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Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

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.

 

 

 

 

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I’m Still Here

Contrary to popular belief, I have not been abducted by aliens. What I have been dealing with is a lot less fun. You see, I’ve talked about my anxiety before, but not much about my depression. I feel like, who wants to read that stuff. I figure people just want to hear about the fun races and events I’ve done, how training is going for any given thing or about one of the many fandoms I love. Then I think to myself, this is my blog. I can write what I want and if people want to read it, they will. If they don’t, well, at least it’s been purged from my brain.

So what’s been going on with me? Well, I’m trying to focus on feeling better. I’d be lost without Tara and “the girls”. They are my support system x 1000%. They get me out of the house, out of my head, distract me and whatever they can do to help me. I’ve had a few events lately, which I’ll throw some pictures of below, but haven’t felt much like being around the blogging world right now. I’ve started seeing a new therapist and once I start feeling a bit better, maybe I’ll be back much more often. For now, I might try to just aim for my Friday posts (which I haven’t even done). Baby steps.

Before I share some of my events, I wanted to share two videos. The first, I heard about through a running blogger I follow. It’s worth the 8 minutes to watch because he describes what I’m feeling almost perfectly. The second video is a song I recently heard shuffling through Spotify and it has almost perfect lyrics for me right now.

 

 

 

The last post I did was about my event on 11/8, which was Carry The Fallen. That is still such an amazing thing to me and I can’t wait to do the next one in March. A few days later, the girls and I got together for a Paint Night. For $35, we got to do a painting of Starry Night – my all time favorite. It included all the supplies we needed, plus two drinks.

 

 

A few days later was an event I had waited all year for – the Spartan Stadium Sprint in Fenway Park! I didn’t get to run with my girls, but I had a great team of Battle Buddies to run with from the Spahtens team. We got to run on the Green Monster, though the visitors clubhouse and dugout and around the warning track in the outfield. It was an amazing experience but pretty nerve wracking because of how many people were jammed into the park throughout the day. Did I mention it was flippin’ freezing that day??

 

No biggie – just the top of the Green Monster!

 

This past weekend, Tara and I and a couple of friends signed up to volunteer at Operation Holiday Cheer. It’s run by the Lt. Governor in RI and is a two day event taking in donations to send to RI troops overseas and then packaging and shipping them the following day. We signed up to take in the donations on Saturday, which would have been from 9-1, but we ended up leaving around 12:15-12:30. The donations were slow this year, sadly. Tara and I have done this before and the last time we did the bins were overflowing with donations. While there were plenty of people that volunteered to help, there just wasn’t enough coming in for everyone to stay, which is why a lot of people left early.

 

 

And finally, I have some new ink I wanted to share. I had pinned this quote on Pinterest months and months ago because I really liked it. I feel like it suits me between what it means and my love of the ocean. I felt like now was just the right time to get it done so I finally pulled the trigger. It’s my Christmas present from Tara.

 

 

I hope everyone is doing well. Stay tuned – same bat-time, same bat-channel.

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #47

Saturday – 4.8 mile Spartan Sprint

Sunday – Rest

Monday – Rest/Chiro (ouch!)

Tuesday – 5 miles

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 1 hr OCF class

Friday – Shadowing a bit of Pirelli GORUCK

 

I’ve begun to wonder if my knee pain isn’t from my hamstring. My IT band generally hurt to the lower left of my knee cap, however this time the pain is more in the back of my knee. I did OK during the Spartan Race because we only ran a little bit of the course through flat woods and walked the majority of it. The true test was Tuesday night when I did my next training run of 5 miles. From the get-go it was still sore, but better, so I decided to just see how I did. The switching from running to walking was tough and it almost hurt more when I would stop running, but it never got bad enough that I felt the need to just walk home. It’s been sore since then, but I’m icing/Advil’ing/stretching/rolling and generally taking it easy. I did OCF class Thursday instead of my second training run for the week so that gives me a sort of extended break until my next long run (6 miles) on Sunday.

This weekend is going to be a crazy one. Tomorrow morning, we have dentist cleanings and then the cats have their annual vet appointment. I have a few hours of down time and then the Carnivores Tour concert that night. I am debating not going to the concert, though, for reasons I’d rather not get into, so we’ll see about that. I do want to see the bands, so it’s a toss-up for me. Sunday, Tara and I might possibly be going on a training ruck/hike with some Unleashed friends to get me started on training for the GORUCK Light I signed up for in October (which I can’t remember if I mentioned before). I’m kind of really excited about that!

In honor of the concert tomorrow, you get a trifecta of videos today. One of my favorites from all 3 of the bands I will possibly be seeing tomorrow. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spartan Sprint – Amesbury, MA – Race Recap

Yesterday’s race was hard. Like, incredibly hard. I always say that Tough Mudder is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but this would rival right up there with it. We didn’t have quite the elevation change that we did at Mount Snow for TM, however we had a good amount of up and down some pretty gnarly hills at Amesbury Sports Park. They did a fantastic job with this course and I was pretty impressed. To give you an idea of it, here’s a “leaked” picture of the course map that someone posted a couple of days beforehand and then the Garmin GPS data from a fellow Spahten (thanks Adam Ouellette!).

 

4.8 miles of madness

 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a race. The sun was shining, the humidity was reasonable and we had a slightly lower temp than normal (for August anyway). I think it was low 80s by the time our Spahten wave went off at 11:30am. And speaking of Spahtens, we had biggest team and had our OWN wave with a little over 250 members running at the same time. Totally amazing, and totally difficult to take a team photo.

 

Photo credit: Vince Rhee

 

Tara and I left the house around 6:15 to meet up with Zak at Unleashed who was going to ride up with us. The traffic wasn’t bad going up so we arrived in Amesbury around 8:30, just as other members of Unleashed were arriving. We hooked up with them at the viewing area near the Hercules Hoist so we could watch the Elite racers come through. We got to see the ever awesome Chrystal finish (taking 8th for Elite women!), as well as a few other Spahtens and Unleashed team members. And let’s not forget to mention I met one of my favorite bloggers – Heather from Relentless Forward Commotion. Thanks to Keisha for the sly picture!

 

 

We hung out for a while cheering people on and then I headed to the Spahtens tent to figure out who I was going to run with. I knew my friend Tony would be there so I searched him out and Sylvia was there, but was feeling pretty off after she did the Hurricane Heat earlier in the day. I don’t blame her at all for not running twice. If you don’t know what the Spartan HH is, you should Google it. Hardcore.

Originally, I thought I’d be running with two women I didn’t know, that I had been hooked up with by Dennis after running with him at Dirty Dash. I had never met them and had no idea what they looked like, so I never ended up seeing them. I also thought I was running with Stephanie from Unleashed, but she opted to run earlier and thought she could run it twice and run again with me at 11:30. Unfortunately, she hadn’t finished yet when we were lining up to start. Chrystal ended up jumping into the wave just after we started to help me out – so I ended up with Chrystal (for 2/3 of the race), Tony, his friend Kelly and another Spahten, Wendy, who I had first met at the Finish at the 50 race. We had so much fun as a team and did great helping each other out. There were a couple of other people that seemed to pop in and out as well (Drew, Alex, Al and maybe some others I’m forgetting?). It took me 3:00:54 to finish, but the time flew by with these guys by my side (and yes I’m bitter that 55 seconds kept me from getting a sub-3 finish LOL).

 

Tony, Kelly and I at the start

And we’re off!

 

I did more burpees than I thought I’d be doing at this race. I feel like there were more volunteers at Mohegan (my only other Spartan Race to date) and therefore more help to get you over/through obstacles. There were certain obstacles I didn’t see a single volunteer (not to say they weren’t there, just not noticeable). I skipped the inverted wall early on simply because I knew how difficult it was for THREE big, burly volunteers to get me over it. I didn’t want to do that to any teammates so I just hopped to the side and banged out my burpees.

Let’s do a play-by-play of the obstacles, shall we?

First off, they start you out running up the big hill by the main festival area and you immediately go through a couple of big mud trenches at the top, then it was into the woods we go! I can’t remember if things went by order of this map or not, but I’ll break them down in that order.

Somewhere near the start, and not on the map, were mud pits we had to go in and then cross over large logs to the other side.

 

 

OUT walls – I did fine on these, no burpees. The over wall is only the ever issue. I cheated a bit on this, but got over it myself using the side rail support beam. You’re not supposed to use that to get over, so that is why I considered it cheating. Rolling under and going through the other two walls is easy.

Another wall – this one I think is the one I got 10 fingers from some random guy that helped me out

Inverted wall – as I said before, I burpeed out on this one on purpose

Tractor Pull – this is basically a big cinder block with a chain through it that you had to drag down and back through the mud. A little difficult, but not terrible and easy enough to do by myself.

Tire pull/drag – You had to pull a large tire on a rope towards you, then take the tire and drag it back out to it’s starting point. This was easy for me.

Sandbag carry – we had to grab a little pillow sized sandbag and carry it down a hill and then back up. I want to say the women’s weight was probably 30 lb or less. Not sure about men.

Monkey bars – I wasn’t taking any chances so I stepped to the side and did burpees for this one

Rope swing – This was basically like a Tarzan style rope swing from one platform to the next. Tony went first so that he could catch me on the other side. I was really nervous about this one because of my shoulder, but was feeling pretty good so I tried it after some coaching from Tony and those around me. I ran the few steps I had room to run, swung out, but just didn’t have enough momentum to reach the other side for him to get me. I ended up in the water in a lot of pain. I climbed out and just took a minute to take a few deep breaths and collect myself after I tweaked it there.

Hercules Hoist – we were told by a volunteer at this obstacle that men was 100 lb and women was 70 lb. However, this varies from person to person – some people who helped out on course build said women’s was 85 lb so I have no idea. To save my shoulder and help Wendy out, we opted to lift it together and do it twice. Not a problem. If my shoulder wasn’t dinged up, I may have attempted it myself. It didn’t feel as heavy as Mohegan did.

 

Me and Wendy tag teaming the Herc Hoist

 

Bucket Brigade – you had to take a Home Depot style bucket (I think they’re 5 gallon buckets?) and fill it with gravel. The women had a slightly lower line to fill it to and the men had to fill it almost to the top. This was a killer for pretty much everybody out there, even the Elite racers. Wendy and I again opted to do it together so we each carried a side of the bucket. We still stopped to rest twice on the way up and once on the way down. It was definitely not light!

 

This is what exhaustion looks like

 

Bridge – same as Mohegan. Climb up one side, walk across on planks, climb down other side. This was over the starting area so you walked under it when you went to line up to race. Cool placement and not that bad.

 

 

Slip Wall – I believe this is called the slip wall because it normally has water before it, but they didn’t have anything like that in front of it. Instead, they made us crawl under maybe 10-15 ft of barb wire before climbing over it. I had a little bit of a hard time with it, but I got coached through it and did OK.

 

Wendy doing the Slip Wall. No pic of me because Stephanie ran to the other side to help get me over.

 

Another wall (taller) – I tried it, but with no volunteers and being exhausted already, I opted for burpees

Rope climb – didn’t even attempt it – more burpees

Traverse wall – attempted it, but wasn’t happening – more burpees

 

Steph doing the traverse wall

 

Spear Throw – bad shoulder=bad throw, but I tried twice anyway. Tony threw twice so I wouldn’t have to do burpees and he nailed both of his, but I still did some burpees because I suck and missed twice. LOL

 

 

Barb Wire Crawl w/ Dunk Wall – hardest, most painful obstacle of the day (not counting the incident with the rope swing). We had to roll under barb wire for somewhere probably close to 200-250 feet (!!!), going over rocks upon rocks and probably 4-5 mud hills that they built up for us to climb over in between rolling. After we finally got through that, we slid down a mud hill into about neck deep water which led to a wall we had to swim underwater to get to the other side. I didn’t mind that part because it cleaned off all the dirt and mud from the rolling!

 

This is pure happiness to be done rolling under barb wire!

 

Fire jump – self explanatory. I feel like this was slightly higher than Mohegan, but not as wide to jump. No issues here. It was pretty cool because right before I went, a couple of guys asked them to throw some gasoline on the fire so it would flame up for them to jump through. Looked equally badass and scary to me!

After the fire jump, we just needed to run back down the hill to the finish line! I was so happy to be done with this tough course! The hills and trails were definitely a tough obstacle.

 

 

I’m so happy to have had the Battle Buddies I had yesterday and the support of Chrystal and Stephanie on the course as well as Tara on the sidelines hooking me up with some badly needed Powerade. I think that helped me get through that last mile when I was bonking.

 

 

Spartan definitely put on a really great race. Everything flowed seamlessly, from the parking, to the shuttle buses, to registration. There were a lot of good vendors there and food options as well (I’ve never been so happy to eat a crappy cheeseburger in my life). I would suggest maybe more hoses and a bigger changing tent, but other than that I really have no complaints!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #46

Saturday – 8 miles

Sunday – Rest

Monday – 5 miles

Tuesday – 1 hr Core Fusion & Stretch class at Unleashed

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Rest

 

I’m not gonna lie – this wasn’t a good week. Saturday was a very, very soggy 8 miles in the rain. And I don’t mean like a drizzle. It was pouring on me steadily the majority of the time I was running. I did it though, and only did it that day to rearrange my entire workout week. I had it planned down to a T, then it all kind of fell apart.

Saturday after my run I had a lot of hip soreness (which I always do), but my IT band was also bothering me on the other side (the bad IT band). I had my ice bath when I got home, popped some Advil and did my stretching and rolling right away, but it only seemed to get worse as the afternoon went on. I figured some sleep would help and when I woke up Sunday, it was still sore, but not as bad. I decided to chill out and see how Monday went before deciding on my next run scheduled, which was 5 miles.

 

 

Monday was OK so I went for my run after work. Apparently, it wasn’t OK. By the time I got back to my car to stretch, I could barely stand on it. Not cool. I decided then and there that I likely wouldn’t be running again until the Spartan race on Saturday, which was a bummer because I had rearranged my schedule so I could run in the Off Road Conditioning class on Wednesday. I suffered through work on Tuesday in a decent amount of pain anytime I put weight on my leg, but decided I would still go to a new class I wanted to try out Tuesday night because I thought it could be beneficial.

 

 

The class on Tuesday was Core Fusion & Stretch. It was basically 1/2 hour of core work and 1/2 hour of stretching – the majority of the hour was basically yoga poses we would hold for about a minute each. I’m not gonna lie, I was sweating my ass off even though we were “just stretching”. It was a very difficult class, for me personally, so I was glad it was only 5 women taking it so there were less people to see me embarrass myself.

It’s really hard for me to do a lot of floor work because of various issues I have and I always feel like people are judging me, like I’m not trying hard enough. The issue is that I know my body and I will NOT push through pain. Toughness, yes, I’ll work through something difficult, but if it hurts me to have my lower back against the floor, I just can’t do it. Do I want to do it, yes. Do I feel like a failure when my body won’t let me, yes. Are people really judging me? I’m sure they’re not – doesn’t change my mindset. Regardless, doing what I could, I still got a kickass workout from Bobby and am still sore two days later.

Aside from workouts, I’ve just felt “off” this week. Maybe it’s because my schedule got messed up and I got injured again. Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s why. I’m a planner, and when things don’t happen according to plan, I get easily perturbed. Add into this mix that the air conditioning is broken at work (only in our one corner of the building on the third floor) and it’s been 88* inside for the last two days (and likely today too) and that makes for a cranky Courtney.

Saturday is my second of 3 Spartan Races for the year. I’m more nervous about this one than I was the first one for some reason. Maybe because I’ve actually run one now and know how difficult it can be? Who knows. I have some Battle Buddies ready to run with and am hoping they can help me over the walls like my friend Zak did at the first one. If I have to walk the whole thing because of my hip and knee, I hope they’ll still stick with me, but I’m going to try to run where I can.

 

 

Before I move on to the musical selection this week, I have a question for all the runners out there (if you’ve made it this far): if my Spartan Race is almost 5 miles on Saturday, but I’m supposed to do my long run Sunday of 9 miles, what would you do? Would you count the race as your tough workout of the weekend? Would you run the race Saturday and then run 9 on Sunday, or would you run 4 additional on Sunday to make the 9? I’m really torn about how to handle it and welcome any advice.

Now, to cheer me up a little, here’s a perky little number called I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker by Sandi Thom. Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #41

Saturday – Spartan Race

Sunday – Rest

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 3 mile run

Wednesday – Yard work

Thursday – Finish At The 50 – 10K (recap this weekend)

Friday – Rest

 

Pretty mellow week this week. I’ve still got mega bruises from Saturday that I feel with basically every step I take, so Sunday and Monday I just chilled and recovered. I tested out the legs on Tuesday with my scheduled training run and did alright. Wednesday I did a mad dash of yard work in prep for the weekend, but also to beat the forecasted hurricane/downpours. Thursday was my 10K and it was HOT! I’ll put up a recap of that at some point over the weekend. Today, Tara and I are just chilling, enjoying our rainy day off together and probably getting errands done later.

The weather this week has been super hot and muggy, so we finally broke down and put the A/C in the bedroom on July 1. At least I can say we made it to July this year!

 

 

In honor of the July 4th holiday, I’m going with the National Anthem for my song this week. I’d like to send a shout out to all troops, past and present, to thank them. And an extra shout out to our special veteran, my brother-in-law, on his birthday today.

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #40

Saturday – 5k Foam Fest

Sunday – rest

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 3 mi run

Wednesday – Off Road Conditioning w/ Unleashed

Thursday – spear throwing at Unleashed (AM and PM)

Friday – rest

 

I’ve already blathered enough about Foam Fest on Saturday, but want to update on how my scraped up hand from Tuff Scramblers held up. If you don’t want to see pics of it, scroll real fast! The first pic is a few days after it happened (Sunday 6/15) and the second pic is from Thursday morning (6/26). It’s coming along nicely, but I’ll probably wrap it up in New Skin and waterproof tape again just to be safe. It did really well through Foam Fest so I think that’ll be fine.

 

Right at the base of my hand where it meets my wrist, increasing the ouch factor every time I moved my hand!

 

 

Ironically, the only injury I received from Foam Fest happened *after* the race. We had stopped at a diner on our way home for a late breakfast. When we came back out to the car, I had my hand resting on the top of my rear passenger door. I didn’t realize the window was even open, but I accidentally got my finger closed in the window. I’ve had a bruise across the front and blood blister under my nail for the last week from it. It hurt so bad at first I couldn’t even rest the finger on the ice pack on the way home, but now the pressure is gone and it really only bothers me if I bump the nail against something. I also got the free race photos (YAY!) yesterday, so here are the only 2 I liked (out of the 6 I found of me).

 

 

 

I’ve sort of laid low this week. I didn’t want to do anything too overtaxing before my first ever Spartan Race on Saturday. I started half marathon training on Tuesday, which called for 3 miles. I had a decent run and the weather was great. I was supposed to run again Thursday, but decided I wanted to take it easy Thurs/Fri, so I opted to do the Off Road Conditioning class Wednesday night instead. That sort of turned into the class I almost quit.

We met up at the normal time and Bobby, one of the new trainers was filling in for Kevin. Bobby did a great job and has been really awesome in the few classes I’ve had with him so far. We changed up our workout a little and I was fine for maybe the first 15-20 minutes. I had noticed my calves immediately starting cramping during our warm-up jumping jacks, but just figured it was the new movement. The weather was very warm and super humid so I had a lot of trouble breathing, but just figured it was the humidity.

As we finished our warm-up lap around the lake, I started getting nauseous and then shortly after that, my entire arms (from both shoulders to fingertips) were cold and tingly, like pins and needles. I let Bobby know and told him I’d keep walking as long as I felt OK. We were on our way over to the trails, so I told him I would just walk up and down “The Spine”. Basically it’s a really steep hill in the middle of the woods where the trails are that we run. They went in and out and when they would come out I’d do the regrouping exercises with them (burpees, jumping jacks, squats, bear crawls) and then they’d go on the trails and I’d continue my trek up and down The Spine. I was pissed at myself more than anything because I’m fairly certain it was dehydration, especially coupled with the fact my calves and hamstrings kept cramping. I kept on keeping on though, and finished the whole class – even if I did have to walk.

The other owner of Unleashed, Janine, offered to help people with their spear throw technique Thursday morning so we wouldn’t have to do burpees on Saturday. We arranged to meet up before work and I also met up with a friend from class Thursday night to practice even more. I’ve finally gotten the form down and have found a sweet spot that I keep hitting. They don’t always stick, but they’re at least flying straight now. I think I just need to get them a little higher to make sure.

 

 

And here is video of me from last night. I’m getting them to stick in the hay, but I’ve really got to figure out how to get them to stick higher. Kevin said the hay “men” are about 4 ft off the ground so that doesn’t bode well for me.

 

 

 

I’ve got errands to do tonight with Tara and then Julie will be joining us tonight at some point since she will be coming to the Spartan Race, too. Dan wasn’t interested in coming so it’s going to be a girls weekend! Julie also wants to do a little gambling since the race is being held outside a nearby casino.

This week’s song isn’t really a typical song I’d have on a workout list, but it’s been stuck in my head for weeks. While I loved the song before, I recently saw it performed by the teachers at the dance recital we went to a couple of weeks ago and it’s just stuck with me even more. I particularly love the line “love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections”. This one is for my wife/sherpa/cheerleader/mud cleaner/awesome one, Tara.

 

John Legend – All Of Me

 

 

 

 

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Who else is racing?

 

 

 

 

18 Comments »

Spring Is In The Air

I feel like a change is happening. Something has shifted and this week, while already exhausting, has been filled with progress. I don’t know if it’s the daylight when I leave work that I get to drive home in, my reinvigorated workout routine or something else, but I’m glad it’s happening.

 

Stay away, Winter Storm Vulcan!!

 

Sunday started out the week on the right note by getting a race recap up, catching up on other’s blogs and emails and doing some meal planning and snack prep. I don’t know why we don’t do it every week. It makes life so much easier. I also registered for 8 more races for the year. I’m a little crazy. I can’t even describe how excited I am about the Spartan Race I’ll be running in FENWAY PARK!! Home of my beloved Red Sox. It’s gonna be epic!

 

 

Monday marked the start of my new strength routine that Dan gave me. I’ve mixed up muscle groups a little bit, plus days of the week, so I’m excited for the change. I am SORE after Monday’s workout and I’m sure I’ll feel today’s workout tomorrow (I’m usually 1-2 days behind on soreness).

 

 

Yesterday was a very busy day. I woke up at 3:45am and decided it wasn’t worth sleeping until the alarm went off at 4am. I went and did my run at the gym, came home, had my breakfast, got ready and then was out the door at 7am for my chiro appointment. That’s still going well and I’m pleased so far. We have a lot of work to do to “un-pretzel” my body, but it’s getting slightly better. She did find a nice, new, hugely painful area to release – my piriformis. She spent the whole appointment that morning working on each side – holy ouch, Batman!

After my chiro, I had a little bit before I had to be at work, so I went home real quick and dropped off my change of clothes and then headed off to work shortly after that. I’m not going to get into work lately except to say it sucks and leave it at that. Once I finished my work day, I hung out for an hour until 7pm and then drove up to East Providence for the monthly Rhode Island Road Runners meeting. We had a pretty small crowd last night, and not much to talk about, so we just kind of hung out and bullshitted. I left around 8:45 because I’m typically in bed at 9! Once I got home, changed and got myself set up for my workout this morning I think I ended up in bed at 9:30. Let’s just say my body didn’t wake up early this morning!

Today went pretty well. I got to switch shifts with someone so I got to leave at 5 instead of closing at 6. I gave blood at work which always makes me feel good. And the pièce de résistance was that supreme bully bitchface left early – any time without her in the department is a win for us all.

I’m hoping the rest of the week finishes out this way and I can continue on this upswing!

 

 

 

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2014: A Look Ahead

I only have 2 goals (as of right now) for 2014: finish a half marathon and a Tough Mudder.

I’m trying to finalize my list of races I’d love to do in 2014. I went a little crazy in 2013 because it was my first year of running and I wanted to RUN ALL THE RACES!  I ended up doing 15 5K races, 2 of them being obstacle courses. I’m trying to be a little more controlled about what I do this year and paying more attention to dates and scheduling. Last year, I ended up having 5 races in 5 weeks and it was definitely overload, for myself and for Tara.

I’ve got my main list, but I also have months where I’m unsure of the dates of certain races because they haven’t been announced yet. I’ve got to decide in certain months what races I really “must” do and what can wait until next year. Some races I wanted to re-run, I may just need to skip doing them again, but we’ll see.

Here’s a breakdown by month:

January 1 – Frosty 5K – Seekonk, MA – I haven’t decided on this one yet because of how cold it will probably be. I’d like to do it, but I’m also not sure what our plans will be on New Year’s Eve and not sure I’ll want to get up early for a race on a holiday off. Tara’s not keen on the idea of that either, so that may be a deal breaker.

Nothing planned in February or March, although I may want to do the Tour de Patrick, which is 3 local St. Patrick’s Day races on two back to back weekends. Last year, I did the St. Patrick’s race in Providence only. It was sponsored by my work and was my first 5K ever. I wasn’t running yet at that point, so Tara and I walked it together. I thought it was a nice race and think it would be cool if I’m able to complete the “tour”.

 

St. Patrick’s 5K – March 2013

 

April 19 – BAA 5K (part of their Distance Medley) – Boston, MA – This distance medley for the BAA races is one of my must do things this year. I think it would be awesome if my first half marathon would be part of this distance medley. I grew up on the South Shore in MA, about 20 minutes south of Boston and would love to do something of this magnitude near my hometown. They haven’t announced the dates for the 10K or half yet, but those are in the summer and fall I believe.

April 27 – Newport 10 Miler – Newport, RI – This might be good practice for me to reach my half marathon goals, plus it’s in Newport and you can’t really go wrong there in terms of scenery.

May 3 – Cox Rhode Races – Providence, RI – I did the 5K last year and enjoyed it. This series also has a half marathon, so I don’t know if this should be my first half marathon goal or not. I don’t know if that’s enough time to train (with my miserable, injury-prone body) or not. If it’s not, the 5K could be a time I just try to beat from last year. I also don’t know if it would be pushing it if I did the half and then did the Tough Mudder at the end of the same month.

 

Cox Rhode Races/National Grid 5K – May 2013

 

May 31st – Tough Mudder – Mt. Snow, Vermont – I WILL do this. If it takes me 6 hours, I will FINISH a Tough Mudder. I’m working on getting people together to do it with me. So far, a couple of girls in my department were interested in doing it, but not sure if they’d actually follow through with it or not. I feel like one of them might and the other…well, I don’t have high hopes for her. I feel like it would be great to have some guys on the team to hoist me up over walls I can’t get over, but overall I’d like to be able to do everything myself. Whether or not that can happen, I’m not sure, but I’m going to do everything possible to see that it does.

 

Down & Dirty Mud Run – June 2013

Foam Fest 5K – July 2013

June – not much going on here. I’d like to do the Gaspee Days 5K in Warwick, RI again and see if I can beat my best ever 5K time. I don’t know when that race will be yet. The only other thing I noted was the Warrior Dash on 6/28 in Barre, MA. I fell in love with obstacle racing this year and would love to do more than just the Tough Mudder, but this one may be a wait and see.

July – I would LOVE to do the Finish At The 50 at Gillette Stadium on July 3rd, but unfortunately it starts prior to me being able to get there since it’s a night race and I work until 6pm, about 45 minutes away from the stadium. It will be difficult to get the time off, but I might see if I can anyway and if I do, then I’ll register.

August 9 – Spartan Race – Amesbury, MA – I’d love to do this and I feel like it’s got plenty of time in between Tough Mudder so I wouldn’t be all banged up too close together (LOL)!

August 17 – Falmouth Road Race – Falmouth, MA – I think this would be an awesome run with the history behind it and all the people that run it every year.

Two other possibilities in August could be the Bobby Doyle Races or the Pawsox race. I really want to do the race at Fenway, but it requires fundraising goals that I don’t believe I’d ever meet (based on past experience). The Pawsox race would still be running onto the diamond, just on a smaller scale.

September was my crazy month in 2013, but could also happen again in 2014. I would LOVE to do a repeat of 3 races I’ve already done (NK5K, Surftown 5K (or maybe half this year) and CVS 5K), but also want to add in the Zooma Cape Cod 10K or half. No dates on any of those yet so it’ll be played by ear.

October 5 – Ocean Road 10K – Narragansett, RI

Some other October things I’m considering are re-running the Halloween Monster Dash in Providence, the Wicked Half Marathon in Salem, MA (which may be in September) and/or the Run Wild Zoo Run at either the Stone Zoo or Franklin Park Zoo in MA.

 

Halloween Monster Dash – October 2013

 

The only November races I’m considering right now are doing the Turkey Trot again and/or the Pell Bridge Run. And December, I’m only considering the Jingle 5K again. I enjoyed doing the trifecta of Run Rhody holiday races and would probably do all 3 again…but we’ll see.

 

Downtown Jingle 5K – December 2013

 

I feel like I have the mentality that I can conquer my goals. Now, I just need my body to follow through.

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