Showing posts from January, 2014

International Race Series: Choosing a Race

I am about to run a marathon on my 5th continent. Tackling all 7 continents, or even just running one international marathon, is becoming more popular. I've learned quite a bit along the way about how to successfully and enjoyably run an international race.  So, I've decided to start an international race series to share this hard earned wisdom with you all.

Today we are going to tackle how to chose a race.

I would first consider what is is most important to you- running a particular race or running a race that fits into your current circumstances (calendar/budget/vacation time, etc)?

If you have a dream race, then the decision is easy. For example, for Antarctica I only had 1 choice. I picked the race first and then planned around that. For the rest, I've chosen based on the timing of the race, the amount of vacation time I have, and cost. I try to find a race that fits into my life at any given time.

When do you like to train? I hate training in the heat, so I try to run lat…


Yesterday morning when I was driving home from the gym I saw a few police cars heading towards me with their lights flashing and behind them were a few runners. Once I saw one of them carrying a wounded warriors flag, I realized that this was the guy who is running from Maine to the Super Bowl to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. 

I got so excited. I honked my horn and yelled out the window that he is an inspiration. He smiled and waved at me. I started to cry. 

I don't have any connection to him or to the Wounded Warrior Project. But I was just so inspired by this guy that I was overcome with emotion. I was driving home from the gym because I had thought it was too nasty out to run outside. But there he was running through the freezing rain. Conditions for this run have been far from optimal- it has been frigid with gusty winds pretty much everyday. Yet, this guy is running is running 50 miles a day! (He is aiming to cover the 500 miles in 10 days). WOW.

It makes me take a step b…

An Impromptu Run

I woke up this morning really wanting to run outside. I've been stuck in the gym since Tuesday because I didn't want to subject my poor sick lungs to the frigid air because they are under enough stress with all the coughing I've been doing. So I told myself if it was above 15 and not windy, I could go outside.

Well that was wishful thinking since I was up at my mother's house doing some wedding planning stuff for the night. She lives at the end of an island, basically at the end of the world, and it is ALWAYS windy. This weekend was especially windy, with 40-50 mph gusts. The sea was wild and things were flying everywhere. Plus there was a nasty layer of icy snow on top of the roads. So instead I had a lazy morning with my family and then got in the car to drive back to Portland.

When I got in my car the temperature said 15. I figured it could only get warmer as I headed inland and south. I figured wrong..... As I drove the temperature kept dropping by a degree. I was ho…

Sicky sicky

So that cold I though I somehow outran on my long run two weeks ago? It came back a week later and it's a sneaky little devil. Just when I think I've beat it, it comes roaring back.

Last Saturday I woke up with a scratchy throat. I went to my favorite Saturday boot camp and then did a treadmill run, but I was just not myself. I had NO energy. So I spent the rest of the day on the couch, drinking tea, and taking my zinc every 4 hours.

Sunday and Monday we had planned to go skiing and I didn't want to ruin those plans. I actually felt quite a bit better both days. My sore throat was getting better and my energy levels were higher.

So Tuesday, I figured I was okay to go for a run outside, even though it was only 4 degrees. I really wanted to try out my new hat and gloves. I felt okay during the run but during the day I felt progressively worse. It didn't help that we were getting the front door replaced, so it was frigid! Tuesday afternoon I started coughing a little. By Tue…

The Right Time

Back in December, I was struggling with a job decision. I deliberated and deliberated, but just couldn't make up my mind. I felt like I had no good options. I ended up taking the path of least resistance and just continued on with things as they were. I didn't necessarily think it was the right choice, but I just couldn't figure out what the right choice was.

And now a month later, suddenly things are clear to me. I have this gut instinct and I am ready to go with it. Nothing has changed really, but I am ready to make a real decision now. I am no longer feeling like I am being ruled by the fear of change. Instead, I just know now what is the best choice for me.

It's strange how the world works like that. It is like everything just aligned perfectly for me right now and I am ready for change. As a logical, analytic person I want to think that the world is always pretty cut and dried. A decision should be made based on reason. But, I am having to accept that it isn't t…


I have always loved skiing, but this winter I am loving it more than ever. Of course, I love the actual skiing, but this year I am loving even more that it gets me away from my computer and work, away from wedding planning, away from marathon training, and allows me to spend quality time with my fiance.

I tend to live life at full speed. I have a very hard time taking any downtime for myself. I feel like I always need to be doing something. Skiing lets me feel like I am doing something, and yet relaxing at the same time. It just just enough concentration to keep my mind off other things, but also lets my mind take a break.
It also satisfies my need to do some sort of exercise every day, but lets my body recover from the high impact stuff I do every other day.  
My phone rarely works, and even if I have a signal, it usually freezes after a few minutes and dies anyway. It is good to unplug. 
Plus, no digital distractions means fiance and I actually have to talk to each other on the lift. 

In Sickness and in Health

No, this is not going to be another wedding related post. Despite the fact that many of my recent posts have been wedding related, I promise this isn't going to turn into a wedding blog.

Long Run Mistakes (and a couple good decisions too!)

I had a 19 miler long run scheduled for this weekend. As usual, I started worrying about it last Monday. And yet, knowing it was coming did not stop me from making some poor decisions before the run.

-Tuesday I decided to run in the trail shoes that have given me blisters EVERY SINGLE time I've worn them. But it was slippery and I haven't run in them for a year and half or so, so I was hoping they would work out. They did not. I got a string of blisters along the arch of my left foot. Every time I wore sneakers this week they were irritated again and hurt as soon as I put my shoes on today.

-I ate popcorn for dinner last night. We went to the movies at 6:30 (saw August: Osage County- intense and dark, but really good!) so I ended up making a small popcorn my dinner. I woke up starving and super thirsty. But, I didn't want to eat or drink too much before I ran so I was hungry and thirsty my whole run. 
-Only bringing 1 water bottle. I really hate carrying water so I just broug…

About that ring

I have never been a big jewelry person (except earrings which I love) because I always feel like it gets in my way. I especially never wore rings because I hated the way they felt on my fingers.

But now I have this gorgeous new engagement ring and I obviously want to wear it all the time.

But just to give you a clue about how ignorant I am when it comes to rings, I had to Google which hand to wear my engagement ring on.

So I am wondering how you all handle your ring when it comes to working out.

I have already discovered that my fingers swell during long runs, so I have to leave it at home for that. Also, it is not comfortable mushed into my ski mittens (plus I don't think constantly pulling my hand in and out of the mitten is good for the antique stetting). The ring stays home on ski days. For most gym activities, like boot camp or cardio, it seems fine. But it did bother me while lifting, so I carefully put it in my back pocket.

Do you wear your ring(s) all the time? Or, if you don&#…

An Engagement Story

Work continues to be crazy busy and running continues to be difficult because it is constantly freezing/snowing/sleeting. So, I have nothing positive or interesting to say about either. I feel like on a Tuesday of a cold, cold, week we could all use a little positivism, so how about an engagement story?

First of all, I was never that girl that couldn't wait to get married. I didn't start planning my wedding a little girl. Honestly until recently, I didn't care if I ever got married. Then, I met the right guy. Suddenly, I was one of those sappy, wedding crazy people that I used to hate. I was putting pressure on the BF to propose pretty heavy all fall.

About a week before Christmas I was in the midst of some job drama and having a pretty terrible week. He made it even worse when he sat me down and said "I know you are hoping for a ring for Christmas, but I am just not ready. I don't want you to get your hopes up and then be disappointed." Well I was and I couldn…

No Resolution Resolution

I've been bombarded with posts and articles and news stories about New Year's resolutions. I was feeling pressured to set some myself, but I literally didn't even have any time to think about what they should be and sit down and write them down.

Life is crazy right now. Work is super busy; I'm training for the Tokyo Marathon; and I am trying to plan a wedding in less than 8 months.

I think I have enough on my plate.

So I am giving myself a pass on the resolutions. Instead, I am resolving to try and stay sane. I want to enjoy the wedding planning. I don't want to work to give me tension headaches everyday. I want to relax and enjoy my time in Japan.

This means:
-Reminding myself daily that I don't have to plan the whole wedding this month.
-Reminding myself that I am only human at work. I can only do what I can do and I shouldn't feel like the world will collapse if I miss a deadline.
-Doing one thing at a time. Dedicate myself to that task instead of trying to do …

Wrapping Up 2013

Woah, 2013 ended in a crazy whirl for me.

We went to my Aunt's in MA the Sunday before Christmas to do Christmas with my Mom's side of the family, I got engaged on Christmas Eve morning, we went up to my Mom's Christmas Eve Day and Christmas morning, I worked 13 hours Thursday 12/26, we did Christmas with the fiance's (I still get a thrill saying that) family on Friday, and then left early Saturday morning for 4 days in Quebec.

Oh and did I mention that we have decided to get married August 16th so I am also trying to plan a wedding?

Although packing up all our stuff and leaving the country when there was so much to do at home seemed like a hassle, it turned out to be the best possible thing. We had no phones or internet, so it forced us to take some down-time. It was absolutely frigid, but we still managed to fit in 2 full day of Alpine skiing and a 1/2 day of Nordic skiing, thanks to many, many layers of clothing, electric boot heaters, and hand warmers.

The skiing was f…