Donate now!

If you would like to donate to my fundraising campain for Team in Training you can either click here or follow the link in my Donate Tab!  Thank you so much!  I promise to update this blog with more info as soon as I get a chance!  I would also like to personalize my donations page as well. 🙂

***So here is the quick update as I just got home for soccer and its 15 minutes before bedtime.  I want to cry.  No, I’m not sad.  I’m the luckiest and most blessed girl in the world.  I can’t believe the friends and family that have supported me already, towards completing my goal.  Not to mention, I think my entire family plus Sara, Olivia, Steph, and Molls want to come out to cheer me on in June.  There is nothing more motivating than this.  I start by going to a kickoff event at Boston University this saturday, and will meet my South Boston Running Team.  From there, I start training next week!  I really hope to make you all proud!***

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Exhausted!

I’m too exhausted to post from such a great, yet tiring weekend!  Instead, I’ll just leave you with some photos to explain how it went.  I have soccer tomorrow night too, so fingers crossed I can get back to this before I turn into a zombie.

Team in Training!

Well friends, I have officially signed up to be a Team in Training member!  This is superbly awesome because I will be raising money for cancer research, while also working with a personal trainer/coach throughout my marathon training.

Look for a future post that explains more of the program, as well as a link to donate. 🙂  You can also expect a party come April or May to help me with my fundraising goal!  Maybe a Southie Pub Crawl!  Oh, that will be so fun!!!

In addition, I will be assigned a training plan based on my needs as a runner, access to elite runners as trainers, as well as physical therapists in the case that I suffer an injury.  I will also be running with a South Boston Running Club every Saturday morning at 7 a.m. following the kickoff event happening on February 4th at Boston University.

During this time, I will also be paired up with a patient going through treatment or in remission, and they will be a support system and a face for my cause.  I think that might even be the best part, to really get to know someone who is a survivor.  I have been so blessed in my life, that I don’t have many immediate family members suffering from painful diseases or even personal/emotional issues (although supporting Diabetes research might be a direction I go in, in the future, because of my close connection to some of my favorite people “surviving’ with that condition).

After finishing my half marathon, I felt a sense of accomplishment but realized that those feelings are fleeting.  I think being tied to both this blog and raising money and awareness for blood cancers will feel like a spiritual awakening.  I absolutely can’t wait!

Fear

The litany against fear is an incantation used to focus one’s mind and calm oneself in times of peril. The litany is as follows:
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Remember this in all of your training highs, lows, and inbetweens.  I repeat “fear is the mind killer” to myself when I’m feeling especially frustrated or when lacking confidence.

As for my weekend….I plan on doing a four-miler at the gym with some weights today. TOMORROW I’m hitting up the Team in Training meeting…I can’t wait to blog about it!  I then plan on doing the southie five-6 miler, unless the conditions (aka sidewalks) are crummy.  Then Killington in VT to try out skiing on sunday!  Bringing my board just in case!  Add in a splash of fun on friday night (trying to limit the alcohol intake for training!) and a dinner with friends on saturday!

I can blow you away, or you can ride with me.

Yep. Started another post with lyrics.  This time its Paul Revere by Beastie Boys.  Probably one of my favorite songs by them, mostly because of the track in the background.  Maybe you can add this song to your playlist.

Anyway, so last night I was at Yoga and I was struuuugggling. Every time we went into a one-legged pose, I would have to start over because I realized I couldn’t balance.  This is obviously not a picture of me, but what a one legged pose might look like.  I was getting so frustrated with myself, because I just want to be lean and strong.  At the end of class though, my teacher commented that I had done pretty well for it being my fourth class of yoga ever.

So, this article in Runners World talked about the same kind of issue I was having.  Let me explain.  They followed a particular “subject” (a female runner) during her training schedule, and how she would often have calf cramps, which is where I feel my pain in training as well.  

A pro, aka a specialist in Sports Medicine, named De Angelo,  had this particular runner perform a series of one-legged balance exercises, which revealed weaknesses in both the hips and glutes. “If your hips or glutes are weak, the calves are going to have to absorb a lot more force than they should,” he says.

De Angelo’s analysis proceeded directly from the hip to the foot. “The foot and the hip are best friends,” he says. “They depend on each other, and if one’s not happy, the other’s not going to be happy.” Sure enough, he found a lack of flexibility in the foot and ankle, which was causing tightness in her calves—which in turn, led to the inability of the glutes to fire efficiently.  De Angelo recommended active-release stretches for the calves, hips, and groin, along with multiple sets of Bulgarian split squats (performed with one leg on a bench) and straight-legged runner’s lunges.

Holy cannoli!!!!!  This is exactly my issue and exactly what I need to work on.

So it turns out the “American College of Sports Medicine’s guidelines call for two resistance-training sessions per week—that is, eight to 10 exercises working the major muscle groups; eight to 12 repetitions per exercise. Runners should pay particular attention to the core muscles, the glutes, hips and lower back, as well as the legs and upper body, says orthopedic surgeon Vonda Wright.

Wright recommends working your muscles differently once or twice a week with something besides running, like Spinning. “It’s an intense cardio workout, you’re using your butt, and teaching your muscles to fire faster.”

While some studies have shown that stretching does not reduce the incidence of injury, Wright believes in dynamic stretching after warming up. She recommends gently stretching your calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, butt, and quads after every run. Another option: Pilates or yoga classes typically incorporate both core and flexibility work, so either is time-efficient.” Thanks Runners WORLD! Because now I know the importance of my yoga sesh’s.  Remember that potential runners, strong core and a lot of flexibility make you a better runner overall.

Ok now lets move into some randomness.
Let me tell you about my snowday in the city.  Sara and I randomly met up with Steph at her work, where we schmoozed and ate lunch together.  We then said our goodbyes and Sara and I then headed to Borders where we sat…for two hours!… chatting and checking out books. Look at the selection I wound up purchasing.

YES how awesome!  I bought a trader joe’s cookbook where I vow to make one recipe per week, and then also purchased “What the Dog Saw” by Malcom Gladwell, who wrote “The Tipping Point” and “Blink”….two awesome psychology/business books.  
Sara and I then met up with her boyfriend, Tal, at Stoddards on Temple Place at Downtown Crossing.  I had an awesome drink called the French 75 which consisted of Gin, Champagne, Simple Syrup, and Lemon.  It was an amazing drink in a beautifully decorated bar/restaurant. Seriously, the atmosphere was phenomenal.  Finally, Sara and I ventured into Chinatown to grab sushi at Ginza, which I also highly recommend.  Since, I was so close to southie, I cabbed it back, pushed Sara out at the Broadway T stop and came home to not one, but TWO Runners World magazines waiting for me.  What an AWESOME DAY! 

‘Cause we’re young. Fell in from the stars.

Dear Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me tell you about Monday, even though its Wednesday, because this post is all about organic and green living.  So, like, on Monday, I tooottally had like, the best. night. ever!  Well, I really did have a good night, even though I skipped both the gym and soccer! I decided that going grocery shopping was more important than the gym, so after my tutoring club, I hiked my way up to the Cambridge Alewife Trader Joes!!!  I spent the giftcard that my Aunt and Uncle gave me for Christmas, and went to town!  I bought so much good stuff (and with that good stuff, made a pesto tortellini with grilled spinach, mushrooms, and onions… seasoned with thyme, all while tossing in a chicken sausage for good measure.  Mmm mmm mmm)!  After buying the entire store, I put the groceries in my trunk for safe keeping, because I knew it would be 20 below that night, picked up Sara, and headed to JIMOTHY’s condo in Davis Square!

Its an incregibly beautiful unit.  I mean, check out the Davis Square Lofts, as they are heated through some kind of green fanciness underneath the floor (yep the unit is heated through the floor) and the toilets are filled with recycled rain water.  GET OUT OF HERE.  Ok, so here are the pics…

Look how fancy I was with that shot!  Jim first put out cheese and crackers, then we moved onto dinner that included a turkey burger and a beautiful salad with apple, craisins, and feta cheese.  I topped my burger with a concoction of ketchup, mustard, hot peppers, pickles, and frank’s red hot.  Good idea?  Yes, because even though my mouth was on fire, it tasted delicious.

Then we moved into the bedroom (OH stop it.  Get your mind out of the gutter), where Sara and I hung from the metal poles that housed Jim’s kayak.  We did a photo shoot.  We had a great time.

Sara then put on Jimothy’s scarf that he made, but was too long, so he turned it into a wall hanging.  After a few minutes of laughter and sunshine, we dined on homemade cupcakes with homemade frosting (I cut mine in half to save myself some pain later).

Look at the craftsmanship in both my photo and in the dessert.  What a great night! Green living and mostly organic products, because Jimothy is totally a nature nut.  Just how I like ’em.

This weekend I will be heading down to Tom and Erica’s for dinner on Saturday, after a good run and my Team in Training meeting.  I have decided on skipping Killington on Sunday to save some money for Italy, and will instead either snowshoe or cross country ski with my Bolivia (I got snowshoes for christmas and liv’s mom owns cross country skis).  Here is a great website I found that shows you trails to snowshoe in New England.  HOT DOG!

Tonight, I’m aiming for a yoga sesh at South Boston Yoga. Happy wednesday!

I can hear you louder than ever

I’m gonna give a big shout out to the Cold War Kids and their new album.  I’m a big fan.  Really loved their old song “Hang me up to dry” but am totally in love with their newish song “louder than ever“.  Anyway, check them out.  I have been recently told they are playing at the House of Blues in March!  If the price is right…  Also, Crystal Castles just released a song with The Cure’s lead vocalist, Robert Smith, entitled “I’m not in love”.  Sounds about right.  BUT I will forever and always love their song “Courtship Dating” more than anything in the world (its been suggested that Fiddy stole the beats to this song to plug into Ayo Technology, as Crystal Castles were a club hit in Canada prior to it being released on an album).

Secondly, MY GARMIN FORERUNNER CAME!

Yep, that’s right I just took those photos with photobooth on my macbook.  What of it? I am so excited for this thing to charge.  Too bad it takes three hours and I need to get in a workout before this evening.  I have plizans tonight, playa.  Remember, this thing is able to keep track of my workouts, my pace, my mileage, and will show me how I’ve improved over time.  WAGON!! (wagon is how Sara, Olivia, and I say “Yahoo!” because of a mistype in a text.) WAGON!!

**UPDATE**

Ok, so I didn’t know you had to set an autolap to figure out your pace per mile, but check out what I was able to figure out during my treacherous run outdoors in the unshoveled southie warzone.

So my average speed was 6.8 mph, a slow run, with my average pace being 8:49 a mile.  After running 5.62 miles in 49:35:66 and burning 561 (estimate) calories, I am loving this device!

Well the screenshot doesn’t really show you much, but my Garmin was able to chart out my exact run and my speed.  I didn’t wear the heartrate monitor, but that’s a-ok.   My average pace per mile was a little slow, but you have no idea what I was trying to run in.  I’m surprised I didn’t twist my ankle!  BUT STILL, this is awesome!  On another run, I’ll be able to tell you my splits (how fast I run each mile)!!

Maine, you changed my life.

I am going to use this time to post about how much the summer of 2010 changed my life. Now, I have been working at an outdoor adventure camp for the previous three years, but something about working the entire summer, in combination with my frustration with my own personal life, allowed me to really experience camp for what it was; a life changing experience.

(That photo is a picture of a whiteboard drawing one of my campers made of me. I would wear rainbow socks with my rainboots every time there was even a thought of rain.)
So I work at this neato little camp called Aspen Outdoor Adventure Program, where, depending on the age group, we do day trips kayaking, hiking, biking, rock climbing etc., and then do overnight sessions around New England that are centered around different outdoor activities. I had the pleasure of working with some of our older kids this summer, which meant I would be away for a week at a time camping in locations such as Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, Western Mass, etc. I spent a majority of my time in Maine and a lot of time with my favorite camp husband, JIMOTHY! (well his real name is just Jim. Maybe James, I’m not sure actually ahah, I’m also going to dinner at his place tomorrow night with Sara to catch up. Whoop whoop!). I also spent plenty of time with my one and only Fraulein Sara.

So Jimothy and I were in charge of 13 campers and we would hang out with them in Maine doing things like white water rafting, rock climbing, and an awesome attempt at hiking a mountain nearby to Jackman, ME (although this plan was foiled by an obvious attempt by one camper to get “sick” in the beginning stages of our hike. playa please). It was a lot of time outdoors, with kids, making food breakfast noon and night, barely showering (Jim considered any time spent swimming as showering) and sleeping in ginormous puddles because of rain storms with 30 degree temps at night (because it was Maine and Canada, what do you want from them?). I also had the pleasure of going on a trip to Camden with Sara, in which we took a bunch of 13-year-olds into the woods, going to Iylesboro, ME by ferry, biking all day, and waking the kids up at 4 a.m. to do a sunrise hike on Mt. Battie (um, where we started at the bottom and were SCREAMED out by some creep sleeping in their van? and when we got to the top, our kids discovered a couple camping there, with their dogs. ooops.)
If you know where I came from and who I was just a few years ago, I started out only doing Day Trekkers (4th into 5th grade) trips because I was such a camp fail. But now that I’m a master in my craft of camping (and no longer cry because I have to sleep in the woods in the dark in a tent by myself), I know how to do everything except light a campfire. YOU CAN’T BE GOOD AT EVERYTHING! Get off my back! I at least tried…apparently lighting an entire roll of paper towels with lighter fluid isn’t how you start a camp fire.
So I was pushed to my limit this summer, both in terms of how I can handle myself without the luxuries of my life (although I still woke up earlier than everyone else so I could put on makeup), as well as challenging myself to accept who I was, as a 27 year old in my champagne year of life.

The song “I’ve gotta figure this out” by Erin McCarley explained exactly how I felt. Listen to it, its an incredible song. “The Reeling” by Passion Pit is also a good description of life then (Look at me, oh look at me, is this the way I’ve always been. Oh no, oh no. Now I’m dreaming somebody would simply come and kidnap me. Oh no, oh no. Everyday I lie awake and pray to God today’s the day. oh no, oh no. Here I am, oh, here I am, and when will someone understand
Oh no, oh no.) With all of these struggles on my mind, I spent a lot of that summer journaling and reading The Secret, which I consider to be one of the most influential books in my life (besides The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran). I don’t

necessarily believe in all of its mumbo jumbo, but I 100% support its message, which is based on the power of positive thought. Some important ideas coming out of the book included: “Do what you love. If you don’t know what brings you joy, ask “What is my joy?” As you commit to your joy, you will attract an avalanche of joyful things because you are radiating joy.” and that “Your job is you. Unless you fill yourself up first, you have nothing to give anybody.”

All summer I had felt like I was struggling with knowing who I was and what I wanted; what made me special, and what made my life fulfilling. I went off of facebook to get away from projecting what I wanted people to think I was, instead of figuring out who I actually was.
(During that time, I uploaded pictures to my Flickr account and you can see all of my adventures in Maine, both Jackman and Camden here. It gives you an idea the beauty I surrounded myself in. I couldn’t really take any pictures of the kids because of privacy laws, but there are a ton of scenery pictures among a mishmash of other activities I participated in that summer.)

In that time, I really got to know myself. I took a break from dating, I stopped going out as much, and I lived my entire summer outdoors. I will say that I started the school year a little exhausted, because every single day was spent in the sun doing something really active. Seriously, I went all Thoreau on you.  In the woods, no electricity, no facebook (!) no boys(!!!) and if you know me really well, you know that I am boy crazy.  However, I came out of that experience with a really strong sense of who I was, and what I could accomplish. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eloquently portray my experience through words, so instead you should just know that I celebrate that time of my life every day after, with every memory I’ve created since then. I bought a feather necklace, that you may notice I wear everyday and have never taken off since August, which symbolizes spiritual and emotional freedom. (I got it from www.dogeared.com, p.s.)

You might think that I just unloaded a ton of cheese on you, but I know that my experiences this summer left me with a sense of independence, confidence in who I was as a friend, a sister, a daughter, and what I could offer anyone new coming into my life. I also decided in that time to take up running, because although I have always been active, I hadn’t been pushing myself in recent years. In order to keep on goal, I signed up for the Chilly Half Marathon in Newton, MA. I trained for that run, although probably not to the best of my ability, but with a refreshed energy, one that I consider to be very unique and one of my best qualities. My energy makes others feel good, and I can get the energy of a room to change with the way I interact with it.

Although I was sidetracked during my training by one of the most important experiences in recent years, I was able to complete the half marathon in 1 hour and 57 minutes; not bad for a newbie with not much of a running background (albeit I am super athletic. Also a big shout out to my besties, Sara and Olivia, for helping motivate me during my race and in my life). That race left me with a thirst and a desire to accomplish so much more, and with a chain of recent events that have left me ready for more wonderful things to walk into my life, I decided to sign up for the marathon this June. I hope to make you all proud. Thanks for listening!
“Once you begin to understand and truly master your thoughts and feelings, that’s when you see how you create your own reality. That’s where your freedom is, that is where all your power is” -Marci Shimoff
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Download the song “Something about angels” by Justin King. Awesome.