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Archive for the ‘if I can do it in heels then I can do it in kicks’ 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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Who has nine desperately-need-to-be-pedicured toes and one missing toenail?!
 
That would be me!
 
And right in time for this weekend’s race!
 
I have been jonesing for a pedi for a couple weeks now, figuring that would be my treat after the race this weekend.  Last night that fated toenail that went gnarly a few months back lost it’s great fight and now, my biggest question is whether I can get a discount at the nail salon, since I’m getting 1/10th less service?
 
(Do I crack you up too?  Imagine how lucky Matt is that he now gets front row passes day in and day out to this Crazy of mine now that we’re officially living in sin!)
 
More on that later, as well as the fabulous MS walk that went over so well last weekend!
 
For now, my response to anything and everything this week is, “it’s Sex and the City week!”- hence why I’ve been with my head in the clouds, dreaming of Jimmy Choos and Aiden and the four girls back in action on the big screen!
 
I’m heading to the show (for the second time!) tonight with the ladies.  At a theater that serves cocktails!  On a week when I decided to “eat clean” and therefore JUST SAY NO to all things alcohol!  Seriously.  What was I thinking, planning this race on the same weekend as the sequel of one of my favorite movies hits the big screen!?
 
I’ll be back over the weekend at some point, with pictures of last weekend, and our attempts at shining the bedroom floors (beer was still in the menu last weekend so THANKFULLY there are summer ales involved in that project), a full race report from the half this weekend, and maybe even some talk of hot dogs because it is Memorial Day weekend after all.  And what’s this weekend without a couple dogs on the grill?!
 
Hope you all have a fantastic, sunny, Sex and the City filled weekend!

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This Saturday is the Journey of Hope walk for MS!
 
The team that we’re walking for, St. Elizabeth’s (where Matt receives his treatment), is in the lead having raised a whopping $24,103!!!
 
And guess who is the top fundraiser for our team?!
 
None other than my one and only partner in crime/running partner/soon to be cohabitating boyfriend!/lucky guy who gets to put up with my Crazy on the regular/amazing ManFriend!
 
Yup.  Matt has raised $1,840!!  This is after increasing his goal again and again because kind, generous, thoughtful family and friends kept donating more and more!  Now his goal is at $2,500 and wouldn’t it be swell if he could reach that?!!
 
I’m so, so proud of my Matt.  Running with him really helps to put things in prospective, you know?  Here I think I’m having a bad day if I have a sore knee or something, or am struggling with an eight mile run, yet he powers through almost every single run without complaint, and he’s dedicated and strong, and very often he’s the one encouraging me to push myself just a little bit more.
 
He’d say his MS is “no big deal.”  And if you knew him, you’d agree.  Other than us playing nurse and patient every Sunday night (get your minds out of the gutter), where I freak out for about ten minutes before he convinces me that giving him his shot is good “practice” for me as I’m, yanno, going to be a nurse and all one day not so far away (finally) (!!), then you’d seriously never know that he has this MS thing going on.  He runs several times throughout the week, he busts out a 10-14 mile run on weekends, all that on top of playing hockey and lacrosse on weeknights, working full time, taking good care of me, and being totally amazing in the process.
 
Every day, I feel more admiration for Matt with his positive attitude, his determination, and the humility with which he approaches this whole thing.  I can only imagine how I’d face things if I were in his running shoes, and it wouldn’t be too pretty.  I think I’d be much more woe is me but then again, you never really know how you’ll face this kind of thing until you’re actually thrown right into it.  The bottom line?  I feel so damn lucky to be with Matt, each and every day.  For his outlook and drive are qualities that I truly admire, and I love him that much more for this whole thing.
 
Are you doing any charity walks or runs this year?  Have you done them in the past?  What’s your best fundraising tip?

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You guys, tomorrow I gotta do a long run of 12 miles, and I won’t have my favorite running buddy by my side because he’s Philly-bound in a couple of hours for the Bruins/Flyers game tonight!

Hmm.

It’s tough having such a divided relationship!  Of course I stick to my roots and cheer on the Bruins whereas Matt is a gung-ho Flyers fan. 

While any other time, it would be nice to see the Bruins or any Boston sports team do a nice sweep, I’m hoping for Matt’s sake that tonight the Flyers pull through.  Especially since he’s going all the way there with a few of his buddies!  I hope they see a win! 

Speaking of moments of win and all, my surprise birthday dinner was one of them.  We went to one of my favorite restaurants that we’ve been wanting to go back for a while now.  Look how happy I was!

mmmm wine!

And here’s us… and YUP, that’s a birthday candle in the cheese!!  Such a good night!

Everything was wonderful on my birthday.  How birthdays should be, yes?  My mom met me at work for lunch.  We split a turkey wrap, and she brought homemade chocolate cupcakes!, which we ate by the water.

And to cap off my birthday week (I’m milking this whole thing as much as I can!), I’m heading out tonight with some good fiends for a couple of drinks, then celebrating with my parents tomorrow night AND THEN my family on Sunday!  Birthday wins for me all around! 

On a totally unrelated but should be related note (since this blog is kinda sorta supposed to be about running?), I picked up some of those Gu Chomps to bust out on tomorrow’s run.  Film at 11 on how I feel about these puppies.  (Does anyone else say “film at 11?”  My mom and I always say it, but I’ve never heard a single other person use the phrase so hell if I know if it will make sense to anyone other than us!  I guess it just means… “I’ll update you all… at 11 at a later point.)

Happy weekend!

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So, I guess it’s been a little while since I’ve been here.  And almost just as long since I’ve hit the pavement.
 
I kept saying that once daylight savings hit, and it was lighter in the mornings, I’d be back out there, ready to go after it again on my morning 5 milers to start the day off right. 
 
But it just hasn’t happened.
 
Not yet anyway.  Then again, isn’t always something, some excuse of something else you could be doing (in my case at 6am, it’s staying warm and cozy under the covers), of somewhere else you could be, rather than out on the road getting in the run that you so adamantly have been claiming you want to do for the past three weeks?
 
I think the thing is, at least for me anyway, it’s about just getting up and fucking doing it.  Because let’s be honest, there’s always going to be an excuse of why you don’t do it, the bed is always going to look comfy, the arms of my boyfriend are always going to be appealing, and the snooze button will always seem like the right answer.
 
Until you just get up and stop your whining and DO IT.
 
Initiation, that’s what I need to get my booty on.  And it’s not that I don’t have it in me.  If there’s one thing the last several months of training have taught me, it’s that I have the gusto and drive in me to do it, to get my butt in gear and out of bed and on the road and keep doing it day after day and week after week, but I think the difference lately is the fact that I don’t really have a goal.
 
That makes such a humungo difference, you know?
 
Knowing that in x amount of time, I needed to run 13.1 miles kept me accountable.  I couldn’t just skip a 5 mile run during the week or a long run on the weekend because the idea of a few extra minutes sleep or brunch and Bloody Mary’s was more appealing.  It just wasn’t going to work.
 
So, though it’s not a huge and lofty goal like the last time, signing up for the Feaster Five with Matt and a couple friends will give me something to work towards again.  A reason to get out there, and then keep getting out there, because I remember how good it feels when I’m on that pavement.  I remember how much I miss it, actually. 
 
What I’ve also realized that I’ve missed is other cross training, like kickboxing and yoga and pilates.  While I added that into the mix from time to time during my training, it wasn’t really anything consistent, as running was my absolute focus.  I’m excited to get back in the groove with those things.  I’ve been kickboxing a few times a week, and plan on picking back up on my pilates package that I have at a local place nearby.
Small, mini goals are still important in their own way, right?
So, that’s the latest here.
 
Oh, and hello to all the newbies that have found me over here!  I look forward to getting to know you and sharing some insight and tips while going after our various goals, big or small (be it running a half or a full marathon, or just getting four runs in a week so that all these yummy cool weather meals (and wines) can be enjoyed with a little less guilt!).

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knee

Well, shit.

So the story goes, after a couple cocktails last night, having been in high heels for fifteen hours, and walking through the Common on our way home, Matt and I thought it would be a good idea if he gave me a piggy back.

Apparently I didn’t get my ass up far enough when I hopped on his back, and for some reason at the time in order to get a little bit of a boost, Matt decided to pick up a little speed.

Well. 

That lasted about oh, four seconds, and then we were both face down on the pavement in the middle of the Common.

Oops.

After we both checked in with each other to make sure we weren’t dead or had broken anything, we had a good laugh that went on for quite a bit.  I gathered myself up off the ground and we found out that I was missing one of my black heels?  No where to be found on the pavement, we looked around, and finally found the sucker lying in the grass several feet away from us.  Apparently the shoe got some distance on the Wipe Out.

Unfortunately, Matt ate the pavement with his face, which really, could have been so much worse, because all he came out of it with was a little bit of a cut on his nose, and then a pretty nasty cut on his hand, and a scrape on his right elbow.

Since I was on his back, he broke my fall as well, taking the brunt of it.  I ended up with a couple scrapes on my hands, but where I got the worst of it was on my right knee.  Me and my knee issues! 

I now look like a ten year old with scraped up hands and knees, and one mother of a bruise to boot, which is sexy.

And of course this whole situation went down the weekend of our 10K, which is tomorrow.  Thankfully it wasn’t a hell of a lot worse.  I’ve been icing my knee because it’s pretty sore, but I think that by tomorrow it will be a bit better, and I’ll have that amazing view to keep me distracted, remember?

Anylotsofscrapes, more updates to come after tomorrow’s race!  Wish us luck!

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We’re really doing it Harry!

Welp, I’m really doing it. 

I’m planning to run the B.A.A. Half Marathon this Fall, on October 11, as a team member on the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Team.

I’m excited and nervous and eager and a little scared shitless, but above all, I’m committed.

Way back in the day I had what I thought was this wonderful idea to train for the Boston Marathon.  I was in college at the time, and I knew that my school had some sort of training club for the event, and I decided over my Winter break to just go balls to the wall for it, and train full out for the sucker.

Except that I had no idea what I was doing.

Sure, I was following some “training guide” that I had got my paws on at the rec center at school before my Winter break, but I didn’t know the first thing about training for a marathon and saying I was going in blindfolded would be an understatement.

I didn’t know what I was doing.

And as big ideas that aren’t all too thought out are won’t to do, this one can be filled under the Big Fat Fail category for me, because after week two or three, I can’t even remember now, that’s how uninvested I was in the whole thing, I quit training all together.

There is something to be said about being ready to do such a thing.  And ready not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and this time around, spiritually too.

Anyreallylongrant, the point is, I’m where I am right now, ready and eager and set to train and compete in this race, after a lot of careful thought and prep, and the biggest thing of it all, the biggest difference this time around compared to last, is that my heart is in it.

I’m not going into this race with any huge and lofty goals like setting some record or finishing in any big ranking (who am I kidding?  I just want to finish the thing!), but I am going into it with the goal of challenging myself, working my hardest, and coming away from the experience all the better for it.

I’m running this race in honor of my two beloved grandparents, who lost their battles with cancer just over a year ago.  I feel like running this race is one small way that I can honor them.  They were two of the bravest, most hard working and determined people I have known.  If I can channel even half of these amazing attributes whilst training for this race, I would consider that a huge success.

I hope you’ll follow me in my journey over the next several months as I train for this race!  There are some links over to the side there with details about the race itself, scoop on how to donate through my personal fundraising page, and general info about Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Thank you to everyone for your love and support!  I couldn’t do it without you.

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