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Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

31 Day Blog Challenge – Day 6/Face The Music Friday #65

 

#6 – Your 5 senses right now

We all know what the senses are: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Let’s get right to it, shall we? (This was based on when I started writing this post on Thursday night)

Sight – the newest issue of Runner’s World on my nightstand

 

I cropped it kind of funny to take out my address label

 

Hearing – my Spotify playlist

 

 

Taste – these amazing roasted chick peas that Tara made

 

 

Touch – the keyboard

 

 

Smell – this awesome Yankee Candle that makes me WISH I was on a Seaside Holiday

 

 

 

 

Day 1 and 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

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So, there is my challenge for today, now here’s my Friday training update: I’m just getting back into the swing of things. Tuesday was my first “official” workout (if you don’t count shoveling snow) since Saturday, 2/21. I’ve had a horrid cold with an awful cough and when it’s in the lungs, there’s no way I’m pushing my body so I rested. And rested some more. And some more. I still have the cough now, but am trying to slowly work my way back. Let me tell you that Tuesday’s run was horrible. I felt like a beginner runner again.

 

 

I didn’t do anything on Thursday because snow screwed everything up again with about another 8 inches. I had kind of a down day anyway and just wanted to curl up under the covers. I plan on trying to get in a run after work today so hopefully the week will pick back up again. I really need to get my shit together again. I was on a streak and this being sick really put a damper on things.

I need a song that pumps me up and there’s not really anything more epic than this on my playlist…

E.S. Posthumus – Unstoppable

 

 

 

 

 

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Yaktrax Pro Review

 

I don’t like falling. This means I am not a fan of winter. Much like Elsa, the cold never bothered me, it’s more the ice that is my nemesis. I’ll even take a BIT of snow because it’s easier to walk on than ice.

When I say a bit of snow, I mean a light dusting that makes everything look pretty, not the hellish winter that has been thrust upon us by Boreas. I can’t tell you how many workout days were rearranged and my workout for the day was “shoveling”.

 

That’s my house. Behind the mountains of snow that used to be my front yard.

 

That snow pile behind me is almost as tall as me – you can see it level with my ears!

 

Do you see where I’m going with this? My marathon training has gone to the birds. OK, so that might be dramatic. Let’s just say a good portion of it has been run on a treadmill in a very purple gym. What delights me though, was getting to try out the Yaktrax Pro. I was contacted by a marketing company to see if I wanted to check them out and let my blog readers know what I thought about them. Well, I didn’t hesitate – I live in New England! Did I mention I don’t like to fall?

I received my Yaktrax Pro, along with a nice storage bag, spray cleaner and a very thoughtful handwritten note.

 

 

 

Some info straight from the Yaktrax website:

The Yaktrax Pro will instantly give you better traction, confidence and safety on packed snow or ice. Walk, run, or work on slick surfaces with the same stability you’re accustomed to on dry surfaces.

  • Spikeless, ultra lightweight design
  • 360° of traction with patented skid lock coil system
  • Durable natural rubber outer band for flexible fit
  • Abrasion resistant 1.4mm steel, shaped coils
  • Removable strap ensures secure fit
  • Heel tab allows for easy installation and removal

 

Let me tell you, these were super easy to put on. They fit over almost all shoes and easily pulled on over my running shoes.

 

 

 

We have plenty of snow and ice in our neighborhood so I got to try it on a few different surfaces. It’s not recommended to use them on surfaces that are cleared of ice and snow, so I was careful not to go in too many spots that were shoveled out, like our driveway.

I felt totally safe walking over ice or snow. I was fairly timid at first since I didn’t know what to expect, but quickly became confident in my normal stride and then was comfortable enough to run in them. Just walking on ice alone had almost a cheese grater effect (as Tara put it), digging those coils right in.

 

 

 

 

I would 100% recommend these for anyone looking to maintain outside training during harsh winters. Mother Nature won’t know what hit her!

 

Disclaimer:  Even though I was given a free pair of Yaktrax Pro, all opinions in this post are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

8 Comments »

Face The Music Friday #64

Saturday – 30 min Yoga

Sunday – 6 miles

Monday – Shoveling snow 1:15

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 30 min Yoga

Thursday – 4 miles + 1 hr kickboxing class

Friday – 3 miles

 

Not the greatest training week at the beginning, but I stepped it up towards the end. I had a minor pity party the first half of the week and a meltdown on Wednesday, but picked myself back up and kept going. Nothing spectacular to speak of.

Now, for the highlight of the week…your World Champion New England Patriots!!! Yeah baby!!! Such an intense, exciting game. I watched at a friend’s house with a few people and we were all standing up for the last 10-15 min of the game screaming at every little thing. It was mayhem. At least when we know we’ve lost, we can still lose like men. That fight that the Seahawks started at the end was just completely unnecessary and only made them look disgraceful. Awesome game. Awesome, awesome game.

Nothing else to speak of, so in honor of our Super Bowl victory, I’m going to share the Imagine Dragons song, Warriors. It’s part of a hype-up video released right before the game and I think they did an awesome job with it. I get goosebumps every time I’ve watched it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Comments »

Face The Music Friday #63

Saturday – 30 min Yoga

Sunday – 6 miles

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 2 hours shoveling

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 4 miles

Friday – not quite 3 miles

 

Training got fairly messed up by a little thing we like to call “winter in New England” aka Winter Storm Juno. I’m not sure what our official tally was at the end of the blizzard, and it was too hard to judge with all the drifts due to high winds, but I would guess in the neighborhood of 20-24″. Pretty close anyway. So that’s what my week ended up looking like. Still decent and only one missed run.

The storm also caused a cancellation of one of my appts, but I had one this morning. Not gonna talk about those other than to say today was a tough one. Not much else going on either. Staying busy, trying to keep to a schedule around the appts so it’ll be a simple transition back to work when I return.

Yesterday was Tara’s 30th birthday. We celebrated last weekend with friends, had dinner out last night with her boss and will be having dinner tonight with her parents.

I’m excited about the Super Bowl on Sunday and watching my Patriots play with some good friends.

This week’s song…

Have To Drive – Amanda Palmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Comments »

Face The Music Friday #62: The One With All The Training

Oh, hey. Hi there. Remember me?

First, let’s get the training out of the way. I’m not gonna use the usual format because there are too many missed weeks to type up, so here’s a screenshot of this month. Not too shabby if I say so myself.

 

January Training

 

Things are going well so far with the running. I can definitely tell my yoga is helping so I’m glad I’ve stuck with it. Running 4 days a week has been tough, but manageable so far. I’ve stuck almost religiously with the plan I’m following with the exception of skipping one long run day to catch up on some rest and skipping my Thursday run this week because my hips were really sore from doing a double workout on Tuesday. I still did yoga in it’s place, so I’ll call it a win.

Let’s move on and be a little more serious. I want to thank my blogger friends who have left comments checking in on me. It makes the interwebs feel a little smaller and it’s nice to know people notice when you’re not around.

Depression and anxiety are a nasty duo. One or the other is bad enough on it’s own. It’s not been a good few months. Every day is a struggle to just get out of bed. I think my training hasn’t suffered only because it’s one thing I can control. I have people to be accountable to as well.

 

 

 

On the plus side, I have an amazing network of friends (who really are family) keeping my head above water. I’m entering into more intensive therapy while taking a leave of absence from work for a short time. I’ve even gone back on medication to help level me out. It’s been a long while since I’ve taken anything and am hoping this will only be temporary.

 

 

Since I’ve missed so many weeks of blogging, I owe you a few songs. These are some of my obsessions lately. Music is a huge part of helping me feel better. Headphones in, volume up, turn off the whirlwind.

 

Robert Delong – Long Way Down

 

 

Fitz & The Tantrums – Fools Gold

 

 

Yelawolf – Till It’s Gone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 Comments »

Face The Music Friday #61

Saturday – 2.5 hour hike

Sunday – 4 miles

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 2 miles

Wednesday – 30 min Yoga

Thursday – 3 miles

Friday – 2 miles

 

So…I made it through Christmas. My first one without celebrating with family. I celebrated with my friends instead.

We celebrated Festivus on Tuesday complete with the airing of grievances (with the pole!) and feats of strength. Christmas Eve was spent with Tara’s family and then that night and Christmas day were spent with our besties (thanks guys).

I got some nice gifts, including some very useful workout stuff. I had gotten Tara two tickets to Celtic Women and that was a big hit as well. I even managed to keep it a secret the last 3 months since I bought them! If you know me, you know I’m horrible with surprises because I just want people to open their stuff right away so this was a major win.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and enjoyed time with those that matter most. Here is this week’s song choice…

Corner – Allie Moss

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Comments »

Face The Music Friday #60

 

This week has been a really tough one. Let’s get the training update out of the way:

Saturday – 30 min yoga

Sunday – 4 miles

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 3 miles

Wednesday – 30 min yoga

Thursday – 2 miles

Friday – 3 miles

As for the week, well, a gigantic step was taken in the interest of getting better, of moving forward with my life. This is not some place that I need to share what choice was made, suffice it to say that it was very difficult and will take a little while to sink in what’s been done. It’s very positive at the same time.

I’m hoping this step, along with others I am taking, will take me to a better place. Having this training to focus on is helping. Having the accountability to have to answer for why I would miss a workout is enough to keep me going. Having this gigantic goal – it’s all good.

Tomorrow is the Unleashed Christmas party and I can’t wait. I need the fun, the frivolity, the friends. I’m on vacation all next week and I’m very excited not to have to go to work. I plan on lots of fun stuff with friends whenever possible, keeping up with my workouts and who knows what for the holiday. Normally I’m a planner, but I’m going to try to just enjoy playing it by ear and see what happens.

Here’s your song for this week…

K.Flay – Get It Right

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments »

Thoughts On 2014 And 2015

 

With how low I’ve been feeling lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. People keep pointing out what an amazing year I’ve had, but it’s hard for me to feel accomplished when all I focus on are my failures. I decided to put it into writing so I can look back at it when I need a boost.

2014 was a year of firsts. In order of this year, I did: my first trail race, first 10K, first 10 Miler, first Tough Mudder, first (and second and third) Spartan Race, first half marathon and first GORUCK. This was among other road races and OCRs for a total of 20 races on the year (click tabs to the right to see all races).

Normally, at this time, I’d already be scheduling my 2015 events. I’d like to do less this year. My first two years of racing have seen me do 15 races in 2013 and 20 in 2014. It’s very busy and very costly and I think I need to cut down for both of those reasons. I need more focus. I can’t just register for every race I have the desire to run.

On my radar for this year is the Marine Corps Marathon. That’s it. There are a few others I would like to do, but I need to see how my weeks are going to line up. I’d like to do the Ragnar Trail Relay with my team, plus I have a free entry to Battlefrog OCR that I’d like to use. Other than that, I need to develop a take it or leave it attitude. I’ll be spending much more time supporting friends at races and events instead of running them. I’d like to keep rucking with Carry The Fallen, as well as become a shadow for GORUCK events that include my teammates and friends.

I have high hopes for 2015.

 

 

 

 

28 Comments »

I Wear My Sunglasses At Night

 

You’re welcome for getting that song stuck in your head.

I recently made a purchase on Amazon as an extra safety measure for running when it’s dark, which is quickly approaching. I thought it might be a good idea to share what I use when I am running for safety, whether it’s dark or not.

Road ID app / Road ID bracelet

I ordered a Road ID bracelet a long time ago because it just made sense. I have a bee sting allergy and by wearing this bracelet, I’m able to let people know. It also has emergency contact information on it. They are completely customizable and very affordable. They also offer things you can put on your shoes and ankles, as well as other items.

 

This is the band I have – from the Road ID website

 

When I purchased the bracelet, they had also just come out with the Road ID app. At first, it was a little wonky at times, but now they seem to have worked out their kinks. What it does is provide a lock screen that you can also put your emergency info on, so a stranger can look at this without having to know the code to your phone. You also can send an “e-crumb” to up to 3 people (text or email) to let them know you’re running (or cycling, etc). This “crumb” allows them to follow your progress in real time so they know where you are at all times. There is also an alert feature that if you stop moving for 5 minutes, it triggers an alarm on your phone. Unless you turn this alarm off within 60 seconds, it will then notify whoever is following your crumb that you are no longer moving.

 

 

Reflective clothing / vest

I have several very neon shirts and even some calf sleeves with reflective strips on them. I’m also looking to get a reflective vest to wear over my not so reflective shirts. I would love some recommendations on your favorite, if you use one. The only one I’ve found and tried on so far seemed bulky (made by Fuel Belt I think).

Headlamp or other lights

I scored a great deal on a Petzl Tikkina 2 headlamp at REI at one of their garage sales earlier this year for less than $10. It’s a great head lamp and I can’t wait to actually use it. It’s very comfortable and has two different brightness settings. It doesn’t feel super heavy on my head either.

 

 

Cell phone

I’m sure most people probably do this, but I know some people who like to run “naked” and don’t carry anything with them. I like to have it in case of emergency, but also because it runs my apps, so I always have it with me.

Pepper Spray

This was the recent purchase I made on Amazon. We don’t live in the greatest part of town and sometimes running in certain areas can be a little sketchy. I decided to look into it and found one called “The Runner”. It’s a smallish container that has a Velcro strap so that you don’t have to keep a tight grip on it the whole time you’re running – it will stay safely wrapped around your hand and ready to go at a moment’s notice. I have yet to run after dark yet this year, but I know I’ll feel better having it on me. I sincerely hope I never have to use it though!

 

 

So, blogger friends – tell me what I missed! What do you use to stay safe while running alone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 Comments »

Face The Music Friday #50

Saturday – 7 miles

Sunday – 3 mile ruck

Monday – Rest (kind of)

Tuesday – 3 miles

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 3 miles

Friday – Rest

 

Ohhh this week! It’s been interesting. Training runs done, that’s all I can really ask for.

I did my long run this weekend on Saturday to get it out of the way for a planned ruck with friends on Sunday. Originally, we thought Julie and Dan were coming down to hang out Friday night/Saturday, but they changed their mind. This freed me up to make that change with the run. I got home from it around 1pm and then found out they were coming down after all and just staying Saturday night instead. Woo hoo! We had a fun time! We watched the premiere Doctor Who episode again since Dan hadn’t seen it yet, checked out a new restaurant for dinner and had our first scorpion bowl (well, for me and Tara anyway) and then played Pictionary outside on the deck in the dark. It wasn’t as hard as it sounds because we have a patio umbrella light, plus candles. Very fun day!

 

Check out that carrot flower!

 

Sunday we just kind of lazed around with them and they took off around 10:30. We had plans to meet with friends for a hike at 4pm so we just kind of hung out until then. We picked one of them up around 3:30 and met the other one there, at Parker Woodland. I packed my full ruck (4 bricks, 100 oz water bladder) for training, as did the other women. Parker Woodland is the first place Tara and I had started hiking last year so it was nice to go back. It’s a nice little hike, but lots of rolling hills made rucking interesting. Afterwards, we booked it home, split up so we could get showered and changed and we all went to see Guardians of the Galaxy (finally!!!!). I loved the movie and had a great time, but one woman fell asleep and Tara said she didn’t like it. Oh well!

 

 

I had wanted Monday to be a relaxing day since it was the end of a busy long weekend, but nooooo. We ended up taking down the pool finally (it takes a few days to drain) and putting that away. I also re-caulked the shower/tub. Let’s not forget that summer decided to show up finally and it was near 90 with about 1000% humidity Sunday and Monday (and during this week). That wasn’t a great choice for doing manual labor.

I had a pretty nasty run Tuesday night. I headed out for 3 miles (can I get a woo hoo for tapering?!) and about 3/4 mile in I noticed my left thigh felt like it was chafing. Well, when I ran at 5pm it was still like 86* and ridiculous humidity so just thought maybe it finally caught up with me. I always wear compression shorts to avoid the chub rub, but you never know. I spent the next 2.25 miles fiddling with my shorts legs to see if I could situate them just right. By the time I got home I was in agony and knew I was going to have a mark of some sort. Turns out, the seam had finally given out (they were nowhere near new shorts) and there was a hole a little bigger than a quarter. So essentially, my left thigh had been rubbing the seam of my right thigh almost the whole run. I’ll spare you the picture, but I’ve got a mark about 6 inches long that is just pure, raw skin. I immediately went on Amazon and ordered a new pair that I had before my 3 miles last night, so all was right with the world again. Didn’t even notice the chafing while I had them on!

One more thing I just HAVE to talk about is Chik-fil-a. They opened their first store in RI and it just so happens to be about 5-10 minutes from my house, between home and work. I heard on Wednesday that people were already lining up for the grand opening on Thursday, so I took a detour on my way home to see these chuckleheads. I guess the first 100 people in line would all get 1 meal free per week for a year, so they were camping out. It was ridiculous. So here is a picture of their tent city.

 

 

This weekend I’ll be doing my first 5K with all 3 of my compadres – Tara, Julie and Dan. I’m really excited to do a race with them, even though we’ll likely be walking it. But hey, the race is in a zoo, so wouldn’t you want to walk anyway???

For this week’s song, I chose one that I’ve always found beautiful when I’ve heard it on Spotify, but never really paid much attention to it. I watched The Great Gatsby remake over the weekend and it made it even more haunting.

Lana Del Ray – Young And Beautiful

 

 

 

 

 

 

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