28 7 / 2014

I thought I would be writing a very different race recap.

I had trained hard, put the miles and the cross training in, and it broke my heart and body to see my body rebel against me when I really wanted it to work it’s best.

Friday night was my first marathon… and it was awful.

I had prepared myself for running at night, by sleeping in a little and by taking an afternoon nap. I made sure to eat normally, but not to eat 3 hours before I started running. 

We got to the start line about 8pm, an hour before the race started. I got my number, started warming up, and tried to shake off a whole bunch of nerves. When the siren went off at 9 to send us on our way, I was pumped and ready to show everyone what I was capable of.

Lap 1 - 3, felt fantastic. I was on pace, I had finally found my groove, and I had made myself comfortable with the large construction project that was happening on Main Street (half of the side walk and road was closed, so it made that stretch a little like an obstacle course. I saw a few people step on some damp concrete.). 

Lap 4, I felt like I had a giant fire ball in my chest. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and when I tried to burp, I automatically felt like I was going to throw up. So I made the decision to stop and walk it off. It was here I met my first set of angels - a group of two guys who were doing the 24 hour ultra. They walked with me, and one of them offered me a few TUMS to try to settle my stomach. They told me that “it doesn’t matter how long it takes, you just need to finish your first one.” This was the first lap that I threw up on. 

Lap 5, I felt a little better after the TUMS so I decided to try to run a little. It was more like a waddle, especially when the fast marathon runners flew by me. Not going to lie, that totally broke my spirit a little bit, especially when I knew I had 3 more to go. I got sick about half way through this lap again, and walked the last lap.

Lap 6, Vomit. vomit everywhere. I just wanted to go to bed. By this time, it was 1:30am - which was when I really wanted to finish by. Seeing that time on the clock, and knowing I had not met my time goal really demolished me. Plus, I felt awful. I walked most of this lap, but tried to run the last mile in.

Lap 7 & 8.  These two are a blur for me. These were the laps that I met my second angel on, an ultra marathoner from Montreal, that had already run 33 miles. I felt awful, I was walking and he walked with me for a little. He asked if I wanted him to pace me, and I told him that I didn’t wnat to be the reason why he didn’t make his 100 miles or what ever his goal was. I told him about my stomach issues, and that all i wanted to do now was just go home and sleep.

He basically was like “you’ve run 20 miles, and you now want to go and sleep? you got this next 6.2 in the bag. Let’s do this.” About 2 miles into the last 6, I vomited again and told him to just keep going. He didn’t. He told me to keep walking, and that stopping was the WORST thing I could do. I kept apologizing (because I hate vomiting, and vomiting in front of someone is literally the worst thing), and he told me about all his horror stories of vomiting, kidney failure, how he had brain surgery last year and I guess it really put it into perspective for me. Everyone has awful thing happen, you just cant let it stop you.

By the time I was about to finish my last lap, I felt like I was running half awake. My stomach churned, I was shivering and hot at the same time, and all I wanted to do was collapse. I got about half way around the lake when I had to puke again. This time, I basically threw myself on the guard rail and puke over it… and I heard my timing chip snap. 

Sweet.

I just wanted to get it done. Ultra runner pacer was talking about something that I don’t even remember, but I remember when we circled the corner on Quanapowitt Parkway and he said “here is your time to shine. Leave it all out here, and go home and sleep.”

And I took off - I saw Blake, and reach out and hugged him before barreling down the timing chute. I looked at my chip and saw that it had snapped in half, and showed it to the guy who was handing out medals. 

"Does this mean my last lap won’t get logged?"

"Most likely"

"I did 8 laps though…"

"I know… congrats on your marathon."

He handed me a medal - and I just kinda looked at it.

Part of me was happy that I finally accomplished it. Part of me didn’t even want to look at it, because I was so defeated. I didn’t feel like I deserved it. It felt like my training was a waste, because I couldn’t even run like I had planned to.

I finished in 6 hours and 45 minutes - even though officially it only looks like I ran 7 laps in 6 hours and 1 minute.

I’ll be taking a week off for rest - since my stomach still fully hasn’t settled. Then, I’ll be back out hitting the pavement, training for the Marine Corps Marathon… or what I would like to call “my redemption”.

24 7 / 2014

It’s #TBT, so I thought what better way to celebrate than making a collage of pictures from my first 5K (left, 2012), first 10K (top, 2012) and first half marathon (bottom, 2013).
Why?
Because tomorrow, July 25th, at 9PM… I’ll be starting my first FULL marathon at the Marathon & Ultra Around the Lake, in Wakefield, MA!!
It’s been a true journey getting to this point, and I’m excited and nervous to see what running the full 26.2 miles will actually be like. I’ll make sure to keep you all updated once it’s done.
Talk to you again on the other side of 26.2!

It’s #TBT, so I thought what better way to celebrate than making a collage of pictures from my first 5K (left, 2012), first 10K (top, 2012) and first half marathon (bottom, 2013).

Why?

Because tomorrow, July 25th, at 9PM… I’ll be starting my first FULL marathon at the Marathon & Ultra Around the Lake, in Wakefield, MA!!

It’s been a true journey getting to this point, and I’m excited and nervous to see what running the full 26.2 miles will actually be like. I’ll make sure to keep you all updated once it’s done.

Talk to you again on the other side of 26.2!

23 7 / 2014

Last year, I had a chance to chat with Brett Maloley about his involvement in Office to Octagon – a nonprofit organization that takes people out of the cubicle and into the octagon in order to raise money and awareness for childhood obesity. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I chatted with Brett again… this time about his newest endeavor – Game Plan. He’s taking on the nutrition space, one challenge at a time.

Q: How did the idea for Game Plan come about?

A: Game Plan was built on the core belief that fitness professionals are better suited to refer nutrition than the guy behind the counter at the vitamin store. The nutritional supplement space in the US is a $25 billion industry that is almost completely de-regulated and sold to a consumer who has very little education on what they are buying. Game Plan exists to change that by educating and empowering fitness professionals to use our technology platform to refer customized Game Plans of our “banned substance free,” all natural products to their clients.

Read the rest of my interview with Brett here: http://www.competeeveryday.com/2014/07/whats-your-game-plan/

16 7 / 2014

27 6 / 2014

This past Wednesday, we had the award ceremony for Healthworks Workplace Warrior Challenge.

I just realized also, that I didn’t update my numbers.

Weight - stayed the same

Body fat - down 1%

Muscle Mass - up 1%

So, nothing too crazy happened number wise for me. A couple members on the team ended up losing 4lbs! I need to find out their secret!!

Well, all in all, we didn’t win the challenge.

Honestly, I don’t know who actually won the challenge, because they didn’t announce it at the “award” ceremony - which, was probably the most lackluster thing that I’ve experienced at Healthworks. I get that the Porter Square club didn’t have the winning team, but we were still ready to get a good workout and celebrate. The workout ended up being a Tabata, but the instructor didn’t quite instruct - but was really being lead by a tape. It was a little too reminiscent of a middle school gym class. After the workout, they quickly brought in some apples, bananas and coconut water, and told us that none of us won the grand prize, and the other official team at the club won the club competition, for having lost the most weight.

But, even though we didn’t win the super awesome prize, I still feel like we are a whole bunch of winners. Why? I made a bunch of friends with some coworkers who I normally wouldn’t have interacted with, without Workplace Warrior Challenge. Also, I learned how to incorporate some amazing classes into my marathon training, in order to add more cross training.

So, yes, I have a membership, and I’m figuring out how to work everything together. I plan on taking two classes regularly, and have Friday be a “swing” cross training day - and maybe taking an after work class then.

My first marathon is coming up in just ONE month.

AH.

Cue freakout now.

It’s 8:30PM on a Friday, and I’m here writing, watching Who’s Line is it Anyways and making sure that I get to bed around 9ish, so I can get up at 5:30 to run 18 miles.

The life of someone training for a marathon.

27 6 / 2014

So, this blog has mainly been around running, working out and my journey to adopting a healthier lifestyle. What is normally left out of most healthy lifestyle blogs is a large issue - women’s health.

This is not me getting on my soap box and telling you that you need to be either pro-life or pro-choice. This is me getting on my soap box, writing about the jarring and scary experience I just had walking into my annual gyno appointment. This is going to be long - so feel free to skip this post if you want!

The gyno that I know and trust is a physician at Planned Parenthood in Boston. I’ve been going to her since I left Boston University - the first time because I was uninsured, and have continued going back because I believe in the organization. I believe in giving EVERYONE the right to be healthy, have access to a clean and safe health facility, and the right to be seen by a doctor. 

Yesterday, the Supreme Court struck down the barrier law - which required protesters to stand 35 feet away from the entrances of Planned Parenthood facilities. Mind you, this was due to physical violence that had taken place around the entrances of these facilities, including a few deaths.

No one should be worried about being shot or accosted while on their way to put their feet in stirrups and have someone peer inside their nether regions.

My appointment was this morning. I had read on the news that this was a win for “Freedom of Speech” and made a mental note to prepare myself for something I hadn’t really dealt with before.

In my mind, I talked a big game - I would snap pictures, take video, talk back to anyone who started getting sassy.

That all changed. 

On my way in, I got out of the taxi a block away from the entrance of the facility. I stopped, to take a picture of the small crowd of protesters. image

There were 7 people outside this facility at 8:45am… defiantly standing inside the yellow line. I thought I would walk in there with my head held high, sashay a little and head right on in.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

When I started crossing the crosswalk, they all started to turn around and look at me. They first started walking towards me slowly, and then when they realized that I was planning on going in the doors, things escalated.

They started getting close to me, and making their way to the doorway.

The lady in pink yelled, “You don’t have to go in there.”

The man in the plaid said “The devil lives in there.”

The main in the center of the photo said “There are other ways. We can offer you freedom of consciousness, happiness and a healing.”

I couldn’t open the door fast enough. It wasn’t until I was going through the standard Planned Parenthood metal detector, that I noticed I was shaking.

The security guard noticed I was a little shaken up. He said that they had been out there since 6am, and also had bothered staff members. 

Here’s the thing about this - everyone has the right to freedom of speech, but that doesn’t give you the right to be an asshole and expect to come out of it with no consequences.

These people are BULLIES. I have the right to see my doctor. I have the right to go and get my lady parts checked out, without some old man telling me I’m going to go to hell. I don’t stand outside their doctors office and bother them when they are getting their annual check up. 

You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to keep my body healthy. We all should have the right to live in peace without being harassed. 

When I left, I actually hesitated before I opened the door to go back outside. I peered out the small window in the door, and noticed these two gentleman (in the bottom half of this picture).

image

The guy with the fetus sign started yelling. There was a woman who was crossing the same crosswalk I had earlier in the morning. From the door, this was all I could see.

When I opened the door, these two guys started shouting at me: “The Devil is in you now” (um creepy much?), and as I turned to make a left, there were about 10 other protesters, now flanked by reporters, 3 Boston policemen and a lady with a vest on. She must have seen my shock, and told me that she was the “escort” - and she walked me past the protesters and said good bye.

My head was down, shoulders up, sunglasses on.

Then I got angry.

How dare these people make me feel bad about myself. How dare they make me feel uncomfortable going to a damned doctors. You do not have the right to yell at me for not doing anything to you.

You have freedom of speech, not the freedom to be an asshole without consequence. 

The Devil does not live inside me - for right now, nothing actually lives inside of me except some natural occurring bacteria.

For the most part, I’m a pretty decent human being, and I try to live by the “Golden Rule” that you all seem to have forgotten:

"Do to others what you would want them to do to you"

I hope that no one - pro life or pro choice - has to go through what I went through. You have the right to your opinion, not the right to bully. 

So here I am, standing up for what I believe in… and standing up for those who have been accosted, shamed and bullied for simply going to a doctor. 

17 6 / 2014

Let me tell you something about marathon training… you are forced to come head to head with many things.

First off, the actual physical discomfort of running for 3 hours straight is something that you need to come to terms with pretty fast. I would be lying if I said my last 16 miler was truly fun. I work up at 5:30AM on a Sunday, was out on the road by 6AM, and spent almost 3 hours running in circles around Lake Q. Now, it’s a gorgeous loop, and my marathon is 8 loops around the lake, so running the loops makes me very familiar with where the uneven sidewalks and the potholes are. It’s nice to know that there is a water fountain just 1.5 miles away.

But the bigger thing I’ve had to come head to head with, are my thoughts. Even while listening to some upbeat pop songs for a good chunk of my run, my mind swiftly wanders from what I wanted to eat right after, to what I want to do for the rest of the day, to what went wrong in my last relationship.

The last one came out of the blue. All of a sudden “Part of Me” by Katy Perry (go ahead. Judge. Pandora totally knows when I’m on my long runs and it’s fantastic), and I remember the day when my ex started packing up his things and moved to NYC. He dumped me on the phone two days later, after 5 years of dating. Virtually all my friends from college swiftly disappeared from my life. 

Also, this thought process happened at like mile 12. Along with a massive blister that was forming right on my arch. 

I didn’t want to relive it. But, suddenly, I found myself at ease. Thinking about all the awesome thing that have happened in my life since then. I made tons of new friends, experienced the city and what New England has to offer, and I managed to turn my life from a six-pack-a-day to a 60 minute workout a day. I’ve met some of the most incredible people, including my boyfriend and his son. 

At mile 14, I have no idea what it was, but I almost started to cry. Let’s call it a mix of leg cramps, exhaustion and self realization.

At mile 16, I was at my front door. Smiling ear to ear. I was also wondering how the heck I was going to manage to walk up the flight of stairs into my apartment.

Other than that emotional breakthrough, I have truly realized the importance of cross training. I can tell that the harder I work in my run, and in a spin class or strength class, the better and more efficient I can move. I’m glad I got the membership, and I can’t wait to start balancing everything out.

Blake and I have been coming home from work and either playing catch or soccer, which has been a nice change from coming home and plopping down on the couch. Summertime really is my favorite time of year. Even if we don’t have air conditioning.

This weekend I run in my 3rd BAA 10K! Goal? Under 56 Minutes.

11 6 / 2014

Today, I decided to make a last minute decision and head to the gym by myself. I had thought about it yesterday (as you can see from my recap post below), but before bed I decided I really needed to sleep.

The alarm went off, and I changed my mind.

So off I went to Healthworks, to get a run in and try this “Tabata Core” class. I figured it was just 15 minutes, so it wouldn’t be too crazy.

Boy… was I wrong.

So I waltzed in, and we were asked to grab a mat and a pilates ball (I grabbed a 4lb ball).

We quickly started a 2 minute warm up of crunches. Then we head into full on tabata mode.

For those who have never done tabata before - the basis is simple: 20 seconds of hard work, 10 second rest. 

We did the workout in sets:

Set 1 (repeat 4 times):

  •  Reverse crunch (on your back, legs in table top with ball in between your legs, lift butt and chest to make a crunch) 20 seconds
  • 10 second rest
  • Weighted toe touches with 4lb ball - 20 seconds
  • 10 second rest

Set 2 (repeat 4 times)

  • Full body extension sit up with 4lb ball - 20 seconds
  • 10 second rest
  • This next one was something of a mix between a crunch and a bicycle kick. Take the weighted ball and start with your hands extended behind your head. With your legs in table top, extend one leg out, while crunching up with the ball. Bring your leg back into table top, while lowering yourself to the ground - 20 seconds
  • 10 second rest

Set 3 (repeat 4 times)

  • Side crunches - 20 seconds
  • 10 second straight crunch pulse (no resting time in this one0
  • Step out plank with legs - 20 seconds
  • 10 second hold plank
  • Step out plank with arms - 20 seconds
  • 10 second hold plank

So it doesn’t look like it would knock you on your butt… but it definitely did. It was quick, but it was hard work for every single second.

Will I take this class again? Heck yes.