Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of 2008

Another year is almost over, and it seems as if 2008 was a big one. Lots of things happened and changed in the past few months:

*I graduated from Holy Cross in May, and I can't believe it hasn't even been a year yet. While it was time to move on from undergrad, I still miss it (and the people) a lot.
*I spent my 3rd CTY summer at Skidmore, but my first as SRA. It was a hectic summer, but I learned so much. That's why I'm planning on returning this summer, so I can do it right from the beginning.
*I moved to Washington DC to start a new job and graduate school at Catholic. While the first month was certainly a lonely one, things eventually picked up. I fell in love with the city. Graduate school, even though a lot of work, turned out to be very rewarding. Apparently, I wasn't the only student in love with the medieval world. Woo! And I've made a few friends as well; people whom I've learned I can count on.
*Obviously, the thing most relevant is that I decided to train for the marathon. I didn't realize that this would happen until October, but here we are. I finished off 2008 with an 8.9 mile run this morning and a little lifting: I figured that was a good way to wrap up this year.

I'm off to spend New Year's Eve with Kathleen. Enjoy the last few hours of 2008 (don't forget, we get an extra second):

See you in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

logging miles

Not every run that I do (or anyone else for that matter) is amazing, mind-blowing, or life-altering. But every run helps me to log in more miles. Today was 8.72 miles. There was nothing special about it, and now it's done. Even a few months ago, I didn't think I could run that far without a lot of soreness after. That's progress: I haven't hobbled around the house after a run in months.

I've come to realize in the past few weeks that my training and progress that I'm not the only one who is responsible for how I'm coming along. I am not my only motivator. My family, Evan, my friends, my running partner, old professors: all of you have been very important in motivating me. Not in a "go do it" sense, but continually inquiring about my progress and giving me the encouragement that I need on days when I don't feel like doing it.

So thank you, for making it worth doing, and providing validation for what I do.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Kathleen is my dearest friend and my first real running partner. Especially a few years ago, we would go out for a run around Spencerport, and that would be the run that would get me back in the swing of things. While we run separately most of the time (given we spend the majority of our time in different states), it is always a treat to run together, which only happens once a year or so at home. Today was the day we got to run together, which I was very happy about. It was a nice run (it was also somewhat "mild" out today - about 40), not just for the workout, but for the fabulous company.

I was very pleased with the whole thing. I also did some lifting this afternoon at the gym - also successful. No more soreness in the shoulders, which shows some progress over the past 2 weeks. Good workout day.

On another note, I have officially registered for the SunTrust National Marathon - no turning back! 81 days to go, and the marathon website has an official countdown to remind me.

But I don't really think I'll need any reminders, eh?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Testing out the new gear

Since I got so many nice running-related things for Christmas, it was time to put them to good use this morning:

I did a 12.75 mile run this morning - the longest "long run" in my training thus far. It went pretty well, and my guess would be it would've been better if it wasn't 22 outside. But hey, who cares? I was happy with it, and I timed it well (it started snowing when I did my cool down). New shoes are awesome, although breaking them in is a process. The new watch is also good and I can actually see the numbers without my glasses.

It was a good run. Tiring, yes. My legs don't feel sore (although I might say something differently tomorrow), but they feel thoroughly-used.

I also did some after-Christmas shopping today and bought a couple of new running tops. Other than lifting tonight, they haven't been tested. I'm glad my mom found a nice track jacket at'll be good for mild days.

Today was a good day for gear and running!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Today is a day of rest (and eating food): it's about time for a rest day (I think the Feast Immaculate Conception was my last off day). I've just been spending some time with my family and relaxing.

Santa was good to me: I got a new pair of Asics Gel 105 running shoes that will be my race-day shoes. I'll have enough time to break them in and get used to them before the race, and they'll still have enough mileage in them. I plan on doing a nice long run tomorrow to start getting used to them.

With that, I can also wear the new sports watch that Evan gave me! A very thoughtful gift! Until now, I've only been using my timeless Mickey Mouse watch, which is not really an athletic watch. This new one is very nice (and I think I'll actually be able to see the numbers now while I run), and I can't wait to use that as well.

I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas with their families. I love you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


In need of some cinematic motivation, I watched "Rocky" (the original) last night. It definitely helped a bit: nothing like watching him get up at 4AM in the morning to go running. While I'm not at that point (and I don't make power drinks with eggs in them), it was just a good mental image. And I wish I had more frequent access to the Lincoln Memorial, which I think is the closest DC equivalent to the Philadelphia Art Museum steps in the movie. When I went to Holy Cross, the Dinand Library steps seemed like the closest thing.

I have no intentions of beating any particular person; I'm not posed to go against any Apollo Creed in this race. But I do have a dream about doing well in March. I won't be setting any records, nor making any headlines. But I just want to do it, still be able to stand at the end, and to do the Rocky victory fist pump.

I've been feeling a bit nervous about the months to come, so I'm starting to push my training into high gear, so I am prepared f0r March 21st (exactly 3 months from today). I do not want to look like an idiot, and I want to be able to successfully finish the marathon.

It's game time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

one more for the Gipper!

That's what Jim (the trainer) yells (yells? maybe) when I have one more rep left to do in my set. It's been helpful when I don't want to lift any more. I just think having someone there helps: you just don't want to let the other person down or prove him wrong.

I went to the gym this morning to use the ellipitical (I just couldn't be out in the cold that long today), and after, I just figured I would go to the weight room for a bit. I lucked out, and Jim was there and offered to help supervise me again today. So we did some work with the medicine ball and the weights in general. I'm trying to work through the soreness, so the muscles don't hurt so much.

Before I go, I want to give a shout-out to my boyfriend Evan - happy 23rd birthday!

Friday, December 19, 2008

ahhh, the beauty of a bath

As I predicted yesterday, I woke up this morning feeling quite sore in the arms and chest. Unfortunately, it bugged me enough that I passed going to the gym with my dad at 7AM. I haven't turned down a workout in a long time, so I felt bad about that.

We also had a blizzard today, and got over a foot of snow (and it's still coming down down). So, between the Zen in Your Den, and some shoveling (luckily my dad was able to help...a lot), today was not a total wash.

But since I was hurting a little, and feeling a bit mellow, I realized that a bath might be in order. I hadn't taken one in a while (yes, yes, I've been showering...don't you worry), so I was really looking forward to it.

It felt great. Oh, it just took all of the pressure off, and it felt great for my muscles. Since I can't really make that a habit at school, I'll need to make sure to do another one while I'm still at home. I think it made a big difference in taking some of the soreness away and relieving some of the tension. Plus, I was reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the nth time, which was wonderful.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gonna fly now...

So this morning, I met with Jim, a trainer at the local YMCA for an orientation (since I just recently joined the Y) at 7AM. An hour later, I felt enlightened and...feeling as if tomorrow will be somewhat of a sore day.

There were so many exercises I didn't know about in circuit training! Jim showed me how to use the Bose ball (those exercise balls that are cut in half, and flat on the other side) in order to work a number of muscles. We mainly focused on arm and chest exercises, since that's what I want to really strengthen in my cross training. I couldn't believe how great of a workout it was, and I look forward to doing the circuit again.

I also did a 10 mile run around Spencerport. I had started to build my new running playlist, and I wanted to test it out. So, I ran through the snow with the "Rocky" theme on, which helped to pump me up. Pretty decent run: although it started to wear me out toward the end. Yet, the awesome music kept me going through the end. I was very hungry after, so I was glad to have a good, filling dinner after. A warm shower was also in order, followed by fleece pants and robe...mmm.

I need to give a shoutout to Mary, my dear friend from grad school. Possibly without knowing it, she's been very supportive of me with training over the last few days. She's made a difference, and is much appreciated!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the many benefits of

So, if you're not all familiar with, it is a website that allows you to watch recent tv shows, and some movies as well. In addition to that, I've learned recently that they also have a small "Exercise Channel." This primarily features yoga and pilates "episodes:" short 20 minute workouts intended for different results. Why pay for a class when you can get it online? I did "Zen in your den" in my den, which is a good yoga exercise. I've also been trying to do it before running, because it's so good for stretching me out (and that's what I did on Sunday before the 10k).
And I also did some lifting at home after dinner. That was good as well. It's probably not the greatest to be doing it in front of the TV, but it made it more enjoyable.
Off to bed soon...I'm meeting with a trainer at the Y at 7AM.
PS-I'm trying to come up with a long-distance running playlist...any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cherry Blossom Run, Run to Grandma's, QJLG

After 2+ hours of hitting refresh, I was finally able to register for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on April 5, 2009. It felt like registering for classes in undergrad: the system online was so slow, because everyone was trying to get in. I was a bit concerned, since they cap the race at 12,000 people. But I made it! Woo...

So, in other news for the day:
I ran to my grandma and grandpa's house in Hilton today. That was about 7 miles, and they did not know I was coming. So they were a bit surprised to see me at the door, and with no car. The run was good: it was a bit cold out though (26 degrees), but at least there was no wind. And there were some good hills in there as well, so that helped make it a good workout as well.

Then after a great dinner (salad, rice, and pork chops - all of which tasted delicious after the long run), I went to the gym to do some lifting. Buff arms, here we come...

But here's my beef of the day: the big men at the gym who grunt too loud when they lift. Either one of two things is happening:
1) These clowns are lifting more than they should, and are grunting and puffing because it's too much. Or...
2) They're trying to impress/intimidate the people around them. I'm not intimidated, nor am I am impressed by their lifting (in)abilities. If anything, I'm annoyed at them for distracting me from my own workout.

So, if you happen to be one of those QJLG (QuasiJackedLoudGuys), please stop, for everyone else's sake.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Monday, December 15, 2008

pros and cons of the elliptical

Today was a good day for the elliptical. It was cold, rainy, and windy, which adds up to 3 good reasons as to why I didn't want to run outside. Plus, I figured today should be somewhat of a recovery day, given the race was yesterday.

So, I did a little less than 5 miles on the elliptical at the gym today. It was just as boring as one could expect, but you do work up a decent sweat on it. It was better than nothing, and allowed me to have somewhat of an "easy" day for a workout.

Today was also an arms day - meaning that I did free weights for a bit. I figure, my legs are already getting a great workout, but my arms aren't reaping as many benefits from running. I just want some nice tone: I do not want scary arms. Just slightly buff ones.

That's how I want my body in general to be: slightly buff. Not scary ripped. Some of the people in the 10k were so jacked: it was not normal-looking.

Rest assured, I will not be scary-jacked.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

No longer a 10k virgin...

...I'll get to that in a minute

What a great first 10K! Over 4500 runners were at West Potomac Park at 8AM this morning ready to go. Most people were wearing the race t-shirt, but other people dressed up as Santa, reindeer, and other Christmas figures. Before it started, one of the women standing by me at the race remarked that she was a 10K virgin. And then I realized that I am, too. Well, was.

The first 2 miles were ok, and we passed the water station at 2. We picked up the pace a bit (that's also when people who were really fast started to return on the turn). My one problem was that it was pretty packed, so it was hard to pass people or change your pace. I wish there was a way to make it less congested. Then we hit the 4 mile mark, and that was when we sped up a bit more, since we only 2.2 miles left. It felt great to see the 5 mile line, because I knew I only had a little over a mile, and I knew I could handle that. It was a big push, and then we went through the finish line!

My friend Seth came to take me to the airport, and actually met me at the finish line. It was nice to have someone at the end waiting for me. We drove to Baltimore and stopped off breakfast at McDonald's, which was delicious (I was so hungry). But I digress...

Time: 55:04
Pace: 8:52
Division (Women 20-24): 110/325
Women in general: 533/2114
5k: 31:52

And so that was my time for this race. It took a little longer than I thought, but I'm still pleased with the results. Had I known the time, I probably would've pushed a little bit to shave off those 4 seconds. Anyways, it felt great to accomplish that, and hopefully means I'm in good shape for the March Marathon.
Thank you for all of the support! It was a lot of fun!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sunday: Jingle All the Way

On Sunday, Charlie and I are running in the Jingle All the Way 10K in DC. It is the official qualifying race for the National Marathon. We just need to run this race in under 65 minutes, which should be fine. I'm hoping for about a 50 minute finish, so we'll see.

I'm very excited about the race: it's my first big one. It's apparently very popular around here, and over 4,000 people are registered for it. My race number is 3492 (which is a combination of my old PO Box -2349).

We will be jingling all the way, because they give us bells to tie onto our shoes. Lots of holiday fun to be had, and apparently Santa runs too.

Hopefully I'll have some pictures/exciting news to report in a few days.
Off to last minute prep!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Back in the running game...

So, back in Spencerport, I was a runner years ago (middle school/early high school), and while I stopped running on a team, I never completely kicked the habit.

Now, I've found a running partner who has motivated me into running the National Marathon on March 21, 2009. I am almost 2 months into my intentional training, and wanted to share my progress, since now people keep asking how the training is going.

Other than working on my degree and my job, this is taking up the majority of my time. I am really enjoying the training a lot. Yes, it is hard, but it feel really rewarding as well.

It was 65 degrees in Washington yesterday, so I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate finishing the semester but a celebratory run! Just shorts and t-shirt: it was so warm out! Not like in Rochester, where I'm told it was only in the 20s. Anyways, it felt so great. Not only was it nice outside, but I was so happy to be done that it positively affected my run. It was very care-free: no real concerns or things to do running through my head. I ended up getting in about 8 miles, and then it was time for dinner. I timed it well too, just as I finished up, it started to rain. And I don't think it's stopped since.

It feels great to be done with school for a month, and to know that I can focus on running for a while.