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Archive for the ‘getaways’ Category

Tomorrow afternoon, we’re leaving on a jet plane, headed to Chicago for a long weekend.

We plan to stay with friends, spend some time with family who are meeting us there, hangout with 45,000 other people, and run a marathon on Sunday.

On Sunday, I’m running a marathon!

Wow. I remember training for my first half marathon last year. My boyfriend Matt and I would talk about how maybe if we were really out of our minds, one day we would try and run Boston. We laughed about it and joked about how crazy we’d be, to ever even want to run more than 13.1 miles, just for the hell of it. We thought the half marathon training was quite the feat (and it was!), but I’m not sure either of us seriously thought that a marathon was in the cards.

And then my first half came and went, and I really really loved it. I fell in love with the idea of training for a specific goal, coming together with a huge mass of people who each have their own individual journey that brings them to race day, but that share one thing in common: the will to run.

There was another half marathon, and various other 10K’s and Thanksgiving Feaster Five races, and then come the middle of last winter, came the notion that I wanted to run Chicago on 10-10-10, as my first full marathon.

And since then? It’s been a whirlwind of a journey. Many runs (many of my favorite runs) towards the beginning were shared with my partner in crime, my love, my Matt. As his specific training took some different twists and turns than mine, over the last several months I have been running more on my own.

Running on my own has had its own ups and downs, as you might expect. When it’s only you yourself and… you, out on the road for 10+ miles, you end up having to look inward for your own inner voice to push you onward. There’s no one there to cheer you on, to push you to keep on going when you’d rather be at home watching the Patriots opener with friends and drinking a beer. There’s no one there to tell you that it will be okay, that you can do this. It’s just you, and the road, and your crazy mind running wild.

But there were so many good things about going it solo too. So much time to think has been both a blessing and a curse, for my good friends and family can attest to, by nature I’m an overanalyzer. I mean, I’m a woman, but I take this thinking and overthinking and bring it to a whole different level that believe me, you don’t even want to know. So I mean, I guess being alone for two, three, almost four hours at a time, just me and the road, offers a girl a lot of time to just… obsess.

I’m kidding, mostly. What the open road and my going it alone really offered me was a chance to clear my mind, a chance to declutter a lot of thoughts going on up there, stuff loaded up from a hectic as hell schedule I’ve held these days, with working full time, nursing school full time, and marathon training full time. Running has given me a chance to decompress, to regroup. To center myself. To find balance in my life. And while I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss having some company on some of these days, it also forced me to look within, to really dig deep and depend and rely solely on myself. It was me that had to encourage me. It was I, who had to tell myself to man up, to stop whining, to just do it.

And I did. I did do it. I’ve been running, training for one thing or another since March, when I got back into it after a bit of a winter break. And now, in three days, I’ll be running a marathon.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a minute to tell you that I didn’t get here alone. There are some significant people in my life, without whom, I would absolutely, unuquivocally not be here today, ready to run a marathon on Sunday.

Matt, my wonderfully supportive ManFriend, has been such an amazing support to me. He’s encouraged me all along, he’s been on endless trips to running stores when I would decide that right this minute, I needed new socks or a new water belt. He’s been patient with me when I’ve been grouchy and frustrated after a lot of running and a lot of life, and not too much sleep. He’s been my chef, my water boy, my cheer leader, my course mapper outer, my pillow (literally, on more than one occasion), my fan club, and always, at the end of every single day, the person that I want to come home to. I am lucky.

My mom, who has not only been my personal masseuse, and Reiki Master, but also my very best go-to for inspiration, and positivity, and love, and support. It’s not without extreme appreciation and gratitude, and blessing, that I reflect upon our relationship. For no other closeness in my life compares. Not only my mom, but my very best friend, I wouldn’t be where I am in this journey without her.

My stepdad, my dad and stepmom, all who have been supportive of this journey from the start. My stepdad once picking me up at mile 16 of a long run because that last mile just seemed too much to handle at the time (I gave up). My dad, who has helped me map out 19 mile routes in Reno, Nevada, so that I could get my long run in on our trip out to see him this summer. And my stepmom, who biked alongside me during said 19 mile run, to keep me company that day.

Of course, there are my friends. I’m a lucky and blessed girl in this department, as those nearest and dearest to me have been amazing cheerleaders throughout these last several months. Nilsa, my friend made through blogging, has been not only the girl who inspired me to sign up for Chicago this year, but the lovely gal who with her husband, will be hosting us this weekend when we’re in town for the race. Not only that, Nilsa has gone out of her way, on the regular, in helping me to prepare for this race. She’s calmed my nerves more often than not, she’s encouraged me and cheered me on from afar, and has been much more of a support than I think she will ever even realize or give herself credit for. I’m beyond excited to spend some time with this girl who holds such a special place in my heart, this coming weekend.

To all of my other friends, thank you so much for the phone calls, the emails, the running tips, the beers after races, you name it. It all means so much to me.

And Kevin, and Thor, and John, and Egan (my dude running friends!), I have not forgotten about you. Kevin, I will always remember that my longest run in life thus far, was first run with you (our 18 miler), and then again, on our 20 miler a couple weeks ago. Now those are two long runs that I’m glad I didn’t have to go alone. I love that we were able to reconnect through our training for this marathon, and I can’t wait to see you on the course on Sunday (if we can find each other!). Thor and John and Egan- you guys have been like my big brothers through it all. I can’t thank any of you enough for your running words of wisdom, and frankly, your words of wisdom on life in general. I have the utmost respect for you all, having run your own fair share of races for sure, but also respect and admire you for the way that you live your lives with passion, and drive, and love for those around you. Thank you all so, so much.

I could go on, and on, and on with thanks here. On Sunday, I will mindfully take the time to think of each and every one of you who has been there for me in ways big and small throughout this journey. I mean it when I say that I would not be here today, ready to run 26.2 in just three days if it weren’t were those of you in my life who have supported me along the way.

Before I go on (and get any more emotional, as I now sit here with tears in my eyes, trying to think of a way to wrap this up), I will end where I began. On Sunday, I’m running a marathon. My very first freaking marathon ever!, and I couldn’t be more excited. Thank you to everyone who has been by my side throughout this endeavor, who has cheered me on in ways that you can’t even begin to imagine. Your good thoughts, good vibes, emails, facebook messages and comments, hugs, cards, meals, massages!, getaways, donations!, words of wisdom…. they have all moved me so deeply. Thank you, thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. I feel rested, excited to EAT CARBS!, and I feel ready to tackle this race this weekend, and enjoy the experience as I reflect on how far I’ve come to get here.

Run on.

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Why do weekends away have to go by so fast?!

And look at my lovely personal massage therapist, by the way!

Not only am I completely spoiled that my mom is a massage therapist as I’m in the throws of training for a marathon; that’s not even the best part.

The BEST part of my relationship with my mom, is that she’s my best friend.  I consider myself really blessed to have the relationship that we do.  We’ve always been close, in that mother-daughter kind of way, but we’re also fortunate enough to have a really sweet friendship as well.  My mom is one of those people who oozes good energy and positivity when she walks into a room.  She’s beautiful and kind.  She’s thoughtful and inspirational.  She can ALWAYS make you laugh, and she’s always encouraging me, and others, to pursue their dreams and passions in life.  I look up to her in so many ways, and consider myself uniquely blessed to have such an amazing woman as a mom.  My life is infinitely better because of all of the good she adds to it.

So.  As you can imagine, a weekend away with my mom is nothing short of fabulous!

(don't ask)

Beers, and walking, coffee shops, seafood, laughter…. before we knew it, it was Sunday morning and time to head back so that I could get in my 17 mile run.  The weekend flew by!  (I wish my run did.)

The run was actually really good.  Another personal distance milestone for me, even though the run only ended up being 16 miles instead of 17.  16 miles of rolling hills, and come the tail end of it, my legs were screaming.  I was pretty beat, and also, out of water.  And also, kind of felt like I was going to hurl.

But all things considered, I’m pretty happy with how the run went.  Since I wasn’t running right near home, I wasn’t familiar with the area so much, and didn’t expect the hills here and there.  Not that I can’t do hills- Heartbreak Hill is part of my training runs some days, but it wasn’t really in the agenda this week, so I wasn’t really prepared.  Mentally, mostly. Physically, I was okay…but I was sure ready to get home for the much anticipated massage I had on my mind the whole entire run!

The massage was so, SO good.  It was exactly what I needed after the longest run I’ve done ever.  And I can say that even more so now, two days later, when usually my legs would be feeling the soreness of that many miles, and wouldn’t you know?  I have not one ache or pain to speak of!

If you can get your own, personal massage therapist, who will treat you to a wonderful weekend away in NH, then give you the best massage ever, and send you home with a bottle of wine and fresh ears of corn for you and your ManFriend to enjoy and also, homemade blueberry jam?  I would highly recommend it.  It’s pretty damn good.  I’m just sayin’.

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First let me fill you in on the fact that Matt is back up and running again! Literally.  After a good dose of steroids over the past couple of weeks, his legs are back to normal and we’re back in action on our marathon training.  This my friends, is super exciting and in fact, cause for celebration!

So when Matt got the feeling back in his legs, we decided to celebrate with a weekend away in Montreal!

Not really.  Well, yeah really.  We DID go to Montreal for a little getaway last weekend, but it’s been a trip planned for months.  Just so happens that it came at a perfect time, as we were really able to enjoy every last drop if what the city had to offer.

Last drop?  Does that make you think of beer?

Lots of beers.  And lots and lots of yummy, indulgent, write-home-about food:

poutine!

mmmm crepes!

We headed up to Montreal for a wedding.  Matt’s buddy from lacrosse tied the knot, and we took the opportunity to make a long weekend out of it.  It was so, so much fun!  There’s so much to tell you, from the indulgent desserts that we ate, all of the walking and exploring we did of the city, the relaxing, the quality time we had together.  It was just perfect.  Just what we needed.

enjoying a beer and cigar outside at jazz fest!

we really don't clean up too bad when we're not running, eh?

I don’t know why it looks like I’m going to fall towards the camera.

making friends with other couples at our table who, like us, knew no one but the bride and groom at the wedding!

We had so much fun.  Montreal is an interesting, and eclectic city for sure.  Lots to see and do, eat and drink, lots of opportunity to laze around, explore, eat and drink, check out the culture, speak French!, and did I mention, eat and drink???

cornucopia of deliciousness!

i died last weekend. and went to HEAVEN.

If you haven’t been to Montreal, I totally recommend checking it out.  It’s a fun little city with so much to see and do. We enjoyed every little bit of our three day escape there!  Can’t wait to go back one day again!

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