Friday, February 22, 2013

New Boots!

It’s sad how excited I am about new boots.  Let me just lay it all out there.  I am in no way a fashionista.  If you were to look into my closet, you wouldn’t see any of the “fall fashion trends” or “spring must-haves”, unless you meant the ones from three years ago.  Yes, I like to look nice, but I also like to be comfortable.  That means when I find something I like, I tend to stick with it.  For years.  Anyways, this is true of my footwear as well.  Even though I grew up in one of the snowiest places in the U.S., I never owned a good pair of winter boots.  Sometime in college, I purchased Uggs, thinking they would work just fine.  And I must admit, they’ve lasted at least 5 years, so I can’t complain too much.  However, a few days after Nemo wrecked havoc on my city and my boots, this happened…


Just in case you couldn’t see clearly, here’s a closer look…


That’s a hole in my boot!  Luckily, it was the kick in the pants I needed to finally purchase real snow boots.  I searched and googled, and read review after review.  Finally, I found these babies...


Sorel Women's Caribou

I found an amazing deal, and with Zappos VIP program, those beauts were on my doorstep less than 24 hours later.  I actually ordered 2 sizes because I wanted to make sure they fit, since there is apparently another storm looming this weekend.  I can send the other pair back free of charge too!  (If you are not a Zappos VIP member,you are seriously missing out!  Plus it’s completely free!)  Whether this coming winter storm is as big as the weathermen say it will be or not, I am ready (for once)!

*Edited to add: The storm wasn’t much of a storm, but the boots sure kept my feet toasty warm and dry!


Today I ran for the first time in far too long!  I’ve been on winter break for the week and kept telling myself I had to do it while I actually had the time.  Wednesday I spent the morning at appointments, and by the time I got home, had lost my motivation.  Yesterday, I slept in and then made the excuse that I wouldn’t have time before I had to get ready for a lunch date (such a lie).  Finally today, I got all the motivation I needed at the OB/GYN.  My doctor was doing the typical exam and kept making comments about how healthy I was (taking into account things like my height and weight, muscle tone, etc). All I could think was how much of a lie that was considering not only my recent eating habits, but my activity level.  I used to run daily and now the most running I do each week is at our Saturday football game.  I knew that if I didn’t want to feel like a fraud the next time I saw her, I had to make a change.  So I did…


I knew I needed to start out easy since this was my first run in so long, but I also wanted to push myself.  I remembered seeing an interval workout on months ago.  After a few minutes searching her site, I found it.  I decided it’d be a nice challenge because it included five, 5-minute cycles of “fast running, steady jogging, and slow jogging” followed by 2 minutes of walking.  Let me tell you, Sarah wasn’t lying when she said you’d be praying for the fifth interval to end.  The first one or two intervals of each five minute interval were challenging, but by the last interval before the break, I was always counting down the seconds until I could walk!  It was intense! It probably didn’t help that many of the short 10-second sprint portions just happened to be UP inclines! 


In 45 minutes, including a 5 minute warm-up and 5 minute cool-down, I covered exactly 4.5 miles.  The “run” portion included 4 minutes, 10 seconds of sprinting, 8 minutes, 20 seconds of steady jogging, and 12 minutes, 30 seconds of slow jogging.   It also included 10 minutes of walk breaks.  Not a bad distance to cover when you look at the breakdown, and definitely a good workout to break back into the sport.  I am looking forward to doing it again soon.  Just going to make sure I plan the route better so I don’t spend the 10 second sprints on inclines again!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

It’s been a while…

It’s been over a year since my last blog post!  So much for weekly updates on my goals, keeping a journal of my year, and whatever else my intentions were.  Looking back on my goals for 2012, I only (if you’re not a stickler) reached one.  While I could beat myself up over it, I’m choosing not to.

My goals for 2012 were:

Goal #1: Run one race a month. I actually started out really strong with this goal.  I ran a race every month until August.  I recruited a good friend of mine, Corey, to run most races with me. 

Race Collage

Corey and I ran a 5k in January, February, and June together.  We ran in the Urban Iditarod with some friends in March.  I conned a new running friend into his first 5k in April, and in May I ran the Zombie 5k on a Saturday, and Tough Mudder on Sunday.  In July, after burning myself to a crisp at the beach, I ran my first solo race of the year.  Things were looking strong, and then August rolled around.  Between moving, a week spent traveling across the West Coast, a dodgeball tournament in Vegas, my best friend’s wedding, and heading back to school, an August race just didn’t happen.  Before I knew it, school took over my life (and still is) and I didn’t run another race for the rest of 2012.  While I am disappointed I stuck to this goal for 7 months, I know that I did what I could at the time. 

Goal #2: Break 24 minutes in the 5k. So as I said earlier, I technically broke the 24 minute mark, but it wasn’t a full 5k.  So I feel like I did something in 2012, I’m counting this one as reached (although I will definitely be attempting this again at some point)!

Frozen 5k

Goal #3: Break 2 hours in the half-marathon. I didn’t even run a half-marathon in 2012!  Most of the races I completed were 5ks.  The longest race I ran was the Tough Mudder, and in all honesty, I am okay with that.  The first half of the year was incredibly busy with things outside of school, and the second half was completely engrossed with the new school year.  Training for a half marathon, without half-assing it like I’ve done so many times before, wasn’t happening. 


Goal #4: Complete a marathon. Hahaha.  Does registering for the lottery for NYC count?  Considering my longest run of the year was the 10ish miles run at Tough Mudder, this obviously didn’t happen.  I am hoping this will happen in 2013 at the NYC Marathon.  This past year was my third time entering the lottery and being denied.  Under the guaranteed entry option, I was supposed to have reserved my spot in the 2013 race.  However, after Hurricane Sandy and the cancellation of the marathon in October, that may not be an option anymore.  I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever run NYC if it isn’t through the guaranteed entry option.  The recent addition of time qualifications are much speedier than I ever plan to be.  People might take this as me saying I don’t want to work hard to become fast enough to qualify for NYC based on my times, but I don’t see myself ever being that fast without making running into something that is no longer fun for me.  Only time will tell if this goal will come to fruition in 2013!

Goal #5: Be active at least 4 days a week. I stopped keeping tack of how many days I was “active” week 2 of 52.  I am going to go ahead and assume I was active at least 4 times a week most weeks.  I play(ed) dodgeball 2 nights a week most months, typically play football every Saturday morning, and was helping to coach my school’s cross-country team for a few months.  I am sure there were weeks here or there where I didn’t get in 4 days of activity, and I am okay with that.  Sure, I am softer that I was at this time in 2012, but a lot has changed in the past six months or so that has completely changed my outlook on the beginning of 2013. 



Goal #6: Put myself out there more. I would like to think I put myself out there more in 2012, but this is a goal I will constantly be working on.  I still catch myself constantly turning down opportunities for fear of being uncomfortable, and need to do a better job of challenging myself to step outside my comfort zone!



Goals for 2013?  To make it until June!  I am giving myself a pass on writing any concrete goals to achieve by the end of 2013 until at least July.  This school year has been a huge change and is taking my full attention and focus to make it through the end of the school year.  Once it has come to an end and I know what the rest of 2013 will have in store, I’ll re-evaluate what I’d like to focus on for the rest of the year!

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 2 in Review

Again, I stuck to my goal of being active at least 4 times this week.

Monday: I started Day 1 of Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer.

Tuesday: I did Day 2. Both days were challenging because I haven't lifted in far too long.

Wednesday: This was a 12+ hour work day so there was no time for working out. After my XC kiddo's awards banquet, I headed to 3D Dodgeball Finals. My team played 2 games and then we were eliminated. This did not involve me being very active, but technically it counts, right?

Thursday: My cold (that I've had for almost 4 weeks now) was in overdrive and I thought I was dying. Went home and rested after work. Made it to dodgeball where my adrenaline kicked in. Dodgeball always makes me feel better.

Friday: Had a work conference that got out at noon. Made it to the gym by 1 and squeeze in both Day 3 and Day 4 of the LiveFit Trainer.

Saturday: Two hand touch football with the usual crew plus two! My dad and little sister came into town late Friday night and joined us this morning! So much fun having them there! My friends are awesome and welcomed them right in!

Sunday: It is freeeezzzinngg today so we've stayed inside all day. I'm sure my body can use this extra rest.

No running what-so-ever this week because of this dang sickness. Hoping it gets better enough so I can manage a speed workout or two this week.

So all in all at least 5 days of being active!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week 1 in Review

It's been just over a week since 2012 began and (so far) I've kept on track with my goals for 2012.

I was active for at least 4 days this week. I played dodgeball Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night. I played football with friends on Saturday morning. And I ran a 5k on Sunday morning (race for January DONE). This led me into achieving (kind of) another one of my goals: break 24 minutes in the 5k!

Sunday morning, I picked Corey up way too early to head to the Frostbite 5k in Quincy, MA. We got to the YMCA that was hosting the event with more than an hour to spare - better early than late I guess. After warming up sitting and chatting for over an hour, we finally toed the start line.

As usual, I hadn't checked out the course map ahead of time because I don't like to know what lies ahead. I didn't wear my Garmin either, which meant I was running entirely by feel. This was my plan since I had only run at most 5 times in December.

I started out fast and could see the lead runners in the distance for the first half mile. However, the course had us turning onto a lot of side streets so eventually I lost them. The entire race felt challenging. I pushed myself as hard as I could. About 2 miles into the race, we hit an incline that was steep enough to force some people around me to walk. I wanted to join them but I thought I was keeping a pretty good pace and wanted to see what I could pull off with no training.

Before I knew it, I came around a corner and could see the high school that the finish line was across from in the distance. I didn't think I had any kick left in me, until I saw the clock from far away with a 22:XX on it. I couldn't believe it. I had a chance to break 24 minutes. I pushed with everything I had left and crossed the finish line in 23:25. I was stoked (after I stopped dry-heaving), but I was almost immediately certain that the course was short.

After going inside, Corey and I confirmed it with another runner who came in the top 3. He wasn't certain but said he'd guess it was between .1-.2 miles short. I was bummed because I really wanted to break 24 minutes and knew that if it had been the actual distance, I would have just missed it. Corey and I checked our times after they were posted (he came out 14th overall - speedy gonzales!) and headed home.

So I technically broke 24 minutes in the 5k, but after mapping out the course today and finding that it was exactly 3 miles, I'm not crossing this goal off yet. We're planning to run another 5k in February so I'm going to do some speed work this month in an attempt to officially break 24 minutes!

Overall: 63/260
Age Group: 4/29
Gender: 18/152

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year - New Goals!

The New Year will be here in a mere 8 hours. Last year I set one goal and failed within the first month. This year, I'm hoping that if I write the goals down and share them with someone, I'll be more likely to stick to them. So without further ado...

Goal #1: Run one race a month. This can be anything from a road race, to a scavenger hunt to a triathalon. This coming year has lots of fun in store with a Zombie 5k, Urban Iditarod, and Tough Mudder already on the agenda. Luckily I've got lots of great, active friends who are joining me in this pursuit, so it should be a wonderful time!

Goal #2: Break 24 minutes in the 5k. Right now my 5k PR is 24:19. It's from October 2009. I was in the best shape of my (short) life then and just happened to hit this time. If I want to break 24 minutes this year, it'll take some focused training to do so! I'm hoping to start this training in January so I can knock this goal out in the late winter/early spring time so I can move onto my next goal...

Goal #3: Break 2 hours in the half-marathon. I've run 4 halves in the past year and a half. Each (official) one has gotten faster but my fastest is only 2:11 at RnR Providence. This half was not run as a race, but as a long run for my marathon. While I wasn't running my hardest or fastest at the time, I don't think I could have broken 2 hours if I tried. Again, this goal will take some focused training, but I think it's possible towards the late summer/early fall time of 2012.

Goal #4: Complete a marathon. If all goes well with Goals #2 & #3, I'd like to attempt 26.2 again in 2012. I tried it in 2011, but it didn't end well. An injury, failure to properly train, and pre-race and race day factors all caused me to drop out after 14 miles (my un-official 4th half in my eyes). My goal is to train smart and hopefully complete a full marathon in late fall/early winter. However, I want to be prepared for this race, so if I don't feel like I can race it well, I'll put this one on hold until 2013.

Goal #5: Be active at least 4 days a week. Like most, I have a love/hate relationship with both running and the gym. There are weeks where I never take a break from either and then there are weeks where I never once lace up the sneaks or set foot inside the gym. Therefore, my goal for the year is not to run or lift 4 times a week, but stay active. This could mean going for a walk, playing dodgeball or anything else that gets the blood pumping!

Goal #6: Put myself out there more. I tend to embrace routine and stay away from change. I avoid situations if I think they'll make me uncomfortable or feel awkward. However, I'd like to be more adventurous this year and try some new things: whether it be new sports, new hangouts or anything else that wouldn't normally strike my fancy.

I think that's good enough for now! I may add a few if I think of something I'd really like to do, but six goals seems like more than enough to focus on for one year! Here's to a wonderful 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Everything And What That Entails.

This post is hard to write...

I alluded to some trouble in my Thankful Things posts that all came about on Thanksgiving Day. That trouble was finding out my 12 year old cousin Chris has bone cancer.

Around Halloween, Chris was out rollerblading and came back mentioning some knee pain. My mother (a nurse) looked at his knee and noticed some swelling. Chris hadn't fallen or twisted it, but said it hurt. My mom told him to ice and wrap it, so he did. It was still swollen a few days later so the athletic trainer at my uncle's school (he's a teacher) looked at his knee. Again, he was given the same advice to wrap and ice it. However, Chris continued to have the pain and swelling so a few days before Thanksgiving he went in for an X-Ray and to have some blood work done.

We found out on Thanksgiving Day that it was most likely cancer. It was confirmed a few days later when he went for a full body MRI. He started chemotherapy a few days after that. One phone call changed our whole world.

It has been a rough journey already for Chris, his parents, and our family, and it has only just begun. Chris is/will be going through about a month and a half of chemo. He'll then have surgery to remove what is left of the cancer. Chris will then have another round of chemo to rid him of anything that is still remaining. If this all works out the way it is planned, he should be cancer free.

Please pray for healing, peace and comfort for both Chris and our family!

Chris came up with the motto "Fight like a Knight" as he battles this ugly disease, and he is doing just that!