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 31, 2012

Sorry running, I cheated on you

I haven't been doing much blogging, or running, lately because I have been too busy out enjoying the snow. Although we didn't have snow on Christmas, we have gotten 3 good storms since! Last winter we hardly had any snow, so I was super excited to get out an enjoy. I have done it all- I have been out on my cross country skiis, snowshoes, sledding, and downhill skiiing.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being out enjoying winter, and just as thoroughly enjoyed the hot cocoa and fireplace when I came in. Although I know it is good for my body and my soul to do something different, I still always feel guilty when I have a low mileage running week. I feel like I cheated on running.

Does anyone feel this way? Have you been out enjoying winter?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Running Review

In 2012 I ran a total of 1042.46 miles for a total of 165 hours, 10 minutes, and 18 seconds. That is almost 7 whole days of running. Crazy!!

Races included:

5k: NRCM's Polar Bear Dip and Dash: Walk, Run, and Make a Splash

5mile: Peaks Island 5-Mile Road Race 2012

 half marathon: 26.2 with Donna and the Harvest Half Marathon

marathon: Rome Marathon

triathalon: Tri for the Y sprint and the Tri for the Cure sprint

relay: Reach the Beach New Hamphire

adventure race: World Famous Mud Run

Theodora, over at Losing Weight in the City, did this series of questions that I liked a lot. So I am borrowing them

  1. Best Race Experience: I honestly can't pick a favorite, they were all different and all great in someway.

2. Best Run: There have been so many! Running on the beach in San Diego, running on Islesboro during our boating vacation, and the first trail run of the fall especially stand out.

3. Best new piece of gear: My awesome new multi-colored Asics that the BF got me, obvi! I get so happy every time I see them.

 4. Best piece of running advice you received: At the opening ceremony for the Tri for the Cure the race director reminded us how lucky we all were to be able to do a triathalon.We had our health, the strength, and the support to get us to the finish line. I try to remember that as I am struggling in a workout. I am so lucky to be healthy enough to get to do this.

5. Most Inspirational Runner(s):  The 70 year guy at running club that can totally kick my butt.

6. If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? new adventures, good friends and family, many solo miles.

7. Most exciting  moment of 2012: Making it through the ocean swim part of the Tri.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

All is calm, all is bright

So remember that New Year's resolution I made last year to be more mindful. I didn't do so well with that, but hey, the year isn't quite over yet. So over Christmas I made an extra effort to slow down, notice, and savor special moments.

Hiking out to Sunset Rock and watching the sun set on Christmas Eve with my Mom.

Sunset Rock. Cape Newagen, Southport Island Maine.

Singing Silent Night by candlelight in the little island church surrounded by people I have known since I was born. 

Southport United Methodist Church
Sleeping on the couch in the living room Christmas Eve, I watched the pellet stove flicker, the Christmas tree twinkle, while outside the ocean surf crashed and the stars shone.

Cape Newagen, Southport Island Maine

 A delicious Henry and David pear on Christmas morning.

Three rounds of presents. Quiet and calm with my Mom and brother Christmas morning; a competitive, rowdy grab bag with my boyfriend's family Christmas night; and a fun day after Christmas doggie dress-up and wrapping paper fight with my cousins, aunt, and uncle today,

What were your favorite Christmas moments?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's the health, healthiest time of the year

The holiday season can be crazy, fun, stressful, and a lot of other things. One thing it usually isn't is healthy. While I have done my share of indulging (like sampling so much of my homemade Bailey's Irish Cream that I passed out on my couch at 8pm), I have also been trying to seek out healthier activities. This week I fit in a bunch of them.

Instead of going out for dinner and drinks, I met my friends one night at Lululemon's holiday party. The subtitle of the event was Yoga+Live Music+Friends+Food= Bliss. And it was!

 On a cold rainy night it was so nice to be inside a warm studio. It was packed to the gills so the energy was really flowing. The live music was an awesome extra touch. It really helped me relax. Instead of my mind wandering to all the things I needed to do when I was in more relaxing poses, I focused on the music. After yoga, Lululemon put out an awesome spread with wine, beer, fruit, cheese, and some treats. It was a great way to meet other people interested in yoga and healthy living. 

Most of the week it was snowing, raining, or sleeting, but Thursday was sunny and warm (warm for Maine in winter meaning it was above freezing). So I took advantage and got in my long run for the week. It was the most effortless and enjoyable run I've done in ages. 

 I have also been rocking the compression socks and pink crocs while working at home. Highly fashionable.
 Another night I met a friend for wine tasting. Afterward we decided to walk around the city and admire the view instead of going for more wine and fried bar food. 

I have plans to keep the healthy living going. Today I am meeting my sister to ski and I have the extended family all meeting to ice skate on Christmas. All of this means that I can of course indulge in all my favorites treats guilt free. 

What are your healthy habits during the holidays?


Friday, December 21, 2012

Light Homemade Bailey's Irish Cream

I love Bailey's. When I came across a recipe for a homemade version, I knew I had to try it. It was delicious, but when I saw how much cream and sugar it contained I was horrified. I knew I could easily lighten it up. Over the next few years I kept tweaking my recipe until I finally ended up with what I have now. My friends and family start asking in about September when I am going to make the first batch.

Homemade Light Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 cup fat free half and half
  • 14 oz fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 2/3 C Irish whiskey (I used Jameson's)
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons powdered cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsps Tirani sugar free hazelnut syrup 
Combine all ingredients in a blender and set on high speed for 30 seconds. Bottle in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. Shake before using. Will keep for up to 2 months.

I have also tried making a vegan version, using a mix of Silk hazelnut creamer and almond milk instead of the half and half and omitting the sweetened condensed milk. It tasted really good, but lacked a little of the thick creaminess that the sweetened condensed milk provides.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Headstand Enlightenment

I was a gymnast from the time I was 3 until I was 18, and I have been doing yoga since college. You'd think I'd know how to do a headstand by now, right?

I realized last night that I only knew how to do what looked like a headstand. I knew how to throw my body upside down and balance, but it hurt my neck a lot. I was not doing it right.

Last night at yoga we did a headstand workshop. It was only by being forced to slow down and work on each step that I finally got it. I got my arms into the right position so that they totally supported my weight. My neck didn't feel it at all. I learned to lean slowly and use my abs to pull myself upright, instead of kicking and throwing myself. So much easier and it felt so right.

Pretty good metaphor for how I live my life. I'm always in such a hurry to get things done, to look like I can do anything. I rush through things which ultimately means that I don't enjoy them and they aren't done as well as they could be. Then I wonder what to do with the time "I saved."

Yet again yoga reminds me to slow down, to breathe, to focus on each and every movement and moment.

Have you had any handstand moments lately?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Let it snow

After doing my first speed work session as part of my formal training for the 26.2 with Donna on a snowy icy track, I was determined to get out early yesterday because snow was in the forecast again.

It was pretty darn cold, about 18 degrees, and windy. I went back in my house twice after leaving to add another layer. Finally, though I was track bound. On the schedule 6 x 800.

Based on my goal race pace, my goal time for the 800's is 4:20. But since last time, I did all my repeats in under 4 minutes, I decided to shoot for that again.  I was so happy to be running fast to warm myself up that I did my first repeat in 3:51. I then ticked off the rest in 3:55, 3:53, 3:56, 3:57, 3:54. I could definitely feel the extra 2 repeats at the end. My legs were starting to feel like jelly. Mentally it was harder than last time too, because I knew I had more to do. 

Overall though, I am surprised at how much I like the speed work. I absolutely hate the treadmill, but I don't seem to mind going around and around the track. It's also really fun to push myself through a shorter distance since the rest of running is usually a slow steady slog.

I was done with my workout, home, and showered by 10 am and off to Stone Mountain Center for the Arts. I was taking my Dad to their Christmas show as his Christmas present. It was a lovely day. We drove in the snow way out to the back woods of Western Maine and then this beautifully restored barn appears like a dream. We ate amazing food, listened to some amazing music, and watched the snow fall through the huge windows.

 Then I came home and tucked myself into a warm, cozy bed with the BF to watch the very late Patriots game. I will not lie, I slept through most of it, and woke up to this.

I love snow and I love Christmas.

What are you loving right now?

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Sometimes it is enough just to feel the contrast of the warm sun and the cold wind on your face, and look out at the ocean, and hear your breath in your ears and know you are alive.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The end of the no sugar, no wheat week

I caved a night early. Last night was Merry Madness in downtown Portland- all the shops were open late and had free snacks and wine! It was super fun. I rarely go shopping downtown, unless I have friends visiting from out of town. There is a lot of cute stuff. After a few glasses of free wine, I just couldn't resist the cookies, crackers, and treats.

And I did just what I was afraid I'd do. I went out of control and ate everything I saw. And shocker, that meant I didn't enjoy it much and I woke up feeling icky.

Aside from that, I am super proud of myself for lasting (almost a whole week). I found that giving myself clear guidelines, but not eliminating all food that is filling and tasty, worked really well. Overall, I felt a lot better, both physically and mentally. I think I am going to try to keep it going during the week until the new year. I have learned that allowing myself treats daily doesn't work for me. I can't stop at a reasonable portion.

What are your biggest dietary challenges??