First hike of 2014 and #32 4,000 footer!

Last weekend I had wanted to hike, but got sick… this weekend I was determined to make up for it!


It has been so darn cold here in Massachusetts (and the majority of the country), that we have been spending a lot of time indoors.  I am such a ‘fresh air’ person, that spending a lot of time inside really gets to me.

The plan for Saturday was to go for a hike that wasn’t too exposed to the elements. Since we are working on our (48), the goal was to choose a peak we haven’t done yet.  Mt Hale ended up being the perfect selection for the cold, windy weather we would face on Saturday.

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Mount Hale is a 4,055 foot mountain in the Twin Range, New Hampshire, in the White Mountains. It was a cloudy, windy day and we knew the views would be obstructed, it was the perfect day for Hale.  We took the long abandoned  FireWarden’s Trail to the summit.  Joining us were three other people plus another four legged friend, Dusty. The two dogs, Oliver and Dusty got along great. It was so cute to see not just one small dog, but two dogs climb this peak in the winter!  Winter hiking is not always easy for Oliver.  He’s a Westie and is low to the ground (short little legs).  He does really well in the summer, but we have to be careful about it being too strenuous for his legs in the winter.  Lucky for us, we knew this trail would be packed down and we did not even need snowshoes or microspikes the entire time… the dogs did great!  Oliver wore his new Ruff Wear Cloud Chaser jacket for the first time and it kept him very warm.  What I love about this jacket is it’s waterproof, windproof, insulating, covers his belly and has sleeves for his front legs.  I like to think he enjoyed wearing it!

The hike took us about 5 hours round trip and was 9.4 miles from where we parked our cars.  Although there were no views to see, just breathing the mountain air was all I needed.  I have included some of my favorite photos from the day!  Winter hiking, in my opinion beats summer hiking…. There are no crowds and the trees and mountains look so pretty in the winter covered in snow!



The brook covered in blue ice and icicles that looked the Christmas ornaments


view from the trail, our friend had a go-pro camera, cool shot!


At the giant cairn on the Hale Summit


Back down we go… Oliver sporting his new jacket!


Dusty and Oliver!

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I should have listened.

I have an injury.  And it sucks.


Sometimes it’s really hard to listen to your body.   It’s also really hard when you’re stubborn, like me. I ignored something for months, and now it’s coming back to bite me at the worst possible time.

Over the summer, while wearing sandals and flats around the office, I started to get a pain in my left heel.  Not thinking much about it, I just put some padding in my shoes and went on my way.  I got more supportive sandals, thinking the flats I was wearing must have been causing the problem. During triathlons in the summer, I was feeling a little something in my heel, sharp pain on occasion, but again, ignored it.  Then came the Chicago Marathon in October, it was bothering me while walking and standing, but not while running (so I assumed everything was fine).  After the marathon, the pain set in and I just knew something wasn’t right.  Now it’s January and there’s still stabbing pain on the edge of my heel.  I have since seen a podiatrist, who diagnosed me with Plantar Fasciitis , however, I am not so sure.  The plan is to get an MRI next week to rule out a stress fracture or heel fat pad syndrome.  Either way, no matter what it is, I know in my gut that I should be staying off my foot- I just don’t want to.  I am training for the Boston Marathon, less than 3 months away… how can they expect me not to run?!?


As athletes, we are often faced with training through the pain.  Runners especially, have a high pain tolerance and are known to just run through whatever is bothering them.  I honestly think my brain has been trained after 17 years of running, to just ignore the pain and run through it. Sadly, I’ve become quite good at it (Maybe this will help me during child birth one day? Ha!).  However, this time, I think the ignoring gotten me into trouble.

Best case scenario: No stress fracture, and I need new sneakers and padding in my running shoes.  I am currently running in New Balance 890 v4’s which I love.  I ran Boston and Chicago in New Balance 890’s, and didn’t have an issue, or so I thought.  I am a heel striker and it could be that I need to go back to a 12 mm drop shoe, something with more heel support.  The 890’s have a 8 mm drop (less heel support). Another great scenario would be that I just need orthotics.  Worst case scenario is obviously that I need to stop running because it’s something serious and then resort to pool running and biking to keep up my endurance.  This will make me down right mis-er-able. Whatever it may be, there is no way I am not running Boston (there I am being stubborn again)… but seriously, after last year and my excitement for this year, I can’t not run.  Stay tuned for the MRI report… fingers crossed!

Readers: How do you mentally deal with injury?


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!


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.


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:


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!).


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.



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!




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.



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!



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.


Have a great weekend!!