#MarathonRunnerProblems

1. You’ve become a total lightweight. “Long Run Saturdays” keep you from drinking on Friday night and make you dehydrated and exhausted before you even sip your first beer on Saturday night. This could also be related to turning 25 but I’m going to blame running for the time being.

2. On the nights you do make it out for a drink, wearing heels is not an option. You trade in the killer pumps for the sensible wedge boots. Problem solved? Not quite. You now have to use two hands to squeeze and zip said boots up around your exponentially larger calf muscles.

3. You have to explain to the woman doing your pedicure why one of your big toe nails is a yellowish green color, and why your skinny jeans won’t roll up over your calves (see previous problem).

4. You feel zero guilt eating a bagel for breakfast and pasta for dinner. Which sure, doesn’t really seem like a problem, but it’ll quickly become one when you’re no longer logging 30-40 miles a week.

5. Hydration takes priority over any fashion sense you once had. Add all the handy compartments you want. Call it a fuel belt. No matter how you spin it, you’re now rocking a fanny pack.

5b. Body temperature also takes priority over fashion sense. That says a lot coming from the girl who stood in line at bars without a jacket in sub-freezing temperatures just to look cute. When it comes to long distance running, a comfortable body temp trump looks every time. On early morning runs, I don’t mind resembling a ninja -robber hybrid or  wearing more layers than I do at a mountain summit. When it’s warmer out, I shamelessly rock the “sweatshirt tied around the waist” look circa 1995. 

6. You swapped the cute trendy neon pink Nike’s for the running shoes that provide the best arch support and are tailor fitted to your feet. (Still couldn’t resist asking if they came in any cuter colors though. They don’t.)

7. You expect people to know what you’re talking about when you use words like “bandit” “roller” and “PR”. They don’t.

8. You get more excited over a sale at City Sports than J.Crew. Thermal fleece tights ain’t cheap!

9. You can’t walk into a restaurant or store without contemplating the best way to solicit the cashier for a gift card or raffle item for your fundraiser.

10. In addition to losing you to your love affair with logging miles, your boyfriend is also forced to fake interest as you spend every night spewing history tidbits and fun facts from 26.2 Miles to Boston at him. (But seriously,if you’re running Boston and haven’t read this book, buy it now. I can’t put it down.)

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“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

AfricanProverb

Check out my recent post over on the Running for Rare Diseases blog

Case of the Mondays Motivation

This morning was a true test of will power to get out of bed and squeeze in a run before work. I’d taken a few days off from running and it’s always hard getting back into the swing of things…plus it’s freezing outside…plus it’s Monday, and not just any old Monday but a Monday that most people have off.  I tried not to think about my friends sleeping in late in their comfy, warm beds, and instead thought about the half marathon I’m running in less than three weeks. I’ll be in San Fran (more on that later) and signed up for the Golden Gate Trail Run with my best friend who lives out there. From everything we’ve read/heard, the course is a BEAST. The fear this course has instilled in me was enough to finally get me out of bed this morning, but in case you’re not into using fear tactics to motivate yourself, I’ve put together a playlist of songs that always push me to go that extra mile:

(Apologies in advance for the profanity ridden, offensive lyrics – I can’t help it if dirty rap beats are what keep my feet moving…)

I am running the 2014 Boston Marathon.

That sentence still doesn’t seem real to me. I’m not sure when exactly it will sink in – maybe at the starting line? Running a marathon is something I never in a million years thought I’d be able to do or have the desire to do. And it probably still wouldn’t be if it weren’t for the members of the Genzyme Running Team (GRT).

I started working with them last February, coordinating the annual Rare Disease Day Relay Run. At that point I was not a runner by any means, but somehow they convinced me to run the last leg of the relay, a 5k. Though I couldn’t consistently run the full distance in the few practice runs I went on,  I managed to run the 3.1 miles without any trouble on Rare Disease Day. That was the first time I realized the adrenaline and energy from a group of motivated people running for a cause greater than themselves can push you to accomplish far more than you think you can.

I helped them organize fundraiser events and other projects leading up to the Boston Marathon – the biggest being a dinner the Saturday night before the Marathon, hosting the runners and their families, patient partners and their families, and a few members of the Senior Leadership Team. Some members of the GRT gave remarks before dinner. I wouldn’t consider myself an emotional person but I found myself getting choked up as they spoke about  their fellow runners, their relationships with their patient partners, their experiences with the rare disease community, and the overall mission and accomplishments of the team. That’s when I realized the magnitude of what the GRT does and how it extends far beyond running 26.2 miles.

On Marathon Monday, after an early breakfast with the runners and patient partners, I wished the team good luck and headed back to my apartment close to the route. After plugging everyone’s bib number into an iPhone app to track where they were in the race, I walked down the street with my boyfriend and roommates to cheer at Mile 22. Growing up along the route, I had cheered on Boston Marathon runners since I was little, but I’d never known so many people running it or felt so close to the cause they were running for.

As each GRT bib ran past, I cheered, clapped and yelled for them whether they heard me through the crowds or not. After about half the team had ran by, I saw 2 GRT bibs coming towards me on the same side of the street I was on. It was Phil,the founder of the GRT and ultimately the push I needed to start running, and Shane, a rare disease patient and GRT community partner. Phil gave me a hug and the waterworks started again. My boyfriend looked at me and asked why in the world I was crying. I couldn’t quite put it into words but that’s when I knew, even before the tragedy at the finish line and scramble to account for everyone, that I had to be a larger part of this team. Never in my life have I met a more motivated, dedicated and inspiring group of people. I believed strongly in what they were doing, witnessed the positive impact they were making, and couldn’t settle for being a sideline cheerleader in 2014.

So that is how I got here. To waking up at 5 am to run in the snow in single digit weather (in a Santa hat, no less). To going back the gym after not having touched a treadmill in literally years. To anxiously waiting to find out who my patient partner will be. To figuring how to best leverage my birthday party to turn it into a fundraiser. To being a member of the 2014 Running for Rare Diseases Boston Marathon team. It might be the most challenging thing I’ve ever done but I think it’ll be equally as rewarding. So let the training begin (and get the tissues ready)!

Reflections on 2013

2013 was a great year. It was a year of change and a year of firsts. Looking back, I feel accomplished but also exhausted. A lot went down in the past 365 days.  I moved out of my apartment with two of my best girlfriends. I moved in with my boyfriend. We adopted a pup. I went on some great trips – birthday ski trip, NYC, Cape and even added a couple new countries to my passport (see here, here and here).  Two of my best friends moved to the other side of the country. I celebrated friends’ engagements, wedding and babies. I choreographed my first dance (which will be on stage in 3 weeks, ah!). I “became a runner”. I ran my first 5k in February. I ran my first actual race (bib, microchip  and all), then 5 more 5ks over the summer and then trained and completed my first half marathon in the fall. I also started this ‘ol thing, so I guess I can say I became a blogger too.

As the year comes to an end, I’m happy, content and grateful. That’s all you can ask for, so that’s my hope for the next 365. Cheers to a safe, happy and healthy 2014!

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Don’t Be a Grizzly Bear

After taking a two week break from running after my half, I got out for a short and what I thought would be easy 3 mile run. I quickly remembered running in cold weather is a whole different animal. Runny nose, cold air in your lungs and stiff muscles are going to take some time to adjust to. I also have to find a new routine now that dance has started back up and runs after work mean running in the dark (not a huge fan). I took for granted that an October race meant training in lovely summer and comfortable fall weather. A race in the spring will mean training in brutally cold New England winter weather.

This article  was exactly what I needed to read this week. I plan on taking their advice and buying some new running layers and possibly a gym membership to stay motivated, even though I hate the treadmill.

I’m off to NYC for a fun-filled weekend visiting high school friends and the boy’s family.  I hope you have a lovely weekend!

goodmorning-boston-beautiful-snow-cold-winterDon’t hibernate, motivate! (Sorry, had to.)

What do you do to fight the winter blues and stay active?

It Takes a Village

This gallery contains 8 photos.

The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind, to say the least. I don’t think I’ve had time to actually process anything and probably won’t for awhile because things don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon (in a good … Continue reading

What to Wear: Race Day

 I’m rarely dressed appropriately for the weather outside, especially in New England where it’s constantly changing. I usually just suck it up and freeze, sweat, get rained on, etc. but when it comes to running, that’s not really acceptable. Your body temperature and comfort level are so important. So for my upcoming race, I’ve been keeping an eye on the forecast and am opting for layers.

I tend to trust the expert brands and purchase pieces that claim they’re designed for running, like the capris and zip up below. If it’s a total scam -well, they got me good. I usually end up stopping at least once during my runs to fix my ponytail when it starts to fall out, so for race day, I’m rocking a hat ’cause ain’t nobody got time for that. And never underestimate the power of a good sports bra – brownie points for it matching your outfit.

Of course, the right shoe is key. I bought my Nike Lunarglide 5’s when I started training and love them. They are lightweight and breathable but offer the sturdy support I need. Make sure you do your research, consult an expert and find what works best for your feet, running style, etc.

If you’re like me and constantly debate what to wear when you run, you’re in luck. I found this nifty tool on Pinterest that, with a few selections about the weather conditions, it recommends what type of clothes/layers you should wear! Thank God for the inter-webs.

Race Day

Update: Playlist Fundraiser

With nearly a week left until my half, my runs are tapering off and it’s time to work out all the details. One thing I don’t have to worry about is putting together the perfect race day playlist. I asked my friends and family to do it for me and support Dana Farber Cancer Institute in the process. And boy, did they step up to the challenge!

On the list are some favorite go-to running songs, some middle school throwbacks (appropriate since I’ll be running past my middle, elementary and high schools), songs that will remind me of particular memories and probably make me laugh out loud, and some new songs I haven’t heard before. It’s quite the eclectic mix – rap, country, dance, pop and indie – and will definitely keep me distracted as I run, thinking about what song could be next.

Thank you soo much to everyone that donated. The support of the person behind each song will hopefully be just the motivation I need to keep going all 13.1! Most importantly, we already raised over $400 for Dana Farber. And it’s not too late to add a song to the list!

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Weekend Recap: Solar System, Soreness and Sales

How old is too old to go to Space Camp? I’m asking for a friend… But seriously, I’m a total nerd that’s been strangely fascinated by the Solar System (and dinosaurs) since I was little and the concept of space is something I’ll never be able to wrap my mind around. Thinking about what’s beyond what we have knowledge of and then what’s beyond that and that and that makes my head hurt. Point being, if you don’t see Gravity in 3D IMAX, you’re not doing it right. The plot was cheesy at points, but the visuals were ah-mazing and Sandra Bullock and George Clooney killed it.

I did my last long run this weekend before the half and I felt good – I can’t believe it’s already less than two weeks away! The main thing I’m worried about now isn’t the distance, but the hills. I can run for days in Boston along the Charles River because it’s literally at sea level, but looking at the race course I know there are a few hills that might be the death of me.

I’m not sure why I thought running 11 miles on Saturday then choreographing for 2 hours on Sunday and then taking a yoga class after not doing yoga in months would be a good idea, but I’m paying for it today. Everything hurts and if it’s possible to overdose on ibuprofen, I just might.

Even though I didn’t get the perk of having a long weekend, I was still able to cash in on some of the sweet Columbus Day sales this weekend. The Limited is offering 40% off everything and free shipping through today and you can save at DSW online through tomorrow using the code GOSHOESGO. You’re welcome.

It wasn’t until after I made my purchases that I realized I’m apparently really digging the equestrian trend. What’s more patriotic than buying riding pants and boots on Columbus Day? Maybe watching the Patriots have a killer comeback over the Saints last night? Check and check. #Merica

Columbus Day Sales - Equestrian Look