What If Everybody Ran?

The Macarena.


Beanie Babies.


Boy Bands - especially NKOTB!



You may be wondering where I'm going with all this... besides to one AWESOME place!

What do those three things have in common?

You have any idea?

You too busy singing Hangin' Tough? I know - my bad!

These three things were all national movements ... at least in my opinion!

They are crazes that shook the Nation and spread joy and lifted spirits throughout the land.

So what will be the next movement to riase the Nation's spirits...


... could it be running?

Let's find out!

Mizuno USA teamed up with  the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School for an in-depth statistical analysis. UNC's job?

Simple. Explore the question: "What if everybody ran?"


The UNC Research Team poured over extensive academic and scientific studies and used stats from the US Census Bureau for their calculations.

Did you know the US Census Bureau estimates that of the 320 million Americans - 270 could realistically be converted to regular runners? I had no idea!

Now the math nerd in me loves hearing about the calculations and stats, but I know not everyone is as cool as me. ;) So we will get to the good stuff.

Buuuut, before looking at the official results, I know my life has improved ten-fold since welcoming running into it. I fought running for so long and now I can't imagine my life without it ... It picks me up when I am down. It allows me to push myself outside my comfort zone. It gives me freedom. It's there for me when no one else is. It shows up rain or shine. It's helped to give me purpose.

Okay Okay Okay here are the official results!


If Everybody Ran, there would be:

*37 percent more smiles!


*29.3 million happier marriages


*63 million happier dogs (based on increased walks/runs)


*Increased average life expectancy of 6.2 years in men and 5.6 years in women.


So what are we all waiting for?

What if everybody ran? Share your thoughts on social media using hashtag: #IfEverybodyRan


Must Have: Runner's World Cookbook

I love eating. I love cookbooks. I love my wife who loves cooking. Now, I personally don't cook, but that doesn't stop me from choosing recipes that look amazing to give my wife to make. ;)

It is a team effort. I am a great grocery shopper and dish washer. Okay we have a dishwasher, but I can load and unload it like no other!

But I digress.

This Fall, I had the opportunity to obtain a free copy of the Runner's World Cookbook (value $26.99) thanks to Runner's World. The book came in the mail and I was already drooling just looking at the cover.

Can you spot the drool marks or did I wipe it all off?

The Cookbook was actually released on October 1st, but with a crazy Fall racing schedule I didn't even get the crack the cover until Halloween. Fail on my part I know. But the first thing I did once I had time was calculate the Weight Watchers Points Values for all recipes.

Thankfully each recipe had the nutrition information on the bottom so it was an easy task.

The cookbook was edited by Runner's World nutrition editor Joanna Sayago Golub, who also hosts RunnersWorld.com's nutrition Web series Quick Bites, and featured a foreward by Olympian Deena Kastor, who holds the American marathon and half-marathon record holder.

I loved when Deena wrote:

The Runner's World Cookbook can help you accomplish these dual goals - creating meals made with simple ingredients to fuel your training while helping build relationships with those you love... These recipes will satisfy, empower, and keep you running optimally-while meeting any dietary need or craving you have.

With that I was sold and couldn't wait to try out the recipes.But before I made it to the recipes, there was an informative introduction on "how to eat like a runner," which is something I am still trying to understand. Especially with what to eat when trying to heal, refuel or grow stronger.

The cookbook is a collection of 150 recipes covering breakfast, soups, pizza, burgers, desserts and so much more. There is also a color-coded Recipe Key at the top of each recipe letting you know if the recipe meets certain training goals (prerun, recovery) or dietary needs (vegan, low-calorie, etc).

Choosing our first recipe to make was a tough decision, but after a little game of paper, rock, scissors (the adult way to make a decision) we chose...

... and it was delicious!! Worth every Weight Watcher Point for sure.

The recipe was created by cookbook writer and runner Patricia Wells, who recommended it for either the night before a long run or a post-run recovery with it carbs goodness.

The Soba Noodles recipe is designed for post-run recovery and fast, which meant it could be prepared in 30 minutes or less.

We had a little journey finding the Soba noodles, but thankfully there is a great Asian market near our house that had them in stock.

Most of the ingredients went into a bowl to create the sauce, while the sesame seeds, peanuts and cilantro went in a separate bowl as the garnish (pictured below). The cooked chicken and soba noodles were separate.

Once the soba noodles cooked (which took about 5 minutes), you mixed in the sauce to make sure the noodles were all coated then added in the chicken.

Only then was it time to add the finishing touch ... the garnish.

Doesn't this look delicious? I hope so because it was.

Our dish did end up having a lot more sesame seeds than we saw in the cookbook picture, but we weren't complaining.

I was impressed with how quickly the recipe came together and the flavors were great. I would definitely enjoy having something like this the night before a long training run or after a marathon.

Normally I want to take carbo-loading the wrong way (aka allow myself to order pizza and french fries), but I think this cookbook will allow me to really explore the different avenues of true carbo-loading.

As I continue with Dopey Challenge training and start Boston Marathon training, I think this cookbook will serve as a great tool to properly fueling my body this winter. It has the "comfort foods" I am looking for in pizza and pasta, but with a healthier, more nutritious twist.

If you are someone who is wondering what to eat while training for a half marathon or marathon, I really recommend this book. It covers breakfast, lunch and dinner, while adding in smoothies and desserts. One cookbook will cover your entire training.

Now what to cook next?

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by Rodale, but all opinions of the Cookbook are my own!

The 117th Boston Marathon Recap...

... you've all been waiting for! Or not at all, but let me pretend you were all just hitting refresh over and over again on my blog until this very post hit the page. ;)

So I already did my emotional piece about what happened AFTER The Boston Marathon on that fateful Monday, April 15 - which you can read here - so this post is about the race itself.

I wanted to make sure I got one good night of sleep the night before so I hit the hay by 7pm thanks to some Tylenol PM. I needed to make sure I had plenty of time to sleep with this wake-up call waiting for me Monday morning.

How could I not LEAP out of bed with these notifications on my phone?

I was pumped.

I had to make sure I was at Boston Common in enough time to catch the 7am bus to Hopkinton. As we've learned, I'd rather be early than late so the wife and I hit the road by 6:15 so I could stop at Dunkin Donuts before waiting in the bus lines at Boston Common.

I've never been so excited to put on a race outfit as I was that morning. I was honored to proudly wear my Tedy's Team singlet with my Gramma and Grampa - my Stroke Heroes - on the back.

Since it was sooo early in the morning compared to when my wave of the race was actually taking place - 10:40am - I was able to get a Dunkins Iced Coffee and bagel to enjoy before the run.

The wife dropped me off at Boston Common and I got in the endless line to load the bus to Hopkinton. It was an amazing feeling being surrounded by so many amazingly talented runners.

I even made a friend while waiting in line. She was another charity runner, who thankfully had run Boston before so she was able to give me her thoughts behind the race.

We actually were able to board our bus just after 7am. As the bus began to pull away from Boston Common, I realized I left my Garmin at home.

You HAVE to be kidding me. On just the most important race of my life, I forget my watch.

I texted my dad and my wife to get their thoughts. My dad said "well one less distraction." Yeah, not what I wanted to hear.

Thankfully they love me more than I deserve and they got in the car to meet me in Hopkinton.

Since they left just 10-15 minutes after my bus, I knew - okay hoped - they would get to me before we headed to the start line.

The roads in Hopkinton close at 7:30 so they had to park at a nearby office building and take a Marathon Shuttle to the Start area.

I'm lucky - I know.

While they drove to Hopkinton, I tried to calm my nerves.

It was just a sea of bodies when our school bus finally rolled into Athlete's Village.

Thankfully the girl I was with knew how to walk around the crowd and get to the charity meet-ups spots, which were outside the village.

Once we parted ways (I wish I knew her full name so I could check in on her), I took out of Google Maps printout and made my way to the Tedy's Team pre-race house.

It was nice to walk up and see a bunch of familiar faces.

I headed inside and checked in with my teammates. It was great to have a roof over our heads (especially if the weather had been uncooperative), bathrooms and foam rollers.

My dad and wife arrived right on time ... for pics with Tedy Bruschi himself.

After getting final hugs and good luck wishes from my dad and wife, I headed back inside to try and calm the pre-race jitters.

I made the decision to run without headphones/music. I did however keep my headphones in the pocket of my pants JUUUSSTTT in case I needed some motivation.

It was great being surrounded by a great group of teammates, who were thankfully feeling exactly what I was. :P

Photo Courtesy Of Tedy's Team

Before I knew it, it was time to start heading to the Start Line.

Before we left the house, I made sure to take my Energybits.

I walked out the house door and it was time for a group meeting led by Tedy before we headed to the Start Line. Standing in a circle, holding hands with our running coach John and one of my teammates, I just started crying. I, and many others, couldn't hold the emotions in any longer.

We walked as a group to the Start Line area. Tedy opened the corral for us and we headed in as a group. It was great to get one last hug from Zack (Team Director) and Tedy before heading to our corral.

As I made my way through the crowd, I reconnected with some of the team in Corral 5. My running mate Nanci was shooting for the same finish time as I was - around 3:55-3:57 - so it was nice to find a running partner right off the bat. Nanci was wearing a pacing band so we could see if we were starting out too fast or not. It was specially designed for the Boston course. Why didn't I have one myself? Because I'm a slacker. :P

It was finally our time to cross the Start Line and Tedy was at the mic to wish us off.

And as I started my Garmin I once again made the realization that I was freakin' running THE Boston Marathon.


The crowd was amazing right off the bat. There were guys offering Corona Lights at Mile Two. Thanks, but we really needed to wait til double digits for that. ;)

As Nanci and I cruised through the first Half of the race, we realized we were about 1-2 minutes ahead of schedule. We tried to reign it in a little since we knew we would need extra gas for Heartbreak Hill.

I was wicked excited to get to Mile 12 because that meant I would finally experience the Wellesley College Scream Tunnel. I had heard so much about it ... and the girls didn't let you down. The girls lined both sides of the street - mainly the right side - with signs in hand and offering up kisses to the runners. I've definitely never seen that before.

Entering Wellesley Center, we saw a group of soldiers running in full gear. I give so much credit to those folks.

As Nanci and I hit the halfway mark, Nanci had to make a pit stop so we parted ways. I hoped in the back of my mind that we would meet up again later in the race, but it didn't happen. :/

I thought about taking out my headphones since I was now alone, but I couldn't. The crowd was constant and empowering.

It was a lifesaver having my name written on the front of my singlet as well as on my arm itself.

Picture from post-race as you can tell by my sunburn :P

I was also got an in with the crowd thanks to my outfit.

The Sparkly Skirt from Team Sparkle was a HIT with the women and girls in the crowd - especially the teens. ;)

The Superman socks were a big crowd pleaser with the young boys especially.

So having some eye-catching running accessories really help with getting crowd encouragement!

It also helped people I actually know spot me in the crowd. One of my Weight Watchers members told me after the race that since I posted my outfit on social media before the race they knew what to look for ... and actually spotted me!

The crowd was carrying me through the run as right heel pain started taking over my thoughts during Miles 15-16. I didn't know what to do. I hadn't experienced pain like that before.

But, there was no way I was going to stop.

So as I approached Mile 17 and Heartbreak Hill, I bore down, dug deep and just ran.

And you know what?

I ran the entire span of Heartbreak Hill. I didn't stop or walk once. One of my goals for the race.

The crowd on Heartbreak was rowdy and having a good time. I wished I could've stopped to have a beer with them. :P

But, the idea of seeing Tedy's Team's Running Coach John at Mile 20 kept me going.

I saw the 20 Mile marker and just ran towards John. I blurted out everything that was going on - the pain in the heel, being scared of what it was, etc.

John gave me some Swedish Fish and told me to just dig deep and finish strong.

Simply put - "just run!"

It seems easy enough.

With that little boost from John, I was off to finish Heartbreak. I never thought I would be so happy to see a Mile marker as I was for Mile 21!

Thank you BC for the reminder! In case I had forgotten that the toughest part of the Boston Marathon was over.

The right heel pain continued, but I had to push on.

I knew the course. We've been running it every Saturday since December 1 - just 5 more miles to go.

My pace had started to slow. I knew it. I could see it on my Garmin and in the text updates from the BAA.

I wasn't happy. But, I wasn't going to let it stop me.

I tweeted when I hit Mile 22.

As the pain in the heel (which occurred every time I pushed off my right foot) continued, I made the decision to stop at each of the remaining medical tents to stretch out the calf as much as I could. It was a suggestion by John to help - so I was willing to try it.

Bravo to the people working the medical tents!! They immediately came to my aid asking if I needed anything.

I walked a tad during Mile 23 and 24. But once I saw the Mile 25 marker...

... I was going to run through WHATEVER pain I felt.

Seeing that sign just reminded me how close I was to the dream - the Finish Line.

And the crowd was AMPED! Many were still milling around from the Red Sox victory in Kenmore Square and they were happy to see us.

They could see the pain and the doubt, but they were there to give whatever they could to us.

(I am tearing up thinking about the energy and love I felt during that stretch)

My friends usually cheered from outside the bar Lower Depths in Kenmore, but as I passed by they weren't there. I was hoping for a familiar face, but at that moment everyone in the crowd sounded like a friend.

As we took that left on to Boylston, I couldn't help but smile. No matter what was happening in my foot - which was the ONLY piece of my body that hurt - I was going to finish this thing. Boylston St is the epitomizes the Marathon.

I caught a glimpse of the Mile 26 marker and tried to make my body go faster. In my mind, I was Kim Smith out there. But, as you can see in the pictures I was just kinda trekking along...

Just after Mile 26, I waved to my dad and wife on my left-hand side and then turned to my right to wave to Tedy and Tedy's Team crew on the second floor of The Lenox Hotel before passing over the Finish Line.

And promptly trying to catch my breath. Not sure why I get so winded after marathons - same thing happened in Savannah in November. But as I walked through the Finish shoot, I found my mom in the crowd on my left. I stopped to chat with her ... when the explosion happened.

Just before the explosion, in the moment when I was catching my breath - I was angry. I officially finished in 4:04:08 for a 9:18 min/mile pace.

Dammit! I really wanted to finish under 4 hours again. If we took out my stop my with coach and the medical tent stops, it would've been under 4.

But, I let that go with what was happening around me.

Again, that experience is recapped here if you need it.

But, as my mom told me to get much-needed water - we were separated. So I grabbed a space blanket and my medal and tried to find my family.

This picture was taken after my family and I were FINALLY reconnected. It felt like hours. This is the smile of 1) Finishing the Marathon and 2) Jubilation of being with my Family again.

We thankfully found a cab and headed home, where I was greeted with gorgeous flowers from my parents. :)

After some much needed family snuggle time in bed with the pups and doing some media interviews with old colleagues from Chicago, it was time to have some celebration/thankful family dinner with my parents.

Enter BBQ and some Sam Adams.

Oh that beer was delicious... :)

My final stats weren't what I wanted ...

... but I will have redemption in 2014!

Overall, the Boston Marathon was like no other race I have ever - and probably will ever - participate in. The crowd, the love, the excitement, the sounds, the smells, and the unity shone through during each and every mile.

Was I happy that of all days a random heel pain had to occur then? No.

But such is the life of a runner right? Not every race will be perfect and you never know how your body will perform on a given day.

So in the end, I am pleased with how I did because I represented myself, my family, my Stroke Heroes, my teammates and my followers to the best of my ability. I also completed my third marathon - not bad for someone that used to weigh in the 230s and not bad for someone who ran their first marathon in 5:59:27.

I gave 110% on that pavement!

But Boston BE READY ... I'm comin' for ya again!

A Pretty Sweet Saturday Afternoon...

After kicking off Saturday, April 13 with a great shakeout run with Runner's World that morning, I had a big afternoon planned. The wife and I headed back into town to enjoy lunch with a couple of my favorite bloggers: Colleen from TheFitBee.com and Samantha from RunningAndCupcakes.com. We had planned on MJ O'Connor's Pub, but it was so much easier to just head to Whiskey's across from the Boston Marathon Expo - since everyone wanted to head there afterwards.

Yes, I was planning a second trip to the Expo. :P


I owe Twitter for bringing me together with these two lovely, amazing, inspiring and just overall kick ass people. They push me to be a better runner, person and blogger every day. It is so fun when online relationships turn into real life friendships. :)

Samantha lives in Rhode Island, but was volunteering at a water stop along the Marathon course on the Monday. While Colleen was going to rock a 50k the following day then run - sorry own - the Boston Marathon the next day.

Rock Stars!!

After a great lunch and some yummy beer, we headed back over to the Expo. We were walking around as a happy little group until I saw something shiny and of course got separated from everyone else. Oops!

The wife and I did another loop around the Expo before having to head home to get ready for our evening plans.


We had just enough time to get home and change before heading back into town for the Tedy's Team Pasta Dinner, which was being held at the Lenox Hotel.


The Lenox Hotel would be our post-race reunion location as well. Such a great feature offered by Tedy's Team. Plus it was RIGHT by the Finish Line, which meant we wouldn't have to walk too far following the race.


(Note: We obviously didn't get to enjoy The Lenox Hotel as a post-race location because of the bombings that took place, but I thank the Hotel for all the help they offered for my teammates and their families on that day!)

It was great to be surrounded by the whole team.


Photo Courtesy Of Tedy's Team

Aren't we one good-looking group? :)

We had a delicious pasta dinner in the Dome Room, which sported a beautiful blue ceiling.


The centerpieces were plants cradled in the official Boston Marathon Sneakers from New Balance.


After dinner, Zack (our fearless leader), Tedy's wife and son, and two of my teammates (Christine and Nate) all gave moving, motivational and inspiring speeches to get us pumped up for Monday's run. With tears in my eyes and pride in my heart, I was ready to face that Boston Marathon.

I was ready to make myself, my family, my Stroke Heroes and my team proud.

The team dinner wrapped up about 9pm and the wife and I headed over to the Runner's World party, which was being held just a few streets away.


Do you think my KT Tape went with my black dress? ;)

We walked the 0.4 miles to Lucca Back Bay to attend the Runner's World party.

runner sign

I loved seeing large blowups of the magazine around the restaurant then seeing the people from the cover there in person. Surreal.


Since I had an early morning the next day - running BAA 5k - we hung around for about 30 minutes or so then headed home. It was cool to see so many running celebrities in one room.

It was a great day being surrounded by motivating friends and fellow runners!! A great pump up for the BAA 5k on the Sunday and the Marathon on the Monday!

Runner's World Shakeout Run

I love meeting other bloggers. I love running. I love reading Runner's World. So an invite to a couple of the Runner's World events during Boston Marathon weekend was an honor.

I thank my friend Robin for suggesting my little blog be able to attend. :)

The run was later opened up to all runners as it was posted on Runner's World's Facebook page the day before.

The more the merrier right.

The event kicked off at the New Balance Store on Boylston St at 7:30 Saturday (April 13)morning.

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My dad was dropping me off (again I am a cool 30 year old) and we of course got there early so when I walked in only the New Balance employees were at the store.


Originally Bart Yasso was said to be attending the event, but after tweeting with him he said he wouldn't arrive in Boston until Saturday afternoon. Darn, I wanted to meet him.

As the store started slowly filling up with Runner's World staff, I met a couple bloggers that I hadn't known before. I met Brittany from Btypes.com, who qualified for Boston while running her first marathon (Wow!) and Katherine from NeonBlondeRunner.com, who I actually already followed on Twitter and Instagram.

I love finding new blogs to follow and new runners to use as inspirations.

Very quickly I realized I was the only person in the store who was running The Boston Marathon as a charity runner. IE, I was the slow poke in the store. The only person in the room/run that didn't qualify for the Marathon.

Ouch! Nothing quickly cuts down your confidence than the question: "So where did you qualify for Boston?"

Yeah, nope I didn't qualify. I am a charity runner. In the moment it hurt, but as I thought more about it that night I was/am honored to run for a cause. I raised over $5k for the American Stroke Association. I was running in honor of my grandparents.

Not qualifying for Boston is not something I should've been ashamed of.

But when you get asked that question rapid fire in a morning, it cuts you down just a little.

How can it not?

After mulling around, it was time to actually get out and run. I had no idea how long the run would be or where it was going. It was kind of nice to just follow the crowd. :)

We kicked off the run so quickly that my Garmin didn't have time to locate satellites (shocking) so I used Runkeeper to track our run.

We headed out down Boylston St towards Boston Common. We did a big lap around the Commons before heading to the oldest street in Boston. Even I - someone that grew up in Boston - had no idea where they were taking us.

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Everyone was extra cautious on this part of the run since no one wanted to get injured two days before the big race. It was cool to run up and down the old cobblestones - slippery, but cool.

We ran back through the Commons before hooking a right onto Boylston St to the New Balance Store.

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We ended up doing a 2.5 mile loop, which was relaxing and good for the legs as I was running the BAA 5k the next morning.

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Runner's World had a nice little breakfast spread after the run, where I chatted with some of the Runner's World folks I actually followed on Twitter. It's always nice meeting social media contacts/friends in real life.

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Mmmm snacks!

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The New Balance store is pretty sweet if you haven't checked it out before...

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And it looks like they like to #Sweatpink like my FitApproach ladies and I do!

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I especially had a great time chatting with Caitlin, one of Runner's World web producers. Thanks for hanging out with me as I stood around not really knowing anyone!! Much appreciated...

Once the event was over, I wondered around Boylston St near what would be the Starta Area for Sunday's 5k and the Finish Area on Marathon Monday as I waited for my dad to get me.

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(Looking back it is crazy to see how much this would change on Monday afternoon)

I want to thank Laura from Runner's World for extending a Shakeout Run invite to me. It was a great experience and a nice casual run to help simmer my nerves for Monday...

#30DaysToBoston #PhotoChallenge Recap

A couple months before the marathon, I saw a blogger on Twitter asking people to get involved in a 30 day photo challenge leading up to the Boston Marathon. I couldn't pass it up. My joy of running The Boston Marathon was boiling over and I wanted to be a part of anything that had to do with the race. So with Seeking Boston Marathon and a couple other bloggers, the #30DaysToBoston #photochallenge was born...


With the events of the past week ... I write this while in lockdown mode here in Boston ... I thought it would be great to look back and see what the 30 days before the biggest race of my life really looked like.

Enjoy! :)

Day #1 - these ASICS #Shoes will be giving me support from Mile 0 to 26.2 on April 15!


Day #2 - Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee is a must have every morning with #Breakfast!! :)


Day #3 - #Speedwork I have on tap for tomorrow - 8x800s!!


Day #4 - My grandparents (aka my Stroke Heroes) #Inspire me to join Tedy's Team & run The Boston Marathon in the first place!!


I hope to #Inspire other people that anything is possible in running!! Here are the times for my first 2 marathons - left September 2006 and right November 2012!

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Day #5 - Thanks to Tedy's Team I now #Snack on Swedish Fish during a long run!!

day 5 - snack

Day #6 - Of course NKOTB is on my running #Playlist for tomorrow's 21-miler!! :)

day 6 - playlist

Day #7 - Post 21-miler - the final #Longrun before The Boston Marathon!! :)

day 7 - long run

Day #8 - My biggest supporters are my #LovedOnes, who show up to races no matter the weather or travel!! :)

day 8-loved ones

Day #9 - My total #Distance since starting The Boston Marathon training with Tedy's Team on Dec 1!

day 9

Day #10 - no #Sweat today, but I'll make up for it with hills tomorrow!!

day 10

Day #11 - Through stretching, foam rolling & The Stick - I keep myself #Pain-free while training!!

day 11

Day #12 - One benefit of #Early morning training runs are gorgeous sunrises like this (from a run last summer in Chicago)!


Day #13 - Race bling can always #Motivate me through any race!! :)


Day #14 - I will be taking the day after The Boston Marathon off as a #Reward & taking part in these relaxing/celebratory activities!


Day #15 - What did I #EatToday for dinner? Big 'ol salad - no Easter plans this year.


Day #16 - I think it's obvious that my FAV way to #CrossTrain is Spinning!!


Day #17 - You know it's #Taper time when your next 2 Saturdays look like this!


Day #18 - My choice for in-run #Fuel!


Day #19 - I #LoveThis new Tedy's Team jacket & long-sleeve T we got last night!!


Day #20 - Being #Smelly is proof of a successful run! ;)

20- smelly

Day #21 - In 9 days, these #Feet will help me live out a dream: running The Boston Marathon!! :)

21 - feet

Day #22 - Can wearing these heels all afternoon count as a way to #Crosstrain? ;)

22 - crosstrain

Day #23 - #DontLikeThis = Tapering!

23 - dontlikethis

Day #24 - A sample of my Race Day #Gear: Tedy's Teamsinglet, Team Sparkle skirt & Superman socks!

24 - gear

The most prized #Gear I will wear on Monday - aSparkly Soul headband w/ Grampa written on the inside!! I will also have my The Boston MarathonSparkly Soul headband on as well!


Day #25 - I am SO thankful to have SO many #RunFriends and love making new ones every day!!


Day #26 - My Boston Marathon #RaceDayShirt is my Tedy's Team singlet! :)

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Day #27 - Yet another reason to #GetToBoston baby! ;)


Day #28 - #BAAExpo


Day #29 - Mmmm #CarbLoad...


Day #30 - #LetsDoThis



The Night Before The Boston Marathon...

... is FULL of emotions! I don't even really know how to put them all into words.


I am excited.

I am nervous.

I am ready to throw up.

I am pumped.

I am honored.

I am doubtful.

I am questioning.

I am breathing.


With less than 17 hours til Tedy's Team crossed the Start Line (10:40am), it is finally sinking in that this whole running The Boston Marathon thing is really happening.

I mean Yes I knew it was coming, but with a full weekend of festivities - I was distracted for a while. Until I crossed the finish line of the BAA 5k this morning and realized ... it's time for THE BIG SHOW now.

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I sit here hugging my foam roller and Marathon Stick wondering what I got myself into. But, WHY do I keep questioning myself. I've done this whole running a marathon before. I've done all of the training since Tedy's Team kicked off the season December 1.

Why start doubting myself now?

Well, maybe it's after a weekend of being asked: "oh, where do you qualify?" Nope, nope not a qualifier. As soon as anyone asked if I was running Monday, I would immediately say: "Yes, as a charity runner" to avoid the qualifying question. For some reason it made me feel as if I wasn't worthy to be in the same room with all of the other people doing their shakeout runs or picking up their bibs.

Then last night whipped me back into shape. Last night, we attended the Tedy's Team Pasta Dinner. Sitting in the room with my 45 teammates, hearing people's stories, celebrating that the team has raised over $300,000 for Stroke Awareness - THAT made me remember why I was doing this whole thing and why I DID deserve to be running in the Boston Marathon.

It doesn't matter how fast or slow I run tomorrow, what matters is the singlet I will be wearing ... what matters is the reason WHY I am running.

26 -

Tomorrow I run for my grandparents, for Tedy Bruschi, for all Stroke Victims, for my family, for my friends and for all of you - my supporters!

I thank you all for joining me on this journey. The countless training posts, the fundraising posts and offering up encouragement when I doubted myself.

The girl that weighed 235 lbs at one time will be toeing the line tomorrow to finish the most famous marathon in the world. I didn't qualify. But I had the honor to raise awareness and money for Tedy's Team and the American Stroke Association/American Heart Association, which is more important than any qualifying time.

This one time obese girl will be putting on that Tedy's Team singlet and representing her grandparents to the best of her abilities. I will give it my all tomorrow. No matter the outcome I know they are proud of me.



But since I'm me and need a goal.

What do I hope to accomplish tomorrow?

1) Finish. Seems like a simple request, but you really never know what can happen during a given race so I want to remain healthy enough to complete the 26.2 mile crusade.

2) Post a time sub 4 hours. This was my goal for the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon in November 2012 (my 2nd marathon) and I accomplished it then (3:58:49) so I would like to do that again if I can.

3) PR - 3:55. This is a dream, but keeping it as a possibility based on my previous training runs. If I could keep a steady 9:00 min/mile pace, I would post a 3:55:48, which would be a 3 minute PR. I would take that for sure!!

4) PR - 3:51. I could attain this if I kept an average pace of 8:50. Definitely a possibility if I find people with a similar pace to mine. I always run better when I have a partner who is faster they I am. Why? Well I always doubt my speed and having someone with me pushes me.

5) PR - 3:50 or less. A girl can Wish Upon A Star, ya know?


Now that I have released the thoughts swimming around my head, I can get back to relaxing, having a yummy dinner (mmm carbs!) and head to bed early. How can I sleep on a night like this? My sweet little friend Tylenol PM. I need a full night sleep so I will be trying to dose off by 8/9.

So thank you again for being a part of my journey. I cannot believe it all culminates tomorrow. But, I know you will all be with me every step of the way!!

I leave you with Flat Dani, who is ready to Sparkle her way through The Boston Marathon!

2013-04-14 18.11.15

Boston Marathon Weekend Festivities

Just thinking about the next five days is making me tired. But for ALL good reasons.

I mean yes there is the little thing of The actual Boston Marathon taking place on Monday, but there is SOOOO much more happening before then.


Let's see what's on the 'ol docket:


After finishing the work week at 12:15, I will be heading home, getting a good reliable backpack and heading to the Boston Marathon Expo at the Hynes Convention Center. The expo kicks off at 2pm and I think my friend Sarah and I will be there pretty much at the start. ;)

Why you may ask?

Well, I am REALLY hoping I can snag a pair of the exclusive New Balance Boston Marathon sneakers, which are only sold at the Expo. So trying to get there as early as possible will help my chances. *Fingers Crossed*

Aren't they amazing???


(I missed out on the exclusive Run Disney sneakers because we got there too late)

Additionally, I am picking up my bib for the BAA 5k AND the Boston Marathon so lots to get done.

Plus, I have a ton of booths I want to hit up ... the high priority? Meeting the ladies behind the amazing Sparkly Soul headbands. :)



I had the honor of being invited to a special Runner's World Shakeout Run with Bart Yasso, which takes place Saturday morning at 7:30am. I am wicked excited to be meeting up with so many of my fellow bloggers and some of my running idols.

Around lunchtime, I will me joining some of my local Twitter/Facebook friends for lunch before they head into the Expo (and maybe I go back ;)). I will definitely be seeing Sam from Running and Cupcakes and Colleen from The Fit Bee and hopefully some others!!

As if that wasn't an exciting day already, the wife & I have the Tedy's Team Pasta Dinner that night 6-9 at the Lenox Hotel. If we are still functioning, we will end the night with the Runner's World party, which is located close by. I want to take advantage of as many chances as possible to meet some of my running and blogging idols.



And on the day before the Marathon, I decided to sign up for the BAA 5k (8am) with my best friend Sarah. Sarah is turning the Big 3-0 on Monday and since I will be busy running ;) I told her we could run the 5k together the day before as a shakeout run for me.

The biggest hurdle? Holding myself back from race pace.

Thankfully I will have Sarah there to reel me in and keep me in check. Since the BIG SHOW is on Monday!

The rest of the day will be spent relaxing at home and making sure everything I need for Monday is laid out in advance.



The Big Show! :)

Nerves will be setting in. Nervousness will be in full effect. Excitement will be seeping from all parts of my body.

I need to be at the Boston Commons by 7am to take the bus to the Start Line.

Once there, we have a place where all Tedy's Team members can hang out - out of the elements - before the Start.

My wave is set to start around 10:40am.

Then it's GAME TIME baby!

After finishing (assuming I do :P), I will meet my family and the rest of the team at the after spot at a nearby hotel.

I can't wait to see everyone after they Finish, especially my family.



My treat day!

Hey, I deserve a day off from work after the Marathon so I took one. :)

I am meeting my friend Abby for mani-pedis around 11am then followed by lunch/drinks in Davis Square.

I will then putter around until a 90-minute (yup I went there!) massage at Massage Therapy Works.

Once the wife gets out of work, I hope to meet up with her for dinner and possibly getting my 6th tattoo.

I am looking to get the phrase "One Step At A Time" with "13.1" and "26.2" on either side. I need to check with Painted Bird Tattoo parlor to see if they have time.


Now doesn't that sound like one exhausting, amazing and life-changing weekend???

I am smiling, crying and feeling tired all at the same time. :)

But, I feel blessed and can't wait to share all the memories with you all.

Will I see any of you over the next 5 days? Maybe grabbing a beer to celebrate?