Thursday, July 29, 2010


So I've been a longtime fan of Dick and Rick Hoyt - also known as Team Hoyt. For those unfamiliar, Dick and Rick are a father and son team who run marathons and triathlons together. Rick suffers from cerebral palsy and together Team Hoyt has touched thousands across the country, inspiring both the disabled and non-disabled to do anything they set their mind to

I mean this video and try not to shed a tear:

I picked up Dick Hoyt's book, Devoted, because I wanted to learn more about these amazing people and what it takes to not only push yourself but to push another human being 26.2 miles, or through a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run.

The book starts off with Dick's surprise that Team Hoyt had become such an Internet sensation. It's not every day you see people like Team Hoyt at a race. It did a really great job of telling the story of when Rick was born - he somehow got his mother's umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, cutting off oxygen and causing brain damage. Devoted goes through Dick's emotions when he and his then-wife learn their perfect baby was born with cerebral palsy. Doctors told the couple to put Rick away in an institution; that he would never be anything more than a vegetable. A lot of times I think about what that must be like, to have a disabled child. Really think about it. What goes through your mind...and what would you do?

Dick accepts his son's condition with grace and realizes that you can't change a tough situation but you can make the best of it. After Rick and Dick did their first road race ever - a 5-miler - Team Hoyt knew that was it, that is what they were meant to do. After running more than 1,000 road races, not to mention 25 Boston Marathons - I just can't even describe the love this father must have for his son.

I don't want to give the whole book away, but I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good memoir.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My new best friend: compression socks!

So as I've talked about before on here, I've had numerous ankle sprains on my left ankle throughout the past ten years. I've spent numerous hours at the ER, on crutches, and in air casts. It really sucks and I never did any kind of physical therapy for it, so naturally when I run, my left ankle gets incredibly cranky.

I run in these Asics which provide incredible ankle support. Still, I get this horrible pain when I run that starts in my ankle and goes up my leg, stopping below the knee. It feels like really, really bad cramping. It usually only lasts the first few miles and then eases up after that. Still, those are a painful few miles!

So in my search of a pain remedy, I decided to try these Craft compression socks . I was skeptical at first, of course. They were only about $34 at Runner's Alley in Nashua, N.H., my favorite local running store. They had way more expensive ones but since I was so skeptical about them helping, I went for the cheaper versions.

I couldn't wait to try them out yesterday so I put them on and headed to the Chelmsford High School track to run.

Let me tell you - they looked fly.

I know, I have fat calves. The fattest's pretty devastating that I can't wear boots that go past my ankles.

Here's a close up:

So as you can probably guess, these socks are SUPER tight around my calves. Again I was pretty skeptical but I headed out for a run. As I was running, I noticed I felt like my ankle/leg WAS getting sore and it was going to start hurting, but it never actually did. I loved the support the socks provided, because they were so tight. It felt like they really eased the pain of the pounding on my legs by controlling the muscle.

I quit after about 2 miles because I didn't want to overdo it - I'd still like to get a few miles in tonight - but I have to say, I was really impressed with these socks! They are actually meant to be really helpful during and after long runs because the heat increases blood circulation and warmth, aiding in healing after the run. The package said to keep the socks on about 45 minutes after running to aid in healing. Even though I didn't run too far, I did keep the socks on, and let me tell you - I felt a HUGE difference when I took the socks off! My legs felt like jell-o! I noticed my calves felt jiggly so the socks definitely do what they're intended to do.

The only thing I didn't like - which is not the sock's fault, obviously - was that running in the heat is brutal with them on. They're not itchy or anything, just hot. However, in the winter, I'm sure I will be so excited to wear these socks.

I also want to try athletic tape to see if I can curb the pain even more. Whatever works, right?

Running 3 miles tonight and taking tomorrow off due to thunderstorms. It's been in the 90s all week but Friday is supposed to cool off. I can't wait!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Upcoming races

I thought I'd post a schedule of what I'm racing and when, for those who are interested... :) a * next to the date denotes that I have run the race before.

August 8: Salem Heritage 5k in Salem, Mass.

October 11: Tufts 10K for women in Boston, Mass.

October 17: Bay State (half) Marathon in Lowell, Mass.

October 24*: Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton's 5k for Paws and Claws in Hopkinton, Mass.

January 1, 2011*: Lowell 1st Run in Lowell, Mass.

That's a pretty solid schedule to me! I'm so excited to run a half marathon where I live, because I'm going to be training on the streets of the actual race. I'm also so excited to run the Baypath 5k again because I just love running with puppies, even though I don't have one of my own. The Baypath race was my very very very first one and I got a horrible time but it really made me love racing and want to do better! So this year I know I'll get a better time.

I'm also so excited to run the Lowell 1st run again, last year that race was a BLAST! I loved starting the year off right with a run and the after party was fabulous!

So there you have it folks. Who's running with me!?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Race volunteering

So last night I volunteered at a water stop to help out Team in Training. The race was the Marathon Sports 5-miler in Weston, Mass. It looked like at least a few hundred people had signed up to run the race. I'd never been to a race on a weekday at all let alone at night so that was definitely a different race experience. But the weather was cooler and not at all humid so it worked out well!

So I got to the Team tent a little early and hung around until we got directions as to what to do. There are about 20 of us volunteering for the Team and we all got in vans and they shuttled us out to the course. I got off at the first - and the craziest - water stop. They warned us it would be nuts, and they were right!

We were stationed just past the mile 1 mark and on the other side of the street was the mile 3 3/4 mark. So we poured and poured cups of water, literally it looked like hundreds! We moved a few tables to the other side of the street so there would be enough for the runners at the 3 3/4 mile mark as well as the 1 mile mark.

They had shuttled us out about an hour early, so after that was done, there was LOTS of waiting around for the race to start and lots of anticipation. We also had to deal with traffic going by, including one poor guy who had to sit in his driveway for like 20 minutes because they had closed the road both ways for the runners. Sucks to be him!

Then the runners started coming by really quick. The fast runners - those who run about 5-minute miles - most didn't want water but those who did SUCKED at grabbing cups! We were warned we'd probably get wet but I really got a lot wet. The fast runners would go by, try to grab a cup from me, spill it on me, and do the same thing with the other 3 water holders standing behind me! Come on people, grab the cup at the top, squeeze and drink! Not hard!

I love people watching and I love watching runners so that part was fun for me. I cheered for all of them as they ran by. A pretty thick wave of runners after the fast runners kept me busy, then it started to thin out.

Then, who do I see, but one of my buds running the race! I didn't know she would be there so I was stoked to see a familiar face. By the time she looped back around she didn't look so hot - the course was pretty hilly - so I ran with her for a little while. Then we came to Caroline, another Team in Training familiar face on the side of the road, all by herself, directing runners to go straight. What a boring job! She'd been standing there for hours! So I let my friend go and stood with Caroline so she wouldn't be alone. After we were sure everyone went by, we cut across the field and headed back to the tent. I caught up with my bud again at the end of the race and she was so happy to be done! Yay her!

All in all it was a great experience and it really made me see how much work goes into a race. All the pouring, picking up the cups after the runners just throw them on the ground, cheering and getting was nuts! But it was all very rewarding and I'm sure I'll be doing it again sometime soon!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

figuring out life post-training

So it's been a week and a half since my half marathon. I've come home, but I haven't exactly de-stressed. There's a lot going on with me lately, mostly because I am starting a new job on Monday! But the little things that are popping up like preparations for said job, adopting another cat, getting my Direct TV fixed (ugh) or having to get my car fixed (double UGHHH) are definitely stressing me out.

And in between all these ups and downs, I need to find time to center myself and run again. I know life happens, but I have a 10K on July 4 I would like to be prepared for! I think if I had a bigger motivation - another half marathon - I would be able to make the time to run again and be diligent about it instead of "well I'm stressed out and have a lot to do so I'm not going to run". The more I don't run the more I feel like I am really slacking and I hate that feeling. It's just another thing added to my list that I have to do.

So tomorrow, after my new toys (read: new laptop, camera, etc) arrive for my new job, and hopefully before I have to bring my car in for service, I'd like to get a 5 mile run in.

The last time I ran was almost week ago and it was SUCH a great run. I loved the feeling of just running for me. No stress, nobody telling me to speed up or slow down or when to do anything or what to think. It was just me and the road. It reminded me why I run. But what about when life gets in the way?

I know it has only been a week and a half and I just ran a half marathon so I could be taking it easy right now. So why do I feel so uneasy without a set schedule, something to train for? Do I need structure in my life THIS badly?

I am just hoping it passes as all the things in my life start to calm down and I can get back into the regular groove of things, whatever that will be. I just hope it will include running a happy 10-15 miles a week.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Half marathon race report

I've never been regular when it comes to blogging, so forgive me for the extreme lapse in time from the last time I updated. Like I've said before, I write for a living, which makes it hard to write just for me.

But when I'm moved, I'll write, and the half marathon I ran two days ago really moved me.

Let's start at the beginning. I signed up for this race with one dream: get to the finish line. It seemed so unattainable. How can anyone run 13.1 miles? That's crazy talk. But it was a challenge I wanted to overcome, and I did. It took a LOT of work and it certainly wasn't easy but it was so worth it.

Not to mention the almost $3,000 I raised to help cure Leukemia and Lymphoma. My aunt died two years ago of leukemia so the cause is very near and dear to my heart.

Anyway, let me take you to what happened on race day:

I woke up at 3 a.m. bright and early in my San Diego hotel room after just having a dream that my wake up call was way too late. Not the best way to wake up, but nonetheless I hopped in the shower, threw on my singlet and my sneakers and headed downstairs. I hooked up with the rest of my team and I was nervous just because I didn't know what to expect. We started boarding shuttles at 4:30 a.m. and made it to Balboa Park in San Diego around 5.

We got into the extremely long line for the porto-potties. Normally when you're racing, they tell you to go to the bathroom, then get right back in line and go again. However the line was so long by the time we were done we decided to just get in our corrals. The gun went off at 6:15 but unfortunately I was in the third to last corral, so I didn't even cross the starting line until 7:08 a.m. So painful to just stand there for almost an hour! Ugh!

Anyway we get going and all of a sudden I'm like...OMG. I need a porto potty! Not even at mile 1 people! I pulled over and waited in line for the porto potty and finally went. Between that and some leg pain I've had regularly that kicks in between miles 1 and 3 and eases off, I ran a pretty crappy 5k time.

But after mile 3, I started to feel really good. I kicked it up a notch and went a little faster, and I felt like I had a good 10k time. Then at mile 7, the sun came out, and I was so done after that. I was very unprepared for the heat of San Diego...but in retrospect, there was really nothing I could have done to prepare for that. So I backed off in a big big way.

At that point we were running on the highway, on 163, and I was NOT a fan of that for many reasons. First, the road is SLANTED! So many people hurt themselves or their painful joints started acting up at that point. It is really hard to run on a slanted road! Second, the marathoners and the half marathoners merged at this point and ran together. It was really crappy to see all these people suddenly running past you and I'm sure it was annoying to them to have to weave in and out of slower half marathoners.

By then the heat was kicking my ass big time and at mile 9, a Team coach stopped me and was like "uhh...are you drinking water?" haha, yes I am sir, I trained for this race in the snow and was not prepared for running in 80 degree heat! But it worked out- at mile 10, people in grass skirts had hoses and were spraying water everywhere and it felt soooo good.

I really perked up after that and trudged through mile 11, and at mile 12 I met up with this girl, Kelsey, who was feeling really sore. Soreness had set in big time for me too but we decided to run together for a little while and talking to each other really took our minds off the pain.

Then all of a sudden a girl ran up behind us and was like "Less than half a mile to the finish! Let's do this!" and we were so ready to finish so we just let go of all the pain and pushed through to the finish. It was a great race even if I had to let go of my "happy time" time goal because of the heat.

As far as running another goes, I think I definitely will. I just don't know when. Knowing me, July will come around and I'll get the urge to train for a race in October. But I'm just going to let that happen and see if that really is the way I feel.

I feel really good about running my 10k on July 4. I feel like that is a great, managable distance right now :)

Thank you so much to everyone who pushed me throughout this experience and donated their time, effort, and money into helping me get to the finish line. Also thanks to the people who listened to me cry and moan after all my long runs. I really couldn't have done it without so many people who helped me get here!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Things I need to get better at, part 2

1. Stretching before a run
2. Stretching after a run
3. Pacing myself throughout my run
4. Watching where I step (aka make sure it's not in a pot hole)

These four things describe my run today, which was good, other than these three things. I really need to get on the ball! gaahhh

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm baaaaack

OK, So I took a month off from blogging about running. I'm so sorry. I write for a living so sometimes it is tough to motivate myself to write for ME :)

Training is going well overall, of course there are bumps and bruises and a lot of soreness along the way. I am going to get new sneakers very very soon because I'm having some hip pain and getting blisters on my feet and I think the sneaks are the culprit.

I've pretty much raised all the money I need to run my half marathon, which is a HUGE relief and I'm so glad now I can just concentrate on running. I'm upping my mileage to 4-5 miles during the week and this weekend my long run will probably be 6 or 7 miles, depending on how mean Coach wants to be to us :)

For work, I will be covering the Boston Marathon this year which is so incredibly exciting! I am going to be featuring runners and interviewing people at the finish line and I can't wait. I think it will inspire me for my race, and I love talking to other runners!

Speaking of my race, I checked it out online to get my acquainted with how it's going to be in June. I checked out the map, which looks good, and also the elevation map - ehhh....haha. I'm training in a pretty hilly place but I've been babying myself on the hills. There are a few hills on the elevation map. Miles 5 to 6.5 ish... yeah, not excited for that.

Anyway, since I like to write things down just for my personal records, here are some things I'd like to get better at. Obviously they all revolve around eating right, which is the hardest part for me:
1. eat breakfast
2. drink more water
3. eat a more balanced meal the night before a run

that's it for now. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I took the leap...but for right now I'm taking it easy

So, I did it. I signed up to run a half marathon! Oh my goodness. I'm crazy. You can't bullsh-t 13.1 miles, you just can't. Now, aside from training, there's only one thing in my way.

I have to raise $2,900 to even run this race. Oh boy. That alone has me terrified. If I can't make $725 by April 1, I have to either "recommit" by giving them my credit card to make up for the rest of the money or drop off the team. Oh boy.

Here is my fundraising page:

As you can see I have a whopping $50 so far! YES! haha. I am putting a raffle together, though, hopefully that will generate a lot more interest. But please, donate if you are so inclined!

Anyway, I'm taking it easy this week (aka not doing much at all) because starting next week, I'm in the gym 6 days week. Here's what my schedule is going to be, roughly:

Monday: Cross train @ gym (cycling/elliptical)
Tuesday: Run @ gym
Wednesday: Cross train @ pool (swimming)
Thursday: Run (OUTSIDE)
Friday: Cross train @ gym (cycling/elliptical) or @ pool (swimming)
Saturday: Long run (OUTSIDE)
Sunday: OFF

As you can see I've decided to incorperate swimming into my cross training, which I'm so very excited for. I always hated swimming when I was little- you know those stupid swim classes school made you take? I used to BEGGGG for notes to get me out of it! But I think that if I can go at my own pace I can really get a lot out of it, just for exercise. Swimming is also supposedly very good for people with injuries, and with my ankle injury, that sounds awesome. Of course I'm sure that will be harder than I say it is!

I only have a few days left of freedom before the craziness starts. I'm already stressed out about the fundraising in a big big way. AHH!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Aaaand I'm back in the game!!

I took about a week-longish break from running to let my ankle rest. I decided to repeat week 5 of my Couch to 5k plan this week, and (I's Wednesday, I'm so not on the ball) today was my first run of Wee 5 part 2.

And I actually did really well!!! No ankle pain, yay, and I completed all the runs. granted I did it kind of slower than usual, at about 4.4 mph, which sucks...but what can you do. It felt great.

I didn't know if I would be able to run as well but the days I haven't gotten to the gym I've been doing my Jillian Michaels workout video which really pumps me up and I feel like I work hard and am getting toned at the same time.

I'll probably run again tomorrow and spend some real quality time at the gym. Lately I am getting sad that my gym (planet fitness) doesn't offer good classes. It's a cheap, no-frills gym, so I can't expect much, but I'll say this: If they did offer say, spinning or yoga, I'd do it!!

That's all for now: I'll update tomorrow. xoxo

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Taking it easy

So I've been running lately but I haven't updated lately because I guess I just don't feel good about it. I've really been taking it easy, doing about half of my runs because of my ankle and I don't want to overdo it. I want to get into a doctor and eventually physical therapy for it, and I don't want to mess anything up. Perfect excuse, right? O:)

So lately I've just been running for about 15 minutes, usually a 5 minute run followed by two 3-minute runs, and some walking in between. Then after that I've been doing some biking and the elliptical machine to still get my cardio in.

It's frustrating, but I have time. My next race is Feb. 28, which is in about 7 weeks. I shouldn't be stressing right now but I don't want to get off track! I also need to definitely start running outside. Humph. :(

I also picked up:

JILLIAN! haha. I'll probably pick up another Biggest Loser video too, for the days that I am soooo lazy that I don't want to go to the gym, or when I'm snowed in, etc.
I've heard they're both really good workouts, so I'm pretty stoked for that.

I'll probably give myself today off, and run again tomorrow.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hit the wall, running.


I kind of knew week 4 of Couch to 2k (also known as C25K) would be the worst yet, one I'll probably have to repeat. It is brutal. I did the day 1 90% fine. Today - I don't know if it was that I took two days in between running or what - it was such a disaster. I MAYBE got a few 3-minute runs in. I'm supposed to be getting comfortable with 5 minute runs.

The ankle pain is getting unbearable and I think I need to see a physical therapist ASAP to deal with this if I want to keep running. I'm trying to listen to my body and not run through the pain when I don't think I should, which is what I did today. I backed off when I really felt like something was wrong. At the same time, I'm frustrated, and as soon as pain starts to happen I get upset and depressed and I don't want to continue working out. It's really crappy.

To make matters worse, I've been feeling, let's just say, not 100% all week and it's not that I haven't been paying attention to my diet - it's that I've been retaining water or some other ridiculous crap. Anyway, the number on the scale was absolutely disappointing when I weighed myself today, and it just added fuel to an already horrible and depressing and awful fire.

Two weeks into me being serious about this and I've hit a wall. I am getting flashbacks of my 15-year-old self, doing the same thing, still trying to become healthy, and seeing where I am today, that obviously never happened because I am in the same exact place, probably even worse off because I have more lb's to lose.

This is so depressing that I can't even write about it anymore.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolutions for 2010

So, before I get started with resolutions, I just want to say: I've never been this sore before.

I've never had to actually ice my knees and ankles after a run (or a race). My calves are still not feeling so hot, but I really want to run tomorrow, so hopefully I can shake that off. I also won't be able to run outside tomorrow due to an all-weekend snow storm, so to the gym it is.

I'm still a little frustrated my work on the treadmill hasn't translated to the street. That is something I definitely need to work on - and pacing myself. Why am I finding this so hard? Do other people find this hard too?

Anyway, here are my goals for 2010:

1. Run a 5k in 37 minutes.

2. Run and finish a half marathon. (Oh boy is that terrifying! But it would be a dream come true!)

3. Continue to monitor what I eat.

4. Learn to love vegetables.

5. I need to cook more and not be terrified of it.

Okay so that's really it. I'm not really comfortable setting too many goals or resolutions, because I hate being disappointed. This will have to do.

Look out, 2010. I will OWN YOU.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Oh boy, race, you showed me what's up. But i will OWN YOU.

Bad running picture of the race:


Today's race had a lot of good and bad aspects, but overall, I'm pretty happy.

Good: I beat my last time by 4 minutes! yay!

Bad: Oh hey, running on the street is like totally different than running on a treadmill. My "12 minute mile" on the treadmill became embarrassingly slow on the street.

Good: I met a really nice lady during mile 2 who ran with me!! She was super nice and reminded me to pace myself. As we were going, some 10k runners were already on their second round, and she was like "Next time that will be us!" Love her.

Bad: I can never pace myself correctly. I start off too fast then get tired. I do short sprints to get ahead then get tired. I hate it! And in some places, looking back, I felt like I could have pushed more.

Good: I really, really love my pink medal with champagne on it.

Bad: I had walked a little before I hit mile 3 and just decided to run the rest. Then I almost became Sicky McThrowup. I made it to the finish running but a cop on the way seriously almost had it in. I really felt like I was gonna puke!

Good: One thing I really love about racing is the people who don't even know you telling you that you did an awesome job. I got to the finish and met up with the lady I ran with at mile 2 and she was like "You beat your last time! And you're not last!" I said thanks but hunched over because I felt like I was gonna puke, and she rubbed my back. So nice!!!!

After that I felt better and decided to go get some water. On my way in a lady looked at my medal and was like "That's so great!!! Look at how amazing you are." WHAT?! I just ran a race that was probably really crappy, but you think I'm awesome!? I love you!

Now I'm pretty sore right now, but it's bearable.

I guess I have to bite a bullet, though: I need to run outside. At least more often than I am now. Ughhhh.

Next race is Feb. 28.