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Sometimes things don’t turn out as planned..

This weekend was not too eventful for me.  Last week we had talked about going for a hike, but then I got sick.  I started to feel weird on Wednesday night… chills, fatigue and was very dizzy.  These symptoms did not go away until Sunday!  I am one of those people that you know are sick when they aren’t moving.  I am a girl always on the move, never stopping. When all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch TV (while drinking ginger-ale and eating saltine crackers) I knew something was up.

We did end up going up north to New Hampshire, but it ended up being very low key.  My parents have a place up there and it’s great to go and spend time with them, and of course we always bring our dog, Oliver. If there was any weekend to be snowed in, doing nothing while feeling ‘out of sorts’, this was the weekend.

New Hampshire was a winter wonderland.  It started snowing on Saturday morning and was still snowing Sunday when we were leaving.

Here are some pictures around the yard… I just had to get some fresh air.

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By Sunday I started to feel pretty much normal.  I decided to go for a 5 mile run, knowing that this could either hurt or help me, I was willing to take  a chance.  It was a slower than normal pace, I wanted to take it easy for my health, plus the roads were icy from the storm.  Whether it was the fresh crisp air or just getting my blood flowing, I really think it helped!  I finished the run feeling better than I did when I started (victory!).  The rest of the day was spent doing errands, watching football and relaxing. By Monday I was finally feeling like myself again.

I hated being sick, but I think my muscles and my body needed a break.  I think it was my body’s way of saying, Slow down!

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What I’ve been up to this week.

It’s Wednesday and the week is half way over with, so I thought I would update you on what I’ve been up to!

As far as my workouts this week, it’s been a tough one!

Monday was a 3,000 yard swim at my Masters Practice.  I have been swimming with the Masters team for over 3 years now, which is hard to believe!  Before joining Masters, I was never on a formal swim team (I was actually a springboard diver in highschool).  Monday practices are ‘distance’ work practices.  This means we do long sets, instead of short sprinting sets.  This practice knocked the life out of me! It was a combination of 800’s, 600’s, 400’s and so on… a crazy ladder workout.  Practice is always for 1 hour and starts at 5:30 AM.  Talk about a wake up call.

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On Tuesday, I went to my crossfit gym for a workout called ‘Chelsea’.  She was a doosy. I knew what I was getting into before I went there, but it always looks easier on paper than it is in person.  The workout was the following:

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The goal was to complete each of the three movements during a minute, for 30 minutes.  It was really hard, and my quads were burning by the end, I even ripped both of my hands on the pull-ups… but I did it, 30 full rounds.  I did not go down on my knees once during the push-ups, I was very proud of myself.  This totaled 150 pull-ups, 300 full pull ups and 450 total squats!  My body hurts today, all of it.

Tuesday night I had a scheduled recovery bike ride… which I think helped flush out the quads.  I rode my bike on the trainer in my basement for 50 minutes and then called it a day!

This morning I had Masters swimming practice again, another tough swim workout.  Wednesdays at practice consist more of short sets and incorporating other strokes, besides freestyle.  This proposes a challenge for me, since I am only really strong with freestyle.  I personally hate breast stroke because of how it makes my knees feel… something about it doesn’t feel natural to me.  I like backstroke, but I think I am really inefficient at it and my legs always feel like they are sinking! It was another 3000 yards of swimming in 1 hour, it felt great despite how crowded our lane was (gotta love January!).

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Tomorrow will be a bike/run day, followed by another swim or Crossfit workout on Friday!

Besides working out, I have been doing quite a bit of cooking lately and trying new recipes.  My favorite from this week, I’d love to share with you from Julie Bauer at PaleOMG.  While I don’t eat Paleo all the time, I consider myself to be a ‘mostly’ Primal athlete. It’s all about balance, right? Here is my most recent favorite Paleo recipe… it was delicious!  It’s pizza spaghetti squash that tastes like Lasagna… amazing!  I added some Parmesan cheese on top, total yum.

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For my ingredients, I used Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce (BPA Free cans!).  I got my sausage, as always, from whole foods (since they make it homemade in house, no nitrates or preservatives).  I took the casing off the sausage and crumbled it in the pan with the onions.. then added to my sauce, spices etc. PaleOMG is a go-to recipe source for me!

Enjoy!

 

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Getting to know me.

As a new blogger, I thought it would be great to write this post, so my readers can get to know me!  My goal is to write posts like this on a regular basis, at least in the beginning.  One thing I have enjoyed about reading other people’s blogs, is when seem genuine and let people in on their lives.

Here are five things I’m sharing with you this Friday:

I love quotes and I’m pretty much obsessed with reading them and finding new ones.  I find them to be a great source of inspiration, for anything really. Reading quotes can make you feel empowered and can make you feel better when you’ve been having a crummy day.  I have been reading quotes since college, always keeping a list of my favorites. I have been pinning to my ‘Thoughts’ Pinboard on Pinterest. You can go there to see some of my favorites.

 

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I have a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (the study of human movement).  Clearly, at 18 years old, when I picked my major, exercise was most interesting to me (still is). I studied Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science.  Initially, I thought I would go to school for Physical Therapy, but ended up changing my mind upon graduation. I did use my degree to work as a personal trainer for a few years after undergrad, and still to this day, I really would like to get back into training part time!

 

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I have hiked 31 of the 48 4,000+ foot mountains in New Hampshire. Our goal is to hike all 48 peaks and we are so close! All of these hikes have been done with my husband Todd, and our West Highland White Terrier, Oliver.   There is just something about being in the mountains,  particularly the White Mountains.  While atop high peaks, there is no facebook, no cell phone service (most of the time), no one interrupting what you are doing… it’s just you, the person (or furball) you are hiking with, the magnificent views and the fresh air.  There is nothing.like.it.

 

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I am an athlete, but I’m also a ‘girly-girl.’  I really love fashion and shopping for new (athletic and non-athletic clothing).  I spend so much of my free time sweating in workout clothes, that I love to dress up and wear cute outfits on the weekends.  Speaking of sweaty workout clothes, I worked at lululemon athletica for over 2 years.  I love to coordinate outfits with accessories.. whether that’s working out or not.

 

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I am a Scorpio and I’m proud of it.  The great strength of the Scorpio-born is in their determination, passion and motivation. Scorpios don’t know the word quit, which is why they usually get the job done. A powerhouse? Like no other. Yup, that’s me.

 

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Have a great weekend!!

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Courage.

“Passion is what drives us crazy, what makes us do extraordinary things, to discover, to challenge ourselves. Passion is and should always be the heart of courage.” ― Midori Komatsu

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When thinking of the name for this blog, I brainstormed… a lot.  I thought about all of the words that describe me, all of the things I like to do, etc… There is one word that just kept sticking out in my mind, and that is courage. I have always loved this word, for many reasons.  One being that when I am racing or training, it is when I feel my most courageous. I find that sweating can make you feel invincible, and when you reach a goal, you can feel unstoppable, like you can conquer anything in the world.  Those goose bumps you get at the beginning of a race, that pit in your stomach… and then overcoming all of that, heck ya, you better believe that’s courage. With courage, comes confidence.  If you have the courage to do something daring, something you have never done before, and then accomplish it, a gain in confidence comes with it. For example, someone who has never done a triathlon or a 5 K, they can be scared to death of racing.  But once they reach their goal and finish the race, they are left with a renewed sense of confidence!  As someone who has always had a personal struggle with confidence, exercising and competing has always been the ONE thing to counteract that struggle. Now if I could only be as confident in everyday life as I am when I’m racing in a road race or triathlon… I would be unstoppable.

Feel free to share your thoughts on fitness and how it made you gain confidence! Would love to hear from you.

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2014 Boston Marathon training has begun

Well… did it almost feels like training never ended… because really, it hasn’t.

I always am grateful for the fact that I’m a triathlete and a runner.  Being a triathlete allows me to cross-train and strengthen different muscles, that might otherwise be weak from running.  Since I am not just a runner, the swimming and biking creates a great balance and (knock on wood) delays the onset of overuse injury. Cycling strengthens my quads, hamstrings and is non impact, swimming strengthens my core and is also non impact.  I am the type of athlete that if I were just to run, I would be having all sorts of aches and pains.  I need BALANCE.

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Last year when I trained for the Boston Marathon (my very first Marathon) , I trained using the Runner’s World, Run Less, Run Faster/ FIRST Training Program. This program was recommended to me by a CrossFit friend, who had used it many times and had success.  Like me, she was confident with running 3 x week and cross-training on the other days.  I knew that with my overall fitness, I would be OK with running only 3 days a week.  Overall, I really liked the plan.  My weekly runs were all ‘quality runs’, consisting of a tempo run, track workout and a weekend long run.  I actually ran three 20 mile runs before Boston.  The plan had me well prepared and I hit my BQ (Boston Qualifying) time with 3:28:07.  It took a while for me to be proud of my accomplishments because of the horrific events that ensued that day (I finished about 30 minutes before tragedy stuck and was a few blocks away taking photos with my husband and my mom).

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For my 2014 plan, things are different.  I will be racing in my first Ironman in August, so I cannot afford to stop biking through the winter.  I also need to keep up with my swimming endurance, because that is something that you can lose quickly and takes work to get it back.   My training plan consists of biking at least 3 days/week, swimming 2-3 days/week and running 3-4 days/week.  Most days, I am doing workouts in the morning and in the evening after work.  I consider this to be my second job, since I work in an office full time.  I like the idea that my weekend long endurance workouts, aren’t just solely running.  For example, next weekend I am scheduled to do a long 3+ hour bike ride on Saturday, then a 30 minute run.  On Sunday I am doing a short bike ride, and an 1 hour and 10 minute run.  It’s all about variety here!  The good thing is, I know this type of plan works (I did initially have my doubts due to running less).  The reason I know it works is because I ran the Chicago Marathon in October, using a very similar plan, and I beat my Boston time by 8 minutes, running it in 3:20. I know Chicago is flatter than Boston, but I thought 8 minutes was significant!

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After qualifying at this year’s Boston Marathon for 2014’s race, and especially after all of the horrible things that happened on that day, I cannot wait for this year!  To prove to the world that Boston and the runners, spectators, volunteers, etc that were a part of 2013 are coming back bigger and stronger than ever.  Oh and I hope to set a new PR, breaking 3:20!

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Todd greets me after I finish last years Boston Marathon