It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve blogged consistently, and that’s because work is bat shite crazy right now (excuse my language). I’ve run the Eastern States 20 Miler and the Fool’s Dual Half Marathon & 5k and celebrated my birthday since then.
Lots has been going on, but I also have a very exciting announcement to share – tomorrow is my first day starting as a track coach at my school! If you haven’t been following my blog for long, I don’t like to reveal exactly where I work for confidentiality’s sake – but, my school serves students ages 3-22 with blindness, low vision, deafblindness, and hearing impairment. Many of our students use wheelchairs, some have little or no vision, and others have significant restrictions in their mobility. All of our students, regardless of their challenges, are encouraged to participate in track if they are medically cleared by their doctor. That being said, I CANNOT wait to start coaching – I’m so excited to be able to see my students in another setting and to share my love of running with them. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say once I get started with it, but tomorrow is the first day and I’m crazy nervous/excited. Wish me luck!
And now, because I’m too lazy to write about all that’s happened in the past couple of weeks and I’d rather go eat some more mac & cheese, here is a photo dump from my phone:
Are you a track coach? Ever coached any other sport? Any tips for me?
What do you like to do to celebrate your birthday?
What have you been doing the past 3 weeks?
** This post was started last week, then put off until now**
Hello from my couch!
I’m watching The Voice, my most favoritest show on TV, and multitasking on my phone, which drives Derek nut butters.
So last week we ran the Eastern States 20 Miler in Portsmouth, NH. It was pretty merptastic. The weather was great – sunny and 50 degrees – and the course was gorgeous going along the coast of NH down to Salisbury, MA.
BUT, there weren’t any mile markers or time clocks, and this sharp little tack forgot to wear her watch. So, I had no idea how far I had gone when I started to get tired and discouraged. My right calf also started cramping about an hour before we finished, and I had to keep stopping and stretching it.
I was really disappointed with my performance during this race because I basically gave up towards the end. I think my time was either 3:00 or 3:01, but I’m really not sure because we didn’t have time chips. But I got a sweet sunburn! And it was nice to get another 20 mile run under my belt before Pittsburgh.
Would I run Eastern States again? Maybe, if I remember to bring a watch – but let’s be honest, I’d rather eat the jelly and soup that I bought at the Saco River Farmer’s Market the day before.
Pure maple syrup, 3 kinds of vegan/gluten free soups & gluten free/vegan jalipeno cornbread from The Soup Guy, blueberry & strawberry cinnamon jams from Above the Dam Jam, and a blueberry Sea Crunch bar. I love farmer’s markets mostly because I like talking to all of the vendors about their products and how they got started. The guy at Above the Dam Jam, for example, explained to me that he and his wife started their jam-making business after his wife decided to stay home with their 3 kids. He was so stinking nice and the jam is friggin amazing.
What do you buy at farmer’s markets?
Have you ever run a race without time clocks or mile markers? Did it drive you cuckoo banana crackers?
I celebrated by running the New Bedford Half Marathon with my coworker Mary! More details later but overall it was a really nice race. Now I can drink something green and tend to my sad foot for the rest of the night
Do yourself a favor and watch Macklemore’s SNL performance – if this doesn’t get you moving I don’t know what will….
How are you celebrating St Patty’s?!
- Sunday: 16.45 mi run outside/ 2:27
- Yesterday: 3 mi walk/run with Chuie
- Today: eating crispy orange tofu
Sunday I had the opportunity to try out my new Pro Compression Marathon socks for the first time. I have to say, I’ve been really sceptical of the whole compression sock movement for running since it started. The therapist in me really wants some solid research about their effectiveness during runs and for recovery after long runs, but I’ve been too lazy to actually look anything up. So, since I am fortunate enough to work with some wicked smaht physical therapists, I asked my coworker Mary what she thought about them. Basically, we decided that they can’t hurt since they’re really just increasing blood flow and circulation when you’re wearing them. So, during a long run or race you could wear them to prevent cramping in your lower legs, or you could wear them after a run to increase blood flow and replenish sore muscles for faster recovery. Sounds pretty good, right? And it helps that they come in every color and look really cute, too
Sunday was a beautiful day here in Boston. The temps were in the mid 40s and the sun was actually shining for a change! I was especially happy because it was bright enough for me to wear my most favoritest sunglasses ever. I also rocked my Gap Body jacket ($20 on clearance at Gap a couple weeks ago = WIN), drawstring Aasics running tights, and NO GLOVES. It was pretty glorious.
So how did I feel running 16 miles in my new compression socks? I didn’t really notice them at all, and I didn’t feel much different. Actually, what I did notice was that my new friend Bobby Bunion wasn’t bothering me at all. Yes, it’s very sad for me to admit, but my incredibly wise PT friends have diagnosed the cause of my persistent foot pain as a mild bunion. How NOT sexy is that? I always thought bunions were callouses or just general nastiness that occurs on your feet when you don’t take care of them, but they’re actually a misalignment of the big toe as it turns into the second toe.
Apparently it’s pretty common for runners to get bunions, but that doesn’t make them any less of a suckfest. I’ve been having pain by my big toe on my left foot for probably the past 2-3 months, and though it hasn’t gotten worse, it’s become really uncomfortable – especially as I increase my mileage. Runner’s World has some tips for preventing and treating bunions here, and I plan to try a couple of these strategies myself. However, I can’t believe that naming your bunion isn’t on this list. I’ve affectionately decided to call my special bunion friend Bobby since I like the alliteration and unfortunately it seems he’ll be with me for a while.
I think he probably looks like this:
On a more positive note – the compression socks really alleviated the pain I usually feel in my foot, probably because they wrap tightly around the foot and stimulate blood flow through the foot and leg. I just used “foot” way too many times in that last sentence. Anyway, if you’re having a similar problem, I definitely recommend trying them – they can’t hurt!
In other news, we might get hammered with snow again this week…
Just when I thought spring was in the air, it looks like we’re not going to make it through the end of winter without some more schnee (that’s German for snow, btw). Meeeerrrrrp.
Have you ever tried compression socks?
Do you have a bunion? What do you do about it? Does it have a name?
I’ve been at a conference the past two days and it’s been a nice break from the regular work week. The conference was held by professionals from Pasadena Child Development Associates, a group of therapists and professionals who specialize in assessing and treating pediatric feeding disorders. I got some cool ideas and I’ll share more about it tomorrow.
The conference was held downtown near Copley Square – I haven’t been downtown in so long I felt like a tourist! Today on our lunch break I discovered this awesome juice bar at the Back Bay T stop:
I also got some Go Raw cookies with my juice. I friggin LOVE these…they’re vegan, raw, and gluten free and super duper delicious. I’m thinking about bringing them in a baggy as fuel during long runs. Maybe I’ll try them out on Sunday….
And speaking of running, I kinda sorta made an impulse purchase during my mid morning break at the conference today:
I now have 5 pairs of Pro Compression socks and still haven’t even tried them during a long run yet. They’re just so cute and they’ve been having major sales lately…I couldn’t say no! You can get these shamrock socks 40% off with free shipping right now with the code SMO3. Do it!
I am going to sleep HARD tonight. Fingers crossed that Chuie won’t stand on my face at 6:30 tomorrow morning….
Do you obsess over any workout gear? Have a bunch of colors of one particular shirt?
Been to any good conferences recently?
Do you juice? What do you put in your recipes?
…so this is what we’re dealing with here in Boston.
- Monday: 3mi run with Chuie & Exhale Core Fusion workout video
- Yesterday: 8mi run
- Today: 4mi run & pilates
For some reason, it seems that all of the running bloggers I follow live in FL or CA where the weather right now is PERFECT for running. After reading their posts, I get really inspired to run – but then I step outside. We got more snow on Sunday, then it warmed up yesterday so much of it melted, resulting in a sloppy, slushy, slippery mess. It got up to a toasty 40 degrees yesterday, and even though I was a little upset that my beautiful new shoes got all soggy again, the warmish air reminded me that spring is on its way and soon I’ll be able to run in shorts in the sunshine again.
Yesterday’s run was especially hard because I did my Exhale Core Fusion workout for the first time the night before and my muscles were tired. This workout is a lot like the Barre classes I was taking in the fall, combining toning, stretching, and deep breathing. The 50-minute workout is divided into 10-minute segments for arms/upper body, thighs, butt, abs, and full body stretching. What I really like is that you only need a set of 2-3 lb weights and a stretching band or towel to complete the workout. Like Barre, the exercises target specific muscle groups with small movements for high reps (like 30-40 for each move). I could barely do half of the reps for each move and I’m still feeling it two days later. I also really like the stretching segment at the end – it felt really nice and helped get the kinks out from Saturday’s 20 mile run.
Tonight I’m going to a pilates class with a friend and I’m really excited because I’ve never done pilates before. I’m always into trying something new, especially fitness classes and exercise. I bought a Groupon deal a while back for 8 classes, so hopefully I’ll like it!
In other unrelated news, I’m off from work this week (yay for working in a school!), so I’m spending my time watching a lot of TV while getting caught up on some stuff I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I can’t stop watching The Biggest Loser and Hulu has like 11 seasons so this could be really bad. I cry literally every episode! I just love watching how all of the contestants transform their lives – it’s something I think most athletes can identify with in a way.
What are running conditions like for you right now?
Do you do pilates or barre?
Do you watch the Biggest Loser? ever cry?
Happy Sunday Funday! Yesterday Derek and I finished the Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler in some pretty uncomfortable conditions. It was cold, sleeting, and wet almost the entire way. Guess that’s what you get for doing a race during February in New England! I think we made the best of it, though, and despite the freezing rain we still had fun.
It was my first time at Martha’s Vineyard, and I really had no idea what to expect. One thing I’ve always associated Martha’s Vineyard with is its history as one of the first deaf communities in the US. I was a deaf studies minor in undergrad, and I was fascinated to learn that the American Sign Language (ASL) used in North America today is actually an offset of Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL). Apparently, some of the early settlers of the island carried the gene for deafness, and so it was passed on through generations until eventually 1 in every 4 children on the island was deaf. Fishing and agriculture, both of which were good occupations for deaf residents, prospered on the island and hearing people in the community learned to sign to communicate with the deaf population. In a way, it was a sort of deaf “utopia” where everyone could understand one another and communicate, whether they were hearing or deaf. As the deaf children on the island began to travel to the mainland for school, though, they eventually married and settled off the island, causing the deaf population to gradually decline. Fascinating, right?!?!
For those of you who haven’t been, here are some other fun facts that I learned about the island after googling it this morning:
- filming location for Steven Spielberg’s Jaws movies
- summer vacation spot for former President Bill Clinton and family as well as the Obamas
- Jackie Kennedy Onassis lived in Martha’s Vineyard until her death in 1994
- JFK Jr. as well as his wife and sister-in-law died in a plane crash off the coast of the island in 1999
- only place in the world where you can get tularemia (rabbit fever) from lawn mowing
- the cost of living on the island is 60% higher than the national average yet the average income of island residents (not summer vacationers) is 30% less than the MA state average
And now that you and I know all of this extremely interesting information, let’s get back to the race.
The Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler is a very small race originally intended to “test your Boston readiness.” The other runners in this race were FAST and all business – I felt a little out of my element before we got started seeing everyone in their Boston Marathon jackets from years past. Derek and I decided to run the 20 miler sort of last-minute just to push ourselves to train and continue running after Disney. Between Disney and this race, the longest distance I had run was 12 miles, with a couple 10 mile runs and a few 3s, 5s, and 7s. I did not feel ready AT ALL, but that’s nothing new.
The race started at 11am yesterday, so Derek and I woke up at 6 and were out the door by 7. At that time, it was cold outside, but relatively clear and there wasn’t any precipitation at all during the 1.5 hour drive to Falmouth. We listened to Macklemore the whole way to get ourselves hyped. Once in Falmouth, we parked, gathered our stuff, and caught a shuttle bus to the ferry.
The ferry was definitely the best part of the whole race. I know that sounds awful, but I really had a lot of fun on the ride over to the island. Around 9:15 we got to the Steamship Authority terminal with a few minutes to spare before boarding. Derek made some horrendous tasting oatmeal (love him dearly though) that I brought with me in the car but didn’t end up finishing, so I was pretty hungry by then. There was a little snack bar in the waiting area, so I got a black coffee and a bag of Cape Cod potato chips for me and a bagel for Derek (he’s always hungry). We boarded the ferry and found a seat right away on the upper deck. It was delightfully warm and we had a pretty good view.
We were on the ferry for about 45 minutes and just relaxed and talked about a whole bunch of random stuff. I met a woman wearing a Disney Marathon shirt in the line for the bathroom, and we chatted about how much fun the race was as well as some other races. I always love hearing other runners’ perspectives on races and which ones they recommend. Here are some more pictures taken from the ferry:
After we arrived, we pinned on our race bibs and checked our bags. The start line was literally right next to the ferry terminal which made everything really easy. The terminal was crazy crowded with runners doing last minute preparations and meeting up with family/friends.
With some time to spare before the start, we decided to walk around and try to stay warm. Main Street was only about a block away.
After a couple of minutes we headed over to the race start and jumped up and down/ did modified dance moves to stay warm until we got running. Looking around, I saw very few people my age and everyone looked really, really serious. I felt a little intimidated and questioned what it would feel like to come in last. Someone has to be last in every race, right?
Once we got running, I realized that I had made a major mistake by wearing the Gap capris I had spoken so highly of in a previous post. They kept falling lower and lower until the crotch felt like it was almost at my knees. Since I was wearing gloves, I couldn’t get a grip on them to pull them up. It was a mess and I was being pretty nast’ about it. Derek really wasn’t into my whining so he ran ahead and took this lovely photo of me:
See how there’s about 2 inches of space between the end of my capris and my shoes? There really should be like 6 but I was having some serious crotch sag going on.
I caught up with Derek for a couple more minutes until we realized we weren’t talking and I was not motivated to run his pace for the next 19 miles. He ran ahead, which gave me the opportunity to take pictures of him from the back. Not too bad for me.
See that little blue man? That’s Derek! He was hauling a$$…this is the last time I saw him during the race.
This is where the freezing rain started. Alone, cold, and kind of bored, what did I do to distract myself?
This 20 miles was tough. Obviously, with being just 6 miles shy of a marathon, it would be tough on any course, but the weather really made it unpleasant. I was a little sad that I didn’t get to fully appreciate the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard because there were tiny frozen water pebbles in my eyes most of the time. I’ve also never run a race of this distance alone before, and it was challenging for me to keep going when my mind was telling me to stop and I didn’t have much to distract me. I tried to think of all the songs on my running playlist, but it just wasn’t the same. I also tried to mentally break the race into chunks, and that helped a little. I told myself I could only stop at water stations and only long enough to drink my cup of water – no dilly daddling. I stuck by this and only stopped at mile 18 to walk while sipping my deliciously purple gatorade.
During this race, I also learned that I really need to figure out my nutrition for training. Since I’ve been eating vegan, I’ve been feeling great, but on longer runs it’s been hard to eat enough calories to support the distance. I was so so so so hungry during this 20 miles, so much so that my stomach was burning and I felt like I had no energy by the last few miles. The Gu I brought wasn’t helping much either. I’m definitely going to follow in the footsteps of my dude Scott Jurek and bring some bean burritos or peanut butter & jelly roll ups in my pocket next time I do a long run.
During the last stretch, I knew I was nearing the end of the course but not sure when. I heard Derek do his “Yuuuuuuuuuuup” war cry and saw him running towards me, and honestly I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy. Ok, the end of Boston 2012 was probably the most happy I’ve ever been. I gave Derek my camera and sprinted for the finish line. To my surprise, I came in just under 3 hours.
I haven’t run a sub 3 hour 20 miles in months. I was shocked that I did this with a long run of only 12 miles 2 weeks prior. With the Eastern States 20 miler coming up in March, I can’t wait to see how much I can improve my time between now and then. Derek finished in 2:51 which was AMAZING. I’m so proud of him and how he pushed himself. He barely trained and still smoked me.
At the end of the race we got our medals and went into the elementary school to get some hot food. I got some minestrone soup and some fruit.
After eating we changed into warm clothes – except we both forgot extra shoes and socks: FAIL. With our dry clothes and wet shoes, we got on the shuttle bus back to the ferry.
The ferry ride back to Falmouth was even more glorious than the ride to MV. It was not delightfully, but DELICIOUSLY warm inside. We took advantage of the heaters to dry our wet stinky shoes.
Derek fell asleep and I harassed him without him knowing. So rude.
We finally got back home around 6:30 where Chuie licked our faces off before we took him out for a walk. We ate a massive amount of takeout, watched Donnie Darko, and went to bed. A long but successful day.
Have you ever been to Martha’s Vineyard? want to go?
Have you ever run a 20 mile race?
Do you know any sign language or someone who is deaf?
Do you think this post was extraordinarily long? I do, so it’s ok.
- 36 minute tempo run: 4.22 miles
- windy, snowglobe-y, snotty
If you live in America, I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the East Coast is getting hammered by Winter Storm ‘Nemo.’ Since when did they start naming winter storms? And how on earth are we supposed to take this storm seriously when it’s named after a seemingly brain-injured Disney character?
Yesterday things started getting really cray here in Boston. Almost all of the schools were cancelled for today by the afternoon yesterday, and Derek had to wait in line for 45 minutes at the grocery store to buy us some almond milk after work last night. I was babysitting until pretty late, so I missed out on most of it.
Since the school I work at is residential and many of our students live there 11 months of the year, we never ever ever have snow days. Apparently this storm is pretty serious though, because last night we got a call that only essential staff need to report to work. I like to think I’m important, but in this case I was happy to ‘nonessential.’ So, I slept in a little bit until Chuie stood on my face at 7:30- I drank some coffee, took him for a walk, and headed out for a quick run before snowmageddon.
It was snowing throughout my whole run, and VERY windy – I guess there’s a blizzard coming? I ran straight up the Carriage Lane into Newton and was surprised to see a lot of other crazy runners on my route. We all smiled and waved at each other with an expression like, “ok, you’re crazy, too? awesome.” My run was good, but kind of difficult with the wind and all. I tried to keep a solid 8:30 pace, but I was all over the place going from 7:40 to 8:00 to 9:30 going up Heartbreak Hill. I think my Garmin may have been acting up because of the weather, but regardless – it was a bit rough!
I felt like a real bad-ass when I got back, runny mascara and all.
The snow is starting to get heavier now, and all I really have to do is sit back and watch. It’s kind of awesome. I just hope we don’t lose power because that would be boooooooring. For now though, my plan is to do this for the next 48 hours:
Bring it, Nemo!
Are you going to be affected by Winter Storm Nemo?
Do you run in crazy weather conditions or sit it out?
Do you like Woodchuck cider?
- Snow Storm Nemo: Justin Bieber & More Celebrities React On Twitter (hollywoodlife.com)
7 mile run before sunrise
cold, dark, sleepy
I never thought I could do it, but I actually got up at 5:30 this morning, got dressed, and went outside into the sub-20 degree weather to run. I’ve never run more than 6 miles before work for fear that I wouldn’t get finished in time or I’d be too tired for the day. I was really shocked when I got back home in less than an hour – I think it was because I was rockin out to some new tunes:
Have you heard his album yet? It’s really good!! He’s got a really positive outlook and his lyrics are actually meaningful – a pretty stark contrast to popular hip hop which is basically just garbage with a good beat. I’m into it. And I’m not gonna lie, he’s pretty sexy
Ever since I’ve been back from FL, I’ve been eating a primarily vegan diet. Over the holiday break, I had way too much time on my hands and watched a few too many documentaries on Netflix. One of which, was Vegucated - this is a documentary about 3 New Yorkers who voluntarily go vegan for 6 weeks and document their journey of learning to cook vegan foods, finding out where the meat & dairy they usually eat comes from, and experiencing the benefits of a plant-based diet. There are some really shocking visuals of what happens at slaughter houses, dairy farms, and so-called “cage free” and “free range” facilities. I was so horrified by all of the images that I started sobbing on the couch next to Derek and vowed I would never eat another animal product again. The movie isn’t all scare tactics, though, and I recommend it to anyone who is curious about veganism or healthy eating. Just fast forward through the animal cruelty parts – you’ll get a warning beforehand.
Eating vegan for me has actually been really easy, which is surprising because I also have gluten sensitivity and strive to eat a gluten-free diet. I think a lot of people hear vegan + gluten free and think it’s impossible, but it’s not! I bought myself a couple of good cookbooks and have been making almost all of my meals at home. My favorite cookbook right now is Chloe’s Kitchen.
Chloe is a vegan chef who made a name for herself by winning Cupcake Wars and all of her recipes are DELICIOUS. I also really appreciate that her recipes don’t have an excessively long ingredient list and aren’t difficult to make. Derek has loved all of them and hasn’t complained once about anything I’ve made being vegan.
Tonight I made her yoga cookies, which are made out of gluten-free oats, gluten-free all purpose flour, chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, shredded coconut, agave, and canola oil. They’re sooooo good nom nom nom nom nom nom.
How adorable is she?! I can’t tell if I have more of a crush on her or Macklemore.
One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been eating exclusively vegan is a significant change in my energy level. I used to feel an afternoon slump and barely be able to open my eyes in the morning. Not anymore, though – I am literally wide awake ALL THE TIME. It’s actually becoming kind of a problem because I’m having kind of a hard time falling asleep at night. It’s an OK sacrifice, though, because I’ve been feeling really alert at work. I also feel like I’m losing a little bit of weight, but I haven’t stepped on the scale in a couple of weeks so it’s hard to really know for sure.
Off to bed (or at least try) now – It’s snowing again here in Boston…shocker…
Have you ever considered a vegan diet?
Do you workout in the morning, afternoon, or night?
Do you think Macklemore is attractive or am I cray cray?