Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ok, so 6 miles is still a "short" run right?

This is my 6 miler. I was going to do just 3-4 miles, but I felt so good and my legs wanted to keep going so I did 6 miles. Plus, if I just do 4 miles it skips my favorite part of the run, the huge hill. Up and back. It was cold out, according to weather channel in the teens but feels like single digits, but I must have layered just right because it didn't feel like single digits at all. The sun was bright and beautiful and there was only a little wind on the way back. It felt great. Now I need some lunch. My tummy is rumbling. I'm thinking either pizza or leftover chicken curry. Maybe even BOTH.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

GOOFY is coming

OMG I just read the final race instructions for the Goofy Challenge and I'm starting to freak out. I'm actually doing it. A half marathon AND a full marathon. I'm so excited and so nervous. It didn't really hit me until today. I just got butterflies in my gut. I have to get both my bib numbers and a wrist band and then run the half and get a new wrist band and then run the full and then get my GOOFY MEDAL!!!! Holy crap. I can't believe it's next week. That snuck up on me really fast. I'm totally ready and trained, I just need to do the hardest part now - REST. It doesn't help that I'm on vacation and bored and I want to run or go to the gym. I gotta find something else to fill my time. Next week is gonna fly by and then I'll be in Florida! Woohoo.

Well, on the training front, I did a nice easy spin class today. Just sort of cruised. The music was so chill I could have taken a nap on the bike. :) And then I did take a nap when I got home. After I donated the last of my fat clothes to Salvation Army and got my car inspected. So, I guess it was technically a rest day. Tomorrow I want to do a short run, maybe 3-4 miles. It will be tough to not do 6 miles. I feel lazy doing a short run, but my body needs to rest now not push and challenge myself. Now is not the time for that, I have to hold onto that urge and that energy for next weekend. I have a nice easy tune up race Friday in Lowell, Lowell's First Run 10K. Then it's pretty much takin it easy til I fly down to Florida.

As for Fundraising, a ton of the company matches from Wyeth/Pfizer showed up today on the webpage and brought me to $2608.70!!! Over the halfway mark. And some of the checks I mailed in after my wine tasting haven't showed up yet so I should be really close to $3000. I just want to hit $5000 before April so that when race day comes I can run and feel good about hitting both of my goals, running Boston and raising money for a great cause.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Learning to love the Taper

Saturday I was going to get up early and do a short easy 4 mile run before spin, but when my alarm went off, my bed was way too comfy and I hit snooze instead. Still made it to spin class for some active recovery. Good class, I pushed, but not too hard, was dripping sweat by the end, but didn't create a puddle under the bike so it was just a light workout. :)

Sunday I stayed in my PJs all day and watched a Criminal Minds marathon on A&E. Good times. I love my couch.

Today, I got up and cleaned my house a little, cleaned out my closets and made a pile of clothes to donate to salvation army. I have three huge bags of stuff. Mostly old workout gear that is too big for me now. I'm only saving one pair of dress pants from my Fatty McFatterson days as a reminder of how far I've come and the awesome progress I've made. Anyway, after cleaning up I put on my running gear and headed out for a quick run before driving my donations to salvation army. I started out a little tight in the hammies, but after the first mile or so I loosened up. Then about 2 miles into the run it started to sprinkle a little. I kinda like running in the rain so I kept going. Up my favorite hill to make it a nice 6 mile out and back loop. At the top of the hill when I turned around the rain started coming down a lot harder, then with about 2 miles to go it turned to a slushy mess of freezing precipitation. A mile and a half to go and it was near white out conditions. Huge, heavy, wet snowflakes falling down and hitting me like little tiny punches from Mother Nature, and you know what I said, BRING IT ON B*TCH! I finished strong and felt great, aside from being soaking wet and half frozen. It was a great run.

Unfortunately for salvation army, I'm not going to go out and drive in this nastiness so, my donation to them will have to wait until tomorrow. I have to go out tomorrow anyway, need to get my car inspected and run a few more errands.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Awesome 6 miler followed by a feast

Slow and lazy start to the day today. Made some waffles and had some tea and eventually got dressed and went for a run. The sun was out and for once the temperature was above freezing. I only needed one pair of pants and one pair of gloves. My legs were a little stiff from the 14 miler yesterday, but I still made quick work of my 6 mile out and back. Powered up the huge hill and turned around and came home. Hopped in the shower and headed to a friend's house for Christmas dinner and to play with my favorite adopted nephew, Zander. Beef tenderloin that melted in my mouth and baked potato and my favorite - green beans. THANKS Jen and Scott for a great meal!! And thanks Zander for playing cars and trains with me.

Christmas eve was great too. Shrimp scampi, crab cakes, spinach salad, and my chocolate cheesecake for a very special birthday girl, Madison Rose. Thanks to the entire Wright family for inviting me to join and making me feel like part of the family. It was so fun to watch Madison and her sister Dylann getting ready for Santa to come. Writing a note and leaving cookies and milk, and christmas dust. A whole new thing that kids do now, it's oats to attract the reindeer and sparkles to guide them to your house. Cute!

The whole holiday experience made me wish I was a kid again and saw Christmas through those innocent eyes again, all the magic and pure joy. I'm totally jealous of them. I really wish I saw it that way. Anyway, it was a great holiday and I got in a few runs too. Only a few more days until Disney!!!! I can't wait.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

4 miles, $400, and nice 14 miler

Tuesday I got up early, bundled up and did a quick 4 miler. Nice and easy, a little slow, but better than Monday's run. I think my feet just don't like the yaktrax or the snow. It's like running in sand and it's a lot harder and not fun. Plus, I totally get more dehydrated in the winter and start to feel like crap on a short run that shouldn't be a problem. I refuse to bring water with me for 4 miles, that's just silly.

I wish I could say the $400 was in donations, but it wasn't. I spent all day yesterday at the subaru dealership dealing with a check engine light that eventually cost me $400 to make it go away. By the time I got home I could have gone for a run, but a nap seemed like a better idea so I slept on my super comfy couch for 2 hours. It was awesome. Just what I needed.

This morning I woke up really late. First day of my vacation that I've slept past 5:00am. The sun was already coming up and the temperature was starting to rise just above freezing. Perfect for a long run, probably the last one before goofy. I was going to do 10, but felt so good I kept going and did just over 14 instead. The first 3 miles were a little rough, just getting comfortable and finding my rhythm. Then I felt great. Picked up the pace a little and cruised through the next 7 miles. The last 4 miles were great, at race pace, uphill, into a headwind, really pushed myself. I might do another 14-16 this weekend, but I don't really need to. About 2 weeks to go, I could do an easy 10 miler and then stick to shorter runs and rest days for the remainder of my taper.

Happy Holidays and happy running!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Slow, sluggish 6.5 miler

You would think after two days of rest my legs would be fresh and ready to run....NOPE. I went out this morning to try and do a long run, ended up just doing 6.5 miles because my legs felt like lead weights and I had no energy. Maybe it was because I didn't have my normal breakfast or maybe I'm coming down with a cold, who knows but it was not a great run. I just didn't have it in me today. By the end of the run I started feeling a little better, so maybe if I went longer I would have done ok, but I'd rather not over do it. I'll try again tomorrow.

Anyway, after my run I went to the bank to get checks for the cash donations I got at my wine tasting and then went to the post office to mail them out. I should be getting close to $3000 now. Very cool. Hopefully, after the holidays there will be more donations and then maybe a few more fundraisers and before I know it, I'll be over my goal and it will be race day. I can't wait.

For now though, I think I'm going to curl up on the couch and watch a movie with a hot cup of tea and nod off into nap nirvana for the afternoon. I might even enjoy some left over cheesecake from the party this weekend. Yum.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rest won't kill me right?

I never thought it would be difficult to convince myself not to run, but I struggled with the decision yesterday. Thursday I was up late baking the triple chocolate cheesecake for the raffle winner and I had to wake up early to finish it with the chocolate ganache topping and decorations before going to work to deliver it.

Friday I took spin class and felt, meh or blah. Just didn't have much energy. Afterall, I probably only got a few hours of sleep. I took a nap in the afternoon and actually slept right through lunch and woke up in time for a quick early dinner before I went out with some friends Friday night. We went to a very cute place in Cambridge called Cuchi cuchi. It's decorated like a 1920s underground bar during prohibition. All the waitresses were dressed as flappers and the drink menu was very original. The drinks were creative concoctions that were most likely the drinks of the 1920s that inspired many of todays "cocktails". The origin of the modern mixed drink was actually back in the days of bathtub gin because the alcohol was so harsh they had to mix it with fruity juices to make it drinkable. I didn't have any because I was driving, but just reading the menu was intoxicating and entertaining.

I was out later than expected so I didn't wake up as early as I normally do on Saturday morning and I had so much to do to get ready for my wine tasting I knew that squeezing in my 12 mile run would be tough and the 20 miler I had planned for Sunday probably wasn't going to happen because of mother nature dumping a giant snow storm on the area. I felt really good about my 10 and 18 last week and with just three weeks to go before the Goofy challenge, I was torn - do my last long runs or taper early. I decided to taper early. I've never done back to back races like this and I figure the training is taking a lot out of me and I should rest and recover and allow my muscles extra time to repair from the training. But, making that decision was AGONY for me. I know I will be happy about it on race day when I run strong and cross the finish line but right now I feel lazy.

Anyway, the wine tasting was a success. I finished decorating the sugar cookies just as my first guest arrived. I cleaned up and brought out the cheeses and snacks and made some tea. We chatted and munched on the food as people arrived and soon we had a small crowd. The conversations were great covering every topic from traveling in foreign countries and encountering poisonous snakes and spiders to snuggies and whiskey snifters that remind the taster of bacon and every type of pork product at once. I handed out the thank you gifts(custom made magnets that say I'm supporting DFMC runner Alicia Leeman and mixed CDs of a few of my favorite running tunes) and raised a total of $120.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sugar cookies count as carbs right?

OMG, my cookies came out so good. I made them with stone ground whole wheat unbleached flour and frosted them with all natural food coloring in the frosting and all natural sprinkles too. They're delicious AND free of chemicals and preservatives. :)

So, I got up this morning and turned on the news. "Coldest day of the week", "bundle up these temperatures actually suck the heat out of your body", "wind chills in the negative numbers", sounds like a great day for a run. It took some extra layering and extra guts, but I did it. 6 miles done, complete with Rocky theme song finish up the last hill with upper cuts left and right gutting it out up the stairs to my house! A hot shower has never felt so good.

I got a donation in the mail yesterday from an old family friend, Julie Minervino. Her husband Butch passed away a few years ago from cancer and was treated at Dana Farber. His name will be on my singlet for sure and I will definitely have him in my heart and mind as I run. Thank you Julie!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

6 miles done, now it's time to make cookies

Took a couple of rest days after the weekend. I figured 28 miles in two days (and a resting heart rate of 70bpm) meant I earned some rest. My resting heart rate was still a little high this morning, but not 70bpm. So, I eased into the morning with some tea and my favorite breakfast and then some more tea and just one more cup of tea before going out into the bitter cold for a quick 6 miler. And it was very quick. My legs were ready to run even if my brain wasn't quite there yet. After the first mile I warmed up and climbed my favorite hill and turned around and came home.

Now, I'm really excited because I found all natural plant food colorings and sprinkles to make sugar cookies with. So, I'm going to make the dough this morning, run to the grocery store for a few things while it chills in the fridge and then roll, cut, and bake like crazy this afternoon so that I can decorate (and eat) them tonight.

Tomorrow I'm having lunch with an old friend that I actually reconnected with thru my fundraising efforts. I haven't seen her in years and I'm so excited to catch up with her and maybe do some shopping together. Then I'll be baking again. Time to make the chocolate cheesecake for the winner of the drawing. I'll deliver it Friday morning, along with some cookies as an added bonus. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

18 miler - DONE!

What a great day for a run. A little cold, but sunny and gorgeous out. First few miles were rough getting warmed up, but the middle 12-14 were good. The last 8 miles were into a strong head wind and uphill. They're my area's version of the newton hills. 4 hills one right after the other and the last one is a real bitch. I sruggled a little on the last hill and walked a little towards the top, partially because I was spent and partially because there's a nasty blind corner at the top and I didn't want to get hit by a car.

So, last week I sent a thank you note to the Tewksbury Police Department because they have been really great about pulling over speeders on one of the roads that I run on and making it safer and they must have got the message and appreciated it because this morning I saw 6 of them! Then about a mile and a half from my house I think I saw the entire Lowell Police Department. Not sure what happened, but there was a VERY bad accident. They had the road closed and the car was peeled open like a banana, the driver already gone hopefully ok. I ran past and said good morning to them. The unmarked car that was pulling up as I ran past all gawked at me as I ran by. Not sure if they were checking me out or if I wasn't suppose to run thru the area. Anyway, I made it home and the last 2 miles were my fastest. I was thinking hot shower and hot tea and then some pizza. Uphill into a headwind was nothin for me with that on my mind.

One more weekend of back to back long runs and then it's taper time for the goofy. I felt pretty good today so I hope next weekend goes well. If it does I'm it perfect shape for the race and should destroy it. Looking forward to kickin back during the holidays and tapering and just enjoying some time with friends. I need to send out my cards with my DFMC info in them tomorrow. Maybe I'll get donations from the friends that haven't already donated. That's all I want for Xmas. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sunrise, snot-cicles, and some spinning

In case you can't tell, I love alliteration. Anyway, I'll start with fundraising because yesterday was a pretty exciting day. I closed out the triple chocolate cheesecake drawing and made a grand total of $485!!! This just proves it, people like chocolate better than pumpkin. :) It was extremely successful and I'm thinking of doing one more drawing and making it winner's choice. Anytime, any flavor, any cheesecake the winner wants, I'll bake it and deliver it. We'll see if there is enough interest for a third drawing.

On the training front, yesterday was a rest day because I've got a big weekend planned. Good thing is I'm already halfway done with it. I ran 10.5 miles early this morning. Left my house at 6am and off I went. It was COLD! said in the teens, but "feels like" single digits. And let me tell you from first hand experience, it definitely felt like single digits. I had two pairs of pants on, multiple layers on top, gloves AND mittens and my bum still froze. I filled up my water bottles with hot water and they were cold before the halfway point of my run. Imagine if I didn't fill them with hot water, they might have froze solid. Still my body must be made for running because I kept moving and finished averaging a pretty good pace even stopping twice to walk while I opened my gels to make sure I didn't drop them or get them all over my gloves. Got home, yanked off my sweaty clothes and changed into dry clothes and went to spin class. Didn't actually do the strength class they were teaching, just maintained about 80-90rpm and worked at probably 70% to losen up my legs and make sure they're ready for my run tomorrow. I stretched extra long after class and then made a big mistake - went to the grocery store STARVING. I just needed bananas and english muffins and I ended up spending $50 on all kinds of food.

Tomorrow is an 18miler. I'm hoping it's a little warmer, but not raining or snowing. PLEASE Mother Nature, give me a break this time. I'll still run in whatever she throws at me, and I will consider it "a good training experience", but I'd prefer good conditions and a relatively easy long run over something epic that sucks bigtime and makes me question my own sanity for even running in it in the first place.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Goofy getting closer

I got my bib#s for the Disney half and full, less than a month to go. Two more weekends of back to back long runs and then taper. I'm feeling pretty good. I did an hour of intervals on the eliptical yesterday just to switch it up a little then a quick easy 4 miles after work today. It was cold and windy, but nice. I need to get new shoes tomorrow. My feet and knees are starting to feel it and I want to break the shoes in on my long runs so I have at least 50 miles on them before Goofy.

My pace has still been really great. About a minute per mile faster than my training paces this summer. Maybe that's just prrof that I'm a cold weather runner. Me and heat do not mix. I really hope it's not hot in Florida the weekend of Goofy. I will do my best no matter what but it would be awesome if it was 50 and overcast and I totally rocked it.

On the fundraising front, I'm doing really awesome. I hit just over $1800 today and the second cheesecake drawing is tomorrow and I'm already over $400 for that. So, with that deposit and a few matching gifts I'll be half way to my goal of $5000. I can't say thank you enough for all the support and donations I'm getting. After tomorrow I have to prepare for my wine tasting. Clean my house, put together gift bags for attendees, finalize the guestlist, get some cheese and small apps and bake a cheesecake, then select the wines. I hope I get at least 5-6 people, otherwise we'll only really be able to taste a few wines. I can't really open 10 bottles for 4 people.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Just me and my shadow

Got up early this morning and put on several layers, my headlamp, blinky light, reflective vest, and mittens and went for a nice easy 6 mile run. Out the door at 5:45am. It was dark and cold. The condensation created by my breath made it harder to see than the fact that the sun wasn't up yet. Glad I put on an extra pair of pants, my thin tights would not have been warm enough. I think it was in the low 20s. It was just barely freezing when I got back.

It is so funny and I laugh at myself every time this happens, but whenever I'm biking or running early in the morning, it's quiet, dark, and kind of eery and at some point I pass under a light post or the light on someone's front porch or even the headlights of a passing car then my shadow races past me and scares the crap out of me like some silent runner/cyclist sneaking up on me and wizzing by. Usually it's about halfway into my run and I'm just getting relaxed and in the zone and then it passes me. I jump and then bust out laughing at myself.

Anyway, I dropped another deposit envelope in the mail this morning and will have another one on Friday from the second cheesecake raffle which is looking like it will be just as successful as the first one. These two deposits as soon as they get added to my page should put me over $2000. Making great progress and I hope I can keep it up. At this pace I will hit my goal of $5000 by April no problem.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snowy Sunday 16 miler

Ok, really Mother Nature, was that necessary? It looks pretty and all, but running 16 miles in it with stuff falling off trees and down the collar of my shirt and people driving by and splashing me with a nasty slushy mess and then if that wasn't enough a nice strong head wind for the last 6 miles. Thanks! It was a tough run, but I finished it, feet soaking wet, lips a little blue and missing another toenail. Now I'm cold, hungry and tired. Got the hot shower done, now I just need some food and a nap to make my day complete.

I was thinking most of the way through my run, this is tough but probably not as tough as fighting cancer. Not as tough as hearing a doctor tell you you have cancer, or your loved one has cancer. Not as tough as chemo or bone marrow transplants. Not as tough as being poked by needles non-stop and spending days and weeks and even months in the hospital instead of being outside or home or out with friends. Not even close to as tough as watching your child die before you and long before they even have a chance at life. Not even my toughest run can compare to any of the battles people face when it comes to fighting cancer.

I only wish I could do more to help this cause. I hope that I can spread the word and raise a lot of money and I hope that one day this war will end and no one will ever have to fight cancer again.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Early 8 miler and some spinning

I took a rest day yesterday. This morning I was still a little sore from my strength session, but I got up early and went for an 8 mile run anyway. I went at 6am with my head lamp and blinkie lights and my reflective vest. It was chilly but nice. I was definitely tight and a little uncomfortable in the first mile. My arms and chest are so sore. I didn't think it would bother me running, but it was awkward and took me a little longer than normal to get into a good rhythm. I finally got into a groove and felt good and the miles flew by. Before I knew it I was home and done.

I bumped into one of my neighbors and was able to thank them in person for the donaton they made. He asked me how my training was going and told me about some old friends that he knew that ran the marathon many years ago. It was great to hear his story. It's so great to talk to people and hear everyone's story about the marathon or family members impacted by cancer. It's made this whole experience so meaningful. I feel like I'm not just running for me, I'm running for everyone I've talked to and everyone that they have loved and lost to cancer.

After my run, I quickly changed into dry clothes and headed to spin class for some active recovery to stretch and sort of massage my muscles and prepare for my long run tomorrow. It was a really good class. I was dripping in sweat, even my socks were wet at the end. I wore my new Dana Farber Marathon Challenge shirt in class and handed out my cards at the end of class. I talked to two women afterwards that thanked me for running for such a great cause. I am honored to run and it seems a little backwards when people thank me for running. I am thankful to Dana Farber for picking me and allowing me to run for them. I am thaknful for all of the support and generous donations I get. I am thankful for my health and being physically able to run a marathon.

So, it was a great start to the weekend. Very inspiring and now I just hope that the snow doesn't stick tonight and my long run tomorrow is snow free. I really don't want to do 16 miles in the snow.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nothin like a good @$$ whoopin workout

Today flew by at work, I was able to post a message on my company's informal message board today and spread the word and within an hour or so of posting it I already had a donation, thank you Pfizer colleagues! Now I just hope that my post stays on top of the discussions above "the vending machines are broken" and "why are we making banana flavored cat drugs". I'm not even joking, it's hilarious stuff to read so I really hope my post can compete.

After work, I headed to the gym for some intervals on the eliptical and then a 30 minute personal training session thanks to someone in my office area that didn't want a freebie they won from an incentive program. Their loss was my gain. I was put through a great 30 minute strength session with Tim, the trainer (thanks TIM!!!). On my way home, I could barely lift the weight of my own arms to steer my car. Such a good feeling. I can't wait to see how I feel tomorrow.

Oh yeah and I almost forgot, I contacted the media woman from the runners meeting about the press releases they plan to do to our hometown newspapers and told her the paper in Portland, ME might be particularly interested in my story because my mom is a pretty well known and loved politician in the city and about a year ago they did an article on her and the battle she fought against breast cancer. So, here's hoping they do a follow up article about me running the marathon. I really want to promote the healthy lifestyle I now lead and the great things Dana Farber can do for cancer research with a little help from generous donations. Cross your fingers for me!

Great day and a DFMC runners meeting

Yesterday my fundraising broke $1000!!! I'm now at almost $1500. The second cheesecake raffle is going great and should be just as successful as the first if not more successful. The wine tasting is struggling, I guess it's tough to plan a get together the week before christmas. Everyone is busy or traveling. Oh well. I'll just have to have another one.

I managed to get in a 6 mile run after work yesterday and at a pretty fast pace too. I didn't feel like I was movin' that fast, but the garmin said I was fast so I'll take it. Did some strength training and stretching and then headed into Boston for a Runner's meeting at Dana Farber.

The runner's meeting was fun. Got to meet a few more runners and learn a little more about some fundraising ideas and some random stuff. Group runs start soon, but I may not be able to go at first because of my goofy training. We'll see. It soulds like a lot of fun, I'd love to go to at least one of them. I didn't get home until 9:45pm last night and now I'm exhausted. So, today will eithre be a rest day or a very easy day. I need to stretch some more and do a little more strength, but we'll see how I feel after work.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Headlamp and blinkie lights!

This morning I got up early had some tea and my breakfast, then used my headlamp and blinkie lights for a run in the dark. So much fun! The headlamp is a little snug on my head and started to bother me towards the end of my 6 mile run, but that could also be because I have a huge head. Anyway, I did 6 miles and watched the sun come up just as I was finishing my run. It was cold out, but didn't feel as cold as the thermometer said it was. I love running in the cold. Who am I kidding, I love running in any weather except extreme heat. This morning was really nice though. I kept a quick pace and blew through the miles like it was nothin. Finished up and got a cup a tea and second breakfast.

No updates on the fundraising, I mailed in more matching gifts forms and I'm waiting to see if I get any donations in the mail or online since my letters should be reaching their desinations this week. It will be exciting to see the cheesecake raffle money go officially up on my webpage. That will be a huge bump up. I should be able to seel more tickets tomorrow and over the next week. Hopefully this raffle will be even more successful than the first one. I gotta go it's dinner time and my tummy needs FOOD. More info soon.