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, September 30, 2013

A weekend in Minneappolis

I work for a consulting company, so the employees are scattered all over the US. Once a year, they select a spot for us all to meet. We went to New Orleans 2 years ago and San Diego last year. I won't lie, when they announced that this year's meeting was in Minneappolis, I was a little disappointed. But, it ended up being a great city!

We stayed at the Marquette Hotel, right downtown. It was super nice. Our room had a great view of the city

I especially loved the shower. It was huge and had 2 different types of shower heads!

Most of the company functions were held in the Windows Over Minneapolis tower. It was up on the 50th floor of a skyscraper and had an amazing view.

Photo: Minneapolis skyline

Friday night we had a reception at the Mill City Museum. This was one of my favorite things we did. Minneapolis was historically a flour mill city. This museum is built into the ruins of the Gold Medal Flour Factory. They set up a bar outside in the bottom courtyard. 

I really liked how they integrated the old mill ruins into the new museum building.

They also had a very cool ride that gave us a much better idea of what the mill was like when it was functioning. We were in an elevator that moved up and door the floors of the mill. The door would open to different reconstructed scenes. They used various multi-media effects to make it feel like we were back in time in an operating mill. I was amazed at the complexity of  technology they developed that ran only on the power of the river. We finished up on the top where there was an observation deck with a great view of the Mississippi.

Friday and Saturday I was stuck in the hotel gym because I had early meetings and didn't want to run in a strange city. Sunday morning though, I went for a great run. I ran about 8 block down to the river. I don't know how you city people do it- stopping at all those intersections drives me nuts! Once, I was on the river path though it was smooth sailing. I did a 2 mile loop that went down the Minneapolis shore, crossed the river, and then back up on the Saint Paul side. It was really well marked and there were so many people out enjoying the trail that I felt totally safe by myself.

I worked up an appetite on my run, so we headed to Hell's Kitchen for brunch. I was afraid it might be an over hyped tourist trap, but it wasn't at all. The decor was totally funky and they had a great live band. 

We grabbed spots at the bar and within minutes had coffee in front of us. I just couldn't decide so I ordered a couple small things. I got the Rosti potatoes- which where shredded potatoes with bacon, scallions, garlic, and onions, all sauteed in a sweet cream butter. Holy yum.

I also got a single pancake, which was huge. It also was great. It was really light and airy. I totally smothered that sucker in their homemade peanut butter and blackberry jam. I then went back for several straight spoonfuls of the peanut butter. It was that good!

In the end, I wished we had more time in Minneapolis. The food, the people, the buildings, and the running were all great!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I am off to Minneapolis tomorrow for my company meeting. I am more excited since I just got this e-mail!

 I have been swamped with life lately and as a result have done NO research about the city. Help me! Who knows anything about Minneapolis? Where should I run? Where should I eat? What should I see?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Long Sleeves

It's fitting that since it is now officially fall, I ran for the first time this fall in a long sleeve shirt. It was 43 when I headed out on my run, but it was bright and sunny, with only a light wind. Typically, until it falls below 40 I stay in shorts and a T. I hate being hot! 

But, we went to the Cumberland Fair last night it was freezing. Even in a sweatshirt I was shivering as we whipped through the air on the rides. I wanted everything hot. I got a glorious hot bowl of soup in a bread bowl followed by a fresh, hot, apple fritter (clearly it was not a calorie counting type of night). A fair plus the cold totally put me in a fall mood, so it just seemed right to wear long sleeves. 

Have you made the switch to long sleeves or long pants yet?
What are the conditions that cause you to add or remove clothing for your run?

I keep my shorts as long as possible, usually until it gets down into the 30's. My legs rarely feel cold. But, like I said above, what I wear on my upper half is much more influenced by what season I feel it is. For most of the reason I just wear tights and a long sleeve. It has to dip down into single digits and wind for me to wear a coat. I am a Maine girl after all. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Share My Ride

With my injured foot, I have been spending a lot of time on my bike lately. I don't listen to music when I ride, so I have had a lot of time to think. The thought that I live in an incredibly beautiful place occurs to me all the time. As does the fact that I wish I could share it with more people. While, you can't all come in Maine and ride with me (although if you want to, I'd love it). I can post a virtual version of my ride. So here it is, my favorite ride.

This ride is anywhere from 25-30 miles, with rolling hills and lots of amazing ocean views.

Miles 4.5-7. I love this section because it in a gentle downhill with lovely marsh views. It is amazing how different the marsh looks in different tides and different seasons. Seeing a heron or 2 makes for an extra good day.

Miles 7-11. This little out and back to Black Point is my favorite part of the ride. It is flat, has hardly any traffic, and amazing views.

Miles 13-14

I always do the extra little loop out by Higgins Beach. The view is amazing, I love watching the surfers (they are there even in the winter!), and last year the town installed a great little building with public bathrooms. Yeah for a real toilet mid ride. 

Miles 13-17

This stretch has more great marsh views and I can daydream about someday living in one of the beautiful houses on the water. I love this mailbox.

Mile 17.5

Another great view at Kettle Cove, especially at sunrise or sunset. If it is really hot, I can jump in for a swim here.

Miles 21-14 

Shore Road starts with a long downhill, and then twists and rolls the rest of the way. I am always tempted to take advantage of my momentum and bypass Fort Williams, but Portland Head Light never fails to take my breath away when I do stop.


Mile 24.5 
No ride is complete without a stop for a treat and Scratch Bakery has the best treats. Strong coffee, a sea salt bagel, and fresh herb cream cheese is just what I need to refuel.

So there it is, my favorite ride. Pretty nice huh? I'd love to see your favorite ride or run!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Best Ever Fall Salad

I love summer, obviously, all the fresh produce, particularly basil and tomato. But, I think I may love the heartier vegetables of fall even more. These veggies can stand up to roasting, which makes them even sweeter. I was inspired by this recipe in Self to toss a bunch of my favorite fall produce together into one salad, and holy moly, it is good! I have eaten it for one dinner and three lunches already this week and still want more!

Photo: I love me some fall produce. Roasted squash, apples, Brussels sprouts, onions and chickpeas with a tahini dressing.

Best Ever Fall Salad

For the Roasted Veggies:
1 lb brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
  • apples
  • 1 sweet onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt

  • Heat oven to 400°. Spread the veggies out in a single layer a baking sheet and then mist lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast on baking sheet, turning once, until veggies are brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons white miso (I couldn't find this anywhere in Maine, so I left it out)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1/4 cup water

In a glass jar combine all ingredients. Microwave for 20 seconds. Cover jar and shake until combined. 

For the Roasted Chickpeas:
1 can chickpeas, rinsed

Heat oven to 350. Dry chickpeas with a paper towel and then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Mist with olive oil and bake until crispy, about 30 mins. 

  • For a single serving: Mix 2 tablespoons dressing with greens of your choice, and then top with 1/2 cup chickpeas, and 1/4 of veggie mixture. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

A weighty post

The BF has decided he wants to lose a few pounds (even though I have repeatedly told him that he does not need to) and is using an app to track all his calories. All of sudden he went from "I'll eat whatever, whenever," to actually caring what we eat and when we eat it. When he has reached his calories for the day, he just doesn't eat again until the next day.

This has been surprisingly hard for me.

On the one hand, I want to be supportive of him in whatever he does. I want him to be able to talk to me about the things that are on his mind. On the other hand, I had to work hard to get to a point in my life where I didn't count calories and could just eat without over thinking it.

waa, waa. my fav treat doesn't look so good on paper.

Not only am I struggling with how much I want him to make his calorie counting obvious to me, I am also debating whether or not to join him.

I start marathon training soon and I know how much easier it is when I am lighter. Plus, I would just feel so much more comfortable in my clothes if I could just lose 10 lbs. The whole generic goal of just eating cleaner and eating less hasn't been cutting it for me. I am too much of a numbers person. I need distinct goals. But, I also know it is a slippery slope. And I do not want to go to back down to the bottom. 

This is the first time I have ever lived with a significant other and it is interesting how having my life so intertwined with someone else affects me. Some of the obvious stuff that I was worried about (me being super neat, him not so much for example) has not been a problem. And then something like this, that I didn't worry about, comes up. 

I  have any neat way to wrap-up this post because I don't think there is any clear solution. I just try to do my best and see what happens.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Reach the Beach Remorse

For the first time in 5 years I decided not the do the Reach the Beach Relay this year. It is a big time and monetary commitment, and I decided that I just had too much else going on this fall.

I was totally okay with it until this week. And then my Facebook feed started to fill up with posts about RTB. I want to be wasting WAY too much time and effort packing my stuff. I want to be driving to NH and having a pasta dinner and seeing my teammates that I haven't seen in a year. I want to be decorating my van. I want to be sleep deprived, hyped up on espresso beans, making up silly cheers and stiff and sore.

I have major race envy :(

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Good and the Bad of Working at Home

My blogger pal Kim over at ilaxStudio wrote a post yesterday about how she likes working at home because she has so much more time in her day. This is got me thinking about how excited I was to stop travelling all the time and work from home. I had big illusions about how much easier it would be to be healthy and happy. While that is partially true, I have also been surprised at how there are just as many negatives.


1. I don't waste any time commuting, so I have more time for workouts. I also get a little more sleep and research shows that getting an adequate amount of sleep helps regulate appetite.
My best attempt to capture my outfit today. A tank and running shorts. 

2. I can wear work-out clothes all the time. This makes it easier to fit in mini-workouts throughout the day. And no heels, which makes my tootsies very happy.

3. I have full access to my kitchen. So I can make healthy meals during the day. I quickly scramble eggs for breakfast, chop up and toss together a fresh salad for lunch. And start the slower cooking parts of dinner in the late afternoon.

my ghetto standing desk

4. I can easily fit in more activity. I stand most of the day at my

self designed ghetto stand-up desk. I have my weights handy and can easily fit in mini workouts or stretch sessions throughout the day. I can take the dog out for a quick 10 minute walk. This wasn't possible at my old job which had an open seating plan.

5. I get to see my BF and doggie during the day. When I am really stressed, nothing helps me quickly relax and get back to work like a cuddle with one (or both) of them.


1. My home no longer feels like the haven it did when I was travelling. Sometimes it feels more like a prison because I am stuck inside it so much. By evening I sometimes feel like climbing the walls. I also miss having the company of co-workers. I feel really isolated sometimes.

2.  I can wear work-out clothes all the time. I rarely really get dressed these days. That leaves me feeling like a slob, which leads to be acting like a slob. Plus, my stretchy gym clothes are a lot more forgiving than my work clothes, so it is easier to put on a few pounds and not realize it.

3. I have full access to my kitchen all day, which means that if I feel like brownies at 3 pm, it is possible to whip some up. And that stupid ice cream I bought it mocking me all day. I also don't have the public shame factor of all my co-workers watch as I eat a third helping of S'mores goldfish (have you tried those- SOOO good!).

4. It is harder to separate work time from non-work time. When I worked in an office, I shut my computer when I left and didn't open it again until the next morning. But now, because my computer is right there, I check it all evening. Plus, my current customer is in California so they often call me well past my normal working hours. I feel obligated to seem extra available all the time so people think I work hard. This wasn't something I worried about when I was in the office.

Do you work at home? What are your favorite/least favorite aspects? Do you feel like it is easier to be healthier and happier at home?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The things I didn't learn from being hurt

On Friday I was thinking that I would write a post on how my injury was maybe one of those blessings in disguise. It reminded me that I need to take days off and listen to my body instead of always pushing through. But, I would have plenty of time to recover, strengthen my feet ankles and hips, and still be ready to start marathon training. 
I should be doing a lot of this
Turns out, my old habits are hard to break. I started off well, biking instead of going to my high impact step-class on Friday. After that it all fell apart. Friday night I spent 5+ hours on my feet, in crappy shoes, walking the cobblestone streets on Portland on the art walk. Saturday morning I just couldn't keep myself from going to boot-camp. And then I couldn't keep myself from doing everything during class, even if it hurt. Then, I stood up for 4 hours at a hop picking party at my local brewery. 

By Saturday night, my foot was so tired and achy that I knew I had to rest it. I elevated it, iced it, and had to bail on the ghost tour and pub crawl my friend had set-up for her birthday. Sunday I biked instead of running. 

And then I spent the rest of Sunday on my feet, shopping at the Kittery Outlets. Monday, I was right back in the gym at kickboxing. And today I ran. 

Why can't I stop myself? I know that if I rest it, or do non-impact activities, it will heal more quickly and I will come out of it stronger and ready to run. 

But, the idea of only swimming and biking for the next month, makes me shudder. SOOOOOOO boring. I totally have exercise ADD. I need a lot of different activities to keep me excited and motivated.

What do you do when you are injured?

Friday, September 6, 2013

I can walk!

I had my appointment with the orthopedist yesterday afternoon. He had me describe my injury, the full history of my foot/ankle issues, he palpated my foot, and then he had me walk, stand on one leg, and squat while he watched. After all that, he concluded that I was right (and the ED doc was wrong), this isn't a stress fracture!!

There is no real name for my diagnosis, but basically it stems from my darn high arches (that caused all my stupid plantar fasciitis issues), tight achilles (from a gymnastics injury) weak ankles (from many, many sprains during my gymnastic days). When I run, my whole ankle is rolling side to side and rolling particularly far outward. This was causing the pain in my Talus. (I had no idea what a Talus was and had to google it!

image source

I appreciated his thorough exam and explanation, but was eager to get to the important stuff. Like can I walk? More importantly, can I run? 

I won't keep you in suspense. The answer is yes and yes!

If it doesn't hurt too much, I can run. They gave me an ankle brace so help keep my foot in alignment. This should help all the poor stretched out parts of my foot heal. It feels much better walking with it on.

my newest fashion item.

To prevent this in the future I also need to go to PT. I need to start at the top and strength my lower body from the top down. I need strengthen my glutes and hamstrings so that my knees are supported and aligning properly. Then I need to increase the flexibility in my Achilles so my foot can move through a normal range of motion. Then, I need to strengthen my ankles. 

I feel like I dodged a major bullet on this one. I still have some work in front of me to completely recover, but at least I can run while I do it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Foot Update

Well honestly there isn't much of an update to give. I still don't have an appointment scheduled with the orthopedist, because the ER still hasn't sent my x-rays to my PCP for the referral. This is really frustrating because I don't know for sure what is wrong. I don't have any definite guidelines for what I should or shouldn't do.

I am trying to just use common sense and pain as a guide. By walking mostly on the side and heel of my injured foot, I made my whole ankle hurt on that side. So, now I am trying to use my crutches more or do a normal foot plant when I am walking. It also seems to feel better when I wear sneakers than when I am barefoot.

I tried swimming yesterday and that was pain free so I swam for 45 minutes. I didn't do my usual kicking drills and I tried to pull more with my arms and kick less. Today I tried biking. After fighting with my stupid pump to pump up road bike tires for more than 20 minutes, I finally gave up and took out my mountain bike. The foot was mostly fine. The only twinges of pain where when I tried to stand up going up a hill. I have also been trying to do a lot of strength work for my core, hips, glutes, and arms. So I am at least getting in a little exercise fix each day. But naturally the BF picked this week to start running to train for his yearly PT test at work. I am so jealous seeing him head out the door on a run. Plus, the humidity of last week broke and we have perfect crisp running weather!

I am having a harder time with the rest of my life. I don't want to make my foot worse doing everyday activities so I am really trying to take it easy. Which pretty much takes out all of my normal leisure activities. No yoga, no meeting friends for walks, no cocktail tours in Portland, I can even go shopping. I am so tired of being stuck in front of the TV.

I really stink at being injured and I apologize for the whining. Please tell me about the good things that are happening in your life!

Monday, September 2, 2013


So that whole never taking a day off thing that I wrote about just a few weeks ago? Well it caught up with me this weekend. About 25 minutes into my run Sunday, I felt a strange pop in my foot going up a hill. I stopped, shook it out, and walked for a minute. I tried running again and it felt fine for about 10 minutes and then it happened again. So I stopped again, shook it out, walked, and then tried running again. This time I made it about 5 minutes.

I know I probably should have just stopped running as soon as I felt that first pain, but it really didn't hurt again after I shook it out. In between those steps of sharp pain it was fine. I got back to my house, walked around, stretched a bit, and then took the ultimate ice bath - a long swim in the chilly Atlantic.

It was after I got out of the ocean and into the shower that I noticed that my foot hurt a lot. Like so much that I couldn't walk at all. I limped and hopped my through brunch and the next few hours. Finally I relented and let my BF take me to the ER.

The X-rays didn't show anything broken and since the pain was localized to one spot, the ER concluded it is likely a stress fracture. 

I don't agree. I have had stress fractured before. I would notice a little paint first and then it would slowly get worse over time. It also hurt all the time. With this, I was fine one minute and then felt a sharp pain the next. It also only hurt when I had my foot in a certain position. But only time and an orthopedist will tell. 

Meanwhile, I spent the rest of my weekend on crutches. Crutches suck, especially when you are on and island. Navigating floats, boats, and uneven rocky paths are no fun. 

It has been 1 day without a workout and I am already starting to go a little nuts. Wah wah wah.

How was your long weekend?