Cross Training…Oh, the Irony!

I was so looking forward to my Fall races– a Half in Boston, the LBI 18 Miler, the Trenton Half and the Philly Marathon. I’ve already run 4 half marathons and some other races this year, so it was going to be a big racing year for me. I wanted to make sure I made it to the start of the marathon uninjured, so I’ve been doing a lot of cross training–lifting weights, swimming a bit and biking. I really love biking!

On Labor day, I went for a long ride with a couple of friends. It was a great ride! We did some exploring and covered about 25 miles in total. Unfortunately, at the end of the 24th mile, I made a turn a little too sharply and almost went down. In the process of trying to avoid falling my left foot got tangled in the bike frame and I jabbed the back of my leg on the bike sprocket, right above my heal. I couldn’t look at it because I feared what I would see, but my friend Cindy assured me it looked like I cut myself shaving. Determined to shake it off, I got back on my bike and finished the ride.

I took a picture of my injury before I cleaned it off and I’ll spare you from looking at the bloody, gross shot, but let me assure you it was bleeding profusely and was covered in bicycle grease. My biggest fear was that I would need stitches, so after cleaning off I waited for my dear hubby to come home and try to butterfly it. It seemed kind of deep and bled on and off for over a week.

The next day I was off to my primary doctor for a tetanus shot and then a foot/ankle specialist for followup. Both doctors assured me that I was fine and to take it easy but I could resume full activity as soon as I felt better.

On to Boston
Two weeks later I headed to Boston to visit my daughter and to run a half with her fiancé, Will. It was his first half and since I talked him into becoming a runner in the first place, I was excited to join him! I knew he would do so well!

It was very hard for me to admit, but I was not ready to run. I was still walking with a limp and hadn’t tried to run at all until we got out of our cab at the racetrack where the race would start and I tried to jog a bit. That did not go well.

Still refusing to give up, I switched to the 5K and headed to the start line. Attempting to jog to the start was eye-opening for me as I suddenly realized how difficult and painful that it was. The gun went off and the runners took off and I stood in place and had a little cry, as I realized I would not be running that race that day.

Off I went to find my daughter Jess and we had a fun time cheering the runners on as they passed by. I love how happy it makes runners when you read their names on their bibs and shout to them, “Go Michael! You can do this!” or “Nice job Sara, nice job!” It’s also kind of funny to see their looks of confusion as they are thinking, “do I know you?”.

Will did an awesome job running!! He finished in 1:47 and far surpassed his own expectations. I was not surprised, but so happy for him because I knew this wouldn’t be is last half. Even though prior to the race due to pre -race jitters, he had assured me that he would never do this again! That just made me chuckle because that’s what we all say!

After the race we headed to lunch. We walked around a bit (I hobbled) and we finally settled on a restaurant in Quincy Market. Before eating I headed upstairs to find a restroom to change out of my running clothes into something warmer. Right before the restroom door, it was dark and I neglected to see a small ramp. I stepped as if it was flat ground and felt my achilles pop, followed by intense pain. More irony!! I did not run, but ended up with a serious injury a few hours later walking to the bathroom!

Some shots from the race…

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Will at mile 4

InstaDiet: Pictures the Key to Diet Accountability

My weight and my diet are stuck in a rut. Overall the food I eat is pretty healthy. I’m not perfect, but I think most of it is minimally processed and full of fruits, veggies and whole grains. Most of my protein sources are not meat, although I go back in forth in that regard. My idea is to document my daily diet in photos. Today was the first day and I think it’s helping because it prevented me from eating some tortilla chips after work…I certainly didn’t want to post pictures of that. So here goes…

Day 1: April 17, 2014

1: My day started with a 4:30 am run of 6.5 miles. I had this iced coffee and 1/2 of an overly ripe banana before setting out. I made the coffee the night before with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk and a scoop of chocolate whey.

iced coffee

2: Next came my smoothie for breakfast. Into the vitamix went the following: 1/2 banana, baby kale, baby spinach, strawberries, pinapple, flax, chia seeds, cinnamon, PB2, vanilla whey and ice. I brought this to work with me and drank it at my desk.

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3: My Mid-morning snack was an apple and mozzarella stick.

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4: Lunch was minestrone soup from the cafe and salad. Salad had mixed baby greens, black beans, egg, radish, carrot, edamame and homemade Dijon vinaigrette

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(I “stole” 2 onion rings from a friend!)

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5: My mid-afternoon snack consisted of roasted red pepper hummus with carrots and celery.

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6: Dinner consisted of homemade chicken and shrimp fried rice. Assorted veggies, egg, brown rice, chicken and shrimp. Stir fry the whole thing together with coconut oil, fresh garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and a little sesame oil.

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Spring Forward

Spring is almost here! The clocks have sprung forward and the days feel a bit longer–at least the sun sets later. It’s been very hard this winter for me to get in a lot of quality running. First, I was injured and secondly, the weather has been so cold, snowy and icy!

In February, I ran my first of many races of the year at the Central Park Half Marathon. Together with about 20 of my fellow running club members, I ran the hills of Central Park to celebrate Kelley’s birthday. I almost backed out of this race due to my foot injury and my lack of training due to the injury. Fortunately, my husband, Ray, convinced me to run. It was a great day, especially since I ran the entire race with the birthday girl. We took turns slowing down for each other and supported each other to the finish!

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Up next is our club’s race, Shamrocks for Sandy on March 16th. Looking forward to dressing up in silly Irish attire and running with all of the gang!

Holiday Run Streak 2013

It’s day 32 (I think…it’s such a blur) and the official running streak has only 3 more days remaining. Although it’s Sunday and I usually do a long run with some of my running club pals, today I had to get my daughter, Kate, to the airport bright and early for her flight to her next destination. By the time I got home, it was raining pretty steadily and although I considered the treadmill for today’s run, I decided to put on a hat and get out there. At first I was only planning the requisite mile, but that turned into a little over two.

I participated in the holiday run streak last year and found it very challenging. This year, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I read a quote somewhere that said, “a run streak is a commitment that you make to yourself”. That is very true! I looked forward to each mile this year and felt better for the experience!

So as crazy as this may seem to many, I’m going to continue the run streak as long as it makes me feel this way! I hope that others decide to join me!

Happy running,
Maggie

Been there, done that!

It’s been a little over a month since I accomplished what I thought was a virtually unaccomplishable goal–I ran a marathon! Looking back now, I can’t help thinking, “what’s the big deal?” Having that thought, I can only think that this experience must be a lot like childbirth. Going into it I was terrified that I would die, during the training I was sure that I would die, during the race I wanted to die (really only the last 5-6 miles) and now that it’s all over I wonder when I can do it all over again! Crazy stuff!

The race itself was an awesome experience! I ran it with some of my favorite people, women from my running club SOL, who I trained with all summer. There we were, along with 30,000 other people running an epic race in our nation’s capitol. The fan support was absolutely spectacular–there were people cheering the entire 26.2 miles. They held the most entertaining signs and shouted “Run Like a Mother” (the saying on my shirt) to me over and over!

Approaching mile 20 at MCM

Approaching mile 20 at MCM

My favorite part of the race, was that my daughter Kate was there! She and her boyfriend Brendan woke up extra early on a Sunday morning to see my run. I first saw her at about mile 2, thanks to Kelley’s sharp eyes. I was surprised and so happy to see her again right before the bridge at mile 20–boy did seeing Kate at that point really help! I stopped and hugged her and we took some pictures together. I appreciate so much that she went out of her way, studied the “how to be a good spectator guide” and figured out the best spot to spectate and then fought the crowds on metro to see me run! I surely I shed a tear or two!

I walked a lot the last 5-6 miles and finished a lot slower than I expected 5:13:13, but overall, I would do it again. In fact, I’m thinking that will be Philly 2014, where I plan to get under 5 hours!!

SOL Sisters Before the race
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My First Marathon…Bring it On!

It’s been a long road, one that I wasn’t sure I was equipped to run, but here I am at Taper Week! I am READY! Ask me tomorrow or any of the remaining days preceding the Marine Corp Marathon and I might tell you differently, but today I feel READY! My running pals and I have trained for months, in all kinds of crazy hot and humid weather, hours before sunrise, all to prepare for the culmination of our efforts, which occurs one week from today!

How did this start? I always said I would NEVER run a marathon! and then I found this awesome group of women to run with, SOL– Southern Ocean Ladies Running Club. I actually heard them outside my open windows at 4:00-5:00 in the morning, before I knew who they were. And although I had been running for years, mostly by myself, but sometimes with one of my daughters, I was reluctant to join them. I mean who wakes up THAT early to run?

I bit the bullet and joined them and made the best decision of my life! I can’t imagine NOT waking up at 3:50 in the morning to meet these awesome ladies! It became a regular occurrence and one that I cherish! Running in the dark, chatting away, while the rest of the world sleeps is a great experience. We tell stories, laugh and support each other; it is really special.

I had run a couple of half marathons in the past years and when one of my running partners, Jen, told me I was ready for a marathon, I wasn’t so sure, but decided to give it a try. Several of the club members were planning on trying to get into the MCM and although I was afraid of the course, I would rather train and run with this group, then try to go it alone and run a different race. Plus, turning 50 this year was a pivotal time for me and I needed to do this! Trying to register was crazy, but we all got in!

All summer we trained and I felt like I was always trailing behind during our longer training runs. It was especially hard when we had to run for several hours. Even though we started before sunrise, there was still an hour or so in the hot sun that really sucked the life out of me. I really hated the hot and humid conditions in which we had to train. I found it distressing to be lagging behind everyone and running so slowly during a lot of our long runs. I need to remember that I am not a summer runner and just do the miles and shut up!!! My recent runs have made me feel better. The weather is cooler now and I still may lag behind a bit, but there is pep in my step and I’m confident that I can run a pace that I am happy with. I feel ready for MCM!

Next weekend will bring a big challange, but I am looking forward to experiencing it with some awesome women who have changed my life! Thanks Ladies! ❤

Post Run Recovery

When the long run is over, I feel as if I can’t do everything that I need and want to do fast enough! I am sweaty, salty and surprisingly chilly. I am thirsty and ravenous! My legs are sore and achy. I usually can’t decide what to do first. I want to be warm and clean, but I also need to food and drink. Those are my biggest concerns.

Here’s how I handled it today. My normal ankle pain flared up at about mile 11 of 13, but that wasn’t all. This time the arch of my other foot started hurting for the last couple of miles too. As I was running those last couple of miles, I decided that I would stick both my feet in an ice bath as soon as I got home.

So, I walked in the door, found a pretty pink bucket in my laundry room and filled it part way with cold water and ice.

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Once my feet were incredibly numb. I jumped in the shower and felt so much better. But I was still starving! This is the biggest problem post-run! I wish I could shower, eat and drink at the same time! I made some peanut sesame noodles for my meal and at last I felt so much better.

Next stop, compression sleeves on my calves and onto my back with my legs in the air. As crazy as this all seems, the goal is to make it to the start line of the Marine Corp Marathon on 10/27 and finish the race.

If you think this is such a grand production, you should see the pre-long run preparations!

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