Welcome Back!

After almost 14 months of a hiatus from blogging, I am back! So much has changed in my life in the last year, and to be quite honest I have sincerely missed the health and fitness community here in the blogosphere!

Up until about January, I hadn’t really been doing much in terms of running or exercising at all. Thank god for my cousin, who talked me into running the Run To Remember Half Marathon here in Boston on May 26th. Training had been a little lax on my part until April 15, 2013, which I consider one of, if not the, worst day of my life so far. I will save the full tale for another post later because of my intense emotions about that day. There is no way that a person, with as much love for the Boston Marathon as I have, couldn’t have been changed on that day. Two days after the Marathon I ran 10 miles after minimal training. It was that day, on that run, that I remembered WHY I love to run so much. Running has helped me heal many emotional wounds from that day and the turmoil that ensued in the city of Boston in the following days. The running community itself has helped me heal in ways that it will never know.

May 26th has come and gone, and my cousin and I successfully completed the 13.1 mile Run to Remember.

RuntoRememberStart

The Run to Remember was an amazing event that allowed runners to come together in the city of Boston for the first time since the Boston Marathon to honor those who had been injured, or had lost their lives in the attacks. The Run to Remember has always been an event to honor fallen police officers, but this year with the loss of Officer Sean Collier, it had an extra special meaning behind it. A full recap of this race will be coming soon as well.

Since then I have signed up of the California International Marathon on December 8, 2013 in Sacramento, CA.

Why run a marathon in California when I live in Boston?

Because I’m moving.

3000 miles away from the place I have always called my home.

driving map

The New Yorker’s company is closing it’s offices here in MA and is relocating to LA county. Talk about a change! No more shoveling snow for this lifelong New Englander! We are super excited about the move, and can’t wait to start our cross country adventure – which it’s bound to be with an 18 month old boxer puppy and a crotchety 12 year old cat in a Jeep!

I’m really excited to be back to my blog. It has always been such a nice little place for me and I’m ready to start adding to it more.

Thanks for stopping by to check it out, and hopefully I’ll be “seeing” a lot more of everyone!

Fit February

I have to admit, I’ve been in a bit of a funk now that my half is over.

I couldn’t even be bothered to put together a decent post yesterday. I just didn’t want to.

But, here I am today, with a post and a plan! I need definite goals for my fitness. I need a race to look forward to and train for. It keeps the excitement in exercising, and gives me the push I need to get out the door.

With that in mind, I am unveiling….

(that little button took me WAY too long to make! I need a photoshop class ASAP!)

The plan is simple.

5 goals, all with health and fitness in mind, completed by the end of the month.

 

So, without further ado, here are the 5 goals for Fit February:

1. Meatless Mondays

Source: google.com via Kristin on Pinterest

I’m hoping this one will be easy! I’m trying to cut down on my meat consumption ever since hearing a little tidbit that stated that the average person should only be eating half a  pound of meat per week, not per day like the average American does. YIKES! (I’ll have to hunt that down and verify it!)

2. Run 100 miles in February.

Source: weheartit.com via Angie on Pinterest

 

This breaks down to roughly 3.5 miles/day. Totally do-able!

3. Register for a
-5k
-10k
-Half Marathon
-Full Marathon

 

(Not all to be done in Feb, just register for them.. I need the ooomph to get me moving!)

4. Find and make 3 completely new recipes

 

 

5. Start Crossfit!

I’ve been DYING to do this one! My hand is feeling better, so hopefully this will be a go!

 

And there it is, my friends. My plan for a Fit February. Hopefully this will give me the excitement and push I’ve been looking for the last couple of days.

 

What do you do to pick yourself up after a big race or exciting event is over?

And.. We’re off!

We woke up to the alarms at 3:45am.. ouch!

Luckily, Amy had set up a little love note for us to wake up to:

How can you not get excited with that!

We got changed, ate a banana and peanut butter, and headed off for the metro a couple of minutes after our planned time.

As we were walking down the road (and joking that if it were not a race day, Amy would probably just be coming in from the bars) a car zoomed by us. It slammed on the breaks and backed up. We were both a little confused, and definitely cautious. A kid rolled down the window and asked if we wanted a ride to the metro. I peered in his car and saw that he had a number pinned to his shirt, as well as all his race stuff in the back seat. Amy didn’t know him, but he was clearly going to the race, so we hopped in.

Lucky that we did, because we ran into some trouble at the metro station!

First trouble: we would have been super close to missing the first train, which was key! Everyone told us the day before that if we missed the first train, it would be super tricky to get into our corrals on time.

We had to be in the corrals by 5:55am, and the first train started at 5 am. I guess in past years the metro has started running at 4, but at the last minute they backed out of their promise this year, and waited until the normal 5am to start, leaving people praying that they made that first train.

Second trouble: We should have bought our metro tickets at the expo, or stopped and bought them the night before. It never dawned on us that the ticket machines would be locked before the station opened. Shoot! We ended up having to stand in line for a while to get our ticket.

In Boston, you can load money onto a card, swipe it, and then hand it back to the next person to use. Apparently you can’t do that in Miami! After a frantic conversation with the attendant, he swiped my card back out, and had Amy run through behind him when he swiped it again. Also in Boston, you don’t need to swipe your Charlie Card to get out of the  station!!

Once that crises was averted, we sprinted up the stairs just in time for the first train. We got on without any trouble, and took it to the Government Center stop. From there we got off and walked because the “Metro Movers” were packed! It took us about 10-15 minutes to walk to the start line. I tried to take pictures, but it was too dark to really make anything out along our walk.

We finally arrived at the starting area at about 5:45 – 10 minutes to find and get into our corral. We didn’t think it would be too hard to find, but after several attempts to get across the street, we both started getting nervous. We ended up having to back track quite a bit, and got confused by a couple of signs that pointed us in the wrong direction. We found our corral and were in it at 5:54- JUST in time!

We were smack in front of American Airlines Arena

and another pretty building that I never found out the name of

As you can see, it was pretty dark!

There were TONS of people at the start – 25,000 to be exact! The announcer was really excited to announce that this was the first year the full and half had sold out!

The music at the start was really upbeat, and we couldn’t help but get excited.

The National Anthem was sung, and then the announcer led us in a countdown to send off the wheelchair and disabled runners. Finally, FINALLY, it was time for the corrals to get moving!

We crossed the start line, started our watches and got to running!

The first mile was unbelievably frustrating for us. Both Amy and I agreed that our main complaint with the entire course was that there were walkers in the corrals ahead of us. We spent the whole race dodging people who walked the entire way! Most of the walkers weren’t runners who needed a quick break, they were just there to walk the course. While I have no problem with people walking courses like that, I do have a HUGE problem with them being in corrals in front of runners, and not having any direction (or consideration) to stay to one side. People were walking in groups that would actually stretch across big sections of the road and we were having to push through them. It was awful!

Once we got into a rhythm of dodging people we started having some fun. We chatted and told each other fun or inspirational things we saw. There was one woman who had a shirt that said “Not even Chemo can break my 10 year streak!” She was jogging slowly with a friend who had a shirt that said “This is my first half marathon, and she talked me into it!” You couldn’t help but be inspired by that duo! Then we saw a woman with a shirt that said “I have run a marathon in all 50 states!”. She was wearing a Hawaiian grass skirt, and Statue of Liberty crown. We also saw a man dressed in full Army fatigues (and let me tell you, it was HUMID!), full gear, and carrying an American flag.

There were also the tutus! We must have seen 4 or 5 of them on the course!

We ran down a really pretty stretch by Miami Beach that I attempted to get a picture of. It’s hard to run and take pictures!

We were expecting entertainment along the course (it was designated on the map of the course), but unfortunately either we were too late for most of it (too late?? it was 7am!) or it wasn’t there. There were a few drum groups, which were great, and a cheerleading squad, as well as the Lulu cheer section, but other than that, we were on our own. Good thing we had a guy run by us around mile 7 singing “Club Can’t Handle me” really loudly along with his headphones!

Also around mile 7 there was a REALLY narrow road that we had to run down. The course was pretty packed the whole time, and then having to dodge walkers, and condense all those runners into a narrow road was miserable, to be honest. Luckily it was only a short stretch and we were through it pretty quickly.

Another gripe was the water stations. The first few weren’t too bad, but by the time we hit miles 5,6,7 and so on, we had to wait for water to be poured, so we actually had to stop completely. I just don’t think they had enough volunteers for the amount of runners that there were. It’s completely understandable though because they didn’t sell out the race until 3 days before.

The breeze on the second causeway was AMAZING! It was a perfect, cool breeze that really helped make us feel better.

Mile 10 was where things got tough. Amy and I were both tired and our legs were starting to get tight. I attempted to stretch a little at the water stop, but knew it was a bad idea right away.

Mile 11 had me calling my Aunt to let her know we were about 15 minutes away. I also think that’s where the official cheering section was. It was so great to see all those people with the signs, and to have people screaming our names. A guy from Amy’s school was there standing on an island giving high fives to everyone who ran by. She told me he is in charge of the “Random Acts of Kindness” group on campus, and is frequently found in  the library giving out chocolate kisses!

Mile 12 was a blur. The race coordinators did a great job of separating the half from the full runners. The first attempt at separating everyone was a little fuzzy (a bunch of teen boys standing in a line not really yelling too loudly) but after that, it was pretty clear as to where we were supposed to go.

Mile 13 to 13.1 FLEW by! Amy and I both picked up the pace big time. We followed a guy who was screaming at the walkers to move, which was a huge help. I remember Amy actually saying at one point “You have 0.1 miles left to go! Why aren’t you running?!”

We also managed to find my aunt and Sara in the crowd which was awesome!

We crossed the finish line and gave each other a big high five and hug – we did it!! Our time on my Garmin was 2:25, which we were both happy with considering all of the dodging we had to do!

The chute after the finish line was long. We walked a good distance from the finish before we got water. Once we got water though, it was straight to the medals (which were GIGANTIC!) and then right on to food. There was a lot of food, bananas, strawberries, crackers, and to Amy’s  delight – Chocolate chip cookies!

We meandered around for a bit before meeting up with my aunt and Sara. As soon as we found them, it was time for a finishers photo!

Seriously, check out the hardware! The inside of the 0 on the 10 spins! How cool is that!?

Overall, I think the race was well done. The expo was huge, number pick-up was a cinch, and the course itself was beautiful. I think they got into trouble when it came to the walkers being placed in the wrong corrals (keep them to the end!) and being sold out with only 3 days to go. If they had had more volunteers, and kept the walkers either to one side, or at the back of the runners, I think this would have been an amazing race!

Also, in their defense, this race is only 10 years old. That means, they’ve only had 9 other shots to iron out the kinks. I’ll give them that, and maybe in a few years I’ll head back to do the full!

Did you run or cheer at this race? What did you think of it?

Party in the city where the heat is on!

What an AMAZING weekend!! A HUGE thank you to Amy for hosting and hanging out with her cuzzz 🙂

Let’s see, where did I leave off? Ah yes, heading to the expo. Again, I apologize for the pictures… My little camera, not so great!

We went over to meet my Aunt and her friend Sara for breakfast. There were some gorgeous flowers along the way that I had to take a picture of.

After breakfast we drove to South Beach for the expo. We went by palm trees, vultures, cruise ships, and huge houses on private islands. I couldn’t get over the sizes of the houses!!

I've never seen one before!

They are so big!

When we got to South Beach, we parked the car and headed out in search of the expo. There was a slight detour (we thought that following the couple in the running gear, including tags still attached to a visor, was a good idea. It wasn’t) we finally found where we wanted to be!

There were some runner cut-outs lining the way that Amy and I stopped to take pictures with.

We headed over to pick up our numbers which was a really smooth process. We were directed to another table to get our shirts and bags. That also went really smoothly, which was really nice. The whole process of picking up numbers and shirts took less than 5 minutes!

We hit the booths, and we were both really impressed and overwhelmed with how many booths there were! We attempted to get through them all, but ended up only going around the perimeter for the most part. We both got a pair of Zensah compression sleeves for a great deal, and I also picked up an SPI Belt (which was so unbelievably useful during the race!) at a great price!

We found the Lululemon booth:

We also chatted with the people at the transportation information booth. My aunt had offered to drive us to the start line, but after talking with them, we decided it would be much easier for her if we just took the metro.

We found a fun station that had a finish line set up and took a fun picture:

According to my aunt’s friend, these water pouches were what was being handed out on the race course the next day.

They weren’t very easy to use, and Sara saw someone explode one all over himself at the expo! Amy was also pretty upset (and rightfully so!) about the amount of plastic that would be tossed on the roads.

Finally, on the way out we took another picture with the runner cut-out and our numbers

At that point we were all starving! We walked back through the Lincoln Road Mall, and after a few false starts, and some WAY overly pushy hosts, we found a place that had great gnocchi for Amy, and quinoa spaghetti for me! I can’t even explain how excited I was to be able to eat “pasta” before the race!

We got back to Amy’s around 8 and started to prep for the next morning.

We set our alarms for 3:45, since we wanted to leave for the metro at 4:30. We set up all of our clothes, showered, and hit the hay by 9pm.

As I was drifting off, all I could think of was “in just a few hours, Amy and I will be in our corral, waiting to run!”

To be continued…..

Welcome to Miami!

After a SUPER bumpy takeoff that had me actually shaking in my seat (which doesn’t take much. I’m a really bad flier!!!), we landed safely in Miami around 9:30 last night. We also managed to take a side detour through downtown Miami which was really pretty! We finally met up with Amy around 11:30 or so and then I headed in with her to drop off my stuff while my Aunt and her friend went to check into their hotel. A little while later we met up with them at Titanic, a fun little micro brewery right around the corner from Amy’s place.  We stayed there for while (ok, until last call… I’m not running until tomorrow) and then Amy and I headed back to her apartment and my aunt and Sara went back to their hotel.

I woke up this morning to sun in my face around 9am, so I actually got some great sleep! Even better than my sleep were the palm trees that are right outside Amy’s window! It reminded me of Hawaii, so I took a couple (crappy) pictures (stuck with the small camera for the weekend…darnnnnn) and gave the New Yorker a call to see how he was.

We’re headed out for breakfast now, and until I can figure out how to upload pictures to WordPress from the iPad, this will have to stay (sadly) picture-less. No worries, Ill keep taking them anyway!

Ill be back after the expo!!

All my bags are packed..

After a breakfast of scrambled eggs and some fruit I got to work.

It took a while but I managed to get all my “stuff” together and ready for the weekend. I ended up finding everything in stages, and then making about 5 lists to make sure I had everything I needed.

Have Garmin, will travel

I packed:
-Appropriate clothing for Saturday, and race clothes and post race clothes for Sunday.
-Garmin and charger
-iPad and photo adaptor
-iphone and charger
-Headphones
-Race bib pick up form
-boarding pass for flight
-Camera and battery charger
-Toothbrush and other small toiletries
-“just the basics” for makeup (for Saturday and dinner)
-Race sunglasses, as well as my regular glasses

All of this had to fit in my “personal item” bag, since I refused to pay $35 for a carry on! With a little help from Kara, I was able to get it all in there with room to spare:

I’ll be wearing my running shoes, yoga pants, a sweatshirt, and a long sleeve shirt, so I won’t have to pack those. Also, I’m staying with Amy, so I can borrow a lot of her stuff (read: toothpaste!)

I’m definitely starting to get my usual pre-flight jitters. I’m REALLY bad at flying, and normally The New Yorker sits next to me while I sit white knuckled until the meds kick in. Since I also refused to pay $20 to pick my seat, I’m randomly assigned a seat, and hoping that a nice person will let my aunt sit next to me in case I have a full blown panic attack. Or I could double up on the meds and get carted on and off the plane… hmmmmm.

Either way, wish me luck. Or more to the point, wish my aunt luck!

And We’re Down to…

 

Days left to go!

**Confession Time**

The countdown has been wrong this whole time. I thought the half was on Saturday the 28th. Apparently is on Sunday the 29th. This could make for an interesting adventure, seeing as how I’m flying out of Miami on Sunday night. Holy stiff quads, here I come!

Today equals day one of “Hurry Up and Hydrate!”. According to Amy, it’s going to be 93% humidity down there for race day! My Lulu water bottle is all filled and ready to be consumed x2398472984732 today. Are you ready kidneys?? annndddd go!


I’m off to go make breakfast. Prepare yourself for a few posts as I have some serious jitters about this weekend (and I need to catch up on a few things that have happened!)

Have a great day!