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Archive for the ‘outdoor runs’ Category

Scared

I heard about this story late this afternoon, and I’ve had a pit in my stomach ever since.

A 31 year old woman was attacked this morning on her early morning run.  Thank goodness she is okay and was not hurt, but this shit is scary.  This poor woman.  My same age, running the same route I’ve run before, at the same time of day.  Granted, I haven’t set foot to the pavement in an embarrassing amount of time, but this used to be my MO.  Not all too long ago, I’d wake up super early, same time as this young lady, 5am.  Suit up, put on my little blinking light attached to my shorts or capris, kiss ManFriend goodbye, and off I’d go for a five to eight mile run, several mornings a week.

What scares me isn’t only that this is so close to home for me, not just geographically but in the sense that it literally hits close to home.  I’ve run these streets before, been in this same position, and yet, this happened to her.  It’s not fair, and it’s scary to think what could have happened if this girl hadn’t yelled at the top of her lungs and scared this creep off.

I’m not sure if it were me, if I’d have the wherewithal to react quickly in such a situation?  I like to think that I’m very aware of my surroundings.  I try to be as safe as possible, but the scary truth is, you just never know what could happen.  And hey, this area is known as “safe.”  Okay.  As you can read in the article, Newton is ranked 5th safest town in the US, but it just goes to show, this stuff can happen anywhere.

It’s a big eye opener for me.  I’ll definitely think twice about running alone early in the morning from now on.  ManFriend was always hesitant to see me leave so early by myself, but I’d always assure him that I’d be fine.  Maybe the buddy system wouldn’t be such a bad idea.  And running with a brighter light.  And maybe a cell phone.  Mace?

These kinds of stories have always freaked me out.  Breakins, attacks, stuff like that.  I’m a hypervigilant person as it is, but I suppose one can never be quite aware enough about these kinds of things.  I thought at the very least I would share this story here with all of you.  I know I don’t talk about running very much anymore, but at one time it was a very big part of my life, and I know a handful of people here are runners as well.  That being said, you don’t have to be a runner to have this strike a chord inside of you.  I hope that this will maybe even be a little bit of an eye opener for all of you too.  Be careful.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Choose to do your fitnessy things, be it a run or a morning walk with your dog, when it’s a little lighter out.  Stick to well-lit areas, carry a cell phone, always tell someone where you are going so that they know your usual route, and when you plan on being back.  Keep an eye out for anything that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.  If something seems a little off, listen to that.  Listen to your gut.  Run into the Dunkin Donuts and just hangout for a few minutes if you need to, call your significant other or a friend to come and pick you up.  All of these things… they could make a huge difference.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer here, but this story has been stuck with me all day, and I thought that maybe this would be a good opportunity while reminding myself about the key things we can do to try to maintain some sense of safety, to remind all of you as well.

Big big group hugs all around for safety and happiness and laughter and kittens and gumdrops and the works.

Do you have any tips on how to stay safe when you exercise outside?

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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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These long weekends always seem so long at say, 2:00PM on a Friday afternoon as I’m staring at the clock hoping to get out early, but by the time Monday night rolls around, I just never know where the time went!

This weekend was HOT hot blazing hot here.  Friday night Matt and I ate a really yummy dinner at Post390, a newer restaurant in the city.  Really good!  The post hard lemonade went down really smooth- strawberry ruharb a perfect summer flavor.  We started with the pecking duck [potstickers, which were the perfect portion and really yummy.  Not being a big fan of duck, I was a little leery about this one, but they were really yummy.  Matt went with the soft shell crabs for dinner, and for training purposes only (ahem), I decided to carbo-load and get the four cheese macaroni with fire roasted jalapeno.  I opted out of the duck ham (again with the duck), and added grilled chicken instead.  You know, to make what I can only imagine a 1,000 calorie + dish a teeeeensie bit healthier.  Right.  And yum.

The rest of the weekend was really low key.  We spent a lot of time deep cleaning our little apartment, switching around some furniture, talking about new room decor and paint colors.  Saturday night we went to the Sox game, a PERFECT night in the city for a game.  When we left at the bottom of the 8th, they were winning 9 to 1!  Sweet!

Our seats were awesome!

Earlier that day, and I mean earlier, as we tried to get out there to beat the heat, we got in a 12 mile run.  This is the first time that I’ve run with water, and woamygod!  I totally noticed a difference!  I had one small bottle with just water, and the other with gatorade.  On a 90+ day with extreme humidity, it’s stupid to run without hydration.  I really noticed a difference in my energy level, even after sipping just a little bit of water.  It helped a whole hell of a lot.

Yesterday for the 4th, we of course hit a BBQ with some family:

hi mom!

Hope you all had a Happy 4th of July and are staying cool out there!  Bachelorette time!

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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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This weekend was New England weather wise, pretty good!

I had thought it was supposed to be nothing but rain all day today, but no!  Not even a drop!

Which worked out really well for Matt and I actually.  Saturday we went out for what was supposed to be our long run.  We’ll call it our Long Run That Could?  Something like that.  We were all set, off with good intentions to tackle that double digit run no problems, but apparently The Universe or maybe Matt’s foot and calves more specifically had other plans in mind for us.

No big deal.  We did a 4 mile or so run and it was a gorgeous day to boot, so we were able to at least get outside to enjoy that.  Poor ManFriend had some killer cramps going on in his calves so the ten miler just seemed not in the cards for us.

But no big deal!  I convinced him to look at it as just a nice, leisurely run in the beautiful weather, rather than a 10 mile running Fail.  And besides, we had today to go after it again anyway, and go after it we did.

We were at an hour and ten minutes in and couldn’t believe it had been that long we were out there.  The time flew by!  It was another perfect day weather wise, we finished 10.2 miles in 1:48:something, and I have some serious color on my face and only a couple blisters to show for it!

After we finished, we went and saw another apartment in what now will be dubbed The Great Apartment Search 2010, for our plans to cohabitate starting in June.  After that, we treated ourselves to an icecream and it was damn good!

Speaking of re-refueling, we tried out these energy fruit blocks today.  I’m forgetting the exact brand, but after trying out a couple different GU’s over the past couple of weeks, we found we kind of prefer these gummy block things.  Not as vom-inducing I found, and they kind of dissolve in your mouth and don’t taste bad at all.

What do you use for some energy during your long runs?  What brands do you find are better over others?

My girlfriend cut up small pieces of granola bars or power bars during her marathon, and for her, that worked.  I think I could find myself not minding that, but I know Matt prefers to not actually have to really chew anything while he’s running.  Also, since we’re starting to up our mileage, we’re thinking we’re going to start taking some water with us, at least for these long runs.  Especially with these gnarly GU’s and even with the jelly things today, I’m always jonesing for a chug of water to kind of swig it all down with!

Alright, Office Space is on now so I have to immediately plant it on the couch as we wait for dinner to finish!

What was the highlight of your weekend, running wise, or otherwise?!

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Yesterday there was a coyote.
 
(He wasn’t on a train.  But I liked this picture of a friendly, cuddly looking coyote compared to what we encountered.)
We were two or so miles into our six mile week day run, and out of nowhere comes this big coyote thing with a dead squirrel in its mouth! 
 
Not that we’re not used to this type of thing by now, what with our feathered friends on the road over near Matt’s house and all, but coyotes?!  These guys are a bit more vicious than a big bird, right?
 
Remember this movie?!  It used to be one of my very favorites when I was a kid.
 
This weekend we’re back to the double digits!  Haven’t seen that number, training wise, since back in September.  I’m kind of excited for tomorrow’s long run!  It’s supposed to be one of the nicer, sunnier days that we have left before what looks like a few day stretch of more rain.  Again.  Ick.
 
Hope that everyone has an awesome weekend and gets out there to enjoy any glimpse of good weather you have coming your way!
 

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Here’s The Situation.

Not this Situation:

But The Situation going on around here lately.  So since Thanksgiving, there hasn’t been a whole lot of running going on around here.  As in, since Thanksgiving I have run 4.5 miles.

4.5 miles since Thanksgiving!  That’s it!

Not only that?  But I’ve been EATING like I’ve been RUNNING.  Running like I was back in July, August, September, October….

Eating + NOT RUNNING = Bad News Bears.

A couple weeks go, Matt and I got up in the morning, were enjoying our coffee, watching TV, and his roommate comes down the hall decked out in full running attire, ready to run 7 MILES!

Seven miles!  I couldn’t remember the last time I ran seven miles, and I can’t exactly explain what went on inside me during that time, but I was feeling pretty disappointed in myself.

I know that after training for a big race, there’s the period where you Just Don’t Want to Run, and that’s to be expected, I suppose.  Well I went through that stage, took a couple weeks of hard training off, then got back into gear, kept running before the race at Thanksgiving.  But after that?  All running came to a screeching HALT.

And I miss it.  Maybe all it took was that morning, hearing Matt’s roommate was about to go out for seven miles.  Maybe that was the push I needed to motivate me out of my Time Off stint.  I knew right then and there that this lazy phase was over and it was time to get back in action.

That day, Matt and I ran those 4.5 miles, and they felt pretty good.  I have no doubt that we’ll work our mileage back up again over time.  Over time being the key here, as I’m such a fair weather runner.  In other words, call me a wimp, but I’m not going out there to run if it’s below 40, and certainly not on a weekend like this, where the temperature is in the low teens with a windchill that could knock you on your ass.

All that being said, I’m getting back on track here.  Running wise and blogging wise.  I know that I’ll get there.  I’ve been lax about keeping up with posts over here, kind of hibernating during these winter months.  In a lot of ways that’s felt really good.  I needed a bit of a break, but now it’s time to hunker down again. 

Matt and I are already signed up for Boston’s Run to Remember (link is over there on the side), and are totally pumped to register for Chicago in the next month or so (read: when we can save a whopping $135 for race registration!).  Having some races on the books to look forward to really makes committing to training a whole lot easier.  Besides these two, we’re also looking into one or two races around St. Patty’s Day, which I may or may not be interested in solely based on the fact that this shirt is involved:

So it’s not ALL ABOUT THE SHIRT, but I’m a girl who loves all things green, anything Irish, and all running gear.  This may just get me off my ass after all.

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