Tag: fun

My First Boston Marathon – The Day After

Let’s start with the night of race Monday…..after Ultragen and some hot decaf tea, realized we needed to get something to eat, for DH if not for me. Having scoped out safe restaurants and locations, we knew our options. Checked into a delivery service, but as all the restaurants were close to the race, some had eliminated delivery on race day.

So, DH and I walked – in the colder worse rain – to Five Guys and back for dinner around 6pm. It probably did my legs good. We were able to walk inside for all but a couple of blocks. Those couple of blocks were pretty unpleasant – dark, cold, very wet and very windy. I hoped Dave McGillivray was done! (Little did I know this impressive gentleman would be out on the course still moving toward his 20 hour finish.) After that, we just hung out in the hotel room. I snacked some because we had stuff and was pretending I needed to eat, but not hungry. I tired but so wired from the race or gels or both that I was online past 10:30, up past midnight.

I slept ok thanks to Benadryl and other sleep aids. I was able to make it to the bathroom multiple times (DH stayed on me about post-race hydration) without cursing or running into things or needing to hold on to anything. Woo hoo! Woke up a number of times, finally around 7 am, so not nearly enough sleep.

I want to share this lovely decoration DH bought for me Friday  – I added my own touch of decor Monday afternoon!

yellow roses & medal

yellow roses & medal

Stuff that hurt/was sore the morning after – less than I’d expected! (maybe the extra walk in the cold rain helped) The usual: hips are a little tight, upper hams at attachment just a bit (way less than normal thanks to sleeves), calves tight or knotted. Upper arms, even sore to the touch (happens to me after races). The new: a little above knees – thought it was only R, but it’s actually both (that makes me feel better that it was related to course/effort rather than a potential injury) probably tight VMOs. I should have iced/stretched, but didn’t. However, they improved over the next day or two. And, I knew my chiro appointment Thursday would address any issues. Overall, feeling pretty good – thanks to the sleeves, the cold and my slower pace, I imagine. Can’t really take much credit.

DH went out for a run and I went for a 1/4 mi swim in hotel’s saline pool. My first time in a saline pool, I liked it. I was tired by the end.

Whether because of swim or something else, the food we have in the room suddenly seemed appealing. Last night I ate because I needed to, and though things were tasty, I didn’t enjoy it that much and my stomach was still off. Not queasy, just very cranky when I ate.

I brewed tea while I took my first post-race shower. No chafing issues, no needing to hold on to anything, no real pain. Score!

I ate my breakfast of bacon, turkey on gluten free bread, asparagus, fresh berries and mango and some tasty gluten-free coffeecake. DH brought me a decaf Americano. I controlled myself but still ate quite a bit. I was hoping it would hold me over to our planned very early dinner.

Then, it was off to Newbury and Boylston streets to shop! We first went down Boylston, stopping at Marathon Sports and the Adidas RunBase. We took a few photos of the finish line area and decorations. We walked down to Mass Ave and then headed back on Newbury. We hit the Asics store as I’d seen some cute items there while at the fun run. They happened to be having a sale, so I added to my collection of running gear.

While out and about, got this photo of one of my favorite intersections

Hereford & Boylston

Hereford & Boylston

Below are photos from the very cool RunBase. If you’re in town, it’s worth a quick trip. They packed a lot of info into a small space that also contains an Adidas shop. The course profile sculpture (for lack of a better term) with additional information scrolling on it and graphics is really neat. They have interactive video display screens too. I asked them to please put the course video you can watch on a DVD and sell it – would be something many of us would buy, I think. (right? feel free to tweet them about it, maybe we’ll get it in time to train over the winter)


Adidas RunBase window

Adidas RunBase window

unicorn in RunBase window

unicorn in RunBase window

why the unicorn

why the unicorn

The super cool course profile sculpture in panorama

course profile in panorama

course profile in panorama

sculpture snippet 1

sculpture snippet 1

sculpture snippet 2

sculpture snippet 2

Bobbi Gibb quote

Roberta Gibb quote on course profile sculpture

Each town the race passes through has a blue placard on one side of the sculpture that has a symbol, the distance the race spends in the town, and a bit more info.

sculpture with some town placards

sculpture with some of the town placards

Here are quick photos I snapped (it was crowded and I didn’t want to be in someone’s way, though people were very friendly).

IMG_0772 IMG_0773 IMG_0774 IMG_0775 IMG_0776 IMG_0777


While we were out, we looked high and low for the Boston Globe, since in the past they’ve printed a special section listing every finisher and I’d been looking forward to that. Couldn’t find it. According to the very knowledgeable woman in the hotel gift shop – who was a bit beside herself about it – 2015 is the first time in 100 years (aside from 2013) that the Globe didn’t print the section, and they didn’t tell anyone ahead of time. She said the Kenyan delegation had come over from the Fairmont Copley looking for papers thinking the ones there were just missing the section. I was quite displeased with this decision, and I bet I’m not the only one. (goodness knows the gift shop clerk was, on all our behalf!) I bought the paper to read the coverage anyway, but imagine my disappointment if I’d been leaving town Tuesday morning, grabbing multiple papers at the airport thinking I’d be in them and planning to give them to people, and then finding out once I got home that there wasn’t one.

The “people’s Olympics” deserves its own special section, even if they put it in a commemorative edition and charge more. I’d surely pay for one – especially for this my first year – and I think others would too. Tell the Boston Globe via twitter, email or phone to bring back the section next year!

While on the hunt, saw this banner

Meb - There's Only One banner

There’s Only One banner

We went back to the hotel for a break, then headed back out. We went back over to Newbury to a cute coffeeshop that made me a decaf AeroPress Americano (!) and decided we wanted to go find the Make Way for Ducklings at Boston Common. Sadly, their race bibs were already gone, I was hoping for a picture. We then rode the carousel there (carousels are a thing for us). We made our way back to the hotel again, strolling on Commonwealth. I did a little bit of sorting and packing while we discussed dinner options.

We went out for dinner around 5 to a nearby dosa restaurant – I’d never had dosas and thought it would be cool. It was – they were huge and tasty. The manager was very helpful in keeping me advised of the gluten free options, of which there were many. I’d definitely eat there again or eat dosas elsewhere. I only wish I’d had room for their kheer, a favorite of mine.

Our dosas – mine was chicken tikka (near), DH had roasted eggplant (far).

our dosas

our dosas

The inside of mine

chicken tikka dosa

chicken tikka dosa

“Carrot cake” dosa for dessert- dosa filled with carrot halwa, drizzled with honey – outside and in.

carrot cake dosa outside

carrot cake dosa outside

carrot cake dosa inside

carrot cake dosa inside

We were so full we decided to walk for a while longer after dinner, headed over to the path by the Charles River, just like the fun runs did.

Welcome Runners sign on Charles River Esplanade

Welcome Runners sign on Charles River Esplanade

by the Charles River

runners by the Charles River

I was surprisingly fine with all the walking, I think I was actually more comfortable strolling than sitting, and it was probably good for me. My iPhone app clocked about 6 miles on Tuesday!

Then back to the hotel so I could do some packing and call my sister. She’d been unable to make it into Boston while we were there – she was under the weather and didn’t want to share germs with me, much appreciated. After packing and chatting, decided it was time to try to relax as pre-trip stress was kicking in. Snacked and read, and tried to get to sleep early, avoiding thinking of leaving Boston and that this wonderful experience was about to be over for this year.

Next post, the trip home and recovery week 1!

Weekend Update March 7-8, 2015

This post is part of Tara’s Weekend Update linkup – go check out what everyone did on their 1 hour shorter weekend.

6 weeks to the Boston Marathon. 6.WEEKS. Saturday was the first day the forecasting went out that far, and it showed me this (ignoring!)

Boston Wx 3-7 forecast

Boston Wx 3-7 forecast

On Friday I saw a tweet on a new e-book THIRTY written by Lisa Rainsberger, the last American woman to win Boston – in 1985. Snapped it up and started reading it over the weekend. Interview with Lisa here and podcast with her here. Lisa also coaches these days, including coaching her daughter who is quite a good athlete.

This coming Friday (the 13th!), bib numbers and wave/corral information will be available, so I’ll know what time to start my few remaining long runs.


Sat – 21mi: repeatedly increased pace, last 9 at a possible goal pace – but it’s 20s slower per mile than what I did my 3×3 at on Tuesday. (maybe my legs were just tired?) Again, doing 21 to make sure I get that 5% hill just after mile 20 as many times as I can before the race. This wasn’t easy, and I keep pulling the possible goal pace back. There was one point at during the increasing pace segments (went up 0.1 per mile for a bit, then 0.1 for two miles in the run up to 12) that I felt “I could probably hold this for the whole race” but that’s roughly my Shamrock pace. Still trying to push harder. I was distressed that I wound up “having to” (felt like) break up Heartbreak Hill, for the first time. Ran 0.15 of it and just felt way too hard, backed off for 0.2 then took it back up to 5% for the other 0.15. DH (rightly?) gave me a hard time in the evening when I was “debriefing” my run and expressing my frustration with selecting a goal pace. He said “you know it’s going to vary depending on whether you’re going up or down hill” and I said I realized that (I think the phrase is “run even effort, not even pace”) but that my body will decide on race day how much it slows down or speeds up, I can’t predict it. So I try to run the course (inclines and 0%) at even pace rather than figure out how much to adjust – believe me, it’s enough mental work to stay focused on the spreadsheet and keep messing with the incline. To which he threw up his hands and said something like “well OF COURSE it was hard if you were trying to run a 5% incline at goal pace at the end of a 21 miler where you’ve run 8 miles already at goal pace!!” Oh. He could be right. But it’s the first time I felt I needed to ease back and of course that’s going to bother me.

This Saturday I wanted to mimic more of the Boston schedule, so I aimed to start my run at 10 am though I was up around 7. Ate half a Hammer bar with my BeetElite at 7:45 (I was hungry again at 8:45). Vespa at 9:15 and my FRS chews. GU every 3mi: Vanilla Bean GU mi 3, then Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Straw-Kiwi Roctane, Salted Caramel, Blue-Pom Roctane. Starting to think about whether I should try to bring EFS in a flask with water to take at the start (or maybe mix a Vanilla GU with water in the flask) to make sure I’m properly fueled at the start. Could also do the same thing with BeetElite, which is supposed to be taken no more than 60 minutes before starting – but the Vespa is liquid, and I don’t want to load too much. I plan to stop drinking any quantity (other than a mouthful or two at the start) as far ahead as possible given there’s no way there can be enough portajohns for 30,000 runners, especially if one of them is me. Only a few more times to play with this.

Listened to:

  • Marathon Talk – among other fun, interview with a 21 year old British XC champ 
  • Trail Runner Nation with famous ultrarunner Pam Reed who is still racing amazingly well at 54. (role model!) She’s won Badwater 135 outright (beating my fave Dean Karnazes IIRC) and recently completed Arrowhead 135. She has more ultras and Ironman triathlons on her calendar this year as well as RD’ing the Tuscon Marathon (for many years) and holding a nice time at Boston! I read her book a couple of years ago, and I think this is her first podcast (or the first I’m aware of).

Wore the medium FlipBelt, 10 gels in it. Was much warmer in room (upper 50s, couldn’t get it colder) so I got hot – hot enough I never had to use my teeth to open a gel and all the ice in my water bottle melted, was barely cool by the time I was done.

Didn’t sleep well again Saturday night. (3rd week in a row!)

Sun – 3.2 miles, 1 mile inside warming up then 2.2 miles outside with the intent to do hill repeats. Felt decent enough on the walk and warmup mile. Didn’t quite realize how tired I was. Real limiter was ice/snow on streets and sidewalks. I was having to do all sorts of cuts up and down places I don’t usually run, and was concerned about not seeing small patches of ice. Took a lot of mental concentration and then when I did my two downhill reps, could feel I wasn’t really controlling my legs well enough, so headed home.


Sat  – Got done with my run, got on the bike (calves cramped, that’s new) with my Ultragen, did my Myrtl stretches. Then I sat down to read part of the new Runner’s World – delivered on Saturday along with my new issue of UltraRunning – and the afternoon flew by….as it will when you’re not done with running/post-run till 2pm.

Dinner of BBQ and some chips while watching a few DVR’d shows. Watched a short travel piece on Edinburgh – looks like a fun place to visit and they have a marathon. Snacked and read more Marathon des Sables e-books, a snippet from Dave McGillivray’s book and started Lisa Rainsberger’s book.

Sun – After my run, bacon, some coconut bread toast with manna and jam. I roasted two kabocha in the oven and treated myself to a huge serving. DH brought us a bit of spring for the house

yellow tulips for DST day

yellow tulips for DST day

Back to my regular weekly massage! Much needed. Post-massage, I spent some time on the porch writing this post, finishing the April RW and puttering online. We’ll have leftovers for dinner, watch a bit more TV and perhaps try to get to sleep early to offset the time change, but that gets harder as it stays light later.

How things change…..


snowing, seen from tmill room

snowing, seen from tmill room and kitchen



IMG_0593 IMG_0590

sunshine but really cold post-snow

sunshine but really cold post-snow


the return of porch time!

the return of porch time!

Different schedule this week – M telework for the treadmill service folks (ticking seems to have abated, but I noticed odd noise when DH warmed up on it Th and he noticed a noise when I was on it as well), Tues telework as usual and my chiro appt. Then W-F in the office, Th/F all day meetings, plus the following Monday.

How was your weekend? Hope you got some good weather!



Almost Wordless Wednesday

I love(d) Peeps, watermelon & sour watermelon….but I’m not sure about this:

sour watermelon Peeps

sour watermelon Peeps

Weekend Update Feb 28- Mar 1, 2015

This post is part of Tara’s Weekend Update linkup – go see what everyone’s been up to. Been a while since I posted one of these.

7 weeks to the Boston Marathon. Gulp.


Sat – 21 miles (making sure I get that 5% hill just after mile 20 as many times as I can before the race) 1mi w/u, 5mi increasing through easy pace zone. Then 2x (4mi at MGP, 1mi ez). Wanted a 3rd set, as I’ve still yet to hit the 3x3mi at MGP that I need do, but I started the next set and did 0.3 mi at MGP and it felt really hard, so I ran 0.7 at ez pace. Then I thought about throwing in some half-mile repeats (~800s) which I’d heard Lucho mention, so I did did 0.5 at MGP, 0.5 ez. Then I decided I was too tired, doing the hills at pace was really wearing me down, did the last 3 miles at ez pace. HR at end was fine, maybe 4bpm higher than I’d really like, but certainly acceptable.

I was a little off schedule as I needed to start earlier so I could be done earlier and get ready for my sister’s visit. So my head wasn’t organized enough first thing in the morning to do all the dry run pre-fueling. Wound up skipping the Hammer Bar and just going with FRS chews and BeetElite 60-90 minutes before, then Vespa 45 min before (initial irritation to hernia/GI area but improved). Took only 3 gels on the run, possibly should have taken more. Vanilla Bean GU mi 5.5 (before 1st 4mi set), Salted Caramel mi 10.5 (before 2nd set), Blue-Pom Roctane 15.5 (before what would have been 3rd set).

Listened to:

Wore the medium FlipBelt, 10 gels in it. Noticing that it starts to ride up a bit above the waistband of my shorts, a little annoying. (not as annoying as figuring out that The North Face has discontinued my fave shorts, but that’s another story) I keep pulling it down a bit. Not sure why it’s happening, thought the medium would be tighter and the gel weight would take care of it. Got the first packet open with hands, after that it was teeth again.

Didn’t sleep well again Saturday night. Slept soundly when I did sleep, but every time I woke up (which is about every 2h) it took longer to get back to sleep. After my 3am pills it was easily 20min to half an hour before I was back asleep. Again tested my BP and HR with my little monitor to make sure all was ok (it was, 100/59 and 53 respectively, though it sure FELT like my heart was going too fast). I’d felt warm enough Saturday night that I took acetaminophen just “in case” something was up, but I really think it’s got to do with hard long runs since it happened last week. I really “got” Beth’s post this week on “9 Reasons It Might Be Hard to Sleep After Your Long Race/Run“. I’ve had similar problems in the past, but not as consistently.

Sun – 7 easy recovery miles on the treadmill. Had wanted to go outside to do some hill work, but we started getting ice pellets/sleet so not worth the risk. Decent run, certainly better than I expected given how wiped out I was by dinnertime yesterday. (I think some of that was that I didn’t eat as I normally did post-run, not knowing meal plans with my sister and then got way past the point where I’d needed food) My L ham was the crankiest part, no surprise there, usual complaints from hips, glutes, hams. Last mile, my right knee was a bit off, probably due to lack of strength work of late. (time to remedy that) I did notice a little “pinch” (only way I can describe it) above my left hip bone near the spine in the rear, but my lower back and neck feel a little tight. Some stretching should help, and if nothing else, my chiro will hear about on Tuesday if needed. Listened to the amazing new ultrarunner Caroline Boller on UltraRunnerPodcast. Caroline is winning races and only started running in 2013 and dropped 1h+ from her first to her second marathon. I subscribe to her blog but haven’t read all the back entries yet, maybe there’s detail there. Guarantee you my last meal would be different than hers!


I listened to this on Friday during my commute and wanted to make sure you heard about it. I want to give a shout-out rec to the Diz Runs episode with ultrarunner Tonia Smith. In 2013 she finished her first a 100 miler and then won 100k. Very soon after, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had to go through surgery and chemotherapy. She didn’t stop running (back doing ultras!) and is trying to help pancreatic cancer patients, survivors and families by raising awareness and funds through running and telling not only her story but the stories of others. Pancreatic cancer has a horrifyingly low survival rate and the research needs visibility and support. You can follow Tonia and read more about her efforts at her blog and read the stories of others at Project Purple – you can even join one of their race teams and help raise funds, or you can donate to Tonia’s fundraising efforts. (You may recall Julie from Spirit of the Marathon II, was running for pancreatic cancer awareness as she lost her father to the disease. She still is.)

Sat  –

Got done with my run, had some Ultragen then kabocha, jumped in the shower to get ready for the arrival of my sis & BIL. Spent a great few hours with them (a stop on their way to visit friends in the South) talking about everything and nothing and just enjoying being together. I was pretty wiped out so we decided to split up around dinnertime. I drove them back to their hotel, and when my sister said “see you in a few weeks” I just stared at her kind of stupidly, like “huh?” and then realized she meant for Boston. Yeah, I was tired. So wonderful to see her! Every moment is precious. I really appreciate her making the time and taking the opportunity.

Dinner of Chinese and a little TV, but I was really wiped out and not too functional. Snacked and read more about folks doing the Iditarod Trail Invitational race (this year’s edition started 3/1) and about a man in the UK training for the Green Man ultra. Really enjoying them.

Sun – After my run, bacon, a little egg white/zucchini omelet and some coconut bread toast with manna and jam. I roasted two kabocha in the oven (yes!) and did indeed snack a bit while I was putting it away. Later sat down with a larger kabocha snack and some running reading, since I didn’t get to do so on Saturday. My massage was cancelled as my MT forgot she had to teach a class – I couldn’t go on Saturday due to my sister’s visit (right choice, no question). Turns out I was just as happy to stay in the house and relax and not try to drive on the ice rink the roads turned into. Did a bit of food prep for Monday. We’ll likely repeat last night’s meal and watch some TV. Didn’t do the usual full-fat potato chip treat Saturday night, decided to save it for Sunday. Probably will have some of the extra yummy potato chips tonight, just wasn’t in the mood last night.

Another 5 day “regular” week – MWF in office, T/Th telework with my chiro appt Tuesday. I’m waiting to hear back from the treadmill people that they’ve gotten the parts in – hope to have them come out either Thursday when I telework or Friday (would telework or take time off). Given how much faster the treadmill feels (to both me and DH), be interesting/scary to see what a new drive motor, board and walking belt will make it feel like. FYI, the ticking sound seems to have gone away, but since they’ve ordered the parts, I’m going for it.

How was your weekend? Did you get one last blast of winter weather? Happy March!

Thankful Thursday 2/19/2015 & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Welcome to another #thankfulThursday!

Here’s the list of the moment

  • My treadmill!! (and the wonderful folks who responded to my distress call and got it running for me after it died on Sunday)
    my beloved Landice L8

    my beloved Landice L8

  • That even though the oven and 4 nearest outlets don’t work – happened overnight Saturday – the microwave (plugged in elsewhere) and stovetop burners still do. Managed to cook 3 kabocha in the microwave.
  • Heat in my house
  • Electric blanket (thanks to MIL!) keeping me snug while I read in the evening
  • Books and videos about far-flung races and places enticing me, distracting me, making me think and dream
  • Libraries – electronic and otherwise – so easy to satisfy an itch to know more about almost anything with no cost or commitment. Just found out today our local library has a garden tool checkout program – not what I think of with a library, but I can see where they’re going and it’s kinda cool.
  • Coconut manna – really loving this lately on coconut bread toast with various jams and honey, or on kabocha…had to buy more!
    coconut manna

    coconut manna

  • Blue sky and sunshine on new-fallen snow….and for my DH who dug out my car and shoveled before I had my chiro appointment
  • Being able to help people in any way, big or small – especially those who are trying to do good for others or who are having a tough time
  • The internet, again, yet, still
  • Mail, UPS and FedEx – I order things and they magically show up at my door…seriously, how cool is that?!
  • Strawberry chocolate tea, yum

Bonus – there’s a great “Ten on Tuesday” blog prompt/linkup I found through Sprite Writes. The Tuesday part conflicts with my regular training recap post, but I liked this week’s prompt – Ten Things I’m Looking Forward To – so I decided to throw it in today’s post. My sister would love this topic.

I’m looking forward to:

  • Working a puzzle with DH – his parents and my sister are “puzzlers” and we thought it might be a fun activity to do together, whether in concentrated bursts or by each of us working it when we have a minute
puzzle - Norway fjord

puzzle – Norway fjord

  • Following my tweeps who are racing this weekend, whether at the Disney Princess races, the Tokyo Marathon or ultras. Have a great race!
  • Listening to new podcast episodes, like one from Runner’s Connect with Margaret Webb, whose Older, Faster, Stronger I have read multiple times and rec’d, perhaps a Ginger Runner with Ellie Greenwood talking about Comrades (ep 45 avail in iTunes and on youtube), maybe Greg McMillan on Surviving the Race (Marathon) Freakout on Trail Runner Nation. (I have the e-book.)
  • My long run
  • Reading Running Times after my long run this weekend
  • Potato chips while watching TV on Saturday night
  • Wearing the SmartWool compression socks that I ordered from an active.com sale (yes!) which showed up today…very comfy, nice compression. I’ll mostly wear them for work/day wear but I probably could run in them if need be (DH has).
  • Following Mark Hines (love his MdS, Jungle Marathon, Yukon Arctic Ultra books) & David Johnston at the Iditarod Trail Invitational that starts 3/1
  • Looking at travel guides (or watching travel DVDs) – fun, interesting, I learn a lot whether or not I ever go to those places
  • Watching Meb and others at the NYC Half Marathon on 3/15 (via web feed) and Meb’s book, coming out April 7 (I preordered when it was announced!)

What are you thankful for, and what are you looking forward to?
I hope both lists are long!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day! (whether you are with someone or not – remember, you can be your own very special Valentine)

Decorations from the “holiday house”, neighbor who decorates for every holiday – such a pleasure to see when I drive by.

Neighbor's house decorated for Valentine's Day IMG_0573 IMG_0574 IMG_0575

Thankful Thursday 2/12/2015

I think another installment of various things I’m thankful for is in order this week……

  • my DH – for everything….and on top of his regular and extra support of late, brought me two different bouquets last Sunday – one of yellow tulips to go with our cheery yellow kitchen and make it feel “spring-ier” (hope they last through the cold snap) and one with some lush beautiful red roses that have kept me company next to my laptop all week – he has been so understanding and kind
  • my sister – for being not only my sister but my friend, and someone I can say crazy or weird or inappropriate things to, knowing she’ll get it and not think less of me
  • my dear friend K – for making time to talk to me despite kids, work, school, time zone differences and a schedule that tires me out just to see
  • my twitter buds and blog readers  – your support and kind words of sympathy, understanding and encouragement mean a great deal to me, and give me some solace and comfort
  • that I am lucky enough to be able to take a few days off work, though I’m still reeling a bit
  • finding a new jar of coconut manna hidden in a cupboard, since no store here carries my fave brand anymore and I’ll have to order online
  • getting huge jars of my variety of Nuttzo at Costco cheaper than the smaller jars! (thanks to DH’s keen powers of observation for seeing it)
  • going out for tea with DH
  • my massage therapist, chiro and office manager – there for me in so many ways
  • sunshine
  • pictures of cute fluffy dogs (and penguins in sweaters) – keep ’em coming!
  • shows on DVR, Netflix, Amazon Prime
  • anything that makes me laugh for even a moment
  • SmartWool compression socks
  • podcasts
  • my Kindle and e-books about far-off races (also starting to revisit my mental training books….going to need some help in that area)
  • chocolate Arctic Zero with frozen cherries (yes, I went back to it, at least for a bit)
  • watching replays of Bernard Lagat and Jenny Simpson at New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, loved the Cooldown post-race interviews too!
  • video interviews with cool runners like Magdalena Boulet (another role model)
  • discovering that hamstring curls on the inflatable ball help my cranky hams
  • having things to look forward to like watching Lagat in the mile at the Millrose Games (taping it since it’s Valentine’s Day evening)
  • inspiring people/runners like Gilbert Tuhabonye (“met” him in Kristin Armstrong’s Mile Markers book) – a living reminder to “run with joy”

What’s on your #thankfulThursday list?

Thankful Thursday 2/5/2015

I decided to do something a little different today, so it’s Thankful Thursday!

As you’ll know if you read the blog or follow my tweets, my runs haven’t been all I’d like lately, I’m concerned about training, obsessing about boards under my treadmill and my eating habits, and I’ve got some family stuff going on that’s a bit of stress on me. One of the ways I deal with times like these is looking for the good.

Below is a fairly random list, in no order, of things big and small for which I’ve been thankful lately. Items may overlap in one way or another.  This list isn’t meant to be all inclusive or mean I’m not thankful for things that I don’t list – neither of us have time for the near-infinite list of things I’m thankful for! – it’s just a snapshot. Enjoy, and perhaps make your own list…

  • Frozen wild blueberries that taste like a really good jam or cobbler, fragrant with summer
  • Getting a handwritten thank you note from the leader of a team I worked with last year on a challenging “job”, all the way from Chicago
  • Seeing adorable moppets from the day care center at work when the elevator doors opened yesterday, prompting the gentleman in the elevator with me to relate his conversation with a couple of them earlier where he’d learned they were “TWO!” from them holding up their fingers, as children do, and seeing him mimic them to explain it to me
  • My chiro and his new office manager
  • The elderly couple I met at the chiro, she with a walker, he bent over, both moving slowly – they took the time to listen to the office manager brag about me going to Boston, and turns out the man lived in Cambridge until he was 10 (still has the accent) and we chatted a bit
  • The nice young woman trying to help me in the supplements aisle in the health food store
  • Genuinely nice co-workers who are a pleasure to talk to
  • Having more than one bathroom so we don’t have to get the toilet leak addressed immediately (as long as I’m willing to trek to another bathroom)
  • Wool running socks on cold days
  • Books – whether purchased or library, physical or Kindle, even when I can’t find just the right one, I can find somethng
  • Anne Lamott
  • Kindness, big or small, whether it’s directed at me or I just learn about it
  • Being able to help someone in any way
  • Being able to make someone laugh or feel better, even if just for a moment
  • Feeling heard and understood
  • The support of my tweeps and blog readers
  • Things to look forward to, soon and not so – track meets and races I’ll watch on the web, a three-day weekend, potential future races
  • Possibilities
  • Hope
  • Seeing runners on my way to and from work
  • People walking dogs, especially small fluffy dogs
  • Crayola-bright flowers from last weekend, still hanging in there
  • New fun badges for my RoadID
  • Hearing the birds again in the morning and evening
  • New podcast episodes and new podcasts
  • Knowing that Friday brings Chinese and TV, and Saturday my long run
  • Finding inspiration in books and quotes
  • Things on the internet that make me laugh
  • Fleece
  • Pink clouds at sunset

That’s enough for this installment.

What’s on your #thankfulThursday list?



Almost But Not Really Wordless What I (Didn’t) Eat Wednesday on Thursday

When I went to the store on Tuesday to pick up more kabocha, I was a little hungry, a little stressed and still deep in the throes of chocolate craving.

Yet….I did not purchase the following items which, along with others, tempted me from the shelves. Slow clap applause is optional but appreciated.

Pamela's extreme chocolate chocolate chip mini cookies (GF)

Pamela’s extreme chocolate chocolate chip mini cookies (GF)

LaLoo's dark chocolate goat's milk ice cream

LaLoo’s deep (dark) chocolate goat’s milk ice cream

Glutino's chocolate covered and yogurt covered pretzels

Glutino’s chocolate covered and yogurt covered pretzels

WHY didn’t I get these yummy items? Because I’m back on my primarily Paleo diet (with white potatoes and goat cheese/yogurt and some chocolate-y stuff added), trying to get rid of whatever weight/fat I might have gained post-ultra in my gluten-free binge (still no scale involved, but no doubt I gained – I feel different, you know?).

WHY am I following this plan, struggling with it while I crave and want all sorts of snack and dessert and carby gluten-free grain foods, especially given some life stress going on right now? Because last year I trained and raced well in my second year on this type of eating and I want to do everything I can to stack the cards in my favor for April.

In case one might think I’d forgotten (ha) that we’re inside 12 weeks now, know that I’m reading about Boston nightly, thinking about the race every day, still obsesseing about putting boards under my treadmill, etc.

countdown to Boston

countdown to Boston

Staying obsessed, motivated, and a little scared is not too hard when I read and follow tweeps just as obsessed with it as I am. Even the snowstorm couldn’t stop us, even in Boston – or maybe ESPECIALLY in Boston. As Heartbreak Hill Running Company put it “they didn’t cancel the Boston Marathon, so yes, we’re running today” (check out their other great storm related tweets). Kudos and thanks go out to Christopher Laudani for shoveling off the finish line to help keep us all inspired.

If you’re training for a race, are there foods or treats you’ve given up until after the race? How’s it going?

Friday Five – Five Things About Me

The theme for this week’s Friday Five linkup, hosted by CynthiaCourtney and Mar, is Five Things About Me.

After you’ve read my post, visit the hosts’ blogs, read, enjoy – and find fun posts from many many other linkup bloggers at the bottom. Enjoy!

Readers may recall that I’ve written “Five Things About Me” posts beforetwice – on a couple past “free” Fridays, and I did one with summer movies.

But wait, there’s more!

I put out a call for questions on twitter, and the intrepid Thumbholes answered, with 3 thought-provoking questions that deserve posts of their own and 2 I’ll take a shot at here. Please take a look at her Small Change project before your next race – it’s such a great idea!

  • I am incredibly near-sighted – can’t see the clock next to the bed nearsighted – and at least in the past have had a significantly weaker right eye than left, which apparently is hereditary. Long after it would have helped, an ophthalmologist told me that I could have had that improved by wearing an eye patch on the stronger eye as a kid, to force the weak eye to work harder (no idea if that would have worked….the little sister of my next-door best friend had one, and it looks odd on a kid, glad I didn’t, I guess) Now I’m also experiencing age-related far-sightedness. Contacts with readers on top, yay! (too scared to get Lasik when I was a candidate, now too old)
  • The only fruit that I don’t like is grapefruit, and I never liked it. My mom’s parents did though, and I wound up having to eat it sometimes at their house, old-school style: half a grapefruit on a plate, sectioned and eaten with a grapefruit spoon. You couldn’t see the pink of the fruit for how much sugar I put on top. The grapefruit spoons in my house now are for de-seeding squash.
  • Hot/sharp things and my hands are a very bad combination. I’ve had a hand go into a window box fan and through a glass pane in a door. I have a scar from cutting cheese for a restaurant opening, have been burned by scalding cream soup serving it at a restaurant (can’t get it off fast enough due to consistency) and have been burned by a towel (misused as a potholder) catching the edge of an electric stove’s heat element. Watching the towel be licked by blue flame while it was still in my hand, and then watching my hands drop it before I even felt anything, was truly odd. I’ve been very lucky. One small scar from the cheese incident, and nothing from the 2nd degree burns from the towel incident (except a true appreciation for the serious pain meds and skin cream used to treat me).
  • From Thumbholes: If you could invent one energy gel flavor, what would it be? Well, as it happens, during my run today I came up with one and tweeted it to GU and their R&D person, ultrarunner Magda Boulet – “flat” cola (“Coke”) or cherry cola – let’s see if they run with it. I can’t think they haven’t tried it to develop it already given they are sponsors of Ironman and flat “Coke” is legendarily used by triathletes in races, but you never know. Maybe the Root Beer flavor was a trial balloon. (I’ve yet to try my one pack of it.)
  • From Thumbholes: All-time favorite TV show? I don’t know if this is what she meant by “favorite” but I went with “most meaningful/influential”…..The original Star Trek because it so influenced me from the very first episode I saw (in syndication in the early to mid 70s), which was The Empath. I saw it while staying in a Holiday Inn in Wisconsin when we went there for my dad’s father’s funeral. The universe of Star Trek – its message, its hope – really informed a lot of who and what I became and what I thought/believed.

Share something about yourself in the comments, or ask me a question for a future post.

Have a great weekend!