Monday, January 31, 2011

Donate now!

If you would like to donate to my fundraising campain for Team in Training you can either click here or follow the link in my Donate Tab!  Thank you so much!  I promise to update this blog with more info as soon as I get a chance!  I would also like to personalize my donations page as well. :)

***So here is the quick update as I just got home for soccer and its 15 minutes before bedtime.  I want to cry.  No, I'm not sad.  I'm the luckiest and most blessed girl in the world.  I can't believe the friends and family that have supported me already, towards completing my goal.  Not to mention, I think my entire family plus Sara, Olivia, Steph, and Molls want to come out to cheer me on in June.  There is nothing more motivating than this.  I start by going to a kickoff event at Boston University this saturday, and will meet my South Boston Running Team.  From there, I start training next week!  I really hope to make you all proud!***

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I'm too exhausted to post from such a great, yet tiring weekend!  Instead, I'll just leave you with some photos to explain how it went.  I have soccer tomorrow night too, so fingers crossed I can get back to this before I turn into a zombie.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Team in Training!

Well friends, I have officially signed up to be a Team in Training member!  This is superbly awesome because I will be raising money for cancer research, while also working with a personal trainer/coach throughout my marathon training.

Look for a future post that explains more of the program, as well as a link to donate. :)  You can also expect a party come April or May to help me with my fundraising goal!  Maybe a Southie Pub Crawl!  Oh, that will be so fun!!!

In addition, I will be assigned a training plan based on my needs as a runner, access to elite runners as trainers, as well as physical therapists in the case that I suffer an injury.  I will also be running with a South Boston Running Club every Saturday morning at 7 a.m. following the kickoff event happening on February 4th at Boston University.

During this time, I will also be paired up with a patient going through treatment or in remission, and they will be a support system and a face for my cause.  I think that might even be the best part, to really get to know someone who is a survivor.  I have been so blessed in my life, that I don't have many immediate family members suffering from painful diseases or even personal/emotional issues (although supporting Diabetes research might be a direction I go in, in the future, because of my close connection to some of my favorite people "surviving' with that condition).

After finishing my half marathon, I felt a sense of accomplishment but realized that those feelings are fleeting.  I think being tied to both this blog and raising money and awareness for blood cancers will feel like a spiritual awakening.  I absolutely can't wait!

Friday, January 28, 2011


The litany against fear is an incantation used to focus one's mind and calm oneself in times of peril. The litany is as follows:
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Remember this in all of your training highs, lows, and inbetweens.  I repeat "fear is the mind killer" to myself when I'm feeling especially frustrated or when lacking confidence.

As for my weekend....I plan on doing a four-miler at the gym with some weights today. TOMORROW I'm hitting up the Team in Training meeting...I can't wait to blog about it!  I then plan on doing the southie five-6 miler, unless the conditions (aka sidewalks) are crummy.  Then Killington in VT to try out skiing on sunday!  Bringing my board just in case!  Add in a splash of fun on friday night (trying to limit the alcohol intake for training!) and a dinner with friends on saturday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I can blow you away, or you can ride with me.

Yep. Started another post with lyrics.  This time its Paul Revere by Beastie Boys.  Probably one of my favorite songs by them, mostly because of the track in the background.  Maybe you can add this song to your playlist.

Anyway, so last night I was at Yoga and I was struuuugggling. Every time we went into a one-legged pose, I would have to start over because I realized I couldn't balance.  This is obviously not a picture of me, but what a one legged pose might look like.  I was getting so frustrated with myself, because I just want to be lean and strong.  At the end of class though, my teacher commented that I had done pretty well for it being my fourth class of yoga ever.

So, this article in Runners World talked about the same kind of issue I was having.  Let me explain.  They followed a particular "subject" (a female runner) during her training schedule, and how she would often have calf cramps, which is where I feel my pain in training as well.  

A pro, aka a specialist in Sports Medicine, named De Angelo,  had this particular runner perform a series of one-legged balance exercises, which revealed weaknesses in both the hips and glutes. "If your hips or glutes are weak, the calves are going to have to absorb a lot more force than they should," he says.

De Angelo's analysis proceeded directly from the hip to the foot. "The foot and the hip are best friends," he says. "They depend on each other, and if one's not happy, the other's not going to be happy." Sure enough, he found a lack of flexibility in the foot and ankle, which was causing tightness in her calves—which in turn, led to the inability of the glutes to fire efficiently.  De Angelo recommended active-release stretches for the calves, hips, and groin, along with multiple sets of Bulgarian split squats (performed with one leg on a bench) and straight-legged runner's lunges.

Holy cannoli!!!!!  This is exactly my issue and exactly what I need to work on.

So it turns out the "American College of Sports Medicine's guidelines call for two resistance-training sessions per week—that is, eight to 10 exercises working the major muscle groups; eight to 12 repetitions per exercise. Runners should pay particular attention to the core muscles, the glutes, hips and lower back, as well as the legs and upper body, says orthopedic surgeon Vonda Wright.

Wright recommends working your muscles differently once or twice a week with something besides running, like Spinning. "It's an intense cardio workout, you're using your butt, and teaching your muscles to fire faster."

While some studies have shown that stretching does not reduce the incidence of injury, Wright believes in dynamic stretching after warming up. She recommends gently stretching your calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, butt, and quads after every run. Another option: Pilates or yoga classes typically incorporate both core and flexibility work, so either is time-efficient." Thanks Runners WORLD! Because now I know the importance of my yoga sesh's.  Remember that potential runners, strong core and a lot of flexibility make you a better runner overall.

Ok now lets move into some randomness.

Let me tell you about my snowday in the city.  Sara and I randomly met up with Steph at her work, where we schmoozed and ate lunch together.  We then said our goodbyes and Sara and I then headed to Borders where we sat...for two hours!... chatting and checking out books. Look at the selection I wound up purchasing.

YES how awesome!  I bought a trader joe's cookbook where I vow to make one recipe per week, and then also purchased "What the Dog Saw" by Malcom Gladwell, who wrote "The Tipping Point" and "Blink"....two awesome psychology/business books.  

Sara and I then met up with her boyfriend, Tal, at Stoddards on Temple Place at Downtown Crossing.  I had an awesome drink called the French 75 which consisted of Gin, Champagne, Simple Syrup, and Lemon.  It was an amazing drink in a beautifully decorated bar/restaurant. Seriously, the atmosphere was phenomenal.  Finally, Sara and I ventured into Chinatown to grab sushi at Ginza, which I also highly recommend.  Since, I was so close to southie, I cabbed it back, pushed Sara out at the Broadway T stop and came home to not one, but TWO Runners World magazines waiting for me.  What an AWESOME DAY! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

'Cause we're young. Fell in from the stars.

Dear Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me tell you about Monday, even though its Wednesday, because this post is all about organic and green living.  So, like, on Monday, I tooottally had like, the best. night. ever!  Well, I really did have a good night, even though I skipped both the gym and soccer! I decided that going grocery shopping was more important than the gym, so after my tutoring club, I hiked my way up to the Cambridge Alewife Trader Joes!!!  I spent the giftcard that my Aunt and Uncle gave me for Christmas, and went to town!  I bought so much good stuff (and with that good stuff, made a pesto tortellini with grilled spinach, mushrooms, and onions... seasoned with thyme, all while tossing in a chicken sausage for good measure.  Mmm mmm mmm)!  After buying the entire store, I put the groceries in my trunk for safe keeping, because I knew it would be 20 below that night, picked up Sara, and headed to JIMOTHY's condo in Davis Square!

Its an incregibly beautiful unit.  I mean, check out the Davis Square Lofts, as they are heated through some kind of green fanciness underneath the floor (yep the unit is heated through the floor) and the toilets are filled with recycled rain water.  GET OUT OF HERE.  Ok, so here are the pics...

Look how fancy I was with that shot!  Jim first put out cheese and crackers, then we moved onto dinner that included a turkey burger and a beautiful salad with apple, craisins, and feta cheese.  I topped my burger with a concoction of ketchup, mustard, hot peppers, pickles, and frank's red hot.  Good idea?  Yes, because even though my mouth was on fire, it tasted delicious.

Then we moved into the bedroom (OH stop it.  Get your mind out of the gutter), where Sara and I hung from the metal poles that housed Jim's kayak.  We did a photo shoot.  We had a great time.

Sara then put on Jimothy's scarf that he made, but was too long, so he turned it into a wall hanging.  After a few minutes of laughter and sunshine, we dined on homemade cupcakes with homemade frosting (I cut mine in half to save myself some pain later).

Look at the craftsmanship in both my photo and in the dessert.  What a great night! Green living and mostly organic products, because Jimothy is totally a nature nut.  Just how I like 'em.

This weekend I will be heading down to Tom and Erica's for dinner on Saturday, after a good run and my Team in Training meeting.  I have decided on skipping Killington on Sunday to save some money for Italy, and will instead either snowshoe or cross country ski with my Bolivia (I got snowshoes for christmas and liv's mom owns cross country skis).  Here is a great website I found that shows you trails to snowshoe in New England.  HOT DOG!

Tonight, I'm aiming for a yoga sesh at South Boston Yoga. Happy wednesday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I can hear you louder than ever

I'm gonna give a big shout out to the Cold War Kids and their new album.  I'm a big fan.  Really loved their old song "Hang me up to dry" but am totally in love with their newish song "louder than ever".  Anyway, check them out.  I have been recently told they are playing at the House of Blues in March!  If the price is right...  Also, Crystal Castles just released a song with The Cure's lead vocalist, Robert Smith, entitled "I'm not in love".  Sounds about right.  BUT I will forever and always love their song "Courtship Dating" more than anything in the world (its been suggested that Fiddy stole the beats to this song to plug into Ayo Technology, as Crystal Castles were a club hit in Canada prior to it being released on an album).


Yep, that's right I just took those photos with photobooth on my macbook.  What of it? I am so excited for this thing to charge.  Too bad it takes three hours and I need to get in a workout before this evening.  I have plizans tonight, playa.  Remember, this thing is able to keep track of my workouts, my pace, my mileage, and will show me how I've improved over time.  WAGON!! (wagon is how Sara, Olivia, and I say "Yahoo!" because of a mistype in a text.) WAGON!!


Ok, so I didn't know you had to set an autolap to figure out your pace per mile, but check out what I was able to figure out during my treacherous run outdoors in the unshoveled southie warzone.

So my average speed was 6.8 mph, a slow run, with my average pace being 8:49 a mile.  After running 5.62 miles in 49:35:66 and burning 561 (estimate) calories, I am loving this device!

Well the screenshot doesn't really show you much, but my Garmin was able to chart out my exact run and my speed.  I didn't wear the heartrate monitor, but that's a-ok.   My average pace per mile was a little slow, but you have no idea what I was trying to run in.  I'm surprised I didn't twist my ankle!  BUT STILL, this is awesome!  On another run, I'll be able to tell you my splits (how fast I run each mile)!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Maine, you changed my life.

I am going to use this time to post about how much the summer of 2010 changed my life. Now, I have been working at an outdoor adventure camp for the previous three years, but something about working the entire summer, in combination with my frustration with my own personal life, allowed me to really experience camp for what it was; a life changing experience.

(That photo is a picture of a whiteboard drawing one of my campers made of me. I would wear rainbow socks with my rainboots every time there was even a thought of rain.)

So I work at this neato little camp called Aspen Outdoor Adventure Program, where, depending on the age group, we do day trips kayaking, hiking, biking, rock climbing etc., and then do overnight sessions around New England that are centered around different outdoor activities. I had the pleasure of working with some of our older kids this summer, which meant I would be away for a week at a time camping in locations such as Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, Western Mass, etc. I spent a majority of my time in Maine and a lot of time with my favorite camp husband, JIMOTHY! (well his real name is just Jim. Maybe James, I'm not sure actually ahah, I'm also going to dinner at his place tomorrow night with Sara to catch up. Whoop whoop!). I also spent plenty of time with my one and only Fraulein Sara.

So Jimothy and I were in charge of 13 campers and we would hang out with them in Maine doing things like white water rafting, rock climbing, and an awesome attempt at hiking a mountain nearby to Jackman, ME (although this plan was foiled by an obvious attempt by one camper to get "sick" in the beginning stages of our hike. playa please). It was a lot of time outdoors, with kids, making food breakfast noon and night, barely showering (Jim considered any time spent swimming as showering) and sleeping in ginormous puddles because of rain storms with 30 degree temps at night (because it was Maine and Canada, what do you want from them?). I also had the pleasure of going on a trip to Camden with Sara, in which we took a bunch of 13-year-olds into the woods, going to Iylesboro, ME by ferry, biking all day, and waking the kids up at 4 a.m. to do a sunrise hike on Mt. Battie (um, where we started at the bottom and were SCREAMED out by some creep sleeping in their van? and when we got to the top, our kids discovered a couple camping there, with their dogs. ooops.)

If you know where I came from and who I was just a few years ago, I started out only doing Day Trekkers (4th into 5th grade) trips because I was such a camp fail. But now that I'm a master in my craft of camping (and no longer cry because I have to sleep in the woods in the dark in a tent by myself), I know how to do everything except light a campfire. YOU CAN'T BE GOOD AT EVERYTHING! Get off my back! I at least tried...apparently lighting an entire roll of paper towels with lighter fluid isn't how you start a camp fire.

So I was pushed to my limit this summer, both in terms of how I can handle myself without the luxuries of my life (although I still woke up earlier than everyone else so I could put on makeup), as well as challenging myself to accept who I was, as a 27 year old in my champagne year of life.

The song "I've gotta figure this out" by Erin McCarley explained exactly how I felt. Listen to it, its an incredible song. "The Reeling" by Passion Pit is also a good description of life then (Look at me, oh look at me, is this the way I’ve always been. Oh no, oh no. Now I’m dreaming somebody would simply come and kidnap me. Oh no, oh no. Everyday I lie awake and pray to God today’s the day. oh no, oh no. Here I am, oh, here I am, and when will someone understand
Oh no, oh no.) With all of these struggles on my mind, I spent a lot of that summer journaling and reading The Secret, which I consider to be one of the most influential books in my life (besides The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran). I don't
necessarily believe in all of its mumbo jumbo, but I 100% support its message, which is based on the power of positive thought. Some important ideas coming out of the book included: "Do what you love. If you don't know what brings you joy, ask "What is my joy?" As you commit to your joy, you will attract an avalanche of joyful things because you are radiating joy." and that "Your job is you. Unless you fill yourself up first, you have nothing to give anybody."

All summer I had felt like I was struggling with knowing who I was and what I wanted; what made me special, and what made my life fulfilling. I went off of facebook to get away from projecting what I wanted people to think I was, instead of figuring out who I actually was.

(During that time, I uploaded pictures to my Flickr account and you can see all of my adventures in Maine, both Jackman and Camden here. It gives you an idea the beauty I surrounded myself in. I couldn't really take any pictures of the kids because of privacy laws, but there are a ton of scenery pictures among a mishmash of other activities I participated in that summer.)

In that time, I really got to know myself. I took a break from dating, I stopped going out as much, and I lived my entire summer outdoors. I will say that I started the school year a little exhausted, because every single day was spent in the sun doing something really active. Seriously, I went all Thoreau on you.  In the woods, no electricity, no facebook (!) no boys(!!!) and if you know me really well, you know that I am boy crazy.  However, I came out of that experience with a really strong sense of who I was, and what I could accomplish. I don't think I'll ever be able to eloquently portray my experience through words, so instead you should just know that I celebrate that time of my life every day after, with every memory I've created since then. I bought a feather necklace, that you may notice I wear everyday and have never taken off since August, which symbolizes spiritual and emotional freedom. (I got it from, p.s.)

You might think that I just unloaded a ton of cheese on you, but I know that my experiences this summer left me with a sense of independence, confidence in who I was as a friend, a sister, a daughter, and what I could offer anyone new coming into my life. I also decided in that time to take up running, because although I have always been active, I hadn't been pushing myself in recent years. In order to keep on goal, I signed up for the Chilly Half Marathon in Newton, MA. I trained for that run, although probably not to the best of my ability, but with a refreshed energy, one that I consider to be very unique and one of my best qualities. My energy makes others feel good, and I can get the energy of a room to change with the way I interact with it.

Although I was sidetracked during my training by one of the most important experiences in recent years, I was able to complete the half marathon in 1 hour and 57 minutes; not bad for a newbie with not much of a running background (albeit I am super athletic. Also a big shout out to my besties, Sara and Olivia, for helping motivate me during my race and in my life). That race left me with a thirst and a desire to accomplish so much more, and with a chain of recent events that have left me ready for more wonderful things to walk into my life, I decided to sign up for the marathon this June. I hope to make you all proud. Thanks for listening!

"Once you begin to understand and truly master your thoughts and feelings, that's when you see how you create your own reality. That's where your freedom is, that is where all your power is" -Marci Shimoff

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step"
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Download the song "Something about angels" by Justin King. Awesome.

But I know the heart of life is good.

Man, a lot happened over the weekend. As you all know, I had my beloved snowday on Friday, making last week a 3 day work week. I also had the chance to go to yoga and then for a run at the gym that day. While on the treadmill though, I was totally hitting my stride when I felt a pinch on my butt. I screamed and scared everyone around me.

It was Megan. Silly girl.

I had to walk for a few minutes after that because I was so thrown off, but eventually was able to get in a good 4 mile run. We chatted for a while on the machines but I had to sprint off because I was meeting some of my besties for dinner at Rudys in Somerville. We dined on Margarita's (traditional with lime juice, on the rocks, and salt) and I decided to have whatever I wanted that evening. Boy did I. We started with black bean nachos, and ended with two desserts to share between the five of us. Can you say....fried ice cream and chocolate deliciousness? Go ahead, say it. Because we ate it. In between, I went with a crabmeat quesadilla, which is very unusual for me, but I always get the taco salad without the shell and I just didn't want to eat that again. The girls and I sat around for 3 hours (!) and chatted away the evening.

I got home around 10 and after conversing with a few people on the interneto, headed to bed knowing full well that I had no desire to check out Crossfit the next morning at 10. I wound up emailing the guy I had scheduled my session with, saying that I wasn't able to make it, but hopefully we could schedule a time for the future. I think I have just been going a mile a minute and needed a morning to myself. I should also keep focused on the classes that I've already paid for. With that being said, I invited Olivia over (because her heat was off) to come to yoga with me. She happily obliged and drove into the city to first go with me to pick up a yoga mat and bag. Look look!

Are you surprised its pink? Because I'm notttt. Anyway, so Olivia and I had a wee bit of a snack for lunch (I had cottage cheese and almonds) and headed to our session that lasted about an hour and kicked my hips' butts, because we focused on hips that day. Wow, again. I am just so inflexible. Its incredible to me that I can even move my legs because every part of me is just so tight. We left our yoga lovetimes feeling incredibly relaxed and stretched, but also significantly challenged by the workout. I didn't get a run in because I instead needed to get a bang trim, as you can tell by the Rudy's pictures.

Once we got back to my apartment, Olivia hugged me goodbye and I started to get ready for Steph's company holiday party at the New England Aquarium, while simultaneously watching Teen Mom 2, my absolute guiltiest pleasure besides Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Jersey Shore. Let me just share the highlights with you from that evening, because not only was it an open bar on all levels of the aquarium, they served hors d'oeuvres that we enjoyed immensely.

I know a ton of Steph's coworkers from having been a date to so many of her company outings, and because during school breaks (and my birthday every year!), I travel downtown to grab lunch with her. I usually wind up staying for hours talking to her boss, Ken, and chatting with a lot of her coworkers. Winter Wyman and Co. is the best company, EVER! I followed Steph around as she talked to everyone, and their mother, and their wife, and I pretended (not really) that I was the company spokesperson, because I basically just kept high fiving the CEO in my brain.

After some awkward moments, and Ken telling me he could get me into the opening of Remy's on the Waterfront, we then wandered over to Rumba at the Intercontinental Hotel. I was able to get to know many new faces and caught up with all the familiar faces from previous excursions. Steph's coworkers hung out for a while but we suddenly realized that there were only 4 of us left at the bar. At this time, Steph announced that she was hungry and we made a plan to cab it to Chinatown for cold tea and snacks. However, after chatting up the doorman (and giving out really great hugs) we were able to score a ride in the hotel's SUV with a hotel driver. He instead took us to South Street Diner, where I sucked down a lot of water and didn't really even feel like eating. We took a cab back to southie after almost hitting all the zombies that fall out of bars at 2 a.m., and divulged our text regrets from that evening. Aahaha, who cares. Its awesome. Steph said it best (during our conversation about looking back on these memories) by proclaiming, "Remember when we were in our 20's...". We will seriously look back on the ups, downs, accomplishments, and embarrassments with fondness; knowing full well that we have lived our 20's the best way we knew how. Seriously, think of everything we all have accomplished and maybe couldn't have if we were in different circumstances. I mean, I'm training for a marathon! I've graduated from grad school, I have a good job, I'm going to Italy in a few weeks, I've been to Vegas, I've hiked mountains, I've been able to snowboard on the weekends, I can run by the ocean everyday, I live in an amazing city, and I keep an active, healthy, and balanced life with amazing friends and family.

What a night! I have taken the liberty to be relaxed today, but feel a little bit of guilt about not making my way to the gym. I don't like that feeling, because when I start to feel stressed out about when and how long I'm at the gym then I start becoming obsessed. Not ok. I guess right now I'll just recover knowing full well that weekends like this are well deserved but obviously not ones I participate in every weekend (anymore hahaah). Wellllll maybe I'll head there after Megan has now convinced me to grab a late lunch with her at telegraph hill, a new bar/restaurant in southie. Its owned by the people that own everything (Joshua Tree, Tavern on the Square, Atlantic Beer Garden, Brighton Beer Garden, Boston Beer Garden, Playwright, and Whiskey Priest. Yep).

ALSO, I'm going to a team in training meeting next saturday. I will definitely have to keep you posted on that, because if I can pledge to raise enough money, they'll train me for the marathon for free AND pay for my flight and hotel out in San Diego. Keep your eyes open for my emails and facebook notifications asking for donations!

FYI-Real marathon training starts in a little over a week (thanks to my Italy trip in the middle of February that throws off my training a wee bit!, meaning I have to start a little earlier than most training plans). So much to look forward to! AND THANK YOU stephanie for bringing me out last night! We are weekend warriors.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Words to live by

"On the Radio" by Regina Spektor

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't

You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took

And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood

And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

I love courtney

I love my sister. Just sayin. She's beautiful, intelligent, funny, and awesome. Much like myself. Well, that's because we are sisters. Duh.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yo yo yo yoga face yo yo yoga face

I absolutely loved taking the Yoga class at South Boston Yoga with Megan. I was so surprised! Best of all, because it was an introductory class, it was free! Ok, so let's backtrack.

I left school about 45 minutes after it got out and headed to Golds to go for a run. Although I had originally planned on doing a 3-4 miler, around mile 1 I had to stop because my legs were so tight, I thought my calves and shins were going to explode. Thankfully, they did not, but I had to stop at mile 2 to stretch out, again. I finally called it quits around mile 3.25. I was fine with the amount I ran, but was a little disappointed because I'm totally over having tight shins and calves, thus making my ankles feel like they are encased in bricks. Sigh.

Fast forward to 2 hours later, where I met up with Megan at South Boston Yoga, signed up for

my free class, grabbed a mat, and went into a very quiet room; whispering as we updated each other on the goings-on in our lives. I spent the next hour and a half in complete shock at how inflexible I was, but how excited I was to try out this new stretchfest. It felt like complete bliss and I was even surprised to find myself sweating! I basically watched Megan the entire time, because I didn't know boo about yoga, but I was able to keep up, no problem (mostly). Man, what a work out for every muscle in your body, especially my core, which I know is the most untoned area of my body. Yep. Its true, I can't lie. Kickin calf muscles, not so much in the core. I decided to buy the unlimited 2-week newbie package for $25 and will try to balance yoga, with boxing, with running throughout the rest of January. God, I'm so interesting and complex.

Sara mentioned that I have totally been on a Manic high, which is probably true, but seriously, what an awesome thing to get a high off of. I've been bouncing around to different exercise classes and have just loved them all. Tomorrow, I'm squeezing in a run before heading to Rudy's in Somerville for a Girls night, Girls niiight. Then I'm checking out Crossfit on Saturday...with a saturday night shindig at the New England Aquarium for Steph's company work party. Yes, you read that right. I'm going as her date, and Winter Wyman has rented out the entire aquarium. Can you say awesome?

Let me also end this post with two songs that are perfect for the yoga master in all of you. First off is Lissie's Everywhere I go, who opened at the City and Color concert (who I also recommend listening to. Love love love songs like... Sleeping Sickness, Casey's Song, The Girl, Coming Home, Save Your Scissors) at the Somerville Theater last January, and Steph reminded me that I loved so much (as she and I went together). Second, is a song by Iron and Wine called The Trapeze Swinger that was playing during the meditation portion of our Yoga class this evening.

*Another update! Another SNOWDAYYYYY! I'll pay for it in June, but it looks like I'm hitting up Yoga at noon and then a run at golds. Hopefully I'll get 4 miles in!

Rihanna featuring Nicki Minaj...Raining Men

I just wanted to share this song, as it is my new favorite favorite song of the moment. Thank you to Olivia for burning me the Rihanna c.d. "Loud", because it has been playing in my car nonstop. I can only imagine that this song will help boost my energy during my runs. Now, I just have to figure out a downloading program other than Limewire so I can have updated music. I'm so behind the timessss ahhh. Anyway ladies, love this song. Because it really is raining men.

Speaking of Rihanna. Let's discuss bodies, shall we?

After my fourth email from Runners World in about 6 hours, it came up with something interesting to share....specifically, how to lose weight without sacrificing performance or being perpetually hungry. Let's start with some numbers:

1) You need to know how many calories your body needs at rest. The Harris Benedict Equation allows you to get an estimate of your resting calorie needs or basal metabolic rate:

Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) = BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) .... (I figured mine out to be 1385)

666 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years) = BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)

Then, add in your activity factor:
BMR x 1.55 if you exercise 3-5 days a week.
BMR x 1.75 if you exercise 6-7 days a week.
Now you know how many calories you need to maintain your weight.

(Again, even though I've been exercising 6 times a week, I'm going to err on the side of caution and discovered that I should be eating about 2146 calories a day to maintain my weight).

2) Keep a food record. It is really important to write down when you eat and drink, what you eat and drink, and how much you eat and drink. And if you really want to be accurate, use an online program like the one here to calculate how many calories you consume.

Now you know both how much you need to eat to keep your weight steady and how many calories you are currently eating. If you cut calories by 250 to 300 per day you will likely see a weight loss of about half a pound per week (500 a day if you want to lose a lb. a week. But remember, factor in your calories burned...but don't trust the machines!). While that's a small amount, you won't be as hungry and will be less likely to abandon the plan. (I should be eating around 1600-1800 calories a day to lose weight while exercising. I must be overeating like woah.)

Here is how to organize your plate if you are trying to decrease body fat:

A little more than two-thirds of the plate should be lean protein (poultry, fish, veggie burgers, soy, low-fat dairy, or eggs) and fruits and vegetables and less than one-third of the plate should be grains or higher-carb vegetables, like pasta, rice, bread, cereal, potatoes or corn. Don't omit fat, just use a little to enhance flavor. Olive oil, nuts, or a thin spread of nut butter are all good choices. You can also cut calories by avoiding sugary drinks and snacks, and minimize portion size by using small bowls, plates, and glasses.

Sounds easy...lets see if it works! I started the day with my omelet combo job and my tea, but then came to work and had a chocolate. Fail! But only if I don't get my butt in gear later. If I do, I have a little more wiggle room. Ain't that a monkey's uncle!

This evening's plan includes a 4-5 mile run around Southie, and then hitting up South Boston Yoga with Megan. I want to check out the scene there because even though Golds offers Yoga, South Boston Yoga offers a...Yoga for Runners class on Sundays! Although I'm not a big fan of yoga, I think the once a week stretchfest might do me some good. Boxing shall continue before then, but I might go to a class on Sunday, or tomorrow. Everyday is an adventure.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I've had dreams of Boston all of my life.

The title of my post is from a little ditty entitled "Ladies of Cambridge" by Vampire Weekend. Just as an FYI. If there is one thing you will learn about me through this blog, is that I listen to music all of the time. I have a playlist running constantly in my brain. Also, another FYI is that Runners World sent me an email in the middle of the night last night, which woke me up, which was semi-disappointing because I have some other people I would rather hear from, which stated the following, "2011: The Year of You". Why thank you Runners World, because I feel the same way. Remember, I'm halfway through my Champagne Year!

I have several things to clue you in on today. First off, I had a really good day at work. I don't know why, but the kids were on fire and so was I. I was talking about the most random stuff to them, and although they laughed because I'm most likely irrelevant and "uncool" (yeah right. not even possible. Little do they know i've learned all the words to Nicki Minaj's verse in Monster by Kanye West. I spit some beats to Jessica, so I have a witness), I know whatever I said will stick with them. Bingo Bango. Secondly, things have calmed down immensely on the family front, so I didn't have that hanging over my head. And last, but not least.......

I BOUGHT THE GARMIN FORERUNNER 305!! It isn't as small or fancy or cool as the Forerunner 405, but it certainly was 200 dollars less. I got a snazzy little deal ala, and $129.00 later, I am the proud parent of a GPS system that will change my life. Let me explain.

At the very least, it tells you your heart rate, which I don't really care about. But it also includes a space for calories burned, which I don't really care about. Most importantly, it tracks your mileage and your pace (how fast you run your mile), which I super de duper uperly care about! I can then download that information to my computer, see it all laid out in graph form, and use it to track my progress over time. With that information, I will be able to show you the graphs on this here blog. At the present moment, I'm averaging an 8:45 mile. I know I can get harder, better, faster, AND stronger. I undoubtedly will have my Garmin to thank.

Consider yourselves blessed. I'm blessed, this is awesome. I was debating on asking/getting this for a while, because it meant I had to commit to my cause (and you all know my issue with commitment, the way...I am doing a really good job of working on). So here I am, happily about to embark on a fulfilling relationship with running and exercise. I can't wait, we might get married someday, buy a house, have some...woah. I was getting a little ahead of myself there.

Also, did you know that even getting just 10-15 minutes of running a day, can boost your mood and vitality? Here is a little article that gives you tips and offers a high five for living a healthy life. Read it. I'm currently taking a rest day to do laundry, so I can get back in the game tomorrow. Debating a run andddd time at The Ring. We'll see, lovers. Until later, or tomorrow, depending on my motivation. Miss you, love you, come back soon!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

lauren and the terrible horrible no good very bad day.

It scares me how well I know and understand people. Today was no exception....well actually last friday was no exception. I am very aware of how people work and how their needs, their wants, and their expectations fuel their behavior. I understand that people will continue to do what doesn't work for them, continue to remain in a negative cycle, until they've had it. There comes a point where you say "enough". I understand this so well, and yet I can't do anything but be there for the people I love until they scream "enough". I know this with friends, with relationships, and with my family.

I see things that happen to people about five minutes before they do. I know it when meeting them, I understand them by a few simple conversations; what makes them work. I know it even when I've had these relationship with a person for years. I see minor changes that no one else would notice, but makes all the difference in the world. I know there is nothing I can do to change it, all I can do is understand it, and offer support. Thus, why today was the terrible horrible no good very bad day. I've never had to experience the feelings I felt today, firsthand, as a participant in it, instead of being the psychologist that everyone looks to for answers. However, I do have the most incredible friends that anyone could ask for; they stick with me through thick and thin, through the best and worst moments. I also want to give props to my family, for pulling together when we got thrown for a loop.

I wasn't going to run, even though I had planned on doing so. Then I remembered the words from my good friend (and old college roommate) Tara, who has completed the NYC Marathon. She said to me, ‘If I planned on backing off every time running got difficult, I would hang up my shoes and take up knitting’, a quote by marathoner Desiree Davila. Now, I'm not really sure if I would take up knitting (I can't even think of an activity I would replace my sports with...), but I know that if I'm going to make running a lifestyle, and not just a hobby, then I need to continue on regardless of the circumstances.

I wound up going to golds because it was raining, and banged out 4 miles in 35:07...even with a really tight shin and ankle that made me stop several times to stretch. Even if it was a really slow run that I wasn't that impressed by. Even if my brain was going a mile a minute. But I did it anyway. So for that I am proud, even if it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I think its a sushi for dinner kind of night.

"When you move like a jellyfish, rhythm is nothing. You go with the flow, you don't stop." -Jack Johnson

Monday, January 17, 2011

One of my favorite songs

New Resolution by Azure Ray

follow blind.
heavy eyes, hold position.
You’re right on time.
it was a lucky prediction

move on, move on.
It’s like the clock is pacing
the break of dawn, and our hearts are racing.
move on, move on...
there's nothing changing.

don't undermine,
my new resolution.
just to find,
A different light, a new direction.

move on, move on.
now the record's skipping,
i won't forget, i won't forget
the way you said move on,
move on, there's no point in waiting.

move on, move on.
It’s like the clock is pacing
the break of dawn, and our hearts are racing.
move on, move on,
there's nothing changing.

move on, move on.
now the record's skipping,
i won't forget, i won't forget the way you said
move on, move on.
there's no point in waiting.

...totally pumps me up. i think my motivational music is much different than other girls.

My body rocks a rhythm.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! I'm going to start this post with a famous quote by Dr. King: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Remember these words my friends, they not only apply to social justice and politics, they can apply to your own personal lives as well.

I spent my sunday (yesterday) going for that 6 miler that I told you a
bout, but what I didn't mention is that because the sidewalks in southie aren't in tip top shape at the moment, I really worked my quads and calves because it was slush and uneven pavement; kind of like running in the sand. I also did some smart eating in the morning, because I knew I was going to a housewarming/Patriots Party at Chris and Melissa's new place. Let's discuss the highlights!

First off, I walked in, grabbed a bunch of cheese because I was going to eat my own arm, and then was handed a potent margarita as made by Chris. The margarita was done on the healthy but deadly side, as Chris didn't use sour mix and instead just went with lime juice and a little bit of oj mixed with about 3 shots too many of silver tequila. I swear after one, I could have been done, but instead I had two. Oops.

Ok, so you might be wondering why I'm even adding this post. Well, its because about my life and the ups, downs, and in betweens of training. This was an in between. Definitely a fun fun night, but definitely a setback in terms of taking care of my body. But, you know what?! That's ok. Because I know that if I start to become obsessed (as mentioned in my previous post) with how much I consume, then I start restricting and then binging, and I ain't gonna go in that direction again. Instead, I made smart choices to start my morning, and then enjoyed myself with some drinks, cheese, chicken wings, and italian meatballs. Its a-ok because we had a lot of fun, even if the Pats blew it in their attempt to make it to the Superbowl. I didn't even really follow the season this year because I was dating someone not that into football. Man, I really missed it, and this is the game that I got to see? Pffft. Anyway, to give you an idea of how much fun, here are some pictures of us at the end of the night, which was sadly only about 8:00 pm (but awesomely awesome because I got a sweet amount of sleep). Also, at this point, I had been coddled by everyone in the room because I was feeling headachey, and then turned into a donkey clown, as is my claim to fame. Surprise, surprise.

Yup, a sunday well spent. Today I woke up feeling jazzy, drank some water, had my absolute favorite omelet combo job, talked to my mom and olivia for a little bit, and then headed to my 1 o'clock 12 round class at The Ring. Instead of working on our technique, we started with jumproping (I am the worst at jumproping) and then hit the bags for a half hour. The class was then split up into two groups to work on conditioning. I don't even know the names of any of the activities we did but just imagine a lot of jumping, abs, pushups, medicine balls, and torture. I certainly paid for the fun I had on sunday, and I'm ok with it. I came home and had my arugula ravioli from, where else, Trader Joes, combined with spinach and an Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausage. Yum yum yum.


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