Monday, October 7, 2013

Boston Learns to Run Again!

This morning when I woke up I turned on the news and I usually do. ABC news is my choice, mostly to catch Good Morning America. This morning I turned on the TV before 7am for local ABC news and was lucky enough to catch this story, a story of inspiration, of strength, bravery, hope and victory for many.

Boston Bombing Victims Learning to Run Again

 Celeste Corcoran, in her yellow "Boston Strong" hat, navigated her way across the artificial turf on her artificial legs, a volunteer on each arm to keep her upright.
One of her assistants had a pair of prosthetics of his own.
"Normally you walk around and you see everybody with two legs. Especially in the summertime — all you see is legs," Corcoran said, pausing to choke back tears. "It's easy to miss yours.
"But when I see everybody here walking and running, it's OK," she said after a running clinic for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and other amputees. "I just want to be able to do the things that I did before. ... So many people have my back, I feel like I can do it. I'm trying my hardest to enjoy being alive."
Dozens of amputees showed up at the Harvard athletic fields on a rainy Sunday morning along with their family and physical therapists and other volunteers to learn how to run — or run better — with prosthetic legs. Corcoran, who lost both legs in the explosions at the marathon finish line, wasn't much of a runner before, but she said she hopes that she will someday be able to join in a 5K or fun run.
"I've always wanted to be a runner but I used to get shin splints," she said. "I don't have shins anymore, so I'm hoping,"
The joke has apparently been repeated so often that her daughter is ready for it. Sydney Corcoran, 18, is wearing a matching yellow hat along with ankle-length tights that showed the effects of the shrapnel that scarred her legs but did not require amputation. She was on Boylston Street with her mother when the bombs went off, waiting for her aunt to finish the marathon.
Across the field, a boy with two prosthetic legs, no more than 4 years old, was learning to kick a soccer ball with the carbon fiber blades. Two older boys wrestled playfully while the bigger one played keep-away with the younger's prosthesis.
"The most inspiring stories are at the back of the pack," two-time Boston Marathon winner Joan Benoit Samuelson said at the start of the clinic. "Our motto is 'There is no finish line.' There are always more challenges out there. You people who came out today are the spokesmen for those challenges."
To read the rest of the article from ABC news, click here
There was a video as well which was more of what I saw, it was short but to the point and just amazing!
Photo courtesy of FOX News
We are Runners. We Are Strong. We are Boston. We are BOSTON STRONG.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fabulous Weekend: Part 2!

It is race morning. My alarm goes off at 4:30am. That's early, but still not as early as the Princess 1/2 Marathon mornings....woo....those were some early mornings and I would do it all over again!

Anyways, back to the race. So I got up at 4:30. I went to the kitchen and hit start on the coffee maker, which I had set up the night before so all I had to do was hit "start". Just like many of you smart runners, I had set up everything I needed for the day the night before. My outfit was all set out, my running gear was pretty much packed for the bag check, or at least for the car ride until I needed to put it on.  I wanted to be on the road by 5am. I was close, I almost forgot my coffee and had to run back inside.

Then I was on the road to Providence, RI for the Rock 'n' Roll Providence 1/2 Marathon!!
First off, since there were all these road closures and I don't know Providence that well, I wasn't sure how to get to the mall parking garage. So I pulled into the first one I saw off the highway. Not paying attention to price, I parked and then dilly-dallied in the garage getting my gear on, texting a friend, etc. On my way out I then noticed the price....$18 for 5hours!!! I said No Way!!! So then I had to waste more time by going out to ask someone how to get to the mall garage. I then paid my $6.00 for parking since it had been more than 15min of parking....and went to the garage at the mall....grrr...

Anyways, back to the good stuff! There was a meet-up set up for the race morning of RunDisney runners and other friends, so I headed over in hopes of finding someone.

Look who I found! It was Erin, a Run Disney enthusiast and a Rhode Island local! She was also looking for the meet-up group, but it seemed that some were late, so we didn't really see anyone else! But is was great to see her! You can read her blog For the love of Running Disney , and yes it is what is says, a blog about running at Disney! Erin is pretty awesome I must say!
So we said our hellos and got our picture taken, and then went our ways to our corrals!
There I was on corral 11. I was also waiting for one of my friends who was running her first 1/2 Marathon! She had arrived on the late side and had been texting me. She ended up just kind of jumping in at corral 3 or 4 since she was in a rush. I don't think anyone cared, there didn't seem to be anyone monitoring the corrals to make sure people were getting in the right one.

Along the course there were a lot of bands playing rock n roll music and a lot of other genres as well! This guy was cool and was hanging out in the middle of the street! There were also a lot of people with signs! As you can see I really enjoyed these girls' signs!

I caught up with some mischievous Minions along the way! There were one or two others, but they missed the photo opp! One Minion, not pictured here was someone I had met before and I didn't eve realize it until I was home on facebook! She had also participated in Run Disney races and all that and I even am facebook friends with her! Who would have known! I actually ran past another woman during the race wearing her Princess 1/2 shirt, so of course I said hello, good luck, etc.!

A selfie just before the 10 mile mark!

Here was the final hill, hitting mile marker 13 then the finish line!!
I have to give thanks to my mom for the awesome Finishing photo!

my well deserved Medal! And I have been shrink wrapped for the purpose of icing!

Here we are, two finishers! This was #3 for me and #1 for her! My friend Maria Elena did AMAZING! I was so proud of her. She had very little time for training, and still finished in 2:31:XX hr! I of course had a goal of hitting 3 hours or under. When I finished, the clock read 3:03:xx. So I knew by looking that I had done what I set out to do since the clock was the timer from the first group! But I didn't want to throw out any huge "hoorays" until I knew the official time!
So my Mom (who came to watch), my friend and I then skipped the free beer line and stretched a bit then went for some lunch! After which we parted ways to go home. I went home and sat in a cool/cold tub for about 5 minutes then a shower. I did a little stretching, then crawled back into bed for a nap before the Patriots game. Before the game I then went online to find out my official time....
How awesome is that! I did it!!
Not trying to be negative, but if the last 2 miles hadn't been such a struggle for me, I feel like I could have shaved 3-5minutes off of my time. But I am soooo thrilled with my time! It makes me want to do another just to beat that time! But I do know that I need to give my body a break. I will still run, and do short distance, but take a break from the long distance. If I can, I willl do this race again next year. It was a lot of fun!

Fabulous Weekend: Part 1

So last weekend, starting Friday September 27th was the beginning of a fabulous weekend, which was what I was expecting!

So it began after I left work, where I went straight home after filling my car with gas! At home I quickly changed and got ready for the nights festivities!
Then I was off to meet up with a close friend then to the train into Boston!

Boston, you ask, what could be in Boston? Michael Buble is your answer!!
If you couldn't tell, I LOVE this man! Not just for his good looks either! Anyways, this would be my 4th show of his, and he never disappoints! It was Amazing, fun and just a grand old time!

And so it begins, Opening with "Fever"

A fan gave him a tiny Bruins jersey for the newest and tiniest Buble in the family!

It was just a fantastic way to start my weekend!

Now to move on to Saturday, another great day, but exhausting. I don't think it helped that I didn't get home until 1-ish am from the Michael Buble show, and then I was up around 8:30 to get ready to go to the Rock n Roll expo.

My friend Liz and I picked up our bibs, shirts and swag bag...then off to the merchandise/vendor area. It was a pretty good expo. I wasn't really sure what to expect. Again my only expo comparison is from the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon expo. So of course this was much smaller, but still good. It wasn't too crowded when we got there, which was around 10:30 in the morning and I believe it opened at 9.

So we walked around the expo and got plenty of samples of energy supplements to use during the race, as well as pumpkin ice coffee samples from Dunkin Donuts. Lets just say I think we both could have run the 1/2 Marathon right there from all the caffeine/energy we had in us from the samples. But as usual, we felt the crash hit us a couple hours later, especially on the way home from the expo.
While at the expo I picked up an energy supplement, I decided to go with PowerBar energy Blasts chews. They were pretty good, and seemed to work pretty well during the race. I also picked up some head bands from a group called Hippie Runner! They are similar to Bondi Bands.

I purchased the skull one to match my outfit for the race, but my favorite...well im kind of torn. I think the what about a Kenyan is hilarious and a really like the Cupcake one. I really hope I can put the Tiara one to use someday at the Princess 1/2 again!
After we left the expo, we decided to take a walk up to the start/finish area for the race to check it out. We also got some lunch and then some cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory for the following day to enjoy after the race!
We even had enough energy in us to drive as much of the course as we could, to see what the hills would look like and what to expect! There were a lot of parts of the course that were "one way" roads, meaning we couldn't drive on them they were one way, but yet the course had us running the opposite direction that cars were allowed to go! But it worked out, because the hills that we wanted to see were on roads we could access, so that helped!
For the Race Post please read Fabulous Weekend: Part 2 !

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hakuna Matata!

Yes, put the past behind you. That's going to be my motto.
This past Monday my husband and I suffered an unfortunate event, our apartment was broken into. No one was hurt physically, and they didn't break anything other than a panel on our door to get in.
They stole our tv, laptop and Playstation 3. Bummer, I know.

As glad as I was that there was no further damage, just some evidence of rummaging through drawers, etc, no memories were taken, no personal and important belongings (family jewelry, etc) were stolen, but just items that can be expensive to replace.

We both felt useless for the rest of the evening. I cried after the cops left, or at least tried my best to wait until they left. Now I feel that our apartment is tainted, but I am also feeling protective, and just want to stay home to watch over it even though the odds of it happening again are slim to none, at least by the same people who did it before.

But now we are trying to move past it. Trying to gather all paperwork for insurance and get that sent out asap.

Having the break-in also put a damper on my training plans. I had planned on doing some laundry Monday after work, then coming home and getting a couple miles in or maybe some speed work. But then just a few minutes or so into the washing process I got the call from my landlord, asking me to go home and check things out. Then my night was over, there was no going anywhere or doing anything else. My sister came over to hang and bring some dinner which was nice and comforting.

Rich and I stayed home on Tuesday to try to pull ourselves together, gather information, etc. My mom came over with some lunch and her computer to use for email, searches on craigslist and just to be a friendly face.

We both returned to work on Wednesday and the whole day I just wanted to be home. And even when I was out of work, I couldn't go home. I had a dentist appointment and then a chiropractor appointment. Then we went to his sisters house to hang out, see our niece and my father in law was nice enough to give us some money to help with the purchasing of replacement items!

Anyways, today is Thursday! I went to work with a bag packed of my running gear, determined to park at a spot and going running on a new route that I had partially planned out, in hopes that it would still work fully. Well after work today I started driving in the direction I needed to to get to the location, and I started feeling nauseous, my tummy hurt and I was just tired. I have been tired for the past two days due to the stress and thinking about the whole thing. Anyways, so I parked my car and talked myself into.

I convinced myself to at least go 2 miles out and then see how I felt. I decided at two to keep going. I had planned on 8 miles, so running out 4 then turning around. So I pushed forward to 4, and then had to push myself the final 4. My last 4 miles were better than my first. I think it did help that it was more downhill going back then the first 4.

Anyways, in the end I am really glad that I pushed myself out of the car and did all that I set out to do. I was not thrilled with my time, but hey I did it, it isn't awful and like I said, my pace was much better the last 4 miles. Looking at my final time, if my pace stays the same or continues to improve through the miles, the 1/2 marathon in a week and a half should be completed in just under 3 hours which is my goal.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Running in my Dreams

The other night I had a dream about my race coming at the end of the month. But it wasn't a really good one. I was totally unprepared. For some reason I found myself in Maine, because apparently that is where the race was taking place (in my dream). I had arrived at the race really early, and realized I didn't have anything I needed. But then I found out I was there for the wrong day, I was early on the day of the expo. So I felt some relief and knew I had some time to kill before the expo, so I was able to go somewhere else and get what I needed. I also met up with my girl friend, who is also running the race.
So then I must have skipped over the expo and it was race day. And there I was again, unprepared, no water, no music, no nothing! I panicked a bit, but then I woke up and was really confused!
But now I am feeling worried about the race. I still have a few weeks and am feeling a bit unprepared, but not with the items I need, but in my running. I was hoping to run 3x this week, but so far it has been one.
Tuesday I took a break, Wednesday was hotter than heck, and then today I was doing a bit of house hunting. I did think of running this morning before work, but it was way to dark out to get out when I wanted to, and I am not ready to run in the dark yet.

So hopefully tomorrow after my chiropractor appointment, I can get some miles in.

Now I need to vent, just a little minor thing, but annoying. I was out this evening getting some take out, and the take out guy knows my name and was like "I saw you out jogging the other day." Jogging!?? Really? My run may look like a jog for those who run faster than a 10-9 min mile, but please, I still consider myself a runner, no matter how fast or slow!

I posted this question on Facebook and have already received some responses! I really enjoy hearing what others have to say!
"ok, out of those who run on the slower side, myself included, do you find your self almost feeling offended when someone says to you, I saw you out "jogging" the other day? It might be a jog to those who can run under a 9min mile, but to me, that is how I run!"
-esp when you know how FAR you can go!! What does that One More Mile shirt say...? I may not out pace you, but I will outlast you!!!
-I don't care what people say. I am a very slow runner but I am out there running. As the saying goes -- a 15 minute mile is the same distance as a 9 minute mile..... Or something like that but u get what I mean. I am very proud that I can get out there and move. Many people can't or don't..... So be proud!!!
I run like Phoebe on "Friends" so my husband says, why don't you try to change it. And I always say it doesn't bother me. I can't see myself run.
 -Yes!!! I hate the word "jog". I feel like it implies less effort. I work hard out there.

So what do you have to say?
Whether you are a fast or slow runner, is there anything that those who are non-runners say that gets to you?
Is there anything other runners might say that gets to you?
Have you had any good or bad dreams about running?


Monday, September 9, 2013

Feeling Good...

So this past weekend was not one of my best. On Friday my back pain returned and I believe it was all due to lifting a student (with another staff) on to a table for a toileting change. So Friday through Sunday night my back, lower back I should say was not happy. I would say it was anywhere from a 5-8 on the pain/uncomfortable scale. I was not a happy camper. I tried ice, I tried sitting in another chair, I tried a muscle relaxer and I tried heat. If I was moving around it wasn't as bad, so anytime I was up in the morning making coffee and washing dishes it went down to probably a 3.

I was hoping to go running on Saturday, but I figured I can wait one more day and go on Sunday (which didn't happen). So I settled for a walk around the block just to get myself moving, and maybe it might help my muscles a little. Well it did help, but really for the time I was outside and then when I got home it returned.

The one thing that did seem to help was the heating pad. I figured my muscles are so tight that I'm in pain and they need some release. I really could use a massage, but I haven't made an appointment yet.

When I woke up this morning, my pain had gone down significantly  which was nice and made my day at work a while lot better.
So I planned on running since I didn't get it in over the weekend and I felt better.

I ran 6 miles today, and it went pretty well. I never felt out of breathe, I did feel tired from time to time, mostly in my legs, but I pushed through. I did give myself a couple walk breaks that were longer than my interval timer gave.
I ran by, well I was walking at the time, another runner. She actually ran past me, but I saw her coming and let her pass. She looked like she was a well seasoned but young runner, going on many miles maybe. She went past me and disappeared. But what I noticed about her while she was running were her arms. They didn't seem to move! It reminded me of when I have seen many older, such as 60+ year olds running. Her arms weren't down by her side, but they weren't up/bent and swinging. They seemed to be slightly bent and just hanging out. I hope I don't sound like I am judging her, I am simply making an observation and am curious. I feel like if my arms didn't move, then I wouldn't move as well. Plus I thought that it was helpful to your breathing and blood flow to move your arms.

I could just be talking out of my ass....but who knows. If it works for her, then that's ok with me!

Anyways, I am happy to say that I am slowly, but surely on my way to my upcoming 1/2 Marathon! I don't have much longer until it will be here, but I will do all I can to build on my endurance and stamina!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

it's official, 1/2 #3 here I come!

There is no turning back now.
I have 24 days to whip my booty into shape for the Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon in Providence! I am very excited and nervous all at the same time. I went out for a 4mile run today and was able to maintain an average pace under 13 minutes. If I can achieve that during the half, then I should have no problem finishing in 3 hours.

I am still trying to get used to my intervals, and I did my best to stick to it as much as I could today, but there were a few times I either hit pause accidently or I walked early, at the 30 second warning vibration. So now I need to create a schedule and stick to it, and push through it. I need to get back to eating healthier as well!

As you can see Fall is creeping its way in! I am super excited! I wasn't even halfway through my run when I spotted the tree and its slowly changing leaves! It has me very excited! Fall it my favorite, and I definitely feel my training gets better with the fall weather. That said, I really hope I improve as the days get closer and closer to the RnR 1/2.
I finally picked up a foam roller as well, which is not only helpful for after runs, but for my back. My chiropractor gave me a set of exercises/stretches to help strengthen my back, and this will help loosen and stretch as well. And I also am getting tired of holding a water bottle, or carrying my 10oz fuelbelt bottle on short runs so I found a Fuel Belt (16oz?) handheld with strap. It was a lot easier, but I still feel like I always have so much to carry/wear for a run. Bonus, I found it at TJMax for $5.99! What a deal!
I shared my picture of my patella band for my knee, well I decided to wear it on my right knee since it seems to be clicking a little more when I am just walking around, but then during my run my left knee was feeling a little sore. So I guess its back to Dicks Sporting Goods for another one. I thought part of the reason to run was to become healthier and improve my body, but I guess its not always that way! haha.
So here it goes. I am really looking forward to getting myself immersed into training.
What are your must do's when training for your big race?
What has been your favorite mantra/saying to keep youself motivated?
Do you have any race rituals/routines?
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars." -Les Brown

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Runners Community!

While I was out for my run today I began to think. I typically use my runs to just listen to music, get out some stress and from time to time I do think about things going on.

I was thinking about the community of runners, or in general the active community. Before I became a runner, I would have never thought about running a 5k, let alone a 1/2 Marathon. Running was not something I enjoyed, but rather something I really disliked. I don't want to say that I didn't associate with others who were active, but I guess I always chose to ignore or at least pay little attention to there active-ness, except for times where Cheers and Congrats were deserved for a job well done!

Two to three years ago I did attempt some running outside and on the treadmill. I had joined a gym to try to lose weight for myself and for my wedding. I wasn't a big runner, but I thought the cardio would be a good idea to try. Plus I also was participating in a Climb for Air for the American Lung Association. Pretty much you climb up a crazy amount of flights of stairs and raise money for the ALA. Anyways, I never ran more than a mile at a time probably, and it wasn't to bad. But it never really led to anything.

I am part of that generation that tends to look for instant gratification. And we all know that is not something that can be achieved when trying to lose weight. And I know that. But anyways, I fell out of running and didn't attend the gym as much as I should. I always made excuses and barely attended the last 3-6 months of my membership. I got married in 2011, my dress fit and that is what mattered!

Then in 2012...I discovered Run Disney. I have mentioned this a few times or more in other posts, but anything that has to do with Disney is a huuuge motivator! I thought....running, in Disney, dressed like a Princess???? I could totally do this.
And that is where it all started, I bought running sneakers, I bought a hydration belt, I began to build my mileage, running 2-3x a week and then a long run!

And what I discovered was there was this whole big community of others who were just like me, a beginner looking to get going. Also in this community were veterans, others who have been where I was and could provide tips, suggestions, support and motivation! I thought "what a great place that I am in, that I have others who don't even know who I am, and they want to help me!" It doesn't matter who we are, where we are from, our profession, or even level of athleticism, but what we have in common is that we are RUNNERS!  We want to experience the runners high, sweat, eat carbs, buy fun running clothes, and of course run the race!

When you are inactive, you never realize what is out there. Many have their friends, their own support group of those who enjoy the same activities. We all experience that whether we are active or not. But the community of runners is a whole other world, and much different experience that is so powerful and great!

I could go on and on about this, and I am sure if you are a runner you share my feelings about how great it can be and how wonderful this community it is. So to end this, I want to say thank you to everyone who has been there to support me, motivate me, teach me and show me the way to becoming a runner. I still have my ups and downs, as I know even a seasoned runner does, and I appreciate the fact that there is a group I can call to to help pick me back up, whether it is on facebook, blogging, or local friends.


Monday, August 26, 2013


When it comes to running...or when you become a runner, you end up with a collection of race shirts, running clothes/capris/tights, and many accessories!

You may not need all these accessories at once, but for the long run or race day, you may. In my last post I talked about my new interval timer. As much as I hate having to wear two things on my arm at once, I did not need my fuel belt on me.
As you can see.....I drew my belt in, just to show all the accessories I would need if it had been a long run. My cousin made a funny comment on a photo from my last race about the amount of things I had on my belt, or the "lack of" items, and I should add a hat or something! very funny..
Usually when I have my belt, my music (cell phone) which also serves as my gps/run app would go in the zipper pouch. I also purchased a pouch that slides onto the belt so I can put my camera in it, it takes much better pics than my phone, so I like to have to have it for race day, unless it is a 5k.
Another new "accessory" is my patella band for my knee.
I could probably wear one on each knee, but I bought one just so I could try it out. I don't like how un-flattering it is, kind of pushing everything up, but that's what it is suppose to do to the knee, push up to keep things from rubbing the wrong way internally. After suffering from "spasms" for the first 6 miles of my last 1/2 Marathon, my chiropractor suggested getting a Patella support Strap.
So I don't know if I will wear this or both ( I will pick up another) every time I run, but today I felt like I could have worn two. When I took my walking breaks my right knee felt a little funny, so it might have been good to have some support.
Speaking of todays run...I am getting really bored with the routes I have close to me. But knowing that I have to run, I did it anyways. I changed my intervals to 2:1 which I complied with majority of the time. I did sometimes slip to 130:130, but I would switch back and forth. I did still feel winded half way through, and was hoping to do 4 miles again today and probably could have pushed myself. But I decided not to, and to push myself to 4 tomorrow. I know I wasn't properly hydrated today, and I haven't been eating the greatest lately either.
I know I said I would definitely sign up for the Rock N Roll 1/2 for the end of September, but I am going to use this week to decide. I want to make sure I can do it. I know I can do it, but I want to make sure I am capable of doing it, feeling good and be able to finish strong. So I will use this week to run whenever and as much as I can in hopes that I can build my endurance a little more so I can be able to get long runs in before the 1/2. So here I am crossing my fingers.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Slow and out of Breathe!

Trying to get back in the game isn't always as easy as you think it can be.
For the past two weeks, I have only run once a week. I have the greatest intentions of running at least twice this week, which I still have time do. So I set out today to complete 4 miles, but alas, I only got to 3.
I had also purchased a interval timer to bring out on my runs, so that is another accessory I had to add to my body. So I decided I would go big and just go with the pre-set interval of 3/1 and go.

So I started with my normal walking warm up and then hit start on the timer. Well I only lasted at the 3/1 for maybe a mile, then I had to bring it down to 2:30/1, and then I was kind of back to doing my own thing.
I was tiring out a lot faster, and I wasn't running much fast than usual, obviously it was a little slower. So I can definitely contribute the fact that I have been slacking on my running to the slowness, but it was also warm and humid, I don't want to say hot, but def. on the warm side with humidity!

I really have to kick my own butt and get back into high gear in order to get back up to 1/2 marathon endurance/status/ability.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Half Marathon #3 ???

So I am contemplating Half Marathon #3.
And it is coming soon.
The Providence Rock N' Roll 1/2 Marathon (mini and full marathon available too) on September 29th, 2013.

The things I must consider is my financial situation. I have been trying to handle my finances and a better manner lately, and try to steady things to steady myself through the rest of the year. There is nothing like feeling like you are in a financial struggle in the winter when heating bills start to climb. And especially when trying to find a future home.
Currently the cost for the 1/2 is at $105, but I do know of a discount code that would save me $10, doesn't sound like a lot, but $10 is $10.

The reason I want to register is because #1, it sounds like fun, a fun least the most fun/exciting of a course that is possible close to home that wouldn't be Run Disney! haha. I know nothing could compare, but it is nice to know that there is another race out there with some sort of on-course entertainment! #2 It seems relatively easy of a course, meaning not to hilly, or at least no extreme hills. #3 I really want to hit or even break 3 hours!

I was hoping to hit/break 3 hrs in my last 1/2, but due to the heat, that was a failure, but I was not. I finished, which is important. But I know that I can reach the goal as long as I continue to train, but I want the opportunity to do it!
If I register, I need to register soon, it sounds like something that could fill up soon, but I am not sure. So I will give myself a week to think about it, tops.

I will keep you updated with my decision, which I think you all know which choice I hope to make!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Funday (stolen from Sarah at RAD)

Ok, first I am going to start off with my day. Today an old Pastor/Youth Pastor, Gary from my childhood returned to our family church to run the service and do the sermon! I have not seen this man and his family in quite some time, so it was great seeing most of them (some where just returning from vaca with her fam)
Anyways, so during the service there is always a children's time where the children in the sanctuary are invited up for a little "one on one" kind of time with the minister for some God Talk! Anyways, he began to reminisce a bit about his own daughter when she was 2 or 3 years old, we are talking around 25 years ago! Anyways at the young age she had come to him and her mom and asked "Is Miss Jean God?" I know you are wondering "who is Miss Jean?" Miss Jean was someone everyone in my generation, many before and some after interacted with for Sunday school. She is a wonderful woman who always knew what to say and how to keep us kids happy!

Anyways, so back to "Is Miss Jean God?" Well we all laughed, and then teared up a little as he, Gary of course told us how they replied "Yes!" Gary continued to say that she loves us so much and cares for us all so much, just as God does. That's when we all went into tears, especially Gary! It was the best and most touching moment of the day, neh...the week!

I then had to leave the service early to go to work, which bummed me out because I knew that there would be more happy moments to come not only during, but after the service!

Anyways, to continue on with Sunday Funday, a fellow blogger has a Sunday Funday post that I want to share. I have included the link before, it really can bring a smile to your face!
Thanks Sarah!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Post 1/2 Marathon!

It has been two and half weeks since my 2nd half marathon! Yikes!

I had planned on running at least a mile during the week following the race, but that didn't happen. My back ended up being pretty tight from not just running, but the crazy heat. Not that that was my excuse all week seeing how that only last two days.
But last week I got back onto the treadmill and did a mile, and I did pretty well. And that was it for the week. Well, I did do one Hip Hop Abs video last week as well.

Over the weekend I went to the Taylor Swift concert with my cousin, it was a good time! Carly Simon made an appearance to perform a duet, singing her famous "You're So Vein" which was awesome!!

This week was the beginning of a new week, at least that is what I have been telling myself. But I am off to a good start. Monday I ran two miles, slow...then did 30 minutes of hip hop abs. Today I only did 2 miles, and a few ab workouts, but nothing long or repetitive. Tomorrow I have to work both jobs, so there is no time for a work out. Thursday although I have some errands and cleaning to do, I am hoping to fit in a run and a video work out.

What I thought was interesting, was the difference in my runs from yesterday to today. I changed the route up a little, instead of doing two loops (Monday), today I ran part of the loop, down a hill then back up. I still did better today than yesterday.

Friday we leave for Cape Cod for the week (crossing fingers for the whole week). Since we will have to whole week instead of only a few days, I am definitely going to get some running in. My sister will be with us and will hopefully join me on a run, or going biking while I run. I actually have been thinking about trying a morning run, sometime before everyone else wakes up, then doing a couple things in the small gym at the resort we stay at then jumping into the pool! I figure that is a great way to end a workout before breakfast and a shower!

I am tempted to try running on the beach, but that might be a no-go, I might just stick to the leisurely walks on the beach, those seem to be more enjoyable. If I run on the beach, maybe I will go before sundown, it might be more scenic.

Have you run on the beach before? Did you like it, did you not? Barefoot or sneakers?


Monday, July 15, 2013

Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon

1/2 Marathon #2 in the books! I have to say it was tougher than my first, but I finished and that is what really counts! As much as I feel bad about how I had to complete it, I know I am not alone and that makes me feel better, and I feel good about doing it and don't regret it! I have some thoughts to share and then some pictures I will share!

So once we arrived at the race, it was kind of a race to get to packet pick up and a bag check sort of thing, then to get in line! My friend Ben, who is a faster runner than I, was telling me that we were going to start together in the 9:30 pace group, I then replied by laughing in his face..but then found myself there anyways. I think that could have be a contributing factor to the way I felt...but whatever. So from the start my knee also was bothering me, both of them. Not in pain, but just a weird annoying feeling. Which when I asked the medical tent at the finish they said it was probably my knees spasming..which I have never least not constantly for 6 MILES!
The worst was after mile two we began to ascend a huge hill that I will never be a fan of. Instead of walking, it felt more like a climb...

It is hard to tell a bit, but all up the road is only PART of the hill...the rest continues to climb up through that park up ahead.

But I made it up, got to a water stop and continued to walk myself through the fatigue and then run downhill at a point.

We then met up with mile 5, which thank goodness for a port-a-potty! Having to pee affected me a bit, but I didn't really have time when I first got to the race to go, so that didn't help either. While in line, I started talking to two girls who I had seen for a while. They invited me to run a 3min run/2min walk pace with them. I was all for it, but my knees weren't.

So this is where I feel disappointed. At mile 6, after passing the start/finish line area, I decided to walk to mile 7 in hopes of running again. Well...that didn't really pan out. From then on I was A LOT! I couldn't help it, it was so hot...and not having much shade along the course wasn't helpful. I did get to see some pretty sights, but I was feeling down on myself about walking, and tried to run here and there when I felt good enough too, especially if there was any down hill parts...that made things easier.

As I had said in a previous post, I was hoping to finish in 3 hours maximum, but I finished in 3:21:27. I will take it. I wasn't the only one who slowed down. People who normally finish in 90min, finished in 2 hours. I wasn't the only one who pretty much walked the last 4 miles either, which helped me regain some confidence in my wise choice, and I am glad I did and didn't end up being on of the 5+ people who were sent to the hospital for heat exhaustion! So I have to say that I am not disappointed, but only wished that I could have run more of the course than walked! And I am sure I am not alone in that thought!

I would have to say that if it is cooler, I would do it again! Which is a good feeling!

Enjoy the photos!

Laying out the night before!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy (belated) 4th of July!

So last week was the 4th of July, a very busy week I might add.
I will keep it as simple as I can. June 29th my parents, cousin and I flew down to Maryland to help my sister move back home. It was fun, tiring and a looong drive back to Mass from Maryland.
Monday, July 1st was Rich's birthday and then Tuesday was my parents 36th wedding anniversary! Yikes, an lot to celebrate! So we went to dinner on Tuesday to celebrate both.

I had my first chiropractic appointment on Wednesday, what a shock to a system that can be, and put a little more financial stress on, but I will make it ok. I had work that evening. Thursday, Rich and I went to his Mothers for a cookout/party for the 4th and to celebrate his bday with family and a few friends! it was nice!

Thursday morning before the cookout I decided to go for a run! I had purchased a running skirt to try out, and plus I needed to break in my new running sneakers! Unfortunately the picture I took of me in my skirt and sneakers wasn't able to be uploaded since I deleted it as I was uploading...woops!

You get my after shot! Boy was it hot, but I did it, and that made me happy. What I wasn't happy about was the running skirt, I thought I had found one that would have been long enough in the shorts area, but those rode up and I ended my run with a burn/chaffing on the inside of my thighs. So I washed the skirt, and even though I know I shouldn't, I am returning it, if I am not going to wear it again, I am not keeping it!

Saturday my sister and cousin came over for a little which I cant explain now, but I will later! When they arrived, my sister and I went for a 2mile run, more like a jog I guess. We ended with a 13min pace, but it was just so hot out which made it more difficult to breathe and run easily and steadily.

Now to today. This Monday was back to work, shorter days, 5 days a week. Today I went to the gym for an easier run, and set the treadmill to the maximum time of 60 minutes. I was hoping to finish 5 miles, which would be at most a 12min/miles. And I did it! I was able to complete 5.2 miles in 60 minutes, which made me feel great. I don't think I will have that kind of stamina and endurance for the 1/2 on Sunday, but as long as I have others around me...even people I don't know running around me, I know I can do it, and the goal is to finish in no longer than 3 hours.
Finishing in 3 hours would end me with a pace of approx. 13:45min/mile. Which I think I can handle!

                                                                 Some running humor.
But you better believe that there is going to be a pretty fantastically awesome FB post if I finish in under 3 hours! And that wont be after 10 miles...but 13.1 hehe.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Body at Rest

So as I stated in my last post, or at least I think I did...I hurt my back about 2-3 weeks ago at work. Well it really hasn't got any better. I thought I did, but it really hasn't. It has been back and forth, the pain coming and going as it pleases, sometime worse than others. I haven't run since last Friday when I ran a 5k.
I have a 1/2 Marathon coming up in 2 weeks from this Sunday. I have the confidence to know that I can do it, but it still makes me nervous that I cant train for it right now. I made an appointment with a chiropractor for next Wednesday, which is going to make me nervous. It will be my first time, plus there are always good and bad things that you hear about people's experiences with a chiropractor. Luckily my mother has been seeing the same one for many years, so I have confidence in the office she goes to. I really hope it relieves some pain and pressure and I can continue on.

The other tough part is that my sister is moving home from Baltimore this weekend. YIPPEE!! So my parents and one of my cousins and I are flying down on Saturday and helping her to pack it all up in a truck and her car, then drive back to Massachusetts. So I have to be careful when picking up different items, etc. I am not excited for the car ride home or even the flight home, my back tends to hurt more when sitting in the car.

What my mom and I keep reminding myself is that I need to nurse my back in order to be able to do the 1/2 marathon, be able to finish strong and happy! I want to be able to feel good at the end, to end with a smile on my face! So I am trying to stay strong, rest and get myself back to good workings and get back to running.
Both to me can mean two things. One, that you need to work hard and be the best you can, push yourself to get where you want to be. But for my current state, it helps me know that I CAN do the 1/2 marathon, but in order to get the best out of myself, I need to take care of myself first, listen to my body so that I can run the 1/2 marathon instead of sitting and watch as it passes me by because of an injury!
I will rest.
I will get better.
I will be stronger.
I will finish.
I will finish strong.
I will finish with a  smile on my face.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Run for a Beer!

This past week I was ready to get back on track. I ran 8 miles on Wednesday before the Bruins game. The run was long, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't good. It was mediocre, but I did it.

Then Friday I decided to do a somewhat local 5k, the Run for Beer! What better motivation than running and getting a free Beer at the end with a free pint glass!

So it started at 5:45 and I got there at 5:15, just in time to register and be able to go to the bathroom! I wasn't able to get a shirt because they ran out and are ordering more, but I then have to either drive an hour over to get it, or find someone who lives nearby to pick it up for me!

So I got in the back of the group for the race and waited for the start. And we went off, and I felt pretty good. I set my running app to go, and shut off the "alarms" for when I reach certain distances such as every mile, I could have the app tell me my pace and how long I have been running for. The crummy part is, as I was reaching what I was hoping somewhere near 2 miles (they only signs for mile 1 and 3)...and I went to check my running app, and as I looked at my screen it read "congratulations, you have completed your workout!' and I was like, whaaaa???? So what I did was instead of choosing the Free Run option on the app, I hit Distance Run which was set for 1.9 miles. So I just had to keep going, obviously...and obviously I had hit mile 2. Which then  made me wonder. Where is the water? Is there a water stop? I asked and someone said, "I don't think so." How can that be! Its hot, and there are two hills...and NO WATER!??? I was lucky to have remembered a tip my friend Nicole told me, and that was to chew gum during a 5k to keep my mouth salivating and then I wouldn't need to carry water and be able to make it to a water stop.

So that made it more difficult, not having water, two hills and heat. I don't think it was any hotter than 80, but a lot of direct sunlight. But my goal was to finish under 40minutes and I did!

Place:322Bib #:445Name: NartowtStephanieTime: 39:31.9  

So now I must continue on with my training for the 1/2 Marathon in July!
On Saturday I also participated in a Boot camp class in the AM, which was really good! It was tough, and I am sore, but I did it! I then spent the rest of the day walking in Boston, in hopes of stretching my muscles, and then watching the Bruins game. It was an overall good and tiring day!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Back Pain = No exercise

So this morning, some of the students I work with participated in Yoga. Every Wednesday a small group of students with staff do yoga, nothing extensive. It really is just a box of cards with different poses on it, and the students each take turns leading each other in trying to pull of each position. it can be quite hilarious at times!
We have one student who is in a wheel chair that likes to stand in order to participate, which means a staff needs to stand and hold him up. He does stand on his legs, so the staff is really support so he doesn't fall over. Well today I was holding on to the student, and he bent over for a position, and then as he came back up, I bent up with him and pulled something! It was not very pleasant, and not his fault, I just wasn't being very careful!
It was pretty sore all morning, I took some ibuprofen at lunch and it didn't help. So when I got home, around 3:20, I took a muscle relaxer that my doctor prescribed last year for back spasms, etc. Well that has worked either. I ended up just taking a nap. It was nice, but when I woke up, then sat up...oh boy. It hurt to walk! Which is not good.
I ended up laying on my back on the floor, with my legs in the air to help. The pain is still there and now I am trying to ice on and off. I really hope it goes away by tomorrow. If not, I will fill out an incident report at work just because, even though it was no ones fault but my own!

So of course that meant not going to the gym today, like I had planned.

Bah! I don't like it, it is very uncomfortable!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Watch your step!

So in accordance with my "training schedule" I should have ran 7 miles this past Saturday, the 8th and 5 miles today. Well, like I said in my disclaimer, that I knew that I wouldn't be able to follow my schedule to a T, but I was going to give it a try.

On Saturday I had a whole day planned, and then it all got cancelled due to "rain" that never showed. One of the girls from work invited me and another girl to some cross-fit type session on Saturday morning, then following that I had a craft fair that I was participating in. Both events were being held outdoors. So Monday, the 3rd I got an email from the Craft Fair Event people that there was a possibility that it would be cancelled because it was suppose to rain. They updated again saying it was still on, but to keep checking our emails in case. Then on Thursday they emailed to confirm that it was cancelled. Whether or not it would rain on Saturday, they were nervous that the rain on Friday would make the ground to wet and soft and make it difficult for set up and possibly ruin vendors items. So that was kind of a let down....

Then the cross fit session was still on, and I woke up Saturday and turned on my cell phone waiting to hear from my friend if she had heard anything. I texted her to confirm time and location and about 30minutes later she responded that it had been cancelled. Which I took as a good thing, because I had been pretty tired and could use the time to sleep.
But, my Saturday was still not empty! Rich and I had some friends that were moving and had asked if we could help move the week before, so we said we would! Or at least Rich would go help if I was still busy with all my plans, and well since I wasn't, I went along. It was hot and a lot of work. I didn't feel like I did to much, but definitely enough to tire me out! We were both pooped!
So needless to say, I didn't get my 7miles in that day.

Sunday I was busy all day with a cookout at church, then a day in Boston with my friend Shavonne! But I did get a lot of walking in that day, which I thought was great!

Monday I thought would be a great day to catch up and run my 7 miles, then the rain came! Bummer! I should have gone to the gym, but I went to the grocery store instead then home. Plus my Mother was being honored among a few others at the Town School Meeting for retiring this year. It was nice!

So after my long winded story, I come to today.
It had rained on and off all day, but by the end of the day of work, it had stopped, but still cloudy. I came home and thought I would take a risk....and boy did I! Not because of any rain...but the things I saw on the road!

I ran two laps around my block, and in passing ran by a dead baby bird. It was sad, but it was a quick view and then it was behind me. Then after mile 3, as I ran down one of the main streets on my town I ran by this huge dead black rat. EEEWWWW!!! It had to have been like 6 inches long, heebee geebees!!
Then not to long after I saw the rat, some guy thought it would be a GREAT idea to yell "Hey" out of his window really loud as he passed me! I was definitely startled by that!

I know many people run with music, as do I. I always am sure to have it loud enough that I can hear it, but soft enough I can hear cars passing, etc. But why do people think it is a good idea to yell really loud out the window to those who might not know what is going on. I have had it happen before, but it wasn't so loud that I was startled.

Ok so that was a rant and a long winded story, all in all, watch your step when running, you never know what you will see!

I have to work Thursday, so I think I will do a short run on the treadmill tomorrow while at the gym.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Back to Training

With another 1/2 marathon in my sights, approximately 38 days...I knew I needed to kick myself into high gear and prepare myself!

I decided to put together a little training calendar in order to keep on track and as a way to force myself to go, to motivate no matter what!

As you can see I have today's date and mileage highlighted! Day one down! Now I know I will not be able to keep to every day written as is because of my part time job. I don't know until midweek what my following weeks schedule will be, so I will have to adjust from there.

Tomorrow is National Running Day! I do intend to run, but since I am trying to get myself back to the gym, I will probably only do a mile, more if I am feeling up for it!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Disney Princess 1/2 Prices Released!!

Are you a Disney Princess? Is your glass slipper a running sneaker!?
Well lace up and sign up on Tuesday June 11 for the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon!

The Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon was my first 1/2 marathon ever! It was so incredible and so worth every penny! What made it extra special was it was the 5th Anniversary, as well as a great experience to make connections with so many wonderful people!!

The 2014 Princess 1/2 Marathon has been added to, with a 10k! And if you really want to go the distance you can sign up for the "Glass Slipper Challenge." What is the "Glass Slipper Challenge" you ask???
If you think that a half marathon is just a walk in the park, put your endurance to the test and compete in the all-new Glass Slipper Challenge! A 19.3-mile adventure held over two days, participants will run the Disney Enchanted 10K on Saturday, followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday. If you finish both races within the pacing requirements, you will be awarded the all-new Glass Slipper Challenge medal in addition to your Half Marathon and 10K finisher medals. (

Below you will find all the pricing information for the 2014 Princess 1/2 Marathon (found on the Run Disney website)!
For those of you signing up, you are going to love it and going to have so much fun! For those of you thinking about it, just do it! If money is tight, go with a bunch of friends to help share the cost, do fundraising and book through an independent Disney Vacation planner! If your looking for a recommendation, check out Amy Smith or Heather Montgomery!

Registration for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend will open at 12:00 pm EST on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Click here to receive a reminder email for when registration opens.
Click here to receive a reminder email for when registration opens.
Entry Fees and Deadlines
Disney Princess Half Marathon
  • $160 by August 13, 2013
  • $175 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $190 on or after November 20, 2013
Disney Enchanted 10K
  • $95 by August 13, 2013
  • $110 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $125 on or after November 20, 2013
Glass Slipper Challenge
  • $270 by August 13, 2013
  • $290 between August 14 and November 19, 2013
  • $310 on or after November 20, 2013
Cinderella Royal Family 5K
  • $60 per participant

Race Retreat
  • $120 per participant /2 Marathon!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

To Move Onward

So the hubby and I have been on a little bit of a house hunt. We took a break for about two months and then things started popping up on the market. Well Sunday something wonderful popped up and we knew we would have to jump on it.
Well we were going to try to do something yesterday but things weren't always confirmed right away so we had something set up for today. Well on my way home from work, I was notified that it was off the market. Someone made an offer and it was accepted by the seller. Boo Hoo.... I am disappointed, but I never even got to look at it. So we are trying our best to stay positive.

So when I got home I knew I needed to go running since it had been about a week, but I was feeling frustrated, so that motivated me a little bit more! So I would say being positive isn't always the top motivator, but sometimes feeling negative and frustrated can be a motivator as well. Running is great way to go out and be yourself, be with your thoughts and thoughtless! It also is a great way to get out your pent up energy or just a way to boost your ongoing positive energy!

(Update) After I hit "publish" I was on facebook and someone had shared/posted this: