Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

Face The Music Friday #23

Fitness this week:

Saturday –  unscheduled rest day (Julie and Dan visit)

Sunday – 30 min yoga

Monday – 50 min run/walk

Tuesday – 30 min yoga

Wednesday – 30 min run/walk

Thursday – 1 hr obstacle fit @ Unleashed

Friday – rest



I was the only one who showed up for obstacle class Thursday night. I’m not gonna lie – it was freakin’ awesome doing it by myself. Kevin asked what I wanted to do in particular, so I said let’s mix it up between a regular class and some skills work. He definitely delivered on a heart-pumping workout. I don’t think my heart rate has ever gotten so high during a workout, and that includes his Ultimate Conditioning class that I took a few weeks back! I also enjoyed that I got some time to pick his brain about tips and such for the Tough Mudder. He told me they’re having a NE Spahtens day at Unleashed on 3/15 so I’m definitely going to that to meet some others in the group, plus he said they do a gear swap and you get a regular class and some skills work done in there, too. He also said they’re going to start having a nutritionist working out of there soon, plus in April sometime (I think that’s when he said) they’re going to have a class about how to run a great obstacle race (what to wear, eat, carry, etc). To say I’m excited about this upcoming stuff doesn’t even begin to describe it!

I had every intention of getting up this morning for my run so that I could switch my rest days from Friday to Saturday, but my eyes had better ideas. I couldn’t pry them open this morning when my alarm went off at 4 am. Not to mention the fact that my butt is crazy sore from doing hop squats, alternating lunges and then deep walking lunges in class last night. Holy ouch, Batman!!

Tara and I may be hitting up the REI members “garage sale” tomorrow morning and see if we can’t find any good deals on anything for when we can finally get back on the trails! I might also look for a smaller Camelbak at Kevin’s recommendation because he said I’ll definitely want stuff with me for the Mudder and not to rely on the aid stations.

For this week’s music, I can’t think today (which is bad, because it’s end of month at work!!), so I asked Tara which song I should pick. Note to self: never ask Tara which song to pick again. She suggested I go with the 80s classic Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart. I’m going to include it, only because it’s hysterical, but now that means you get a two-fer today, you lucky devils!

My song choice for today will be a new favorite, but kind of sticking with the 80s theme because it’s very synth-heavy like the music was in that time. So I picked Mother We Share by Chvrches.

Have a great weekend everyone!







Status Quo And A Question

Hi there. Remember me? OK, so it’s only been 5 days, but whatever.

I’m grumpy lately, which means I don’t feel like writing. Who wants to read my woe is me crap anyway? I’d rather write about good stuff, but it seems few and far between lately. I’m hoping that’s coming around soon.




Let’s try a few things…

The chiropractor is going great. I really look forward to my weekly visits there. I still have a lot of work to do, but I at least can pass the FMS test now for my legs. My arms are another story entirely.

I just had my yearly review at work and it was glowing. Seriously. I got an overall mark of “exceeds expectations” which is as high as our department is allowed to give.

We had a gorgeous weekend this past weekend, weather-wise. Although it was a tease, it just reminds me that spring is around the corner (hopefully – I’m frackin’ freezin’ right now!!).

There. Those are some positives off the top of my head.




Anyway, on to my question for all you runners out there in blog world…

I have a race on my schedule I really want to do (Newport 10 Miler). I’ve never run more than 5 miles, and this was last Labor Day weekend right before my injured IT band. I’m taking a much slower approach coming back from that injury and, on the calendar, I will only be up to running 5 miles again by the time this race comes around in late April.

What would you do? I’m doing a run/walk approach right now so I figured if I can’t run the whole thing (not happening), then I’d be mixing in those walks anyway. I honestly don’t know how big of a leap it is. I don’t know if there is a time limit either, so obviously that concerns me (I should probably check that out now that I think of it).

I’d love some honest feedback. I’m thinking I probably can’t do it and will have to wait until next year, but wanted some opinions from you folks that run ridiculous things like marathons. HAHA







Face The Music Friday #22

Fitness this week:

Saturday – Shoulder/Leg – all 3 sets of 12-15  & 45 min shoveling
Machine Shoulder Press – 25 lb, Barbell Incline Shoulder Raise – 20 lb, Dumbbell Shoulder Shrug – 25 lb, Barbell Squat – 85 lb, Barbell Standing Calf Raise – 75 lb, Farmer’s Walk (50 steps) – 40 lb, Abductor – 160 lb, Adductor – 160 lb

Sunday – Migraine – Unscheduled rest day

Monday – Unscheduled rest day

Tuesday – 40 min Run/Walk & 30 min shoveling

Wednesday – Unscheduled rest day

Thursday – 50 min Run/Walk & 1 hr Unleashed obstacle class

Friday – Normal rest day

As you can see, I sucked this week in terms of motivation. Tara had the week off since it was school vacation and I found it very difficult to get out of bed on strength days. Oddly enough, on running days it was easy. Running is getting better with minimal pain afterwards so I’m hopeful it will continue on that route while I keep up with my stretching from the chiro and weekly visits with her. It feels so good to be able to do it again. And an update on the new shoes – they’re breaking in pretty well. I still get that slight hotspot over that same toe but not as bad.

I think my reluctance to go do my strength exercises could be because it’s time for a switch-up. I feel bored with them. When I’m doing them, I’m not…but then I think about it and I think I need a new routine soon.

Last night’s class at Unleashed was crazy. For the first time, Kevin had us do the obstacles after getting fatigued (instead of rotating station to station or mixing things up). For instance, he had us do box jumps and then go over and climb the walls. Of course, in my case, it’s more like do the jumps, attempt the wall, fall off the wall and then roll under the wall, the next wall and then bear crawl under the third wall. I did get higher though, so my progress continues there. I’ve met some really nice people there, too, and decided to join the New England Spahtens Facebook group in hopes of meeting even more obstacle race lovers. Some of the friends I’ve made at Unleashed are members (including our trainer, Kevin) so I’m already one step ahead.

Tara and I had a nice anniversary on Tuesday. I took the day off at the last minute and went to Middletown to visit her grandmother, grandmother’s best friend and her aunt. We all went out to lunch at the Portsmouth Publick House which had really good food, but it took like an hour to get our lunch. This normally wouldn’t matter if a place was jamming, but the restaurant was literally half empty and we went during a massive snowstorm…so we don’t get it. So we got to spend some quality time with good people and good food and then come and shovel yet again. I give up, Winter – you win.

Today’s song, because I’m feeling so good about running and my class last night, is going to be another Imagine Dragons song.

On Top Of The World – Imagine Dragons








5th Anniversary – Love In Pictures

Tara and I have been together for almost 10 years (in May), but today is our 5th (legal) wedding anniversary! I throw the legal in there because we were legally married in February at a town hall in MA with just our best friends and Tara’s parents there (mine live in Vegas). We then later had a ceremony and reception on July 18th of the same year. It’s funny because some people recognize our legal date, while some recognize the “party date”. Even the two of us have trouble sometimes.


These were temporary matching wedding bands. We later got our permanent ones that we wear today.


At our July ceremony/reception, we invited our closest friends and family to share the day with us. One of Tara’s best friends wrote and performed the ceremony for us, we both danced with our dads and then our moms did a reading. We just had it at a small local hall, did all the decorating ourselves and tried to keep it as simple (and in budget) as possible.

Our “guestbook” was a personal photo, professionally matted and framed, that we had everyone sign on the matte to hang in our home.



Each of our table settings was a beach that means something to either of us, or both of us.



We found these great seashell trees at Christmas Tree Shop and I think we cleared out the shelves and bought them all and had just enough for all of our tables!



For favors, we gave everyone a chocolate covered oreo, bubbles and a costumed rubber duck (matched to the person if possible).



Each table was covered in a simple paper tablecloth and we put crayons on each one so that everyone could doodle and leave us messages.



We also added pictures of those that couldn’t be with us for our special day as well as passed out disposable cameras to get those always amusing candid shots from our friends and family…and boy, did we get some good ones!


My great-grandparents, Tara’s best friend Shannon and her grandmother and grandfather.


Instead of a typical wedding cake, we opted to do something very “Rhode Island-ish” and ordered Allie’s Donut cakes! They make the most amazing old-fashioned donuts and these did not disappoint. We had these 3 custom ordered to cut and then just ordered basic round donut cakes to feed everyone.



We found this amazing glass jar and decided, instead of lighting two candles to one, we’d fill this jar with two colored waters (our favorite colors – purple and blue – using food coloring). We then found those awesome ceramic jars and decided that is what we would keep the water in until we poured it together. We had a minor malfunction when we realized the ceramic jars definitely weren’t meant to hold liquids, but it was all good and we survived thanks to some quick thinking and clear nail polish.



Lastly, here are some of my favorite pics from that day with family and friends. It will definitely never be forgotten.


One of our besties, Dan – of the infamous “Julie and Dan”

One of Tara’s oldest friends, and our ceremony master

Our niece and flower girl

Friends – those that stood with us

My Papa having a ball with the bubbles

My parents and grandparents (Mom’s side)

Still my all-time favorite picture from that day





To Race Or Not To Race

Well, it was an interesting weekend. I had my first technical DNS with my Sunday race. Let’s back up a bit and recap the weekend, shall we?

Valentine’s Day was as romantic as any couple could hope for – we went grocery shopping. To keep the party going, we had our dentist cleanings on Saturday morning, then went from there to Home Depot and then to our tax appointment. We decided since we were early for H&R Block that we would stop at Dunkin Donuts and pick them up a dozen donuts for everyone at the office.

We were about ½ hour early for our appointment, but luckily our tax rep’s first appointment had not shown up, so she was able to see us right away. They all looooved us for bringing in the donuts because it was starting to snow and I think people were a little grumpy to begin with. Donuts make everything better so it seemed to cheer them up a bit. We were in and out like usual and got a decent refund back that we should see in the next couple of weeks. I already have it earmarked for paying off certain debts so I can’t wait to get it deposited!

The snow was really starting to get heavy by the time we were out of there around 1:30-2:00. We headed home and did some stuff around the house. I didn’t want to shovel too early and have to do it a ton of times, so we ended up going out around 8:45 or so and I think it took us about 45 minutes. It had started to lighten up a bit at that point, so when we woke up in the morning there was only maybe another 2 inches on the ground/cars. This is where the race dilemma begins…

Saturday night, through various posts from the RIRR and the race director emailing us all directly, they said it would be an 11th hour call about whether or not they’d cancel. They had cancelled due to snow the year before so they seemed like they really didn’t want to do it again. They said they would make the call by 6 am since it was supposed to stop snowing around 3 am. I set my alarm for 6:15 to check my email and see if I needed to get my race routine on or not.

My alarm apparently went off for 10 minutes without me hearing it, because by the time I heard the vibration, the phone said it was 6:25. I looked at my email to see the race was still on and just delayed by 2 hours for a 1pm start! I got up to drink some water and looked outside and it was a hot mess. Our neighborhood roads are always poorly plowed and I can’t imagine there was enough time to plow roads that would then be closed for a race. The race was being held in Foxboro, MA – about a 45 min drive one way – so I didn’t feel comfortable driving on crappy roads and then RUNNING on those same crappy roads. I don’t own any Yaktrax or anything and I’m terrified of falling (not just in the winter) so I made the call to stay home.

It turned out to be a good thing I didn’t go. I had debated going when I initially woke up and I had a slight sinus-y headache. I took some cold & sinus medicine, set my alarm for 8:30 in case I was going to go and then went back to bed. When my alarm went off later, my headache was even worse! I decided at that point I definitely wasn’t doing the race, but maybe I could still go to the gym to get my run in on the treadmill. Unfortunately, my head had other ideas and I was laid up in bed for the majority of the day with ice packs on my head (it was one of *those* headaches). I don’t think it started fading until close to 6 pm even with the ice on it all day, lots of snoozing and medicine. I haven’t had one like that in a long time and I’m glad because it sucked!

The race director email had said they would send you the fleece blanket and medal for the race still, or people could get a refund. I had emailed him this morning re: a refund but then felt bad when he said most people were just opting for the items to be mailed so the donation could still be made to the Progeria Foundation. I felt kind of guilty after he said that (since I didn’t realize it was going to that charity) so I told him the blanket and medal was fine. The only reason I was even asking for the refund was because I have a lot of races on my schedule for the year that I’d like to do and every penny counts.

I feel kind of lousy not going to run it, but I know I made the best call. It just doesn’t make it easier inside my brain. I definitely won’t be hanging that medal on my rack, that’s for sure! Those suckers need to be earned!





Fun Weekend And My Next Adventure

One note: today begins my adventure into eating more to lose weight. Wish me luck! I also got back to the gym this morning and will get into my regular schedule again.

To prep for the week, I tried a recipe for Egg Muffins. I figured I would just make a bunch over the weekend and then pop one in the microwave each morning for added calories and protein. I followed the recipe to the letter, except for the sausage and they are about 130 calories per muffin and almost 13 g of protein! I used the fully cooked turkey sausage crumbles (Jimmy Dean maybe?). They came out really well and were SO easy to make. And it makes almost two weeks worth!



We also tried our first recipe out of the Runner’s World Cookbook I bought recently. It was the meat and grain burgers. We used ground turkey instead of beef, but otherwise followed the recipe. It was more like meatloaf and VERY crumbly. We didn’t bother with putting it on a bun once it was cooked – it wouldn’t have stayed that way anyway! They were HUGE! The recipe says it makes 6, but we could probably make them smaller next time and turn it into 8 servings if we wanted.



Let’s not leave out some fun. Saturday we hung out with some of my friends from work and we took them to their first froyo experience at Orange Leaf! They loved it, and who couldn’t??


And let’s not forget E.T. Tara is horrified by E.T. and didn’t like the movie growing up. When we were grocery shopping Friday night, we always pass by this toy grab machine on the way out. Well, it was like he was BEGGING her to love him. Please…LOVE ME! HAHAHA



Busy week ahead. I was supposed to have jury duty today and tomorrow, but today was cancelled due to the “snowstorm” – we got about a 1 inch dusting overnight and now the sun is out. What a waste. I still have to go tomorrow though. I have a road runner meeting tomorrow night, chiro appt on Wednesday, taxes on Thursday night and the dentist on Saturday! Phew! Got a race on Sunday, too…can’t wait! I’ll try to keep up with reading everybody’s blogs, but there may be a bit of radio silence from me. Hope everyone has an awesome week!





Face The Music Friday #20

Fitness this week: shoveling snow. LOTS of snow.

I didn’t go to the gym. I didn’t do any workouts at home. I did nothing other than shovel for about 2.5 hours total on 2 different days this week. My body and mind are tired. I didn’t get to sit down and have dinner before 8pm on any single night this week due to either the snow or random errands. Am I sorry? Nope. I needed the rest (as little extra as I got).



Many of you have seen my Diet S.O.S. post. I’ve decided I’m going to go for it. I’ve used some tips from Yankee Girl and am going to try doing a TDEE method instead. Several calculators have me anywhere from 2450-2550 calories for my TDEE so I’m going to aim for somewhere around 2000-2200. We’ll see how that goes. I’m getting a new food scale delivered tomorrow. We’re going to get more small containers so we can portion things out over the weekend for the week, so we don’t need to think about it during the work week.

In other news, I skipped my obstacle class last night because my back was killing me from – you guessed it – the shoveling. I didn’t want to overdo it. And next week I won’t be going because we’re getting our taxes done. I hope I don’t lose any progress I’ve made on the obstacles, but I can’t stress over it too much. I’m also bummed because my chiro cancelled my appt this week due to…yep…the snow. Now I need to wait until next week to go.



On a good news front, I got a voicemail last night that said my jury duty on Monday was postponed until Tuesday due to…more snow. I’m hoping that maybe we’ll get a snow day from work on Monday (highly unlikely) and then I’ll have jury duty on Tuesday. It was supposed to be jury duty on Mon and Tues but now I’m not sure if it will be Tues/Wed. I’ve never had it before so I don’t know how it works. At least I won’t be at work!



For my song this week, this is one of my faves songs from one of my most recent favorite movies, Pitch Perfect. I watch it probably once a month! I also have a slight celeb crush on Anna Kendrick.

Anna Kendrick – Cups



And how can I resist putting in a scene from the movie??? I can’t, so here you go!







Diet S.O.S.

I’m beyond frustrated.

I like to pretend I know what I’m doing, but really, I have no clue. The interwebs are full of too many differing opinions and it’s making my head spin.

I’m pretty much at my wit’s end and really don’t know what to do to shake things up and get off this plateau I’ve been on, yo-yoing around the same 5-10 lb area for the last 5 months!!

I’ve got my workouts down, that’s the easy part. I CAN NOT figure out what I’m doing wrong with my diet. I’ve mixed things up some more so I’m not eating the same things every day (I’m a creature of habit). I have good ratios of protein/fat/carbs. I’m eating at different times now (when I can). I increased my calorie intake by being all “scientific” and using 3 different websites to calculate my BMR and then subtract 500 calories a day for weight loss of 1 lb a week, but that’s not helping either. By the way, it’s much easier to eat each day adding in more calories than what MyFitnessPal was telling me to eat.




I’m afraid of testing new things, like working on a TDEE calculation or something like that, like one of my fave bloggers, Yankee Girl Gets Fit. She’s dedicated so much time and effort on it. I’m afraid to try something like that out and have nothing change…then I’d be back at square one with all that time wasted.

I can’t really afford to go to a dietitian and my worry is that they would tell me do the things I’m already doing.

Anybody want to help me out? I’m willing to listen to anything and everything at this point. If you know what you’re talking about, that’s even better! Send your friends, coworkers, family and even your pets if they can type – though I won’t eat dog bones. Any and all are welcome to help!





Love That Dirty Water: A Day In Boston

Wednesday was Tara’s 29th birthday, so this past weekend was her “birthday weekend” with our best friends. We had planned on going up to Julie and Dan’s house Friday night, spending Saturday in Boston and then coming home after breakfast on Sunday morning.

After I got home from work, we headed straight up to MA. Luckily, Tara had gotten out of work a little early that day so she had already packed the car. You would think we were going away for a week! I had good intentions going up there, packing workout clothes, stretching strap, yoga block, balance pad and extra sneakers. Well, those proved to be wasted intentions. I just couldn’t do it. Nobody wanted to go to the gym with me, which is bad enough to go to a strange gym by myself, but when everyone is having fun, staying up late and being goofy it makes it that much harder to go to bed early and get up early to get it out of the way.


What are we looking at…?

Oh nothing…just our feet!


We ended up staying up until almost 11pm on Friday I think – well past my normal 9pm bedtime. I think I was up around 7:45, then Julie got up around 8:30 and we gradually woke up Dan and Tara. We ended up all being able to get ready, eat breakfast and get out the door to the T station by 10:30 or so, which was pretty much what we’d been aiming for.

After we hopped on the T in Braintree, we headed to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. We originally had thought we’d go there, then lunch, then maybe stop somewhere for cupcakes or something for Tara’s birthday. What we decided once we got there, though, was that lunch first was a better idea since it was around 12:30 or so when we arrived. We ended up walking down to The Squealing Pig for lunch. Tara and I had been there once before, on our last trip to the MFA, and it was delicious. It didn’t disappoint again!



Once we’d sufficiently fueled ourselves for walking around for a few hours, we walked back to the MFA and got our free tickets (thanks, Bank of America!).


“Is that a photobomber behind me?”


We decided to start on the second floor (don’t ask me why) and that was all we ended up seeing. Once we finished with the entire upper floor, we were exhausted and it was less than an hour until the museum closed. At least I got to see my favorite room, which has the majority of European artists I actually know (Van Gogh, Monet, Rodin, Degas). I always love visiting this room.



Once we left the MFA, we hopped back on the T and decided to hit up Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market. Originally we were just going to do a bakery hop and get a couple of things for Tara’s b-day, but it was around 5:00 so we decided to just have dinner there. We ended up walking all over looking for a place to eat (since we wanted to sit and eat, but there were no tables open for four in the Market). After walking all around the outside of the Market, we decided to just eat at Ned Devine’s Irish Pub. It was pretty good! We all got some drinks (some better than others) and then just ordered meals since it was a fairly pricey place for a pub. I got Kobe beef sliders that were pretty good, but it wasn’t until I was DONE eating that I realized the “spicy ketchup” that should have been on them was actually on the side. No wonder they didn’t have much flavor. All I could taste was the caramelized onions on the top.



Once we finished dinner, we headed down to check out the bakeries and decided on a few places. We all grabbed something and then headed back to the T to go home. Luckily, we were able to get a seat for the whole ride home on the Red Line. We were concerned we’d be heading home at the same time that the Bruins game let out (since we were riding into the city with a lot of Bruins fans in the morning), but we didn’t see anyone so it must have still been going on. It was on the TV at Ned Devine’s while we had dinner but we didn’t know what period it was.


“Is that photobomber behind me again??”

I stole Dan’s hat. I rocked the hell out of it.


We had such a fun day and did SO much walking around the city that Tara and I ended up falling asleep on the couch while we watched TV…before 9pm! Julie ended up waking us up so we could go to the guest room and go to bed (thanks, Jules! LOL).

Sunday morning we slept in a bit longer (8:45 I think) and Julie and Dan were already up when we got up. I had a cup of coffee, we got ready and then headed down to Kristin’s for breakfast. I knew I wanted pancakes going in there, but I wasn’t prepared for what they call a pancake! It was the size of my face! I only ordered 2, but could only finish ONE pancake. I got the coffee cake pancakes, Tara got the S’mores pancakes, Dan got Boston Creme Pie pancakes and Julie got coffee cake French Toast. It was all SO good! We’ll definitely visit there again.

It was such an awesome, fun weekend we decided we really need to go in to the city more. I do miss living just south of Boston and just hopping on the T to ride in and walk around Harvard Square or whatever we feel like doing. We’ll definitely be planning some more adventure dates soon!