Day One is in the books!

California International Marathon – here I come!

Today was the official start of my 20 week marathon training plan. With a goal of qualifying for Boston in 2015 (I’m hoping to get a charity number for 2014 – my name is on a list at this point) I knew I needed a long and solid training plan. I decided on 20 weeks instead of 16 to help get an even better base under me.

I’m using the Cool Runnings Beginner training plan to start. I’m nervous that it won’t give me quite the distance that I need to get my BQ, but I also don’t want to jump in headfirst and risk injury.

Speaking of injuries, today was one of those mornings where you go back to bed and get up again in an attempt to start over.

Chris woke me up for our bike ride (I’ve got killer shin splints at the moment so I decided to cross train day one) and as I went down the stairs in my socks (NEVER a good idea…) my left foot went out from under me and down the stairs I fell!

A little steep huh? and yes.. that wallpaper is for real. No, we didn't pick it out.

A little steep huh? and yes.. that wallpaper is for real. No, we didn’t pick it out.

It’s funny how when you are falling it feels like an eternity and you can think so many thoughts in such a short time. I remember thinking “Don’t break your leg! You can’t go to the beach in a cast!” (normal reaction, huh?) and “I knew I should have put my shoes on first!” and “well, there goes the bike ride this morning…”. All that in the span of about 5 steps – madness!

Luckily there were no broken bones – just a bruised rear end and sore arm – so off we went on our ride.

At this point I should probably also mention that this is only the third time I’ve ridden my bike off of the magnetic trainer in our “gym” (more on that later). The last 2 times I’m fairly certain ended with me falling off my bike. True story.

Chris got me a fancy Felt Racing women’s bike for my birthday a couple of years ago. Up until then, the last time I had ridden a bike was in middle school, and it was the kind where the cross bar went down on a diagonal. Niiiiicee and easy. This one has a horizontal cross bar, so I’m constantly forgetting I have to take a foot out and lean forward and to the side to get off the bike :/ It does have pretty pink handles though!

july-5 july-4

Aren't they nice?

Aren’t they nice?

Anyway, back to the actual ride. We took off from the house and headed over to the Charles River. It has been so humid out lately, but the breeze off the water was nice and light. The fact that it was overcast was great too, since there was no glare off the river. We biked down Memorial Drive about 4 miles, and then cut across the river and came back down Storrow.

I have always loved running on Memorial Drive. It gives you some of the most beautiful views of the city. On a calm day the reflection in the water of the Hancock Tower and the Prudential Building are unbelievable.

It’s also fun this time of year because the city is setting up for the Fourth of July. Here in Boston we have the Boston Pops concert and the fireworks display on the Esplanade. There are huge barges that set up in the middle of the river to shoot off the fireworks. The barges went out to their station last week, so it’s cool to see them floating out there.

All in all it was a pretty great ride. With the exception of a couple less than stellar dismounts from the bike, I managed not to make a complete fool of myself. I got in a great workout, and prevented myself from further bothering my shin. I think Chris and I are planning on heading out again tomorrow for another ride, weather permitting…

hmmmmm

hmmmmm

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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!

I graduated!

Well folks, it’s finally here… the dreaded S-word….

Yuck, snow.

I really was starting to think that we were going to make it through a Boston winter without seeing any of this stuff.. I may be certifiably crazy!

Today took me back to the doctor’s office for another appointment for my hand. While it’s still unclear as to what is actually wrong (tendonitis? Arthritis? Something else all together?) it was determined that I’m getting better. I’m down to more of a dull ache in my hand rather than the all out stabbing pain I was experiencing before.

I also graduated to a smaller splint!

Old splint:

well at least its pink?

New splint:

I have to wear the long splint while I’m sleeping, but I get to be much more useful at work and wear the small one while I’m there. Thank god. I was starting to lose my mind!

In other news, I re-did my blog’s layout! 

I got Photoshop Elements 10 yesterday and started playing around with it. One thing led to another, and next thing I knew I had a new header. Then of course I needed a new background (if you give a moose a muffin…) which took me to a new theme, which made me lose all my pages (and frantically tweet Katy Widrick asking her to invent teleporting) and so on and so forth. Beth and Kara both were forced to look at about 40 different versions of my new setup – lucky for me they were both willing and really helpful! I think I FINALLY found a setup I like, but I might have to delve into the idea of self hosting to get what I *REALLY* want out of my blog. That, however, is a problem for another day 🙂

What do you think of the new layout? 

2011 – A year in review

This year has brought some pretty big changes in my life. Going gluten free, and getting married are only 2 of the things that happened this year. I figured I would do a year in review just to show myself how many important things have happened.

January – January started of 2011 and my first full year of being a real adult. No more college, no more “I’m a student” excuses, no more days of no student loans, no more school stress. It also brought me my first full year of being a nurse, and all of the stress and emotions that come along with the job.

February – This month found me doing my research on going gluten free. A friend of mine was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and I myself was dealing with increasing GI problems. She shared her symptoms with me, and I realized I was having many of the same symptoms. I did my reasearch and made an appointment with my doctor.

March – This month started off with me going completely gluten free under the direction of my doctor. She and I went over my symptoms, and decided that the best plan of attack would be a GF trial. If things went well and my symptoms went away, we would be golden. If not, we would go back to the drawing board in an attempt to figure out what was going on with me. March also brought around my 24th birthday!

April, May, June – These months were full of wedding planning!!

July – My first anniversary of being a nurse!

August – This month brought around my Bridal Shower and Bachelorette parties! It was an amazing weekend, and I am so lucky to have so many great family and friends. Not to mention how lucky I was to have such great bridesmaids and maid of honor, who spent a TON of time planning such a perfect day!

Bridesmaids!

Nurses!

Grandmas!

Cousins at the Bachelorette Party

Friends

For the full review of the Bridal Shower, you can go here.

August also brought about the birth of the blog! PastaFreeRunner was born after 6 months of me being gluten free. I wanted to share what I was learning with those out in the blog world, as well as wanting to connect with other gluten free people, and just other bloggers in general. I had another blog for about a year prior to starting PastaFreeRunner, but everything about it was fizzling. I missed blogging, and decided that this was the direction I wanted to go. You can go here to read my very first post!

September – This month brought about my discovery of Tofu! Who knew that tofu could be so delicious!
It also brought around the 10 year anniversary of September 11th. It was, and will continue to be, a very difficult  but important day for our country to remember.

October – This month was wedding month! The New Yorker and I got hitched after almost 6 years of dating. The day couldn’t have been more perfect (78 degrees and sunny in Boston on Columbus Day Weekend?? Unheard of!) and we were so lucky to share such a special day with the people we love the most.

All of these amazing photos are courtesy of Photography By Jennifer Millian. If you are getting married in the Boston/MA area, I HIGHLY recommend her! She was fantastic to work with, and very professional!

We also went on our Honeymoon, which I have to admit, I’m still working on uploading the 1500+ pictures I took in Hawaii! 🙂 It was the trip of a lifetime, and we made sure to do everything we could possibly do. We saw a volcano, we hiked to some waterfalls, we took surfing lessons, went to a Luau, went to Pearl Harbor, drove through a rainforest (or 3!), ate plenty of local fish, and relaxed. It was phenomenal!

November- This month brought me back to my running roots! I signed up for the ING half Marathon with Amy, and ran the Gobble Wobble 5K. I also celebrated Thanksgiving with my family, and took a trip down memory lane.

December – This month has found me in some crazy running outfits, making our annual trek to NYC with the New Yorker and his family, and getting situated for starting off our organic diet.

This year has been amazing. I wouldn’t have changed anything that happened, and I wouldn’t have added anything more. It was a year full of fun, family, and friends.

I thank all of you who have read, commented, and followed my blog for you support. I’m looking forward to an amazing 2012, and can’t wait to share all that it brings with you!

Best 11 of 2011 – Photos

I started out this morning with a quick 3 mile run. I’m trying to get back into it with a little less than a month to go till my half. Dear god, this is going to be an adventure! It was a pretty good run as far as they go. I was listening to another JM podcast (obsessed..) and as always, time seemed to fly by.

3 miler

When I got home I was ready for breakfast. I had some oatmeal with peanut butter and honey. It was delicious!

PB and Honey

Spot the bird? 😉

I decided while running this morning that I wanted to do a top 11 photos from 2011. While the blog has only been up and running for less than 4 months, I still have a lot of photos from this short time that I liked, and wanted to re-share with you!

Here we go:

11.

Beth's Vegetarian Stuffing

10.

From Adventures With Swiss Chard...

9.

From NYC

8.

Flying Fish

7.

Colors!

6.

Starting to look like winter!

5.

Sunshine

4.

Lovely

3.

9/11 Tribute

2.

My favorite shot of the trip!

1. These last ones are cheating a little, since I didn’t take them, but they are definitely my favorite pictures from 2011 🙂

Courtesy of Photography By Jennifer Millian

Courtesy of Photography By Jennifer Millian

Courtesy of Photography By Jennifer Millian

Courtesy of Photography By Jennifer Millian

And there you have it! The best 11 (ok, 14, I cheated!) of 2011 🙂

Worst.Run.Ever.

I did it to myself this time. I went out with friends last night for dinner and ate food that was not conducive to running the next morning. Nachos with way too much cheese? check! Burrito? check! A few too many glasses of wine? check!

I paid for it big time today.

I went out for a quick 5k, a speed workout if you will. About half a mile in, I thought I was dying. My stomach was a complete disaster! I made it 2 miles because my ego couldn’t take logging 0.5 miles on Daily Mile, and then I walked home. Yup. I said it. I.walked.home.

Fail

But the good news is I learned from this. I REALLY need to be careful because my stomach isn’t like other people’s stomachs. I’ve spent today drinking water and tea and eating fruits and veggies to try to re-charge my poor system.

I’m going to be dabbling with going dairy free as well as gluten free for the next couple of weeks. While removing gluten has helped me immensely, I’ve been noticing that dairy is not really agreeing with me either. I’m just so sick of all the stomach pain that I will do ANYTHING to not have to go through it.

What do you do to reset your system when you’ve eaten something you wouldn’t typically eat?

Saturday Workday

Most of the time, my job is great, and I love it. Days like today, however, when it’s 40 degrees outside, The New Yorker is sleeping in, and there’s not even a dog out in the park across the street yet, make me a grumpy gal. Who wants to wake up and walk to work – for a 12 hour shift – on a SATURDAY??

Not me.

But, I have to go, and I keep reminding myself that  after today I work 2 more days, and then I am off for 6 days. Really, I have a weird schedule. 🙂

So, to make myself feel better, and to give you something pretty to look at, I’ll leave you with this sunset from the other night. I looked out the window and just couldn’t NOT take a picture – it looked like the sky was on fire!

Have an awesome Saturday everyone!

Lenny Zakim Sunset