Gardening & Fish Tacos

I know today was a successful day, it involved a 15 mile run, gardening and fish tacos with me being at home in PJs by 10.

I know, you think I’m possessed but it’s been anB exhaustingB week! B I’m old now, gone are the days where 5 hours of sleep was all I needed for the week. B Before I get to today, I’ll recap the rest of the week.

Wednesday was a 6 mile run plus Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones. Love JM beyond words! B I gave up on doing the ToneItUp workouts as I see them as ineffective for the amount of time I need to put it. B I prefer Jillian’s wam bam thank you pain style instead.

Thursday’s run seem easy with an incline of 2 (vs. 3) and my speed up 30 seconds less per mile (8:30 vs 9:00).

Tony and I went to Cirque Du Soleil Totem on Thursday night as well. B The show was fun but 3 hours long so we got home way past our work bedtime.

You can still get discounted tickets on Goldstar for a discounted price of $30 and it’s well worth it!

We were trying to figure out a cheap (relatively) place to get dinner in the Seaport area which was no easy task, luckily with yelp I found Yankee Lobster Co.

The scallops and shrimp was yummy but even Tony didn’t touch the haddock. B It tasted like rubber so if you go there skip the fish and chips (although the chips were yummy) and get the scallops and shrimp. B So good! B It’s also right next door to the HarpoonB BreweryB so if you have extra time and are in the area take a tour.

I also picked up some curried couscous from the farmer’s market and voila dinner was grand.

Friday I ran 11 miles and was not in pain. B I’m trying to make up for the lack of running last week due to Chicago heat and exploration desire. B I want to PR again at Providence next month. B I know the chances are slim since I PRed at my last two half marathon but I’m going to give it the old college try! B If not, I’ll just mark another state of my half marathon check list.

As for today… Well today was busy. It started with meeting with a contractor to go over bathroom additions. B (Who wants to donate bathroom labor to the Liana’s home charity?). Eventually we ended up at Mahoney’s; a plant nursery. B My eyes were wide with wanting to plant every vegetable out there. B However, its end of season and there were not much options. B So luckily I did not blow all my pennies on plants that will probably die. B Aside from lack of ever having a garden, having a history of killing most house plants I owned (most of it was due to keeping my house at 45 degrees when I wasn’t home); the main problem is that our house doesn’t get direct sunlight much. B We have these trees that create lovely shade to sit in for people not veggies.

I present you my garden. B The previous owner lovedB cinder-blocks! B While I hope to remove them in the coming years, for now I’m leaving it as is. B I did spend like two hours elbow deep in the dirt trying to pull out all sorts of weeds and roots from god knows what. I think some of the weeds might have been older than me. B I felt bad for killing my elders but they had to go!

We got one head of lettuce to test out. B If the lack of sunlight doesn’t kill it, I’m sure the bunnies will eat it before I get to it.

We are also testing out one pepper plant!

TheB Impatiens my mother planted and the violet petunia that was on sale so I got it.

Our Herbal corner with my little Mrs. Burns Lemon basis and the giant mint plant I got today. B I’m now on the look out for dill but Mahoney’s was all out. B I hope my basil survives as I dragged it all the way back from Chicago’s Botanical Gardens (they were giving one out for free and it almost died when my luggage tried to crush it.)

After a visit to the garden shop and the farmer’s market, we got hungry. B Suburban living makes you hungry. B Luckily I had a EverSave coupon for a Mexican joint in Stoneham. B Three Amigos is a small family ownedB restaurantB of the main square in Stoneham. B We scanned the menu and wanted everything. B Luckily we learned that we can’t eat everything and tacos make crappy leftovers once assembled.

Tony’s huge steak burrito cookedB perfectly. B I can’t vouch for the meat being the highest grade but it was tender and I couldn’t taste the fat pieces that I usually do in cheapB MexicanB places.

I went with fish tacos! B I love fish tacos.

We also got adventurous and ordered the hot carrots. B It was interesting, sort of like pickled peppers.

By the time I was done de-weeding and pretending to garden it was 6:30 and I was determined to get a run in. B Yes, I can’t believe I did 15 miles today… This might be my longest run since May. B I’ve just been calling quits at 13 and I was pretty close to stopping at 11.4 when I stopped by the house for a little potty action (charming I am). B Regardless I went back out there and slowly pushed through the final 3.6 miles. B I started the run around 6:30 in the evening and decided to go at a comfortable pace which involved me not checking my pace or time and just running for the feel it. B I listened to “Grow your grub” B podcast and zoned out for a bit. B Of course I had no idea what any of the gardening things they talked about but it made me motivated! B I think not counting the home water/bathroom break I had an average 9 minute pace. B Afterwards I was starving again, so of course two bowls of noodles make a great source of refuel.

Do you have a garden? Any tips? Do you know anything that grows in shade besides mose?B

Also, ever do any home reconstruction projects on your own?

Sunday Runday – Week 1 of Maybe 50K Training

First of all, Happy Father’s day to the man who made me who I am today and to all great fathers in the world. B I’m very fortunate to have grown up and been surrounded by some very wonderful men in my life. B Sadly, I do not get to see either of the two father figures in my life on this day or often. B My grandfather passed away a few years ago and I miss him dearly. B Because I just moved and have been unpacking for a week I didn’t get a chance to go to NY to visit my parents but I hope to go down soon and visit them in the next few weekends.

If you’re on DailyMile, you’d notice I’m back on the running juice! B I am doing more cross training and more stretching, some ART therapy but for the most part I notice very little difference between running and not running for my tightB piriformisB muscle. B That does not mean that the 10 days off were a waste. B It gave my legs a nd knees some much-needed time off. B It also allowed me to reset my training cycle. B I have a few marathons coming up in the fall but I think ultimately I’m going to train for a 50K. B Not sure which one yet, but I’ve noticed I’m much better training for distance instead of speed so I always seem to get injured when I try to go fast. B Although I’m a forefoot runner, I’m still a very clumsy runner who always bouncing from side to side and yet somehow manages to not fall. B If I had to make a bet on the first runner to trip over her own feet, I would bet its me. B In fact there have been plenty of times on training runs where I somehow managed to kick myself while running on windy days. B The ART doc told me my hips are misaligned and maybe that’s part of it. B Hopefully as I work some more on strength, I can become a more balanced individual (no pun intended).

Its Sunday and this concludes what I’ll consider my first week back in training. B Just because it’s a regular Runday, doesn’t mean you can’t dress up.

My next race is RnR half in Providence and I wanted to test out my racing outfit I got this week. B Best (or maybe worst?) part, it cost me around $50. B Let’s face it, running trends like all others can add up pretty fast and I confess I’m a tool like all others to cute pinks objects. B Running accessories are no exceptions. B I tried to hold back but I finally caved it.

Target Tech Shirt $7 on sale

Marshalls Running Skirt with a zipper pocket in the back $14B I got this on Friday as I hunt down all running skirts except FILA that come in size XS so if you’re interested in one go and get one fast as I never see the same things there twice. B Only exception is FILA skirts because they suck! B I haven’t run in one but I tried on 3 and they already felt uncomfortable before I even started running. B At least in my humble opinion.

Zensah Calf Sleeves $34 as they were 20% off this week at City Sports. B I know I shouldn’t have but I just could not resist. B Perfect for those slightly cool days like today.

So a backwards recap of week 1 of training:

Sunday Run

Total Mile Ran today 10.52 – Outside – 2 podcasts (Running with the Pack & Jillian Michaels) worth!

Total Time 1:28:50 Average Pace 8:27

I stayed on the usual paved road that runs along the fells and did two loops. B It was hot and part of me wanted to stop after my first one and call it a day. B I was running with a full bottle of water to hydrate (Nunn tab for taste and electrolytes). B With the exception of slower start and ending miles, my middle miles were at aB consistentB 8 minute pace. B I’m using the runkeeper couch that I have set to 7:30 my goal race time. B I don’t expect to be running at that speed and to be honest when I first went running I was only targeting a 9 minute mile but wasB pleasantlyB surprisedB that with no stronger effort I was down to 8:30. B I think hearing how far I am off pace from my ultimate goal is just a good reminder to me of my long-term plan.

Saturday Run

Total Miles Ran 10:55 Outside through hills, roads, some trails in the Fells and 7 miles of it were with Tony.

Total Time 1:43 Average Pace 9:46B

I was only going to do 8 miles but Tony and I ran at a fairly easy pace that I just felt like I wanted to stay out a bit longer in the amazing weather we had. B Good thing I did because after I got back, mother nature turned cold and cloudy! B I also caved in and brought a pair of compression shorts and yes they’re totally worth it if you have misaligned hips where you flutter side to side. B This kept me all up and centered. B Maybe it’s just my jiggly butt that makes me run silly.

Friday Run

No Run had an ART appointment instead.

Thursday

7 miles on the Elliptical, 1.5 miles to the Y & back jog. B I felt sore from Wednesday’s run. B I did the hour-long senior citizens sculpt class at the Y. B I think I’m the only young person there but it’s better than nothing. B Otherwise the only lifting I get is picking up some heavy bricks ofB chocolateB pounders from Trader Joe’s. B Either war I enjoy the more relaxed easy-going environment and am adding the Tue/Thurs class to my training cross training schedule.

Wednesday Run

I didn’t know what to expect from this run. B This was my first longish run on the treadmill in a while. B I had a plan B to quit at 8 miles but I roughed it out for 10! I did the first 8 on incline 3 and the last 2 in a super slow walk/run routine on incline 2. B I still believe that running on incline helps me be faster on pavement. B It did feel good to be rebounding with the old treadmill I saw so much of during March.ues

Totals Miles 10.03

Total Time 1:33 Average Pace 9:11B

Tuesday

Total Miles 4.5 I don’t have the total time or pace as I felt so angry about just being too exhausted to run. B I just moved and was running on 5 hours of sleep. B Lack of sleep = dead legs. B I debated for a while about skipping the Y class but I really had no excuse so I sucked it up, went and felt much better and stronger. B I can almost do 2 big girl push ups.

Monday Run

First day of the week… First day with lack of sleep. B Living on a street with more trees is nice. B Living on a street with birds waking you up at 4AM is a lot less pleasant. B I’m adjusting but Monday was rough.

Totals Miles 6.1

Total Time 55 minutes Average Pace 9? I don’t remember the incline, might have been 2 or 3. B I didn’t run last weekend due to moving so i felt happy for the run.

In summary, 42 miles for my first week back… Not bad. B I feel okay and pretty good since before I took a small break I was running 60-70 a week. B Since my intermission hasn’t been too long I’m following the approach of 20%B mileageB increase until I’m at 55-60 and then possibly 10%. B I need to have a strong base by September 15 as that’s when I’ll be working weekends and running will have to be drastically cut back on the weekdays. B I’ll resume mileage after October 15th to wrap up final training for Philly Marathon before a one week taper of the Weekend of November 18th. B Rough draft of the plan so far. B It’s in my head, now I just need to get it down on paper.

I think for week 2 I’llB targetB 48 miles.

National Running Day!

It’s my favorite holiday! B National Running Day! B I ran today! B After a 10 day break, it felt great to hit the treadmill! B I’ll go more into my doctor/running experience but I wanted to share some sales that are tempting me beyond human levels.

If you’re like me and signed up for races or other email lists I’m sure you’re email is going off the hook with deals. B Some of them are pretty sweet. B Here’s the ones tempting me at the moment.

Rock n Roll $20 off all racesB B – I think I’m going for the New Orleans Marathon for $75 in Feb. B Southwest flies there so bonus points! B I need to use my miles before they go bankrupt like all the other airlines

US Road SportsB B – Only $10 off but their races are a lot cheaper than RnR. B I’m eyeballing the SLC marathon. B It’s around the same time as Boston but I think if I canB re-qualifyB for 2014 I might skip 2013. B I know I want a redemption race from the 2012 failure but I’m not sure when I’ll take it. B Small rant but, I don’t think I actually enjoy Boston compared to all my other races. B In fact aside from the Spartan Race, I think Boston was my least favorite run. Having to take a day off from work and then sit around for 3 hours before running wasn’t too exciting.

City Sports –B 20% off, not sure what I’m buying yet but I’m sure I can find a few things I need.

Let me know if you know of any other deals!

2012 Boston Run to Remember Recap

On May 27th 2012, I ran Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon.This was the 6th year this race was happening and my second time running it.As I mentioned before this race has a lot of significance to me since it was my first half marathon a year ago.Now I’m back on the course 2 Full Marathons and 3 Half-Marathons later.Needless to say I wanted to PR, I wanted to PR and race; however, with my recent mystery leg strain I was nervous about the results. Luckily, things worked out great and number 4 half marathon is in the books!

Boston’s Run to Remember actually has two races – A half marathon (13.1 miles) and a 5-miler.Net proceeds benefit community & kids programs of the Boston Police Runner’s Club.I think in total there are 8,000 runners between the two courses.Last year the race started at 8AM but this year due to the horrible heat problems in the prior year they started the race at 7AM for the half and 7:15 for the 5-miler.

Costs

The race fees start at $45 for the half & $30 for the 5-miler and gradual raise as the race approaches.I don’t remember what I paid but I signed up relatively early so it was either $45 or $55. Definitely a bargain compared to the BAA & Rock n Roll races.

Expo & Swag Bag

The race expo is really small.I got my number in about 30 seconds.There were almost no exhibits other than Marathon Sports, Odwalla samples and those weird Basement people that are always at any expo/convention possible.They did have popcorn and a bouncy house for the kids.I wanted to go into the bouncy house but some people thought I might cause injury to those smaller than me and should probably refrain.You get a free T-shirt with registration but it’s cotton, white and unisex so it’ll either go to Tony or Goodwill.The other swag included some bottles of Zinco coconut water.Not as good as VitaCoco but free is free.

The Race Course

As a Boston resident, I think the course is pretty sweet.

The 5-miler is entirely in downtown/financial district of Boston while the Half Marathon adds its 8 miles by going across the river into Cambridge with an out and back on Memorial drive along the Charles River.The course is also pretty flat and fast.Aside from the ramp for the bridge to cross the river that you hit twice (once going in and once coming back) there were no major hills.If you’re really curious, there is a driving video available of both the 5-miler and half marathon on the race’s website.

My Splits & Recap

My splits are a bit of an estimate because I don’t have a fancy Garmin (hint you know who that reads this) .I used Runkeeperapp for the Iphone which worked okay enough but when I finished running my total mileage was 13.69.I looked at the map and it seemed the signal bounced in some parts so I adjusted those miles by a minute or 2.I did use the runkeeper coach tool to stay at a 7:30 pace and avoid the crash that I had at Gloucester Half two weeks ago.For the most part it sort of worked.My average pace for the race according to official results was 7:32.

Prerace – I woke up at 6AM and woke Tony up and out to drive me to Boston at 6:25.I have the best bf/driver in the world!We made it downtown in a record breaking time of 11 minutes by 6:26.He went back home while I made my way to the Boston harbor Hotel since Fancy Hotel bathroom is way better than race portys.Munched on a Kashi Go Lean bar and drank my bottle of water with a fruit punch Nuun tab.It was a hot day and I wanted to skip the first few water stops so I tried to hydrate to capacity.At 6:50 I walked over to the start of the line.I passed a few friends who were running the 5-miler but no one wanted to run the half so I walked over all alone.I haven’t ran much in two weeks since Gloucester Half so I wasn’t sure what to expect.I was a bit nervous but I still excited as I am on every race day.

Mile 1-3 – 7:37, 7:33, 7:29B I ran slow and very cautious in the first mile.There were over 6,000 runners so I had no grand dreams of leading the pack this time.There was a very mild incline as we ran out of the Seaport District into the Financial District of Boston.Afterwards we made way past the State House and edged around Beacon Hill as we headed for the Longfellow (a.k.a. Salt & Pepper) Bridge.People said the first few miles were congested but I didn’t really see any issues in my pace area.

Miles 4-6 7:20, 7:25, 7:27B Miles 4-6 were along the Charles going a little bit past Harvard.I speed up a bit since this part of the course was flat flat vs. relatively flat for the first 3 miles.I did get water at the second or third water station.The weather was muggy and probably already reached 70 by 7:30AM.

Some people can look really cute when they run

I am not one of those people

Miles 7-9 7:15, 7:23, 7:40 At the turnaround point on the Charles I got super excited and my pace picked up a bit.I was ready to gun it but I started to feel hot so I stopped for two cups of water at the water stop around mile 9.The fun part was I screamed and cheered on the runners making their way still towards Harvard Square while they cheered us for making the loop back.

Miles 10 – 11 – 7:37,7:38 These were the miles coming back into Boston.As we got back on the Longfellow bridge I remembered that Laura from DailyMile was going to be cheering on at the bridge.A small part of was hoping/praying she wasn’t on the Cambridge side of it. That’s where my walking/slow jog started and I felt ashamed.It wasn’t steep but I definitely felt the difference going from Memorial Drive flat to climbing up a small ramp.Luckily, I saw her on the down-ramp of the bridge on the Boston side where I was running again.

 

Miles 12-13.1 – 8:06,B 7:53 I wouldn’t say I hit a wall at mile 12 but I definitely felt some regret for skipping a water station.My legs started to feel heavy from dehydration as we went around in circle of the Financial District/Post Office Square area.When I realized I was about a half mile away from finish I gunned it with any energy my dehydrated self had.I heard my friends in the background about .1 mile from the finish line and my heart soared!

I was tagged in 17 MarathonFotos, these are the two best ones.You can only imagine how bad my other ones are.

Post Race Food & Festivities

When you finish the race you empty out indoors into what looks like a warehouse of bagels, bananas, oranges, Cape Cod chips, water & Zinco Coconut water.In reality you’re inside the World Trade Center Convention area where the expo was held.There were a bunch of volunteers giving out medals.I started to sweat immediately as it felt a lot more hot indoors than it did outdoors as I swayed looking for water.I couldn’t find any bottled water but I found some cups and took 2 at a time.Ryan, Dan & Ana, my friends who ran the 5-miler found me as I was dripping sweat.Gross, I know but that didn’t stop me from sitting in a chair.

Results

Overall time : 1:38:46 my new PR!

Overall Pace: 7:32

Overall Place 340/5411

Division 41/1392 (Female age 19-29)


	

A year in review of when I fell in love with running

About a year ago I fell in love in running.

No..I wasn’t exactly new to running but I’ve never appreciated running… I was one of those girls. B You know the ones you see at the gym daily but for never more than 45 minutes. B I’ve been running for a few years. B By running I mean 3 miles here and there before moving back to the elliptical orB StairMasterB to conclude my gym sessions of burning 500 (I’m short so it takes a while) calories. B Every once in a while I would run 5-6 miles and pride myself in a great workout. B It was never about the run itself, it was mostly about trying to stay in shape. B It became a routine of just what I did… Just like work, I had a 45 minute workout session to complete after completing my 8 billable hours (10 during busy season).

Then a year ago I somehow decided to sign up for a half marathon. B I don’t remember who gave me that bright idea or where I even found out about the race because this was long before the days of my running blog stalking and Running Times magazine subscriptions. B Maybe I hit my head when I got that idea.

Did I have every intention to train for my new brilliant idea? B Yes! B Did I get my shizzle together in order to train for it? No. B I think my longest run was 8 miles and yes when the day came, I learned and paid the price for the difference between 8 and 13 miles.

The race I signed up for was Run to Remember in Boston that was held on May 29th 2011. B It was probably one of the hardest runs I ever did. B You can tell just how thrilled I was with my face of death at the finish line.

Although the first 8 miles weren’t too bad.

It was at my first race where I started to harness my facebooking while running skills.

This was a flat course that ran through Boston’s financial district with a loop along the Charles River. B I somehow finished inB 1:48:51. B I guess I have great first time racer luck. B Although I can tell you that I certainly did not feel that way after finishing. B I remember sitting in a corner with a small pile of Hummus and Stacy’s pita chips. B Hey I might have been tried, but free food is still free food. B So back to sitting and feeling miserable. B Things that I didn’t even know could hurt? B Those hurt for the next 4 days. B The four steps I have to make it down the porch of my house.. those were hell!

Yet somehow I signed up for a second half-marathon in September and moved up to full by March. B I guess all runners areB masochistic! B I got a little ambitious signed up for the Boston Marathon a month later with a 50K two weeks after that and two half marathons the next month. I did get a ahead of myself.

Now I’m paying the price. B My left B piriformis muscleB is irking me to a point that it keeps my speed and distance at bay. B Speed and distance that I spent the first half of 2012 working on is slow leaving me. B It’s hard letting that go. B I know once I heal, rest, relax I can start working back to my achieved endurance. B I know it, but sometimes my eagerness andB stubbornnessB doesn’t want to listen.

But back to the Run to Remember. B I’ll be running the half marathon tomorrow. B Before I ran Boston and angered my piriformis, I really wanted to PR on this course. B I really wanted to see the change in my speed with my new training put to use. B I’m sadly realizing that now I probably won’t be able to PR.

However, when I first fell in love with running, I used to run for fun and not for time. B Okay maybe I had one small goal of just running faster than Tony but it was all in good fun. B Hopefully I can remember to stay in that mentality tomorrow. To rejoice in summer, running, and fun!

Gloucester Twin Lights Half Marathon Recap

On May 12, 2012, Tony & I ran the Gloucester Twin Lights Half Marathon.

The race had two options. B Run the 13.1 miles or walk it. B It was a small race caped at 1,000 participants and just the size I like them. I don’t need crowd support, I just need space for my arm pumping!

I paid $60 to register, but if I signed up early, it would have been only $45. There was no expo, but if you wanted to be extra prepared you could pick up your bib and free tech shirt the night before at a running store in Newburyport. I think most people grabbed their bib day of the race. There might have been a swag bag (I’m not sure) but I didn’t get any when I grabbed my bib. I did manage to grab a shirt which was cool since I’m starting quite the collection now. The shirt was really niceB technicalB wickB one with a cute design. Too bad the size small was more of a large. B I even grabbed one for Tony when I picked up his bib, who’ll probably end up using my shirt as well. B It was kind of cool how the female shirt was different from the male shirt.

Parking was free yay! However, there was a bottleneck of trying to make it into the Good Harbor beach parking lot. Good thing we got there 45 minutes early, which rarely happens. Not sure where the people who got there on time parked since we were pretty much at the end of the lot.

The race started at 9AM giving me perfect amount of time to sleep til 7 am and the hour drive. B By 8:30 I think the weather hit 65 degrees as you can tell by the grease growing on my forehead. B It was going to be a hot one but not as hot as Boston (and half the distance thank god). B I had no food at home so I ended up fueling with some Kashi granola bar I found in the car (those don’t expire right?) and coconut water. I even forgot my Nuun at home.

We sang the star-spangled banner and at 9AM, we were off!

For the first 1 mile I was awesome… I led the pack (like a retard). I was right behind the motor bike. It was awesome… I felt so cool.. I think I reached a pace of sub 6 minute mile. I knew what I was doing was stupid, I shouldn’t burn myself out in the first mile but it felt awesome everyone cheering me as I was ahead of the guys. People were screaming “Go Girl!” as I blasted past the guys with smarter race strategies than me. I felt like an elite… maybe a little Russian American Jewish version of Shalane Flanagan in training.

But worry not by the end of mile 1 my glory was over. I was ready to revert to my regular speed of 7-7:30 minute miles. But by 2nd mile my shoelace was untied! Rookie! Rookie! Error. I was so angry I wanted to throw my shoes over into the ocean. However running barefoot didn’t seem like an option so I slowed down, tied, cursed myself crazy and continued.

Mile 3-4 were strong but I started getting depressed because I realized unlike the promise I gave Tony, this course is anything but flat! I knew that the hills I was running from mile 1 were going to be there for mile 13. The course was in and back type, so there was no question on whether the finish was going to be easy. I knew from the start it was going to suck.

See that hill, that’s exactly how the WHOLE course was like. B There was no flat parts, you were either going up or down. I also didn’t realize just how much of an elevation of 100 feet is… more than the measly little bumps I run on… more than my pathetic 3 incline on the treadmill. The sad part is, that I stopped training on incline on the treadmill the past two weeks because I thought the course was flat….

Miles 5 through 8 were fun! B Even with a horrible hill, it was still fun to run through Rockport’s center with all these crowd supporters cheering me on, telling me there was only 3 females ahead of me and that I should catch them. However, at some point around 7.5 mile mark my legs started to feel heavy. Luckily we had some cool volunteers.

Mile 9 I started doing my countdown. Only 4 more miles right? That should only be 30 more minutes. Liana you got this!

Mile 10 things turned to being scenic again. B I’m going to use Tony’s photo because most of mine have some guy blocking me! B How dare he! B Also surprisingly unlike every other race Tony and I ran together, there is more photos of him than me.

Mile 11, I screamed only 2 more as the course flattened out. Me and a girl in Vibrams were going head to head as she cheered everyone on. She was awesome! I was just trying not to die, while she was just running and cheering for all the gals out there in the lead of the pack!

Miles 12-13… actually somehow flew by… Maybe because I was no longer running up and down anything.

I started this race with a goal to be top 3 in my age group… That didn’t happen… I probably set my goal too high considering I’m still having trouble with my knee and piriformis muscle or sciatic nerve or something along those lines that causes some muscle in my butt to feel tight. B I’m working on it and trying to stretch more but it really is a pain in the butt…

Considering the issues I had going I can’t be too disappointed with being in 58th place. B Or finishing 15 in my gender and 7 in my age group. Not fast enough to earn a medal (there was no finisher medals in the course) but fast enough to PR. B That’s right. B My new half marathon PR is 1:39:11; 1 minute less than the flat course I ran with 1:40 last September.

Tony Finished in 1:54.. Not bad for a guy who runs once every two weeks and somehow pops half marathons like they’re candy. B I’m still working on trying to convince him he should do a full marathon.

As for the post race food? I really have to say that had I been less hot and more hungry this post race food would have been my favorite. It came with the usual banana, bagel, some Lara bars but also pizza (I think Tony ate like 5 slices and I ate all his crusts), clam chowder, Vita Coco Coconut water, and any cookie, brownie or sweet biscuit you can think of. seriously guys, if you want more bang for your running buck, smaller races is where the good food at!

And if you’re curious where the Clam Chowder came from (best one I have yet to try), it was from Lobsta Land Restaurant.

Overall I think this was a great race! Registration for 2013 opens up in June on their website.  I’m going to sign up… $45 for 13 miles of fun is great! Sure there were no finisher medals, but instead see all those photos I’m posting? B Notice how none of them say “PROOF”?  That is because registration fee includes unlimited photo downloads!! /i love unlimited race photos of myself!

I do have one criticism and that was that exiting the parking lot took hours, literally. I don’t have a solution other than going to the beach and waiting out a few hours; but had I been in a hurry to leave that would have sucked. Luckily Good Harbor beach is a cool place to chill in 75 degree weather. If you’re curious how Tony and I spent the rest of our day in Gloucester and Rockport, you can check out this post.

TARC Spring Classic Review

I ran the TARC Spring Classic race on April 28th 2012.

The race had several options 10K, Half Marathon (which Tony did), Marathon & 50K. I got very ambitious and signed up for the 50K. Due to recent knee pain and being completely unprepared I DNFed the race. I’ll go more into the reason why later. However, this won’t stop me from reviewing and mentioning how awesome the race was!

The four races are hosted by a group called the Trail Animal Running Club. The races were very low-key with amazing volunteers. There was a total of 300-400 runners. Because there was no chip system in place the registration fee was only $20. No race expo, no selling you crap you don’t need but want, just pure simple running.

The 10K started at 8AM and the other races at 8:15. The race was held in Weston, MA. A place I haven’t visited before but was in awe how pretty all the houses are. Tony and I got there at 7:45AM to get our bib numbers. We then hid in the car trying to stay warm as it was about 45 degrees outside.

The Hobo hat came back from my closet for a visit. You may laugh but it’s so warm!

Neither of us have ever done a trail race before. We haven’t even taken a trail run; even though we’re two miles away from Middlesex Fells Reservation, before. Needless to say we were nervous and excited to start.

We originally planned on staying together. I was running with a gimp leg and figured running with Tony would be a smart pacing strategy vs. me trying to compete with everyone around me. However that did not work out.

The course was a 10K loop. You do 5 loops to complete a 50K. In order for the half marathoner and marathoners to get their exact distance they had a small little mini loop in the beginning of the trail. The full marathon people did this mini loop twice. So within 1 minute Tony and I said our goodbyes and went on our separate ways.

The course was a mix of fire roads (30%) and single track trails (70%).  What I thought was going to be an easy flat trail was anything but flat. While there were no switchbacks and miles upon miles of decent, the single tracks were a constant up and down experience. Lots of rocks, lots of twigs, and a few muddy creeks.

The first loop (10K) went by great! I felt strong, I felt awesome! I felt like a movie star running through the woods of a zombie scene.

All the photography was done by the creek or on the fire roads so needless to say I have real photos for the single track trail part.

I saw the clock said either 50-55 minutes when I finished the first loop. I grabbed two Gu chumps from the fuel table and ran on my way. More on how awesome the fuel/water station was later.

The second loop I think was my fastest. I knew what to expect, I knew where to go and I felt more confident about myself. Well almost. Me and the creeks… Well..

I was running in new shoes and really did not want to get them too muddy!

I hit my second loop/ 20K at about 1:50. I looked around for Tony but he was busy being a beast of his own so I grabbed two more Gu Chumps and made my way.

Somewhere in the middle of my third loop, my gimp leg/knee woke up and decided its time to stop running. I slowed my pace and did a half run half walk type of thing. I finished my 30K somewhere around 3:20 where I found Tony waiting for me.

This guy finished the half in 2:21!

Looking back, I probably should have signed up for just the half. I don’t think my body was ready for the complexity of trail running to that distance. I should not have run in Asics that are half a size too big on me. While it’s okay to wear shoes a little big for road running to prevent some toenail losses, such was not the case with trails. I have the blisters to prove it.

The course had a single aid/fuel station that you passed by each time you completed a loop. The volunteers were super cool and refilled all your water bottles for you and gave you anything you needed. Because it was a 10K trail with no water stops people were strongly encouraged to run with a water bottle. I ran the first loop without mine but grabbed it off the grass on the second loop. I’m used to running 15 miles without water so given the cold weather I wasn’t too concerned for just 6 miles. I mixed water with a nuun hydration tab and mostly relied on that for hydration.

In addition to water & Gu Brew the race provided, everyone was asked to bring one snack from one type as designated by the last letter of your last name. This created an almost trail running pot luck picnic! After I DNFed, I munched on delicious brownies, pretzels, sweet potato chips and s’mores. I wanted to make sure that for every calorie I burned, I took in 3x as much back into my body.

Could I have finished the race? Yes, I think I could have finished in between 5 to 6 hours. Although the pace would have been slow for me, it was a pace that more than half the people finished at. However, poor Tony forgot to bring his school books so I felt bad making him wait for me as I hiked/ran 20K more. I think judging by the blisters I got from my half-size too big shoes, it was a good idea to stop as well or at least to change my socks. As much as it hurt my pride, I walked away and went home. I did end up doing a small hike by my house with a friend so maybe I could mentally add that to my mileage towards the 50K.

Also how could I not forget, I got to meet two of my Daily Mile friends! I think this was one of my favorite parts of the race. Putting faces to people who support and motivate me on a daily basis. I think I seem a little dazed in my internal struggle to want to run, but I really did enjoy meeting people in real life and wish I had time to stick around more.

Aside from a bruised ego I walked away with a new love for trail running. I love the support and spirit of all the runners. Instead of a competition, I felt as I was part of a community. The cool part is that TARC often has small group runs in the Blue Hills (south of Boston) and the Fells (North of Boston by me) on weekends. I intend to try to make as many of those as possible. That way, by the time the Summer TARC classic 50K comes I’ll be ready!

Races, Races, Races

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

None the less, I still registered. B Twin Lights Half MarathonB 5/12/2012 inB GloucesterB Massachusetts! B Two weeks before Boston’s run to remember; another half marathon. I love the half marathon distance. B Its long enough to warm up and still speed up. B Another reason why I’m excited for the Twin Light Half is because its a small race. B The race is capped at 1,000 runners. B 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. B Score!

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

MyB splits (look at me getting technical)B 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

Races – Past, Present, Future

I created this as a separate page but figured I’d share it on my home page as a post as well.

Goals for 2012

10K PR under 0:50

Half Marathon under 1:40

Full Marathon under 4 hours!

Upcoming Races

Mar. 17, 2012 – Washington DC – Full Marathon

Mar. 24, 2012 – Boston – 10K

Apr. 15, 2012 – Boston Marathon!!!!

May 27, 2012 – Boston Run to Remember – Half marathon

Aug. 19, 2012 – Providence, RI – Half Marathon

I feel quite excited for my new attempted PRs for 2012… I know I’ll achieve a marathon one since it will be my first. B Hopefully, there is no DNF in my 2012 future and I can finish with my goal time of 4 hours or less. B I hope that’s reasonable. B I have little faith in beating my half marathon time. B To this day I still have no idea how I managed that. B My training runs were at 8 miles and I only got in a few 10 milers before the big day. B I was freezing cold during that whole race and I think I kept running to try to warm up. B I have a small goal time of less than 1:37 just so I can qualify for the NYC half, but I am not getting my hopes up on this. My 10K PR goal is more of a side project. B My local town (city) has this one race every year and I always participate because I try to support as many local races as I can, being that there’s only one race, that’s not too hard. B It’ll be my post DC Marathon recovery run with hopefully improved speed from the year before.

I don’t see much 5Ks in my future, because I’m cheap, they’re slightly pricey. B Races fees already have a higher portion of my budget than even clothes (okay that’s a lie) so I should monitor it a little more prudently and focus on races I can really work on.