15 Days Down, 109 To Go!

I’m in full-fledged training mode. I have my schedule, I have my planner, Vaseline is on standby and I’m feeling good. Oh, then week 2 hit and I caught the sinus/respiratory infection of the year. Awesome timing. But that was last week, and this is this week. I’m still coughing up things I don’t care to mention, but I’m back at it and I feel a million times better. Sorry for the lull in blogging it was the holidays. You understand, right? As usual, there was lots of food, lots of family, and this year a diamond and amethyst encrusted penguin. Best. Gift. Ever.

Seriously? He managed to combine diamonds and penguins. If that's not love I don't know what is.

After all the cheese, cookies, candy and all other forms of delicious holiday decadence; I’m officially putting myself on a diet. There’s no way around it. You are what you eat, which right now makes me some form of cheese wrapped in bacon I’m sure. Really, I’m healthy. I promise. But none of this can be good for training and getting back to the schedule this week I could feel the grease sweating out of me. And it felt amazing.

Jim left for Florida to work for 3 months on Sunday, so obviously Monday called for endorphins. Lots of endorphins. So after my 2 mile “trial run” back to training, I decided to jog my little butt back into the gym to go to hot yoga. Hot yoga is my favorite cross training. Do it right and it honestly feels like a massage when you’re super tight from the high impact of running. Doesn’t hurt that my instructor is also one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever come across in my life, and when I need a good pick me up I look no further than Chris (forward to 3:05) to sweat it out of me. The woman is a miracle worker. I also indulged in a little retail therapy and bought the best yoga tank I’ve ever come across.

I look that elegant when I'm sweating out grease. I swear.

New workout clothes always make it a little easier to go to the gym. Thanks lululemon. I can forgive you now for the damage you do to my bank account on a regular basis. We’re cool.

After sweating out the fried macaroni and cheese, 3 glasses of sangria and cupcake I had for lunch Monday (did I not mention those?); I felt like a new woman. I don’t think my head was down for more than 5 minutes before I was out like a light, and I woke up Tuesday with one thought in mind: I want to RUN. And that’s what I did. I ran 3 of the most painless, refreshing and endorphin packed miles I’ve ever run in my life. So with this newly refreshed attitude, I am back on the training schedule. 109 days until Boston, I’m ready to do this. And it couldn’t feel better.

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Streaking Is Painful

No, I didn’t strip down for a run through the quad. Though I will say if it wasn’t so expensive to participate I’d totally do the Santa Speedo Run. Something about running the finish line of the Boston Marathon in my underwear in December has always seemed incredibly appealing to me. Instead, I’m streaking with Runners World magazine for the RWRunStreak! Run everyday from Thanksgiving through New Years.

Come on, they look like they're having SO much fun!

 

I’ve never streaked before. I’ve always been a “Run 3, Rest 1” type of gal. But this seemed interesting to me. It’s a long enough time to be a challenge, but reasonable enough to not make me puke at the thought. And let’s face it- who doesn’t need a few extra miles during the holidays?

 

Though I will say, if you have never streaked before and use Nike+, they have some great motivators built in there. After 5 days a woman came on my screen and told me good job. It’s amazing how little things like that help.

 

The only probably I can see is that my official training schedule for the Boston Marathon starts on December 12, That’s a week from Monday. That means no rest days for the first 3 weeks of training. Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

 

The Miles For Miracles team kickoff is this Sunday, and I get to meet my Patient Partner! I’m so excited to meet this little guy. I’ve been emailing with his mom, and they seem just as excited as I am to be a part of the program. To be able to put a face to the kids I’m helping is amazing.

 

Yes, I'm helping the kids. You can help me help them too!

 

So, here’s my question of the day. Am I crazy for this whole Run Streak thing during marathon training?

 

Happy Tuesday!

Favorite Things Friday

First and foremost…

In case you were wonder- yes i screamed when I saw it. But really quietly so no one at work would notice me sneaking away to celebrate in the hall.

I’m IN!! That’s right. Apparently if you write about how much you hate waiting to hear back, the marathon powers will be sure to send you an email the following afternoon alerting you of your fate. I’m SO excited to be running for Children’s Hospital Boston I really can’t even explain it  (awesome writing skills, right?). I have worked with the Childrens Hospital Trust through my job and am constantly in awe of the amazing work that they do to further pediatric medicine not only in Boston but around the world. They really are an amazing organization and I’m so excited to be running on their team. Ahhh!

Now that that’s out of the way, back to today. Friday.Favorite Things Friday to be exact. I don’t know if you’re familiar with her blog, but if you don’t read Ali On The Run you really should. She’s an amazing runner/writer/battler of Crohn’s Disease in NYC. Love her. Ali-if you see this- let’s be friends. But to get you up to speed on why this is relevant (other than her awesome-ness), she has this great feature called “Thankful Thursdays” that I’ve always loved. But alas, Thursdays are just a little too busy from me to commit to posting every week. Training runs in the morning, work, then class at night. Posts probably just aren’t gonna happen. Sorry.

While there is plenty in my life I’m thankful for, I also have a lot of favorite things. A lot. So, I’ll leave Ali to her thankfulness and share with you my favorite things on Fridays. Then you should share yours. I love favorites. Deal? Sweet.

Penguins. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you don’t think penguins are adorable then I just don’t trust you. Sorry. Look at these little guys! Love love love.

This is love. Right here.

Sneakers that are perfectly broken in. I hate breaking in new running sneakers. I think it’s one of the worst phases of training. However, getting a couple miles into a run and realizing that your sneakers have suddenly morphed from firm pieces of rubber to the perfectly supportive yet cushion-y goodness they were intended to be? Heaven.

Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label Champagne. Nothing says happiness like champagne. And nothing says “Big Deal” like good champagne. I’m all for the $7 bottle(s) of prosecco on the couch with my girlfriends, but you save the good stuff for life’s big moments. Graduation. Getting a job. Quitting a bad job. Marathons. Veuve is reserved for the big moments. It doesn’t mean I love you any less strawberry Andre, it just means this is a bigger deal than Friday night pizza (another favorite).

So, what are you Favorite Things this Friday?

Waiting

It’s one of my least favorite things to do. I’m a very go-go-go person. I get out of bed at 7am on Saturdays, I rarely get to sleep before 11:30 and if I’m left at home with no game plan that usually means I’ll go on a OCD cleaning spree of my room, car and closet space. So when I filled out my applications to run the Boston Marathon through their charity program 2 weeks ago I knew the waiting would be the worst part.

Now, before you harp in on me- yes- I’m running for charity because I did not qualify for the Boston Marathon. Believe it or not, not every avid runner can clock a sub-3:45 marathon. I tried. I trained. I ran Chicago 2010 in 86 degree heat. No BQ for me. But why should that stop me?

I have lived south of Boston my entire life. I remember the Boston Marathon being a huge deal when I was younger for two reasons.

1. It was always the Monday of April Vacation. What is April Vacation you may ask? I recently found out that this doesn’t happen everywhere in the country, but in Massachusetts public schools get two one-week vacations after Christmas break. The first is in February, and the second in April. As an adult, you also get this glorious Monday in April off should you work within the city of Boston. This my friends is Patriot’s Day. A holiday only celebrated in Massachusetts. Does anyone call it Patriots Day? No. It is Marathon Monday. Get it right. We take that Monday to celebrate the insanity and dedication of those willing to run 26.2 miles through the hills of the west-of-Boston suburbs all the way into the city.

2. It was the one day a year my mother would actually keep an eye on a sporting event and comment on it. Now, my mother has never been a runner. She’s never been an athlete. She was a cheerleader before cheerleading became a sport. So when I say she watched a sporting event, you need to realize what an event this was. But she would not watch it with the same awe and inspiration that the other parents would. She would watch it the way some people watch “When Animals Attack!“. “Why would anyone put themselves through that. I just don’t get it. Look at them, they don’t even look like they’re enjoying themselves…” Every year it was the same shock and horror out of mom. Those people who ran Boston had to have been doing it for some reason other than to horrify my mother. And I realized the only way I was going to find out why was to do it myself. Around the age of 13 I forgot about this ambition. Then at 24 it caught back up with me.

So after months of training and hard work I went to Chicago to see what the marathon was all about. Why Chicago when I live 20 minutes from the most legendary marathon course in the world? Chicago is flat. Boston is not. I’m not a huge fan of hills. Especially the idea of 26.2 miles of them when I had never run any road race before. Ever. Start big- with a marathon. Start small- no hills. It seemed like a fair compromise to me.

Now, I realized that getting a BQ on your first marathon is nearly- if not completely- impossible. I’m not Kara Gaucher. A sub 3-hour debut just wasn’t in the cards for me. A sub-4 hour seemed just as unlikely. And right I was. I went to Chicago. I finished. And in the end, that was all I needed to understand why all those people ran Boston.

With my love of the marathon affirmed, I knew I wanted to run Boston. However, I also knew that a BQ was in my distant future. I’m impatient. I want to run Boston while I’m young, injury free and able to appreciate the after-party. So now I wait. Please pick me Boston, please? If for no other reason than it would be nice to have mom see me on TV and explain to the newest generation that “marathoner’s are crazy, and your aunt is one of them.