Anniversary Celebration

Last night the BF and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary. For some people 6 months may not seem like a huge deal, but for us it was a pretty big milestone so we decided to celebrate.

We are both a little short on money because of unexpected recent house expenses (we both own houses), so we decided just to go to a little local seafood restaurant. They have an awesome "happy hour." You can get 6 bacon wrapped scallops, a pound of steamers, and a huge thing of sweet potato fries for just $3 each. Even better it's BYOB, so we could enjoy a cheap-o bottle of bubbly (thank you Trader Joes). We finished off the meal with their special dessert. A deep fried Whoopie Pie.
heart clogging deliciousness on a plate.

Then we headed back to my house and built a roaring fire because it freezing out! Once the fire was blazing we moved onto presents. I made him a homemade no sew fleece blanket. I used a nice manly brown dog footprint pattern for top layer and a sweet pink heart pattern for the under layer, so he knows my heart is always with him when he is sleeping alone. I had made these for baby gifts before, but it sure took a lot longer to make one for a guy who is 6 foot 3. He totally surprised me with my present. I was expecting the standard jewelery, but he got me something much better- the new Asics tie-dyed tri shoes! I was admiring them months ago but said I felt bad spending so much just because I liked the color. He clearly knows me well. I am wearing them right now to break them in. 

So pretty!

If you're injured and you know it....

my training plan is mocking me
Remember that nice little training plan I just posted? One problem- I am already injured. My right hip/glute/hamstring has been extremely unhappy for the past few weeks.

It's a chronic issue from gymnastics, but it normally doesn't bother me too much. But lately is has gone from slightly uncomfortable to really painful. It hurts the entire time I am running. I have pushed myself through my normal weekday 6 milers, but I am in agony by the time I finish. It hurts when I sit. It hurts when I do yoga.

I am crooked yo!
I have tried to be good. I stretch and foam roll like it is my job. I've been going to a yoga class 1-2 times a week. I've iced. I even went to the trouble of finding a new chiropractor that is closer to my house so I can actually go during the week. She is great. She said I was a mess. My whole pelvis was twisted because the muscles on my right side were so overly tight. It was twisted to such an extent that my right leg was almost 2 inches shorter than my left.

I told her to dig in and she did. It hurt, but I did feel much better when I left.

And then I went running the next morning. I know that the smart thing to do would be to take some time off now very early in my training. I'll heal more quickly and be back at 100% and make up any lost training. Blah, blah, blah. I just can't do it. The idea of not running or doing anything with impact for a few weeks gives me a panic attack.

Do any of you keep running through injury?  Please tell me I'm not the only stupid one?

26.2 with Donna Training Plan

Usually around this time I am starting to train for my late winter/early spring marathon. But this year, I am not signed up for a marathon until next June. So I am feeling a little aimless lately. I am however, signed up to run a half marathon in Floria in February. I have never trained specially for a half marathon before, but I am feeling like I need something to focus on. Also, after stalling out around the 2:05 mark for the last few years, I'd love to lower my PR. So bring on the training plan!

This is based on the 1/2 marathon time goal training plan by Jeff Galloway. After using Galloway's run/walk method for my past 2 marathons, I just can't imagine going back. I recover so much faster with the walk breaks, and find it so much easier mentally. Plus, the pace groups in the 26.2 with Donna use the run/walk method. I might as well train the way I am going to race.

What is your next big race? Do you have a training plan?

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal: November

I can't believe another month has flow by and it is food pen pal reveal day already!

blogbadgeAPPLE Foodie Penpals

Foodie Pen Pals is an awesome idea thought up by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean. Every month you get a pen pal pairing via email. You then have some time to exchange e-mails and get to know your pen pal before mailing out their box. The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15, so it is fun without breaking the bank. 

My foodie pen pal this month was Elizabeth from Her blog is great- I went to take a quick look, and ended up spending more than an hour looking around! 

Elizabeth sent me a great box. Inside was Virginia peanuts: I put them out at Thanksgiving and they disappeared quickly; Chex Mix: my favorite salty, crunchy snack; A dark chocolate, almond, sea salt bar: UM total delish; and some Wasabi puffs which I am saving for a lunch time treat.

10 Years

Last night was my 10 year high school reunion. How did 10 years go so fast? I was actually pretty excited because I loved high school. I had a great group of close friends and we did a lot of fun things, even though we weren't into drinking and partying. I also think I had a pretty unique class, because although there were definite cliques or groups of friends, we also got along really well as a whole. We won Winter Carnival as freshman! I knew every person in my class and would have felt comfortable talking to any of them. Other than stalking checking in on people on Facebook, I really have only kept in touch with a few people.

I started the night at Gritty's McDuff's Brew Pub because I knew I'd need some liquid courage. I met my 2 close friends that I still see, but our friend Jason also came. I don't think I'd seen him since high school. It was so fun to catch up and get to know his wife as we plowed through nachos, fried mushrooms, and chicken tenders. Before we left we did a round of tequila shots.

 We were a fashionably half an hour late for reunion, so quite a few people were already there. We got about 85 out of the 150 people in our graduating class, which is pretty good. I seriously had a blast. Everyone was pretty tipsy, and it was strange seeing people that were so straight laced in high school drunk and crazy. I think I talked to almost every person there. It was especially nice to catch up with the people I was really friendly with in high school but haven't stayed in touch with at all.

As the night went on, we started grooving out to some awesome old school music- Coolio's Gangster's Paradise, TLC's Waterfalls, and Spice Girls Tell Me What You Want.

The reunion technically ended at 10, but we didn't leave until 11, and then we just went across the street to a bar. I didn't get home until close to 2. I am feeling my age today. It was so worth it though, it was a blast!

Have you been to any of your reunions?

Portland's 31st Annual Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler

When I found out I was going to be home for Thanksgiving last week I went ahead and signed up for the annual Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler. I just love doing an organized race on Thanksgiving- it gives me such hope for the future to see so many families out there running together.

I woke up feeling a little queasy this morning, which may have been the result of too many pumpkin beers last night at Seadog. But I have also just been feeling a little off this week. So I decided not to set a goal and just run what felt good.

After a small turkey panic (it was still frozen inside, despite being out of the freezer for 4 days), I got the turkey in the oven and headed out towards Portland. The race started right downtown at One City Center, which is about 2.5 miles from house. I thought running there would be a nice warm-up and alleviate the hassle of parking.

It was a sunny, about 33 degrees, and crystal clear. It was so pretty running over the Casco  Bay Bridge and looking out over the harbor and at the city skyline. I timed it just right and got to the start line about 8 minutes before the start. I milled around to keep warm. It was a way bigger race than I though, more than 2,000 people!

I was back from the starting line, so I had no idea what was going on up-front. The starting cannon about gave me a heart attack. The course was 2 loops through the city with a nice mix of up-hills and down. At mile 1 I looked at my watch and saw I did the first mile in 8:20. At that point I started to consider goals. I settled on a 8:30 mile pace goal. Then I just ran. I liked the 2 loops because I knew exactly what was coming in the second loop, so I knew when to push and when to ease off.

 I loved running right through the heart of the city. At one point Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers came onto my i-pod and I sang out loud "at least I have her, the city she loves me." I LOVE Portland and I am so happy I moved back to Maine. The race flew by. I cruised into the finish in 33:20. Super fast for me! It's nice to know that I can run fast when I try.

Now I have some cooking to do.

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Maine Squash Rolls

I am a little stressed this week. Work is insane and I am feeling the pressure of preparing the entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself for the first time. So, I am trying to find pleasure in the small things. Today it was a cookie cutter.

I made a batch of my Great-Grandmother's Squash Rolls. Instead of just making them circular, I decided to use my new Maine cookie cutter. I was afraid they would just turn into lumps when they baked, but they didn't! They look so good!

Now if you excuse me, Downeast Maine is just begging to be slathered in butter and eaten!

Rest Day

I did a lot on Saturday. I was up at 5am to head into Boothbay Harbor for the annual Early Bird Sale. It's a family tradition. Friends and family come from near and far and sleep over at my Mom's house the night before. Then we head into town, dressed in crazy pajama's and slippers to shop. We take a break to watch the PJ parade and bed race before heading to brunch at McSeagulls for mimosas and lobster and crab omelets.

It's a blast and a fun way to support local  business and catch up with friends and family.

Normally, we then go home and take a nap. Instead this year, we came home and knocked down a chimney! We are FINALLY renovating the kitchen at the family homestead- it's only about 50 years overdue. I got to go up in the lifter and help with the demo. And then i got to carry many, many, many piles of bricks across the yard to the dumpster.

Then we worked on cleaning out the old pantry in the kitchen. By the time I got back to my own house it was 10pm and I went straight to bed.

Notice what I did not do all day? I didn't run or do any sort of workout. VERY rare for me. My last day off was the day after the Rome Marathon in March. Not because I ran a marathon the day before, but because we had to leave our hotel at 3am for the airport and I didn't get home until after midnight.

I know I should take rest days more often. I felt great today. I tackled a very hilly 9 miler that I haven't ever dared to try before. I ran super fast (for a longer run for me) and felt great. But I just can't do it mentally. At some level I know rest days will be help me recover and get fitter faster, but I just end up feeling fat and lazy that day. I know doing shorter more intense workouts sometimes would also be good for me. I can't do that either. I am so stuck in my minimum of one hour of cardio a day rut.

How often do you take a rest day?

Training Log Dilemma

Tuesday morning when I went to log my run on the Runner's World Log I have been using for years, I got an unpleasant surprise. Runner's World is discontinuing their classic log and switching to the new "Personal Trainer," which is part of their Training Peaks Program.

Major bummer. I really like the Classic Log. I like how it easily shows my monthly distances, stats for the year, and total stats (how crazy is it that I have spent 48 days of life running since I started the log 5 years ago!!)

So now I have a dilemma. Do I switch to the new Personal Trainer? I can import my data so I won't lose all that history and they do have a free version. I have been trying it this week and I am not thrilled. The screen is too busy. And I miss my overall stats!

How do you log your running? Any recommendations?

Sponsored Post: Looking Good on the Run

Admittedly, I do look like a slob a lot of the time, but I do try to put in some effort. This applies to running and the gym too. However, this is an extra challenge. Because what can you really do besides cute clothes? I am not going to bother with doing my hair or make-up becaue they'll be ruined within minutes. My new secret is earrings. A good pair of studs makes you look like you tried a little, without going overboard, and they don't get in your way.

So when my blogger pal Kim mentioned that Anjolee which specializes in all kinds of diamond jewelry from wedding rings sets, to anniversary bands, to necklaces and earrings, was working with bloggers to promote their products I pounced.

I knew I wanted earrings, but I still spent quite awhile exploring their site. I love their customizable wedding rings. I know the BF and I have only been together for six months, but a girl can dream. P.S. If he asks any of you, I like the Radiant Princess Cut.

Once I was done dreaming, I moved on to more immediate possibilities. I decided to go with the Classic Three Prong Diamond Studs.

They came yesterday and I LOVE them. They came packaged really nicely.

 I wore them running this morning and when I looked in the mirror when I got back the first thing I noticed was not my red sweaty face, it was the bling in my ears!

Do you care about looking "nice" while running?

All by myself...

beer weekYesterday there was a brewery running tour through Portland as a part of Maine Beer Week. I was so excited when I found out about it. I mean running and beer are 2 of my favorite things. And then I couldn't find anyone to go with. I was going to go alone. I got dressed and everything. Then, I totally wimped out at the last moment.

I am usually pretty good at flying solo. I travel alone all the time for work, so I don't mind eating out alone or sight-seeing in a new place. But there is something about doing social things alone at home that totally intimidates me. I don't know why! I don't know if I am afraid that I will see someone I know and they will think I am loser for being there alone. Or if I am afraid I won't have anyone to talk to and be miserable.

Instead I went to a holiday fair and then sat in a cafe reading with a pumpkin latte. I did those activities alone, why couldn't I do the running brewery tour??

Oh well, I got my social running fix today. I met 2 of my college running buddies. We hadn't seen each other in a loooooong time, so we had a lot to catch up on. The first half of the run just flew by. By half-way though, I was starting to lag. They are faster than I am, my hip was not happy, and it was really hilly.

But I made it through 8 miles and then we headed to The Village Pancake House, which I had passed on my way into town.

It was adorable and the food was awesome! We got cranberry pecan pancakes and a spinach, artichoke, and feta omelet to share. I left completely stuffed. If you are ever in Ipswich, MA I totally recommend it.

Do you mind doing things alone? Or do you need a buddy?

I got rolfed

My right hip/glute has been very unhappy the past couple weeks. It is has been a chronic injury since my gymnastics days, but it is usually more a mild annoyance than anything else. The last two weeks however it has been downright painful, especially when running and sitting. Copious amounts of foam rolling and yoga weren't helping, so when I saw a living social deal for rolfing, I decided to give it a try.

What is rolfing you ask?

Rolfing is a physically applied practice, administered by a qualified practitioner, typically in a series of ten sessions with the objective of maximising individual well being of body and mind. This holistic approach brings together awareness, coordination, structure and psychology. Rolfing was invented by Dr. Ida Rolf, who developed the technique of manipulating the body’s connective tissues in order to release stress patterns within the human form.

Rolfing is based on the theory that muscles work in opposing pairs: one contracts while the other relaxes. Bound up fasciae restrict opposing muscles from functioning in concert. Rolfing aims separate the fibers of bound up fasciae manually to loosen them and allow effective movement.

My rolfing experience started with me stripping down to my underwear and standing and walking in front of the rolfer. This was a little embarrassing for me since I don't really enjoy being almost naked in front of a stranger. But, I quickly overcame my embarrassment because I was impressed by how much she could tell about me just by the way I look and move. She figured out that I had been a gymnast, broke my right ankle, and suffer from plantar fasciitis.

She then sat me down and explained more about rolfing, asked for some more history, and asked me about why I had come and what my goals were.

I then laid down on the table and she took me through a series of manipulation and breathing exercises, starting with my chest and back, moving down to my hips and upper legs, and then to my calves and feet. She finished with a few minutes on my neck and head. Some of it hurt, a lot. But it was a "hurts so good" pain, like during a deep massage. My rolfer did a great job explaining what she was doing and the theory behind it. I felt like I was getting a great education in addition to a physical benefit. 

The session lasted about an hour and half and when I stood up at the end I could feel immediate results. My stride was more fluid and my hip felt much less restricted. I was also standing up straighter and feel like I was breathing easier.

My rolfer recommended the series of ten, which is supposed to  "balance and optimize both the structure (shape) and function (movement) of the entire body. It progresses from the feet to the head, under the theory that "only by bringing peace 'from the ground up' can problems higher in the body be 'understood'"

I am pretty tempted, but it is expensive. Each session is $100! And I just bought a new furnace and did major car repairs.

Have you ever tried rolfing? Do you think I should splurge on the series of 10?

Worst dog sitter ever

What a day. The furnace guys were scheduled to come at 9:30 this morning, so I headed out to run for an hour at 7:30. I figured I'd have half an hour when I got home to shower, stretch, and eat breakfast before closing Dixie and myself in my office for the day.

Except when I came down my road at the end of my run I saw the furnace truck in my driveway. Then I saw the front door wide open. I broke into an all out sprint. I ran into the house gasping, "did you shut the dog up somewhere?"

"Oh that's your dog? We saw it sitting in road so we called animal control."

Apparently when they arrived they propped open the front door because they were carrying parts, and then left it open while they headed down to the basement to set up. While they were in the basement, Dixie, who had been asleep in my bed, woke up, came downstairs, and wandered outside.

I panicked. My boyfriend LOVES his dog and I lost her.

Luckily, it turned out fine. I called the police and they sent animal control back with Dixie, who was happily chilling in the front seat.

I figured I had tell the boy. If it were my dog I would want to know. Plus, he is a police officer in the next town, so there is very good chance he'd find out if I didn't tell him.

Dixie made out pretty well. She got lots of extra cuddles, walks, and treats all day which apparently exhausted her because she passed out in the chair for the rest of the day while I worked.

Would you have told the owner what happened? Have you ever had a pet/house/baby sitting fail?

What motivates you to exercise?

At the gym this morning I was reading an article about exercise motivation in Fitness that got me thinking. The article started with a quiz to help you identify what motivates you most. There were 5 questions each with 4 possible answers. When I tallied my answers I had one A, one B, one C, and 2 D's.

If you had mostly A's you motivation is health; mostly B's your motivation is making friends; mostly C's your motivation is your swimsuit (your appearance); and finally mostly D's your motivation is the mental rush you get.

So what about me who is all over the map? The more I thought about it, the more my results made sense. When I first started to run and be diligent about exercise I was trying to lose the weight I'd gained after quitting gymnastics and studying abroad. It was all about the calories. I became obsessed with burning more and eating less.

about 30 pounds lighter, but not any happier

But when I got to college, running and fitness turned into a social activity. Some of my best friends developed out of running club and kickboxing class.

Having fun together. Even in the rain.
After college when I got my first real stressful desk job running became my release. It was a mental break where I could let everything else go and just move.

And now I guess I exercise for all these reasons. My Dad was diagnosed with diabetes and then cancer in the same year. I exercise to avoid that fate. I work at home and spend a lot of time on the computer, so I need exercise both for the social interaction and mental break. I really like to eat, but I also want my pants to fit. A lot of days, the calorie burn is the biggest reason I get out the door. But, once I am out there, I have realized that I love it. I love the rush at the start of a race, when you are surrounded by thousands of other runners and huge crowd. I love quiet runs alone of crisp fall days. I love punching and kicking as hard as I can while pop music blasts in kickboxing class. I love setting goals and then accomplishing them. I love feeling myself get stronger.

What is your motivation?


I turned 35 in June. It's an age that felt both momentous and ominous to me. I'm not just an adult, I'm an ADULT. I've never...