. Cue ice and a rest day tomorrow.  Just hoping I can nip this in the bud with wearing sneakers to work tomorrow and icing like a crazy person. Which I am.

Things are a little uncertain and overwhelming now–job for next year/apartment and most importantly marathon outfit. But…..I got a wonderful envelope filled with my Runner Passport, marathon program and Adidas catalog for sweet Boston 2013 gear. Yay!!!

ImageAnd so, for now, I’ll take a little break from all things important and enjoy a little glass of vino, some roommate chatter and cookies (which I baked when avoiding important things yesterday). Procrastination is a blessing sometimes.

What are you FAVORITE running shorts? Any other gear advice that will hold up for 26.2 miles?

Has anyone ever used wheel locks? Not sure what these are but maybe something I need to look into?

Don’t you love when the waiter asks “are you really hungry?”

Why, yes sir, I am really hungry-maybe it’s because I ran 19 miles? In his defense, I did order the restaurant week prix fixe meal and then a salad from the regular menu. I wonder what he would’ve said if I’d asked for a side of prime rib with my meal 😉

19 miles accomplished. BOOM. That’s what the wind and chilly air felt like. I have never run in wind quite like I experienced this morning, but I survived and rocked it. Even though the calendar says it’s spring, Boston hasn’t gotten the memo, so I was thankful for super warm running tights, gloves and multiple layers! Running with a friend was a nice change, it kept me accountable knowing someone else had the same lengthy goal I did. I paused for a photo of sailboats on the Charles–which has to mean that warmer weather is coming eventually!

ImageAfter a quick stop at mile 13 in Charlestown for some Gatorade refueling and stretching, I was back on track. Miles 16-19 were rough, but the thought of a muscle-relieving ice bath and chocolate milk got me through. The first few minutes of the ice bath were rough (and I just use really cold water because I’m not brave enough for ice yet) but I really think it makes all the difference and helps with recovery. And I look pretty cool doing it!

Image I feel contented that I got the miles in, and now I am confident that I am for the challenge that Boston presents.

I’m off to foam roll, ice, stretch and eat some more food in the comfort of my own apartment, where no one will ask me how hungry I am. Have a great night!

After 19 miles will I still have swag? Or working feet?

I have the makings of a rocking Friday night-7:41pm and PJs already on, ice packs on my shin, catching up on the week’s TV, running clothes laying on my chair, foam roller out and ready for some stretching. Yep, you know you wish you were me.

Just over three weeks out from the Boston Marathon and my longest training run is fast approaching, in 12 hours to be exact.  19 miles means committing to running for more than 3 hours, relying on energy gummies, Gu and Gatorade to get me through. It will be a challenge. And I may not enjoy every minute of it, in fact there may be several miles where I am really not enjoying myself, but I am determined to make it 19 miles. If I can do 19, what’s 7.2 miles more?

I’m thankful for mostly cleared sidewalks, finding a friend to make the long run with me, the start of a rocking playlist, and all my winter running gear ready to go. Here’s hoping I’m still moving after the 19, able to at least crawl up the stairs of me apartment into the kitchen for my post-run reward of chocolate milk.

For now, I relax. Even with a snow day this week, I am still beat. Somewhere between catching one of my first graders in the act of sneaking outside sans snow boots and hearing a “tattle” of yet another incident of counting cubes in someone’s mouth, I survived Friday and made it safely to my couch. Time to rest up for tomorrow…tales of the trek across Boston to come 🙂

ImageJust a few things ready for my run…

The ever-growing to do list, and a snow day in mid-March.

The 5:07am call from the superintendent announcing a snow day is becoming pretty common this winter. Don’t get me wrong-I am thrilled to have a day off from work, a day when I can still be in my pajamas at 11am, a day to give myself the luxury of a flexible schedule. Snow days are always a welcomed occurrence, though something tells me I hope be quite as happy when the heat of the last week of June in a stuffy classroom is getting the best of me. Here’s to efforts to remain in the present 😉

I am a big list maker. It’s how I get organized and feel productive. The problem lies when my to-do list continues to grow, and not many things get crossed off. The things on my to-do list right now are big ticket items: Run the Boston Marathon. Finish job applications. Find a teaching job. Find a new apartment. Pay bills. These are all things that have to get done ASAP, and they will, even if it means bribing myself with watching tv shows, online shopping, and the occasional nightly chocolate and glass of wine. I can do this. The hard part is knowing that even with a day off today, I won’t be able to cross these things off my list. Some things need to stay on the list for a few weeks or even months. And I’m working on being okay with that.

For now, I’ll keep taking the baby steps–looking on Craigslist for apartments, finalizing cover letters and application open responses, and logging training workouts, and hope that sometime in the near future I can get out my lovely purple pen and cross some things off my list.  And the distraction of my 21 first grade friends helps too. Especially when they teach me things like “5 +5=10. That’s an equation,” and “I am strict”=I’m grounded. Who would’ve thought?! What would I do without these kiddos?

Here’s to a productive, relaxing (may seem like an oxymoron but being productive is relaxing to someone type-A like me) snowy day.

Trying a New Recipe: Apple-Bacon-Cheddar Mac ‘n’ Cheese

My mouth started to water from the second I flipped the page to this recipe. I love mac ‘n’ cheese. I love apples. And who doesn’t love bacon? It had to be made. I waited for the perfect opportunity this weekend, when I had some guinea pigs to test out the recipe on. And it was worth the wait.  The recipe was fairly straight forward, and I was pretty excited that I got to try my hand at making a roux. I’m pretty proud of myself that I successfully did it, even though I’m sure it’s second nature to many people. The smell of bacon permeating the apartment was amazing. I love bacon, but really only eat it when eating out, so it was pretty special to be cooking it myself 😉

Anyways, thanks to Rachael Ray’s excellent taste and clear recipe, we had a delicious Sunday dinner. And Monday lunch (for my roommate) and Monday dinner side (for me). Yummy!

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16 Miles and some things I didn’t know before I started training

My body is not a fan of marathon training in the winter. The calendar says spring is 5 days away, but apparently Boston hasn’t received the memo. It was below 30 degrees this morning. And windy! Something funny is going on with my hip flexor, and my body is just feeling spent. How is that for a good whine?

Moving on to positive things! Even at 8am, the city was abuzz with people out strolling and enjoying the sunny (and chilly) morning. I was very excited to try out my new Garmin, which I think helped make the run easier…although I very nearly tripped a few times looking at my wrist instead of the ground ahead of me.  The Boston Commons was beautiful, sun was shining, kids in ice skating lessons on Frog Pond, a great spot for views of the early morning city.

ImageNow for things I didn’t know before training started:

1. There is a kind of Gu that is tolerable and definitely helped keep me moving. Vanilla. Thanks to my wonderful coworker for the suggestion.

2. When you run for more than two hours you get hungry. I need to work on a solution to that. Not sure bringing along a sandwich in my fuel belt is the solution.

3. Lacrosse balls can be your frenemies. They can get to sore and tight muscles that no amount of foam rolling can…BUT it really hurts. A lot.

Yes, this run was tough. Yes, I am sore now. But, I did it.

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My second to longest run of training (the length of my longest is TBD). And I am now armed with six lacrosse balls (in case I lose one?) and lots of Vanilla Gu for next week. Off to recover and relax…..Happy St. Patty’s Day Eve!