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, January 30, 2012


I ran into my coworker this morning at the airport. I called her name several times before she finally turned to me confused. "Sorry," she said " I feel like I've been inside a tornado for the past few days." It was the perfect way to describe how I feel as well.

Thursday morning I got up at 3:45 and hit up my elliptical for a workout before heading to the airport. For the next 20 hours I got to deal with all the pleasures of travel, an overly packed plane, delayed flights, and nasty airport food. I finally got to Arcata only to go to the wrong Best Western 2 times, before finally finding my hotel!

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I was up at 4 to hit up the hotel gym, which had nothing but a crappy treadmill. So the treadmill it was. Then a quick shower, a stop in the lobby where I stuffed my laptop case with stuff from the continental breakfast and I was in the car for the 45 minute drive to the hospital. I am sure it was a nice drive in the daylight- through the mountains and redwoods on highway 101. But it was always dark when I was driving it. Then the next 13-14 hours were at the Redwood Memorial Hospital ED supporting the doctors and nurses as they went LIVE with Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE). There wasn't much at the hospital or in town in terms of food, but luckily there was a Starbucks! Then it was 45 minutes back to the hotel, where I'd fall in bed exhausted. I am very tired of oatmeal, yogurt, cheerios, and fruit since that's all I ate the whole time. Well, and a lot of chocolate from the candy I brought to bribe the staff into liking me and CPOE.

As exhausting as it all was, it was all pretty rewarding. It was really interesting to be in the ED and see all the cases that came in. It was pretty sad as well. It's a poor, rural area so we saw a lot of people who came in simply because they had no place to go. It was also rewarding to see the staff do so well with the new electronic system. I spend so much time in a basement, or at my house, building the system, but totally removed from the patient care aspect.

And now it's time for my second flight of the day. Cross your fingers that the rest of the trip home is a smooth one, because I think I'm too tired to handle any disruption with grace today.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Disapointed with P90X

I borrowed P90X from my sister on a whim when I was visiting at Christmas and it's been sitting used in my suitcase ever since. But due to the extremely crappy gym at my hotel this week, and the fact that I don't feel safe running in the dark in Eureka (which is pretty sketchy) at 3:30 am, I finally tried it out this morning. I did the Cardio X. And honestly, I didn't feel like it was very hard. It started with yoga and then moved on to some boxing and core. I barely broke a sweat. I was pretty disappointed because I bothered to get up 3:30 to get in a workout before I headed to the hospital for a 13 hour shift where I sit all day. I am surprised because I've heard from so many people how much they love P90X. I'd love to hear what your experiences with it are.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Brownie Waffles: Darn you Rachael Ray

When I'm working at home I like to have daytime TV on in the background to fill the silence. This is turning into a problem because I keep seeing delicious, and not so healthy, recipes I want to try. Last fall on Rachael Ray I was introduced to the wonder of stuffing waffles, which I thought was the best waffle creation ever. And then yesterday she topped it- brownie waffles. They looked so good I thought about them all day, until I finally caved tried making them. Holy yum. They are so good, crispy on both sides with that wonderful brownie softness in the middle. They are horribly dangerous because they only take about 5 minutes from start to finish!

Rachael Ray's Brownie Waffles

I knew I didn't want to make a whole batch, because then I'd eat a whole batch. So I invented a single serve recipe. I apologize in advance for sharing because I know you will want these every day!

Kier's Slightly Healthier Single Serve Brownie Waffle

1/4 cup flour (I used half whole wheat)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon applesauce
2 tablespoons water or milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

mix and pour into a well greased pre-heated waffle iron

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yoga is like data collection

Last night's little lesson at yoga was not the most poetic but it was amazingly effective for me. As we did some deep breathing to let go of the day and get ready for yoga the teacher said, "Tonight we are going to think of yoga as data collection. Notice what your body is telling you. Note it in your mind, and then move on."

I think this lesson struck a chord with me because it fits in perfectly with my resolution to be more mindful. To notice what is happening right now. It also targets one of my weaknesses, which is to over analyze. As soon as I notice something I can't help but try to figure out why it is happening and what I am going to do about it.

Instead, last night I found the power in simple observation. I felt my body moving through the poses and let it be what it was without judgement. Wow. As I lay in shavasana at the end of class I did an inventory of my body. Taking in a deep breath, I could feel this incredible energy pulsating in each body part as I focused on it, and then a physical relaxation as I exhaled. I walked into yoga feeling tired and creaky from my long run and left feeling loose and relaxed.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

The run that almost wasn't (and the flight that really wan't)

So after I spent all that time coming up with a modified training plan last week, I totally almost blew it by not doing a long run this weekend.

I liked to do my long runs on Friday when possible because then I have more time on the weekend to spend with friends and family. But we got a lovely 8 inches of perfect snow on Thursday night into Friday. This meant that I just HAD to go downhill skiing on Friday. I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for snow this winter and I couldn't waste it. I absolutely didn't. I was on the first chair up and got fresh tracks in the powder. It was perfect- light, fluffy, and dry. There was no one there so I went non-stop all day. Heaven.

Then Saturday I woke up to find it snowing again. So when my Mom called and asked if I wanted to meet her at Pinehill to cross country, I, of course, said yes. It was also delightful. Last weekend was icy and fast, but yesterday was a day to slow down and enjoy the soft powder and lovely woods. We skied for 4 hours and it felt like no time at all (except that my hands were completely numb because it was like 12 degrees). Then we headed into the cute little cafe for some overdue lunch. We shared a hot steaming bowl of minestrone (with Maine beans, potatoes, and veggies!) and a bacon (from their own farm), avocado, and tomato sandwich.

On the way home I stopped at LL Bean. I've been stalking the outlet waiting for snowshoes to go on sale. I already have enough outdoor equipment to open my own store, but I still want snowshoes. There are some trails right by my house, but they get a lot of dog walkers which makes them not so good for skiing. But they will be perfect for snowshoes. And aren't they pretty?

So today Sunday was my last chance. I was planning to leave for the airport so I knew I'd have to run early if I was going to get it in. So I got up at 6:30, turned on the coffee maker, and looked at the thermometer. 3 degrees. Wah. I don't know when I turned into such a wimp, but I was so unexcited. The only thing that got me out the door was my new running jacket (which I also got at Bean's yesterday). Well and the fact that I knew I'd feel horribly guilty and regret it forever if I didn't do the planned run. It was cold, but sunny, and slippery from all the snow the past 2 days, but I had on my yak trax, and I got it done.

And then came home to find the cancelled my flight, and there is no other way to get to CA today. So I could have slept in and run when it was warmer. Oh well.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to Modify my Marathon Training?

I am following the Jeff Galloway Time Goal Training Program for Rome. It calls for a 23 miler on 1/28 and a 26 miler on 2/19

I know for sure I can't do 28 miles on 1/28. I am supporting a go-LIVE in Northern California for week, and I'm working 12 hour shifts everyday from Monday the 23rd through Sunday the 29th, and then have an 18 hour trip home to Maine on Monday. The other complication is that I am running the half marathon in the 26.2 with Donna on February 12, just a week before my 26 miler.

What to do?

Here's what I'm thinking, do a 13-15 miler this weekend (the 21st) to get in something longish which gives me 2 weekends of recovery before the half. Then push back the 26 miler to February 26. This gives me 2 weeks to recover from racing the half, but still 3 weeks to taper before the marathon.

What do you think? Will this work?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baked Fish with Artichoke Pesto and Farro Salad

I have been in a cooking rut lately, so last night I decided to try one of the recipes I'd marked in last month's Fitness Magazine. The recipe Grilled Sirloin with Artichoke Pesto and Farro Salad was supposed to provide an energy boost. As soon as I saw pesto, I was sold. I don't eat beef so I switched the steak for some baked haddock. I just dipped the fillets in egg and then dipped them in panko, italian seasoning, and some lemon rind.

Don't be scared- the recipe has a lot of components, but you can do all of it while the farro and fish cooks.

This was a FANTASTIC dinner, which is good because I have tons left over, so I'll be eating it for the rest of the week! It reminds me how much I like whole grains like farro, and how easy they are to use.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


So as I've said, I am turning into a real wimp when it comes to the weather. I did make myself run outside this morning in the snow, which would have been fine if it hadn't been for all the cars flying by me and showering me in freezing slush. But for the most part, I've been spending quite a bit of time in the house. Luckily, in my new house I'm finding all kinds of fun projects to keep me busy.

First up was the bedroom. When I shared a house with room-matesmy bedroom was jam packed with all the mementos of my life, but now I have a whole house to fill and so my bedroom was a little sparse. I decided to zen it out a little, adding decoration but not noise or clutter. It forces me slow down and relax when I'm in the room- perfect!

Next up was the bathroom and I went in a totally different direction. I was in such a rush before I moved in that I had most of the house just painted white, and I was ready for some fun. So I sponge painted the back wall of the bathroom to give it some kick. It is great, I get a kick of energy every time I go into the room, especially in the morning.

I had a ton of paint left so I decided to do my laundry area too. I hate doing laundry, so I figured that a bright, cheerful laundry room could only help. Voila! (The blue is just tape, because it wasn't dry yet, it's not permanent.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cold and some gymnastics too

I am officially turning into a wimp. I used to not even look at the thermometer in the morning. I didn't want to know because it didn't matter, I just threw on my running clothes and went. But yesterday when I saw it was 2 in the morning, without the wind chill, I decided to go to the gym. Why does an hour on the treadmill feel like an eternity? But I did come up with a fun new workout that has a little bit of everything- slower longer intervals and shorter faster intervals. Here is my workout:
5 min warm up @ 6mph
4 x .25 mile repeats @7mph with .25 recovery @ 6 mph
4 x 1 min @6, 1 min @ 7, 1 min @8, 1 min @7, 1 min @6
4 x 1 min @ 9mph with 1:30 min recovery @6 mph
5 min cool down @ 6mph

I was a nice sweaty mess by the end, so I had to hustle home to take and shower and get dressed because my friend Breezy was picking me up at 11 to head to the UNH vs Penn State Gymnastics meet. I used to go every years because I went to gymnastics camp at UNH for years when I was younger, but my Dad is a huge Penn State fan, so either way, my team wins.

It was so wonderful to see live gymnastics. I wanted so badly to run out on the floor and do a tumbling pass. Gymnastics is really unique because it is not a life long sport. I devoted so much of my young life to it, and then poof, I was too old and it was gone. Unless you end up becoming a coach, you're pretty much done by the time you're 20. And really, there is nothing else that can replace that feel of flying.

The first rotation was close, with UNH on vault and Penn State on bars. But then UNH fell apart on bars and Penn State took the lead. Beam and floor were close, but UNH couldn't make up their deficit, and Penn State got the win. 

Even typing about it gets me all fired up. Time to do some cartwheels in the living room.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Making nice with snow

I have forgiven snow for wreaking havoc on my trip home Thursday. We're friends again. All because I got to go for a wonderful cross country ski this morning. It was my first trip out on my xc skis this year because we just haven't had any snow!

I met my Mom at Pineland in New Gloucester this morning and spent a lovely two hours meandering our way through the rolling trails in the woods, and then I did another 2 hours of faster stuff by myself.  It was pretty icy because of the freezing rain we got yesterday, but they had done a nice job grooming. There was only one steep downhill where it was super icy and I was way out of control.  The snow cover was too thin for them to track the trails for classic skiing, so I was skate skiing. It was a good push to skate, because last year I did mostly classic. And I am sorry to say it running, but skate skiing is absolutely the best workout in the world. I skied for 4 hours and at the end I was as tired as if I'd run 20 miles, but I didn't feel like I'd been pounded into the ground. My lungs were tired, my arms were tired, my legs were tired, but it was a gentle exhaustion instead of the ache that I have at the end of a long run.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mother's Market and a Horrible Day

I have made it pretty clear that Southern California is not my favorite place in the world. Concrete and traffic and heat and I just don’t play nice. But even I must admit, it does have some redeeming qualities, and one of them is Mother’s Market.

It’s like a whole foods, but even better! They have an awesome deli, burrito bar, pizza station, and hot and cold bar where I can always find healthy and fast food when I’m travelling. I was mightily tempted by the soy chicken with mushrooms on the hot bar last night, but I really was craving a giant salad (since I’m back on track with my New Year’s Resolutions).  I got 2 prepared salads from the deli: a kale salad with cherry tomatoes, craisins and almonds in a light citrus vinaigrette, and a spicy snap-pea salad. I mixed these with some spinach, corn, carrots, bean sprouts and tuna from the salad bar and topped it off with an awesome ginger soy dressing. My salad was absolutely massive. The whole thing cost me about $10, which is not the cheapest take out option out there, but it sure is the healthiest. I am learning to balance my inner thriftiness with my desire to eat healthy, whole foods. I am hoping my willpower will not be tested too much today. I’m flying home and there is supposed to be a big snow storm that will affect both Chicago (where I have a connection) and Portland. So there’s a good chance I may get stuck in an airport for a loooong time.

 What grocery stores or restaurants do you rely on to help you eat better??

**update** I wrote this early yesterday morning, but never got a chance to post. Because yes, the snow did wreak havoc on my trip home. I got to Chicago to find that all flights to Portland for the day were cancelled. They wanted to send me to Newark and then to Portland. But I had a feeling that flight would be cancelled too. So, I did a sprint through the airport (thanking my lucky stars for all my marathon training, but remind me never to race with a briefcase and suitcase) and talked my way onto a flight from Boston. So glad I did because I heard after we left that we were the last flight allowed out of Chicago. And then I had a car pick me up in Boston to drive me home. It took almost 4 hours instead of the usual 2 because of the snow and a tractor trailer roll-over. I managed not to resort to junk food, but did allow myself a small hot chocolate at 8 pm when we stopped for gas. So loooooon day yesterday, but at least I made it home to sleep in my own bed, unlike a lot of people.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Year's Resolution Check In

We're almost half way through January already (where does the time go) and I've got to admit, I'm already failing mightily on my New Year's Resolutions.

1. Be more mindful- I have totally regressed to my old habits of watching TV while eating. It's just too quiet and lonely in my house or hotel room. And work this week has been super busy, so I have wolfed down most of my meals at my desk while working. I have at least, done a better job being mindful in meetings and when talking to people.

2.  Get back to my feel great weight- I have been eating like the world is ending. Once you get on the sugar and fat train it's hard to break the cycle. Sunday I was totally thrown for a loop when I heard about my friend's mother passing, as so I turned to ice cream in the airport for comfort. Twice. One in each airport. And then Monday night I left the office late and ran into the grocery store- first thing I saw was a GIANT cupcake on the bakery clearance rack. So I had that, and some brussels sprouts, for dinner.

But I am not giving up, because you can always start again. There is nothing magical about January 1. You can change your life starting any day, at any hour, it is never too late. Yesterday, I ate cleanly (although I ate breakfast and lunch at my desk while working), but managed to savor my dinner. Today, I went to a great Crossfit workout and rather than zoning out to music, I made myself stay in the moment and feel what my body was doing.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Carpe Diem

It’s been a sobering week. Early in the week my Mom told me that Marge Winslow had died. It wasn’t a huge surprise because she was a 103, but I had also somehow expected her to live forever. She was so vivacious and spirited, and in many ways seemed like the heart of the island. In the past few years nearly all of the “old people,” I remember from growing up have died. They are the people who lived on Southport their whole lives and fought to make a living there. They cared about the community. And as they’ve passed, they’ve been replaced by more summer people, who tear down the cute cottages and put up mansions and come for 4 months a year and then disappear. The times they are a- changing.
Yesterday I went to the funeral for my friend and former co-worker. It’s always sad when someone so young dies, but it was particularly sad in this case because after a tough life he was finally at a point in his life where he’d found some happiness. And as horrible as funerals are, I was so happy I went. It was like going home to my own family and I felt so wrapped in their love and comforted. I worked on the boat and on Cabbage Island with these people from when I was 14 until I was 22, and so that place and those people left an indelible mark on who I am. You can dress me up and put me in a fancy place, but in my soul I will always be wearing an old Cabbage Island t-shirt, tattered shorts, and flip-flops and be lounging on the deck of the Argo before the passengers come aboard.
And then today when I landed in Newark for my connection, I had a message from one of my best friends from high school that her mother passed away last night. This is the first friend my age who has lost a mother and it’s shaken me to the core. First, I feel so helpless because I am so far away. And secondly, it makes me think about how important my own mother is to me. She’s my best friend, my source of comfort and wisdom, and pretty darn important to me.
So remember life is short. Keep your friends and family close, and appreciate them, because they are what makes your time here worth living.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I had to squeeze in my 20 miler Thursday morning and I really did not enjoy it. I started dreading it early in the week and continued to lack enthusiasm as I ran. It has warmed up slightly from the high of 13 on Tuesday, but it still wasn’t above freezing and the sky was grey and leaden. But, I stuck a few gels in my fuel belt, strapped on my i-pod and headed out. And I ran, and I ran, and I ran. At one point a truck pulled over beside me and a guy stuck his head out the window. “How far are you running girl? I’ve seen you 3 times this morning!” That is how the run felt- endless. I was cold, bored, and uninspired the whole run. I thought about cutting it short, until I looked down at my watch and realized that I only had 3 miles left. And then I realized that I actually felt pretty good. I was going to finish this thing, and feel pretty good. I felt even better when I woke up the next morning and realized that I still felt good. Better than good, my legs felt great! I hit the gym for step class and even stayed for body pump. It was a good reminder that, while it isn’t always a ton of fun, I am getting stronger. When I was training for my first marathon, I was fried for days after a 20 miler. Now, I’m doing double sessions at the gym. Not bad.