Sail on silver girl...Sail on by...Your time has come to shine...All your dreams are on their way...See how they shine

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

That New Year feelin'

I absolutely love the "clean slate" feeling that comes with the new year and the excitement of planning goals for the year.  Most of my goals always revolve around running, and I guess fitness and "being healthy" in general.  One of my favorite things to do is to plan my race calendar for the year! I get so excited looking up different races around the country, and try to make mini-vacations out of races when I can. Last year was full of exciting races in all different places!
The year started off with a Ragnar Relay in Key West in January. SO much fun!!!! My favorite leg was a 12 mile night run, across the bridges on Highway 1. Thank goodness I did not know this at the time, but the next day as we drove the course in reverse back to Miami, I came across this sign:
Not sure if you can make it out, but it says Crocodile Crossing! Yikes! I think I would have been freaked out had I seen it during my run, when it was just me and my headlamp at 2am running alone in the Everglades!!

Following that trip, I can home and buckled down for some tough training for Boston. I was planning on going for a PR in April, and really got down to business training-wise.   I felt confident in my training, and knew I was (finally) ready to conquer Boston.  (I had run Boston 3 previous times, and it always kicked my butt- but this year, I was ready to fight back- to finally make peace with the course).  Although Boston is a tricky course to master, I knew if I ran it smart, I could PR. That was until the heat wave of 2012 decided to come abit early this year, on Patriot's Day to be exact!
It actually ended up being a fun race to do, because all pressure was off and the only goal was "compete to complete".  Ironically enough, that was the same motto my friends and I used in 2007 when we did Boston in the Nor'easter. (I don't seem to have much luck with Boston!) Anyway,  I was glad to be part of the history of the Boston Marathon (once again), and now I will always be able to say that I was there when people talk about "the marathon of 2012".

In July, my friends and I flew off to San Francisco and Napa Valley for the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half-Marathon.  Best post-race party ever!!!. As soon as you cross the finish line, you pick up your wine glass and start the complimentary wine 9:30am!!! We went across the street to the country market, got some nice cheese to go with our free wine, and sat on the grass and listened to the awesome band that played.  For this half, I did not have a time goal, but I did have a goal: to win a bottle of wine!  Instead of medals or plaques, the first 3 runners in each age group, receive a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates!! Seriously, is there any better prize then this??
Goal accomplished!!!

The highlight of the year, travel-wise, however, had to be the BERLIN MARATHON!!!! What a great marathon!!! and perfect time of year- smack dab in the middle of Octoberfest, so ofcourse, we had to partake in those festivities as well.  Needless to say, this marathon was just a "fun run" kind. Two nights before the race, we were dancing on top of tables with huge steins in each hand! So much fun and definitely a highlight of 2012.  Only London (and now tokyo)  left of the 5 (now 6) majors to run!
The year ended with a half marathon PR and 1st in age group award (unfortunately no wine this time, just a plaque-bummer!) in beautiful Bethlehem, PA at the Runner's World half marathon and running festival, and a marathon PR at Philadelphia Marathon.

It has been a great year for travel and a great year for races, and I cant wait to sort my 2013 calendar out!!

(Originally this post was going to be about how I am going to try to start cooking at home every night for a week, to kick start healthy eating in 2013, but talking about running is always so much more fun!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2 years later, 2 years older

Wow! I cannot believe it has been almost two years since I last posted.  I also cant believe I have to change my profile bio from a "thirty - something" year old to a "forty-something" year old-yikes!!!  If I didn't have such a good racing year, PRing both my marathon and half marathon, perhaps this age thing would bother me more, but it feels really good to be older, faster, and stronger (especially mentally). This entire year has been a year of growth for me, both personally and professionally, and for that I am so very grateful.

I came across this quote the other day that seems to be very fitting for New Years Day:

"Happy is the soul that has something to look backward to with pride and something to look forward to with hope."

I would have to say that the highlight of 2012 for me was the Philadelphia Marathon. I had trained very hard for it, following the program that my coach prepared for me to a T, and PR'd.  But the best part? After 11 marathons, I finally mastered a negative split! It felt soooo good to have the strength and energy to pick it up at the end.  What a feeling! What a confidence booster!
Philly was truly the perfect way to close out what I had dubbed the "year of me".  2012 started out as a personally challenging year for me, but I am a firm believer in what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and now as 2012 comes to a close I can definitely say I am a much stronger and a much better person (and runner) than I was coming into 2012.  Philly was definitely the cherry on top of what ended up being a perfectly great year!

And so now I look forward to 2013 with great hope. Not quite sure what my race plans for this year are yet, but I look forward to 2013 with great vigor!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Out of hibernation and ready to get serious!

I am so over this cold weather!!!! And even if it isn't going to go away anytime soon, I am not gonna let it get me down anymore! So... starting tomorrow, I am taking myself out of hibernation! I even plan on shaving my legs (that's how serious I am!) even if it isn't quite shorts season yet!
Also, if I shave my legs, that means I have no more excuses about why I cant go to the gym to do some weight training, stretches, cross training, etc. which means it is time to get serious about my workouts too. (No more just running and doing nothing else)
So, if I am going to start getting serious about my workouts and my hygiene, I might as well get serious about my eating habits too!
Let's see how well I can do this week. No more excuses, no more being lazy, cold, and tired. Time to get back at it!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 race plans

I really love the idea of the "race of the month" club as I so affectionately call it. It is a great way to try out new races, see new cities/towns, and keep myself motivated throughout the year. The hardest part is trying not to do the same races over and over again each year. This will be the third year that I have tried to incorporate a different race a month (preferably outside of NYC) into my calender and, I must say, I have done a pretty good job at not being a repeat offender. However, the following are just some races that I love and that I am always tempted to do again and again each year.

1) Applefest 1/2 marathon in Hollis NH. The scenery is beautiful, the course challenging, and the post race spread- unbelievable!!!
2) Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY - One big block party from start to the finish at the Sarnac Brewery
3) Bradford Valentine Race in Bradford, MA - the cutest race I have ever done - complete with chocolate and a romantic weekend away in New England!
4) Cherry Blossom Road Race in Washington, DC - beautiful weather and a beautiful course-the year we did it coincided perfectly with the actual blooming of the cherry blossoms!
5)Reach the Beach Relay White Mts to Hampton beach, NH Nothing more fun then spending 24 hours in a van with 5 other crazy, smelly runners. Running in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and after not sleeping for almost 24 hours makes for perhaps the most fun ever had in the sport of running.

I still have not decided on my races of the month for 2011. It is abit overwhelming since there is so many amazing races to chose from. If money were no object, I would travel every weekend to a new race place. In fact, one of my lifetime goals is to do a race (they do not have to be marathons) in each of the 50 states. I want to start keeping official track of it this year and start to put more thought into achieving this goal.

I would love to hear anyone's suggestions about races that they loved as I get set to plan out my races this year!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Night = Plans for the Week 2

So the first week of the new year was so-so for me when it came to sticking with my plans. I find this happens every year with me. That first week (and sometimes first month) is always a sort of trial run week (or month) for me. It takes me awhile to get into it, but then, I have to say I do a pretty good job at keeping (at least to the basics of) my goals for the year.

Last week I did a pretty good job with drinking more water, increasing my weekly running mileage (32 miles), and taking time to appreciate what I have and paying it forward. I also signed up for my first race - the Manhattan 1/2 Marathon - of 2011! Although I think I will be more "running" it then "racing" it! I don't think I am in any shape to be racing a half marathon. It is still absolutely amazing to me how quickly I can lose my "fitness" after just a few weeks off. I feel like it is my speed that suffers the most, not necessarily my endurance. I felt fine during my 13 mile long run this weekend, but thought I was going to die during a mile repeat on tuesday night. According to the McMillan calculator, my 6:24 mile brings be back down to a 3:36 marathon/1:42 half marathon pace currently - oops! Oh well, that just means back to the ole' training program and some hill repeats to gain back some of that speed- especially if I do decide on a spring marathon.

This week I was not very good at cross training (I didnt do any!!), taking my vitamins (again, none!), or doing anything "academic" (nada!). This week's plans are therefore going to be very similar to last week's plans.

Week 2 Plans:
Mind: review chosen topic for work

Body: Run Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sunday
cross train 2x/week
Drink at least 2 water bottles full of water daily (48oz) + 8oz with vitamins

Soul: Daily Gratitude Journal
Send out a card a week to a friend/family member just because to let them know I am thinking of them

Here's to a better week ahead!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Night = Plans for the Week

Trying to get myself organized for this first week of a (hopefully) wonderful new year!
In keeping with my newly defined goals of the year, here are my plans for the week.

Mind: review chosen topic for work

Body: Run Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sunday
cross train 2x/week (probably Mon and Wed)
Drink at least 2 water bottles full of water daily (48oz) + 8oz with vitamins

Soul: Daily Gratitude Journal
Send out my "Happy Winter" cards to friends as a way to reconnect and to
surprise them with snail mail (it is always so much fun to get mail!)

I can already tell that there is not going to be enough time in each day to do all the things I am currently excited about doing, but at least if I try to do one thing a day towards my goals, I will feel productive and that always makes me feel better!!

Despite all this excitement about goals/plans/lists and starting a new year and a clean slate, I have to say that I have a bad case of the Sunday Night Blues. I wish I had a week off to do all that I want to do. I know once the work week starts I will be fine, but sometimes it is just so hard to get the work week started!

I am off to go enjoy the rest of the weekend. As a way of savoring the last bit of the holidays before returning to the real world tomorrow, I am going to eat my mom's homemade raviolis (that she makes every year for Christmas) for my dinner. Yummy!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year- A Clean Slate

2010 Recap
miles ran: 1325
races completed: 9 (1 marathon,4 half marathons,1 15K,1 6K,2 5Ks)

I absolutely love the clean-slate feeling New Years brings and the opportunity it affords to set new goals and new visions for the upcoming year.

This year I have decided to break my goals up into 3 categories: Mind, Body, and Soul.

There are a few goals that I made last year, like running 1200 miles and running a race a month, that I would like to carry over into 2011.

2011 Goals

1) Read at least 10 books this year
2) Focus in on one topic/month for my profession and post an article on our professional website on such topic

1) 1201 miles in 2011
2) Incorporate 2 cross-training sessions/week
3) Weekly healthy habits - (to be determined weekly) such as drinking enough water daily, taking my vitamins, making lunch daily, etc.

1) Daily Gratitude Journal
2) Love more, criticize less
3) Daily/weekly soup for the soul- each week I will set weekly goals for this category- but I would basically just like to make more time for the little stuff in life, like making cookies, meeting up with friends, connecting with family members, and maybe even some self-pampering!

My race of the month club goal!
I don't know what category to put this one in because I think it fits in all three categories. It is obviously good for my body, but it is also as equally beneficial for my mind and my soul. The thing that I love the most about the race of the month is that often times it gets us out of the city for a mini weekend vacation away- and what is better for the mind, body, and soul then that?!

I am excited to start figuring out my races of the month and my race plans for 2011 tomorrow! This task is by far my favorite! Be back to post some of my race plans tomorrow.

Bring on 2011!!!