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2011 Race Schedule (Thus Far)

March 8, 2011

Well, if you’re looking for me, I’m most likely at a road race. If I’m not running the race, I’m working it for DetermiNation.

Drum roll, please…

3.13.11   An Ras Mor 5K, Cambridge, MA

3.26.11   Run the Reservoir 15K, N. Scituate, RI

4.2.11   Shifter’s 5K, Waltham, MA

4.10.11  Doyle’s Road Race, 5 mi, Jamaica Plain, MA

4.17.11   B.A.A. 5K, Boston, MA

4.18.11   Boston Marathon (not running/DetermiNation)

5.1.11   Cox Providence Rhode Races (not running/DetermiNation)

5.7.11   Boston Marine Corps Honor Run 5K, South Boston, MA

5.29.11   Boston’s Run to Remember (not running/DetermiNation)

8.7.11   Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence Half Marathon (not running/DetermiNation)

10.30.11   Marine Corps Marathon, Washington D.C.

Also thinking about…

8.13.11   Brew Run, 5.2 mi, Brewster, MA

8.14.11   Falmouth Road Race, 7 mi, Falmouth, MA

10.9.11   B.A.A. Half Marathon, Boston, MA

12.4.11  Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Full or Half Marathon (WHAT?)

Running in New Orleans!

February 24, 2011

This post is long overdue; I have been SO busy at work (excuses, excuses).

Two weeks ago I was very fortunate to be able to travel to New Orleans for some DetermiNation training during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon and Half Marathon! Although I was super excited about the trip, like any running/exercise addict, I was a bit worried about when (or if!) I would find time to run. Lucky for me, I work for an endurance event program, so the running was written into our agenda – SCORE!

Saturday morning we had a 6:30 a.m. run scheduled. It’s main purpose was a warm up run for our participants running either the full or half marathon on Sunday.

We started down Bourbon St., and as the street is famous for its nightlife, there will still folks out partying from the night before. I guess their weekend agenda didn’t include a 6:30 a.m. run??

The first loop around the French Quarter brought us at only 1.67 miles, but like I said, a lot of the group was running 26.2 or 13.1 miles the next day!

A few of us (non-Mardi Gras marathoners) had already decided to do 5 miles, so a smaller group continued on a 2nd loop, that brought us at about 3 miles. Still not enough…

A “special” group of 6 of us continued to add another 2 miles, bringing us to 5 miles in about 46 minutes. What a great way to start a day filled of training and marathon planning! It was fantastic to be able to see the sights of the city during a time that so few people were out and about.

The next day, I was working as a DetermiNation Coach on the race course. I was assigned to mile 10 of the half marathon, and mile 14 of the full marathon with another trainee, Lisa.  

Click to see the course map–> MG_11_Course-detailed_01-24-20111

More than “coaching,” we felt that it was our personal responsibility to cheer our hearts out! I’ve been in the runners’ shoes, many times, and I could tell our encouragement was greatly appreciated by participants.  Lisa had made a sign that said “This Way for Beer,” that many got a kick out of. When the race was coming to an end, Lisa and I ran the final 3.1 miles of the half marathon. It was difficult being a spectator because I wanted to run, but it was fun being on the sidelines for once as well!

It’s Lunchtime!

February 9, 2011

While most the 9-5’ers of the world (or 8-4, in my case), are breaking out their lunchbox, or heading to the local Subway for a bite, I am heading to the Planet Fitness in Natick for a 3-mile run. I pretty much have it down to a science: I leave work, head to the gym, run 3-miles, shower, change, reapply some make-up, stop at Roche Bros to hit the salad bar, and be back at my desk in 1 hour.

When I worked at Berklee, I headed across the street to the Newbury St. Boston Sports Club. In Irvine, CA, I had a 24-hour Fitness one floor below my office. During most of my professional career, I have used my lunch break to squeeze in some exercise. I find it’s the best break of all:

1. I feel like I have actually taken a break from work.

2. I come back to my desk feeling revitalized, and tend not to hit an afternoon wall (What’s your 2:30 feeling like?)

3. And most importantly, it allows me to get a workout in, even during my busiest days.

Now I am crazy, that I will also be attending a 6 p.m. hot yoga class tonight at HYP Yoga. Some days, 3 miles is not enough, and I find myself putting on my running shoes again in the evening. But for those less fanatical, I find that working out at lunchtime (if possible) can be the perfect way to ensure you are getting the exercise you need. It may be difficult to be motivated in the early morning, and sometimes the last thing you want to do after work is head to the gym. Most business are not paying you for your lunch hour, right? You might as well take the time – and you might as well workout!

After a gchat conversation around fitness this morning with my fellow runner friend Kim, I felt particularly motivated and got a great 3-mile run in. Not too shabby. 🙂

Ode to the Treadmill

February 7, 2011

As New England residents know, this winter has been far from mild. We’re reaching record-breaking snow amounts for the season. On a particular day, if it’s not actually snowing, the roads and sidewalks are still not cleared from a previous storm. There is so much snow piled up, that all roads are narrower than they would be during a warmer season. When I do see runners these days on the streets, I always cringe a bit. They are running SO close to the cars and on snow and ice. It seems to me like a recipe for disaster. Call me a wimp, but I am just not about to risk my life to run outside.   

Weekends mornings for me include making a pot of coffee and figuring out what my workout for the day will be. For the first time in a LONG time, I woke up to a sunny and relatively warm (40 degrees) yesterday. I decided I was going to finally run outside!

I drove over to Commonwealth Avenue, site of the famous Boston Marathon “Heartbreak Hill.” I chose this road specifically because there is an access road, without traffic, to run on. I parked and I set my Nike+, and off I went.

Commonwealth Avenue in Newton is always filled with runners this time of year as many of them are training for the Boston Marathon. Heartbreak Hill is at about the 21 mile mark in the marathon, and is about a half mile long. Even when you haven’t already run 21 miles to reach Heartbreak, it’s still a challenging hill. Marathon runners and non-marathoners alike choose this location because running this hill is always a great workout.

And of course, on the nicest day in New England in a while, Heartbreak Hill was packed with runners.

My (Andrew’s) iPod was on shuffle and yet still finding great running songs, the sun felt great and I felt strong and completed 5.41 miles of mostly hill work in 49:56.

Now, I didn’t title this post “Ode to the Treadmill” for nothing. I see this piece of machinery often referred to as the “dreadmill” in fitness blogs that I follow. But, let’s go back to the beginning of this post: I have been living in New England in one of the worst winters on record, and yet, still managed to run 102.66 miles in January. These miles would NOT have been completed if it wasn’t for the treadmill.

As much as I miss the warm weather, and my running will quickly resume outdoors come late March/early April, I can’t help feel grateful to the treadmill for keeping me going this winter. I’ve seen pounds shed, feel healthy, and stayed safe while still getting my miles in.

I have also been able to build up speed, as I am finding a run that used to average 6.0-6.5 miles is now averaging 6.7-7.2 miles per hour.

So I’m not trashing the treadmill anytime soon. At least until spring…

Where’s the rock ‘n’ roll?

February 4, 2011

Happy Friday!

I took my running mileage down a bit this week, right now I am only at 16 miles, and I will probably only do 4-5 miles tomorrow. I made it to 3, yes 3, yoga classes this week, which may be a new record!  I am loving how loose my muscles are feeling, and when I have run this week, I have been able to really push myself, working on some speed work on the treadmill.

I was very happy with my January total of over 102 miles. I didn’t have a set running schedule: I was just super motivated! Get.it.done.

I have signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon on October 30, 2011 through American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation program (I also work for DetermiNation), and I am beyond excited… but I have some time until I need to be sincerely training and putting in some serious mileage.

Yet, I have found myself still sacrificing some time out with friends on the town to get up early and run, even though I am not currently training for anything. I can’t help it. I think about going out on a Friday night and sleeping in Saturday, not running and feeling gross… compared to going to bed early on a Friday night, getting up early on Saturday and running, feeling great and accomplished. The latter has been winning a lot lately.

But, as I approach my 27th birthday later this month, I have to ask myself…. Where’s the rock ‘n’ roll? Have I officially outgrown my party girl self?

Where’s the girl who once lived for Friday nights (and Saturday nights… and Thursday nights…)

 Apparently, she’s too busy running.

Running in January 2011

February 1, 2011

After receiving a Nike Plus for Christmas, I joined a “challenge” titled “Most Miles in January 2011.”

I finished January running 102.66 miles. I know I have run more miles in a month before, but it’s the first time I have a definite total for a month… so it feels good.

Out of 1,227 participants, I am finishing the month at #153. I really wanted to be under 150, but I am certainly not going running right now.

A 4-mile run tonight followed by 75 minutes of hot yoga at Prana Power Yoga with Kim = one tired Katy.

Surf City Half Marathon 2009

January 31, 2011

Fast forward for a bit to 2008. I received a job offer that would require me to locate to California. I had lived in Boston my entire life; it was an opportunity I could not refuse.

I packed up my life and moved 3,000 miles away, and found myself for the first time ever, alone. Not only alone, but alone with melanoma (I’ll explain soon!).

So what did I do? Five days after my cancer surgery, I signed up for the 2009 Surf City Half Marathon.

And I ran. Everyday.

When I think back to the time I spent living in Huntington Beach, CA, some of my favorite memories are waking up early, throwing on gym clothes, and heading out for a run. Unlike Boston, my neighborhood was 98.5% flat and the weather was consistently sunny and warm (no Boston winters!!). Plus, with a smaller social network, I had more free time to train. Any excuse I would use not to run in New England was eliminated.

As long as I ran at least 7 miles, I ran right along the Pacific Ocean:

I set myself a goal to finish in less than 2 hours, something I had never done before. I was determined and committed.

It was one of the more trying times in my life: I was struggling being so far from home, I was having health issues and was unhappy in my current professional position. Training for the Surf City Half Marathon gave me something to focus on, something to strive for. As it has many times in my life, running saved me.

Although I was a bit disappointed that I finished the 13.1 mile seaside race in 2:04:36 (I promise, someday I’ll do it!), Surf City is still my favorite race ever, for more reasons than one.

I promise you, I was the only runner wearing a Red Sox shirt…

I casually took this picture while picking up my bib, crazy…