March Coffee Date

Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels like we’re moving at a breakneck pace through these first couple of month of 2017?!

Well, I’m always happy to take a little time out to catch up over coffee, so I’m joining Coco and Deborah for the Ultimate Coffee Date!

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that, I’m really looking forward to our family trip to NYC next weekend! Despite having to sit out this year’s NYC Half, I’m so glad we decided to stick to our plans of spending a few days in the City.

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that we’re in the final stretch of my youngest son’s hockey season and I just can’t wait for it to be over. Trekking all over heaven and earth to stand in sub-zero arenas always wears thin on me by this point in the season (I’m mean seriously, we’ve been at it since the end of August!) Luckily the playoffs are in sight.

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that my favorite new app is the Calm meditation app. I actually downloaded this app a while ago, but am now getting around to using it regularly. I’ve written about how much I think meditation helps me, and I think for anyone interested, this app would be a great way to get started.

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I finally got a copy of Run Fast. Eat Slow. (affiliate link) I feel like I’ve seen this book everywhere! I was flipping through it last night and already have a bunch of recipes I want to try, including the infamous Superhero Muffins.

Have you tried any recipes from this book?

What would you tell me over coffee?


November’s Ultimate Coffee Date

The Ultimate Coffee Date

Temps in the 70’s?! Is it really November?!

It certainly hasn’t felt much like a typical start to November around here, but it’s been nice to have the windows open so I’m certainly not complaining!

It’s the first Saturday of the month’s and time to join in for Ultimate Coffee Date, hosted by Coco, Lynda and Deborah. Since it’s unseasonably warm, I think I’ll make mine an iced coffee this morning.

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I’m practically pulling my hair out that I cannot run yet. I’ve got one more week to go before I see the doc for clearance – gonna be a l-o-n-g week!

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that on Monday I started the Chopra Center’s 21-day meditation experience. I’ve done a couple of these in the past. I’m especially loving this session –  the focus is around the power of your beliefs.

planner1If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that I’m a bit of a planner fanatic. So I’d ask, is it crazy that I already have my 2016 planner? Or, that I’m ready to start adding things to it? There might even be a couple of races lightly penciled in 😉

If we were having coffee together, I’d tell you that my newest addiction are roasted pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seedsThere is way too much Halloween candy still lurking in my house and unfortunately all of my faves. These pumpkin seeds have been taking care of my snack cravings and keeping me away from the candy bowl – win!


So what would you tell me over coffee?  Do you still have Halloween candy in your house?

(Oh…I’d also say, don’t forget to my Heart Hemps Giveaway!)


Meditation Tips & Benefits

I had dinner with a friend the other night and over the course of catching up, she smiled and said, “You’ll be happy to know that I’ve started mediating and I’m really loving it!” And, she was right, it did make me happy to hear it. Meditation has become an important ritual to me – a chance to get centered before the bluster of the day threatens to take over. Often when I share with others that I meditate, I often get a reaction along the lines of “Oh that’s great, but I could never do that” or “I tried meditating once and just couldn’t sit still for THAT long!”

Now before you dismiss meditation as a little too new-agey for you, consider some of these benefits, so well summoned up in this infographic:


OK – so now that I’ve got your attention, here are my tips for getting started:

Start small — Start with 5 minutes and build up to 10 minutes, but don’t push it.

Location matters – Pick a spot in your house, garden/yard, wherever you feel a sense of peace. Find a quiet spot, a place that will help you to feel calmer and not distracted.

Breathe —  While some people like mantras, I found that when I first started meditating that trying to remember the mantra was distracting and stressful. I think it’s easier to just focus on your breath – just breathe naturally, focusing on the natural in and out rhythm.

Thoughts happen — If you try to “clear your mind,” you will make yourself crazy! Thoughts are going to come – notice them but then bring your attention back to your breath.  I will admit this one will take a bit to get the hang of, but it will get easier with practice.

Be consistent — Do your best to carve out some time every day. Consider this time a little gift to yourself and enjoy it.

Do you meditate? What tips would you add?

Infographic courtesy of Emma Seppala, PhD.


Refreshing the morning routine


With all of the crazy snow days we had from the end of January and throughout February, my morning routine has essentially gone right out the window. No great surprise, when my morning kickoffs in the right way it makes all of the difference in my attitude and how my day unfolds for me.

So, with spring on the way (really I promise it is!), it seems like a good time to refresh the morning routine. Honestly “routine” is probably not even the right word to use, because I know no two mornings will unfold for me in precisely the same way…but there are some “rituals” that help me to make sure that I run my day, instead of the other way around.

What do I need in my morning?

Meditation — This is my chance to connect and get centered.

Hydration — While my first instinct many mornings is to reach for coffee, I like to get a glass of water with lemon down first.

Working out — I have been working out and running post-work in the afternoon, but I know it definitely works for me best to get moving in the morning, so it’s time to get back to that.

Daily planning —  I am a planner geek from way back, so my morning is not complete without a little time sitting quietly with my planner and a mug of coffee to review both mine and my family’s schedules, identify the “must do’s” vs. “like to do’s” and set my plan/intentions for the day.

And yes, Coffee — I do love a mug of coffee…I’m trying hard now to reel it in and keep it to just one cup!

Now the trick to either refreshing or creating a morning routine is to build slowly. Conventional wisdom says it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. And, taking baby steps is more likely to be effective than making one giant leap – especially if the routine you’re trying to adopt is a radical departure from where you are now. Finally, if part of your routine feels more like a chore than a source of inspiration, it may be time to re-access and consider making some changes until you find what feels right for you.

So tell me, what’s your morning routine like?


Why I Meditate

From time to time, I have mentioned here and on Twitter that I meditate, and I’ve noticed that whenever I do I receive lots of inquiries about why I do it? Do I see any real benefits? Or, comments indicating that others would like to do it but don’t have the time, or have tried and failed.


For me, meditation gives me a chance to connect with myself before the demands of the day take hold. When I meditate I’m calmer, more grounded, and as a result, more present in the moment.

Notice I said when I meditate – I’ve fallen off the mediation bandwagon on a couple of occasions, usually because I’ve gotten caught up in the whirlwind of schedules and have made the decision that “I don’t have time” or “I’ll do it later” only to never get to it. And, little by little, my meditation “practice” is more of a random occurrence and then before you know it I’m staring at the back of the meditation bandwagon as it pulls further and further away from me.

I recommitted to meditating at the beginning of December – thinking it was good timing with the holidays approaching, and for the most part I’ve been fairly consistent. I’m motivated to stay with it because I like how I feel and how I deal with things when I do. Now am I going to tell you I’m all roses and sunshine and the picture of zen? Nope – it is a work in progress, but I like the direction I’m headed.

I got an email the other day from the Chopra Center announcing another of their 21-day Meditation Challenges. The theme this time is “Perfect Health.” I’ve found these challenges to be a great launching point for starting a practice and encourage anyone who’s interested in giving meditation a try, to check this out – it starts on Monday, March 11th. (For the record I’m in no way affiliated with the Chopra Center – just a fan sharing the love 🙂 )

Do you meditate?


November Rewind

Good things for the month:
  • PR’d the Chilly Half Marathon – I went 3 for 3 in PRs for my races this fall and I couldn’t be happier! 
  • I’m working with a chiropractor and after just a handful of sessions my ITB is noticeably improved.
  • Started the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge which has definitely helped keep my motivation level up post-race. 
  • Enjoying just running how far I want, when I want — everyone needs time off from a training plan
Things I could do without:
  • Raynaud’s Disease– with the drop in temperatures in the last couple of weeks, the annual battle with Raynaud’s begins. Hand warmers and mittens become constant running companions now until Spring.

What’s up for December:

  • I’m running with my brother in his first 5K – cannot wait!
  • The Holiday Challenge has highlighted for me that I really need to do a better job getting enough fruits & veggies on a daily basis, so I’m going to focus on better meal planning.
  • Meditation – I was trying to follow the Chopra Center’s latest 21-day challenge last month, but I didn’t make it a priority and I missed a bunch of days. So I downloaded the Challenge and will start again on December 1, seems like a good way to go into the holiday season, don’t ya think?
  • Finish the year healthy and strong — continue the yoga classes, chiro visits and strength training. I would have loved to hit 1,000 miles for this year but with 137 miles left to go I’m not sure I’ll make it. Right now I think it is doing my body a lot of good to have back off the mileage so I don’t want to jeopardize that for a random goal.
 How’s your year wrapping up? Any goals you’re still working towards?



Thursday thoughts – School vacation, workouts & meditation

It’s vacation week here in Massachusetts so this week is all about creativity…. being creative with keeping the kids occupied so they don’t live on all sorts of various digital devices 24/7… and being creative with getting my workouts in.

We’ve been bowling, played all sorts of games, read books, watched movies, enjoyed this crazy mild weather and yesterday J took them for a day of skiing and snowboarding! And yes there has been some video-gaming time logged.

My little guy taking on the slopes!
My oldest’s 1st time snowboarding!

I’ve managed to get in some strength-training, speedwork at the track and a pilates class so far! I hope to sneak a short run in tomorrow before J leaves for work and then my usual long run Saturday. My mileage will definitely be down for this week but I’m okay with that.

And, once again I’ve signed up for another of the Chopra Center’s 21-day Meditation Challenges. I’ve mentioned before how much more centered and calm I feel when I meditate. So why have I stopped? Because schedules get crazy so I let it slide a day or two and then bam! Fell off the wagon again. The timing of this challenge was perfect as it started on Monday – perhaps Deepak knew I was facing vacation week 🙂 I’m on day 4 and hope to stay on the wagon well beyond day 21!

So far so good this week – we’ve avoided major meltdowns, my boys are enjoying each other’s company and my sanity’s still in tact – a win all around!

How’s your week going?


27 things and other stuff

I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately – nothing in particular…just that feeling that I cannot possibly juggle one more ball and then someone throws me, not one, but three more balls, and somehow I make it work. And, then as I declare again “That’s it – that’s all I can do,” the cycle repeats itself again. It’s pretty much been this way the entire month of October, and quite frankly I’ve had enough!

Time to regain some balance…for my sake and for those around me. 

So this week I’ve started meditating  in the morning again. It really helps me to slow down and focus and overall I’m a lot calmer when I meditate — my challenge has always been to be consistent about the practice.

This week I also got back on my de-clutter kick! A friend told me about a practice called “27 Things” in which the goal is to give-away, throw away or move 27 things a day for 9 days. In the process, you stop to examine what you surround yourself with and remove what’s unnecessary, what weighs you down – in turn creating space for new opportunities. Well, I’m game – so I’m starting my 9 days this weekend and plan to get J and the boys involved.

Do you think you could part with 27 things a day? How do you regain a sense of balance when things feel off-kilter?

J & I will get another chance at the local race that was postponed last weekend – and based on the forecast, it looks like Mother Nature’s going to play nice this time!

Hope she cooperates for everyone racing this weekend ~ 
Good luck to all the runners!


Thursday Thoughts (aka 3 Things)

  • So far the shift to early morning workouts is working. The alarm’s been going off at 5:20 and I’m usually moving 15 mins later. Despite not being what I would ever consider a morning person, I’ve been reminded this week of how much I enjoy starting my day with a run. It’s like a morning meditation in motion.
  • Speaking of meditation, I signed for another 21-day Meditation Challenge sponsored by the Chopra Center. I did a similar challenge during the winter and stuck with meditating for weeks afterwards. But of late I’ve let it slip so this challenge came at a good time. I find I’m definitely more focused and even-keeled when I’m meditating.
  •  My love affair with my Saucony Mirage continues – I’ve been doing all of my short runs in them while using my Brooks for the long runs. I’ve got another 10 on the plan for tomorrow and I’m tempted to try the Sauconys instead. My calves are really tight after yesterday’s tempo run so I’ll have to see how I feel in the morning.

Do you rotate shoes or stick to a one pair at a time?


January rewind

Good things this month:
  • Logged 56 relatively pain-free miles – ice and foam roller helped to keep the ITB in check.
  • Did not miss one scheduled run despite weekly snow storms of biblical proportion (ok slight exaggeration… or not if you listen to our local weatherman!)
  • Added TRX to my weekly routine and I’m loving it! It kicks my arse in a good way.
  • Finally took on hill work, and on the treadmill no less!
  • Added yoga to my training….ok on the last day of the month, but technically I did add it
  • Completed the first week of the Chopra Center’s 21-day Meditation Challenge. I’m not zen yet, but I’m working on it.
  • 63 of you now following my madness…er…journey — I appreciate the support!
Things I could do without:
  • Treadmill as my new BFF….I need to start keeping better company. I miss the road. I will take the bitter cold temps if Mother Nature will just give the snow show a rest!
  • Shoveling as a form of cross-training…ok I’m done whining.
  • hmmm…that’s it…short list!
On the decks for February:
  • More…more TRX, more yoga and more miles…more ice.
  • Want to do a better job paying attention to what I’m eating – I don’t eat a lot of junk, but I could fuel and hydrate better, especially as I hope to increase my miles.
  • Hyannis 10k