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Showing posts from April, 2013

Boston One Fund 5k

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There are times when I am so proud and honored to be part of the running community that it brings me to tears. Last night was one of those nights. I ran in the Boston One Fund 5k, organized by the Maine Running Company.

When I first saw the race announced I almost didn't sign up because I don't really like to run at night. And then I thought about it again and told myself to get over myself. This is a race to honor and raise money for Boston victims. I am privileged to be able to run, even if it isn't my preferred time of day.

The race was held on one of my favorite trails, a dirt loop around Back Bay. It was the perfect night- warm, sunny, with a nice refreshing breeze.


There were lots of people in Boston gear and we took a moment to honor all those who ran in this year's race at the start.


Most movingly, there were 2 people who were injured. Hearing their stories made the horror even more real to me.

The whole race was pretty informal, and right before the start someone s…

Tri for the Y Swim Clinic

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Somehow the triathlon  that I thought of as months away is now just weeks ago. All that swimming I was going to do this winter? That coaching I was going to get? Yeah, that didn't happen.

So when I found out that the Tri for the Y was offering a free swim clinic before the race I pounced. And then when it fell on a Friday night after a terrible work week, I considered skipping it and going to happy hour instead. But I used my good sense for once to convince myself to go to the clinic.


The clinic was held at the Freeport Y (which is way nicer than Portland BTW). We spent the first 30 minutes in a conference room where they described the logistics of the swim (divided into heats by projected time, 2 swimmers per lane, 325 yrds.) I really wished I'd gone last year, my first year doing the race, because it made everything super clear.

Then it was time to hit the pool. They had us all swim a few laps while they analyzed our strokes. I was shocked that they said my stroke was generally…

DIY Friday: Driftwood Key Rack

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I don't know if it is spring, or the fact that the BF is moving in, or what, but I am majorly nesting lately. I have  a million and half things that I suddenly decided I want to do to my house. A lot of them I either can't afford to do, or don't have the skills/time to do, so I decided to start small.

I am forever losing my keys. So I hung a single stick-on hook by the door. But I had outgrown my hook. I had not just my car keys, but my house key I take running, my extra car keys, keys to BF's car and house, and of course his keys too. I needed a key rack.

At Easter I was walking on the shore at my Mom's house and found some cool pieces of driftwood. I asked myself what I could do with them and the wheels started turning- key rack!

This was the easiest DIY project ever. I let the driftwood dry in the sun for a week.


I bought some little screw hooks. I used a ruler to measure so my 4 hooks would be equally spaced (this was the hardest part, I was having a major unable t…

Gratitude

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With all of the horror and sadness last week, I am trying to take time this week to focus on the positive. Truly, I have so many wonderful things in my life and I don't stop to appreciate them nearly often enough.
Here are the things I am most grateful for this week.

1. My boyfriend. I don't really talk a lot about our relationship on the blog because this is a running/healthy living (or something like that, is it bad I don't really have more a focus for my blog??), but it is wonderful. I have never had a relation that felt so natural, easy, and wonderful. I love this guy. It's the first time I have ever felt like this about anyone, and it's pretty darn amazing. I am turning in a romantic schmuck. In fact, we recently made the decision to move in together and I can't wait.

2. Dixie dog. The dog came with the boyfriend and I love having her in my life. Because of his crazy schedule, I get to have her a lot. It gets lonely working at home alone all day and it seems …

Run for Peace Marathon

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“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” 
― Mahatma GandhiThe Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas


I woke up Friday morning to the news of the massive manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers. It was surreal watching the live video of Watertown. I used to live not far from there and I saw many familiar sites. All day I refreshed my facebook page frequently making sure that my friends who were on lock-down were still okay. It all seemed like it should be a movie or a terrible dream.

When they finally captured the bomber, I cheered along with the rest of the country. As angry as I was, I was glad they got him alive. First of all, I want answers. I want to understand why he did what he did. Secondly, I didn't want more violence or death.

I think that the best way we can move forward from this tragedy is with a mission of peace, camaraderie, and support for the wounded. Thi…

Chile Day 5: Celebrating a Birthday in Santiago

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Wednesday was our last day in Chile and it was also R's birthday! I woke him up at 2 am (the time he was born), to sing Happy Birthday. He told me to shut up and go back to sleep. Rude. 

When we woke up later that morning, I did a quick workout in the gym and then we had a leisurely breakfast. I already miss the fresh strawberry juice, buffet of fresh fruit, perfectly cooked eggs, and giant bowl of warm manjar (caramel) to drizzle on my toast! I went a little crazy with the manjar because it was the last day.



We took some time to pack up and check out, leaving our suitcases with the hotel for the day. Our first stop was the local craft market just a couple blocks down from our hotel for some souvenirs. We took our time wandering the market. There were a lot of alpaca products, from socks, to sweaters, to hats. There were also a lot of metal crafts, from earrings, to decorative plates, to wall plaques. I dragged poor R to look at a million pairs of earrings that basically all looked …

Chile Day 4: Valparaiso

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Tuesday morning we were pretty tired from the marathon day of hiking, but we roused ourselves to go to Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a city on the ocean that is a Unesco world heritage site and we heard great things about it.
We navigated the metro much more smoothly than on Saturday and bought our bus tickets also without issue. We used Turbus, and I would highly recommend it. The tickets were only $6, the bus was very clean, we had assigned seats, and they even played a movie. 
Our good luck ended when we got to Valparaiso. It was cloudy and cold and we were dressed for a warm summer day. Our first mission was to find sweatshirts. Secondly, the area around the bus station was pretty sketchy. We followed the directions the guy at the tourism booth in the station gave us to "the tourist district," but it never got any nicer.
The streets were narrow, crowded, loud, and dirty. We didn't feel safe and we never found anything good to do. We couldn't get near the ocean, and we c…

Reflections on Boston

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This one hits close to home. I was born and raised in New England. I grew up going to the Boston Marathon with my parents during our April vacation. I went to college just outside Boston. I lived in Boston after college. I worked on the marathon course. I biked the marathon course several years early in the morning before the race. I am a runner. I was at the finish line last year. I have friends who were running and spectating yesterday.

So I feel like I should say something, and yet I don't know what to say.

I can't make sense of this. I don't understand why this happened.

And so the only thing I could do this morning was go for a run. That is what runners to do when they need to grieve, to think, or to celebrate. Which is why I know that this horrible event will not affect the future of the Boston Marathon.

I ran to my favorite point that has a view of Portland Head Light, Casco Bay, and the open Atlantic. I stopped and looked out at the ocean and thought of the victims. Pl…

Chile Day 3: Glacier Hike and Hot Springs

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Spoiler alert....... I got my full South American marathon after all!!!!!
We had booked a hot spring and glacier tour through Eco Chile for Monday. We tried to do most of this trip on our own on the cheap, but we also wanted to get put of the city and see the mountains, so we decided to splurge on one guided tour for a glacier and hot springs adventure.
Our guide, Mario, pick us up bright and early at our hotel and we headed south out of Santiago. The highway soon turned to a narrow twisting back road with a sharp drop off down to the river. The towering mountains we saw from the city we now right around us. We stopped in San Jose de Maipo, a little village, to buy lunch. We got empanadas at the bakery, water and cookies at the market, and apples and avocados at the fruit sand, before heading off again. Soon the road turned into a dirt track and we completely left all signs of civilization. We were in an SUV, but we were bouncing all over the road. There were a lot of trucks coming from…

Chile Day 2: Race Day!

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I woke early on race morning with my stomach churning. I thought that since I had dropped down to the half, that I wouldn't be. Wrong-o. I think it was a combination of not being able to officially switch to the half, not having as much time to acclimate as planed, and being in a foreign country. I had everything laid out and ready to go. Until the 26.2 with Donna, I had no technical difficulties. My garmin and i-pod were full charged. I heard that pretty much everyone in the race wears the official race shirt, but I didn't want to try anything new. 




I had brought peanut butter from home for my traditional pre-race breakfast, but then couldn't find it. So I had a bowl of oatmeal instead and tried not to be too jealous of R's bacon, eggs, and pastries. After a quick pit stop back in the room, we were off. 

I picked our hotel somewhat randomly, but the location was awesome. It was about 4 blocks from the entry chute. I got a little confused at the chutes and ended up in th…

Chile Day 1

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The trip got off to a rough start when our flight was delayed from 9 pm Thursday night until 8 am Friday morning. But we rolled with the punches and got a few hours of sleep at the hotel American provided in Dallas before heading back to the airport early Friday morning. I tried not to sleep too much that night because I really wanted to sleep through a lot of the 10 hour flight. Not so much. I slept for maybe 2 hours and then played a lot of Candy Crush.


We finally got to Chile around 8 pm Friday night. We were at the front of the customs line, but then found out you had to pay the entry fee in a separate window, and then go to customs. By the time we waited in the fee line, paid, and then went back to customs, the line went on forever. So we were a little tired and grumpy as we headed to the hotel. It was Friday night and Santiago was hopping. There were people and cars everywhere. It was a little overwhelming given how exhausted we were, so we decided to call it a night once we got …

In Chile they never get chilly....

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In elementary school we used to sing this silly little song in music class and for some reason I still remember the line, "In Chile they never get chilly." It looks like that's going to be true. Here's the forecast for our time there. 

Since it's been about 30 and windy at home for the last week, I am more than ready for some time by the pool in the warm sunshine. I am not however to run when it is 82 degrees out. Naturally race day is going to be the warmest day. I have not done a single run in months and months where it was above 45.

This makes me feel especially glad that I am only doing the half. I think the heat would really destroy me if I were doing the full. But at the same time I am starting to second guess my decision to only do the half. I mean I ran the full in freaking Antarctica, couldn't I do the same in Chile? I am blowing all my frequent flier miles, taking time off work, and spending 30 hours travelling there and back- shouldn't I do the f…

Coconut Lime Chicken Soup

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I mentioned in my foodie pen pal reveal that Cheryl sent me awesome recipe for Coconut Lime Chicken Soup. It is so good, so easy, and so adaptable to different dietary constraints, that I just had to share!




Ingredients


6 ounces dried flat rice noodles3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced6 tablespoons lime juice (from 3 limes)3 tablespoons fish sauce2 teaspoons light-brown sugar1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (if you like it hot. I skipped this)3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
Directions


Soak rice noodles according to package instructions; drain. 
In a large pot, bring broth and ginger to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.
Add coconut milk to broth and return to a simmer. Add chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, jalapeno, …

Running it Out

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I try to keep religion out of my blog because I know it can be a polarizing topic, but I can't stop thinking about the sermon at the Easter service I went to yesterday. The topic was "Walking with God." The gist of it was that you need time each day to just walk with God. You do not need to go to God with a specific message or request, rather this is a time to "walk it out." This is a time to sift through all the thoughts in your head and have time to process time and make sense of them.


This totally resonated with me because this is what running is for me. I run it out. I run first thing in the morning and it is when I allow all my random thoughts to come to the surface. It gives me time to honor each of these thoughts and then organize them and put them away before I start my day. As a result, I start the day feeling calm and like my life is orderly. Of course, usually each day brings something to mess up this calm and order, but then I have my next run to res…