Showing posts from 2014

Top 5 of 2014

I can't believe it is the last day of 2014. This year flew by! Yet when I look back at the year, so much happened. This was a BIG year. Here's my top 5 events from the year (in chronological order).

1) Going to Japan and running the Tokyo Marathon.

Although the race was pretty awful because I was sick, I gutted it out and finished. That marked my 5th continent as complete! I absolutely loved Japan and was thankful to get to experience both the craziness of Tokyo and the quiet of the mountains.

Also, I got to eat a LOT of noodles.

2. Becoming a certified yoga teacher. 
I learned so much about yoga and myself during the teacher training. As a runner and a naturally anxious person, yoga is essential for both my physical and mental well-being. It is a blessing to be able to pass this onto my students.
3. Getting a puppy
At the beginning of June, Rory convinced me to go look at a puppy he had found on a rescue site. I couldn't say no to this little ball of fur, and so Sushi bec…



A Need for Speed

I have to be honest and admit that doing speed work usually falls by the wayside when I am marathon training. The primary reason for that is that I train all winter for a spring race and so the track is covered in snow! Plus, I put the focus on my long runs and overall mileage.

If I am forced inside by weather, I will do speed work on the treadmill but it just doesn't feel the same to me. On the track (or the straight, flat stretches of the greenbelt) I run by feel and so I can better evaluate my fitness. I usually surprise myself by going faster than I expected. On the treadmill, I feel like I limit myself by thinking I can only handle certain speeds.

After 2 nasty rainstorms, all of our snow is gone. So when I was driving back from the gym this morning and saw the clear track, I figured it was a great chance to get some speed work.

Other than being very under-dressed for the cold, it was great! I did a ladder session 1200, 800, 400, 200, 100. I thought I'd start with a 9 min…

New Zealand Training Weeks 4-6

I can't believe it is already time for my second training update. Time is flying! In general that is, when I am actually running time doesn't seem to move very quickly.

Here is what I have been up to the past few weeks:

WeekMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySundayTotal Run4Run 6 Swim 1 hrMetabolic 1 hrRun 6 RaceStep 1 hr, strengthMetabolic 45m XT 30mRun 7 + 625.15Run 6 XT 1 hrRun 4.3, XT 20mMetabolic 1hrRun 3, Step 45mMetabolic 45m XT 30mRun 6.1119.36Kickboxing 1 hr, StrengthRun 5.4Run 3.3 XT 30mRun 13Step 45m, StrengthMetabolic 45m Run 2.2Metabolic 45, Run 3.227
Notes: Week 5 was a cut-back week, which is why my running mileage is so low. My plan didn't have any built in, but I know that I need (both mentally and physically) a week with no long run once a month.The weather has not cooperated. We have had so much snow and ice that it hasn't been safe to run outside quite a few times. This is a bummer because a) it means I have to get up 40 minutes earlier to ge…

My Favorite Holiday Traditions

I can't believe Christmas is only 10 days away! This month is flying by, but I've still managed to get in a lot of my favorite holiday traditions.

Here is what I've knocked off the list so far:

1. Getting our tree and decorating the house. I love hunting for the perfect tree and then pulling out all of our decorations. It is like a wonderful walk down memory lane each year as we unwrap all our ornaments and decorations.

2. Holiday Crafting! My inner crafter really comes out this time of year. This year I made an ornament for Sushi's (the dog, not the food) first Christmas. Painting is not my strength, but I really think I captured her underbite and scruffy face,

3. A mini-gift exchange with my husband. I got this idea from the 25 Days of Together that Tina at Carrots N Cake does each year with her husband. Basically we go to a store together and we have $10 and 10 minutes to get each other a gift. The price and time limit is a fun challenge and it is always interesting …

Random Rant Thursday

Why don't they make special compression socks for short people??

I wore my compression socks yesterday to work and again today for my long run and I was reminded of how annoying it is that they don't fit correctly.

I have very short legs, so the socks are too long for me. I either have to pull them up over my knees, which is uncomfortable and starts to chafe the backs of my knees. Or, I have to bunch them up under at the top of calves. The multiple layers of fabric then cuts off circulation to my legs.

What silly thing is driving you nuts?

Hot and Not

Do you remember that old website where you looked at a picture and judged the person as hot or not? I have no idea why I was thinking about that the other day, but I was, and so I decided to make it the theme of today's post. Here is what is hot (and not) in my world.

Trader's Joes Cheddar with Caramelized Onions. This stuff is amazing (and highly addictive).

Not Hot
The weather. It is only early December and we have already had multiple ice storms, with another doozy predicted for tomorrow. I am trying to train for a marathon here Mother Nature! I can deal with the cold and the snow, but I can't run on sheer ice!

Coach Jenny's Holiday Challenge. This is the 3rd year I've done this challenge, which encourages you to move more during the month of December by setting a weekly goal and posting updated with your status throughout the week. I am really good (maybe too obsessive) about getting my workouts in, but I still find this group really helpful. Mostly it insp…


Sorry, that things have been a little quite around here lately. It's been an interesting fall. In September I lost my job and I've spent the fall both job hunting, working temporary part-time jobs, and doing some serious soul searching about what I want from my life.

While I didn't hate my career, I didn't love it either. Mostly, I was tired of sitting in front of a computer ALL the time. I'm an active person and I like personal interaction. I want to be up and moving and interacting with people face to face. I've always wanted a job that I feel passionately about.

At the same time, I was scared to start over. It's a hard thing to give up a career that pays well and that you've invested a decade in. Sometimes I think life knows when you need a little push and gives it to you. Being laid off was the push I needed.

In September I applied to nursing school. This fall I took Anatomy & Physiology (a prerequisite for the program) and waited to hear back. …

Portland Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler

I've done a Thanksgiving day race every year for the past 15 years, so I've experienced a lot of different weather conditions, but this was my first race in a significant amount of snow. 

Mother Nature dumped 6-12 inches of wet snow on Maine on Wednesday. Because of the storm, they moved packet pickup to earlier in the day. I went as soon as it opened, but there were still already 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground. As I walked across the parking lot, in my parka, hat, and boots, with snow pelting my face I caught the eye of another runner. We just shook our heads at each other and smiled. To run in the winter in Maine you have to be a little crazy. 

By Thanksgiving morning the snow had stopped and we were left with a beautiful snowy landscape. It was the first time our puppy, Sushi, was in a significant amount of snow and she just loved it. I laughed so hard as I watched her go nuts in the snow. She was rolling, running, digging, and throwing snow. Eventually I had to drag the…

New Zealand Training Weeks 1-3

I just completed my first 3 weeks of Marathon Training using a modified Doug Kurtis Intermediate Plan. Last year, while training for Tokyo, was the first time I did regular training updates and I really liked it. Taking the time to look back at my log and review my training really helped build my confidence, so I am going to do it again!

Here's a summary of my training plan so far.
WeekMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySundayTotal Run1Run 7.16Run 5.21 TrackRun 5.8Metabolic 1hrStep 1 hr, strengthMetabolic 45m XT 30mMetabolic 45, XT 40m18.62Run 5.07Spin 1hr, StrengthRun 5.33 TrackRun 6+6Swim 45mMetabolic 45m XT 30mMetabolic 45, Run 3.225.633Run 6 PaceSpin 1hr, StrengthRun 6Metabolic 1hrRun 12OFFMetabolic 45, Run 327.66
Notes and Thoughts on Training
I love the track sessions, which is a shock to me! It is so fun to do something different than steady running. The sessions I've done so far have been: 4 x 800 meter with 200 meter rest and a ladder - 400m / 800m / 1200m with 4…

What This Runner Wants For Christmas

Hi Friends! I try not to start the Christmas talk too early, but since next week is Thanksgiving, I figure it is time! Plus, I want to give Santa and his elves plenty of shopping time!

The R8 Massager

I tried this thing at a race expo two years ago and I've been wanting it ever since. It is the best self massage tool I've ever tried. It applies a lot of pressure and gets really deep (if you want it to, it's adjustable). It's just so darn expensive- I haven't been able to justify getting it for myself.


I jumped on the Nuun bandwagon a little late because I'd never had success with drinking anything except water while running. But now I am a convert! The electrolytes really help me feel better on longer runs, and because there isn't any sugar or carbs, it doesn't upset my stomach!


All of my running socks are looking a little saggy and starting to bunch under my feet when I run. Socks make a great stocking stuffer! I like the Wrightsock Stride, whi…

Best Date Night Ever

Last night the hubby and I went on the best date night ever. We checked out the new trampoline park Get Air. It was so much fun!

As a former gymnast, I knew I'd have no problem amusing myself on trampolines for an hour, but I worried the husband might get bored. I didn't have to worry- they had a lot of different things to do. There were foam pits to jump in, trampoline basketball and dodgeball, slack lines, and a ninja style obstacle course. The hubby particularly liked launching himself into the foam. 
Not only was it a blast, but it was a workout! We were both sweating and breathing heavily within minutes. I am also REALLY sore today!
Plus, it's nice to know that at 30, I've still got skills!

This was such a fun, different thing to do for a date night. I can't wait  to go back. 
*This is not a sponsored post and I am not affiliated with Get Air (although if they want to offer me some free jumping for this awesome review, I'd gladly accept)
Have you ever been to …

Three Things Thursday

Hi Friends! Happy Thursday! Here's a few random things happening in my world today.

1. I made it until November running in shorts and a t-shirt, but I've finally had to pull out the tights and long sleeve t's. This morning I went to put on a pair of tights that I haven't worn since last year and as I was walking out the door I noticed there was a huge hole in the butt! Luckily, I noticed before I was out running! I don't remember that hole from last year and they've just been in a tub in my closet so I am not sure how that happened!

2. Today is my first double run of my marathon training. I did 6 this morning and I will do 6 again this evening.

3. I had something containing beets and I didn't hate it! I tried this new juice, iQ, we got at work yesterday and it is so good. Typically I don't waste calories on juice, unless it is fresh squeezed, but this tastes like fresh.  I was good and only drank half the bottle yesterday (2 servings per bottle) and I a…


Like a lot of ladies out there I am on an eternal quest for a sports bra that is comfortable, supportive, and doesn't chafe. After hearing a lot of good things about Luluemon's tata tamer, I finally caved and splurged on one.

I've had it for almost 2 years and I always just thought it was okay. It was decently supportive and only chafed on really long runs. But, the shoulder straps always drove me nuts. They slid down, even when I had them tight. Plus, most of my tanks are racer back and so I couldn't wear the bra under them.

Then, this past weekend as I was taking it out of the wash, I noticed that one of the straps had become disconnected. I had never realized you could disconnect the straps and make it into a crossback.


Now, I love this thing! It feels so much more supportive and it fits so much more nicely under my tanks!

And I feel like an idiot for taking so long to realize this!

What is your favorite sports bra? Have you ever had an aha moment about somethi…

It's official!

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

I am now officially registered for a marathon on my 6th continent!

When it looked like the best time to head to New Zealand was going to be February or March, I started looking at races. I ended up choosing the Bayleys Mountain to Surf Marathon primarily based on the date, but also because it is a road race (there were a lot of trail marathons), not an ultra (there were a lot of those too), and it supposed to be really scenic. Luckily, my husband is awesome and didn't mind planning our honeymoon around my race.

It is a point to point course that starts in Egmont National Park and ends at the ocean in Waitara. It's also a small race, which will be a nice change after the mass of people at Tokyo.

I started training this week and can't wait until February when we head to New Zealand!

Rowing for Runners

Last night I went to a great into to rowing workshop at Maine Running Company.

I was excited when I saw the sign-up on their Facebook page because I've hopped on a rower at the gym quite a few times but never really knew what I was doing. I never felt like I was getting a great workout and I usually ended up with a sore back, so I knew I was doing something wrong! Here are the top 5 things I learned. 

1. Rowing is more of a pushing motion than pulling. Most of the force for your stroke should come from your legs, not your arms. The pull comes at the very end of the stroke after your legs are fully extended. I had been using my upper-body way too early and too much, which probably contributed to my back soreness.

2. Your resistance should be set at 3-4 to simulate endurance running. I always cranked my resistance all the way up thinking that would provide the best workout. Higher resistance is good for short, strength building workouts, while lower resistance is better for longer, en…

We are...... Penn State

Boy, I am not anxious to spend any time in the car anytime soon. I spent more than 18 hours in the car this weekend....... all for a football game!

My Dad, a huge Penn State fan, convinced Rory and me to accompany him to a game. My parents got their PhDs at Penn State and as a result I was born there accidentally because I couldn't wait until the end of semester! So I was also returning to my city of birth.

The first thing I discovered is that is gets lighter a lot later there than in Maine. I didn't want to deal with the dark, the rain, and a busy street with no sidewalk. So I headed to the gym and the dreadmill. Apparently they were trying to make us think we were vacationing on a tropical island because it was 88 degrees in the gym. Gross.

But, I was glad I'd gotten a run in because the next stop was the diner for grilled stickies. They take an already delicious, gooey cinnamon bun and make it even better by grilling it with butter. It was so worth the wait and we got s…