Springing Ahead

I don’t know about you….but by January 2nd I was so ready for winter to end this year. I would consider myself a summer person, I guess growing up in a beach town that is TOTALLY dead between the months of November-May will do that to you. I try to make the best out of winter around here (or I move to Costa Rica…) but this winter was so long, so cold, and just so seemingly never ending.

 

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It’s finally mid-April and sunshine and warmish weather have made their way (slowly but surely) to Boston and the only Winter coming anytime soon is on Game of Thrones. Here’s whats going on now that I’m coming out of hibernation:

I have a yoga class! My first very own weekly class! I’ve been teaching for almost a year now, but on a very sporadic schedule. Now you can find me up ridiculously early Monday mornings to teach a 6am Rise & Shine Vinyasa class at Charlestown yoga. There is nothing I would rather do before dawn than share my practice with some amazing students! I’m looking forward to improving my teaching, and knowing I have a class to teach each week helps keep me on track with my own practice during the rest of the week (you’ve got to practice what you preach after all) and I’ve also been ramping up my own at-home practice (hello headstands!) and putting together some great playlists.

Traveling: I have a busy month at work with marathon season in full spring! I’ll be working the Boston Marathon expo next weekend- stop by the Marathon Tours booth and say hello if you are running/going to be in Boston for the marathon weekend! It will no doubt be an amazing and emotional weekend in Boston after the events last year, and I am so excited to get to be part of it. I’m not running Boston this year, but I really want to do it again some day. Add it to the bucket list!  After Boston I’m headed out to Monterey, CA for the Big Sur International Marathon (again, not running, but working the expo) and the weekend after that going to be in Vancouver, Canada for the marathon expo there. Lots of flying (did I mention that I hate flying?) but also lots of fun cities and people to meet.

Between yoga and work and traveling for work, it will be a busy spring, but a fun one. Last night we went out to dinner at Papagayo– the fish tacos here are strongly recommended, at least 5 of us ordered them last night. We are nothing if not original.- and then we went out for drinks and dancing at Bell in Hand to celebrate a friend’s birthday (25th birthday, hence, Faneuil Hall). I’m impressed with myself for the fact that even though I’m 30 now, I somehow managed to stay out all most of the night (we may or may not have been one of the first to leave) and still make it to the gym for a killer workout this morning. Boom!

Tonight we are meeting friends to try a new restaurant Steel and Rye in Milton, MA. Ross & I tend to have our favorites and not always be the best about branching out to try new restaurants (we also just don’t go out to eat that much in general) so I’m really excited for this! I’ve also already extensively read the menu online. Fact: If I don’t do this, I’ll spend most of the night reading the menu and ignoring my friends who I’m there to see.

What are you up to this weekend? Are you as excited about spring as I am?! (Ignore this question if you live in the Southern Hemisphere. Or Winterfell).

Who Let the Dogs Out? We Did! At the Doggy 5k Fun Run

You know it’s been too long between blog posts when you can’t remember your password to log into your blog… and if you’re too lazy to even reset your password it doesn’t look good that you will be motivated enough to write an entire post. Yet here I am! If anything is motivating enough for me to hack into my own blog and write about, it’s running and dogs. Two of my favorite things, combined!

Today Ross, Mango and I and some friends participated in a Doggy 5k! The event raised money for some great causes, including the Animal Rescue League of Boston and a new dog park in Medford, MA. It was the first year this was put on, and the race definitely didn’t go off without a hitch, but I hope they continue and to improve it and hold it annually. It’s a great idea!

The Pros: As I mentioned, dogs and running are two of my favorite things. It may have been my personal worst 5k time-wise, but it was a personal best getting to run with my 4-legged best friend! I liked the course and the t-shirts and dog bandanas were pretty cool. There were some fun companies giving away treats like doggy massages, iced coffee (for the humans) and doggy ice cream. Ice cream flavors included: Beef, Chicken Soup, and Peanut Butter). Beef: It’s what for dinner dessert.

The Cons: Very disorganized registration and long lines. No bathrooms. Zero, zilch (maybe they expected us to just go outside like the dogs?). The biggest concern was that there didn’t seem to be enough medical staff/vets there, it was a hot, humid day and some dogs were really struggling along the course. We saw one older, larger dog who was down and couldn’t get up. They sent someone on a bicycle with a gallon of water which was nice, but the dog probably could have used an I.V. and a get-away vehicle with AC. I really hope that dog is okay!

All in all, we had a great time.

The crowd waiting for the starting gun to go off!

The crowd waiting for the starting gun to go off!

Water stop at the half-way point

Water stop at the half-way point

Running Family photo op

Running Family photo op

I ran ahead to get a photo of the finish line (it is the finish line, even though it says "Start")

I ran ahead to get a photo of the finish line (it is the finish line, even though it says “Start”)

The whole (tired) group post-race

The whole (tired) group post-race

 

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Mango’s friend Brooklyn enjoying a well deserved ice cream after her finish

Now it appears Mango is going to sleep all day which never happens, so I’ll have to find something to do with all this free time today! Maybe some wedding planning….but more on that in another post 🙂

He put a ring on it, now what? Thoughts on working out with your engagment ring on

Fact: I didn’t go to the gym for a whole 2 weeks after Ross and I got engaged. Some of that was due to the champagne consumption and celebrations that ensued post-engagment, but some of it was just dealing with the logistics of what I would do with my engagement ring while I worked out.

I have no problem running with my ring on, but I really don’t like the idea of it getting scraped up or damaged on dirty barbells. I also really don’t like to take it off. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, and when I do I’ve been known to lose plenty of it by taking it off in bathrooms/locker rooms. Luckily everything I’ve lost was either cheap or given to me by ex-boyfriends (or most likely, all of the above ;)), so it was never completely devastating.

Losing this ring or having it stolen would be devastating- and the idea of leaving it in a bag or locker somewhere just doesn’t sit well with me. So, I’ve been wearing my engagement ring during my workouts, but not on my hand. I’ve been wearing it as a necklace. This allows me to still have the ring in my possession during workouts, and let’s face it, since I’m pretty vain constantly watching my form in the mirror to make sure it’s correct, I can even see the ring the whole time. This has been working pretty well for me so I thought I would share, just in case anyone else newly engaged is having similar issues and avoiding the gym like I did at first! This is assuming you actually want to work out of course, if you don’t, not wanting to work out with your ring on is a great excuse, FYI!

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Do you wear your rings during workouts? Do you have any other tips or tricks to share about working out with your engagement ring/wedding band on?

Wine and Super Glue

Admittedly, this combination (wine and super glue) sounds like it might result in some sort of sticky disaster. Luckily, the end result came out looking like this:

 

 

Ross and I were trying to figure out with what to do with ALLL of our running medals. OMG there are too many to count… if you have an issue counting to 22. If not, then there are just 22 of them. Needless to say, 22 medals take up a lot of space in our tiny apartment. I’ve had some of these for over 10 years and I love each and every one of them for what they represent (pride, accomplishment, hard work, free beer, etc), but for the most part they are just taking up space here, and I get really weird looks from people when I wear all of them out in public (they’re just jealous FYI).

 

Ross had the great idea of making magnets with our medals. This turned out to be ideal as we needed magnets for our refrigerator,  we  also needed something to do with our medals, and we like playing with super glue.

 

We got all the supplies we needed which included: The medals, magnets, super strong super glue, a newspaper to save our coffee table, brie and wine. The brie and wine here are optional, the rest are pretty important for the project. You might also want to make sure you have a refrigerator to put the medals on (if not, don’t worry, you could always surprise a nice, unsuspecting stranger by decorating their car with your race magnets!)

 

 

My Boston Marathon medal was the only one I didn’t sacrifice to the ice box. I didn’t run 26.2 miles for a magnet. That’s just crazy:

My hope is that if the whole health and fitness thing doesn’t entice you to run a road race, and if those feelings of pride and accomplishment just don’t do it for you, maybe magnets will.

 

But seriously, this is a fun project and a great way to show-off  use those medals you worked so hard for, without sacrificing any space in your 500 square foot apartment.

The Longest Day of the Year

Kicking off Summer 2012 with a heat wave sounds great to me! I love this time of year, when you get daylight before AND after work. Somehow, it’s not quite so hard to wake up for yoga at 5:30am when the sun is already shining and it’s a balmy 90 degrees outside.

For this reason, summer is great time to get started forming those healthy habits you’ve been avoiding! The weather is better for outdoor activities, you should have more energy thanks to the extra vitamin D and fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables never tasted so good.

If you start now and form the habit, come February you probably won’t even notice how terrible you feel as you try to scrape the ice off your windshield in the pitch black darkness so you can drive to the gym, wondering if it’s actually 4am or 4pm, or if it even matters…Yay for summer! right?

Please note that there is BROCCOLI on the pizza my niece Halle is diving pig-tails first into. She’s totally taking part in the summer health kick as well:

HAPPY and HEALTHY SUMMER!!!

How is Sunday the first day of the week, and also the weekEND?

Something to ponder. In Costa Rica, the calendar had Monday as the first day of the week, somehow it just seems more logical.

While I haven’t been the most productive blogger lately, I have been loving reading and getting inspiration from other peoples blogs, you know the people who actually write in their blogs and are probably productive members of society too.

An old friend from home wrote a very eye-opening blog post this week about the importance of listening to your body. A great reminder that life isn’t a one-size-fits all deal, and you have to do what’s right for YOU… or else! ( and by old friend I mean someone I’ve known for a very long time not someone old in years. Do ‘old’ people even blog?!)

Another friend who recently started her OWN business Zesty Living just hosted her very first wellness workshop here in Boston. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it, but am very much looking forward to the next one! Luckily she posted a recap on her blog (Healthy Chicks), so I can still get some great tips about eating wholefoods and avoiding the diet trap there.

With such busy weeks, the past few weekends have been spent getting some much needed sleep and downtime. I’ve been working out every day during the week, and taking the weekend off. Weekly workout schedule has gone something like this:

Monday: 6am Power Yoga, 3 mile run at lunch

Tuesday: Lift at lunch

Wednesday: 6am Power Yoga, 4 mile run at lunch

Thursday: Lift at lunch

Friday: 3 mile run

I am missing my long runs on the weekends, but honestly my legs have not felt right since the 1/2 marathon last month. Despite the regular yoga practice, I am all of a sudden having knee pain, IT pain ,achilles pain, quad pain, etc. I am usually NEVER injured, so I’m not quite sure what’s going on. I plan on making a stop in the New England Running Company today for some brand new sneakers, maybe they will help! Or maybe I’m just getting old (can’t be true. I’m still blogging…occasionally)

Oh, and by the way

Happy Sunday, especially to all you Dad’s out there ❤ There was a very moving story about a single dad on NPR Friday morning, it’s a very appropriate Father’s Day tribute.

Long, Short week

Did anyone else experience this? It was a short week with the holiday Monday, but I felt like it just went on forever. This might be due to the fact that I hardly slept, at all. I did the power yoga classes in Waltham at 6:15am on Wednesday and Friday. I love how doing yoga in the morning makes me feel, but having to wake up at 5:15am to get there is quite a commitment. I’m finally turning into less of a monster more of a morning person, it’s the late afternoon where the over-tiredness really kicks in, and I’ve been totally lagging and craving sweets and junk food by 3pm BAD.This feeling, and the average of 5 hours of sleep I’m getting (http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain) counteracts many of the benefits I’m getting from yoga and working out, so I definitely need to work on this!

The problem is, there is just so much I want to do! My commute and work schedule makes for long days to start with. A normal day I leave my apartment in Boston at 7AM and I get home at 6:30pm, so if I want to do anything fun (ie actually live my life) I have to fit it in before or after work, and this week I just tried to get the fun in before AND after. As aforementioned, the before fun was yoga, and the after fun included:

Wednesday night: YAPPY hour at the Liberty Hotel. Swanky hotel, fun outdoor bar, music, mingling AND you don’t have to feel guilty about leaving your dog home all night while you go have fun. Mango seemed a little nervous and out of his element at first but after a few Gin&Tonics special dog treats, he loosened up and had a great time! We’ll be going here a lot this summer.

Thursday night: 1st KICKBALL LEAGUE. Yes, I joined an old-school kickball team with a bunch of people from my company and will be playing Thursday nights this summer. I’m sure there will be plenty of photos to share, in fact this might warrant it’s own separate blog. Randomly, the bar that hosts us post game is a COSTA RICAN bar in Waltham called Boca Bar. I felt instantly at home, and look forward to a weekly Imperial, gallo pinto and dancing to latino music.

Friday Night: We got our Tequila on at Mija in Faniuel Hall with dog park friends. We’ve met a great group of neighbors from the park, and after months of standing around together in rain, sleet and snow trying to force our dogs to play and waiting for them to relieve themselves, we’ve all kind of bonded and even go out drinking without our dogs sometimes (it’s rare that our dogs go out drinking without us though).

So this has been my crazy long short week. Luckily, I got plenty of sleep over the long Memorial Day weekend last week. Ross and I stayed at a B&B in North Conway called the Buttonwood Inn. There is a blog post coming dedicated to this very special place, stay tuned.

This well-deserved lazy Saturday (I’m sorry, but I am SO happy it is raining right now) is going to be spent running errands, cleaning and catching up on that sleep thing.

Do you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night, or do you have more of a ‘Carpe Diem, you can sleep when you’re dead’ routine going?

What the hill was I thinking?!

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“What the HILL was I thinking?”This was the phrase we saw on a few people’s shirts this past weekend, and it was quite appropriate for the Twin Lights Half Marathon. Beautiful course, but definitely hills the whole way, and the one between mile 9 and 10 was not for the weak, thank goodness to the man blasting the Rocky theme song from his minivan on that hill, it was probably the only thing that could have gotten me through without stopping. Yeah I kinda felt like this after I made it to the top:

 

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I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed in our 2:08 finish. I had trained a lot for this, and I’ve also done several half marathons in under 2 hours (which is what my goal was for this) Tough races happen though, it’s part of running life. I was  dealing with a lot of pain in my lower calf,shin and ankle,and pretty much fired my right leg halfway through the race, NBD. So, it wasn’t the easiest run, there could have been a few more water stops (they ran out of gatorade at every water stop, and out of water completely at a few,,not acceptable for a half marathon in 70+ degree weather). The volunteers who were there did a great job though, and it made me really want to volunteer at a race sometime soon.

 

I did not get pictures of us before or during the race, I’m hoping there will be some posted online, because I’m sure pictures of me dehydrated, in serious pain and hopping on my left leg are going to frame-able. My biggest complaint is that they didn’t give out MEDALS! Only the top 3 finishers recieved medals 😦 I think it may be the 1st race I ever ran that didn’t give them out to all finishers, and I hope it’s my last. It made finishing so anti-climatic!

We spent the rest of the day with Moms (our Moms) walking stumbling around Rockport and enjoying the sunshine. Please notice my twin Lights shirt in front of the Motif #1. It doesn’t get much more Rockport than that folks:

 

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Ross and his Mom found their own little piece of Rockport named after them (Donovan’s Corner, which also appears to be Tuna Wharf. I would like to point out that Ross’ last name is in fact Donovan, and not Tuna)

One of the highlights or the weekend was our dinner at Giuseppes. I’m usually more of  a seafood fan when in the North Shore, but this little Italian restaurant was so much fun, you don’t even notice the food (which wasn’t bad at all by the way, and as I North End resident I feel I have a bit of knowledge in this area). They have a piano bar, literally the piano is a bar and it is the centerpiece of the restaurant. People go up and sing, some voluntarily, some get forced/bribed into it, and some even get challenged to a sing-off. 2 out of 3 of these situations applied to me Saturday night, can you guess which ones? Good news is, we totally won the sing off!

Race is done, Moms are spoiled and I have piano bar bragging rights. Goodnight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life is a highway

Hello there! I guess it’s been quite awhile since my last post, I have a good excuse though.. you see the Red Sox started their season and the Celtics are in the playoffs and therefore I have been attending many sports games stuck in deadlock traffic on Storrow Drive for the last month and a half.

In addition to being flipped off, singing out loud at the top of my lungs to “Call Me Maybe” on Kiss108 (this might have something to do with being flipped off, I’m completely tone dead), keeping informed with NPR (as well getting suckered into pledging to all their drives) spilling coffee out of my no-drip eco-friendly coffee cup and getting hit on by truck drivers, I’ve been trying to keep active during the small life hours I spend not sitting in my car/at my desk/on my couch.

For instance, I danced my pants off with relatives at my cousin’s wedding this weekend. Congratulations Chris & Kathleen ❤ Bon Voyage and have a blast in ARUBA!

(Dance moves: courtesy of open bar)

I’ve also been busy running around Boston solo endlessly on weekends training for the Twin Lights Half Marathon this Saturday. I really need a running buddy for this summer, any takers? Is there an online site to meet running partners? If not, I’m going to create one. I’ll call this matchmypace.com.

Ross will be running the race with me Saturday, but he doesn’t have to train like normal human beings (ie women). He’ll still be faster than me too, which is probably grounds for breaking up.

Maybe it’s being so busy and distracted lately, but I’ve been having a hard time focusing. Maybe it’s allergies too? Isn’t it funny how almost everything can be blamed on allergies? I’ve been trying to center myself by focusing on a vision board, and found myself feeling very stuck. It just feels like nothing is coming out of this brain of mine. Dreams, aspirations, goals, where are you hiding in there? Are you also stuck somewhere in my sinus cavity?

I discussed this issue with a great friend of mind who I consider to be a wonderful mentor, and she recommended instead of trying to force myself to figure out what it is I do want, to try to write down things I don’t want (to do, to be, etc.) I’ve always felt it’s best to look on the bright side and try to focus on the positive, but sometimes being balanced means paying attention to what you don’t want too. Don’t dwell on it or worry about it, get it down in writing and it just might spark some of that positivity if you’re stuck. And lets face it, we all have negative thoughts and ideas pop into our heads once in awhile, For instance, you might write “I do not want to turn 60. But I DO want to run a marathon on my 60th birthday”. Don’t worry, if you write this on your own personal vision board no one else will have to see it and you can keep your perpetually positive facebook status in tact. You can even burn it after, in fact that might be a good idea…

One amazing yoga instructor we met in Costa Rica would host full moon parties each month, in which she would invite everyone to write down something negative they wanted to give up or get out on a piece of paper, and they would throw these papers in to a big bonfire and be rid of them.

My focus the rest of this week is going to be on surviving this half-marathon and enjoying a weekend on the North Shore (with Mom’s of course- can’t forget those this weekend!) I heard that bright hot thing in the sky might even make an appearance. What is that thing again? On the agenda for next week:

-Yoga (at least 2 classes, it’s been far, far too long)
-Blogging (so many blog post ideas, so little time)
-Writing a long letter and/or email to friends I need to catch up with. Please know I miss you and love you all!

Life is a highway… who wants to carpool?

Running Imposter

I felt like an imposter running around Boston yesterday. I was surrounded by ‘real’ runners, who weren’t actually running yesterday, since they are all tapering for their marathon Monday. No, the real runners were outside walking around, enjoying the sunshine in their 2012 Boston Marathon jackets and t-shirts. Instead of feeling great about running 10 miles, my 2nd to last long training run before my 1/2 marathon next month, I was feeling a little left out of the Boston running scene.

After spending a whole year away, I now appreciate the fact that the Boston is an incredible running city. Yesterday, I did a 10 mile loop from the North End, down Memorial Drive, over the JFK Footbridge and back down Storrow Drive:

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Another beautiful site? The Trader Joe’s a hit at mile 4 when I was needing a bathroom/seriously dehydrated (they don’t turn on the outdoor water fountains until May 1st).

For roughly 49 cents I got a bottle of water, a Cliff Z Bar, a dried fruit stick and a coconut water for post run. I was tempted to buy more, but I only had a little running backpack with me and 6 more miles to go.

I’m pretty sure if Trader Joes just started selling everything, the Country’s economic crisis would be over.

Sometimes during long runs I hate stopping, but yesterday it worked well. When I left Trader Joes I started thinking I had 10 more miles to go, then quickly realized when I re-started the timer on my Garmin I had already gone over 4, which meant I had a little under 6 miles left to go. Somehow, my 10 mile run turned into a 6 mile run in my brain, and my brain luckily passed that information on to my body. I’m not sure if this logic could work for 26.2, but hey, it’s worth a shot!

I finished and felt pretty great, other than the whole imposter thing. If you are not a fellow imposter and are actually running tomorrow, good luck! And take care, record high temperatures and marathons are never a good match. When I ran Boston in 2006, it was overcast and 60s and I remember feeling overheated. While it’s great to see all the excitement going on in Boston, in addition to feeling a little left out, I’m also feeling a little stressed, about my commute to and from Waltham tomorrow. This is never a great thing to see when you live in the North End: