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Archive for March, 2012

Races, Races, Races

Aside from loving to run, I love racing.  None of my friends are runner, runners so the only time I get to test my speed is during races.  Problem, races cost money.  When you try to explain to people that you are paying to run you get a few funny looks.  I guess those funny looks make you doubt your spending.  Then again how is $60 on a race any different then spending $60 on dinner and drinks.  Are my morning excursions any worse than your evening ones?  Do I really warrant that look?

None the less, I still registered.  Twin Lights Half Marathon 5/12/2012 in Gloucester Massachusetts!  Two weeks before Boston’s run to remember; another half marathon. I love the half marathon distance.  Its long enough to warm up and still speed up.  Another reason why I’m excited for the Twin Light Half is because its a small race.  The race is capped at 1,000 runners.  That means no corrals, no waiting half an hour for a potty, no 10:40 AM start, no hour long bus ride several hours before the race.  Score!

This evening I did a post work run.  10.49 miles in 1hr26min for an 8:11 Pace.  The weather was perfect!  Perfect evening before our predicted snowstorm.  Why we’re getting a snowstorm after 70 degree weather?  Because its New England.

My splits (look at me getting technical) are a bit all over the place because some parts were on a trail, some had street lights, some I ran with Tony, some I ran with myself

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Total Miles for the day – 14.5 , 2 runs but more on that later

The Boston Marathon is sub 3 weeks away and I am having minor freak outs!

I know, I need to close my eyes, count to 3 and say my blessings.

I’ve been told that Boston Marathon is huge and to be prepared.  I got my packet in the mail to remind me just how close it is to the race.

Although there are only 9 corrals, it seems there are 23,999 or more runners.  We’re going to get close, real close… Sweating on each other yoga close.  I’ll be in the last corral with other charity runners sadly instead of 4-6 (estimate based on my recent running times).  I am incredibly gracious to be running for the Boston Medical Center; but a small yet very loud part of me is very anxious of the start.  I had a panic attack for several miles at Rock n Roll marathon when I started late due to a broken train with the slower pace runners.  I felt trapped, and my adrenaline rushed up!  Although, I think my fear of the crowd and ultimate desire to get away kept me running at a faster pace than what I would normally be running.  Maybe an overwhelming need to catch up to other runners will keep me motivated to run faster!

Now this athletes village thing and the bus thing is intriguing and yet frustrating at the same time.  Do I really want to drag my butt into Boston, onto a bus 3.5 hours before the marathon.  I might as well just run there and then run back in that time!  I find this athlete village exciting though.  I am contemplating having Tony (whose taking the day of in my honor ❤ ) drop me off instead.  Decisions, decisions..

I also found this mile by mile guide of the Boston marathon that’s making me pretty excited all over again.  Mile by Mile Boston Marathon Guide  Aside from potential knee pain of going downhill, my lack of gear or skill to know my pace and possibly the dullness of running through framingham and all those other places; the race seems easier than DC.  Maybe, just maybe, if its not insanely hot, and I’m not insanely hungry and cranky from being up several hours before the race, I can PR and go sub 3-24.  I like to dream big, or pretend.  Maybe I’m just on a high from despite having an stressed work day, I have not one but TWO GOOD runs.

Hi good runs, I missed you!  I feel like after DC all my runs have been mediocre at best due to me constantly feeling stressed that I have no time for anything.  Its okay, April 15th is almost here and in reality I only really have one week of work busyness left.

8:29 pace on a 3 incline… My fastest lunch time run yet on that incline.  It hurt, but I knew I wanted to de-stress and I felt much more pleasant as a human being afterwards.

6.9MPH, 8:41 pace on incline 2… I took it as an easy evening run.  I could have gone faster, but I wanted to not over-stress my body so I took it easier than I could have just to get in more final miles.  Overall I felt pretty good about running again.

Also, I’m back on the juice and by juice I mean high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring that can only taste so good from M&Ms. That might be why my runs went so well today.

They stopped having the M&M 240 calorie bags available in the snack closet.  They changed it for something healthier, almonds or something like that.  However, I realized that I can go up to the cafeteria and just raid the frozen yogurt toppings instead.  Although, if you fill up 3 little cups of these, the purpose of portion control might have been slightly defeated.

After my run, I decided Tony needed something special from me for coming home so late, lately.  I emailed him this.

Yes, in our household instead of sexting, we do sweatexting.  And by we, I mean me because I take full pride in the buckets of sweat I produce from just one hour of running.

Do you think you sweat a lot? A little? Just enough?

Do you have a guilty pleasure snack that makes your runs go faster?  Mine are M&Ms.  Milk chocolate M&Ms or chocolate covered acai berries.  Yum Yum.

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I wish i could be cool and post pictures of what I ate today; but I doubt anyone wants to see another photo of my microwaved frozen broccoli with ziti, marinara sauce and extra cheese.  I call it lazy hobo nuke ziti.  Pure culinary talent.

Or better yet my lunch of I’m too lazy to go outside and my stomach can’t handle any more cafeteria food this week so let me throw some baby spinach, orange peppers, 3 hard-boiled eggs and twice slices of bread and call that a balanced meal.  M&Ms are always an acceptable side.

No I’ll spare you the photos, I’m sure the description was bad enough.  Instead, I’ll post pictures of what I ate Tuesday.  I prefer Tuesdays over Wednesdays anyways.  Wednesdays are awful, Wednesdays are those days where you think o crap it’s not Thursday which means it’s nowhere near Friday.  Anyways back to Tuesday.

Its restaurant week in Boston.  From March 18 to 23 and March 25 to 30, 2012 Boston’s best restaurants will be offering tasty prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner for an incredible bargain:  2-course lunch for $15.12, 3-course lunch for $20.12, and 3-course dinner for $33.12.

This time we made reservation at Mistral.  Needless to say I was excited. Tony went  double steak while I went double salmon and my iPhone camera flash came along.  Our friends Brian and CJ came along but I spared them the wait of me fiddling with my Iphone so I can take photos of their food as well.

Our Appetizers arrived:

Beef Sirloin Carpaccio, Black Truffle Aïoli, Parmesan & Toasted Brioche

I don’t know the elegant name of this but basically its smoked salmon, avocado in a oil vinegar dressing.  Its amazing and you can call it anything you want.

Grilled 12oz Sirloin, “Potato Lyonnaise”, Port Wine Reduction, Gorgonzola Butter – Wine reduction sauce was decent but the cut of meat was too tough for my taste.  Good thing Tony was the one eating it. Even the photo makes it look disappointing.

Grilled Scottish Salmon, Cracked Mustard & Cider, House Cured Bacon, Beluga Lentils & Thyme – Also disappointing as I thought it would have a strong mustard flavor vs. butter but I guess the French do love their butter.

Luckily the dessert saved the meal back to amazing!  We picked two and went halfsies.

Classic Profiteroles with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Dark Chocolate Sauce and Pistachio Croquant

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Candied Nuts & Salted Caramel

Does your city do restaurant week?  Do you partake??  We always try to do one place that we want to check out and where the entrée alone usually costs 33 bucks.  Its also a good excuse to get together with friends.

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After playing hooky on my long run this weekend, I tried to catch up a bit on Monday & Tuesday

Monday 14 miles 6 during lunch and 8 after work

The first run of Monday went well with an incline 3 and good average pace of 6.9MPH

The second run was a disappointment.  I got on the treadmill expecting to be flying after taking the weekend off for the most part with no 20-miler.  What  actually occurred was a struggle of 8 slow miles at 9 minutes pace on incline 2.  6:30PM start runs are rough for me on work days.  My afternoon lunch just isn’t enough, and a snack doesn’t help.  By 6:30 I’m want to be on the couch, not running.  My mentally completely broke me down and I quit as 8 instead of the planned 12 I was doing post work a few weeks ago (although that was a 5:30 PM).  No picture taken as I marched off (and by marched off I mean slowly staggered) of the treadmill in defeat.  Maybe I’ll pretend I’m on a 4 week taper for Boston.

Tuesday 12 miles 6.3 during lunch for speed interval training and 5.7 random miles post work

Finally a good, happy treadmill run!  I missed those.

Post work run was just a catch-up for the abandoned miles on Monday, but none the less went well enough.  Both were on incline 2.

Or maybe it was my new pink workout top from target that kept me happy on Tuesday. I have a sick love for pink and purple, the brighter the better if you haven’t noticed.

It’s funny how as soon as I started complaining about how hot outside it was; winter came crashing in with negative temperatures below zero after a week of 70s.

What did I do on Sunday instead of a long run?  I pretended that it was raining hard and went to brunch instead.  Bloody Marys are of course a requirement.

Shrimp & Avocado salad with endive, grapefruit, tarragon at Sportello, a Barbara Lynch restaurant that feels just like eating in your own kitchen.

The best part though is the bakery…

Baked goods like all things should always come in three (or that’s I tell myself) so of course I got a black berry macaron, a dark chocolate salted caramel cookie, and a dried cherries and walnut cookie.

And no, none of these things made it home with me by the end of the day.  But don’t worry, we’re all healthy here even the cat.

On Sunday I also checked out the Boston Crafts fair which was a complete waste of time unless you like paying $749.99 for a painted beer bottle cap.  Yup, I guess that’s some talented crafts right there.  Needless to say, I did not buy anything.

Do you feel guilty when you skip your weekend long run?

Are you still training, tapering, or going with the flow?

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On March 24th, before the horror of going through my first home inspection in the house buying process (which on a sidenote is really so not cheap!) I ran a 10K.

Malden Rotary 10K is an annual race that’s held every year in my humble city that’s within the Boston Metro Area right off the subway =)

There’s also a 5K which is a lot more popular and by popular I mean 187 runners vs. 117 runners.

I woke up at 8AM, annoyed that the race didn’t start until 11:40.  I have a deep hatred for late start races that break up your day and give you fours hours to eat crap before your run.  By the way, in case you didn’t know; giant apple turnovers are not ideal pre-race fuel. Even if they’re homemade and even if you’re only running 6 miles.

I thought about doing a long 20 mile run and ending with the 10K but I wanted to race my friends so I stayed home and grazed to harvest that energy in my legs (or so I used as my excuse).

 

I had this silly idea that it was warm and sunny outside.  12 hours ago I was walking around in flip-flops and a dress; how much different could weather be a night later.  Also, P.S. although it may look that way, I promise I do not live in a ski lodge!

I was so excited for this race that I convinced 5 other runners and nonrunners to sign up; 4 of which ran!  I have a deep appreciation of local events.  Tony skipped out because he wanted to be on time to our house inspection.  I decided if I run fast enough, I can do both =).

Chris & Steph ran their first 10K with me and I think I have some serious local competition!

My two other friends ran the 5K.  Because the 5K started 20 minutes after the 10K I missed seeing them pre-race.  However, I saw Ana at the 3 mile mark where the 5Kers met the 10Kers before I kept running.

Being a local race, the organization was the not the greatest.  There were two different start times 11:30 and 11:40 listed. The actual race started at 11:35 so to be safe we shivered a bit at the starting line.  I ended up running with the Puma long sleeve the whole time with no regrets!

This is the number one reason why I love local races, besides the lack of driving, I can feel special!  Two minutes short of first place and I kept up with that crazy fast girl for the first 3 miles and then I got lazy.  Can you hit a wall at mile 3 if its a 10K?  Steph finished right behind me!  Last year I ran the same race in 51:34 so I can’t be too upset with a 7:30 minute improvement on a 6 miler.

After the 10K, the draining inspection and a much-needed shower, my night only got better.  Tony’s parents took us all out for a belated Christmas present at Alfresco in Davis Square, Somerville.  I got the seafood linguine cooked to perfection.  None of the weird fishy after taste, no closed shells, just pure delicious perfection!

Sadly, there was no leftovers, but I still had plenty of room for desert!  Especially when its homemade baklava.

Also I forgot to post this earlier but while I was sweating it up at Bikram in a studio, this was happening outside:

I think Lululemon hosted yoga on Friday night at Copley square.  I love their colors, too bad Marshalls doesn’t carry Lululemon =( Dear Marshals, please rectify that immediately!

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Growing up ain’t easy…

When I was 16, I thought picking a college was the most complicated thing in the world.

When I was 20 I thought picking my first college job & finding an apartment was the most complicated thing in the world.

When I was 23, I thought quitting my job for a new job in a city I didn’t know I want to keep living in was complicated.

I’m 25 now and have reached a new definition of complication.  No, I’m not getting married, I’m not having a kid.  This is potentially a far greater commitment.  Buying a house.

Its terrifying!  It means giving up that dream of quitting my job to still go backpacking through South America, and Asia before its too late.  It means making my final implant into living in Boston, into living with Tony…

It means a lot more but mostly it means planting my feet further into adulthood. Am I ready for that?  Do I want to be?  I’ve always grown up fast.  Graduated high school at 16 and move out of my parents house, city and state to Boston.  Finished college at an age before I can legal hold a glass of champagne.  Those came more of necessity then want, but its just how things happened.  Now I’m in a position where I have to decide do I want this?  Am I ready to go into debt?  Am I ready to live in a house that is much more space then I need now nor intend to need in the next few years?  Do I want to be committed to something that will need constant fixing?

I love the house.  Correction I love the inside, but its an old Victorian from like 1890.  While the detail of it is beautiful; it was not maintained in the greatest way.  This house will require a lot of love, and by love I mean time and commitment.  Am I ready for a relationship with a house?  Am I ready to deal with a mortgage, real estate taxes, sewer fees, paint and all that fun that comes with a house.

Suddenly paying a condo fee in a city high-rise doesn’t seem so bad.

Sorry for the off topic post but I had some things floating in my head I wanted to get out.  10K results to follow!

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Malden 10K

Twas a brisk chilly midday.  10K crossed the finish line at some time around 43 minutes I think.  Waiting for official results!

Also, aside from being busy at work, I cut my run to just 10K because we’re home-buying! We did our inspection today and it was a bit frightening.

Anyone know of any good Victorian home renovation blogs/books etc. =)

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