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Posts Tagged ‘running’

Hey! Merry Christmas! And can you believe that tomorrow is the 31st of December?!

Last week was a whirlwind of events despite not working a single day. I spent the holiday with my family and then celebrated the day after with the beau’s family. I drove back home on Friday to spend some quality time with my mom (aka manicures and pedicures and shopping in a health food store) before celebrating a special birthday with the beau’s entire family for dinner. I did squeeze in a hike up Sawteeth Mountain, my 6th winter peak, and day four of my 21 day streak is now complete. Dinner and drinks was had with my partner in crime and I am officially done with my second basic lesson in French! I now get to start phrases!

And because last week blew by far too quickly, today was spent in bed. I mean, I got up probably three times to visit the bathroom and bake a grapefruit for lunch. I didn’t lounge all day because I’m sick; because I felt like it. But the day wasn’t a complete waste. I made plans with friends for the rest of the week. I made a few phone calls. I watched an entire season of Say Yes to the Dress. I finished switching over my new 2014 planner and wrote down my goals for the new calendar year.

I use the term goal because there isn’t a problem in my life that needs solution (the definition of resolution is the action of solving a problem). My goals are an ambition or desire within myself to achieve results that I’ve never seen or accomplished before. Emily & Tim over at Today’s Letters (button to the right) continue to be inspirational to me and have influenced the way that I’ve set up my personal goals. Four basic categories: spiritual, physical, relational, and professional.

Spiritually I am grounded by being outdoors. I’ve mentioned this before but hiking has become my outlet for connecting with not only nature and the world in which I live, but myself. I’d like to continue hiking and learn to trust my experiences enough to start hiking alone more; once the dangers of the winter months come to an end.

Physically I have set numerous goals, all feeding into each other.

  1. I hardly ever race, usually only once or twice a year. In 2014, I’d like to race once a month. I’ve already scouted, planned, and/or registered for nine races. Repeats include the CDPHP Workforce Challenge, the Saratoga Palio and the Troy Turkey Trot. I’m anxious about attempting the Runnin’ of the Green (Island), the Boilermaker, and the Hairy Gorilla.
  2. I would like to complete the Winter Miles Challenge. I added the button, also to the right, and have fixed the link so that you can all learn more. This goal will keep me moving throughout the toughest running months of the year (at least for me), is free to join with the potential of winning great prizes and will also prepare me for many of my upcoming races.
  3. Ultimately I’d love to run 1,000 miles in the calendar year. I’ve never reached this number and it shouldn’t be too difficult with the number of races I’m prepared to run.

As I solidify each race, I’ll post it up so that you can easily see what’s next on my agenda/what I’m training for. I’m super excited to be meeting with a local gal on New Year’s Day who shares many of my running goals. I’d love to form some sort of a running club and this is my first step.

My relational goal is personal as is my professional goal. I can tell you that change is on the horizon and when the time comes, you will know. Which leads me to saying that I will be continuing to write. Change will also be coming on this front as well, but not for another month or two. What swayed my decision was really looking back at all that I’ve written and thoroughly enjoying the posts. I of course don’t share everything that happens in my personal life but it is fun to look back at certain events and photographs.

Phew! That was a long post! If you made it this far, thanks for sticking it out! If you’ve followed me over the past 12 months and finished this post, thank you with all my heart! I can promise you, the best has yet to come!

Have any short or long term goals for the new calendar year? Willing to share?

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Listening to: I am love love loving Lorde’s new album PURE HEROINE. 400 Lux and Glory and Gore are on repeat all day long. Hard to believe she’s only seventeen; are you a fan?

Anxious about: next week’s race. I set a huge goal for myself and four weeks ago it seemed totally doable. Today, I am still struggling to shave off  thirty seconds off of my pace. Day one my average pace per mile for 6.2 miles was 9:48. Last week/halfway with training it was 9:25. Realistically if I continue to eat my cleanest, run every run with intention and stay hydrated, this is a perfectly attainable goal. But it is easier said than done. This afternoon’s run was just over three miles at an average pace of 9:00; so damn close and so damn hard for me to continue. I’ve got my work cut out for me friends.

Excited about: I was invited to a cookie swap/potluck dinner next month put on by and for local bloggers! I’m looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully trying some good food. I did make a note that I was vegan so hopefully a couple of people will take that into consideration and provide goodies that I can sample and bring home to the beau. If not, that’s okay because let’s be honest, I don’t need all those sweets!

Wondering: if a blood test is really the best bet for finding food allergies? Now that I’ve been vegan for almost a year now, I’m finding that I’m very sensitive to specific foods. I’ve hinted before but gluten has become a major problem for me and it wasn’t until a near-disasterous car ride home from a sushi date that I figured it out; there is gluten in soy sauce. I’m also noting that tofu also causes digestion issues. But not tempeh, which is fermented soy. It could also be that because I am physically pushing myself harder more frequently, my body hasn’t figured out how to adjust or I haven’t properly figured out how to fuel on workout days. Or maybe I’m eating too much fiber at once without any grains? I’m considering a blood test and wondering if anyone out there has ever had one?

Planning: on decorating the mantle in our bedroom this holiday season. Can I just say that holiday decorations are expensive! I’m going to try and save some cash by using items already in the apartment and DIYing some projects.

Loving: all of the love in the air! My little sister is engaged! A close friend of mine is getting married in nine months and asked me to be part of her special day! Another close friend is pregnant and due in the Spring! I don’t feel old enough to announce any of that news but I can happily say that all were planned.

Eating: Despite having belly troubles, I am loving tofu scrambles and burritos. And then stuffing my tofu scrambles inside the burritos. It’s a win win really. I’m also loving my cookie butter and sliced apples snack mid-morning while at work. And vegan gummy bears. And the return of frozen pineapple and raw kale in my breakfy smoothie. Can you tell I made a trip to Trader Joe’s? Speaking of TJ’s, they discontinued our beloved soy chorizo! Insert wailing. The portobello mushroom burger this past Sunday at Carmen’s was probably by far the best portobello mushroom I’ve ever had. Ever. I hope it makes a return to the specials board real soon. I’m craving a good sloppy Joe.

{Wedding magazines found at local CVS. OMG YAY! card found at Troy Cloth & Paper. Dark chocolate found at The Grocery.}

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Well, we did it! Most importantly, my little sister crossed the finish line of her first half marathon! This was a gorgeous route- I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been training on a bike path week after week or because this was the city I fell in love with running, but the miles seemed to tick by. I found myself repeatedly saying out loud that it was the most perfect day for this race; something I tend to do a lot in the mountains when hiking. I was thankful that there wasn’t a tiny percent of humidity in the air and that it was quite brisk when we started- my two favorite things about autumn running.

Here’s a little recap of the miles:

Miles 1-3: If you follow along with my training on DailyMile, you’d know that the past couple of weeks I have been running the biggest hills in Troy to prepare myself for the incline up North Broadway to Skidmore College. I remember running this route with Marla years ago and it would KILL me. I didn’t want to start this race dragging, or dragging my sister back, so hills have become part of my routine. This morning I could have flown up that incline. I could have flown up the two hills throughout the campus and breezed back down toward downtown. I could feel my body pulling myself faster but I stayed right along with Naomi, encouraging her the whole way. See, she hadn’t trained with hills. She did exactly what I told her to do: run comfortably up those hills and we’d gain our ground later in the race. Start slow and finish strong.

Halfway up North Broadway she gave me a look and asked me if there were people behind her. I said yes, but not many, and not to worry because if we were the last two people to cross the finish line, I’d let her go first. I knew we wouldn’t be the last two people and reassured her that she was doing great. I caught her looking at her Garmin far too much and she would ask why she was going so slow or how the pace felt to me- I just told her to STOP looking at that watch or I’d take it away from her. (Great words my friend once said to me last year during my marathon attempt.) I didn’t want her worrying about time; I wanted her to finish. We passed our family and were thumbs-up with smiles!

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Miles 4-6: The best part about this race was that I knew where all the hills would be and when to prepare her for them. She made it up the hill on Broadway heading toward the Saratoga State Park and I just followed her pace. She fell into a nice little groove and held that consistently until about mile 5.25. At this point in the course, we could see the runners that were MILES ahead of us and some were MUCH older than us. She had me laughing out loud when she made a comment about a “grandpa” who was beating us but I reminded her to run her own run and not to think about those people. To me, those people are inspiration. This was when I saw a No Meat Athlete and a friend named Gabe run by and had to give them a holler. This was also when I saw the competitive side of Naomi come out; she started to verbalize “targets” of whom she wanted to pass. I did this earlier in the race to her but backed off because I didn’t want to push her too soon. I reminded her that if she were to pass people now, she better hold it to the finish line; not a problem.

Miles 7-9: I refueled around mile 6.5 and started taking routine sips of water every two miles. Naomi also shared the water bottle I carried which was great because we didn’t stop at any water stations. We hit our last hill of the day and she passed people going up! These weren’t memorable miles for me until about mile 9.75 when we saw our family a second time… I’m still all smiles and thumbs-up! I think this was a huge relief for my mom because this was right around the time I was pulled from VCM.

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Miles 10-12: Once we hit ten miles and high-fived (we did that at every mile marker), I reminded her that we had just a 5k to go! She really started to pick up the pace and it was tricky for us to fall into a new groove because it was much more crowded and practically single file on Crescent Ave because of traffic. She let me know when it was safe to pass. She said mile 10-11 was her most difficult but I couldn’t tell. By this time, I had to pee but couldn’t imagine stopping. She told me all the better to pick up the speed and finish, so I did. Once mile 12 came, she kept asking, “where’s the Farmer’s Market?!”

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Miles 13-13.1: We booked it! As we were passing those who were walking, I couldn’t help but try and encourage them during the last mile. Once we rounded the corner near the police station and could see the finish, I really fell into stride; and she was right there with me. We passed her boyfriend, my dad who was on the phone looking for her boyfriend and then there at the finish line was the beau and my mom. I grabbed Naomi’s hand and crossed we did! My DailyMile friend John even announced the two of us and the fact that it was her first race! She looked like she was going to barf (sorry Naomi) and I couldn’t help but smile because I knew she gave it all she had in her. We found our family, including the beau’s! and relaxed for a while before heading home.

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It was a great day! Once the beau and I made it back to Troy, we sat down for a delicious meal at Carmen’s with a celebratory mimosa! That mix of spinach, seasonal veggies and rice were just what I needed to refuel. I got home and passed out to take a short nap and when I woke up, I was surprised to find out that the beau had made homemade tomato sauce (seriously impressed with the flavor), pasta and fried/baked eggplant… oh, and had a 12 pack of Saranac seasonal beers chilled! Isn’t he great?! I stuffed my face had a hearty serving of dinner while watching Sons of Anarchy- season five is getting better and better! It was a wonderful way to wrap up a busy weekend.

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Other highlights from this weekend: we finally got the record player up and running! I love looking through the box of records and dancing around the apartment. Now if only I was productive while dancing around, say, sweeping or picking up dirty laundry. Oh! And the beau ran his first (ever) 5k on Saturday! I loved to see him participate and I think it’s safe to say that he’s hooked: I’m pretty sure he’s going to run the Turkey Trot with me!

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In this week’s bag:

  • concord grapes
  • braising mix
  • broccoli
  • roma tomatoes
  • yummy snacking peppers
  • sweet corn
  • seckel pears

The beau and I were both super excited to see/smell the concord grapes in the bag because last year when we got them, I ended up making a big batch of fresh grape juice. It was delicious and lasted us a week or so; we diluted it a ton because neither of us is use to drinking juice on a daily basis. I may throw some into my morning shakes for an extra pop of flavor!

The sweet corn will be tasty in some sort of stir fry, possibly with the onions and peppers I plan on cooking up tonight with tempeh for “fajitas”.  The broccoli I’d love to steam up and enjoy with the eggplant parmesan I plan on making this weekend, layered with fresh tomatoes and basil. The beau tasted one of the peppers this morning and said it was good; paired with some homemade hummus and sriracha, they will become a perfect snack. Lastly, those pears. We were advised to let them ripen a few more days- after that, I’m poppin’ them in the oven for a sweet treat with cinnamon. Nature’s dessert.

This morning I ran my last run, five miles, before the race this Sunday. I ran alone and only spoke once to myself as I was nearing the top of Congress Street; no I’m not going to quit! My meals over the next 48 hours are going to be “strict”- as clean as possible with tons of vegetables, complex carbs (my favorite, short grain brown rice) and plenty of water. I am a no meat athlete and truly thrive on clean food!

I can’t wait to spend time with my sister and see her cross that finish line; this will be a tricky course for both of us (the hills!). Hope you all have a wonderful and rewarding weekend; send positive vibes!

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I’m realizing that I never posted my veggies photograph from Field Goods last week- oops! The last two weeks the beau’s parents were on vacation and I got to pick up their weekly share of vegetables at the Farmer’s Market, so we’ve had veggies galore!

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While the beau was away, I was very good about cooking every meal fresh and it really paid off over the weekend. Let me fill you in. If you remember from this post, I announced that I was going to run a half marathon with my little sister. Well, to be completely honest, I’ve been slacking over the past month. I’ve been so focused on my hiking each weekend, that I really haven’t been committing myself to the long runs. A big no-no for any distance race.

Two weeks ago I was scheduled to run 11 miles. (The furthest I ran prior to this was 9 miles three weeks ago) I got up early around 4am Saturday to fuel and was out the door promptly at five. And that’s when the wall of humidity hit me. I am not a summer runner and get discouraged by the humidity but told myself to suck it up. By mile two, I stopped to walk and started crying; right there on the side of the road. I knew this race wouldn’t be possible if I couldn’t run the eleven so I convinced myself to start running; only to stop one mile later. I walked the three miles home in the rain. I called my sister to tell her that I was out and that I would jump in and run a few miles with her to keep her company and finish strong.

I also told my sister that I’d try another long run this past Saturday just to confirm that I didn’t have it in me. I woke up late, ate only a peach and fewer Energy Bits than normal, and hit the streets. And then this happened:

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I have no clue where it came from! The weather was absolutely gorgeous; cool with zero humidity. I nailed refueling after mile six and I remained positive, especially during the last two miles when my legs began to tighten. That overall pace is faster than some of my three milers throughout the week. I was shocked and called my sister as soon as I got home- I’m running the race with her! (As long as it’s not humid- ha!) I think eating well the week leading up to this run really made a difference, so I’m making an effort to eat super good this week (the race is on Sunday).

As if the run wasn’t enough, Sunday I went hiking! A coworker and I drove up at 4am to get an early start up Street & Nye. As we got off the exit for Keene, it was pouring and I was worried it would be a wet, miserable day. But as we left the Loj, the clouds opened up and blue skies surrounded us all day. It was cool. It was a little breezy. The trail has a lot of blow-down but easy to follow. And despite not having views, this was a great hike. I found it to be a nice little “break” from what Paula and I have been hiking recently.

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I officially have TEN more peaks to go! So close to becoming a 46er; anyone out there thinking about joining me for Sawteeth and 12 miles of reflecting on the past year?

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Most of my friends know that anything shiny distracts me; any time, any place. Now with the potential of that something shiny being money, you better believe I’m going to stop for a closer look.

Yesterday during my lonely seven miles throughout the city of Troy, just as the sun was rising, I noticed a penny on Second Street. This was just around mile 2 and I didn’t stop. But from that point forward, all I could think was, “what if it was head’s up?” So, I planned a route back to that spot and found the penny around mile four. And it was head’s up. I carried that penny in my right hand until I walked through the door, greeted by kitty.

From this day forward, each time I find change during my run, I’ll put it into a jar. And when the time comes for me to roll the change, I’ll spend the dollar bills at lululemon; my favorite running apparel shop.

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Reading: I’m about halfway finished with Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan and I love it. I actually started reading it back on July 4th on the train down to NYC, but because I had three other books out at the time, this one took the backseat. I’ve only hiked one mountain in New Hampshire but can relate to many of the stories because of my personal journey to become a 46er. A close friend of mine just moved closer to NH and I have high hopes of visiting her and heading out for some long hikes. Most likely not this summer but hopefully this autumn.

Watching: Now that we have the Internet, we are starting to catch up on all of our shows. Don’t cringe when I tell you this but… we are officially caught up on The Bachelorette AND got to watch the finale live at Phil’s house. Thank you Phil! Surround sound and homemade kettle corn, I’ve got the best friends in town. I’m not going to discuss the outcome because I know that a few of you out there haven’t seen it and I don’t want to spoil it. Let’s just say, it was NOT I was expecting/had hoped for. Let’s see… Breaking Bad and Mad Men both have a new season up on Netflix, I’m dying to see the last season of Sons of Anarchy and I have to check if there’s any random Modern Family episodes out there that I haven’t seen.

Loving: The last week of cooler weather was absolutely fabulous. Unfortunately for me, I pulled a muscle in my right shoulder and missed out on all those morning runs. Today was my first day back out there in a week and despite the soreness and slight pain, it felt great to be in motion once again. I was starting to feel anxiety because I couldn’t run; it really is my time to work things out in my head. I’m looking forward to attempting a super long run this Saturday and feel super accomplished once I get home to shower before working the market. I’m also loving the following: whoopie pies, a freshly swept and mopped apartment, buffalo chickpea dip for dinner, MGMT radio on Pandora and kitty kitty cocoa puff when he’s trying to apologize for shitting on the curtains. Yes, that happened this week. Twice.

Wondering: If I can paint our kitchen? Our landlord has already approved us painting the bedroom and living room walls white, but I’d love to have a chalkboard wall in the kitchen. Oh! And have you checked out Vegan Cuts lately? You may see some familiar faces and deals featured on their website.

Looking forward to: Next weekend when I head to Massachusetts to visit Lindsey! I haven’t been out to visit her since my 25th birthday and she recently moved- I can’t wait to check out her new digs! She’s going to run my long run with me (ten miles) which I’m psyched about because each week I set out to do them alone. It gets lonely out there sometimes and the change of scenery will hopefully make the miles fly by. I can’t wait to have her all to myself and catch up like the good ol’ days.

Thinking about: A family that I know that was impacted greatly by a fire earlier this week. As you may have heard, Augie’s Family Style Italian Restaurant burnt to the ground on Monday. As you may not have known, the owners- the Vitiello family- were the people that I worked for for six years, taking care of their four kiddos. I have many great memories in their restaurant and personally know many of the awesome staff members. Augie has set up a fundraiser for his staff, so that he can continue to pay/support them during the rebuilding process. If you have any extra cash and would like to donate, visit the webpage here. He’s offering different valued coupons should you choose to donate at those levels ($25, $100, $250). It says a lot when the community has already donated more than $10k in just four days; thank you ahead of time if you choose to support, even if it is just ten bucks.

Eating: The beau and I were on an Indian kick but that all changed when I got a hankering for buffalo chicken dip. His solution: buffalo chickpea dip! So, so good! Besides a couple random dinners, we had stir-fry, summer salads, plenty of green shakes and even some apples dipped in cookie butter. I know I’m saying this a little prematurely, but I seriously cannot wait until autumn! It’s my favorite season and I can’t wait to go apple picking because these leftovers from last year are tart! I can wait and will enjoy every summer vegetable as much as I possible can.

Planning: my workouts for the next month to ensure myself that I’ll be prepared for next month’s race. It’s been over a year since I’ve last raced and I don’t want to get anxious and feel unprepared. I’m still setting a pretty high goal for myself and with having to skip two long runs so far this month, the goal right now seems out of reach. I’ve got some hard work ahead of me but I’m willing to give it a shot!

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