Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Monday, December 28, 2009

I feel good

Marathon training has officially started. Last weekend I did 13 miles, and this weekend I did 15. Despite the fact that I dread my long runs beforehand, when I'm actually running I feel great. On Christmas I did 15 miles around Southport at a 9:05 pace. I didn't walk a single hill. Which is pretty amazing if you've seen the island: it's hilly! Last year I was excited for my training, but then by the end of every run I'm just dead. So now I just need to find a way to drum up some excitement before the run. I'm thinking a training buddy is the key. Anyone interested?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

cortisone and my next marathon

After having persistent heel pain for more than 8 months, I finally went to a specialist on Tuesday. He agreed that it's probably plantar fasciitis, and gave me a cortisone shot. It hurt. 3 days later and it still hurts.

Also on Tuesday, I decided that even if I don't get a spot in Boston, I will run a marathon this spring. Probably Virginia Beach in March. That means I need to start doing some serious running.

It occurred to me that I night as I was trying to sleep, that maybe I'm a little crazy. I have this running injury that just won't heal, and here I am planning my next marathon. What lengths will I go to in order to keep running?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Isn't this a running blog?

Warning, this post will not wax poetic about the joys of running. Nope, today I'm going to talk about how much more I love skiing than running. Yesterday was my first day on the slopes. I went alone. It was cold and windy. There were only 3 top to bottom runs open. I loved every minute of it. Putting on my boots (and snow pants, and jacket, and head sock, and helmet, and goggles, and gloves- running does require way less gear I will give it that) I was practically giddy.

At the top of the mountain before my first run I looked out over the White Mountains of New Hampshire and savored the view for a few seconds, and then I was done savoring. I was there to move, not to stand still and enjoy the scenery. I ski fast. My first run, and every run after that, I had a huge smile on my face, as I sped down the mountain. I love making big swooping turns, getting way over on my edges. It is the closest I'll ever get to flying. When I'm skiing, I get this intense happiness that I rarely get anywhere else.

I was trying to figure out what it is that I love so much. The speed and the motion for sure, but I think it's more. When I'm skiing I don't have time to think. I am going so fast that it requires complete concentration. I'm the type of person whose mind never shuts off. So those few minutes of downhill are like a vacation for my brain. I arrive in the bottom with a racing heart, a frozen face, and a refreshed mind. Ski on.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snowy and nasty and great

So I woke up this morning to find 4-5 inches of fresh snow. Much better than the rain and sleet that was forcast (although that is here now). I briefly considered the elliptical, but ]just couldn't bring myself to shut myself in the dark basement. I pulled on my Yak Trax, my reflective vest, and I was out the door.

Nothing had been plowed yet, and the snow was wet so it kept caking up in my Yak Trax. The snow was also piling up on top of my head and melting down my neck. So between the funny drag, stop foot motion I had to do every few steps, and the crazy head shaking to shake the snow off, I'm sure I looked pretty funny. Of course all the drivers thought I was crazy anyway, just for running in the snow.

I tried to stay on the side streets and sidewalks, but there were a few times where I had to run on the shoulder of the road. That was the only unpleasant part, because every time a car went by I got sprayed with cold, dirty slush.

Despite the fact that I was sliding all over, and threw in 6 hill repeats on a long hill, I still managed a sub 10 min. mile pace.

Of course today was the easy day- it was the day with fresh fluffy power, and few people on the roads. It's the next few runs that will be nasty as the rain and sleet that followed the snow will turn the roads and sidewalks into a icy mess. And based on the fact that not even the roads were plowed today, I'm not holding my breath that they'll plow the sidewalks.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The cold that won't let go

I've now been sick for 3 weeks. I have my appetite back (darn), but not my energy. When my alarm goes off I actually consider not getting out of bed (that never happens), and then the whole workout feels hard. Wednesday my lungs were burning and I felt like I was running a 5:10 pace. Then I looked at my Garmin- actual pace was 9:57. Even Zumba felt hard last night. I've slept so much that I now lie awake at night, had so many fluids I have to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes, and eaten so my fruit that the acid from the citrus is eating away my mouth. And I'm still not better. Grrrrrr

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I didn't run... and the world didn't end

I got sick last week- really sick. I was in Las Vegas for work and I dragged myself through the week. Up at 5 am, I'd be running down the strip, or up in the rooftop gym, with a throat so swollen and sore I could barely take a tiny sip of water. I was so congested that my head was pounding, I was sweating with a fever, I was coughing, and still I worked out every day. That's what I do. Unil Saturday. I was in Maine for the early bird sale. I dragged myself out of bed at 5:30, shopped with my family and friends until 11 and then I came home and laid down on the couch. I didn't get up again that day. I knew my family would dissapprove of me running Sunday so I planned to go while they were at church. Instead after sitting at the table with them for a few minutes, I had to go back to the couch where I stayed again for the whole day. I could manage to stay awake for maybe an hour or two at a time before I needed to sleep again. And yet, I still felt guilty about not running.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Battle of the Biggies

I won a race today! I've never gotten to write that before, and it feels pretty good. I did the Battle of the Biggies Duathalon in Cambridge. I went in, not expecting much since I've been sick all week. I didn't treat it like a race morning- I slept in, had cereal and a banana, then headed into the city. I got lost, but didn't freak out. It was a small race- only about 80 people. The first run was 2.6 miles, a loop up to the first bridge around a back. At first we tried to avoid the puddles, but since it poured all day yesterday that was impossible. I placed myself at the back, but just kept picking people off. I looked at down at my Garmin- 8:05 and I didn't even feel it.

Then, I hopped on my bike. I'm a bike wimp. I like smooth roads with no traffic. This was not that kind of course. AT ALL. It was 3 loops of rocky, muddy, paths, giant puddles, pedestrian clogged bridges, and sharp corners. There was one puddle where the water was almost over my wheels. All you could do was fly through. I was muddy, soaked, and having a blast. My last time through the monster puddle I let out a giant yahoo.

Then, I was back in my running shoes. My legs felt like jello- but when I looked down at my watch I was running an 8:05 again. The last leg was 3.5, and it felt long. I went out with another woman my age- who I knew was my main competition. I followed her up one side of the Charles. At each bridge, I was praying it would be the turn around, and at each bridge they waved us to keep going. Finally we crossed over the river and headed back. At this point, I was feeling it. My stomach was churning. My I passed the woman and set my sights on a guy in a fancy tri suit in front of me. I passed him too. Dry heaving I made my way back across the river and to the finish. Since there was a run only option, and a team option, I couldn't tell how I had done.

After a wierdly good combination of bakes beans and doritos (oh the trails of being a non red meat eater at a BBQ) it was time for prizes. When they did my age group I thought they had made a mistake, since the girl I passed won. But then, they got to the first overall woman and it was me! Holy moly! 6 hours later and I'm still smiling like crazy.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I suppose that since last week was Sesame Street's anniversary, it's appropriate that I spent the weekend feeling like Oscar the grouch. Sunday I had planned to go to a book tour event for Cake Wrecks (one of my favorite blogs ( They were giving out wristbands (so said the website) starting at 10. Since I like to get my workout out of the way before I settle down to have fun for the day I decided to get up early and run with the Framingham Running Club. They have a group run every Sunday at 8:30, and I can't usually motivate myself to be there so early on a weekend, despite the fact that I'm starved for running partners and good trail runs (they provide both).

Despite the fact that it was an amazing beautiful day (sunny, warm, Indian summer), I was not happy. I felt like people were crowding me (I even snapped at one guy), and then 5 minutes later felt like people were ignoring me. I was annoyed when the leader decided to take us on an extra mile loop. Instead of kicking my way through the leaves, I grumbled at them for hiding potentially treacherous rocks. As I wheezed my way uphill, I wanted to be going down. As my ankles rolls sliding down hills, I wanted to be going up. Nothing was making me happy.

So when I got back in my car and saw a phone full of text messages from my friends who I was supposed to meet (they had gone early to get bracelets and found out that the bookstore had changed their plans), I was unexplainable angry. Somehow I felt like they were blaming me? Instead of meeting them for breakfast as planned, I told them to go without me. Instead of a big plate of chocolate chip pancakes at a table with friends, I had cold cereal on my couch alone. Then I went to Cake Wrecks and sat in the corner and stewed. Stupid I know. But I just couldn't get myself out of the trashcan of doom.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Two Different Earrings

It's one of those weeks where I just don't feel like I have it together. Nothing major has gone wrong, but there have been quite a few instances where I realized that what I thought was happening, wasn't. Like my run this morning. I was on the trail thinking I was cruising along nicely, until I looked at my garmin. 13:10 pace. No wonder it felt so easy. Then, I was conducting an interview with a potential hiree and reached up to feel my earring. It didn't feel like the earrings I thought I was wearing. I touched the other ear. A different earring. It's just one of those weeks.....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This morning I had a great run in the rain. I really pushed myself for the first 4.5 miles (38 minutes) and then did 6 hill repeats for a total of 6.6 miles in 56 minutes. I'm struggling to unravel the mystery of why some days I want to push it like this, and others I just want to trot along at a comfortable pace. You would think that on a cold, rainy day I wouldn't feel great. Maybe it's something about overcoming my desire to stay inside and elliptical instead, and facing the elements. Once I'm out there I love the feeling of rain on my skin. Maybe it's just that I didn't go to the gym last night. We had friends over for dinner and pumpkin carving instead. I always think that more will get me fitter and skinnier. Maybe that just makes me tired. Whatever the cause was, I'll accept it gratefully. I never mind a day when I have the drive to conquer to world.

Monday, October 19, 2009

sole food

There are certain things that fuel my soul, which in turn fuels my soles and my running. On Columbus day weekend I did a trail run in Maine. The leaves were bright, the sun was shining, the air smelled of earth and of the sea, and there were people I loved on the trails with me. I finished the run and just sat on the shore looking out at the ocean.

Then Friday morning I woke up expecting a run in the cold rain. Instead it was snowing. Most people were not happy about snow in October, but I love snow. There is something about running with snowflakes on your lashes that makes you smile.

It takes something huge and beautiful, or unexpected, to make me stop and remember to breathe and appreciate what a gift it is to be able to run.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Still Alive

I know I haven't posted in FOREVER. I won't make excuses, I won't try to catch up. I'll just go from here. Maybe it's all the chocolate covered espresso beans I had today that are finally motivated. Maybe I'm delirious. I'm at a LIVE for work, and I've slept about 6 hours in the past 3 days. And you know what..... I'm FINE.

Sometimes you just need something to kick you out of a rut. I spend so much time planning and worrying. I waste so much time sleeping. I miss out on things because I'm afraid I might be tired, or rushed the next day. Saturday I skipped a concert I spent $50 on a ticket for because I had to get up early the next morning and didn't want to get home late. My roomies went without me and had a blast.

From here I'm going straight to meet my team for the Reach the Beach Relay.... a 36 hour relay across NH. And I'm going to enjoy it! I'm not going to stay in the van alone sleeping, just because I have a LIVE the next week too and don't want to be tired.

I can sleep when I'm dead.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

back on the road

Monday I ran 8 miles in 1:10 and today I ran 6.67 in 1:00. What's great about both of those runs? First, they are both longer than 5 miles, and second they are both under a sub 10 mile. Finally, I'm back.

What changed? Well first last week I was on a business trip in Arkansas. It was hot, and my hotel was on a busy road. That mean no outdoor running. I used it as an opportunity to do what I never do at home, do something different. One day I did speed work on an indoor track. I did 4 x 800, 4 x 400 and 6 x 200, the next day I used this funky treadmill type thing that went up to a super high incline. I did a pre-programmed extreme hill workout. The last day I had to be at the airport very early, so I tried to see how fast I could do a 5k on the treadmill. 23:22. By doing shorter, different workouts I was really able to amp up the intensity.

Then, over the weekend I took 2 days off from running and biked instead. Monday morning I was still in Maine (what a treat!), so I sat down for 10 minutes with my Mom with a cup of coffee and hunk of bread instead of heading straight out the door as usual. The 8 miles around the island felt like a breeze. Even with the extremely hilly terrain, I was still flying. I don't know if it was my happiness to be running by the ocean away from traffic, or the fact that I ate something before going but I felt great. Same thing this morning, my legs felt pretty dead (I've been doing a lot of squats and leg work with weights) but every time I looked down at my Garmin I was at a 9:30 or better pace. We'll see if I can keep it up once the humidity comes back!

Monday, June 22, 2009

this is why

So the Trek was cold and rainy and fantastic. All night at Sunday River I listened to the rain beating down (and to the 8 other people in the little dorm room snoring and tossing and turning) and thought about how horrible of a ride it was going to be. It would be wet and I'd be riding without my friend. But in the morning, I sat and ate my power bar and sipped coffee and chatted with strangers and started to get excited. I met up with Anne and found Ken, and we took off. I was drenched by the bottom of the first hill. But from that point on, I couldn't get any wetter so I just rode. I cranked up the 3 mile hill, and then just bombed down. My heart was pumping, the rain was pelting me, dirt was flying up into my face and I was laughing. The second 30 miles went by in a blur. I felt so good, I just kept pushing and pushing.
Saturday morning my legs felt pretty dead and I was afraid I'd pushed too hard. But after 15 or so miles, I got into it and felt good again. I rode alone and kept a comfortable pace. I did gorge a little on pizza and ice cream at the end, but I deserved it right? There was a great band playing, Sally and the Smelts. It was nice to just sit and sip a beer and listen. We ate an early dinner and then just sat and talked for a couple hours. I felt very comfortable with everyone the whole weekend. I'm fine being alone, but I never felt that I had to be alone.
Sunday we were up early again, and I started with Anne and Kim. I lost them fairly quickly, but ended up riding with a couple for a long time. I forget how brutal the third day is. The hills are relentless and the wind was against us. The 3 of us took turns pulling the other 2. I'm not sure how much we were really drafting, I think it was mostly mental, just having company. Ken came up as I passed the last rest stop, and we pushed it to the end. Like the first day, something came over me and I just was on fire. Coming down the final 2 miles, with people lining the streets cheering and screaming I was peddling as fast as I could. It was over too soon.
Every year I think about not riding because I hate raising the money. But every year I am so glad I do. Everyone riding is just so supportive and into making it a fun experience. It's hard, but not impossibly so. It's about doing what you can do, and having fun doing it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rainy forcast

I'm off to Maine this afternoon for the Trek Across Maine, which is a 3 day ride that I've done for the past 4 years. It's a lot of fun, but this year I'm not that excited. First, my friend Quincy that I always ride with just moved to Texas so she won't be riding this year. Her mom is still riding, and I know a few other people riding as well, but well they're all older. It's not the same as Quincy. We usually pass the time making up stupid songs and telling stories. Secondly, the forecast is for rain all 3 days. Yuck. 6-7 hours a day in the cold rain doesn't sound fun. I'm trying to be positive. It's 3 days off from running, which I need because my heel is still hurting a lot. And it's 3 days away from work!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Birthday ramblings

So today is the big day- the 25th birthday. It's a lot less exciting than marathon day. Particularly because today is a Monday and I have all day meetings. However I got 2 great birthday presents. First it was sunny on Saturday. It rained all of last week and Saturday's forcast wasn't good. All I wanted was a day at the beach. In the end I got it. We did get stuck in Boston for about an hour and half because of the parade, but made it to the beach by 1:30 and stayed until 5. I dragged 2 of my friends on a walk, which they claimed was too long (it was maybe a mile) and would have done more (walking, swimming, frisbee) but everyone else just wanted to lay in the sun. So I did too, and maybe that's good for me to stop once in awhile. Then we went to a great litte restaurant right on the water and sat on the patio and had beer and dinner, followed by ice cream cake at home.
Sunday, I went to my aunt's where I got present number 2- a garmin 405. This I had directly requested as my only big present from all my relatives. I love it! I was so antsy waiting for it to charge last night so I could play with it. I took it on a 9 mile run this morning. After 3 months without my nike i-pod +, it's so nice to have that feedback. It was a little discouraging too though because I wasn't going very fast! Still I felt good on my run this morning. I definately didn't have the empty tank issue I had last week. At my aunt's yesterday I had dark chocolate brownies, then I met my Dad for dinner at an Italian place that has the BEST rolls and dipping sauce. I had 3 rolls drenched in the olive oil sauce and then could only manage a bite of my BLT pizza. I recovered enough on the car ride home to eat 5 of the chocolate chip cookies my sister made. I refuse to feel guilty it's my Birthday!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A pain in the...... heel

So for the past couple weeks I've been feeling this twinge in my heels, especially my left heel that has slowly gotten worse. I'm pretty sure it's plantar fasciitis, which I've never had before. I've got the typical symptoms- it's worse when I wake up in the morning (which is of course when I run) or after a prolonged period of sitting (which is what I do at work all day). It's not unbearable, so I'm doing what I always do, running anyway. I'm always reluctant to stop running, especially since I'm actually seeing some progress with the weight-loss, I'm down to an even 140 pounds. But it's making my runs not much fun, and I'm starting to worry that I may be doing permanent damage.

Monday, June 8, 2009

biking=great, running not so great

I had a fantastic weekend of activity. Saturday I rode with my usual biking buddy to a homemade ice cream place and farm. It was a rolling 22 miles there and the sun came out half-way. It was nice to have slept in, had coffee and breakfast, and then be out in the air. I had an amazing small coffee heath yogurt ( I had to restrain myself from getting more), and then we ended up meeting up with another woman on the ride home. It was nice to have some new company and she really pushed our pace. Heather and I have gotten pretty complacent and just chug along at 13-14 miles an hour. Saturday though we averaged 15-16. I felt so great, that I decided to bike to get my hair cut after I got home (sorry again to the poor hairdresser who had to deal with my sweaty head), bringing my total for the day to 55 miles. Saturday night we went out to the bars, and I realized yet again how over that scene I am. It's not worth the money or the calories (both the alcohol, and the pizza that I inevitably want at the end of the night). So Sunday I slept in and then went out on my own for about 25 miles on the bike. I felt great again and would have done longer, but I tried a new route and ended up back home too soon. In the afternoon I took my kayak to the lake and had a nice long paddle. The real work-out though is getting it up the huge hill and back onto my car at the end. By that point I was sunburned, tired, and starving. So I had an early dinner (this very interesting grilled watermelon with goat cheese and basalmic that I saw on TV), and then fell asleep around 8:30. Super early even for me.
Then, this morning I suffered through yet another run. It was a combination of tired legs, the humidity, and the fact I hadn't eaten in like 14 hours. And, I planned a route that was shorter than I thought, so I was back in about an hour instead of the 80 minutes I wanted to do. It's hard to make myself run circles on the side streets, when I have seen my house. On the plus side, my weight was down when I weighed myself this morning.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

back on track

So I'm doing much better with the eating this week. I've been making healthy lunches and dinners, and stopping at reasonable portions. Best of all, I haven't been snacking all night. So my conscience feels much better. However physically, I'm hungry, and I feel like my running is suffering. I run first thing in the morning, literally right after I roll out of bed. Sneakers on, contacts in, i-pod in hand, and I'm out the door. The smaller dinner and the lack of night time snacking though, means I have nothing in the tank for these morning runs. Wednesday I tried to do hill repeats. They were slow painful shuffles for the first 6, and I ended up walking half-way up the last hill. I don't think there's a good solution. I need to loose this weight, and I'm not going to get up earlier to eat and then let it settle before I run. Besides, if I ate breakfast at 6 am I would be ready for lunch by 10. Ideas?

Friday, May 15, 2009

And now what??

I haven't been writing, because I've fallen into the same pit that everyone falls into after a marathon. I don't know what to do with myself. Physicially I felt great! I forced myself to take 1 day off completely, and then stuck to the elliptical and swimming for a week. This week I was back at it full time:

Monday: 7 mile run, pilates
Tuesday: Kickboxing in the am, then punk rope at night (a ton of fun!)
Wednesday: 6 mile run (hills)
Thurs: 20 mins bike, 40 mins elliptical, hour and half of cardio kickboxing (with like a million squats and lunges
Fri: 50 minute run with 8 minute pick-ups.

I was exhausted this morning, but I think that's just from the million lunges last night. And I'm exhuasted in general, which i think is fair. I haven't slept past 7:30 am in months. In the past month I've been to Dubai, ran a marathon, and moved.

And now I'm done with it all and feeling a little lost. I do have the trek across Maine in June, but I'm not looking forward to it as much as usualy because Quincy isn't doing it. And I'm having a lot of trouble fund raising. Any one want to pledge me?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

feeling good

So I'm almost at the 48 hour post marathon mark and I feel shockingly good. Enough soreness to remind me that I did something, but nothing terrible. I was more sore after the half, and 20 miler in all honesty. Yesterday I forced myself to take the day off, which for me is huge. Today I did 45 easy minutes on the elliptical. I felt fine. I'm really tired today but I think that's just because I didn't sleep well. Too much green tea with my sushi, and then noise in the hotel.
I'm finding it hard to grasp what I did. A marathon. I ran a marathon. The same girl who the first day of track in Junior High though she was going to die during the half mile warm-up. I was wearing these horrible un-lined wind pants, which were plastered to my legs. I was a gymnast- I could launch myself into the air, flip around multiple times, and land on my feet with no problem. Yet the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other seemed impossible. By the end of season I could manage the warm-up with no problem, and decided to run a mile a day during the off season to stay in shape. That mile turned into 3, and then 6, and then 13. Each time I did a new distance I thought that was the farthest I'd ever go, and then I went farther. And now 26.2...... will that be it?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

26 done now for the 25!

Hey, guess what I did today? I ran a marathon! I have never been so nervous before a race in my life. I was awake at 5 am yesterday and today, and could barely choke down a few sips of coffee and some dry cereal. I was glad it was an 8 am start.
The start was pretty disorganized: the half and full runners were all together, and not sorted by pace. I was too near the front for my liking, but everyone went out slowly. I almost started crying when the gun went out. This is something I've been thinking about for 5 years, and I've run enough to know how hard it would be.
It was hard, but not horrible. The course was hillier than I expected, but not as hilly as Maine so I was okay. It wasn't quite as senic as I expected either. A lot of industial warehouse areas. My biggest complaint is that the food and water stops weren't spaced properly. The only goo was at 8.5 and 21, so I carried my own, but there was no water in the 6-7, and 13-14 mile ranges when I wanted to take it. So I took my first gel at 7.5, the second at 14.5, and the last at 21. It was perfect, I never hit the wall and I never felt overly queasy.
The whether was decent too. It was fairly sunny the first hour, and then clouded over. I went from being a little hot to a little cool, but never too much so. I brought my i-pod, which I'm very glad for. I wasn't running with anyone and it did help distract me. I ran with another woman my age for about 4 miles in the middle and it was nice to have someone to talk with.
I didn't lock myself into a plan. I drank when I wanted too, and then the last 6 let myself walk a minute every mile, plus one hill. I was ready to be done, but I wasn't dying, and I really kicked the past .2
Then I had my space blanket, but I couldn't find my Mom, so I borrowed a cell phone and called her. She was back at the 25 mile mark freaking out because I hadn't gone by and she thought I was hurt. I got 3 bottles of water, which I drank right away, and streched while I waited for her. Then, I had a heavenly massage because my neck was killing me. I was still moving pretty well, so we walked over to the mall for a frozen yogurt which was the only thing I could stomach. Then my fantastic Mom treated me to a pedicure, which actually hurt a lot because I have a huge blood blister at the tip of my big toe. But my feet look a heck of a lot better.
I'm on the bed at my hotel now, trying to muster the energy to get some ice. It might not happen.
So the 26 is done. Now it's time to move into the new house and celebrate the 25th birthday.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu?

I just haven't been able to recover since I got back. When I was in Dubai I was sleeping 4 hours a night and I felt great. Back home I've been sleeping 12 hours a night and feel horrible. I had a sore throat, stuffy nose, fever, and my stomach didn't feel great. I was hoping it would go away, but instead it's gotten worse. Today I had to leave work because I was so sick to my stomach. I've managed about 6 saltines and a few sips of water. And the marathon is 3 days away...... And of course this swine flu epidemic is making me nervous. I'm sure I don't have it, but I was a lot of airplanes and in a lot of strange places.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dubai day 2

Just a warning, this post has nothing to do with running. But my training this morning was cancelled, so I have a few extra minutes and I want to document this, if only for myself.

Yesterday was a long day at the hospital, 8:30-6, but actually pretty interesting. We went on a tour of the entire facility, and then the afternoon was meetings. But, luckily most of the meeting pertained to my module so I got to speak enough to keep myself awake. I was amazed at how receptive everyone is to my input. Basically the MT USA is like God to them, they'll listen to everything we say. I feel a little bad for the MT South Africa consultants because they get ignored. But they are amazingly knowledgable, and are very used to finding work-arounds for non standard situations. Obviously they have to be because their hospitals are so radically different, from rural barely functioning facilites in Botswana to state of the art facilties here in Dubai. I'd actually love to work for them for a year- but I'm not sure MT USA would let me go. And, I'm quickly setting into my spoiled comfortable life.

We had about 45 minutes after we finished and before we left for dinner, so I set out to find an alarm clock. The hotel is quite luxurious, but doesn't have alarm clocks and their sense of time is a little lax here for asking for a wake-up call at 6, means you'll get one sometime before 7. There was this really nice juice bar on the way to the shopping plaza, and I'm on a mission to have as much mango as possible so I stopped. It was delightfully cool inside, and they treated me like a princess. I was just going to get a smoothie to go, but they pulled up a soft stool for me, helped me go over the menu, and then brought me free samples, and a puzzle for while I waited. I feel a little wierd being served like that, but that's the way it is every where here. The smootie was amazing, big hunks of mango and berries.
We went to Jumeriah Madinat Souk for dinner, which is this fancy tourist souk over by the super expensive hotel. It was like being in a movie. It was canals and candle light and fancy shops. I convinced everyone to go to the Persian restaurant instead of the steak house, and it was amazing. They brought pita bread, cheese, and all these fresh herbs (lemon basil, mint, chives, anise) for starter, and then I got this spinach with fried onions and dried yogurt as an appetizer. For my main course I got this stew with chicken, walnuts and pommegranite. It was so dark and rich and amazing on top of fluffy, light jasmine rice. I was tempted to go back to the hotel with the early crown, but I fought my loser intincts and stayed late. We wandered the stalls, and then went to the center open bar for drinks and a hooka. I actually liked the hooka, it's not like a cigarette at all, it's light and smoky. But, to preserve my lungs I only had a couple puffs. It was warm and lovely, and great people watching. There's no typical person here, it really is a global city and you hear hundreds of languages. You see burkas and traditional dress next to mini-skirts and high heels.

Monday, April 20, 2009


So I survived the 14 hour plan ride, but just barely. I think I slept for maybe 3 hours, and the rest of time I tried to watch movies and read. But I couldn't get into either. Mostly I sat and worried about what this was doing to my body. At one point my left quad really started to hurt and I was sure I had a blood clot. The guy in the isle seat was passed out the whole time, so every time I wanted to get up I either had to jump over him or wake him up. Neither was pleasant, I limited myself to 4 outings. I did some yoga in the bathroom (not an easy feat) and walked the length of the plane a few times.
I brought my running shoes, and thought that I might get in a few early morning runs before it gets too hot. However, there is no such thing as not too hot here. It was still 95 at 8 pm last night. Plus, even though people say this is an extremely safe city, I don't feel comfortable running alone, especially in little shorts and a tank top. Compared to other Middle Eastern countries this is pretty Westernized, but women should still dress conservatively. This presents a problem, when it's a 100 degrees out. I am dripping sweat after a 5 minute walk, much less after a run.
So the elliptical it is for me, which I suppose is probably good for my shins, but it's not so good for the mind.... I get so bored! Oh well, I need some way to burn off all the curry I'm eating!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ready or not?

I'm at the point in my training where I'm starting to worry that I haven't done enough, but it's too late to do anything about it. On Saturday I did a 2.5 hour run. I was at home, on Southport, which is much hillier than where I run in MA during the week. I really don't think there is any stretch longer than 1/8 that is flat. I barely made the 2.5 hours. In the marathon I'd still have at least an hour and half to go. I know Providence won't be as hilly, but it might be hot, which scares me even more.
Sunday, I was feeling guility after eating massive amounts of Easter candy and treats, so I went out on my bike for about an hour and half. Again, in Maine there's no such thing as an easy ride because of the hills.
Subsequently, my legs have felt dead all week. Monday, I chugged through 5.5 miles; Tuesday I pretended to squat and lunge my way through kickboxing; and today I pushed out another 6 miles. Am I trying to do too much? I just really feel like I need to get in as much as possible this week, because starting Saturday I'll be in the desert of the Middle East. The heat, and a very busy work schedule, will severely limit my running. Then, I'm back and it's just a few days till the race. Clearly, I am not good at letting go and trusting that things will be okay.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

this thing called life

Life needs to slow down. All of a sudden I feel like I'm being pulled in a thousand directions, but none of them is helping me prepare for my marathon. A friend was looking to move and asked if I'd be interested in sharing a house for her. I said yes, and boom, all of sudden my nights are taken up with looking at houses. Finally last night we found the perfect house. Now, I'm rushing around like crazy trying to get it. I have a feeling they're going to want me to move in for May, aka the same weekend as my marathon. I don't exactly consider moving a taper, more like a mad sprint. And I can't wait and move after the race, because I have back to back work trips.
So that's the moving problem.
Then there's work. Somehow the way my travel schedule worked out, I've been sitting in the office for the last couple months, and now I'm basically gone for the next 3 months. When I'm on the road, things just pile up. Plus, it usually involves me running in the dark in some strange place, not sleeping much, and eating a lot of crap. Also not the best taper.
And then there's grad school, I'm taking an epidemiology class this spring and it just started getting hard. It's not that hard, but I just dont have a lot of time and energy to devote to it.
I could go on, but I'm sure you don't want to hear it. Plus, I'm kind of bumming myself out, so I'll try to end on a positive note. I tried the 6 am spin class this morning and it was actually fun. I had this idea that I totally hated spinning, but I didn't today. So that will be a good low impact, early morning alternative.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

me + steven runner = perfectly timed marathon

I was listening to Pheddipidations yesterday morning when I was running and Steve was talking about how he now has 5 weeks to train for Boston. Basically he has to cram for his marathon. I have the opposite problem. I did my 20 miler, and now I have a whole month before my marathon! If you averaged the two of us out, you'd have a perfectly timed marathon.

I'm not sure what to do with myself in these weeks before. I don't want to run too much, because I know my body can't take it, or my mind for that matter. The idea of running 16-20 miles by myself for the next few weeks is not a happy one. Everyone else is doing Boston, so I've lost all my running buddies. Plus, I've got a trip to Dubai thrown into the mix, which I'm sure will do a number on my body. It's going to be a long plan ride, not much sleep, and probably a lot of eating and not much running. I hate treadmills and I hate the heat, so that doesn't give me a lot of running options in a desert.

I'm going to stop now, because this post doesn't have much of a point, much like my running these days.

Friday, March 27, 2009

paranoia runs deep

The week before a big race I am more aware of my body than any other time. I am tuned into every twinge and creak, fearing that I will break down, right when I want to run most . This week it was my foot that was setting my alarm flags off. I've had on and off foot problems and never done anything about them. I've just run through them and eventually they've gone away. This week when I put pressure on my foot it was rolling outward, forcing me to walk on the edge of my foot. If I tried to put my foot down flat, I felt a sharp pain in my foot up through my ankle. Nothing horrible, but I can't only imagine how that little pain might turn into a big pain after 20 miles. I limited myself to running 3 days, and tried to elliptical. This morning, it actually felt pretty good.

But, I was also running on angry adrenaline, thanks to a mix-up with my application to a graduate program. I sent the application in October and haven't heard a word, so I thought I was all set. Then, yesterday at 5 pm, I get an e-mail saying that my application is incomplete, and they are making final decisions tomorrow. There was nothing I could do about it last night, but I woke up at 4 this morning in a panic about it. I went for what I think was a fast run (my Nike i-pod plus is broken so I don't know for sure), and then tried to round up all the materials that I know I already sent. But it was probably all for nothing, as I don't think they'll have everything in time. Now, I'm just hoping that at least got my bad luck out of the way for the week, and my foot will hold-out for the Eastern States 20 miler Sunday.

Monday, March 23, 2009

sicky sick

So in addition to the aches and pains I mentioned on Friday, now I have a cold too. Last week when everyone in my office was sick, I was feeling pretty smug. Then Friday morning my throat hurt a little, and by the time I got home from work I was exhausted, and very stuffy. I couldn't face the drive to NH, so I decided to stay home and sack out on the couch. I've found massive amounts of sleep more effective than any other remedy. I was alseep by 9 on Friday and slept until 8 the next morning. I went to an easy class at the gym, just to do something, then spent the rest of the day doing all the errands I've been putting off. After spending most of Saturday (which was a lovely day) in the waiting room at the Honda dealership and then at Sears, I needed to be outside Sunday. I couldn't roundup any ski buddies so I decided to go at it alone. I went to Ragged Mountain, which is close and cheap. But it's also a little small, so I got kinda bored. Plus around 2 it started to snow like crazy, and was extremely windy. Happy Spring! So, I called it a short day and headed home. I went to bed really early again, and hoped to be feeling better this morning. However, my run indicated that I'm still sick. I wanted to do my 7 mile loop, that I haven't done since last year to see if I'm any faster. I felt like I was really pushing it, and I thought I was doing at least 9 minute miles. I finished 6.7 miles in 1:09: I felt like I was going to throw up, I couldn't stop coughing, and my legs hurt. 6 days till the 20 miler and I need to be better.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I'm sitting at work and my legs are aching the way they used to. Basically my bones from my ankle to my knees feel like they are spontaneously splintering as I sit here. And this is after I iced for an hour last night. Really, I'm just surprised it took this long to start hurting. I've been running a ton, and continuing to go to several very high impact step and kickboxing classes. Once I'm in the class I just can't help myself from doing the hardest option, even if that involves relentless pounding.
I refuse to run less, so here's the plan. This weekend- no running, I'll be in NH so I can ski instead. New shoes- and I won't feel guilty for spending $30 more on the new pink Asics Gel Nimbus 10, instead of getting the clearance orange 9s. Ice- I've just got to be more consistent. Less impact outside of running- luckily, or unluckily, I have a quite a few work trips coming up, so I won't be able to go to night classes at the gym.

Monday, March 16, 2009


So my "rest" days after my long run turned into a 25 mile bike ride yesterday (it was just so nice out) and a fairly hard effort 5.5 mile run this morning (I lost track of time, then realized I was late for work)..........

Sunday, March 15, 2009

19.45 and good to go

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling pretty anxious. I was meeting a new running partner and going for my longest run to date. I had spent about an hour at REI the night before looking and goo and other energy products. I had tried sport beans before and really liked the taste, but wanted to try something else as well. But, as is my tendency, I wanted everything, so I got a little of everything! Some gels, some shot blocks, and some sport beans. Before the run, I had 2 cups of coffee and big bowl of cereal (frosted mini wheats, kashi go lean, and special K- again I like to have it all, I can never just have one type).
The running partner worked out perfectly. She got an in to Boston at the last minute and is also trying to do some catch-up. She was a little faster at the start, but after the first hour we were both comfortable with the speed. I couldn't believe how fast 3 hours passed! I stopped at about 75 minutes for a quick walk break, and a gel, which I had no problems with. Then we just get kept chugging. It was a bright, warm, sunny day and I had my first run of the spring in a t-shirt.
The only tough part came at the end. We planned a straight run to Concord, where we were going to meet friends for lunch. Except we got there so much faster than I thought we would. So we had about 45 minutes more of running to kill. I still felt pretty good, but it was just hard to keep running loops, and passing our cafe over and over! But, I was so determined to make it to 3 hours, and I did. The final mileage was 19.45, which is a 9:15 pace. I was shocked! I thought that we would maybe do 16 in that 3 hours. Either my nike i-pod plus is totally off, or I can actually do this!

Friday, March 13, 2009

And now I feel guilty about running

So I started the week feeling bad because I felt like I wasn't running enough. Now I feel bad because I think I'm doing too much. This week I ended up running everyday since Monday. Tuesday I did 9.5, Wednesday 7, Thursday 7, and today 6. Oh and Monday night I went to pilates, Tuesday to a step class, and last night to an intense step/weight interval class. Then, I was really sick at night, and spent a couple hours throwing up. When my alarm went off this morning, I was exhausted and felt pretty empty and weak. But, I still dragged myself out of bed and into the dark cold morning. I don't really ever give myself an option not to. The alarm goes off and I'm up. Then, if I run less than an hour, I feel like it wasn't really a work-out. This morning, I made myself stop at 45 minutes, because tomorrow I have 16-17 miles planned with a new running friend. I think that this really is going to be a challenge for me. Not just the long runs, which are hard for everyone, but also making myself slow down and break afterwards to let myself recover. The only day off I can even remember was about a month ago when I was stuck in an airport for an entire day and I was going nuts. I walked laps around the airport like a person possessed. Being physicially confined was the only thing that could stop me. I may need to invest in a straight jacket.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I finally went running!

So for the first time since I made this crazy decision, I actually went running. I normally go to a kickboxing class on Tuesday morning, but I felt like I needed to get some running in. Weather kept me inside yesterday, and the forcast for tomorrow is equally as bad, so today was the day. I just couldn't bring myself to set my alarm for earlier than 6, since 6 feels like 5 this week, so I only had time for an 80 minute run. I still find it slightly crazy that 80 minutes is a short long run now. 80 minutes used to be my longest run. It was pretty dark when I started, which make navigation a challenge since we had a sleet and snow yesterday. Luckily most of sidewalk was just crunchy snow. It was a slight challenge, but nothing like the deep snow, and sheer ice I've had to contend with most of the this weekend. It was also about 28, which for me is the perfect running temperature.

As usual, it took me about 20 minutes to start feeling good. I prefer to sleep till the last minute rather than give myself any time to warm up. I wake up, shove some gummy bears or jelly beans in mouth so I have something in my system, throw on my clothes, pop in my contacts and I'm out the door in less than 10 minutes. Once I was warmed up I felt pretty good. I chugged along at a solid 9 minute mile, listening to phedippidations, and even felt good enough to push the pace for the last couple miles. I wanted to keep going, but I had work, and I should try to save something for a real long run this weekend.

Monday, March 9, 2009

lots of skiing..... zero running

Fantastic weekend, but the amount of running I did was zero. However, I spent about 10 hours skiing and am tired and sunburned to prove it.

Saturday I met a group of people at Gunstock Nordic in New Hampshire. It's a casual group and it tends to be different people every time. Saturday I ended up skiing with 2 women around my age, one is a marathoner and one is a triathlete. So, although they are fairly new to skiing, they are both in great shape so we kept up a good pace. Also, I did a lot of arm work at the gym Thursday night, and x-c skiing really works your arms. Especially since it was so warm, and the snow was thick and slushy. On the last few hills, I felt like my arm were spaghetti and my heels were on fire. No matter what I do my boots give me horrible blisters. I've tried different socks, no socks, band-aids, duct tape. So 4 hours is pretty much my limit.

Sunday my sister and I went down-hill skiing. Because of daylight savings, we didn't get on the mountain till about 10. But we made up for lost time by not stopping the entire day, except for a quick 15 minutes to shove down lunch. It was just an incredible day- so warm and sunny that today my face is bright pink. Again, the snow was pretty thick and slushy, but I like to think of it as a good quad work-out. Between the heavy snow, the non-stop pace, and some time in the terrain park on jumps and the half-pipe, my quads were burned by 4:30.

So great weekend, but no running. On the one hand, I know I got in two solid work-outs, that are much less impact on my poor stress fracture prone body and I had a ton of fun. On the other hand, I know that running is running and skiing is skiing, and in order to run a marathon I need to run. Which I didn't do this morning either. I was planning to drag my self out of bed super early and try to get in 10 miles. But, when my alarm went off in the darkness, I could hear the sleet and hail outside. I just couldn't do it and went to the gym. So here I am, sunburned, back in my desk chair, and feeling slightly guilty.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Decision Made..... I think

I've been running for about 7 years, and the marathon has always been in the back of my mind. But there was always some reason why I didn't do one: after years of gymnastics I have a lot of lingering injuries, I like to workout every day and am not good about allowing myself any rest, I like to bike and ski on weekends and can't bring myself to get up at 4 am to do a long run before work, blah blah blah. But this year, I have decided (pretty much anyway) that I'm finally going to do it. And I'm going to do it soon. There are several reasons for this.

First, being the adventure seeker that I am, I signed myself up for the 2010 Antarctica marathon. I had to sign up last year because it fills up so fast, and at that point it seemed light-years ahead. I figured I would have plenty of time to do a couple marathons before. Only now, it's a year away. Because of my tendency to get hurt, I don't want to risk running a late fall marathon and not be able to run Antarctica. I also hate the heat. If it's over 70, I am not a happy runner. So a summer/early fall marathon is out. That leaves me with a late spring marathon. The May 3rd, Cox Providence Marathon to be exact.

I alternate between thinking this is totally manageable (I have been regularly running 30 miles a week, and have built my long runs up to 15-16 miles) and thinking that I will be totally unprepared. But, I think I need to go for it. Otherwise the marathon will continue to float in my future like a mirage in the desert.

Also, I'm quickly approaching my 25th birthday, which is not that old. But it represents a point in your life when you should have your life completely together. At the surface level I do. I graduated from college, got a great job at a medical software company where I've been promoted twice in two years, and am taking grad school classes on-line. I'm not in debt, I'm self sufficient. I look like I know what I want. The only problem is that I don't. I never pictured myself with a 9-5 desk job. Some days I think I could do this for the rest of my life. Other days, the idea of sitting in this cube for another year makes me want to cry. I've applied to grad schools full time, but the idea of walking away from financial security terrifies me. I've let myself settle too soon. I used to be a dreamer, a do-er. Now, I run, go to work, go to the gym, and come home and watch TV.

So to jolt me out of my rut before it is too late, I am going to run 26 miles to celebrate 25 years and hence the blog, 26 for 25. So come along for the ride, and see if I can not only do this, but do it well.