Stepping Back to Move Forward

Back in January, I thought I had strained my left medial meniscus. Rest, icing, foam rolling and PT exercises seem to get me back on track. That is until about a month or so ago, then the knee started to not feel so good again, but I could manage it, with some days being better than others. After a miserable 4-mile run a week ago I had to face reality that something else might be going on.

So I went to see an orthopedist and she confirmed that it’s that pesky meniscus again. She’s pretty certain there’s a tear, but only an MRI will confirm it for sure. Then we can figure out the next steps – “We’ll get you running right again” she assured me. I liked that she’s a runner too – we chatted about running and racing – she gets it.

But for now I have to take a step back – she confirmed my suspicion that running the Newport 10-miler is not a good choice. We’re going to play wait and see on the RTR 5-miler.

Am I frustrated? Absolutely – I love that Newport course. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say part of me just wants to have a big ole pity party. But, I’m taking a long-term view…my goal race for this year is Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly…and my overall goal is to have a long-term relationship with running.

Moving forward1

The good news is  while I wait for my MRI, I can continue to do my strength workouts, cardio (hello Arc Trainer!), and short easy runs, (as long as there’s no pain).

So I do what I need to do now, so I can do what I want to do later.


Training Check-in — Accountability


Training Check In

As much as I love my training journal, I’m feeling the need for more accountability. Accountability was one of the main reasons I started this blog in the first place….and so I’m returning to my training check-ins.

A couple of weeks ago, I announced I’d mapped out a training plan to get myself to the start line of the Newport 10 miler. I have been aiming for two days of yoga, two days of strength work and three days of running a week. So how’d it go last week? Thanks to a crazy work schedule and feeling under the weather, my runs were jammed into the later half of the week – but I did get 3 shorts runs done…including some family time at the track (where my oldest snapped the pic above). Since I wasn’t feeling so hot, there was only one strength and one yoga session — I opted instead for much needed rest. But, I did sign-on for Boston Road Runners’ April Plank Challenge, so a daily plank series has been happening.

Given how I was feeling, I’d say it was a decent week. And, after a quiet weekend, I’m feeling rested and ready to go this week! I’ll let you know how it goes….

How’s your training going? Do you find it helpful to post training updates?

I’m linking up again with Erika, Patty and April for Tuesdays on the Run Tuesdays-on-the-run



12-week reality check

A quick glance at the calendar the other day revealed that I have just 12 weeks (ok a little less than 12) until the Newport 10 miler….hmmm hello reality check!

Calvin & Hobbs reality

Yes there’s enough time to get my act together, but I need to get my butt in gear. My willy-nilly approach to running is not going to cut it. I’ve pretty much been winging it when I hit the gym – if I feel like dealing with the mill then I run but sometimes the lure of the Arc Trainer or TRX or other strength work is stronger.

So I’ve mapped out a 12-week plan – a mix of 2 days of strength work, 2 days of yoga and 3 days of running – time to get going!

Do you usually train with a plan or do you wing it?


My 2015 Race Calendar

After reflecting back on lessons learned from a not so great race, it seems like the perfect time to look ahead to this year’s race calendar. Ah the race calendar…so many races to consider. If only there were infinite time and funds!

So here’s what I’m thinking (hoping) so far:

March 29th:  Cambridge City Run 5-miler City Run

April 12th:  Cherry Blossom 10 Miler cucblogo

April 18th:  BAA 5K  baa_logo

May 24th:  Boston Run to Remember 5 miler  66423_351740471611351_1208731592_n

June 7th:  Newport 10 miler  Newport 10 Miler

June 23rd:  BAA 10K ** This one is a big question mark because I’ll be working a big event for my job the day before and sometimes late June in Boston is just too hot!

The second half of the year will be all about the half marathon and some #RocknBlog fun!

RocknBlog Badge

I’ve narrowed down the #RnR options to Virginia Beach, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Savannah and San Antonio. The dates for Philly and Brooklyn have not been finalized yet…believe it or not the Pope is playing a role in holding up the Philly date! So for now I stalk watch the website and Facebook for an announcement. There may be another race or two of shorter distances in the fall, but I want to get these figured out first.

So I’ve got a pretty good mix of favorite repeats and some new destinations


Trying to avoid a DNS pity party



Completely frustrated right now!

I’m sick. I think I may have a touch of the same virus my youngest son had just a week or so ago. The minute I started to feel lousy I should have listened to my body and taken a rest day (or two) – this thing has quietly been brewing for a bit. But I wanted to keep my training on the right track so I pushed.

And now my body’s rebelling big time. I tried to manage things as best I could, hoping I could get ahead of it. Well it wasn’t enough because I landed in bed Thursday barely able to get my head off the pillow and with almost no voice 🙁

So, (barring a miracle recovery) the reality that I’m probably not going to be running Newport on Sunday is setting in, and I’m trying really hard to avoid having a big ole pity party. This will be my 2nd DNS this year. I was really looking forward to running Newport – it is a beautiful course, and while I wasn’t planning to “race” it, I had wanted to go and put in a solid training run with some RP miles. Now, given how I feel I doubt I could muster an LSD pace for that distance. And I know how miserable it is to run a race sick – (not to mention the hour-long drive to and from the race). BTDT…no thanks.

I’m just feeling really frustrated right now cause every time it seems that I’m starting to get on a bit of a roll, my body decides it doesn’t want to cooperate.

Ever had to DNS a race you were really looking forward to? Would you rather a DNS or a DNF?



March Rewind

Ah another month coming to a close. And while I got off to a slow start, things definitely improved as the month went on.

Good things for March:
  • While I missed my goal of the #FFMarchMiles 100 mile challenge, my mileage is the highest it’s been since last fall!
  • Returning to hill work – yes I’m putting that in the “good” column 😉
  • Enjoyed some runs with my son!
Things I could do without: 
  • The weather…but we won’t dwell on that! (I’m ignoring the sleet that’s currently beating on my windows!)
What’s up for April:
  • A couple of fun races this month: First the BAA 5K with my son & J, and then returning to the Newport 10 Miler at the end of the month
  • Joining a weekly Pilates Barre class
  • Working with X2 Performance as a brand ambassador – More on this to come!

How about you – was March a good month? Any big plans for April?


#13in2013 Flashback

When I first signed on for the #13in2013 challenge there was a big part of me that thought – “What are you thinking?!?” 13 races in one year? But I love a challenge – so why not?!

After my first race of the year was canceled due to a Nor’easter, I started my quest for 13 in February with the Frosty Virtual 5K. The run benefited the American Cancer Society and I ran in honor of both of my grandmothers.

Frosty 5K

BAA 5K CollageNext up was the B.A.A. 5K – the first race of the B.A.A. Distance Medley! The race was held the Sunday before the Boston Marathon and the course was set up so we would finish the final “right on Hereford, left on Boylston” stretch and across the Marathon’s famous finish line. Definitely a fun race!

Later that month, I ran the inaugural Newport 10 Miler.  Unfortunately this would be the first of a couple of races this year where my stomach totally turned on me 🙁  Stomach issues aside, there were lots of good things about this day including meet-ups, a beautiful course and hanging with my running buddy E. Newport group 4     With Kim at Newport 10  919029_647770745240367_1885810049_o

Race #4 was Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon. I love this race and running it shortly after the Marathon bombings, it took on special significance. The race honors fallen police officers and police officers lined many sections of the route. The level of emotion, the chants of “let’s go Boston!” and all of those officers cheering and high-fiving runners – it was an experience I will not soon forget.  picmonkey_image (3)

Race #5 was the B.A.A. 10K  — Have I mentioned how much I love a Boston Athletic Association race?! Despite the heat-fest, I managed a negative split on the back 5K but missed my PR goal.BAA 10K

Next up was Finish at the 50 10K — This race is part of a 4th of July celebration at Gillette Stadium with great activities for the whole family. My oldest son ran in the kids’ races and then I took on the 10K. Even with a start time of 6 PM, it was soul-sucking hot! All of the runners took a “we’re all in this together” approach and there was lots of cheering and encouragement. Post-race the family enjoyed a great picnic and awesome fireworks display! IMG_2160

Race #7 was definitely the best race of the year as I ran with my son for his first 5K at the Narragansett Running Festival!

picmonkey_image (5)

I finished off the summer with Race #8 – Jill & Jen’s Virtual Birthday Bash! We were on vacation in the Finger Lakes region so this was a beautiful run with the lake and mountains as my backdrop. Lake

Race #9 was my first trail race! I hadn’t planned on it being my first tail race – let’s just say the course description wasn’t very descriptive! It was challenging and quite the experience to say the least!

runchat Race #10 was the Wicked Half Marathon. The original plan was to treat this race as a test to make sure I’d finally put an end to my stomach troubles before taking on the B.A.A. Half, my fall goal race. Well let’s just say nothing went according to plan – I woke up not feeling so hot that morning and by mile 5, the wheels had come off the wagon. Some how I finished that  race, though there was a great deal of walking involved, and I was down and out for another week after!

A week before Race #11, I took a fall during my long run that left me with a seriously bruised and swollen knee and a very tender foot. I was determined not to miss the BAA Half – it was the last race of the Distance Medley! Also, it was my running buddy E’s first half – how could I not be there?! This is the race I’m probably the most proud of completing! BAA Bling

The rest of the fall became about healing both the knee and especially my foot. I had to take a pass on my favorite local race and my last half marathon planned for early December. As my foot healed I found I could tolerate some short runs so I finished my 13 races with two virtual races supporting two great causes:
hope4philippines bib   miles_for_melanoma_logo_website_v2 (1)-1

After such a great year in 2012, I had had much higher hopes for 2013.  I’m disappointed with the way this year played out, but I’m far from discouraged. I learned a lot about myself this year – I think I’m much more mentally tough and know that will serve me well in the future. I’m even more determined to reach my goals in 2014 and cannot wait for the #14in2014 Challenge!



Week 15 – Race Week

It’s week 15 of my half marathon training plan and it’s finally race week! Finish-Line

Yes I know I’ve already run four races this year, but when I started this year with the goal of running 13 races I had circled a couple on the calendar that are in my mind “goal races”…and this weekend’s half marathon is one of them.

So the wonderful Coach Bennett went about designing a 15-week plan for me that would allow me to fit in the other races while keeping my eye on this goal race. Not an easy task I’m sure and I know there have been moments as he’s looked the race schedule where he’s been shaking his head – but to his credit he’s not discouraged me and I’ve appreciated his support!

This week is all about some light running, yoga, getting enough sleep, prepping a playlist, setting race goals and carefully watching what I eat (no repeats of the Newport 10 miler drama!). In general I think race week is really all about the mental prep – the training’s done so the trick now is not to psyche yourself out before you get to the starting line.

So tell me — How do you handle race week?





Newport 10 Miler – Race #3

Newport 10 Miler

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

This is how I started my email to Coach Bennett to let him know how the race went (my apologies to Charles Dickens) – pretty much sums up this race day.

A couple of weeks ago I ran the inaugural Newport 10 Miler with my running buddy E. Let’s just say this run did not go as I had hoped — in a nutshell, my stomach mysteriously decided to not cooperate just a mere 2 and half miles into the course. I have no idea what set it off because I have become boring and predictable in my pre-run/race fueling. But,  it was not happy and any attempt at picking up the pace was met with serious discomfort….not a great way to spend the remaining 7.5 miles!

By the mile 4 water stop, I was walking – I urged E to keep going saying I would catch up. And while I kept her in my sights for the next 2 miles, by the mile 6 water stop I did something I’ve never done in a race before – I came to a deadstop! Not good! This race really was a mental battle – there was a lot of self talk going on – I used every mental game I could think of to will myself through those final miles.

So what about “the best of times” part?

The course was beautiful! Seriously Newport is a beautiful spot to run – we were either along the water or running among the mansions. The wonderful scenery helped to be a much needed distraction.

Newport group 3

Jill, Nancy, Samantha, me & Amy

A chance to meet-up with these wonderful ladies is always good!


Got to finally meet the lovely Kim, co-leader of Black Girls Run Boston.  She hung out with E & I at the start and best of all I spotted her with just over a mile to go – she became just the focal point I needed to push hard and we ended up crossing the finish line together!

With Kim at Newport 10

Despite my stomach distress, the rest of me felt really good and still managed to will myself to tie my 10-mile PR! And while I wish I had been able to run every step with E, she absolutely rocked this race and is now talking about joining me for a half marathon – so proud of her!


The race itself was a good one – a couple of first year kinks like running out of some of the post-race food and poor planning on the t-shirt distribution…but those were minor. They were super-responsive to questions pre-race; it was a beautifully laid out course; and, they had a great group of enthusiastic volunteers at every water station. I will definitely be back to run this one again next year!




April Rewind

I’ve always loved turning the page on the calendar and see a whole new month laid out before me. While April clearly provided some agonizing days, there were, for me, many good things mixed in there too!


Good things for April:
  • Continuing to run injury-free….always something to celebrate!
  • Returning to speed work at the track — truly my favorite workouts
  • Ran races #2 and 3 for the year (BAA 5K and the Newport 10 Miler) — race reports still to come
  • Fun blogger meet-ups
Newport group 3

Jill, Nancy, Samantha, me, Amy

  • Volunteering at the Boston Marathon!! This was hands-down one of my most favorite experiences! I was assigned to the Athletes’ Village working as a “bus greeter.” The energy of all of the runners was just the best and I had an awesome team of volunteers to work with.  There is no doubt that I will be back to volunteer in 2014!
What’s up for May:
  • RuntoRem Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon! This is my goal race for the spring and with all that has happened in Boston, I know this is going to be an extra-special race this year!
  • Log 100 miles
  • Another 30-day Ab Challenge
  • Continued focus on my nutrition

How ’bout you – any big plans for May?