New Year, New You

It’s a new year, and that can mean only one thing….it’s resolution season!

Ten bucks says you can’t guess even one of my resolutions…j/k! I’m sure you’ve figured out that blogging is on the list.

It’s been so long, I’m not sure I even remember how to do this.

Today, Jeff and I hiked around the state park for a little while. It’s getting a bit chilly out there, but hiking in Fall/Winter kicks summer hiking’s butt…there are no bugs, few people, and it’s not hot. Win, Win, Win!

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I also rode the recumbent bike for the length of one episode of the Good Wife. (42ish minutes) I recently figured out that the 6th season is available on Amazon Prime, so I started re-watching the series. I’m currently on season 2. If it takes me long enough, maybe the 7th season will also be on Prime by the time I make it through all 6.

Between the hiking and the biking, we had one of my favorite lunches of all time…grilled cheese! Not my best grill job, but still delicious. With pickles, gold fish crackers, and root beer on the side. Then, I followed it up with a couple oreos because if you’re eating a kid lunch, you better do it right.

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I’ve been off work for two whole weeks now, and I have to go back to work tomorrow, and it is so totally depressing. You know those people that say they get bored when they’re off work doing nothing, or that feel refreshed and ready to jump back in after time off…..I am not one of them. If anyone has instructions on how to be one of those people, forward that along.

So the plan this week is to go to work and study, and just make it through to the weekend. Ideally, I’d also like to do some running, but let’s not set the bar too high. ūüôā

Happy New Year!

New blogging rule and BIG news!

Let’s just assume from now on that I am not going to post on a regular basis, and will therefore not bother with a “hey, long time no see” opening sentence. Hopefully, I’ll get back to a more regular/frequent blogging trend, but who knows when that will be, so from now on, I’ll just jump in as if I do this all the time.

And now, for some big news….I MOVED!

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Why do some signs say Southborough and some say Southboro? What’s up with this Massachusetts?

I suppose I’ve been keeping a secret from you all. In March Jeff and I started house shopping, a task that consumed most of my non-working, non-studying brain power. I didn’t really intentionally leave this out of the blog, but I was posting less, so wanted to keep my posts about running. Anyways…the (semi) short story is that we found a house in April, put in an offer which was accepted (yay!), but then it fell through (boo!). So, we continued our search while also working on getting our condo on the market (and working, studying, and occasionally running).

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There is of course a hidden fort behind this wall of boxes.

Then in May we found another house. An even better house that we liked even MORE. We put an offer in on this one and it was accepted (yay!) and didn’t fall through (Woo!).

In June we accepted an offer on the condo, in July we closed on the house and then moved in, and in August we closed on the condo, and that’s that! Well, there was a lot of driving between the two places, packing, unpacking, and cleaning going on in between, but you get the idea.

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The house came with stairs!

So this is my first post from the new house! ūüôā

Unfortunately, I don’t have any running things to talk about. I’m not injured or anything like that, don’t worry. I’m just a big wimp who is reluctant to run in a new place. I know, I know, it doesn’t make any sense; it’s just how I am. Running outside isn’t the baseline status quo for me. I started my running career on the treadmill, and never really ran outside (aside from a race) for the first 4 years. I don’t like having to figure out where to go or watch where I step, and I get lost easily. Very easily. So I haven’t been overly eager to get out there. Not to mention I’ve been getting in my fair share of physical activity with painting, cleaning, moving things, and unpacking.

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My last run on my normal running route. Ah, I’ll miss this view.

I’ll have to get out there sooner or later because I’m signed up for a half in October that’s going to require some training! Luckily, I’m also signed up to run the Kicking Butt for Crohn’s 5k with my sister in law which is NEXT Saturday, so I’ll definitely be running again soon.

A Little Update

I know I owe you/me a recap of my training for the last two weeks, but to be completely honest, I’m not the best at writing up something that happened more than a few days in the past. After all, I still haven’t written up my turkey trot recap, and some of the pictures I have from before that race are some of my all time favorites. OOoohh, maybe I’ll print one. We got a fancy new printer not too long ago that can print pictures wirelessly from my phone (guys, we live in the future!), and I’m still getting used to the idea of having hard copies of pictures again.

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Anyways, I came on here to let you know that after my exam tomorrow, I should be returning, hopefully, to a more regular posting schedule. I’m taking my third acturial exam, and while I would obviously prefer to pass, either way, I should have more free time after tomorrow (at least until the next one!). I’ve still been getting the majority of my runs in while studying, and they’ve been a big help in calming my nerves.

I feel just like I’m about to run a big race. I’ve put in the work and tomorrow I’ll know whether or not it was enough.

See you on the other side!

Saturday stuff…a little list of randomness just for you!

Wearing compression socks all day and spending the evening reading running blogs counts as cross training, right?

If so, I’m totally rocking it!

2014-08-30 07.00.38No one knew I had these puppies on all day at work yesterday!

Juuust kidding…I know it’s not cross training, and I’ve done only slightly better at cross training this week than last, meaning I went to the gym once. Hey, if the bar is set low enough, improvement is easy. On Thursday, I rode the bike for about 30 minutes, and then did uphill walking for about 15 minutes. I did something similar today, and I’m planning on going again tomorrow, which will bring my total up to 3 days for this week. Not bad…it’s just a little weekend heavy.

And, now, here is a list of random stuff:

  • One of my new year’s resolutions is to try a new recipe every month. This month, I picked fancy pizza! It has apples, Gorgonzola, and Mozzarella, and then is drizzled with rosemary and honey. It was good and very easy. I’m making it again this weekend because I liked so much, and also I have leftover Gorgonzola. (Note: Jeff made the dough, which is the hard part of pizza making.)

2015-01-03 18.37.09I’m good at food blogging because of the high quality photos I take.

  • I’ve been trying to steal glances at all the treadmill runners when I’m at the gym. 80/20 running talked about form, and how experienced runners have an ease about them. So, I’ve been trying to pick out who looks new and who looks like they’ve been running for years. All while trying not to stare like a giant creep.
  • I don’t often get a good look at my form while running, but the last race I did posted a video, and I was able to spot myself. (If you’re interested, I come right across the front of the screen at about 1:04, and I’m wearing a long sleeved white shirt). I always picture myself looking awkward and slow, but I didn’t! I looked like a real runner! It was very exciting. And if that wasn’t enough proof, Jeff snapped this one from the finish line. Check out that form. Really? Who is this person?

IMG_20150101_103614909That’s me in the middle, with the fancy socks and beautiful form.

  • Uphill treadmill walking is hard! This is another thing I got from the 80/20 book. Set the treadmill to 15% incline and walk. I can’t go very fast without it being incredibly difficult. It is super boring though. And that’s coming from someone who enjoys treadmill running. You need a book or TV for sure.
  • Speaking of treadmills, do you follow¬†the gluten-free treadmill? If you don’t, you should definitely check it out. Laura is planning to run across the United States this summer. (Seriously, think about that for a minute…. the entire country in 67 days.) She’s doing it to raise awareness and funds to help victims of sexual violence, and she’s also aiming to break the record for a woman running across the US. Pretty cool, huh? Well, her blog is a really great place to find out more, read about her training, and if you’re interested, learn how to help support her in this massive effort. Also, she’s selling these cool tank tops. So head on over and check it out.

2015runacrossamericamapAlso, her logo is pretty freakin’ awesome.

  • I¬†got some good questions on my 80/20 post the other day, so I updated the post to include those in my Q&A. If you’re interested, check that out. And if you have any other questions, keep ’em coming!

That’s all I have for now, I hope you have a nice weekend!

Not Another Resolution Post!

At January 3rd I feel somewhat late to the resolution party. Even all the resolution haters out there seem to have taken the time to express their dislike by now. I bet you’ve all taken down your Christmas trees, too.

But guys its ONLY the 3rd!

I normally like to give myself the entire month of January to come up with, plan out, and get used to my resolutions, but this year I’m ahead of the game. I hope this isn’t a bad sign. Haha… Honestly I think a big part of my speed this year is that I was able to use my 2014 resolution tracking document as a template, rather than starting from scratch. And trust me, having a way to track this stuff is a key to success.

-POP

Like last year, even though I have both running and non-running resolutions, I’m only going to share the running and blogging ones with you guys. Posting the whole list would take too long, and you’d probably think I’m insane. Likely, I’ll share a few of those non-running resolutions throughout the year, whether or not I explicitly tell you about them now.

One more thing before I get to the list. While I do have a somewhat lengthy list, I’m not sure it’s complete yet. I’m considering this a work in progress that I’ll update as the year goes on.

2015 RUNNING RESOLUTIONS

  • Take an off-season. Or more specifically, a self imposed, non-injury related, continuous 3 week break from running. I think it’s a good idea to give my legs a break. I’ve read a few articles about it and have started to sort out a plan. I’ll probably write a post about it.¬†
  • Do NOT run a marathon.¬†Next time I run a marathon, I want to run it faster. By an hour, at least. Going into training in 2014, I was faster than in 2013, and I did speed work. But my long run pace (at the same effort) wasn’t any better, and my race time was MUCH slower. Even though this year’s race was tougher, I still don’t think I should have been quite as slow as I was. Additionally, every time I check pace calculators using my recent race times, I come out with a marathon time over an hour faster than I just ran. So, something is up with how I’m training, or maybe I’m just much slower at the marathon than other distances? Either way, I want to figure¬†this out before I run another marathon. ¬†
  • Improve at the 5k.¬†This resolution is a little less clear than the previous two, but I’m not sure exactly where to set my goal for this one. I’ll start with trying to PR, but I’ll see where training takes me, and I’ll get a more specific goal out here when I check back in.¬†
  • Stop whining pre-run. I like running, and I need to quit acting like such a baby before every run. The second I start going, I enjoy myself. I look forward to long runs throughout the week, and shorter ones throughout the day. So, why on earth when I’m finally going to have a chance to run do I whine and moan about HAVING to run. I don’t know, but I need to stop. Any ideas on punishments or rewards for good behavior?
  • Try out an 80/20 running plan. I got the book 80/20 Running for Christmas, and it’s fascinating. I’m really looking forward to giving it a try for 5k training, and then possibly for longer distances if I like it.

And for the blog…

2015 BLOGGING RESOLUTIONS

  • Post (at least) twice a week. Or 3 times a week, or every other day. I’m not sure what I’d like my schedule to be. But I would like to have one.
  • Create a backlog of posts. Hey, maybe if I have some posts ready to go at a moments notice, I won’t end up with two weeks of radio silence when I get busy. This could help with the consistancy/schedule I’m talking about in number one.
  • Write some product reviews. I’m not sure if this is going to be fun for me, but since I enjoy reading reviews for new products on others’ blogs I think I should give this a try.
  • Read running books and post about them. I have several books about running,¬†time to read them all! Also, I really want to see Unbroken, but I hear you should read the book first. ūüôā
  • Catch up on and write retroactive race recaps. I have notes on almost all of the races I’ve ever run, and I’d like to get this info on the blog. Plus, I have a few 2014 races I haven’t gotten around to recapping, yet.¬†

That doesn’t sound too bad now does it? I mean, the first two running resolutions are to not do things, so that shouldn’t be too tough, right? I suppose we’ll find out! Last year I checked in on my resolutions monthly, but this year I’m switching¬†to a quarterly schedule. So, I’ll be back in early April with an update.

Have you made resolutions yet? Or have you declared your dislike for them? Do we have any similar ones?

 

April 15th

Yesterday, two (sort-of) exciting things happened over here on my blog. I hadn’t actually planned on these things happening on the same day,¬†so I think it’s kind of interesting¬†that they did.

1. Yesterday’s post was my 50th blog post. ¬†

2. It was also my 1 year anniversary of having this blog. 

If you were¬†to go back and look, you’ll see that my first post was made in July, so you might be wondering about the 1 year anniversary claim. ¬†I agree, it’s suspicious, but when you read this post, ¬†you’ll agree that yesterday was indeed the one year anniversary of my blog. However, you’ll¬†then¬†start doubting the accuracy of the 50th blog post claim. Confused? Read on.

I began running at the tail end of college, and moved to Boston immediately after graduation. (The two were not related.) I didn’t know anything about the Boston Marathon at the time beyond the fact that it existed, but it didn’t take long to figure out that it was something special.

The first year I was in the city for the race, I started my own marathon tradition of obsessively watching live updates of the marathon while I spent the day at work. I would then go home and watch the entire 4 hour long broadcast of the marathon that I had recorded. (I never said it was an exciting tradition.) Every year I was beyond excited for the marathon.¬†I’d smile at the motivational advertisements that started popping up on the streets of Boston weeks before the race. I’d pour over Runner’s World trying to decide which American would finally win the race again. And, on the day of the race I’d grin like an idiot as I walked past the many busses ready to transport¬†runners to the start line.

I never went to watch the marathon in person. I was always super busy at work that day, and didn’t want to take the PTO, but I also didn’t want to miss the exciting play by play of watching/following the elites running the race. And, I don’t really like crowds. So, every year I’d get really excited for the race, think “Should I go this year? Can I convince someone to stand at the end with me to watch the elite runners?”, and then I’d just go to work, and tell anyone who’d listen how the race was going.

Last year, was no different. Except, I had decided that it was time to start a running blog. And the night before the marathon,  one  year ago last night, I made my very first post about how excited I was for the race the next day. The next morning, I continued on with my tradition, I went to work, listened/watched to the live stream of the marathon while working, and was looking forward to watching marathon coverage in the evening.

But, then, that never happened.

In the middle of the afternoon my husband called my cell phone. He told me there had been some kind of “explosion or something” near the finish line of the marathon and he had left work. They heard/felt the bombs go off from his building and although they didn’t know what was going on, the head of his department told them they should all leave. (Eventually, his entire building was evacuated.) He told me he would walk over to my office to meet me and we should catch the next train home. I was confused, and told him that I had too much work to do to leave but we could decide when he got there.

As soon as I got off the phone, I did a google search to see what was going on. At first, nothing was coming up because it had just happened, but eventually I learned that two bombs had gone off near the finish line and people were injured and possibly killed. No one knew who had done it or if it was really over. After finding this out, I tried to call Jeff back, but cell service was spotty now.

Eventually, one of us got through to the other and I met him in the lobby of my building. After a quick chat, I was on board to leave the office early and head home with him. I was glad we were together and on our way out of the city. On the train ride home, we attempted to contact our families and let them know we were okay, as well as checking in with anyone we could think of that might have been down at the finish line. We learned that my sister in law was working a medical tent in the area, but was completely fine, aside from being stranded downtown.¬†I feel so lucky¬†that I didn’t have any friends or family that were running or spectating¬†where the bombs went off.

We made it home, spoke to our families and then watched the news for a (very) little bit. I couldn’t believe this horrible thing had happened. I was angry, sad, and scared. And I felt so bad for every one that was hurt or had loved ones that were hurt or killed.

I didn’t really know what to do. So we went running.

In the days and weeks that followed, people came together to help and support the people injured in the bombings. People from all over were showing that they/we were BostonStrong. Even the President made a speech¬†about the city picking itself up and running again. I’m happy for those things, and I’m proud to live in a world where for every two people willing to do something evil, there are hundreds, thousands more wanting to do something good.

At the time, I was a brand new blogger, and I had no idea how to write about any of this on the blog. So, instead I deleted my previous (first ever) post and then abandoned the blog until I felt like writing again; in¬†July. So, you see, I’ve had the blog for a year. My first post was in July, but it also wasn’t, and yesterday’s was my 50th post, but it also wasn’t.

Today, I wasn’t sure I was going to write about the bombings. I still feel sad and angry about it, and I’d rather write about things that make me happy (who wouldn’t?), but today isn’t just about remembering the terrible things that happened a year ago, it’s also about celebrating the strength of all the people who have come so far from that day. And for me, it’s about being thankful¬†for all the wonderful people in my life and for being grateful that I am healthy and happy and able to run, and¬†it’s also about moving on.

So this morning, like last year, I went for a run, but this time, I also came in and wrote about it.

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BostonStrong last year at work on the day of the manhunt.

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After my run this morning.

 

It’s March – Resolution Check-In

I feel like I just gave an update from January (probably because I didn’t do that until February was almost half over.) Time to check in on my resolutions (detailed list¬†here).

  1.  Complete a 1/2 Marathon in Under 2 Hours РTraining is going well, I did a 10 mile long run last week!
  2. ¬†Keep up with my Running Blog¬†– Check! I’ve upped my goal to two posts per week. And I’m enjoying reading all the other running blogs I’ve found, too. ūüôā
  3. ¬†Run a Marathon¬†– I’ve got my eyes on the Cape Cod Marathon in the fall, but nothing’s set in stone.
  4. Keep a Running Journal¬†– ¬†I fell a little behind on the journal, but it’s not a lost cause. I don’t think I really like it. I’m hoping to stick with it at least through the half marathon.
  5. Join a Running Club¬†–¬†Not yet. Waiting until I’m ready to start running outside (it was 5F out this morning?!), because that’s where running clubs meet up.
  6. Volunteer РNot yet.
  7. Run 2014! (kilometers, that is)¬†–¬†I’m pretty far behind. I think I bit off more than I can chew with this one, and I might have to downgrade this to a more realistic 1,000 miles. ¬†I’m pretty happy with how much I’ve been running, though, so it’s not a big deal. (138 miles so far this year! Compared to 93 miles at this time last year.)
  8. Beat Jeff’s 5k PR¬†–¬†Not yet; haven’t run a 5k yet this year.

I’m happy with my progress so far, and I’m looking forward to keeping at it in March! Who can believe it’s March already?!

And March means St. Patrick's day!

And March means St. Patrick’s day!

Ah, Ireland. Someday we will reunite.

Ah, Ireland. Someday we will reunite.

 

Running Blog!

I’m starting a running blog! ¬†Again!

I have a confession to make. ¬†I’m not very good at blogging. ¬†I just can’t stick with it. ¬†This is my 3rd attempt at starting a running blog. ¬†Nope, that’s wrong, this is the 4th running blog I’ve started. ¬†I really want to keep it up this time. ¬†I’ve just started training for my 2nd marathon, and I’d love to have a record of my training to look back on.

And maybe (I hope), some day, people might even read this and leave comments to motivate me!

P.S. ¬†Here’s ¬†a picture from my recent trip to Chicago, taken right before we left on our running tour.

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