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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Foodie Pen Pals Reveal: March

Oh boy do I have an awesome foodie pen pal box to share with you this month! While, all of my boxes have been great, this one was particularly awesome!!

FPP post Foodie Penpals

What is foodie pen pals you may be asking? Well, Foodie Pen Pals is awesome idea thought up by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean. Every month she matches you up with a fellow foodie. After introducing yourself and getting to know their preferences, you send them a package of goodies.

This month I got my box from Cheryl from Florida. Cheryl's box was incredibly well thought out and personalized. New recipes, fun global ingredients, and local products- Cheryl's box contained all of my favorite things.

Cheryl included a nice long letter that explained everything, which I loved. The theme of the box was a mini tour around the world.

First up was India from which I got a bag of Besan, or chickpea flour. Cheryl included a recipe for Panelle, which is like a homemade pita chip made with the Besan. I love the hearty taste of the flour, and am looking forward to trying it in chocolate chip cookies.

Next was Thailand with rice noodles, coconut milk, and fish sauce. I got 2 recipes that utilize these ingredients- Coconut Lime Chicken Soup and Dragon Noodles. The neatest thing was that Cheryl put little handwritten notes and suggestions on the recipes. It was such a nice personal touch. I made the soup right away and it was amazing! It had such a fresh taste from the lime and ginger. In fact it was so good, that I'll be posting the recipe and pictures soon!

Costa Rica was the next stop on the world tour with a dark chocolate bar. I really appreciated that most of the box was really healthy, since I've been making a conscious effort to clean up my diet lately, but when I do splurge, dark chocolate is my absolute fave.

Finally we stopped right back here in the US, in Cheryl's home state of Florida with some orange blossom honey. I love getting local specialties, and this honey was great! It has been a cold, snowy March here in Maine so I have been drinking lots o' tea. This honey is perfect in a sweet fruity tea.

 Thanks for a super awesome box Cheryl!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I seriously feel like I dropped of the face of the planet for the last 2 days. I was sick. I think the combination of last week's long run in the cold and snow, a whirlwind trip to DC over the weekend, and the general stress of life just totally overwhelmed my immune system.

Usually when I am sick, I try to fight through and do all the things I'd normally do. Especially since I work from home right now, I feel like I don't have an excuse. I mean all I have to do is make it across the hall from my bedroom to my office.

This week even that was beyond me. I'll spare you the graphic details, but the gist of it is that I couldn't stay at my computer long enough to be productive. I had a lot of time in the bathroom to admire my pretty new countertop.

So I called in sick. I didn't run. I didn't blog. I didn't use my sick day to try and get things done around the house.

I am leaving for Chile next week and I want to be 100%. And 2 days later I am almost completely better, rather than the week or two it usually takes. Maybe there is something to this total rest thing.

Do you actually take sick days? Or do you fight through it?

Sunday, March 24, 2013


So it has been awhile since I visited our nation's capital. Like so long that my sister, who is a whopping 3 years old in this picture, is now 18. Clearly I was due for a visit. So When the bf's friends invited us to visit and we found super cheap tickets, we hopped on it.

I am totally blown away by how awesome this area is. First, I love how close all these cities are. We went to Annapolis for dinner last night. What a beautiful town, and I love all the men in uniform. And I am always down for a crab cake. And when we got home for the night we were able to sit outside by the fire pit and have some wine. That would not be happening at home with our feet of snow still on the ground.

This morning I was so happy to be running someplace new. Usually when I don't know exactly where u am going, my run seems really long. But there were awesome paths and lakes and paths to explore this am and it just flew by.

This afternoon we are heading into the city and then to Baltimore for dinner. Yeah for impromptu mini vacations!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hurts so Good

I always think of myself as having a fairly high pain tolerance. I mean I run marathons. I love that hurts so good feeling when I foam roll. In fact, I'm so hard core that I use PVC pipe instead of a foam roller (okay so that's not really because I'm hard core, it's because I'm cheap. My PVC was $5 and a foam roller is $40.)

But last night I had a massage that made me question that. I only get a couple massages a year (see note about me being cheap above), so I want them to do something for me, not just feel good. I usually get one after my last long run and before a marathon, and again after the marathon. I did a 15 miler yesterday in prep for the Santiago half in 2 weeks (EEEEK!). I told my masseur (haha that word always makes me laugh) to dig right in and break up all those knots and scar tissue and adhesions and stuff.

He took that to heart. Owwwwww. I think he had his entire hand under my shoulder blade at one point. I was gritting my teeth and sweating at multiple points from the pain. But dang, my body felt so much better after. Except my jaw. It was so sore from clenching so hard. So maybe he went a little too hard. 

Do you get massages? Do you like a lot of pressure? Or do you want it to be light and relaxing?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

You don't always have to make a choice

God I love yoga. Not only do I always leave feeling like my body is totally restored, but I also always leave with my mental health in a much better place. I feel like it is only at yoga that I can really absorb those kernels of wisdom. The rest of the time there are just too many things flying around in my head.

Last night's little pearl of wisdom was that we don't always have to make a choice. We tend to think that we have to choose either A or Z. We agonize over these choices. Once we've made the choice we try to force ourselves into whatever we have chosen. But sometimes it is okay not to make a choice. Sometimes it is okay just to be and see what comes.

This applies to yoga obviously. It is good to just go to the mat and surrender. Do your body can do on that day.

But like all pearls of yoga wisdom, it applies to life too. Like this week. I had a 16 miler planned for Tuesday morning. Mother nature had other plans. I woke to 7 inches of snow on the ground, whiteout conditions, and gale force winds. So much for spring.

But damn it, I had decided to run 16 miles. So I suited up and headed out the door. It was miserable. Eventually, I realized I was being an idiot and stopped after 6 miles. It was a day where I needed to give in to where the world wanted me go (inside my warm, dry, non slippery house).

I felt like a failure for cutting it short, until I went to yoga. Then I realized that I wasn't giving up, I was going with the  flow. I will run tomorrow. 


Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Disadvantages of Perfect Pacing

I read a super interesting article on Runner' yesterday and have been thinking about it ever since. Basically the author, Alex Hutchinson, questions the idea of perfect pacing, or running at a sustainable pace so you can finish the workout.

It is the way, I have always been told to train and how I've always trained and raced. But when Reid Coolsaet, a Canadian Olympic marathoner, went to train in Kenya, he found the Kenyans were doing just the opposite. As he watched the Kenyan's do a fartlek workout, at least 1/3 of runners quit the workout after 5-6 intervals of 3 minutes instead of completing the prescribed 15 x 3 minutes. Hutchinson notes that you see Kenyans use the same strategy in racing. They go out as hard and hold the pace as long as they can.

My favorite quote from the article is the following:

But it [steady pacing] is inherently limiting: to run at an even pace, you have to decide on your final finishing time, and thus set a ceiling on your potential achievement, before the starting gun fires. As a result, even pacing may produce better results on average, but it is less likely to produce dramatic outliers: jaw-droppingly fast (or slow) times.

I can see how this is true by looking at my marathon times. My first marathon was my fastest, most likely because I didn't know exactly what I was in for. So I went out fast (well fast for me) and just tried to hold it as long as a I could. I totally crashed around mile 23 and struggled the last 3 miles. But, I had run fast enough the first 23 miles that I still had a decent time. In my subsequent marathons I knew exactly how hard and long it was going to be and made an effort to rein myself in at the beginning. I did feel better through the entire race, and even ran negative splits, but my total time was slower.

In the 26.2 With Donna this year (race report), I decided to go out hard in an effort to set a PR. My pace felt hard from the start, and I felt really horrible in the last miles and slowed quite a bit. BUT, I ran my fastest half in over 5 years.

So for me that is the dilemma. If I want to set a PR, I really do have to go out hard and suffer in the end. Otherwise, I am too far behind my goal pace to make it up in the end of the race. Likewise, if I really want to get faster, I need to run so hard in my workouts that sometimes I just blow-up half way though.

But, when I run this way, I HATE it. I feel like a total slacker and loser if I can't finish a workout. I hate feeling like death at the end of a race and having people pass me. I love feeling strong in the last few miles.

Do you think this article has merit? What is your pacing strategy?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

That DIY thing sounds so fun....

There is something in the air lately that has me wanting to fix up my house big time. All of a sudden the little things- crumbling grout, stains in the carpet, peeling paint- are driving me crazy. I can't stop focusing on the flaws. Since I've been too busy spending money on fun things like travel and races, I don't have a lot of money to take on the big projects, like replacing my carpet with hardwood, so I decided to tackle some little things. 

I have been reading this new blog- The DIY Playbook- and they make it seem so fun and easy. I figured I'd have some fun and end up with some pretty looking bathrooms.

Project #1 was replacing the old gross mirror in my downstairs bathroom. I found a nice mirror on Craig's List and figured hanging it would be a breeze. Wrong. The built-in hangers on the mirror didn't line up with studs in my walls. My Mom's boyfriend told me I could use a molly bolt which has this fold out clip thing to secure the mirror in the dry-wall. So I drilled a much larger hole in my wall than I would have liked. And then proceeded to loose 2 molly bolts into the wall. Awesome. 2 days later and a lot of swearing the new mirror is up. It does look pretty darn good and hasn't fallen down yet. So I consider it a success.

Project # 2 is the upstairs bathroom. I hate the old tile counter-top. The grout is all nasty and it never looks clean. Plus the sink and faucet are so old school.

I am hiring a profession to install the new sink and counter, but figured I could handle the rest of the make-over myself.

Last year I decided my bathroom was super boring so I went a little crazy and sponge painted a wall bright red and yellow, which will totally clash with my new green and blue sea glass counter.
A million and a half coats of paint and it is white again. Remind me never to paint anything red again.

The final thing was to repaint the vanity and closet door blue to freshen them up and make them match the new counter. I cleaned them, sanded them, primed them, and painted them. I forgot how many steps are involved! Then I brought them back up to the bathroom. I got the cabinet doors back on with only minimal problems, but the closet door, not so much. The BF and I have both spent hours trying to get the f*ing thing back in the tracks. We can get either the top part or the bottom part in, but not both at the same time. I've smushed the heck out of my fingers, scratched the tile, and dented the door. And it's still not in. Mo fo.

I wish I was better at doing handy things, but every time I  try, I just end up frustrated.

Are you a DIYer? What is your most successful project? Or, what is your most epic fail?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mixing it Up

When it comes to my workout schedule, I am a create of habit.

Monday: 50 minute kickboxing class, 20 minutes treadclimber, abs.
Tuesday: 60 minute run, hips and glutes
Wednesday: 45 minute spin or bootcamp, 30 minute swim or elliptical
Thursday: 60 minute run,  hips and glutes
Friday: 50 minute step class, 20 minutes treadclimber, abs.
Saturday: 45 minute bootcamp, 25 minutes treadclimber, upper body strength
Sunday: Long run

Having a routine is good, but being ruled by it is not. After a solid week of snow, rain, and clouds, Saturday was finally sunny. So, after bootcamp I broke free of the gym and headed outside to run. It seemed like an awful lot of work to change from gym clothes into running clothes and drive down to Higgins Beach. But, once I got there, I was so glad I did it.

The remnants of the super storm were still off the coast so the surf was incredible. It was spectacular. I have never seen the water so high at Higgins. The water was almost to the top of the stairs and flooding the road.
 Plus, I was so much more efficient running than I am at the gym, so I was free in time to meet my friend for juice after her yoga class. I finally had a green juice that I loved. Total win! I was so inspired by the water and sun during my run that after juice, I dragged the boyfriend out of bed and out to Portland Head Light for a walk and some picture taking.

I have to remind myself sometimes to mix it up. It's always a struggle for me, but I am ultimately glad that I did.

Do you play it by ear when it comes to working out? Or do you have a fixed routine?

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I had a tempo run scheduled for this morning, but I wasn't feeling it. My legs were still a little tired from my 13 miler Tuesday and it was snowing and windy. I mean legit gale force winds that rattled my windows and blew stuff down outside all night. So instead I just decided to head out and see where the run took me. I knew I wanted to work in some speed and some hills and maybe both! I would do an improv fartkek.

Good old fartlek humor.

I ran into the wind for the first 15 minutes so I just took it easy to give my legs a chance to warm up. My next 15ish minutes were on a fairly flat stretch and the wind was at my back so I decided to do 1 minute intervals fast with 1 minute slow to recover. I got in 5 of them before I reached the end of that road and turned onto a big uphill. Since the hill was there I decided to make that the next portion of my workout. I did 15 minutes of hill repeats- luckily the wind was at my back on the uphills. The last 15 minutes I thought would be a nice cool-down, but instead I struggled hard against the wind to get home.

Pre-tri I did not understand this. Now, holy cow! I fartlek'd.
I know that if I had a scheduled workout I would have been fighting the wind. I would have been angry at the wind and angry at my beeping Garmin telling me to pick it up. Instead, I actually enjoyed my run because I fit my workout to where I was at each particular point. I finally managed to embrace the play that is the very essence of the term fartlek.

Anyone else Fartlek today?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sugarloaf Weekend

While I am still frequently second guessing my decision to drop from the full to the half for the Santiago Marathon, this weekend was not one of those times. If I was doing the full then I would have had an 18 miler on my schedule this weekend, which would have meant that I would have missed out on a fabulous weekend up at Sugarloaf.

My Mom is in a "band," and every year one of the fiddlers in her group invites us all up to her ski house for a weekend of skiing, music, and good food. This year was extra fun because the BF came along since I got him hooked on skiing.

We left at 7 am Saturday as soon as he got out of work (poor guy worked a 16 hour double shift and still wanted to come instead of going home to sleep) and were at the mountain in time to get in a solid 5 hours on the slopes. It has just been snowing and snowing and snowing in the mountains this year and the skiing was amazing. There was just so much powder!

Sugarloaf is a STEEP mountain and there are a lot of the black diamonds and double diamonds that I usually skip because they are icy. Not this weekend. We tore up the mountain. I was so impressed with the BF. It was only his 3rd day skiing EVER and he was tackling diamonds.

After skiing we headed to the camp. I have never seen the snowbanks so high, they almost covered the front of the house! We had a magical evening of food, friends, and music. We had a great mix of ages and we had a lot of fun experimenting with new types of music and instruments. We had fiddles, guitars, and new to the mix- ukeleles!
We played some traditional fiddle music and then moved on to pop hits from both my Mom's generation and my generation. As we played we nibbled and sipped on a great assortment of goodies- cheese, crackers, nuts, and herbal popcorn. After a good 3 hours of music, my fingers were more than ready for a break, and we feasted on shrimp casserole, salad, black bean wraps, chicken and artichoke salad, and veggie soup, topped off by my caramel sea salt turtle brownies.

Sunday we got to do it all again! We started the day with a big communal breakfast- bagels, veggie egg scramble, maple bacon, fruit, and coffee. Fueled up, we left the ladies to their music and headed to the mountain. It was another fantastic day. We skied nearly every trail on the mountain. We skied until the very last possible moment, catching the last chair of the day up the mountain.

Life is mad up of compromises. I gave up running a spring marathon, but in return I got back a weekend that I filled with some of my favorite things in the world.

How was your weekend?

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Body Doesn't Make Me Beautiful

It is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Since I did struggle with anorexia when I was younger, I struggled with whether or not to write anything related to this. I was hesitant, not because I am ashamed of having had an eating disorder, but because I don't feel like I am truly "cured." I am at a healthy weight now, but I still struggle with body image and eating normally. When I was in full fledged anorexic mode the world was cut and dry- food was bad, hunger was good, exercise was good. But now the line between good and bad is so much more vague. I need enough food to adequately fuel my body. I need to be able to enjoy food and indulge occasionally. But, I don't need to over-stuff myself with way more food than I need to the point where I don't even enjoy it. Some exercise is good. It makes me feel healthy and strong. But pushing my body to the point where it is injured and my exercise takes priority over everything else in my life is not so good. 

It's something that I think I will continue to struggle with my whole life. Which is why I love idea of the "My Body Doesn't Make Me Beautiful" campaign that has been floating around the blogisphere this week.

I think very few of us will ever be totally happy with our bodies. This is why it is so important to remember that we are so much more than the physical shell we are in. What makes me me has nothing to do with what I look like. 

Here are some things about me that you may not know that have nothing to do with my body. 
I am musical (I play flute, guitar, and sing. Lately, I have been writing my own songs.)

I love the ocean. I grew up on an island and worked on boats in the summer. I bought my own boat last summer. 

I have a creative side. I did a lot of digital art in college. Lately I have been trying wire wrapping. I just made my Mom some sweet wire wrapped sea glass wine glass charms for her b-day. 

What makes you beautiful??