Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Comfortably Uncomfortable

Recently, I caught a post that read something to the effect of, “if you’re in a running funk, go outside and run in challenging/harsh weather….that will make you feel badass”.  I wish I could remember who posted, so I could thank them properly.  Today was that day for me.

Enter…challenging/harsh weather:


I’ve been struggling with my Monday through Friday running schedule, which hasn't helped my fitness or my confidence.  Long commutes, trainings/meetings, long commutes.  Rinse and repeat.  I can most certainly jump on my treadmill when I eventually return home, but by 7:00 pm, I’m toast.  I did get two stints on the treadmill this week, in preparation for my long run today.  Then I awoke to the frigid weather.  No fear….layers are here!

I layered up tops, bottoms, and even put the fleece inserts in my mittens.  Facemask, new winter hat, and some additional face protection (lube) rounded out the preparation.  I had a course charted that would keep me fairly close to home at all times.  I’m not usually a “cut my run short” girl, but I like to be cautious with that anyway.  Before any over thinking could take place, I took off.  First loop:  six miles.  Second loop:  eight miles.

It took me two miles to warm up.  Not too bad.  Somewhere in mile three, I saw another runner.  Yay, I thought, I’m not the only crazy runner out today!  Runner wave, quick hello, and probably each thought the other was completely badass.  Yes, I’ve trained my inner voice very well.  As I finished up the first six miles, I continued on past my house – definitely had no intention of stopping for any reason.  Just too cold!  Now I had the eight mile loop to contend with.

Most of my run was honestly OK.  I was cold at times, but I had layered well and my facemask did its job.  It froze up, creating a nice “face cave’ for me.  My fingers and toes had completely warmed up and were in it for the long haul.  The wind was sporadic, but usually I had some protection.  Usually.

During miles nine to ten-ish, I stumbled upon all of the wind tunnel areas (no protection, sheer wind, brrr).  I got very cold again and just worked hard to keep my pace and keep warm-ish.  I wasn’t going fast, but figured the faster I ran, the faster I got home, and the faster I could warm up.  During these miles, I also got a little tired and hungry.  I had packed a second GU (took one at mile five), but seriously, I was just too cold to deal with opening the bloody thing!  By now, my Gatorade had developed into a “frozen margarita” consistency.  Alcohol…hmm, that surely would’ve warmed me up.  Note to self.

All in all, I describe this fourteen miler as a “comfortably uncomfortable” run.  The cold and wind were harsh and uncomfortable.  The frozen Gatorade a slight annoyance.  But not the worst run I’ve ever had.  A combination of preparing physically (i.e. layering up) and preparing mentally (i.e. getting my brain around the cold) was the key to today’s successful run.  And the key to strengthening my “badass runner” image.  I’m comfortable with that.


Monday, January 12, 2015

What’s in YOUR rear view mirror?


Bella and I supporting Scott on his longest run since the ankle injury.   Go Scott!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mindfulness

A friend asked me recently if I had any goals for the new year.  Although I do prefer the term ‘goals’ over the term ‘resolutions’, I answered, “No, not really”.  Of course, I resolve to accomplish the most precious core goals always:
  • Be a good person
  • Be kind
  • Be genuine
2014 held that crazy, wonderful, scary, exhilarating goal of completing Ghost Train 100 miler.  As far as running is concerned, what could possibly top that?

If I had to choose a goal to strive towards this year, it would have to be to the practice of mindfulness.  Mindfulness is "the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment" (Wikipedia).  And ideally, an ultimate result of this practice would be to turn the practice into normal behavior moving forward….

I translate that goal into the following actions:
  • Be in the moment
  • Allow myself to be so engaged in who I’m with that time just flies
  • Be less attached to social media (i.e. the mindless scrolling/refresh)
  • Listen more than I talk

Honestly, running goals are easier.  Even 100 mile goals!  But I’m sure going to give it a try.  Wish me luck!

Any 2015 goals you’d like to share?




Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: Conquered Doubt

Setting goals is a normal part of starting a new year.  But reflecting on the past year can provide learnings and motivation to do bigger or better things.  Most importantly, reflecting provides the opportunity to celebrate doubts conquered and goals achieved.  In that spirit, Scott compiled some earlier video clips from 2014 into this one to celebrate three major goals met this year:  

Meaghan at her first Ironman (Lake Placid)
Carrie at her first 50 miler (VT50)
Me at my first 100 miler (Ghost Train)

I was honored to witness greatness in my friends’ accomplishments, thankful to celebrate my own accomplishment, and grateful to have such a thoughtful and creative Scott to capture the memories so eloquently.  Hope you enjoy!



HAPPY NEW YEAR!




Saturday, December 27, 2014

Increased laundry – bring it!

Yes, that’s what I said.  Because ‘increased laundry’ means that Scott is running again!  Albeit slow and very low mileage, he’s been able to run outside (on trails) as well as on the treadmill at home and at physical therapy.  Progress!!!

Scott's also been experimenting with his new GoPro, so here's his first run on Christmas morning -


It all went very bad in late September.  That Saturday morning, we were heading up to Vermont so Scott could kill the VT50 race he had been training so hard and so well for.  But it would not be.  Just before our road trip, he went out on a shakeout run and severely sprained his ankle. 


Not realizing how badly it was sprained or that other tendons and ligaments might be involved, Scott continued to use his ankle.  He couldn’t run, but he could walk.  So he did.  As the weeks passed with no improvement to his pain or swelling, he relented and consulted an Orthopedic/Sports Medicine specialist.  Enter….the boot.


This has been Scott’s first major injury since….forever.  But it’s been tough.  It’s hard to sit out two major races (VT50 of course, but he was also planning to run StoneCat50), especially when he was so well trained.  He was also such a trooper playing the role of Crew Chief for my Ghost Train 100 miler, even though his plan to run me in was thwarted by the ankle injury.

So bring on the additional shorts, shirts, socks, hats, mittens….bring it on!  I’ve missed my running partner in crime and have felt his disappointment with and for him over the last three months.  Healing is never fast enough, but it appears he’s heading in the right direction!  Time to buy some more Tide to keep up with it all!


Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 in pictures

January
Sooo colddddd
February
20 miler in a snowstorm!
March
Registered!!
Mexico
April
First ever blogger meet up/run with Michelle
Poor mom fell at work
May
Pineland Farms 50K with Carrie
June
Key West birthday & anniversary celebration!
Gorgeous shot off of Southernmost Point, Key West FL
July
Meaghan killed Ironman Lake Placid!
August
TARC Summer Classic 50K with new friend Heather
September
Poor Bella injured her paw
Poor Scott injured his ankle
October
Mom's Retirement Dinner
Ghost Train 100 Mile Finish!!
My amazing Ghost Train Crew - best friends ever!
November
Wolf Hollow 1/2 Marathon Trail Race

December
Christmas Spirit with Mom!

2014 was a great year.  Excited to see what 2015 has in store....

Do you have any big 2015 plans?


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Spirit

It’s no secret that, over the years, I’ve become less spirited and more Grinch like.  I do try to find the Christmas spirit, but when you’re not religious and you’re not a parent, some of the glitter of the holidays seems a bit dulled.

I abhor malls and prefer to do any shopping online.  Mostly, I love to give gifts that are handmade or are a result of sharing my time.  Sharing myself.  A couple weeks ago, Mom and I had plans to see The Nutcracker in Boston.  Mom got the tickets and we were excited to not only see the show, but to also spend the afternoon together.  The day before the show, Mom picked up a major plague that left her unable to function, let alone go into town for a show.  She found someone who could use the tickets and went back to bed.  I went out with Scott and bought furniture.  But I digress….

Fortunately, Mom and I also had another plan to spend some quality Christmas time together.  This past Saturday, we got together at my house and spent a solid seven hours baking and decorating cookies.  We enjoyed egg nog and Christmas music, we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” and Chevy Chase “Christmas Vacation”, we poured Bailey’s…..


By the evening, we had created approximately 350 cookies, covered any and all topics of conversation, took fun pictures, and just enjoyed being together. 

Today, Mom baked her famous whoopie pies and delivered a gift box filled with the yummy treat to my house especially for our nephew Matthew.  She won’t see Matthew this Christmas, but knows how much he enjoys them.  Later this evening, she made a second trip by my house to deliver the awesome dinosaur she found to top the gift.  Matthew really digs his whoopie pies and dinosaurs!


This Christmas season has had its ups and downs, its chaos (especially since my new office is located directly across the street from a major mall), and some moments of Grinch-itis, but thanks to Mom, I’m officially in the Christmas spirit now.  With Christmas Eve tomorrow, I certainly cut it close.  But I say, better late than never!

Merry Christmas Friends!