It may be sad how giddy I get thinking about a night 5k. I mean Thursdays are my busiest days at work so having the fun 5k along the Charles River with my wife and Kim pushed me through that day. Plus, having it an hour later than the last one (Blues Run 5k) gave me time to wind down from work before we headed over to the run.
The Summer Run series is a group of five races (one per month) on a Thursday night on the Charles River. The races are usually 4.something miles, but due to construction this year they were shortened to a 5k.
Some people thought the Blues run was shorter than 5k, which I thought might be possible since my time was so much faster than my other PRs. I finished in 22:23 where my other lowest PR is 23:10. But this race started a tad farther back than the previous race, which made me think it would be closer to the 3.1 mile distance.
For me though, these races are about the atmosphere and the post race party. Plus, if you complete all 5 you get a snazzy jacket … Ooohh!! I am a sucker for race schwag!
I was annoyed at the beginning of the race because the group of runners in front of me spent the entire time complaining about the race and it’s organization or in their opinion lack thereof. I just wanted to tap them on the shoulder and say “If you don’t like the race, no one is forcing you to run it.” I was just so irked by their comments, also because I like the race and it’s local feel.
Anyway, it was finally time to start and I thankfully blew past the nay-sayers and got myself into a groove.
I have run the course a thousand times so it is easy to know the ins and outs of the turns and how much farther you really have to run.
There was a group of tourists standing along the River and you could tell they were completely confused as to why a thousand people were bursting towards them with numbers on. It was funny.
As I took the turn that goes in to the last mile of the run, I locked in on some targets and told myself to get down and pass ‘em. In the last half mile, I managed to pass three different runners – all female. I felt so accomplished. It made me feel like I did a good job of keeping a little in the tank so I could really let myself free in the final stretch.
I was feeling good until some guy came barreling past me in the last few feet before the Finish Line. Kind of a lame move in my opinion, but I tried to just let it go. It just isn’t something I would do – runners courtesy.
But, I grabbed my water and headed to the post race party … and forgot about the guy that pulled a jerk move.
My official time came in at 22:26 (7:15 min/mile) and just three seconds slower than the Blues Run 5k. I was 138th out of 1,122 overall and 27th out of 648 females! Wow!
I am still amazed that times like this are coming out of my body.
I definitely think the added length at the start got the race closer to 3.1 miles.
Anyone else run the Raggae Ramble 5k?
It was funny taking three weeks off in between road races. It was my longest stretch since February/March and I missed the excitement of race day.
I think my body was happy with a couple weeks off – instead it got a lot more half marathon training runs and some extra Spin classes with the Sunday crew.
But thankfully, it was finally June 24 and time for the BAA 10k – the second of three races making up the BAA Distance Medley.
The few days leading up to the race were H-O-TT HOT! Mid to high 90s, but thankfully it broke before Sunday’s race.
All six of us from the Harpoon 5-Miler 6-pack were going to be running this race so it was nice to have so many familiar faces around.
We all met by 7:30am and headed over the race. The BAA does races right! They took over the entire Boston Commons so there was plenty of room for everyone to mill around pre-race.
After waiting in the lines for the port-o-potties (and almost missing the start of the race), Kim and I discussed how there should really be a time limit on the time in a port-o-potty pre-race … since the lines are so long. We were thinking no more than 45 seconds. So as we waited, I started timing people. The usual racers were out in about 30 seconds so yes giving everyone 45 seconds seems fair.
Thankfully we made it over to the start in time since there was a wheelchair wave before the runners started.
Kim and I snuck in the 8-9 min/mile pace wave…
The elite runners were off in the first wave of runners – the BAA even gets Boston Marathon winners/participants and Olympians to participate in their 5k, 10k and Half so it’s pretty sweet to be around such talented runners!!
It was finally our turn and we were off … we crossed the Start Line about 4 and a half minutes after the wicked fast people.
I hit the Start Line and started bobbing and weaving through the crowd – dodging the baby strollers – as best as possible to get to a stretch where I wasn’t tripping over people.
The BAA not only had Mile markers, but also had Kilometer markers – pretty cool. They also had a water station at every mile, which was soooo needed.
The first couple miles were nice and shady through Boston before we hit Commonwealth Ave (the Boston University stretch) and there was the sun. Also, Comm Ave has zero trees. So to say it was a HOT was an understatement. It was brutal.
As I took the right turn on to Comm Ave, the Olympians and Marathoners were already on their way back. It was truly inspiring to see them sprint down the street. Okay, it made me feel bad about myself for a little while as they zoomed past with like 0% body fat, but I tried to get over that.
After we crossed the 5k (3.1) mark, we turned around to head back to the Commons.
It was nice to just take in the City as I ran. Seeing so many familiar spots made me fall back in love with Boston.
I hit Mile Four and for the first time ever, I poured the water from the water spot over my head … and BOY did it feel amazing! :O)
I realized at Mile Six that my Runkeeper was .12 miles ahead of where it shoulda been. Darnit! I was hoping to run just .08 more miles rather than another .2.
I love the final sprint to the finish. The crowds were amazing and really helped push me over the Finish Line.
YES! A new shiny PR!!
My previous PR was from November ’11 – 54:30. Yes, that means I cut off OVER five minutes from my time. Hot DAMN!
I was sooo pumped.
To top it off, we got a medal. Yup, you know I love a good race medal.
Afterwards, they had baby pools filled with water bottles, tons of bananas, bagels, power bars and frozen strawberries from Dole. So great.
I couldn’t believe how awesome I felt after the race. I was hot – especially since I had on my capris and my Superwoman socks, but I still felt strong.
Thanks to Lululemon, Sparkly Soul, Runkeeper and Racemenu for helping me feel fierce!!
Erin graciously offered for me to shower at her place before the crew got together for Brunch. She even had mimosas!
Once the wife and Adriana came and met us, it was off to brunch. You know I made the group bring their medals to brunch.
After such a horrendous brunch experience at Brownstone after the BAA 5k, we switched up our location and hit up Union Bar and Grilled in the South End. Mmmmm it was delicious!!
I can’t wait to finish up the BAA Distance Medley with the Half Marathon on October 7.
But for now I look to Thursday, June 28′s Raggae Ramble 5k.
Haters are everywhere. It’s hard to avoid the when you open your life up to the public on social media – blog, Twitter or Facebook. Having such an open forum allows anyone – and everyone – the ability to voice their opinion.
While most of the Fitness/Heath community online is one based on support. motivation and love – there are some people who will sneak in … and hate.
But online isn’t the only place to find people who want to put others down – it happens in the real world as well.
For the most part, my friends and family have been extremely supportive throughout my weight loss and fitness journey. But every once in a while the nonbelievers and backstabbers shine through.
It starts with little backhanded compliments … the self-deprecating comments that are really a slight at you … the “why don’t you just have some? you said you can eat whatever you want on Weight Watchers” … the “do you really need to go to the gym again … etc.
Have you experienced these instances?
If you haven’t, I hope you never do.
But, more likely, we all have at one time or another.
The important thing is how we handle these haters…
My immediate reaction when I encountered one in person last week was to drop kick the person. Ha! Okay not really, just maybe in my head.
I was a little stumped on what to do. But, I just nodded along as they spoke – not letting on how the tiny comment they made had hurt my feelings.
Instead, I took my feelings out on the pavement. I took their words and channeled them into a workout … and let me tell you! Wow, I felt more empowered on that run than I had in a little while.
Instead of letting the negative comments take me down, I chose to be the bigger person and remember:
I’m Freakin Awesome!
No one can take that away from me – or you!
We are making positive changes for ourselves.
We are doing this for us.
They may be projecting their own insecurities on to us. They may be jealous of what we have accomplished. They may be unhappy at work.
Whatever the reason … don’t let their words bring you down.
We control our own destinies!
How do you handle the haters?
I’ve missed so many family holidays during my eight years working in baseball so I am happy to make up for lost time… I was ready to celebrate this awesome guy!
This man has always been there when I needed it: dropped everything and hopped on a plane to get from Boston to Chicago in time for my back surgery, would sit on the phone with me at 2am when I was lost getting home from one of my first late night shifts at the Globe, stood on the sideline and cheered for six hours while I finished my first marathon, helps my friends with whatever they needed (moving, heat, shelves, etc), moved me to and back from Chicago without hesitation, acted as a surrogate father to relatives who needed one, and overall is one of the nicest, hard-working people I have ever met!
I started the day by hitting up Sunday morning Spin with Lindsey and Jen for the first time in ages. I’ve missed the last month because of road races … a fair trade off in my opinion. But, it was nice to get back on the bike – it always makes me feel so strong!
Once I got home it was time to let my dad in on the Father’s Day surprise! But, first I tied a bag to one of the dog’s collars and had them bring in a card and bar of his favorite chocolate to him. He of course loved it.
After that we let him know we were taking him up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire (about an hour drive from Boston) for lunch on the water. It was a beautiful drive and the wife’s first time in the state of New Hampshire.
It sure is nice to not only reexperience all the places I visited long ago, but to also share them with my wife – who has never lived in New England. It is making me fall in love with this part of the country all over again.
Portsmouth is one adorable quaint town.
We had lunch at the Oar House Dock, which was right on the water.
What a beautiful backdrop, huh?
The Redhook Brewery was just up the street so I tested out their IPA … I love drinking local!
I ordered the pulled pork sandwich, while my dad and wife each had the lobster roll. My mom enjoyed the caesar salad and pizza. All of the food was absolutely delicious!! Mmmm pulled pork…
I just couldn’t get over how breathtaking it was. It has been so long since I have been able to just relax and take it a nice small town like this … and I love it!
As we were leaving, we saw this little sign and we obviously HAD to stop in
It definitely lived up to the hype! I had a kiddie cookies & cream, while the wife had raspberry chocolate chip. Both phenomenal…
After loading back into the car, it was time to head home, but first we had to cross over the bridge and experience this amazing view…
Once over the bridge, you actually cross in to Maine! Yes I love New England because you can hit three states in one afternoon.
While over the border and so close to Kittery … we just had to stop by the Coach outlet. I mean it just made sense!! Right?
And there just happened to be an extra 20% off deal going on, sooo …
Welcome this lovely lady to my family!!
Don’t we look great together??
After finishing up our purchases, we got back in the car and headed home. We actually made a pit stop to visit the lovely Ashe family (my younger cousins) and spent a nice hour with them before finally heading back to take care of the pups.
Overall, this was such a relaxing day that I will remember for awhile. It was nice to get out with my parents and wife and explore more of this area. I can’t wait to share so much more of this great portion of the country with the wife…
Today, I am truly thankful for where my life has taken me.
I think by now you have all realized that I caught the running bug last year - ok, recaught the runners bug – but it has stuck this time.
When I was younger I never wanted to run, I’m not sure why I was so against it. I’m sure it had to do with feeling uncomfortable in my own body, but I don’t remember any specific reasonings behind the dislike…
But then it changed in 2005… I started at the beginning of the year – the first week in January – running just a 1/2 a mile during that week. Week Two, I increased to 3/4 of a mile for the week and proceeded from there…
Next thing I knew I was signing up for road races and actually enjoying lacing up my sneakers and heading out for a run.
Okay, it was more like a jog. I wasn’t fast, but I was out there. I was moving one foot in front of the other.
But then all the fun and joy of running came crashing down after an injury in 2006. I hurt my IT band while training for my first marathon – pushed through and completed the marathon … with a lot of walking – and stopped running completely.
Fast forward through a couple years of putting a ton of weight on … working out, but not running and fueling my body with the unhealthiest of choices … join Weight Watchers … start seeing success … and all of a sudden it’s time to give running another shot!
I ran my first race after the September 2006 marathon was the Hot Chocolate 5k on November 1, 2009.
But between work and a back injury in December 2010, I had to hang up my running shoes once again – but this time it WASN’T by choice … which hurt!
I had finally found something that pushed me farther than I ever thought I could go.
I was cleared to start running again in June 2011 and I haven’t looked back. Since being cleared to run, I have completed 25 road races.
And now? Now I am training for my second marathon – and I am ready to BLOW my previous time out of the water!
Because now I have the desire, self-esteem, self-worth and support to know that I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to.
And it has paid off.
On June 6, I completed – no I OWNED – a 14 mile run. The first time I had run that far since September 2006 and as you can see, I was beyond thrilled!
I look forward to any time I can lace up my sneakers and hit the path or chat with someone who is looking to start out running. I love to show that I started out at a 12 min/mile pace and can now proudly say I can keep a 7:30 min/mile pace for a 5k or more.
With hard work, determination, support and the desire to learn about the sport – anyone can be a runner!
If you are looking to start running, I really recommend the C25k (Couch To 5k) program that many of my friends have used to start moving that one foot in front of the other. It is a run-walk method that people even use to complete Half Marathons and Full Marathons.
I also recommend finding a running partner or partners … so many times my friend Ellie got me out in the worst of Chicago winter weather to run along the Lake. I knew I couldn’t let her down – plus she didn’t always bring her phone so I couldn’t text her to bail. :P Plus, our weekly runs were free therapy – for both of us.
So happy trails my friends … and always remember the bling!
Sometimes – okay a lot of the time – I wonder if this life I am living and this body I now call home are all real … or just a dream!
For so much of my life, I thought about what it would be like to be thinner.
I remember telling my aunt during ninth grade how much better my life would be if I just lost 50 pounds. Okay I actually told her my life would be perfect if I just lost the weight. Yes I know NOW that wasn’t true!!
But, changing my life to be a dream … is much more than the number on the scale.
While I will never forget that I have gotten rid of over 60 pounds off my body, I think about how much more has happened in my life through Weight Watchers, especially:
1) Starting this blog … opening my life, my successes, my struggles and tips/tricks I have learned along the way with all of you has given me so much more than I could’ve possibly imagined. I never would’ve thought I would allow myself to be so vulnerable on such a large forum, but it has paid off dividends.
2) People actually wanting to interview me … I would’ve never imagined that people would want to hear about my journey. I’m just one person who set out to make my life better – to give myself the happiness I searched for for so long.
TimeOut Chicago – December 2011
FUDiet.com – April 2012
Biggest Loser Blog – May 2012
3) Confident, Outgoing and Proud … these are three adjectives that I would never have used to describe myself unless I had gone through this journey – and now I can’t imagine myself any other way. I like – and am learning to love – the person I am becoming!
4) Running … do you guys know I like to run? Have I mentioned that before? Running has changed my life more than I could’ve expected. Going from the girl that played specific sports that avoided running to training for a marathon is something I didn’t see coming … but I now welcome it with open arms.
It is exhilarating to see what my body and I are capable of doing with hard work. Seeing the results, the bibs and the medals – keep me going each day.
But, more than the results – I now rely on the feelings that come from running. I feel calmer, strong and fierce when I lace up my sneakers and hit the pavement.
5) Comfortable … I feel more comfortable in my own skin.
I enjoy being able to walk into any clothing store and find something on the rack that I can fit in to.
I don’t avoid the mirrors at all costs anymore.
I don’t hide from the camera.
I am completely honest with my journey – how far I have come and now how I work to live a healthy lifestyle to maintain my new body.
So to you all, thank you for coming on this journey with me. Living a dream is something so many people strive for and never achieve. Therefore, I am honored and blessed that it finally happened for me…
Even though I would’ve never thought that at the age of 29, I would be living back in Boston, married, two dogs and a Weight Watchers Leader – I am loving every minute of it!
I love small little neighborhood runs that aren’t swarmed by the masses … and that is exactly what we got on Sunday.
My friend Kim lives in East Boston and this was the inaugural run for one of the schools in her neighborhood.
Of course, the weather didn’t cooperate and it was overcast and rainy, but that didn’t hold us back. C’mon, Kim, the wife and I are seasoned race participants now and are ready for any conditions…
We got there in enough time to check out the kids’ Fun Run. It was freakin’ adorable. But, I give these kids credit – I couldn’t run half as far as they do now. The kids were cute and so happy to be out there running … it gives me hope for the next generation!! I wish I had half their enthusiasm for running when I was their age.
Of course I had to find someone to snap the mandatory pre-race pic
After this we scooted over to the Start Line and got in position. Now, there wasn’t a microphone and I don’t know my way around the neighborhood so when they were yelling out the directions for the race – it sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. I was just content in knowing I am NEVER the fastest person on the course so I figured there would always be at least one person in front of me to follow if I got lost.
They hit the buzzer and we were off.
It was so nice to run through an unknown neighborhood in Boston … checking out the sites, smells and nuances of a new location.
Of course my Runkeeper got messed up JUST as I left the Start Line so that was out for trying to keep my pace. So instead, I just pushed myself to run as hard as I could the whole race.
Mile One seemed to take forever. Besides the Runkeeper messing up in the beginning, I also had some wardrobe malfunctions – darn pants wouldn’t stay up, my armband kept sliding down and I put my headphones in the wrong ears. Blurgh! I know those things are not going to make the world stop turning, but it threw off my rhythm at the beginning of the race.
Thankfully by the time I saw the Mile One marker, I had composed myself.
By Mile Two, I was in the zone and was at about a 7:30 pace. I took a moment during that mile to be thankful for how far I have come in my running and to really be proud of my accomplishments…
As soon as I saw the Mile Two marker, I refocused on the running. And promptly took a wrong turn in the race. Yup, that girl! Thankfully the two women behind me caught me before I got too far off course. Thanks again ladies!
I turned the corner to see the Finish Line down the road and felt like it kept moving back as I ran forward. Maybe it was all the racing I had done in May catching up to me, but I felt tired.
Thankfully I finally crossed the Finish Line and just tried to get my breathing back under control. Not sure if it was the pollen or what that was throwing off my breathing, but it took longer than usual to get it back to normal.
I ended up finishing in 23:10 (7:28 min/mile pace) … I was 15th out of 74 overall and second out of 19 in my division. Woo!!
After the race, we went over to Kim’s house to check out her roof deck. We had planned to hang up there for awhile, but Mother Nature had different plans.
I realized that the PJK 5k was my 25th road race in the one year I have been cleared to run after major back surgery in January 2011.
Between June 5, 2011 and today: I have run 25 road races (17 5ks, 3 8ks, 2 10ks, 1 10-Miler & 2 Half Marathons) and taken over 6 minutes off my 5k time…
June 5, 2011 – Run For The Zoo 5k – 29:20 (172.4 lbs)
June 3, 2012 – PJK 5k – unofficial 23:10 (154.8 lbs)
Wow! I can’t believe how far I have come in just on year. It really is true that if you believe … you can achieve!
My next race is the Boston Athletic Association 10k on Sunday, June 24!
…when I went to bed last night I was decently happy with how May turned out. I hadn’t accomplished all of the goals I had set out, BUT the month was leaps and bounds better than April.
So I had no idea that June would start off with such a bang today! If this is any indication of how June is going to turn out … let’s do it!!
To begin with today is Face It Friday and I got it done. I wasn’t totally sure what to expect on the scale since I had taken full advantage of the three-day weekend with the wife. BUT, I did run and workout a lot so I thought I would come out even. And…
I lost 0.4 lbs and came in 0.2 lbs UNDER goal! WOO! I will take it.
Today: Loss 0.4
Starting Weight: 217.4
Today’s Weight: 154.8
Total Lost: 62.6
Wow! I was happy to see that as even though I had been working out a lot – I felt blah. You know what I mean? I felt sluggish and run down this week. I think the higher pollen rate had something to do with it.
But, I woke up this morning feeling good, fit and trim … and the scale agreed!
Did you know today is National Donut Day?
Yeah – I didn’t. So when I went to get my usual Dunkins Medium French Vanilla Iced Coffee with Skim Milk and Three Equal (1 PP), they asked me if I wanted a free donut. I swear the glazed donut (my favorite) was beckoning me to take her home.
NO! Okay, in my head I screamed no, but to the woman behind the counter I calmly and rationally said “No, thank you.”
I felt accomplished … even though I came home and splurged on the pizza I didn’t eat last night (but today is a new week with a new 49 weekly points so I felt okay).
After some errands and snuggling with the pups, the word went out from Sparkly Soul that I was named their Blogger of the Month for June! Woo!! I want to thank everyone that nominated me … including myself! Yes, I owe myself a treat.
But, this is such an honor. I not only love wearing their product, I love what the company stands for.
There are definitely mornings when I am feeling a little off that I can turn it around by putting on my Sparkly Soul headband … and I start feeling fierce!
I also found out that my ninth – yes ninth – Weight Watchers at work meeting will be starting this week (4 on Tuesdays, 1 on Wednesdays, 4 on Thursdays). Woo! I can’t believe how much has changed in the four months I have been with Weight Watchers.
It is an amazing feeling to help people on such a personal journey…
So June 1st, you have rocked … and you aren’t even over yet!!
I can’t wait to see what the rest of the month has to offer…