Showing posts from 2013

A Christmas Surprise

I've had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas.

We spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at my Mom's on Southport Island. We enjoyed a lovely tromp through the woods and then feasted on crab dip and scallops fresh off the boat before heading to church for the candlelight service.

Christmas morning started with a furry little dog sniffing my face and begging for a tummy rub.

It was a beautiful morning, but even from my bed I could tell how cold it was outside because of the sea smoke on the water and the glistening ice everywhere.

After making coffee (priorities), we settled down to see what Santa brought. Santa brought me a new mooring ball for my boat! I bet none of you got a shiny new mooring ball!

And then I went for a chilly, but sunny, run. I love running on the island in the winter. I didn't see a single car and ran right smack in the middle of the road. 

But mostly, I spent my time staring and my hand and smiling because there is a very shiny new item on my finger. 

Tokyo Marathon Training Weeks 7-9

Week 7 Level 17

4 runs for a total of 25.32 miles in 3:57:30.
Longest Run: 1:40:00, 10 miles
Cross Training: 3:06 minutes of bootcamp, elliptical, and jump rope; 30 minutes of swimming, and 3 strenth workouts.
Felt: Pretty good. It was snowing wet, heavy snow during my long run and the roads were very slippery, so I headed to the Eastern Trail and the dirt path had much more traction.

Week 8 Level 18

4 runs for a total of 26.9 miles in 4:14:33 Longest Run: 2:15:20, 13.72 miles Cross Training: 4:05 minutes, 3 strength workouts Felt: This was my first long run that I really qualify as a "long run." I tried to push the pace the second half of the long run and really felt it. I had to serve a soup dinner and perform in a Christmas Concert that night, and got tasked with serving all the tables downstairs. My legs were toast after the long run, running up and down stairs, and standing for the concert. 
Week 9 Level 19
3 runs for 16.75 miles in 2:37:56 Longest Run: 1:20 minutes, 8.45 miles. Cro…

Decisions, Decisions

I am trying to make a big decision about my professional life and it has reminded me just how much I hate making big decisions.

I over-think everything and I totally let it turn me into a nervous wreck. I start to regret my decision even before I make it.

In the past I have started with making a pro and con list. At the very least this gives me something concrete to do and makes me feel like I am making some sort of progress towards making my decision.

Usually though, I just have some sort of gut feeling or sense of what is right for me and that ultimately makes my decision for me.

That magical decision making force is not coming to me this time though.

A part of me wants to stay with what is familiar and favor my personal life and relationships over my career. However, I also fear that this is just the voice of inertia. Change is scary. Am I just trying to avoid the unknown?

Another part of me wants a job that compels me again. I want to feel the spark again. I want to be out interacting w…

Does it Count?

So my bucking up was apparently short lived. I failed to do my long run outside this weekend.

Saturday I really didn't want to miss my boot camp class. Plus, it was about 2 degrees out, without the wind chill. I can make myself get out for a shorter, faster run in the cold. But the idea of being out there in that cold for 2-3 hours, is not appealing at all.

Sunday, I woke up to 12 inches of snow and it was still snowing heavily. It was also incredibly windy. Poor Dixie couldn't even get out the door to pee, no way was I going to be able to run. I did however manage to get my car out of the garage (thank God it is my week in the garage), up the hill on my unpaved road, and to the gym.

At the gym I faced 2 hours and 20 mins on the mill o' dread. I just couldn't bring myself to do it all on a single machine. So I did 30 mins on the stair stepper, followed by 1:20 on the treadmill, and then 30 minutes on the treadclimber. So I got all my time in, but I left feeling like I'…

Buck Up Buttercup

This morning I woke up and looked at the weather on my phone.

Then I looked outside and saw it had snowed again. Not a lot, but just enough to cover all the ice and make it extra dangerous on the sidewalks.

I almost went to the gym again. Tuesday when I woke up everything was covered in a layer of ice. It would have been dangerous to run outside. Even trying to scrape my windshield to drive to the gym I kept sliding away from my car. Yesterday, there was still some ice on the roads and I wanted to do speedword, so I hit the dreadmill again. 
But today I had a very stern conversation with myself. It went something like this. 
"It's cold." "You live in Maine. It's always cold in the winter." "It might be slippery." "The roads and shoulders are fine. Do you really want to run on the treadmill again?" "But...." (said in a very whiny voice) "Oh buck up buttercup. You ran a marathon in Antarctica. Just get the F out there."
I layered…

Volunteering for Boston

Look what I did yesterday........

I have always wanted to volunteer for Boston (since I will likely never be fast enough to run it), but I especially want to this year after last year's tragedy. I want to see this year's event be a huge triumph.

Want to join me? I set up a group so you want work the same station that I am. Just post a comment on this post and I will e-mail you the info to join my group.

Then, you can register on the BAA website.

Long Run Prep

I realized on Saturday morning that I may have a problem. I had all the stuff for my long run laid out a full 24 hours in advance. I had looked at the weather, knew the hourly forecast and picked all my clothing accordingly. I had my intervals programmed into my Garmin and my playlist on my i-pod. 

Is this normal? 
In one way it is great because it helps me have a relaxed morning pre-run and yet get out the door on time. On the other hand, it also gives me a lot of time to think about the run. To think about how long it is going to be. To think about how cold it is going to be. And then I start to dread it. 
During the week laying out my stuff the night before is essential because I don't have time to fuss with it and still get my run in before work. But, I can't tell if it is helping me or hurting me on the weekends.
Do you lay out your running stuff the night before? How long before your long run do you start thinking about it?


I love being right. I mean, who doesn't love right?

I've had this personal theory that rotating shoes is good for you. Different shoes put stress on different parts of the foot, so I figured this would help lower the likelihood of an overuse or stress injury. Turns out.... I was right!

I clicked onto Runner's World this morning and saw this headline.

Researchers in Luxembourg did a study using 264 runners over 22 weeks. 
-116 were single-shoe wearers; doing 91% of their mileage in the same shoe, and ran in an average of 1.3 pairs of shoes during the study.  -148 were classified as multiple-shoe wearers; runners in this group tended to have a main shoe, which they wore for an average of 58% of their mileage, but they rotated among an average of 3.6 pairs of shoes for their training during the study.
In the end they found that the multi-shoe wearers had a 39% lower risk of running injury than those who almost always ran in the same shoes.
Sweet! The scientists basically had the sam…

24 Days of Togetherness

My man is not a big fan of Christmas. I, on the other hand, love everything about it. So I am on a mission to convert him into a Christmas loving fool. Last year, I really wanted to do the 24 Days of Togetherness, but it was just a little too early on in our relationship. Now he's stuck with me though, so this year we are doing it!

What better way to enjoy the season than to do some special together everyday. We came up with 12 things together, and then each came up with 6 on our own, that will be a surprise to the other person.

We are on our 4th day and having a blast. Our very first one, the day after Thanksgiving, was the best. We had to take a funny Christmas photo. It was R's idea so I let him set up the scene.

He thought it was funny for me to wear a business suit, for him to wear little shorts, and for both of us to wear animal hats. Sometimes, I don't want to know what is happening in his mind.

Poor Dixie didn't know what was going on. At the end, I made him also t…

Tokyo Marathon Training Weeks 4-6

Time is flying by and it is time for another Tokyo training update. Plus I just ran a cold, snowy 10 miler and I am looking for any excuse to stay sitting on the couch with my coffee!

Week 4 Cut Back Week:The Level Up training plan that I am using recommends that you take a cut back week every 3 weeks, or 3 levels. So instead of progressing on to the next level, you take it easy for a week. The recommend that each of your runs is 50% of the run your completed in the last level. Instead, I am using them as both a physical break, and a mental break from following a plan. So, I will just be running whatever feels good during these weeks. This was a great week for a cut-back because I was in Nashville and ended up hurting my foot again.

4 runs for a total of 23.16 miles in 3:28:55Longest Run: 57:10 Cross Training Time: 3:59:00 + 2 strength workouts Felt: Injured. Working out barefoot on the elliptical and then running in brand new shoes without my orthotics was stupid. 
Week 5 Level 15

3 runs f…


Last night as I was falling asleep, I thought about my Thanksgiving and tears came to my eyes. I was just overcome with gratitude for such a wonderful day and such a wonderful life.

My gratitude started early in the day. The BF got up at 6 with me (even though he worked until 1 am!) to help me with the turkey. He knows I hate having to take out the giblets and other stuff inside the bird. Plus that sucker weighed 22 pounds and I could barely lift it into the roaster by myself! This just confirmed for me, yet again, that he is a keeper.

I was then so thankful (and amazed) to set a 4 mile PR in the Portland Thanksgiving Day 4 miler. I came down with a cold earlier in the week, it was a cold, very windy day, and the course is hilly, so I went in with no expectations. But it was one of those rare days for me where running just felt effortless. My chip time was 32:18 for an average pace of 8:05. My garmin had me at a 7:59 pace with a total distance of 4.12. This race was also extra special b…

Family Traditions

The generations in my family are spaced pretty far apart so I only remember meeting 1 of my great grandparents. So sometimes I wish that I had gotten to meet more of my older relatives.

This morning I was baking squash rolls, using my great-grandmother's recipe, and it came to me how pretty cool that was. Sure, I had a microwave and a kitchenaid mixer to help me, but I was still using the same recipe and following the same process that my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother have followed through the years. Even though my great-grandmother didn't teach me to make the rolls in person, I still have that connection to her.

I will also be using some of her dishes on my Thanksgiving table.

This week I am thankful for these connections to my family history. 
What family traditions do you have at Thanksgiving?

that time I slept 3 hours, shopped all morning, ate a boozy brunch, and then did a long run.

The weekend before Thankgiving all the women in my family, and some close friends, all gather at my Mom's. Friday night we head to Robinson's, the island restaurant (literally the only one), for dinner. It is only open on weekends during the off-season and pretty much the whole town is there. We socialize, dance, drink too much and stuff ourselves with seafood.  And they we stay up too late talking and playing music. Oh and did I mention that I usually choose to sleep in the boathouse. It has no heat, insulation, or running water in the winter, but the view can't be beat. I just pile on the blankets.

Saturday morning we drag our tired selves out of bed at 5 am and head into Boothbay Harbor for the early bird sale.  Luckily there is no need to get dressed because it is a shop in your PJ's event. Then we pretty much check out every store in the town, which are all offering huge discounts to clear out their stock before the close for the year. Everyone is wearing funky PJ&…

Do you Microwave?

Tuesday night I was cooking some sweet potatoes in the microwave when the microwave made some loud popping noises and then started to smoke and smell really terrible. We unplugged it, let it sit, and then tried it the next day. Same thing. So that's the end for my poor little microwave.

Three Things Thursday

I've been really struggling to come up with coherent and interesting ideas for a whole post lately. So, I will take advantage of 3 Things Thursday to just share 3 random things that are on my mind today.

1. I made such a good dinner last night that I already can't wait for left-overs for lunch. I can't believe it came out so well since I totally just made up a recipe and kept getting interrupted while I was cooking because I was on call.

I made baked squash with an apple cranberry stuffing. There were mushrooms, onions, rosemary, sage, and whole grain quinoa bread cubes in the stuffing too. Other than that don't ask me for more details.

2. I am starting to both get super excited and super stressed about Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. But this is my first year hosting it for a big crowd. I am running a race in the morning and have to have the meal ready early because the BF has to leave for work at 2:30. Plus, I am trying a new turkey roaster and I have no idea how it&…

Suffering is Optional

It's interesting doing my yoga teacher training and training for a marathon at the same time. My long runs give me a lot of time to ruminate over what I am learning in yoga training. I'm also realizing just how much the principles of yoga can be applied to everything else in life, but in my case especially to running. 

Yesterday I went to an awesome workshop, "Open Hips Open Heart Open Life." In trying to open up our hips we were holding deep poses for 3-5 minutes. For many of us, myself included, this was not always comfortable. In fact, sometimes was downright painful. But our teacher Larissa encouraged us to work through this, saying "Acknowledge this discomfort as part of the experience, but don't make it the whole experience."

This morning as my foot started to hurt during my long run this pearl of wisdom came back to me. Normally when something hurts during a run, that is all I can think about. I dwell on how much pain I am in and how I can't wa…

Eat and Run

I've had a bit of a crazy week. I got back from Nashville late, late Monday night and since then I've been trying catch up at work while also dealing with a sick dog, a Mom who had dental surgery, a flat tire and dead battery in my car, and organizing a volunteer event at the Ronald McDonald House.

So the name of the game this week was short, effective workouts and crock pot meals.

Tuesday morning, I dragged out the crockpot and the breadmaker and within 15 minutes had food cooking for the rest of the week.

In the crock pot I made my favorite vegetarian french onion soup.

I based it on this recipe from the New York Times. Except I made it even easier by making it in the crockpot. I added the onions and olive oil and cooked them on high for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Then I added the water, miso, thyme (also addded sage and rosemary), salt and pepper and cooked on low for 7 hours. Easy peasy!

In the bread maker I tried something new, quinoa bread!

I followed this recipe from Beau…

A Long Weekend in Nashville

I got to spend the long weekend in Nashville with my Mom, my aunt, and my cousin Lindsay. Lindsay has been down in Nashville for a few months doing a college internship at a natural dye and fabrics studio. We all love music and talked all summer and fall about going down together to visit, but never quite pulled it together until now.

I loved Nashville. It was easy to navigate, the people were so friendly, and there was BBQ and live music EVERYWHERE. The whole weekend was great, but here are the highlights for me.

-The Grand Old Oprey: This is an institution in Nashville and so many amazing musicians have gotten their start here. It was just the best atmosphere. We had popcorn and margaritas in our seats and we clapped and stomped our feet. They absolutely pack the 2 hour show with musicians. It totally inspired me as a musician. It is currently being held at the Ryman Auditorium Downtown, but we also went and walked around Opreyland. The hotel there is amazing!

-Seeing the extended fami…