Showing posts from 2011

Ending the Year with a (freezing) Splash!

I like to do events to make occasions, so I was excited when I heard about the Polar Bear 5k and Polar Plunge to benefit the Natural Resources Council of Maine. And then I saw the weather forecast "freezing rain with a chance of sleet." Great.

When I woke up and left for the gym this morning it wasn't bad. But, by the time I was leaving the gym the freezing rain was pouring down. I was so tempted to go home and stay home. I mean I'd already gone to kickboxing. Didn't I deserve to spend the rest of the morning on the couch with a blanket and hot coffee?

But then I got a phone call from a friend telling me that a friend I'd worked with for more than 10 years passed away last night. He was in his early forties and no one expected it. So I decided that I would run the race for him because I could. Life is short and I want to live it to the fullest.

So I tossed on my rain coat and headed down to the back bay parking lot. I stood in the rain to register and then got b…

The Best of 2011- Part 3

September- I bought a house!!
Probably the scariest thing I've ever done because it's a huge commitment.  But, I absolutely love being back in Maine and having my own house.

October- Reach the Beach and New Orleans
I just couldn't pick one, because both were a blast! My company meeting in New Orleans the first weekend in October was surprisingly fun. New Orleans just has so much spirit that it is impossible to have a bad time there. I really enjoyed getting to know all my coworkers and felt so lucky to be part of such a great company. And then, my Reach the Beach team was super fun this year and I kicked some butt on all my legs. 

November- The giant Redwoods in Northern California
I went up to Eureka for work and was totally stunned by the natural beauty. The rugged coast and the towering redwoods totally captured my heart.

December- Connecting with Old Friends

One of the best parts of moving back to Maine is connecting with old friends. I don't know if anyone will ever kno…

The Best of 2011- Part 2

May- I got my Master's in Public Health
After 3 years of working full time and going to school, I finally finished my Master's. The best part of this program was my practicum in Ghana. It was no easy to convince my job to give me the time off, but it was so worthwhile. I learned so fun, and made some amazing friends, including the 6 am running crew seen here.

June- I finished my first 2 sprint Triathalons
I have been wanting to do a tri for a few years and this year I finally sucked it up an signed up. The first swim, in a pool, was fine, but the second swim in the lake nearly killed me. Still, I loved the races- the quick changes between portions is such a nice change from the monotony of the marathon. My goal for 2012 is to improve in the swim.

July- The Peak's Island Race
I missed the race last year and so was excited to do it thisyear. It's a blast because we make a whole day of it. We take the ferry out early the morning, and I run the race while my Mom and her friend …

2011 in Review: Part 1

When people tell me I lead an exciting life, I don't quite get it. Most of the time I feel like my life is pretty darn boring. But then when I start to look back at all the things I did last year, I realize that, wow, it actually was a pretty incredible year. Here's a highlight from each month of the year.

January- Skiing in Colorado
Over MLK weekend last January I met a friend to ski in Colorado instead of flying home for the weekend. It was a whirlwind trip- we hit up Keystone, Vail, Breckenridge, and A-Basin. The deep, deep powder and glade skiing was a totally new experience for me. It took me awhile to get into it, but once I did I was hooked. I can't wait to go back!

February- Running the Antarctica Marathon
I do not think of myself as a hard core runner, so finishing (and even winning my division) one of the hardest Marathons in the world was a major accomplishment. One of the best parts of the race was the support from the other runners. We'd been together for more…

I've got you, but you've got yourself

I'm I admit the truth to myself I have to concede that running marathons is not good for my body. I was not built to run long distances. I am short and muscular, perfect for a gymnast, but not so much for the marathon. But, I have the mind of a distance runner, I am stubborn and determined.

I've realized that if I'm going to complete my 7 continent goal I have to take care of body, so I'm trying to fit lots of yoga and stretching into my schedule. Getting myself to yoga is such a struggle, but it's always so worth it. Being in the studio with an instructor forces me to forget about everything else, and it seems like I always leave with a new pearl of wisdom.

Yesterday the instructor was assisting me in a pose, helping me to go deeper. As she pushed my body a littler further she said "I've got you, but you've also got yourself." I repeated the phrase to myself the rest of class.

I like to polarize things, so I tend to think that I either need to be to…

Majorly Dissapointed with CW-X

Last year for Christmas I got a pair of CW-X tights. I'd wanted a pair for a long time, but couldn't bring myself to pay more than $100 for tights for myself. But I figured with the Antarctica Marathon last year, they'd be a good gift idea. I got a pair of the Women's Insultor Stabilyx Tights, and I love them. They were perfect for Antarctica because they're super warm. In fact, they're so warm that I only wear them when it's pretty chilly out, so I don't wear them all that often. I'd say that I've only worn them a total of 20 times. This morning when I went to put them on, I noticed that they already ripping on the inner thighs. I'm talking some pretty major holes. I am so disappointed and pretty mad too. These cost a lot of money and they didn't even last a year. Has anyone else had this experience with C-WX tights or apparel?

Healthier Holiday Treats: Bailey's Irish Cream and Peppermint Whoopie Pies

The part of marathon training that I find the hardest is recovery. I am SO bad at taking days off. But yesterday I made myself do it. To keep myself busy, I decided to whip up some holiday treats for my friends and neighbors. I like to give out tasty treats, but am also conscious of calories. I like to think I'm giving my friends 2 treats in one- something yummy and something that won't leave them starting the new year weighing 10 extra pounds!

For my friends I made home-made Bailey's Irish Cream. It was really easy to lighten up, and still amazingly good.

It's begining to feel a lot like Christmas

Being in California for the last 2 weeks, I was having a hard time getting in the holiday spirit. It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me when I'm standing in front of a palm tree wearing a t-shirt! But after yesterday back at home, I'm totally in the mood.

I woke up to a surprise snow storm. I would have preferred it wasn't during my scheduled 17 miler, but I am anxious for a white Christmas so I didn't mind. With the snow and wind I could barely see during the first half of my run and I was quickly getting soaked through.  But running on the greenbelt I passed other intrepid runners and we exchanged smiles, and then I got out to Bug Light and the snow on the water was so pretty, that it kept my mood up. The second half of the run was harder, I was on a less scenic portion of the trail, I was alone, and I was tired. But, I stuck it out and finished the 17.

After food, a shower, and some stretching, I headed into Portland to meet Breezy at Dobra Tea. It was freezin…

My new pal the Cardiac Monitor

The first day home after being gone for 2 weeks is always crazy. In addition to all the usual stuff (laundry, groceries, bank), today I also had to go the cardiologist. Since I passed out a month or so ago, I've had frequent dizzy spells, so I was glad to finally be going to the doctor. My vitals and EKG were normal, the next step was an echocardiogram. It was actually really neat because I was able to watch the screen and see my heart in 3-D, as well as hear the blood moving in and out of the chambers of my heart. The human body is totally amazing. And technology that lets us watch the inside of our bodies is pretty cool too.

Since my dizziness is intermittent, I also have to wear a cardiac monitor for 2 weeks to try and capture what's happening. It's not that big or heavy, but it's annoying.

I keep catching the wires on things. It's definitely coming off for my 17 miler tomorrow, and my date Sunday!

After traveling for 2 weeks and eating out all the time,…

Apple Valley California

Yesterday was a LONG day. I was asked to go to an all day meeting in Apple Valley, which is about an hour and half from my hotel. And there were many warnings about the drive being terrible because of snow, so I wanted to hit the road by 6 am. That meant I needed to be up at 4:20 to hit the gym. Whenever I have to get up extra early for something, I'm paranoid that I'm not going to wake up so I don't sleep well. Yesterday I started waking up every 15 minutes starting at about 2 am. I finally gave in a got up at 4. I hit the hotel gym for a cardio session. 30 minutes on the elliptical which consisted of 3 sets of 5 minutes at a hard resistance and then 5 minutes of Tobata; followed by 30 minutes on the treadmill. 5 minute warm-up then 4 sets of 1 min at 6.5, 1 min at 7, 1 min at 8, 1 min at 7, and 1 min at 6 with a 5 min cool down at the end.

The drive was not bad at all. I should learn never to trust Californians when it comes to weather, they ALWAYS over react. It actually…

Is Cross Fit enough?

I've been going to cross fit 2-3 times a week when I'm in California for work. However, I'm still mentally struggling to accept that cross fit is enough to count as my sole workout for the day. I am an admitted cardio and sweat junkie. I like to get in a good solid hour of cardio a day and be dripping with sweat at the end. So after a cross fit workout that is primarily strength, I sometimes feel like it isn't enough. In the hour workout, I feel like I'm only working really hard for 10-20 minutes. While I have always enjoyed being active, my primary reason for working out is to burn calories. So I am left asking myself is cross fit enough? No doubt it is helping my all around fitness by encouraging more dynamic movement and strength, but does it burn the same number of calories or am I better off sticking with running or a spin class?

Balboa Island California

As much as I love my new house and want to spend as much time as possible there, I've decided to stay some weekends in California to save some wear and tear on myself. Flying is just so unpleasant and exhausting. So yesterday after going to the gym and doing some work in the morning, I went to see a friend in Newport Beach. She took me to Balboa Island, a super ritzy community. It was a nice sunny day and we basked in the sunshine after spending the week working in the dark basement. We spent almost 2 hours walking around admiring the amazing houses and Christmas decorations.


I could never in a million years afford to buy a house here, but it was fun to look! We worked up an appetite walking, so we went over to the main street for lunch at Ciao, a cute Italian cafe. We split a salad with fresh raspberries and goat cheese, and a pizza with mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. The salad was amazing! Instead of driving the long way back we decided to take the little ferry. It's a …

correrò a Roma!

It's official- I am signed up for the Rome Marathon! I have been toying with this idea for awhile. I'm anxious to get another continent checked off for my 7 continent quest, and since I spent all my money on buying a house, it had to be somewhere where I could pay for the whole trip with miles. But I didn't want to run just any marathon in Europe, I wanted it to be somewhere special. Italy definitely qualifies since I spent my junior year of college there. The hardest part was convincing someone to come with me. Really friends and family? Why aren't you jumping at the chance for a free trip to Rome?? I am taking my little cousin (and by little I just mean younger, since she's now in college and about 10 inches taller than me). I think it will be really fun to show her all my favorite places and things in Italy. Hopefully having this on the calender for sure will help me have more motivation for my long runs. Gelato here I come. Other random observation of the …

One year later

It was a little more than a year ago that I was attacked while running on a trail by myself. It was such a shock to me both because I tend to be trusting person, and because it was during the day in a nice suburban neighborhood. I struggled after the attack because my job forces me to workout in the early morning (so it's usually dark) in places I don't know that well. For awhile I confined myself to the treadmill, but that wasn't practical because I didn't always have access to a treadmill, and it was boring me to death and making me hate running. I've been back outside running now for about a year and I can't decide if I am triumphing over adversity, or just being stupid. I like to look at it as I am refusing to let some stupid guy keep me from doing what I love. On the other hand, I think everything happens for a reason. Maybe being attacked, but escaping unharmed, was a warning. Am I ignoring that warning and putting myself in serious danger by running al…

All in my Head

It always amazes me how much of running is mental. Yesterday I did a 14.5 miler and I was really struggling the first half. After slogging through my marathon training alone last winter, I was desperate for a training partner this year. I didn’t have many options, so I settled on running with a guy who is super nice, but faster than me. Yesterday I felt like I was totally dragging him down. The first half of the run my legs just felt like lead. I was struggling. It could have been the head wind, or the fact that I really, really had to pee (note to self, don’t drink 2 cups of coffee before a long run), or that he was leading and I didn’t know what to expect. Then, after the turn around point I suddenly felt great. I went from barely being able to hang on to the 10 min/mile pace to doing 8:30s. Granted, I did finally find a bathroom, and the wind was now behind us, but I think it was all in my head. I always spend the first half of a long run dreading how much I have left to do. It’s o…

Healthy Cold Weather Dinners

It's getting cold here in Maine, so I am craving comfort food. Luckily, I'm working at home this week, so I've been able to whip up lots of healthy meals that also satisfy. Tuesday morning I woke up early and set up my bread machine. While I ran, the bread machine whipped up this awesome Honey Whole Wheat Bread. 1 1/8 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 3 tablespoons honey 1/3 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1 1/2 cups bread flour 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast Add ingredients according to the manufacturer's directions to your bread machine. Use the wheat bread cycle and light color setting.
I'll admit, I ate half the loaf on Tuesday!
Scallops and Squash Wednesday I went grocery shopping and scallops were on sale. I also had some lovely butternut squash my Mom gave me from her garden. I peeled the squash, cubed it (microwave it for a few minutes and it's WAY easier to cut), and t…