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

13 down…0 to go!

So it has been a month, A WHOLE MONTH since I completed my 13th half and I have yet to write about it! I am so mad at myself and to have come this far and not wrap it up in writing, I just didn’t feel I really had accomplished my goal. So here it is my final race recap, to make this even more frustrating, I wrote this post a month ago and just have not gotten around to posting it! I can make up excuses, blame my new job and having about a million and one things going on, but rather, I will just post it. I still accomplished my goal and feel very good about it, but like any crazy runner, I am already itching for whats next…but I am forcing myself to enjoy some time of just running to run rather than having a race every weekend.

I have set a goal for myself to post on here once a week for the rest of the year. I still have the Spartan race in November and plenty of random thoughts still in my head waiting to be blogged about, but for now here is race recap #13!


Here it is almost one-week post challenge and I have not even written about it! I did it, I ran 13 half marathons in 2013 and its only September! It is a little surreal to be writing this post, its amazing how fast it came, but at the same time how long ago it was that I stood in Central Park freezing my A** off!

My final race was not my best, actually overall it was one of my roughest races, but the fact that it was my last one, I made the best of it.

Boston 13.1 was held in East Boston. The venue was very organized and simple to get to. There were tons of bathrooms and pretty good swag. The course was very flat, almost too flat, I know I know crazy to say, but when courses have no elevation at all, my knees start to bother me, my feet hurt, etc. I like a little rolling hill mixed into any course. The course itself was very scenic, awesome ocean views and the weather was perfect! This was a BIG race, there were close to 1500 runners. As for spectating, I had a good crew to cheer me on in the final race and there were plenty of viewing spots for them.

Post race, there was much buzz about the beer garden and band that would be playing, BUT they couldn’t serve or open the garden until 10:30! It was a bummer, but decided to stick it out. By the time, I changed and recharged a little bit, it wasn’t that long of a wait. The post race party was great EXCEPT that each runner was given a beer ticket, great right? Of course, but no one else was able to drink beer. Meaning my cheering crew had to stand and watch me drink my one beer. I had never seen anything like it, and for such a bit post race party no one was staying around. It seemed like such a waste, who wants to stand around while one person drinks? Not us!


We decided to venture out in the neighborhood and found a decent brunch spot, toasted with Bloody Mary’s and had a great morning.  Overall, the Boston 13.1 was a good race; I would definitely consider it again!

So this is it, my last race recap…it really feels like the day after Christmas, as much as I was looking forward to accomplishing this goal, I am sad that its over. So while I plan on recapping the year (within the next week, really!) and doing a few more posts to wrap this up and maybe brainstorm a few ideas as to what is next, until then…


Run On-


12 down…1 to go! Run to the Rock Recap


Plymouth Rock!

So I am really dropping the ball with blogging, I just finished race number 12 and barely had time to write this! I have enjoyed doing this blog, but I am afraid it may need to be put on a shelf after I run number 13, but I do want to see this challenge through including blogging about it!

The Run to the Rock was a nice race, it was great weather and with one race left, I can say the weather gods were on my side for most of my runs. The race was in Plymouth and there was a disclaimer when signing up, that there would be hills and hill training was recommended. I wasn’t too worried, but they held true to their word. The course was challenging, but I would say all hills were short enough not to mess with my mind too much, there were just ALOT of them. It really didn’t flatten out until mile 9/10. The course itself was scenic with the first 6 miles in the Miles Standish Park which was pretty boring, but the roads were closed so I will not complain too much. Once we got closer to town, spectators started popping up and finally when I saw the ocean, I knew the rock was close.


The downside to this race was the start organization. While not giving an exact address to the start (just said College Pond) there were many of us driving down a dirt road completely lost. Luckily with plenty of time to regroup, we found it. There were no signs and the general lay out was disorganized. The finish area was much more organized with post race refreshments and swag. I did like that they gave the t-shirts out AFTER the race, I think this makes it a little more valuable and allows runners to earn their shirt.

matt and shannon

Overall, I had a good race, as I have mentioned in previous posts (the few I have written!) I have had a busy August with lots of fun events. Those fun events definitely took a toll on my body and I have felt sluggish, but it seems the race woke up the muscles and reminded them they can run a comfortable race. So while it was not my fastest, I thought it was going to be alot worse. Here we go, I really can’t believe its here, number 13 this Sunday.  I have been thinking about this race since I ran around Manhattan in sub zero temps back in January, I am very excited and to make it even better in my own city.

Boston 13. 1, here I come!

Run On-

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Lovin’ My Vita-Mix


So while 30 was not a birthday I was looking forward to, I did get a Vita-mix for my birthday which did soften the blow of feeling really old.

I have been eyeing the Vita-mix for a few years, but could not bring myself to spend that much on a blender, but my family grouped together and all went in on Vita-mix Turboblend Two Speed. You may remember my Smoothie Quest during Lent and I continue to make smoothies to get a boost of fruits and veggies in one hit. Was it worth the wait and the cost?

ABSOLUTELY! I love the thing, my husband was skeptical that it really could be that much different than our old Oster 10 Speed, but I made him a believer after my first batch of Pina Coladas.

The Vita-Mix is easy to clean and is built to last, there is no unscrewing the bottom or taking it all apart to clean it. The one down side…its huge! The base requires a small crane to get it out (probably due to the powerful motor) and is too big to keep on the counter, but a minor complaint for all the good things it does!

I have only ventured into smoothies and Pina Coladas, but there are still alot of things I am excited to blend, heck I think this thing could make a whole meal if I put my mind to it.

So the bottom line, if you blend alot of things, a Vita-Mix is worth it!

Here is my latest smoothie thanks to Cooking Light:

1 Mango peeled and sliced (I freeze it the night before)

3-4 Ice Cubes

3/4 Cup Non-fat Vanilla Yogurt

1/2 cup Skim milk

1/2 Tbsp Honey

Sprinkle of Flax Seed

A little water depending on what consistency you like

Blend all together and enjoy!

Run On-


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I Would Walk 500 Miles…

…I mean run 500 miles!

As the next topic on hand from the Run with an Idea discussion group, we are talking about walking during a race. As in, can you call yourself a runner if you take walk breaks? I was excited for this one, as my opinion has changed over time and currently am in the camp of walking having a very small place in a road race.

When I started distance running, I did a run/walk training style. This was more for boredom than actual endurance and helped pass the miles. Over time, I would walk about a minute every half hour or usually when I needed a snack. Overtime, my comfort in running for long periods of time increased and the walking was phased out. Currently, I do not walk during a training run or race. I believe that if I am paying to run in a road race, I need to run.

While the above reflects my personal idea of the run walk/debate in my training, as a personal trainer I have a very different opinion. I don’t like being on both sides of the fence especially for this discussion group, but honestly if I believed in the above with my clients and others I have helped finish their first race I would not be very successful. Its all about the effort put in. I thought this quote from Runners World was very fitting coming in the other day:

“You don’t have to be elite to be a runner. It’s all about setting a target, giving your best effort to achieve it, and being proud of whatever that effort results in.”

So while I see people completing their race with the run/walk technique its all about the pride and effort put in and if that is what it takes to get them that, then I think walking does have its place.  I DON’T agree with those that sign up for a race and put zero effort into the training and then walk their race.

So what do you think, does walking have a place in the running world??

Please join the discussion and share your thoughts, there are some great prizes for the best comments!

Run On-


In My Next 30 Years…

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 7.42.17 PM

The day is here, well almost, but tomorrow I will be leaving my 20’s in the dust. A few weeks ago, I confirmed my registration for my final half for this year and the above image is what came back. My first reaction? There was a typo, I am not in the 30-34 age group, but then I realized I will be finishing my 13, 13.1’s in a different age group.

Am I am feeling old? sad? A little…but I am lucky to have people all around me that live by the great song lyrics of Jimmy Buffett that we are growing older, but not up. So here goes nothing, 30 here I come. I am pretty proud of what I have done for my first 30 years on this planet, many things that I would have never seen written in my cards, but every experience has brought me to where I am now, and that is pretty content and excited for what is next.

Run On-

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Back to reality…


So here I am back from 10 days in Key West and it sure is HARD to get back into the swing of things. The theme of this weeks workouts is “regrouping” and by that, I am slowly easing back into the workouts and then next week I plan to really amp it up. While I loved my trip, I really enjoyed all aspects including no workouts (besides swimming in the pool) and eating what I felt like…oh and there may have been a large  amount few drinks consumed. On top of getting back from vacation, I am fighting an awful summer cold, which I feel has just made me feel even more in a funk. By Friday I will be back in full fitness mode!

Day 1 of regrouping:

I did this more for my cold due to being stuffed up, but it went well overall and felt AMAZING to move again!

30 minute walk/run interval

5 min walk/5 min run moderate pace

4 min walk/5 min run moderate pace

3 min walk/5 min run moderate/vig pace

2 min walk/ 1 min race pace

Run On-

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Cleanse? No thanks!

I missed the original deadline for the 3rd discussion on Run with an Idea, I did want to share my thoughts, as I had just recently shared my experience with a liver cleanse. I can say very strongly that I am on Team HYPE side. While I think there can be some benefits to “resetting” your body, there really is never a reason to eat or drink only one type of food. I am still open to finding one that “really” makes me feel cleansed, but until then, I am skeptical. Here are a few reasons:

When has a human only eaten one type of food or only drink a liquid? When food was scarce there was still variety, there was a mix of protein, grains, etc. Of course there is different balances for different lifestyles, but still our bodies need many different nutrients from many different sources.

As someone who works out for over an hour a day, a cleanse is really hard to do. When I did mine, I am not really sure how I didn’t pass out, my energy was so low I knew it was doing more harm that good to my muscles.

How many people really stay reset AFTER a cleanse? Meaning, I have seen alot of my friend try different cleanses and while they loose 5lb in 2 days or what not, once the cleanse is over…back to their normal diet, which is not always the greatest.

As I said I am game to trying others especially if there is one for very active people…but for now I will stick with clean eating and living!

If you have been following the Run With an Idea series, it is a series of bi-weekly opinion blogs aimed to stimulate debate across a wide variety of bloggers covering a vast demographic and covering a range of health and fitness-related topics from the banal to the essential. We want to get you thinking about how opinions vary across the bloggosphere and we want to encourage you to openly discuss and debate at length. Share ideas. Share opinions. Debate is healthy.

Discussion is encouraged and REWARDED, check out below for this weeks giveaway:

The Innocent Smoothie Recipe Book has 57 (and a half!) delicious recipes for smoothies and juices, from old favourites to new recipes from proper foodies like Jamie Oliver. If you are curious about juicing or just want some new drink ideas, then this is a brilliant book for you.

Entering the competition couldn’t be easier, simply leave a comment on any one of our bloggers’ Juice Cleanse debate posts letting them know what you think. You can find a list of all the posts at our Link Up here

T’s & C’s 
No purchase necessary. To be a valid ‘entry’ a comment must be submitted & published on any of the blogs listed in the InLinkz link up of our third debate before the closing date – publishing of comments is at the blog owner’s discretion. Giveaway period starts Friday 6th August 2013 6:00 am GMT and ends Tuesday 20th  August 2013 at 11:59 pm GMT. No geographical restrictions – the entire world counts! One copy of the Innocent Smoothie Recipe Book available with a £12.99 value, no cash alternative. The winner will be selected by means of a vote by all of the bloggers involved in this debate which will be carried out on our top secret Facebook planning & discussion group. Winner will be published via this blog no earlier than the giveaway deadline and no later than Thursday 22nd August 2013 6:00 pm GMT.

Run On-


A Severe case of the “Keys Disease”

In just 24 hours the disease I suffer with year round will be temporally alleviated…don’t be alarmed, its only a case of the “Keys Disease”, which is my need to be in Key West as often as possible and never feel my time there is long enough. While I will probably always be longing to get down there for my next vacation, I am very fortunate that I get to travel there multiple times in a year or stay for extended times. So why Key West?

Decorating my house from top to bottom in Key West decor helps alleviate symptoms...

Decorating my house from top to bottom in Key West decor helps alleviate symptoms…

For those that have been there, you know it is a colorful place that offers probably the closest thing to true relaxation. You get to be exactly who you are and not worry one bit about the outfit you have on or if your hair is severely frizzing with the heavy humidity. I think this is one of the main reasons I wanted to be married there. Who wouldn’t want to be married in a place that you truly get to be who you are and feel relaxed?  People are nice, for the most part it is reasonably priced and safe, and here is the secret that I think people miss out on: while it has every aspect of truly being an island in the tropics….you are still in the good ol’ US of A. From Boston, we are in Key West in 5 hours, no passport needed. Don’t get me wrong there are still plenty of places in the tropics I want to explore, but Key West has become familiar to us, we don’t need a map and well when the island is only 3 miles long, we have covered it all.


To those that love to being “doing” alot on vacation, Key West might not be for you. We are the type of travelers that like to experience the local feel and do our own thing, resorts and all inclusive are not for us. This is where Key West suits us perfectly. We are able to rent a condo and go out to eat when we want, but also cook at home. We are close to local establishments and bike to where ever we feel like.

So if you are thinking about Key West for your next vacation here are some things to keep in mind:

  • There are beaches in Key West, in fact Smathers was rated one of the best in the world, but overall, beaches are not the main attraction.
  • Key West is not so kid friendly. We see families down there often, but there is not alot for them to do and honestly some places are better left for adults only.
  • The island is small but there is Old Town and New Town. You will find very cheap hotels in New Town, but you will be bummed as you won’t feel like you are on an island. Old Town is the place to stay to be close to different attractions, bars, and restaurants.
  • Here is my favorite…open containers are OK…kinda…while it is not officially ok to drink on the streets, bars will give you a drink to go. Its amazing. We walk everywhere when we are there, so of course we never mix drinking and driving. There is nothing like a roadie to get your day going.

All in all, check out Key West. You can get rested and relaxed in 3 days or 3 weeks. You can sit under a palm tree and read or head to Duval to drink up the social scene. Key West…here I come!

Run On-

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What am I Listening to Right Now?


I thought it would be fun to share exactly what I listened to on my last run. I am ALWAYS looking for music ideas from others. Mostly to use for my spin classes, but in general I find alot of good tunes from word of mouth. Alot of people tell me my workout music is random and for the most part it is, but I think that is what keeps it interesting. I can’t listen to one style for too long, so here is what was on the list for my 8 miler this past weekend:

One of those Nights- Tim McGraw

Out of Our Heads- Dropkick Murphys

Hall of Fame- The Script/ Will. I. Am

#Beautiful- Mariah Carey

My City of Ruins-Bruce Springsteen

Runaway Baby-Bruno Mars

Island Song- Zac Brown Band

Next to Me-Emili Sande

Thunder Road- Bruce Springsteen

Rose Tattoo- Dropkick Murphys

Growing Older but not Up-Jimmy Buffett

When I see this Bar- Kenny Chesney

Blurred Lines- Robin Thicke

5-1-5-0 Dierks Bentley

Zumba- Don Omar

Off to See the Lizard- Jimmy Buffett

Wagon Wheel- Old Crow Medicine Show

Love On Top-Beyonce

Iko Iko- Captain Jack

Empty Sky-Bruce Springsteen

Americano-Lady Gaga

I told you it was random! What was on your last playlist?


Motivate Me Monday!

Its Monday and I am 3 days from vacation, motivation is needed! Have a great day!

“Running along our journey doesn’t only teach us how to keep moving forward through what life throws at us, it also makes us into the best version of ourselves.”

-Ashley Erickson, freelance fitness writer/editor


-Run On

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