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

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

12 Days til Christmas!! To combat all this merriment and the effects it is having on my thighs, I MUST workout so..... 12 Days of Christmas = 12 Days of Workouts!
I haven't gotten myself to the gym in a long while, but I don't think 4 days of running is cutting it these days, so I forced myself to go to the gym after work tonight. As usual it was hard to get myself there, but once I was there I was happy that I went. I am going to have to step it up a notch in the workout department over these next two weeks, especially if I want to continue to enjoy all the holiday goodies without feeling guilty and without carrying around 10 extra pounds once training starts again in January.
It is the holidays. I refuse not to enjoy it by restricting my caloric intake. Instead, I rather just work out alittle bit more and alittle bit harder. Afterall, it only comes but once a year.

Speaking of goodies, once again I am learning to bake so many yummy things from the different blogs I have been reading over the last few months. They are all especially interesting during this time of year. Last night I made Grandma's Molasses Cookies courtesy of Framed Cooks.
They were yummy especially with a mug of Hot Chocolate!!!

I am off to bed before I eat more cookies so that I can wake up early to meet a friend for a good run in the morning to start off Day 2 of the 12 days of Christmas!!

Tonight's workout:
30m min spin
30 min elliptical
15 minutes core/ab work

Monday, November 15, 2010

Plan for the Week

Since the marathon I have found myself alot more disorganized and a little lost with no longer any plan to follow. My eating habits and lack of healthy habits(i.e drinking enough water, remembering my daily vitamins) have gone awry. To help me get back on track, I have decided to write out my plan for the week and keep better track of my daily habits.
Monday- run home from work, physique 57, make a healthy dinner
Tuesday - Strengthening ex at gym in the AM, team practice/run PM
Wednesday - Gym - cross training, core and UE or physique 57, make something new for dinner!
Thursday - run in am and strengthening exercises
Friday - off
Saturday - practice/run
Sunday - run or cross training
Make sure to drink enough water and take my vitamins every day!
Other things to do this week:
Decide what making/bringing to Thanksgiving Dinner
Decide on November race of the month (probably a turkey trot)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Learning to cook through other's blogs

Over the last few months I have learned a lot from reading other's blogs. Now that the marathon is over and I have a little more time on my hands, I have decided that I want to get more into cooking, baking, and well, using my kitchen. Over the weekend I did a lot of cooking (a lot for me anyway) and have decided to try to cook/make at least one new thing each week from other people's blogs.

This weekend from reading GreenLitesBites I have learned how to cut butternut squash, make butternut squash fries(Yummy!!)and pasta with pumpkin, turkey sausage and spinach.

For dessert I made some very yummy no-bake s'mores brownies-delicious!!that I found on Framed Cooks blog.

It feels like such an accomplishment when I actually cook a meal, not to mention it's a lot more healthy and less expensive then ordering out or buying already prepared foods.

I am going to try cooking something new every Wednesday since I get home from work early on this day and hopefully bake/make something new on the weekends.

Looks like I best get back to training for something soon with all this baking I am going to be doing!!!

This week my goal is to get back to the gym at least 2 days to do my strengthening exercises, 3-4 days of running, and 2 days of Physique 57 so that I can fully enjoy all this new food without any of the guilt! That is one thing I already miss about marathon training- eating without having to worry!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

(Re) Finding My passion at the MCM

Throughout this marathon training cycle, I struggled mentally. Physically I was doing the workouts, but mentally I never really found my mojo. Very infrequently did I experience that euphoric feeling that I use to get after a great speed workout or tough run. 4 weeks before the marathon I did a half marathon that left me feeling deflated and defeated. It was the first time I could ever remember thinking that I just didn't want to be out there on the race course. I questioned for the first time in my life whether or not I really wanted to do this running thing anymore- and that thought scared me. After the half, I tried to rally. I focused more and thankfully had a great last 20 miler. It left me feeling better, but still not 100% sold on this running business. I think part of the reason for these feelings is because it had been almost 3 years since my last marathon, and I had forgotten what it takes both mentally and physically to train for one. Plus, I was putting way too much pressure on myself to perform well, infact set a PR, at this next marathon. The night before the marathon I questioned why I was even doing another marathon.
Luckily, 2.5 miles into the marathon on Sunday, I found my answer! I am not quite sure why or how it all came about, but suddenly there I was, smiling, LOVING exactly where I was at that moment, in a place that just felt right. At that moment it all clicked.
I loved everything about this marathon! The Marines, the camaraderie amongst the runners, the course (yes, even the hill at mile 26, but,ok, maybe not the 2 mile desolate overpass) the crowds,especially their posters (there definitely were some creative ones out there), the weather, the way I felt, and especially the finish line. Not just because it was the end, but because where it fell. Shortly after mile 24, you could see the crosses from afar on top of the hill at Arlington National Cemetery. At that moment, amongst the physical fatigue, I dug deep, realizing how lucky I was just to be out here doing this thing, and found a second, or third, or fourth wind (at least for a few hundred feet!). But, receiving my medal by a Marine, in viewing distance of the Iwo Jima monument was, well...Priceless!
The cherry on top of this perfect day was that I set a PR! When this training cycle began I was hoping for a sub-3:20. With my training where it was, I wasn't sure if that was going to be realistic. My finish line time was 3:20:44. Under other circumstances, I might have been frustrated by the 45 seconds, but given the day I had, I couldn't be happier. I feel like I had the best of both worlds- being able to take it all in and enjoying every moment of it, and still doing a good time. I am happy! and ofcourse I have already begun to think about my next marathon. Talk about crazy. Two days before I was saying I was never going to do one of these things again, and now I can't stop thinking about which one to do next. I guess that's the power of the marathon- and why we are all addicted to these things!!

Monday, October 18, 2010


It was Chris McCormack (Macca) who got me through my 20 miler last weekend and Terry Fox who helped me breeze through my 12 miler on Saturday with a smile on my face. Now I am looking for someone to inspire me through 26.2 miles in 2 weeks time.

The night before my last 20 miler I was glued to my computer watching Kona. I sat in awe as Macca broke away from Andreas Raelert to win. As I was nearing the end of my run and trying to maintain 10-15 seconds faster then marathon pace for the last 4 miles, all I thought about was how Macca must have been feeling during the last 3-4 miles of his race. I thought to myself, my suffering is NOTHING compared to what he must have been feeling in those final miles and yet he was still able to break away and give it one last hard effort. So I told myself to suck it up and to stop being a wimp. It worked! I finished that run feeling strong and was very happy with the results.

This Saturday I had a nice 12 miler on deck. It was a beautiful day and I was really enjoying the run. I was by myself and enjoying the solitude. I was perhaps going out abit too fast for a long run, but everything just felt good so I went with it. With about 4 miles to go, though, I started to feel it abit. It was then that I ran right in the middle of a race going on in the park... The Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research. It was just what I needed to help me get my second wind and finish up that run strong. I just thought about how incredible Terry Fox was and how he must of felt each day that he was out there giving it his all. It also made me realize how lucky I was to be able to run and to have my health. I finished that run with a big smile on my face, loving my life.

So now I am looking for someone to inspire me through 26.2 miles on October 31, 2010. I am looking for a good book, movie, or article to help inspire me and get me through those last tough miles.
If anyone has any recommendations I would love to hear them! I need all the help I can get!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why I Love my Wednesday Runs

Tuesday and Thursdays I usually try to do some sort of "quality" workouts (i.e speed work, hill repeats) Saturdays I do long runs and Sundays I try to squeeze in my recovery runs without losing my entire weekend to running.
But, Wednesdays, ah Wednesdays. Wednesdays are my day to just float along - No goals, no gadgets, no particular speed or pace. I just "go with the flow" and enjoy every minute of it. It is also the one day I usually listen to music and just get lost in my thoughts or the melody/lyrics of the song.
Lately I have not been enjoying running too much. I think I have been putting too much pressure on myself, and when I can't meet the goals I set forth, I think I become somewhat resentful towards the art of running. But it's nights like these, when I get out in the park with no expectations, that I remember why I love running so much. The cool crisp air, the familiar faces I see running the same routes seasons after seasons, the rhythmic flow of my body, the ease of movement under my feet - these are things that make me smile. These are the things that keep me coming back.
Tonight was a good night. Tonight reminded me why I do this thing called running in the first place. Tonight is just the sort of night I needed to reignite this crazy love affair all over again.
Tonight I came home and thanked my lucky stars that I can run, that I have the ability to do so.
Tonight I realized that there is no reason to whine and complain about a bad run
Afterall, any run is better then no run at all!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mental Block

It seems as though I might be suffering from a bad case of mental block with a dose of the training blahs mixed in. I can't really explain it, but I have just felt "off" over the last few weeks. I can't remember the last time I walked away from a workout feeling accomplished or satisfied with the end result. I have been trying to figure out the reason why my training and my attitude have not been up to par lately, and sadly, perhaps, the answer is as simple as I haven't been trying hard enough. For some reason, I just can't seem to find my mojo, my motivation, my drive to run faster, to be faster.
I can't attribute my lack of luster to "burnout" because I haven't trained for a marathon in almost 3 years.
3 years, is that it? I was 3 years younger then. At what point, do you have to factor age into the equation? Was I in my prime 3 years ago (35), and now sadly, I need to accept that maybe these legs can't run as fast as they use to?
And yet, as I write that last statement, I realize that perhaps,I am just suffering from a bad case of mental bashing.
Afterall, today I ran a 1/2 marathon, and was only off my PR from 3 years ago by 25 seconds, and yet, I am so disappointed in myself. Right now mentally I feel like crap. Today, during the 1/2, I physically felt like crap.
I was hoping for a PR this morning, secretly hoping for at least a 1:32. I am not even sure why I thought I could even do this time, I just assumed I should be able to do this time. Afterall, isn't that how it works? You train, You get faster, easy as that.
Yeah, no. I guess it doesn't work that way. I know 25 seconds doesn't seem like alot, but I was disappointed today for many different reasons:
1)Before starting this training cycle, in March, I did a 1/2 marathon, and was very happy and surprised to see I was able to do a 1:34:55.
2) This course was flat, the weather was perfect. The course in March was more difficult, my PR course was MUCH more difficult. (Today, i would have probably done a 1:36 on that course)
3) I felt like crap! Today, I was ready to walk by mile 9 and although I didn't, I definitely gave up. During Miles 9-11 I was running nearly 30 seconds slower then I had hoped, and I didn't care. I couldn't reach deep enough within myself and find the umph to pick it up, to even try to go faster. I didn't even try. I settled in on the pace and I didn't care. Infact, at that point, I thought to myself, "I am not enjoying any of this." I was remembering back to the days when I would look down at my watch and smile. When the mile markers would appear to be so close to one another. Today,I was waiting for each and every one of them to finally reveal themselves to me, cursing to myself.
Do I just not have it in me anymore? or did I just simply forget that racing is really not that much fun while actually doing it. My coach told me that i did not go into it mentally prepared. I did not prepare for the pain/uncomfortableness that comes with it. Perhaps 3 years has erased from my memory how painful/difficult this entire process can be. Maybe it is like giving birth. Women forget just how difficult pregnancy and painful labor can be, and there they are a few years later doing it all over again.
I realize everyone has a bad day. But I feel like it is more then that. I am just not up to par to where I wanted to be and I am disappointed in myself.
The worst part about it is that I was looking towards this race to build my confidence, to help me get mentally ready for marathon day. Instead, it has confirmed what I had feared, I really am just not where I wanted to be at this point. Sub 3:20 is looking more and more difficult, and I know if I keep feeling this way mentally, it will be impossible to do.
Only 2 weeks of real training left, will that do anything for me at this point?
Ok, enough, with this depressing post. Tonight I pout, tomorrow I push forward!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Training Week in Review

I was serious when I stated that I had to get my butt in gear, and get serious about my training. Although I didn't necessarily feel as though I "nailed" my workouts for the week, I am proud to report that I did stick with them even when I over slept on Thursday morning (and had to do my workout @ 8:30 pm after work) and felt like walking at mile 18 on Saturday.
Weekly workout in review:
Mon- off
Tues - 7 x hill repeats with added mileage after every 3 for a total of 9 miles- definitely didn't feel very strong up those hills as I did in previous marathon cycles.
Wed: 6 mile run @ 60 seconds slower then marathon pace (8:33 min/mile)-success!
Thurs: 2 mile warm-up; 4 miles @ 30 seconds faster then marathon pace: ugh, big fail! I should have been doing 7 min/miles instead I did 7:24,7:16,7:27,6:56 (thanks to the downhill) - just couldn't get my mojo flowing after a full day at work - I was tired!
Friday: Rest Day - success!
Saturday: 20 miles - 10 @ 75 min slower then marathon pace, 5 @ marathon pace, 5 faster. Success! Even though I managed to succeed at this workout, I think that it was only possible due to the fact that I did it on a nice flat trail. I don't think I could have done it if I ran in the park with all the hills. I definitely felt spent with 2 miles to go and wasn't sure if I was going to keep up the pace. I just kept thinking that I could either give it one last effort and feel good (mentally) for the rest of the day or give up and be disappointed with myself. I wasn't about to let 18 miles go to waste, so I just hung in there and kept pushing even though I wanted to slow down so badly!! Last 10 miles: 7:25, 7:24, 7:28, 7:28,7:28, 7:16, 7:12, 7:20, 7:18, 7:22.
Sunday: nice and easy 6 mile recovery run and then the gym for abit of stretching, lower body strengthening and some balance training. Success

I finished this week thinking that I am probably not where I need to be to hit my targeted sub-3:20 marathon pace. After Saturday's run, I kept wondering how was I possibly going to hit those times for a full 26 miles when it was difficult enough to do it for 10 miles after going so slow for the first 10. I am trying to remember if this is right about the time that self-doubt starts to come into play during the training cycle, or if I really am so far behind comparatively to last marathon training cycle?
Next Sunday should be the telling factor- I just signed up for a 1/2 marathon for Sunday, so we shall see just where I am at pace wise. Ugh, I am already nervous about it!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

4 weeks of training left-time to get serious!!!

My, where did the time go???? Only 7 weeks left to the MCM!!! Which leaves only 4 weeks of quality training left, ouch!!!
I definitely do not feel as strong as I did at this point last marathon, and I am starting to fear that my goal of a sub 3:20 marathon might just not be in the cards for me this time around.
I have not really felt strong during any of my workouts lately, and unfortunately, I can't contribute that feeling to complications from "overtraining". In fact, I feel as though I may have been slacking abit over the last 3 weeks.
So,I decided on Sunday night that I have 4 weeks to give it one last big effort! I need to be diligent with my workouts over the next four weeks.
Today was my last day of hill training. Again, I felt sluggish pushing up the hill, the same hill that during last marathon training cycle I felt like Queen of the hills on. Although I wanted to throw in the towel and make the excuse that I had to hurry on home so that I wouldn't be late for work, I pushed through and completed my 7 x hills workout.
Tomorrow I MUST incorporate some core and lower body strengthening. I MUST!
4 weeks of hard work, with hopes of a sub 3:20 marathon on 10/31/2010!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June: Time to Regroup and Organize!

I have sort of fallin off the wagon in terms of blogging and training during the month of May. Although I have been putting in the miles and running consistently (hitting my 100 miles/month goal) the quality of my runs and any sort of "organized" training have gone out the window. It sure did show, too, during the 1/2 marathon I attempted to run on Sunday morning unfortunately. I am not exactly sure what it was, but I haven't had a bad race like this one in a long time. I forgot just how bad it can feel to run poorly and to be so disappointed after a race. I wasn't really taking the race seriously, but it still really bummed me out to feel this bad. I never wanted a race to end so badly. It makes me not want to get back out there on the starting line again, and I hate that feeling. I felt so excited after the National half, knowing I was just getting back into running and not really yet training, and still ended up finishing less then 2 minutes off my PR. I thought I was just going to keep going up and up in terms of my running, and then, bam, I fell flat on my face on Sunday morning. I know in running, as in life, there will be good days and there will be bad days, and perhaps I just needed this slap in the face to get the fire burning under my butt again just in time for fall marathon training season to begin, but it still sucks! So, this month I pledge to start taking my running more seriously and to start getting my grove back on.
Therefore, I present my goals for the month of June:
Cardio: 5 days a week: 4 days running (quality runs) 1 day cross training
Strengthening: 2-3 days a week: core and upper/lower body
Nutrition: Lets try this again- drink plenty of water!!! and portion control!!!
Life: Make the most out of my days
Friend: one social event a week (meet up with friends/family) or reconnect via phone or email
Family: see/talk to them more often
Mind: Finish a book
Work: presentation
Wow! looks like it is going to be a busy month- but I do better and feel better when I am busy and organized and have a plan!!!
I am very excited to start fall marathon training season!!!
Yeah for the month of June!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Run Hard, Live Easy

I was at the gym today, trying to keep myself from going comatose, when I spotted a t-shirt that read "Run Hard, Live Easy". The shirt got me thinking, and kept my mind occupied as I was aimlessly climbing up endless revolving steps, not very happy.
I find that this is a motto I can, and I think, by most aspects, I do live by.
It doesn't take much to make me happy. A cool, crisp fall day, the taste of pumpkin spice coffee, the smell of a Christmas tree, the sound of the ocean, blue skies and shining sun, these are a few things that make me happy. For the most part I think I live simply.
I also find that when I run hard, work out hard, and try hard, I am generally a better person for it all around. I always feel better about myself after a good run, and I am definitely in a much better mood after a good workout. Most importantly, perhaps, though, is that after a good hard run, I don't feel guilty about the little indulgences that make me oh so happy!! A nice glass (or two) of wine, a warm homemade cookie (or two), unlimited chips and guacamole, a handful (or three) of nibs, these things all make me smile!
I tend to find happiness in the simple things in life for the most part ... Running hard just helps me to enjoy them even more.. guilt-free.. and that just makes me even more oh so happy!!!

But that isn't the only reason that running hard helps to make living easy easier. There is no question that stress levels lower after a workout.. so automatically doesn't that make the requirements for being content less? Letting your emotions and anxieties out while on the road (and leaving them there), lessens your search for something bigger to calm you or soothe your soul.
Maybe this is why one hardly ever runs into a high maintenance runner off the road or outside the track. High maintenance when they have their running shorts on , yes, but in life, generally no. I think you will find that you can usually just hand them a beer after a good run and they are happy!
I know that once I got off that darn stair stepper at the gym today and decided upon a challenging run instead, my mood changed for the better. And now, as I sit here eating my yummy homemade brick stone pizza and drink my glass of pinot grigio, I realize what a good day it was, and I am content!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boston on the Brain

As I sit here staring at the computer waiting eagerly for all the post-race reports to come in from all those that ran Boston, I decided to keep myself busy by replying to Jill's Monday Brain Exchange question:

BOSTON! (How Appropriate!!)

Do you get excited about the Boston Marathon? Have you ever ran or do you hope to one day run in the race? Will you watch today and if so will it be watching in person, on TV, on the computer? Do you have anyone special running this year? Any great Boston stories to tell?

Answer: Yes, I get excited about Boston! I can't help it. My love-hate relationship with the Boston Marathon all started on that fateful Patriot's Day in April of 1993. I was a Junior at Boston University, and I did what all the students/locals of Boston do on Patriot' s Day, use the Boston Marathon as an excellent excuse to drink at noon on a random holiday that seems only to be celebrated by the citizens of Boston. I couldn't believe we had a day off from school for Patriot's Day and had an even greater excuse to party!
I will never forget watching all the runners come through Kenmore Square that day. I was instantly enthralled. I couldn't stop cheering! I was so amazed at all the people running and so very proud of all these strangers. I couldn't believe how I was feeling, but I instantly knew I wanted to be one of them. At the time I ran primarily for fitness reasons. I really couldn't afford a gym as a student so I use to run on the school track around the football field. I don't think I had ever even run more then 30 minutes at a time, but I just knew I had to run this marathon one day.
During my last year of college, I entertained the idea of running the marathon as a a bandit. However, I was sidelined by an accident (I was hit by a car, luckily I only broke my ankle and a rib). I soon graduated and moved back home, but the allure of the Boston Marathon continued to linger in my head for a while. As I became busy starting out in my career, I slowly forgot all about the marathon. Afterall, in the rest of the world, Patriot's Day is not celebrated and so the day just seems to come and go without any indication that 20,000+ people are out there running the streets of Boston.
Fast forward a few years. My boyfriend at the time broke up with me and I basically pulled a Forrest Gump. I just started running, and kept running. The only way I knew how to keep my mind off the break-up and to keep myself sane was to run, and so I did. The idea of running Boston re-entered my head.
I ran the Boston Marathon as a bandit in 1998, not having the slightest idea how to train for or actually run a marathon. I followed a basic beginner's program and I showed up at the starting line on Marathon Monday, at the back of the pack. I was so far back, it took me 12 minutes to cross the starting line, after all the registered runners had crossed. But I was oh so happy. I couldn't believe I was here! I was nervous, but even more excited! I had no expectations. I didn't even know what a "good" time was for a marathon. I just ran, with a walkman, and no watch. As I came into Kenmore Square, I became so overwhelmed that I cried. I couldn't believe that I was here and that I was actually doing this. I never felt so proud of myself in my life! It truly was the best feeling I have ever had, even to this day.
After that, I thought I would never run another marathon again. I didn't really have the urge to. In fact, I didn't really know people ran more then one. I thought it was something that people just crossed off their bucket list. I had never heard of a PR. I had no idea what a tempo run was. Hill repeats, speed work, what's that??
Then, I met a boy and fell in love. He was a runner and was going to run the NYC marathon. Ok, I thought I will run it too, why not? My training was similar to that of Boston. I really didn't know how to do it and I really didn't have any intentions about a time or any goals in my mind.
I was fortunate enough to get a number for the NYC marathon through someone who knew someone, who knew someone, etc.
So there I was at mile 22 of the NYC marathon. I was just trying to keep my mind occupied so that maybe it wouldn't notice the pain that was going on in my legs at the moment. As I was performing calculations in my head, I realized I could very possibly qualify for Boston at the rate I was currently going, and suddenly for never having given it a thought before, I wanted to qualify so badly! I mustered through miles 22-26 and as I crossed the finish line and looked down at my watch, I couldn't believe my eyes. I felt goosebumps come over me and felt my eyes tear up, I had qualified for Boston!!
So, still not really knowing how to properly "train" for a marathon, I trained for Boston the following year (I had deferred it for a year) mostly on the treadmill. Looking back now, I can't believe I ran 16 miles on a treadmill. Currently, I can't even run 4 miles on a treadmill without getting bored!! At the time, I was a weather whimp. I wouldn't run outside in the cold, so most of my training was done indoors, on a FLAT treadmill. I still had never heard of the concept of hill repeats or speed work. I had always just run ALL my miles at the same pace. Well, that did not make for a very good day come Patriot's Day 2005.
What an awful, awful, painful, painful experience that first "official" Boston Marathon was. I was so under-trained, and the "killer chain" of hills let me know just how poorly I had trained for this race. It whipped my butt, more so then NYC or the first Boston ever had. (I was now running at least 1:30 minutes/per mile faster then I had during my original "trot" through the burbs of Boston, so this time I REALLY felt a difference)
It was so painful, that it took me 2 years to get the courage up to do Boston again. The year was 2007 - the year of the falsely anticipated "Perfect Storm". Because of all the hype about the monstrous storm that was suppose to knock us all down as we ran through the streets of Natick, my running partners and I decided to go by the motto "Compete to complete", and that is what we did. We took our time and just enjoyed the ride. It was such a fun experience and this time around, heartbreak hill felt like a breeze. It was actually a very pleasant, pain-free day and I had such a wonderful time running with friends and enjoying the crowds.
In fact, I had such a wonderful time, that I have not run Boston since. Part of me wanted to go out on a happy note, kind of like retiring when you are on top. However, part of me knows that I never fully accepted the challenge that the Boston Marathon course has to offer, and so in some ways I feel like I failed.
And so there is my story about my love-hate relationship with the infamous Boston Marathon. To this day, I constantly go back and forth about whether I will ever get the courage up to face this course again. Most days I have the mind-set "been there, done that" and I have no desire to muster up the energy to do it all over again. But then, there are days like today, when I can't stop thinking about the damn thing, and I am envious of everyone else that was there at the starting line today.
Ugh!!! Damn you, Boston Marathon. I hate (I mean I love, I mean I hate, I love) you!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Goals of the Week

Ok... I must sit down with my calender and start planning out my weeks. Although I have been good at keeping up with my mileage and keeping on track to run 100 miles a month, the rest of my year long goals seem to be getting sidelined one week at a time. Last month I decided I was giving up on the book of the month club (although now, suddenly, I have the urge to read a good book- any suggestions are welcomed!), I haven't picked up a free weight in a very long time, so needless to say my arms aren't really resembling Kelly Ripa's, and now as we quickly approach the end of April, I realize I did not do a race for the month! So frustrating!
I realize in the scheme of things, as long as I am running consistently, it doesn't really matter if I actually run a race. After all, that goal was created so that I would continue to consistently run throughout the year. So, does it count then that I signed up for a BIG race instead of actually running one for the month of April? (Marine Corp Marathon on 10/31/2010) That, undoubtedly, will surely keep me busy for the next 7 months!
I have to admit, I am alittle nervous to get back to running/training for a marathon. My last one was over 2 years ago (NYC Marathon 11/07). I set my PR during this race and so I think I have been abit more hesitant to get back out there and do one all over again. I gave it my all last time, and so I haven't wanted to do one again until I was dedicated enough to train as hard, to do as well, and hopefully even better then last time. This mindset definitely leads to added pressure, and I think that is why I have shied away for so long. However, at the same time, I find I constantly need something to train for or else I feel out of sorts. I get excited when other marathons come up, especially this weekend, with all the Boston talk, and I want to be part of it all! Although I vowed never to do Boston again after making amends with the course the third and (at that time I thought) final time I was to run it, I now find myself wanting to be there at the starting line in Hopkinton tomorrow. But then, I think about all the training that lies ahead and the dedication that is required, and I get tired just thinking about it! But I think it is time to get out of my comfort zone and get back on the marathon saddle again!

Now, getting back to what this post was really suppose to be about, my goals of the week:
Cardio: 5 days/week- 4 days running, 1 day cross training
Strength training: 3 days/week
Nutrition: portion control at dinner and more water throughout the day

I have to be in a bathing suit in 3 weeks, people-time to get serious!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Will Run for Food!

This weekend I needed to find motivation to run my "longer" run for the week. I didn't feel like doing the usual loops of the park, so I needed to come up with something different. What would push me out the door to run 10+ miles, I wondered? Food of course!!! It always does!

I have a notepad near my computer that I use to write down names of places/foods to try here in NYC that I read about on other blogger's posts. The list has become quite long, with an entire section devoted just to sweets, all of which I never seem to remember when I am out and about in the city.

So, I got out my list, opened up my computer to Map My Run, and began planning out my route. The final destination I decided would be Momofuko Dessert Bar. I was dying to try out their famous compost cookie that I have read so much about, and even recently seen highlighted on Live with Regis and Kelly.

The problem is I technically only live 3.4 miles from the cookie mecca, certainly not enough to consider it a long run. So I decided to take a bit of a detour. I would run out of Manhattan, into Queens and come back into lower Manhattan through Brooklyn to make it an 10.8 mile run. How fun!! I also had to decide what bridges to run over. Since I have run the Brooklyn Bridge several times, I decided I needed some new scenery, so I chose the Williamsburg Bridge which I have never been over before. To get into Queens, I stuck with the usual 59th street bridge (yes, that crazy bridge you run over at the 15 mile marker of the NYC marathon!)

The BF and I had so much fun running through the streets of Queens, exploring Brooklyn and trucking over the long-ass Williamsburg bridge. I felt like a tourist in my own backyard! It was great and definitely made the run go alot faster! We, of course, had to eat something before having dessert at Momofuku so we went to one of our favorite breakfast/lunch spots, Sunburst Cafe.

What a yummy day!! Without the guilt!! Perfect!!

I think this may be the way to go from now on during the weekends- pick a new place to try and run to it! It is kind of like the old "kill two birds with one stone" kind of thing.

Added bonus: I had so much fun running over bridges and exploring the sites and sounds of my own city, that I decided to do it all over again on Sunday. I thought the Williamsburg bridge was long until I hauled my sorry butt across the Triboro bridge- now that is one long bridge!! I got alittle lost along the way so my planned 10+ mile run became more like a 12+ run, so I rewarded myself with a double chocolate cookie from Momofuku! (You didn't really think we ran all the way down there, only to buy one cookie, did ya?)

Life is good!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Top 3 Races

Jill from Finishing is Winning hosts Brain Exchange Mondays. It sounds like fun so I thought I would give it a try. This week's exchange:
Name your top 3 favorite events to date. When were they and why are they your favorite?

When I first set out to answer this question, it seemed so easy. However, once I began thinking back to all the races I have done, it became harder and harder. I loved so many races for so many different reasons, and to be honest, until I really started to think about them all, I had forgotten just how much fun I had doing them. It is really hard to narrow it down to 3, but here are my final picks:
#1) New York City Marathon 2003, 2007 - For obvious reasons, this race holds a special place in my heart. It was my first "official" marathon in 2003 (I bandit Boston in 1998) and I set my PR on this course in 2007. The crowds make this race. Coming off the 59th street bridge and into the sea of spectators on first ave...AMAZING!!! Coming back into the park at the end and seeing Tavern on the Green and the finish line...priceless!
#2) Reach the Beach Relay 2007- All I can say is-what a blast!!!! It was such a different experience then any other running event I have ever done. Running at 2:30am with a headlight on in the middle of nowhere-so much fun!!! Running 8 miles after 24 hours without sleep - so empowering!! After that race, I really felt confident that my body could do more then I ever gave it credit for. It was a real confidence booster.
#3) Applefest 1/2 marathon September 2008-New England in the Fall -beautiful. Apple crisp, apple cider, homemade cookies and brownies post-race-yummy!! My first ever post-race massage and winning an Apple Pie for placing in my age group- added bonus! This definitely was not my best race. The course was more challenging then I thought it would be, and I actually walked for the first time ever in a race in my life because of a nagging injury, but the scenery and the post-race goodies sure made it well worth it!

So many other races, so many great memories! Isn't it funny though how looking back, my brain is filled with only good memories, when I know for a fact that for a few moments during almost all of those races, I questioned why I was putting myself and my body through such misery!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quarter year review

My how time flies!! I can't believe the first quarter of 2010 has already come and gone. I guess now is a good time to review the first quarter of the year.

2010 goals:
1) Return of the "race of the month" club - January- no race secondary to injury; February: Bradford Valentine's Day Race: pleasantly surprised by my time and overall such a fun race and fun weekend in New England! This is why I like getting out of NY and doing races in other places- it always ends up making for a wonderful weekend/mini vacation! March: National 1/2 Marathon: again happy and abit surprised by my time and another wonderful weekend hanging out with my niece and nephews! April race still to be determined.
2) 1200 miles in 2010 - Again, February and March were good months in the running department for me. I achieved the 100 mile mark both months. January was a miss, again secondary to injury, but I am hopeful that I will be able to make up the 19 miles I was short in January sometime throughout the year.
3) Create buns of steel, a mighty core, and Kelly Ripa's arms! oops! Except for NAM (national abs month) in February I haven't been very good in the toning department. This is the goal I really want to focus on for the next few months, especially if I am serious about doing another marathon this fall. I am a huge believer that strong and stable core and hips will prevent injury and improve speed/efficiency in running (not to mention make me look better in a bathing suit this summer!), so this is a really important one for me.
4) Read 12 books in 12 months - Double oops!! I find I don't really have the time for reading a novel-especially now that I am addicted to reading everyone else's blogs at night, so needless to say I think I have read one book this year. This is the goal that I think might just fall by the waste side this year, although I have to admit I am not really upset about not achieving it. I find if I have time to read something- it is better to read research articles or other job related articles - although that doesn't make me a very well rounded person, does it? There just doesn't seem to be enough time in one day to fit everything in. Perhaps I need to go on vacation so that I have more time to read - now that sounds like a good idea!
5) Live, Love, Laugh Everyday and be grateful for what I've got. I find that I am doing a pretty good job at this one. I am really enjoying my job and am overall enjoying my life and being back to running. My current relationship is at a crossroads at the moment so that makes me abit sad at times and makes it more difficult for me to be happy/grateful at times, but overall I feel as though I have found true happiness/gratitude in my life and I am really appreciative for what I've got!
YTD: mileage (Jan-March): 291
races: 2
books: 1
stregthening/cross-training: ? (will start keeping track of it in April)

Focus for second quarter: 1) keep running!! (I find it truly helps keep me on the path of happiness in my life right now for so many different reasons) 2) Start toning/strengthening!!!

Here's to the second quarter of 2010! I am looking forward to it and to the nice weather that lies ahead!! Now, I am off to work my core, then off to work!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

National 1/2 Marathon and No Accidents!

This weekend I went down to D.C. to run the National 1/2 marathon and visit my brother and his family. What a great weekend it was overall! The weather was great, the race was lots of fun, and hanging out with my niece and 2 nephews...priceless.
This was the longest race I have done in quite awhile. I really didn't go into it having any expectations. I had picked it as my "race of the month" and was just going out there to run it for fun. Over the last few months I have simply concentrated on getting back to running consistently, trying to run 3-4 times a week, with a longer run on the weekend. I have not been using any type of watch to time myself during these runs and have not done any type of speed work, so I really didn't have any idea of what to expect regarding pace. I decided to just go out there and run based on feel, and that is exactly what I did.
I was pleasantly surprised by my time. It wasn't a PR, but it was better then I had thought it would be for not really training for anything in particular. I am use to running 1/2 marathons during marathon training seasons, so I am usually in prime training mode at the time. One thing I am beginning to learn is that running based on feel tends to work better for me then focusing so much on what the clock says. Listening to my body and knowing when to speed up or slow down seems to work best.
Although the race went well, there was one BIG hitch! I had to deal with something I never had to before during a race- the need to go to the bathroom, badly!! I have heard so many stories, from so many people, so many times about bathroom dilemmas, and I have always been so grateful that I never had to deal with anything like that before...until now. I will not bore you (or embarrass myself) with all the details, but let's just say I shocked myself when I found myself actually contemplating whether or not I should actually go in my pants!!! What???!!!
I can't believe that idea even entered my mind... it wasn't like I was in contention for first place (or even 100th place for that matter) but for a few moments, as I realized I must be doing ~ 7 min/miles and was on target for a good race, I was actually thinking that it wouldn't be so bad if I just went in my pants instead of wasting the time to stop (not to mention putting myself out of GI misery). I even found myself figuring out the details in my head.. I had a change of clothes with me at bag check and there was a gym where I could shower not too far away from the finish line, etc, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad. What???!!!
Luckily, sanity finally found me, and I am happy to report that I kept myself clean and dry for the entire race. I decided on another strategy - limit my water intake and definitely no GU or powerade (that would have really thrown me over the edge) if I wanted to cross the finish line without an accident! Stupid, I know!! I really don't know where my mind was during this race. However, all these crazy thoughts got me thinking, and it led me to realize why I am so drawn to this sport.
Running/racing brings out the competitive spirit in one's self towards.... one's self. The only person I thought about beating as I contemplated sacrificing dry pants (and ever being able to show my face in the DC running community again) for 2 minutes off my time was... myself. How awesome a sport is that?!! You get to be competitive without being mad/jealous of anyone else. (Maybe that is why runners are always so nice to each other)
This sport is so addicting, and so much fun... especially when you have a good race day.
A day like Saturday makes you want to go out there and do it all over again, even if it means maybe pooping in your pants!!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

To go with the "I am Runner..hear me roar" attitude

Oops... I forgot to mention the amazing giveaway that is going on right now at Goals for the Week.

What would put me into an even more "I am woman/runner... hear me roar" type mood right now would be the awesome running outfit from Athleta that Anne Marie is giving away. Check it out here and get in on this amazing giveaway!

I am runner...hear me roar!

I was dreading my long run this weekend because of the horrid weekend weather forecast. Last week's weather was glorious- it finally felt like spring- and made running feel sooooo good. I felt like I had a huge smile on my face throughout the entire run. I just knew, given the predicted forecast for Saturday (35-45 MPH winds and torrential downpour), that I wouldn't be feeling that way again this weekend.
So, I planned ahead. Friday night I loaded up my Ipod with some fun songs to help me get through the dreaded run.
When I first got out there in the morning, it wasn't that bad. However, about halfway into it, the rain and the wind came full force! My reaction at that moment actually surprised me. As the rain came spitting down and the wind tried to knock me out, I smiled. Suddenly, I felt like this powerful warrior, and I heard myself saying "bring it on"! The scene in Forrest Gump, when Captain Dan climbs on the rigging during this incredible storm and angrily shouts, "you call this a storm!" flashed through my mind. The wind was literally trying to knock me down, and I was giving it all I had to stay linear on tired feet. At that moment that I felt like a "real runner" being out there doing my thing, despite the elements. I felt strong! I felt unstoppable! I felt like "I am woman..hear me roar"!!!
Something happened to me out there in that storm. Just like Captain Dan on that boat, I felt like I was confronting my inner demons, and came out of it feeling stronger then I have in a very long time!
I sure hope this feeling stays with me at least until after the National 1/2 next Saturday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring..Is that you?!?!

What a gorgeous morning! 45 degrees and sunny! It sure made it easier to get up this morning to go for a little run around the park. It also motivated me to come home and do a quick 30 minute physique 57 arm and ab booster video. After all, spring is just around the corner which means it is just about that time of yearto kick off "bikini blast-off" season! I chuckle when I write this, because every year I seem to get myself psyched to start "bikini blast-off ", only to find myself repeating every Sunday night, "ok.. this week REALLY starts bikini blast-off". This seems to continue all the way to the end of the summer. I seem to finally start getting myself in better shape right around fall, which lasts just to about the holiday eating frenzy!! My friend and I always use to remark how we always seem to be in better shape during the fall into winter rather then spring into summer when it would work better for us. After all, trying to get away without wearing shorts all summer is pretty difficult especially during the hot, humid days of August!
Anyway, maybe by starting a little bit earlier this year, and actually writing out a plan to help me get "bikini ready" will bring me better luck!
So, this weeks goals are:
1) 5 days of cardio ( 4 days running, 1 day cross-training )
2) 3 days arms/abs ( 2 physique 57 workouts, 1 boring routine at the gym)
3) Portion control!!!!

How many days til fall??

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

100 Miles!

Finally I was able to hit my 100 mile/month goal for February (102 miles to be exact!). It felt really good to finally be back running consistently for a month. It makes such a huge difference to me both mentally and physically when I can get out there before work and on weekends and go for a nice run. One whole month, without a nagging injury or other life commitments, where I was able to run, run, run.... priceless!

Unfortunately, NAM (National Abs Month) wasn't as consistent. The first two weeks I was very good with my ab work, but I kind of fell behind the last two weeks. To be honest, I kind of backed off a little with the ab work, because although it sounds a bit crazy, I felt as though all the ab work was actually making my stomach look bigger, not slimmer, and I wasn't too happy about that! (although, perhaps it just coincided with that time of month!)

So, for the month of March, it is all about the arms! and of course another 100 miles for the month. I also want to keep up with core (vs. abs) exercises, because I am a firm believer that the core is the key to preventing injury and providing for a more efficient running pattern (which translates into a faster pace).
Race of the Month: National Half Marathon on March 20, 2010.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A LOVE-ly Weekend

After my "feel-good" run last Thursday I was ready to sign up for a marathon. After convincing myself that I was thinking crazy thoughts, I settled for signing up for a Valentine's Day race for Saturday.

What a great decision that was!! It was the perfect way to start off the long weekend and get out of the city.

Saturday morning my guy and I participated in the Bradford Valentine Road Race in Bradford, Ma. We registered as a couple, meaning one of us had to run the 5 mile route, the other the 6k. Since Mr. G is much faster then me, he ran 5 miles, I the 6k. (In the couples category, the couple with the lowest combined time wins). I was actually a little nervous, just because it has been quite awhile since I participated in a race, especially one of such short distances. Running a 1/2 marathon or a 10 miler is a lot different (and a lot easier for me ) then running a 6K. Running such short distances doesn't allow you to settle into your pace- it is all out from the beginning-something I am not really use to anymore! Anyway, we decided not to take the race too seriously, especially since we both aren't in the best shape right now. It was more about just going out there, having fun, and scoring the free box of chocolates. I didn't even look at my watch or worry about my pace, I just went out there and ran. The race course was really nice, hilly and scenic- just the way I like it. Winning first in my age group division, was just icing on the cake and a big surprise! A big surprise because in actuality I was second in my age group. When my name was called, I whispered to my boyfriend, should I tell them that they made a mistake? Well, It turns out that the woman who came in first in my age group, came in first overall, so the kind race organizers I guess decided to spread the "wealth" and instead of giving her two medals, gave me one instead!
After the race, we headed to Newburyport, MA for a wonderful weekend! We stayed at a beautiful inn, The Garrison Inn, and had an amazing dinner at David's.
Sunday we ran the streets of Newburyport, enjoying the town and all it has to offer. Monday, we took a really good yoga class at the local YWCA before sadly, making our way back to NYC. Unfortunately, sometimes having a day off makes you realize how nice it is to have a day off, and makes you want more!!!
All in All it was a great weekend!! The race was great, Newburyport was great, being out of the city was great, and just having some time away with my Valentine was priceless!

The best part of it all is that the fever for "Race of the Month" club is back! Hmmm.... where to race in March? That is the question of the day. Anyone have any ideas for another fun race to do in March? (preferably within driving distance of NYC)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friendly Advice Friday-Returning from Injury Tip#1

Advice: Jump back into running!!!!

No, not the way you think I mean it.

Before a person can return to running pain-free, they must be able to jump pain-free.

During one mile of running, a person's foot contacts the ground ~ 750 times! The deceleratory flexion that occurs during the landing phase of jumping/hopping is equivalent to the early stance phase in running. Therefore, as a physical therapist, one way to give my patient (and myself) confidence that they are ready to return to running is to put them through a series of jumping/plyometric drills. By practicing jumping/hopping skills in the clinic before allowing my clients to hit the road or treadmill, I am able to observe their technique to ensure that proper alignment and control is being maintained when their foot hits the ground. If their body can handle 750 jumps/hops (and they are able to maintain their form throughout), then, in theory, they should be prepared to handle one mile of injury-free running.

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Inc. Department of Rehabilitation, has developed their own return to running protocol. I have found that putting my patients through their Phase II: Plyometric Routine has been a good way for me to critique their form, test their body’s tolerance to high impact and then determine whether or not they are ready to begin a return to running program.

I advise those contemplating returning to running after an injury to review Brigham and Women's protocol. I think that you may find some useful advice. I would also suggest trying the Phase II: Plyometrics Routine. Ideally, you want to perform these jumping skills in front of a mirror, making sure that your knees are staying in line with your hips. They should not be coming in together. If they are, it could mean a variety of different things, one being a sign of weak gluteus medius muscles. (See my post from last Friday for more information on that!)

Of course, I advise those that are seriously injured, to seek the advice of a physical therapist or other medical professional before returning to running. The article referenced above should just be used as a guideline/food for thought.

Happy, safe, injury-free running to all!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Winter Wonderland!

Finally we got some snow!! Yeah!! Central Park is a winter wonderland right now. I absolutely love running in the park after a big snowfall. This mornings run was absolutely beautiful. It is amazing how quiet and how peaceful the park (as well as the rest of the city) feels after it snows. I wish I could have stayed out there longer and taken a "fun in the snow" day today and not have to go to work.

I am also excited that my hamstring didn't bother me at all, despite some slippery ground and difficult footing at times. I hope this means I am on the mend and can start slowly upping my mileage and possibly start adding some speedwork and hill repeats and maybe even register for a marathon? or at least some races? Whoa! Slow down silver girl! Ok .. I know.. I am getting a little ahead of myself. It is just amazing how addicting running can be. You go out for one good run, and the next thing you know you are committing yourself to 3+ months of training for one big race.

I think I better get to work now before I do something I am not yet ready to do... like run 26.2 miles!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What a glorious day!

It is absolutely gorgeous out: 28 degrees, blue skies and sunny. On days like these, there is nothing better then a run in the park with a good friend as the sun is slowing rising overhead. Who would ever think a "blizzard" is on its way? I wonder if we will actually get hit this time. Last weekend it seems as though everyone, except for us, got hit pretty hard with snow. I know some people would think I am crazy, but I was really disappointed that we got nothing. If it is going to be winter and cold out anyway, why not have snow?
The only good thing about not having snow on the ground, is that I got to attempt running outside again (yeah!). Today is the first day in almost 2 weeks that I ran outside. Perhaps that is why this morning felt so glorious to me. It feels so good to be out in the fresh air, rather then running in the nice smelly, stale air that my gym has to offer. I have been running indoors on the dreadmill lately, trying not to make my hamstring angry at me, running flat and slow (boring!!). However, it has seemed to help. I have not felt anything in my hamstring lately, and today I was able to run 7 miles outdoors, up and down the hills of Central Park, without any pain (double yeah!). I will try outdoors again on Thursday, pending the "Blizzard"!

In other news, I have been keeping up with my ab work, honoring NAM, 8 days in a row of ab work!

Off to work....Have a glorious day everyone!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friendly Advice Friday -Preventing Injuries Tip #1

As a physical therapist and runner, I am always looking for ways to prevent injury and to help my patients and clients return to their activities in a safe and timely manner. Therefore, I decided to start "Friendly Advice Fridays" on my blogspot and share that information with you. I thought it would be a good way for me to keep up with the latest research while also creating my own "niche" on this blog.

I found the following research article very interesting. It provides a very easy take home message to runners: incorporating strengthening exercises targeting specific hip muscles into your current training regimen can help prevent injuries further down the road. Something I am sure we would all be happy about!

In summary, Research by Niemuth et al. showed a correlation between strength deficits of two very important hip muscle groups and injuries in runners. In the noninjured runners, no side-to-side differences in hip muscle strength were found. Among the injured runners, however, the hip abductor and flexor groups on the involved side were significantly weaker relative to the noninvolved side.

So where are these muscles and how can you strengthen them?

Hip Abductors:

The role of the hip abductors in running is to aid in stabilizing your pelvis during the single-leg stance phase. It prevents your pelvis from dropping down on the side of the free leg. Hip abduction primarily occurs via the gluteus medius muscle as well as the gluteus minimus muscle. (see above picture) There are many ways to strengthen these muscles. You can simply google "glut med strengthening" and a plethora of exercises will come up. I prefer doing them in a weight-bearing position, given that running is a weight-bearing sport. One exercise that I like to do with my runners for increasing glut med strength is the "sidestepping with theraband" exercise.

Hip Flexors

The hip flexors are made up of the Psoas and Iliacus muscles-together, they are referred to as the iliopsoas muscle. The function of the iliopsoas in everyday living is basically to bring the thigh up towards the abdomen. In running, it acts as a major core stabilizer and is the primary muscle for increasing velocity and speed.
One of my favorite ways to strengthen the hip flexors is again by using theraband. Tie one end of theraband around a low sturdy surface and the other around your ankle. Put a bench or box out in front. Step up on the box with the foot that does not have the theraband around it. Drive the knee of the leg with the theraband forward and up in front of your chest. Balance yourself and hold position for a few counts.

In summary, by incorporating exercises for your gluteus medius and iliopsoas muscles into your regular cross training/strengthening programs, hopefully, you can help to avoid lower injuries in the future!

Happy, safe, injury-free running to all!

Monday, February 1, 2010

National Abs Month (NAM)

I can't believe February is already here. Fortunately that means we are one month closer to warmer temps! Unfortunately, that also means we are one month closer to bikini season. Yikes! So what better way to start February off, then by taking part in National Abs Month (NAM).

I found out about NAM on The Beat of My Noisy Heart's blogspot. Basically it entails performing abdominal exercises daily for the entire month. My boyfriend and I have decided to make it a bit more interesting, and a lot more motivating, by rewarding ourselves with a tropical vacation (somewhere where I will have to wear a bikini!) if we stick with the plan for the entire 28 days.

Last night we took "before" pics. I've decided not to post them until after the 28 days, when I can compare them to the "after" pictures. After all, if there is no difference between the "before" and the "after" pics, then I will not post them, and I will have spared myself posting pics of my pale, naked stomach on the internet!

Day 1 of NAM: physique 57 Arm and Abs booster

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Month in Review

January has come and gone so quickly!!! Overall, I am happy with the way it turned out, although I wish I could have hit the 100 mile mark this month. I was on track to do so, but then my hamstring began acting up again. It got so bad that I couldn't even run across the street or walk quickly without it being very painful, let alone run on it. So I came in at 81 miles. Not so bad given the fact that I had a few injuries to contend with this month. I am just hoping that the injuries are behind me now and I can continue to run regularly throughout the next few months. It has felt so good to run more consistently this last month. It really does have such an impact on my mood. One the days I run before work, I find that I have much more patience and energy overall. "Life is good" after a good run.

Due to my injuries, I did not participate in a race, so I have already failed at my #1) New Year's resolution, participating in a race a month. Perhaps if I run 2 races in an upcoming month, I can redeem myself. After all, if they are my resolutions (and I wrote them), can't I make the rules on what qualifies as achieving them?

Resolution #2) Only 1119 miles to go! (yikes!)

Resolution #3) Kelly Ripa's arms, buns of steel, and a strong core- Cross training has been a little slow. I REALLY love my physique 57 videos, but I haven't been doing them as often as I want to this month, mostly due to time constraints. However, tomorrow starts Fabulous Abs Month-so I should get a boost on resolution #3, especially if i try to incorporate some push-ups with my daily abs workout.

Resolution #4) 12 books in 12 months- I am really enjoying my January pick, Crashing through, and I am almost done- only 40 pages left, so I hope to finish by tomorrow! Again, time constraints (and maybe too much reading of other people's blogs at night) has left me alittle behind schedule. I think I already know what my February pick is going to be - it is the month of love :-) - so it is going to have to be a romance!

Resolution #5) Live, Love, Laugh-Despite falling off the wagon one weekend by pigging out, not exercising much, watching way too much of "Keeping up with the Kardashians", and feeling sorry for myself, I think I am doing pretty well on this one. Being injured, some lows in my personal life, and the cold of winter has made it hard at times, but the coverage on TV of the devastation in Haiti this month has also made it a lot easier to be oh so thankful for what I've got!
Summary: 81 miles of running
10 miles on elliptical
6 core/arm/glut strengthening sessions

This evening, as I sit hear watching/listening to the Grammys, I am so grateful for the power of music: for: how it makes me feel, how it makes me run longer and faster, how it keeps me from becoming completely bored when I am on the elliptical, and, most importantly, how it can unite the world and help it to heal.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nothing like a good run to make you "snap out of it!"

How come it is that I always seem to forget how good a run can feel, and even more importantly, how a good run can instantly snap you out of an emotional rut?

Every single time this happens, I seem to have an "Aha moment". The only problem is that I always seem to forget this new revelation when I need it the most! Lately there have been some road blocks in my personal life, and, although, I have been trying to stay optimistic and not let things spoil my new, improved "good outlook on life" attitude I have been sporting lately, things finally got the best of me.

I found myself moping around all day yesterday, and I just couldn't get myself motivated enough to get outside and go for a run. Yet, had I just got out there and done it, I could have probably salvage the rest of my day. Instead, I just laid around in my PJs all day, eating crap, and watching "Keeping up with the "Kardashians" reruns. I found myself wishing I could be sharing my pint of phish food with the Kardashian girls as we hung out in their parents' living room together helping Bruce Jenner devise a plan that would help teach his wife, Chris, a lesson. Yes, you would think that at that moment I had, in fact, reached rock bottom, but, no, the night just got worse.

With a slice of pizza in hand, I found myself crying every time some actor thanked his/her significant other at the SAG awards last night. Then, I put myself in a worse mood by sitting there and thinking about how fat and out of shape I was getting, eating all this junk food, and not exercising over the last few days and then...... I reached for a brownie.

I continued to sit there wondering how I let myself waste my entire Saturday. I went to bed, vowing that I would get up and go for a run straight away tomorrow.

Well, I finally did go for a run, at about 11am. It took a lot of motivation to get out there, but once I started running, it felt O so good!!! I was only going to do one loop of the park, but I was feeling so good and just so happy to be out there that I tacked on some more miles for a total of a little more then 10 miles. I got home, ate a healthy breakfast/lunch, and had a productive and happy rest of the day.

Hopefully I finally learned my lesson this time around and next time I get in a bad mood and have a bad case of the blahs, I will JUST get my ass out the door!!! It really only took one mile of running to start noticing a change in my attitude. With every additional mile, I could feel my smile grow, and my outlook go from gloomy to good!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Blog = New Injury?

What is going on here????? I got myself psyched up to maintain my goal of running 25 miles a week, getting up in the cold morning hours to run, to feel good and, I am not going to lie, to be able to change my YTD mileage status on my blog so people wouldn't judge me. I didn't want people to think I was like all those other people who crowd the gym every January 1st and maybe even 2nd, 3rd and 4th, only to not be seen again until next January 1st. Tuesday's morning run went well, despite the cold. I met a friend at 6:45 am and we ran the outer loop of the park together, totaling 8 miles. Good, I thought, I am back on track. We even made a date to do the same thing again on Thursday morning. We met at 6:45am as usual, started jogging, started chatting, and then ~3/4 miles into the jog (I say jog because we were just starting out, still making our way to the park, which involves alot of stop and go due to all the street crossings) BAM! Literally BAM! It felt like somebody had come from behind and stabbed me in the back of the thigh. It felt like a big cramp in my hamstrings that I just needed to gently work out. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. As we kept jogging it just kept getting worse, until, finally, I was forced to stop and walk (or should i say hobble) home 1 mile in the freezing cold-frustrated and worried. Worried, because, now would not be the time to have to stop running (if ever there is a good time), especially after splurging during the holidays and with things in my current relationship not going so well. I need running for both stress and chocolate control right now!! Anyway, I went to work worried, with a nagging tightness in my hamstrings. By the end of the night however, it was beginning to feel better. I was smart enough to take Friday off, I didn't want to make matters worse. I woke up this am, feeling pretty good, and pretty confident I would be able to make my way around the park. And I was good, until about mile 2 -1/2 when BAM!! Literally BAM! Out of nowhere the pain returned! The problem this time around was that I was on the other side of the park, pretty much screwed. Whichever route I was to take, it would require a long walk up a big hill and a very cold walk home. Instead, I somehow managed to continue running, given I didn't really have a choice, and as I continued the pain actually got alittle better instead of worse, so I just took it slowly and was able to complete my run, 1 mile short of my original plan. My leg was very tight about a 1/2 hour after the run but loosened up during the day as I was busy cleaning and running errands. It feels pretty tight right now though, as I sit on the couch, drinking a glass of wine, fooling myself into thinking that it will be all gone by the time I wake up tomorrow morning for a nice little run with a friend. I am keeping my fingers crossed!!! On a brighter note, I was able to complete a 30 minute Physique 57 arms and abs booster this afternoon (to help me get those Kelly Ripa arms I vowed to get this year!). So, I always have something I can do if this hamstring becomes stubborn, as they so often do!!
Mileage YTD: 20 miles
Happy moment of the day: completing my run and coming home to a yummy breakfast

Monday, January 4, 2010

Do Over!

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to help me stay committed to my current running routine. I had been out of a consistent routine for almost an entire year due to a stubborn injury and then because my job had me out of the country/out of town for nearly 6 months. Just recently, however, i had gotten back into the flow of things, running 4 times a week and enjoying it. Running had become an enjoyable pastime for me again and i actually looked forward to getting back out on the road each morning.

Fast-forward to New Years Day - I started a new blog and apparently stopped running-WTF?

I know it has only been a few days - but I haven't missed a weekend run in i don't know how long. Granted, it was freezing here this weekend, but still, I had plenty of time to get myself together and go for a run....but I didn't. I could have made up for it this morning..... but I didn't.

So, tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow i will start executing my New Year's resolutions. Tomorrow, despite the weather....
6 am


Feels Like

I will be out there at 6:45am, braving the elements, just so i can come back and add some numbers to my current YTD, which stands at 5 miles, just like it did on 1/1/2010. I will also try to finalize my January race pick-which right now looks like it might be the Miami 1/2 marathon on 1/31/10. I did pick the next book i am going to read though! It is called Crashing through by Robert Kurson.
Well, I better get to bed so I can wake up and get a jump start on my New Year's resolutions!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Blog!

Yikes! I've never "blogged" before, but I have been following my favorite bloggers (mostly runners) for well over 2 years now and thought maybe I should give it a try. I thought it would be:
1) a good way for me to write down my goals and be held accountable for them
2) a good way to keep track of my weekly mileage, which in turn would help to push me out the door into the bitter cold on mornings when I didn't feel like running, knowing i had to come home and post my mileage
3) a good way to keep a "gratitude journal" of sorts and create a place I could come back to and review/remember the good, the bad, and the ugly over the year.
Sooooo, what better day to start, then January 1st!
Here are some of my goals for 2010:
1) Return of the "race of the month" club - pretty self-explanatory, one race a month, preferably something fun, and outside the city (better schwag and less runners taking themselves too seriously!)
2) 1200 miles in 2010 - pretty low mileage for some of you- but I come from the "quality vs. quantity" school of thought especially being in the profession that i am in and seeing overuse injuries everyday. Don't get me wrong, I do believe as Danny Dreyer states in his book, Chi Running, that running is a natural movement and that it is not running that creates injuries, but poor running form and biomechanics that sidelines most runners. However, until I take the time to strengthen my right glut until it is equal to my left, and to strengthen my core muscles so that they can trully function as the powerhouse they were meant to be , I am going to stick to ~ 25 miles a week. Hmmm.. I just felt another goal come on.
3) Create buns of steel, a mighty core, and, heck while I am at it, how about Kelly Ripa's arms! (This right here, folks, is why most new years resolutions last only an average of 5 days )
4) Read 12 books in 12 months - self-explanatory and hopefully easy enough to accomplish
5) Live, Love, Laugh Everyday and be grateful for what I've got. Unfortunately, I know too many people who are dealing with a sick child, husband, or parent right now. I am so very lucky for everything and everyone i have in my life right now- just need to take the time to remind myself of that every now and then.
Well, I think I am off to a good start. Hopefully, I can keep to these goals and to writing my blog for longer then 5 days!!
Cheers to my guy for taking the plunge at Coney Island this AM as part of the Polar Bear Club.
Happy Moment: Running the boardwalk at Coney Island with friends after the fun and festivities of the annual New Years Day swim.
Mileage YTD: 5