randomthoughtrunning

Running 13, 13.1's in 2013 and the thoughts along the way!

Thinkin’ on Thursdays

Its Thursday, but really my Friday, I love 3 day weekends and it is much needed after an insane week. Here is what I am thinking:

It looks like I am going to get my wish and have a nice run without hat and mittens tomorrow. Looking forward to a warm 7 miler in the morning. Bring on the 50’s!

1 week until my next half, Fools Duel Half Marathon in Gloucester, MA. Finally a race in my home state!

I think I am “smoothied” out, didn’t try anything new and exciting and went back to the ol’ faithful pea protein shake. I have been adding  about 1/4 cup raw quick oats to the shake to add a new texture. Very tasty!

Excited to try a new lunch recipe next week Cauliflower Pizza Crust: http://lipstickkitchen.com/2013/03/19/cauliflower-pizza-crust-paleo-gluten-free-hcg-and-south-beach-diet-etc/ (Thanks for the inspiration Lip Stick Kitchen)

One word: COFFEE!! Yes 3 short days from now, Lent will be over and I will be sipping iced coffee once again. Each year, as challenging as it is to give up coffee, its rewarding to know I can live with out and appreciate it even more. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Run On-

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Need for Speed

speed

After a few busy days in Atlantic City I am back into the groove of things…kinda. A few unhealthy days of eating and drinking really knock me for a loop. I did manage to get a walk on the beach in and at least get my heart rate up a little, but really was kicking myself I didn’t bring my running gear to get a nice jaunt on the boardwalk in.beach

To reset myself  when I got back, I got on the dreaded treadmill and did a great interval workout. As mostly someone who runs for distance, I think mixing in speed work every now and then is good. While training for Chicago this past summer, I began mixing it in and really saw a difference. My only struggle is doing speed work outside. I don’t have many areas where I don’t have to cross traffic so, I head to the treadmill.

This workout may seem pretty straightforward, but sometimes all I need is to see someone else write it out for me and I am inspired!

3 min warm up @ 3.5/4 and incline at 0

3 min @ 5.5 and incline at 2

3 min @ 7.2 and incline at 2.5

3 min @ 5.5 and incline at 2

3 min @ 7.2 and incline at 3.5

3 min @ 5.5 and incline at 0

3 min @ 7.4 and incline at 1.5

3 min @ 5.5 and incline at 0

3 min @ 7.4 and incline at 1.5

3 min @ 5.5 and incline at 2

3 min @ 7.2 and incline at 3.5

3 min cool down @ 3.5/4 and incline at 0

Adjust as needed, but you want to be out of your comfort zone on those working intervals. Enjoy!

This workout really helped reset me after the crazy weekend,  and a nice change to my usual distance running, but tomorrow…Back to the road!

Run On-

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Thinkin’ on Thursdays

A snowy week and there are no warm temps in sight…what the heck?? Here is what I am thinking…

Fingers crossed that I had my last long run wearing a hat and mittens this morning…despite the cold, loved hearing birds chirping making it at LEAST sound like warm temps are here. 

I had a good 10 miler this morning, but not alot of thinking was done due to all my attention focused on not falling! 

Smoothie of the week was a major success, the “fake” Orange Julius is what I like to call it: 1/2 c non fat plain greek yogurt, 1/2 c apple juice (oj would work too!), 1/2 c water, whole peeled clementine (add a second for extra orange flavor), 1 tsp of no sugar cheesecake Jello mix, 1/4tsp Guar gum, 1/4tsp Xanthan gum, and 3-4 ice cubes. Blend and Enjoy!  (Thanks http://hungryandfit.com/ for the inspiration!)

Busy traveling weekend for me, heading to Atlantic City for some Bachelorette celebrating of my Sister in Law, excited to be by the beach, who cares that it is March…

Excited to make some chocolate chip Oreo cookies tonight to bring along on the trip: make your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough, now wrap it around and Oreo and bake as you normally would. Yup they are dangerous. 

Looking forward to a tasty dinner out tonight at a local restaurant: Sugar, time for a post run treat! 

Thinking about how at this time next week I will only be 3 days away from having coffee back in my life. Watch out Starbucks and Dunkies, I am coming at ya full force next Sunday!

Enjoy your weekend!

Run On-

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Gearing Up for Spring

Happy Vernal Equinox everyone! While there is still snow on the ground and more to come later this week, I thought the first day of spring would be a great day to share some of my Spring running gear. While I am not putting away my ugly pink hat and long tights just yet, I have had a couple runs where I am starting to wear a few less layers. Here is what I wear to get through the tricky spring months. No matter what you wear, think layers! It will help make any run more enjoyable.

Running Sleeves

sleeves_flames

These are a must, I actually have had mine for so long, I can’t remember where I got them but Gypsyrunner.com sells them in tons of different colors and patterns. Of course, I had to get the flames, the more random my outfit the better. Besides looking like I have full sleeve tattoos, these sleeves are perfect for a run that starts out chilly and may warm up quickly. You can just either pull down the sleeves to what feels comfortable or just take them off completely. You can tie them around your waist without being overly bulky like a long sleeve shirt.

Nike Women’s Tech Running Capris
capri

This is another oldie but goodie, I have had these tights for years and sadly they are starting to show their wear. This is nothing against Nike, they are just that old and I wear them ALL the time in the spring and summer. I love the length as someone with a little bigger leg, chaffing is always a worry, these tights don’t move and are comfortable. I love the length which is just below the knee, I actually were these in the spring AND summer and feel just right temperature wise.  On top of that, they actually look pretty good which is a nice bonus. Since I have bought these, Nike has made changes to improve the capris over the years, I am thinking of adding a new pair to the mix, but still just come back to the originals. Why fix it if it isn’t broken?

PhD Run Ultra Light Micro Sock by Smartwool

socks

These are my new favorite running socks. My Mom gave them to me as a valentines day gift (nothing says love, like socks) a few weeks ago and they have been my go to ever since. I knew Smartwool for their more “earthy” socks for hiking and skiing, but these socks are ultra light weight and breathe great. I have a weird thing with having my socks come above my shoe, I hate the way it looks on me, so these socks are perfect no-show socks. I am not sure of the price on these socks, but no blisters and keep your feet warm on the chilly mornings, are well worth it!

Kinvara 2’s

kinvara

So this isn’t really a piece of “Spring Gear” but I did get another pair of Kinvaras this past weekend at the Saucony outlet. If you haven’t already figured out my love for Saucony, you get to hear it now. I have been running in Sauconys ever since I started taking running seriously and have moved around to different “models” over the years. I have been hooked on the Kinvaras for over a year. They are super light, very breathable, but keep your feet warm and dry. They come in neon green which I love, but sadly this trip to the Saucony store only produced the white and pink version. I know the color of my shoes means nothing…but still I love the bright green. Much like my Nike capris, I need to start buying multiples of things that I really like to run in. I don’t know why companies need to change good things so fast!

Other Spring Gear that you will find in my closet:

Nike Women’s Loose Tri Blend V-Neck T-Shirt

2009 Adidas Boston Marathon Jacket (Light weight breathable jacket, a must for the rainy days)

North Face Visor

Cheapo Sport Sunglasses

Sunscreen (This is a year round must, but with more daylight running hours, its extra important!)

My last piece of spring gear, which isn’t really gear but a program to help you pick your gear each day. The What to Wear Tool from Runners World, is awesome! By simply plugging in a few details, you get suggestions on what to wear for your run. I love this because I tend to overdress, so it really helps me have the right gear on. For the most part, it has not let me down. Check it out: http://www.whattoweartool.com/

Happy Spring, bring on the sunshine!

Run On-

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Running to Margaritaville

tattoo

Its snowing…again…and its March. These are the days I really wonder why I live in New England, but enough complaining, tomorrow is the start of spring, so warmer temps are just around the corner.

On a snowy day like today, I thought I would share one of my other loves besides running…Jimmy Buffett! You may wonder how two such different things could go together, but surprisingly Buffett plays a big part in my running. Jimmy Buffett is much more than Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville, but really a way to look at and enjoy life. I know, it sounds lame…but really, let me break it down for you and how much of the music and attitudes of Parrotheads keep me running.

If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane”

I don’t stress over much, and when times do get a little hectic, I take it as it comes to me. Much of the Parrothead way is just that, roll with each day and take what life throws at you and go with it. A song titled Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude? Perfect for dealing with life! In 2008, I was completing my masters thesis, working full time, and had a major death in my family ALL while training for my very first marathon. It was alot to take on, but Buffetts music helped me through, to the point that I got his lyrics tattooed on my wrist right before the race, yup that picture above are lyrics I live by everyday!

“There’s a little bit of fruitcake left in everyone of us”

Another piece that really holds true is being who you are, and not worry what anyone else thinks. If you have ever been to a Buffett show, you know that all ages, races, genders, etc., are welcome. Come as you are! An overweight guy wearing a coconut bra? Why not! Girls walking around with shark fins on their heads? Sure! Really, it doesn’t matter what your style is or if you don’t have any, we all are at a show to have fun and enjoy life! As for my running, I approach it much of the same way, show up as you are and run. Not fast? Who cares! Not wearing a full matching outfit head to toe? Not needed! I run to have fun and enjoy life, nothing else.

“Don’t try to shake it just nod your head Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On”

While the Parrothead “style” is mixed in through out my life, the music is my training companion. I would say more than half my playlists are Buffett songs. Many ask how the heck I can listen to island songs while training for a race, but really it puts me in another place. I zone out and just see myself under a palm tree watching a perfect sunset. You need to find what that motivator is for you, and go with it. I have used his music so much, while training and fundraising for Boston, I used Buffetts song Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On, tweaking it to be the theme of my fundraising efforts: Breathe In, Breathe Out…Run On. It was great, I made T-shirts for spectators, magnets, and other stuff to really make it part of my marathon experience.

So while I am not going to deny I love the Margaritas that come with being a Parrothead, its much more than that. Give Buffett a try, its not everyones cup of tea, but hey, you might find a few songs that take you away for a few minutes of a snowy day like today. Fins Up!

Run On-

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Thinkin’ on Thursdays

The late edition! I have been busy with my preparations for my St. Patricks Day festivities tomorrow and almost forgot to share this weeks thoughts!

Should I splurge on the Limited Edition Kinvara 4’s being released this April? I received an invite to order the Boston Edition shoe ahead of its release… Heading to the Saucony outlet this weekend, so I will see how much I buy there before deciding…

St. Patricks Day is here! My official start to Spring along with Dropkick Murphy’s, Car Bombs, and day drinking…looking forward to debut my festive jello shots!

3 weeks away from my next race…Fools Dual, can’t wait!

Still over 2 weeks away from drinking coffee…the good news is I am still enjoying my replacement morning smoothies. Next up: Tropical Smoothies!

Enjoy your weekend!

Run On-

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What am I doing Wednesdays?!?

what

Ok so I am not going to put a catchy name on every day of the week, but I thought every once in a while, I would share what I am doing in my fitness/nutrition routines. I find reading other peoples blogs as one of the best places for fresh fitness/nutrition ideas, so I thought I would pay it forward and  hopefully inspire others with some new ideas!

  • If you have already read my post on the JCC, you know my love for my gym. Here is what I have been bringing into my workouts. I have shied away from “Ab” workouts for a while as most of the exercises I do engage my core, but I have been adding this 10 minute routine into the mix once per week and loving it!

30 seconds of each exercise/10 second rest for 10 minutes:

1)Stability Ball Roll Out (Kneeling on the floor, place forearms on the ball and roll yourself out until your wrists are the only part of your arm touching the ball. Keeping core solid, pull yourself back up to starting position)

2)V Sit (Arms and legs off the ground, forming a “v” hold!)

3)Plank

4)Leg Lifts (on the floor or in Roman chair)

5)Side Plank Be sure to get the other side

6) Side Plank w/Flap (as you are in side plank position, lift your free arm to align with your shoulder, flap arm forward so it is parallel with floor and return to starting position. Think that is easy? Add a 3lb dumbell to your freehand!)

  • I just recently entered the iPhone world and still have not explored “apps” too much, but I discovered this Tabata Trainer which is free and has made my interval work (including the workout above) so much better! It is called “Seconds Timer” while it does not allow you to save your timers, you can set up interval/rest  time and it keeps track of the rest. If you love Tabata training like I do, it makes remembering what round you are on ALOT easier. Iphone users-check it out!timer
  • As far as the nutrition side of things, I have been loving grapefruits this week. They were onsale and I said what the heck. I add a pinch of sugar and sprinkle cinnamon on the sliced half and it is tasty!
  • I teach Spin once per week and to get in the mood for St. Patricks day, I created an Irish themed playlist. Even if you are not spinning add a few tunes to your ipod, come on its St. Patricks Day! St. Patricks Day Spinning:

    Foggy Dew (Can’t remember who this by!) 5:01

    Out of Our Heads (Dropkick Murphys) 3:11

    Elevation (U2) 3:47

    Cry of the Celts (Lord of the Dance) 2:23

    The Cave (Mumford and Sons) 3:35

    I’m Shipping UP to Boston (Dropkick Murphys) 2:33

    Vertigo (U2) 3:16

    Ho Hey (Lumineers) 2:43

    City of Blinding Lights (U2) 5:47

    Mercy (Duffy) 3:39

    Diamonds (Rihanna) 3:45

    Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey) 4:09

    Kryptonite (3 Doors Down) 3:53

    Pride (U2) 3:47

What are you doing this lovely Wednesday?

Run On-

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Working out the Kinks

I am still feeling a little achy after the race, more so from my fall than the actual run, but the good news is I have a massage today! Maybe you are thinking I will be going to the spa to pamper myself? Wrong! This is some intense deep tissue massage that I have been hooked on since 2009.

After my first marathon (Boston) I had severe hip pain, I had started doing yoga which helped, but I needed something more. I was skeptical of massage and wasn’t sure I would be able to relax enough to reap the benefits. Along with extra tight hips, I have had back problems all through college, I throw out my back a couple times a year. Add in one of my bad back episodes to the mix, I was pushed over the edge and booked my first appointment at Boston Body Worker. And the rest is history! I have been seeing the same massage therapist since 2009, she has since started her own practice in which I followed her from Boston Bodyworker. Don’t get me wrong Boston Bodyworker is great, and I highly recommended them. Good prices, easy scheduling, and nice a location.

The most common comment I receive, is “WOW, must be nice to get massage all the time” My response is “It is WELL worth it!”. During marathon training I do see my massage therapist twice per month, right now I am going about once per month. I do sometimes struggle with the cost, at $75 per 45 minute session, it can be costly. But if you think of the things you treat yourself to, maybe doing your nails, buying your morning coffee, or buying your lunch everyday? They add up! While I don’t really do anything to pamper myself, I tell myself and others (mainly my husband) that this is my treat to myself.

The benefits are endless, and depending on where you are in your training program massage has a place.

Just to highlight a few of the benefits:

Improved muscle flexibility

Increased range of motion in the joints

Decreased muscle stiffness

Improved blood flow

Improved relaxation

Reduced anxiety

Improved mood

I was very fortunate in finding my massage therapist, we clicked right away. She is very understanding and can hone in on a tight spot in less than a minute (still don’t know how she does it!), she will also suggest stretches or call you out when you have not been stretching (happens alot to me!). I think the other big piece is how comfortable she makes me feel, I mean you have to have some level of trust as you lay face down on a table in just your underwear, right? If your not sure how to pick, start off with a short massage, most places will offer a 30 minute session. If you are not sold, try several different therapists. Many locations have deals for first time patients which allows you try out a few. You also want to check their credentials, this is big. Be sure that the therapist has experience with sports massage and is certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Another place to look for qualified massage therapists, is check with physical therapists, many times they partner to offer patients both services.

Some call this “feel good” training, and it definitely is one of my favorite parts of training. While skeptical at first, I have been able to run 5 marathons and countless half marathons with no injuries (knock on wood!) and I believe I have massage to thank for that! I am not built to be a runner, and it has taken me a long time to be comfortable while I run. So if you are on the fence about trying massage or have had a nagging ache, see a massage therapist. Of course they are not a medical doctor and you should always consult with them first, but a few visits with a massage therapists may save you are alot of trips to your doctor.

Massage has helped make this non-runnner body keep running, which in mind there is no price that could be put on that!

Run On-

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3 down…10 to go! Ocean’s Run Recap

finish

Have I really already run 3 half marathons this year? Hard to believe but the Ocean’s Run by Trimom Races was another GREAT race. While I know all of them cannot be great, I have been lucky so far with 3 really positive experiences. I think the highlight for this race was the weather and being right on the ocean. It really felt like we are turning a corner in the seasons. It was cold in the morning, to the point my hands and feet were numb but I still decided to go no mittens or hat…1 mile in to the race I was so glad I did. I was the perfect temp and it was one of those runs where everything just felt good. Best time of the 3 so far,2:02!  But really I am trying not to focus too much on the time thing and comparing from one to the next. I had negative temps at my first race, hills so steep you had to basically crawl up for the second, and this race was smooth sailing despite a face plant at mile 8…so really each race is its own, but it is fun when you see improvements on a time. I would like to complete at least one under 2 hours.

medal

At least I got road rash AND a finisher medal…

The Positives

This race was very well organized and for a “smaller” (about 450 runners) you got alot of bang for your buck. A long sleeve t-shirt, finisher medal, bag check, and a decent post race party. The actual course was great, definitely beach roads but lots to look at. Not all of the course was on the ocean, which was actually fine with me as it gave us a break from the wind, Each mile was clearly marked and water, Gatorade AND gels were provided. While there were no physical facilities, the port-a-jon situation was just fine, no lines and very clean! Again for a small race, pretty impressive. As mentioned, I took a major fall at mile 8, and had to utilize first aid services after the race to get myself cleaned up. The EMTs were very nice and helped me out best they could. Unfortunately there is not much that can be done for road rash besides some peroxide and time to heal.

The Negatives

I don’t have alot to complain about, minor things would be the parking. I am not a fan of races that you need to be shuttled to and from the start, but this one did have a pretty organized shuttle system and really only a mile between the parking and the start. Still there was waiting and then piling onto a bus with 450 of your closest, sweatiest, running friends. I did not have any spectators at this race, so I can’t comment too much on the viewing of this race, but for the most part it was on narrow roads without too many places to watch from. For the second time in a row, there were more cows than spectators!  Another negative which has nothing to do with the race itself, was after eating gravel is that I ripped my favorite  Nike running top AND Lululemon pants! Once I realized I was ok and continued to run, I thought the worst for my top and pants, but only two small holes, so a big shout out to Nike and Lululemon for withstanding a hard fall!

All in all it was great day, to make it even better I was able to meet up with a friend from the area after the race and show me some of what Rhode Island has to offer. It was awesome! Our first stop was a beach bar called Ocean’s Mist, your typical beach bar, great views, good beer and pub grub. While the wait was long, the Bloody Mary’s were delicious. During our meal at some point, it came up that I had never eaten oysters and had set the goal to eat one this year…thats all I needed to say as we then headed to a local oyster bar, Mantunuck Oyster Bar, where I think they literally pulled the oysters out of the ocean that deck overlooked and shucked them in front of you!

oyster

 I was still very hesitant at first…I mean come on who says an oyster looks good to eat?? It should also be noted here that I don’t eat any type of seafood, I would like to change that, but I really struggle with the visual appeal of all types of seafood. Being from New England, I know I am missing out on alot, but it just doesn’t do it for me…until I ate an oyster! The setting was perfect, we were on the ocean, it was warm, there were boats in the background, so I said what the heck?? And GULP! It was tasty and am already scheming my next oyster trip. From a Half Marathon in the morning to a Sunday Funday afternoon…bring on spring!

Run On-

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Thinkin’ on Thursdays

It’s Thursday and it is snowing once again…doesn’t seem to be sticking but looks like its going to snow until tomorrow…ugh. Here is the latest thoughts:

This mornings run reminded me that we are far from putting winter behind us and we could get plenty more snow this month

Although the thought of more winter makes me very sad, it is supposed to be 50 this weekend for my Oceans Run Half down in Kingstown RI. Looking forward to a run along the beach!

Planning to reorg some of my races (Still getting 13 in, just moving a few around) so that I can participate in the Tough Mudder on June 1st. Do I really want to jump in cold water and then get zapped by live wires while running 10 miles? Absolutely! 

Loving the smoothie I made this week, can’t get enough of it! 3/4c frozen blueberries, 1/2c plain nonfat greek yogurt, Tbsp agave nectar, Tbsp Cocoa Powder, 3-4 ice cubes, about 3/4c water, pinch of Guar and Xanthan Gum. Blend and enjoy! 

Just a little over a week from Saint Patricks Day which is one of my favorite holidays for many reasons, among them  the Dropkick Murphy Show and Irish Car Bombs

Enjoy your weekend!

Run On-

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