Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

Let’s Talk About Stress

 

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, or know me in person, you know I’m a gigantic ball of stress. Maybe not 24/7, but a significant amount of the time. I’m a perfectionist and slightly OCD about certain things. Throw in my anxiety and depression and you have a recipe for disaster.

 

 

Recently, I was introduced to Oscar Health Insurance that made me think about tips on reducing my stress. They believe in making things as easy as possible and I’m all about that! For instance, I love that my doctor’s office has a Patient Portal where I can view everything online instead of having to call and be on hold forever. Oscar is trying to make health insurance just as easy. They have more information about their health insurance services here.

April is Stress Awareness Month (who knew!) so I would like to offer up what I personally do to de-stress.

1.  Do one thing at a time. You’re not a superhero, or an octopus for that matter. Try to remember what you’re capable of and just get things in order and do them step by step.

2.  De-clutter. I don’t know about you, but when I find my house getting messy, I get more anxious. Take 15 minutes and tidy up. If you have more time, do a good cleaning and organizing.

 

 

3.  Put on some mellow music. When I say mellow, I don’t mean put on Korn. Listen to some quiet singer/songwriters, instrumentals or the like.

4.  Put on some white noise. I don’t mean the TV. Find an app, or use a device, that creates a calming, soothing tone that is just on in the background. It’s amazing how relaxed you can get. Tara and I listen to an air purifier to fall asleep every night. I also have an app on my phone for when we sleep away from home that has dozens of sounds you can program.

5.  Watch a funny movie with a friend. You can watch a funny movie by yourself, but it’s even better with a friend. Not only will they be there with you, but laughter is contagious.

6.  Run. This is a big one for me. I throw on a podcast and head out for some miles. I always feel better after a run, once those endorphins have kicked in.

 

 

7.  Hike. Get out in nature. Be still in the woods. Listen to the sounds around you and just soak it up.

 

 

8.  Do some yoga. This is a more recent addition for me, but very helpful in not only making me more flexible, but calming me down.

 

Please share how you de-stress in the comments and maybe I’ll try something new!

 

 

I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 Comments »

Mini Recap

 

I know that I want to do justice to the events I witnessed this weekend, so I’m not even going to attempt to write my blogs on those just yet. I will say this:  it was incredible. To be a witness to that kind of life-changing stuff is amazing. I am so, so proud of my girls and completely inspired to do more.

Here are a few of my fave pics to hold you over.

 

This is slightly off because I didn’t remember to start it for maybe 1/4 mile or so, but it’s pretty close.

 

At the end of GOREVOLUTION

 

One of me snapping pics

 

 

With the finisher!!!

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #71

 

Saturday – Raking leaves and yard work for 2.5 hours
Sunday – 6.5 miles
Monday – 1.6 mile lunch ruck
Tuesday – 3.1 miles
Wednesday – 3.5 mile ruck
Thursday – Packing like a maniac
Friday – Running around like a crazy person

 

Not a bad training week. Sunday I had planned 8 miles, but my stomach had other ideas and after about 3.5 I was stuck at almost my halfway point and had to walk back. I called Tara when I knew where I was (that she knew as well) and had her come pick me up. Not cool!

Tuesday was super speedy! I ran with my friend Amy and whenever I run outside with her, I tend to start out too quick. She has a faster pace than I do and I feel bad slowing people up. We started out so fast I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep running, but I finally settled into a groove around 1 mile and was able to straighten myself out. When I realized around 2 miles how fast we were going, I consciously decided to keep pushing it. We sprinted at the end because I was certain I was going to beat my 5K PR, but I missed it by 9 seconds (I thought it was higher than it was). Good, good run!

The rucks were mainly to get used to wearing it again for this weekend, plus to break in my new boots. I’m hoping these bad boys are as good as everyone says they are so I don’t have any issues with my feet. I also bought Trail Tape because that seemed to help more than the Trail Toes at Carry The Fallen.

I’m so excited for this epic weekend! Tonight, I head up to MA to get ready to shadow the GOREV happening tomorrow. I have the easy part – just taking pictures and being there in support. Yes, I’ll be walking for over 24 hours and probably close to 40 miles, but at least I can rest when I’m able to stop. The rest of the class doing this special GORUCK won’t get the breaks I get. I can’t wait to watch Amy crush it!

From there, after we eat our weight in food and try to get some sleep, we’ll be hitting up the pasta dinner with our other friend Amy who is going to run THE FREAKIN’ BOSTON MARATHON on Monday. I’m so excited to watch her, too. All the years I grew up in MA, I never once went to the marathon. I can’t wait!

So for today, I feel this is a rather epic song choice for these amazing friends of mine. I first heard it when we went to the Carnivores Tour last August and fell in love with it. I’ve recently started hearing it on the radio so I think it’s been released as a single now, too. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Comments »

My Path

 

I’m very lucky that I live very close to one of the many bike paths in the state of Rhode Island. This affords me safe running, away from most traffic (other than occasional street crossings). From where I live, I could go in one of two directions. One is absolutely beautiful and the other, not so much. This means I always go left when I run the path.

I actually run through two towns on the path, but it is all part of the Washington Secondary Bike Path. Last night, a friend and I went for nice, slow ruck along the path. I brought along another friend’s camera that I am borrowing for our upcoming epic weekend and decided I would practice using it (it’s “fancy”!).

Enjoy some pictures of the awesome area that I get to run!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Comments »

Face The Music Friday #70

Saturday – Rest – lots happening
Sunday – 8.5 miles
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 3 miles
Wednesday – 30 min yoga
Thursday – 5 miles
Friday – probably yoga later

 

Just a quick update today. Last Saturday, there was a lot going on so I never got a workout in, but I wasn’t too worried about it. The rest of the week rounded out OK. I had an eye appt in the morning, then later volunteered at an LLS fundraiser at Unleashed and finally went to a friend’s birthday party that night where I played laser tag for the first time (super fun btw)!

 

 

Back to the training, I was a little disappointed in Sunday’s run. It was nice enough to meet up with a friend at City Park for what I had scheduled to be 10 miles. We went out WAY too fast at the beginning (for me anyway). After I finished a loop and was only 8.5 miles in, I didn’t have anything left to go back around for another 1.5. I was happy I got that close – my legs were like lead weights.

Tuesday and Thursday more than made up for that though. Tuesday night I did those 3 miles on the dreadmill, but I’ve noticed my speed is increasing now and it felt comfortable. Thursday was an amazing, amazing run. I decided since the rain was supposed to hold off that I would run outside. I got my head lamp ready and headed out since it would be dark by the time I finished. I made the call in my head I would do at least 3, but aim for 5.

I started out pretty rough. I typically do for the first mile, but I pushed to keep running and not take any breaks. I settled into a good pace and managed to keep it level the entire time! I ran the whole 5 miles and not only that, of the 30 recorded Runkeeper runs I have for “4-6 miles”, it was my fastest ever with an 11:36 average pace! WHAT! Maybe it was the snow (yes, it snowed on me, on April 10th) or the empty bike paths and solitude but it was an amazing run last night and I’m so happy I kept pushing that pace.

I’ve worked out a new marathon training plan that will start in June, so until then I’ll keep up what I’ve been doing to maintain endurance and maybe pick the speed up even a little more. I’m gonna need all the cushion I can muster for MCM so I finish under 6 hours.

This week’s song is a new one, but I’m really into it. The video is weird, so maybe just listen to it instead of watch it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Comments »

Yoga Studio App Review

There is no way on this earth that you are going to get me to go to an actual yoga studio.

 

 

That being said, I know yoga can only help me become a more flexible runner. Introducing – the Yoga Studio app for iOS. I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I do for yoga, so I’m going to show you a bit about the app. My cousin recommended the app to me initially and I figured it was worth the $3.99 to try it out. It has thousands of reviews and a 5-star rating so that’s a win-win in my book.

There are several ways you can use the app. There are pre-built studio classes that you can download or you can also build your own. I like that they give you the option of choosing a routine based on what it will help you with. I use flexibility the most, but the combos are good, too.

 

 

 

You also have the option of creating your own class by adding together whatever poses you’d like to perform. I have yet to use this feature because I haven’t a clue on how to put them together effectively, but I think it’s a great option to have available.

 

 

I had Tara snap some pics of me doing the 30 min Beginner Flexibility course to show you some of the poses that are incorporated. I’m really happy to see how well my Downward Dog has progressed so that I can almost touch my heels to the ground now. You will also notice my “supervisor” Delilah in the pics on occasion. She gets concerned when I’m on the ground and will spend much of the session coming over to check on me or trying to lay on top of me and get cozy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite pose – Corpse Pose! HAHA!

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Comments »

Face The Music Friday #69

Saturday – Julie’s bday celebration continued
Sunday – 10 miles
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 3 miles
Wednesday – 1 hr kettlbell class at Unleashed
Thursday – 3 miles
Friday – Probably yoga

Sunday’s long run didn’t exactly go as planned. I met up with a friend to run in City Park but after snow/rain on Saturday and freezing temps overnight it was just sheets of black ice. We opted to run in the neighborhood surrounding the park, but it was so cold we couldn’t feel our hands, even with gloves on. We did one loop of 1.5 miles and called it quits. I later ran near my house in the afternoon and it was a like a totally different day – bright sunshine and temps in the 40s. It was an awesome feeling running outside again and I was able to get the remaining 8.5 miles in.

Tuesday I felt AWESOME. I had a strong run. I ran the fastest I ever have on a treadmill at the end and kept a consistently higher pace as well. Thursday, well, that was another story. After taking kettlebell class on Wednesday night, my legs were like jello. My quads and glutes are verrrry sore. This morning is even worse. Yay for day two of DOMS!

So anyway…that’s my training week. Outside of that, things are not going well. I want to talk about something, but am building up the courage to do so. Even if no one reads it, this is my blog after all. This is where I pour out my thoughts and feelings for myself, if no one else.

We were supposed to have a pretty busy weekend, but now plans have changed and just Saturday will be busy. I have a long run Sunday, hopefully outside with a friend, but we’ll play it by ear and maybe just relax the rest of that day and catch up on the DVR or something chill.

Here is this week’s song. Have a good weekend everybody!

14 Comments »

Running Favorites

 

My friend Fallon over at Slacker Runner nominated me to fill out a questionnaire so I thought it could be sort of fun to answer. I don’t want to nominate people, so I’m going to tell you ALL to fill it out! HA!

 

1) Location: Trail, Road, or Indoors?

Road. I am not very stable on a flat surface, never mind running over tree roots and rocks! I don’t like the treadmill so road it is! Fresh air is the best.

 

2) Time of Day: Morning, Noon, or Evening?

I would generally say morning, but I usually end up running in the evening because I can’t wake up as early as I would need to. I like it better because it’s over and done with for the day and I can do whatever I feel like after work. The plus to doing it in the evening is that I might have company!

 

3) Weather: Sunshine, Mild or Hot?

I’m going to go with mild sunshine. I like it to be nice out, but not super hot. Even partly cloudy is nice for a little shade here and there.

 

4) Fuel: Before, After, and sometimes during?

Always before, during depending on how long I’m running and afterwards for recovery. What I have and when I have it all depends on the workout.

 

5) Accessories: Music, Watch & More?

If running outside, I always carry my phone and wear my Garmin. I also carry a handheld water bottle. If indoors, I bring my phone to watch Netflix on the treadmill and a water bottle.

 

6) Rewards: Food, Wine, or …?

Generally, I splurge on food, depending on how hard my workout was. I’m trying to be good though.

 

7) Type of run: Long, tempo, intervals, hill repeats, progression, or recovery/easy?

First of all, I don’t understand what most of those runs are, never mind actually done any. I just run. Slowly. Like a turtle crawling through peanut butter.

 

 

 

 

13 Comments »

Carry The Fallen 3/21/15

 

It’s really hard to sum up an event like Carry The Fallen. I tried to do so after I participated in my first one in November (here), but I think this time I will let the pictures speak for themselves. We did very well in terms of organization with our new team leader and it was, yet again, a very powerful experience.

Photo credits:  Julie O’Hare, Tara Kilcommons, Mary Khoury-Whitelaw

Video credit:  Sarah Arsenault (you see me walk by at 0:39)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video of the finish line crossing:

 

 

 

11 Comments »

31 Day Blog Challenge – Day 31

 

#31 – Why do you blog

I blog as an outlet for the thoughts that swirl around my head. I blog to keep track of my training and events as a measure of my progress. I blog because my memory sucks and this is a great tool for looking back on things.

I didn’t think I could complete this challenge. I had a hard time for a while even making one weekly post, never mind one daily post. I’m glad I saw it through and it reinvigorated my writing.

I don’t really know what else to say about it except to thank you for reading day in and day out. Your comments have buoyed my spirits, encouraged me, motivated me and inspired me.

Now…tell me why YOU blog.

 

 

Day 1 and 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Day 24, Day 25, Day 26, Day 27, Day 28, Day 29, Day 30

 

 

 

 

7 Comments »