Monday Musings: Weekend of Workouts & Wedding Wonder

Weekends this summer have been full of workouts, laughs, love, friends and family ...but not a ton of rest! So you can imagine this past weekend was right along those same lines. ;) My wife actually got up early on Sunday to get her 4 mile run in before we walked over to my 5k race and she quipped later that day: "Wow, I don't know how you do this getting up early to workout thing all the time."

It made me smile to myself. Now she appreciates the early mornings I put in so that we can have more time to spend together. :)

Sunday marked just two weeks until the Pumpkinman Half Ironman. Wow September 7 will be here before I know it. This weekend I needed to really buckle down and focus.

The workouts started bright and early Friday after a great weigh-in. Did you hear I am happily back in the 150s?

My goal on Friday was to get 4 hours in on the bike, but that didn't happen. Between a Recycle Studio Spin workout and a bike tide out to Bedford from Somerville - I spent about 3 hours in the saddle.



But I still haven't gotten 56 miles in on the bike and I need to do that before the race just to show myself I can do it. So guess what is on the docket for this upcoming week?

The bike is so mental for me. My body knows it can do it, but the mind gets nervous and overwhelmed. Time to shut the brain down.

The rest of the Friday called for relaxation and blogging. Isn't that what all the cool kids do on a Friday night? :)

I had an early morning on Saturday. I wanted to hit up the 8am Weight Watchers meeting and claim my Ace Your Summer Challenge bling for having attended 10 of the last 11 weeks of meetings. Woo!

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It is such a nice and welcoming group. I am happy to attend their meetings and occasionally sub before I return to long run Saturdays this Fall.

I was smiling from ear to ear as members of the group talked about the fun they had attending the Nike Run & Walk Club that I have been helping to host. They talked about feeling welcome without thought of pace or fitness level. Exactly the kind of group I have been trying to create. :)

Full of motivation and inspiration, I headed to the pool to get my 1.2 mile time trial swim done.

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During the entire swim I felt strong and like I could keep swimming for days. :) I guess that training is paying off. :P It was a great morning in the pool full of entertainment from the kids' swim classes going on on the opposite side of the pool from me.

Once I was out of the pool, I had to race home, quickly change and head to my cousin's wedding dress appointment. How cute are the cards our friend Lauren made to judge the dresses?

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They are so my cousin. :)

Since I never did the wedding dress shopping thing myself (maybe some day), it was a complete learning experience. It really is a live version of Say Yes To The Dress. My cousin found a style she liked, but didn't say yes to a dress at the first location.

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My cousin & I working the duck lips

She inevitably found her dress at appointment #2 of the day, which I wasn't able to make.

While my Saturday afternoons were canceled last minute, I wouldn't waste the time by getting in my BRICK workout with my #1 supporter the wife by my side.

She humored me while I blabbered on about nothing for two hours on the bike trainer and then jumped on her bike while I knocked out a quick 5k (26:34) to shake the legs out.



She also listened to me curse out the wind for blowing in my face for the entire run. Not sure I could've said: "Are you serious wind?" any more than I did. Haha.

We decided to cook in on Saturday night and enjoy a lovely meal outside in the backyard, while the pups played.

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Please note: it is the wife who is drinking Pumpkin beer in August. #TheShame 

The wife made Skinnytaste's Weeknight Skillet Sazon Chicken Tenders and it was delicious!! We paired it with our once a month treat of yellow rice (yum) and steamed broccoli.

After a fantastic dinner outside, we finally watched Muppets Most Wanted. It was cute but not nearly as good as the Muppet Movie from 2011.

Now while the wife got up early on Sunday to run I slept in until 7:15am - woah! Late I know. ;) But it was great to lounge around and snuggle some pups until she came home.

The Race To The Row 5k I was running on Sunday didn't start until 9:30am AND was located across the street from my house which meant a late departure time. Boy I wish all of my races were that close.

It was a fun morning with lots of friends. I will post a recap of that race shortly.


I wasn't sure how my body would handle the race since I had done a 1.5 mile swim, 30 mile bike and 5k run the day before.

But as you can see it was pretty speedy. I ended up 79th overall and 10th in my division. Woo! I never reach the top 10 in my division so that was exciting.

Following the race I had a couple of hours of downtime before we headed to a wedding celebration for my friend Nicole and her partner Melsen. It was a lovely afternoon in Brookline with friends.

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They had a great spread and a make your own burritos area, which totally was up the wife's alley. I ate most of the large salad they had available. :P

Our crew has gotten older and maybe more mature? Okay not at all more mature, but it was fun to come together to celebrate love and friendship.

With a busy weekend in the books, it was great to come home and just vet out for the rest of the evening.

I went to bed Sunday night with a happy heart, a complete Weight Watchers food tracker and renewed energy for the week ahead.


Since we know I am - for now - just enjoying adult beverages on the weekend, here are a couple of the local brews I tried:

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Berkshire Brewing Company

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Tap Brewing Company (Haverhill, MA)

Both were full of hoppy goodness...


Two other notes for this week:

1) I have a $10 off discount code for the Max Performance Buzzards Bay Sprint Triathlon on September 14.


Use code: WOMSBUZZ14 (code expires Friday, August 29)

2) I am holding a giveaway for a free entry into the inaugural South Shore Half Marathon in Norwell, MA on November 2.

south shore

Feel free to enter here.


How did you stay active this weekend?

Gone For A Run Makes Drinking Beer And Wine A Little More Runtastic + Giveaway!

Annddddd the winner IS:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


On most Friday nights, you can find me sitting in bed, catching up on blogging and asleep by 8pm. Does this sound familiar? Are you getting flashes of your own Friday or Saturday nights.

If you don't want to admit it, that's fine. I won't out you. :P But I understand. For most of my Saturday mornings are taken up by long runs or races around the country.

Again, sound familiar?

<<insert silent nod with fit bump>>

On those Friday nights, I like to relax the nerves of the long run or race with a little extra carbo-loading ... aka BEER!


My Friday night before the Black Cat 20-Miler :)

That's right. I rarely go the night before a long run or race without a beer or glass of wine ... or two! It depends if it is a race-cation or not.  ;)

One Friday night as I was wasting some time on the interwebs, I stumbled upon a section of Gone For A Run's website that I hadn't seen before.


I KNOW! I had no idea either. I buy all of my bib holders from Gone For A Run, but I haven't spent serious time exploring their website.


So after perusing the site and connecting with Gone For A Run on social media, I was given the opportunity to test out some of their amazing drinkware.

Then came the hard part ... choosing which glasses to try. Ahh I wanted ALL of them. But I finally decided one one of each.


Beer Glass


Wine Glass

I should've filled the wine glass all the way to the top for the pic, but it is against my religion to pour wine back in a bottle. ;) It says 5k, 10k, Half and Full.

If you want to check out more of the beer glasses/steins and wine glasses, head on over here. The possibilities seem endless.

These glasses have really perked up my pre or post race adult beverage. I have drank wine the night before my last half marathon (1:44:30) and my last marathon (3:58:49) PRs. So I think I will stick with it. ;)

Now you may be wondering, Dani how can I get my own amazing glassware.

Well, here's how to enter YOUR chance to win a $20 gift card to Gone For A Run so you can pick your own:

The giveaway will run from Monday March 3 (7am ET) through Monday March 10 (7am ET)!

The winner will be selected and announced on Monday!

Weekly Workout Wind Up (9/19-25/13)

Tough week. I was feeling great until I hit 10.53 miles into my 15-mile run on Sunday. Something was going on in the ball of my foot out to my second toe. Not a happy camper to have to stop my run early. Tried to run Monday and only got 1 mile in before pain started. So I had to take rest days on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tough. I was going to try to Stairmaster or Elliptical, but was advised to try to rest it as much as possible. I DID PASS 850 miles run for the year!! At the end of this week I was at 862 miles. Woo! Bring on my goal of 1,000 miles run in 2013!

Thursday, September 19: 3-Mile Run


Friday, September 20: 2-Mile Run


Saturday, September 21: VERT Race Series Big Bad Wolf 5-Mile Trail Run


Sunday, September 22: 11-Mile Run


Monday, September 23: 1-Mile Run and 53-Min Spin Class



Tuesday, September 24: REST DAY


Wednesday, September 25: REST DAY


I am praying it is okay this weekend with back to back half marathons. Here's hoping rest and foam rolling was the trick!

Weekly Workout Wind Up (9/5-11/13)

In a rare (and much needed ) turn of events, I had two rest days this week. I think my body was appreciative of the extra downtime. There are many people that say you can overtrain and I am really trying to avoid that. So I think this week happens to be a lower mileage week in the #DopeyChallenge training and it is coming at the right time. I am really hoping that after this week, I can start adding the variety back in to my workouts that I had earlier in the summer. But between work, blogging and life I haven't had time to add the variety recently.

Hi Excuses! My name is Dani.

But as my schedule changes at work, I need to get creative to add in the runs I need plus some other fun stuff.

I will make it work!!

Plus, I think I am going to get a bike trainer for the fall/winter since we all know the bike is my weakest part of the triathlon so I need to work extra hard at it this offseason.


Thursday, September 5: REST DAY


Friday, September 6: 8-Mile Run


Saturday, September 7: 6.3-Mile Run


Sunday, September 8: Women's Sprint Triathlon (1/2 Mile Swim, 12 Mile Bike, 5k Run)


Monday, September 9: 4-Mile Run and 50-Min Spin



Tuesday, September 10: REST DAY


Wednesday, September 11: 4-Mile Run



Bring on the Rock 'n' Roll Philly Half on Sunday! :)

Weekly Workout Wind Up (8/8-14/13)

The first full week of Dopey Training ended on Sunday so this week featured much more running than anything else. I am still working on keeping a good balance between running and cross training. I've found that my running is greatly improved by cross training - which I think everyone can agree on! :)  

Thursday, August 8: 2.2-Mile Run


Friday, August 9: 4.01-Mile Run


Saturday, August 10: 10-Mile Run


Sunday, August 11: 5-Mile Run


Monday, August 12: 5-Mile Run and 50-Minute Spin (plus walk to and from gym)



Tuesday, August 13: Harvard Stadium Stairs (25 sections) 


Wednesday, August 14: 5-Mile Run and 6.05 Mile Run (1-Mile Warmup, 6xHills, 1-Mile Cooldown)




Let the Dopey Challenge training continue! :P

Weekly Workout Wind Up (8/1-7/13)

Well the triathlon FINALLY happened!! YAY!! It was absolutely amazing to accomplish a feat I never thought I would. I decided to take a full REST DAY - okay I did a lot of walking around, but no workout - the day before the race and I think it was a great idea. I woke up Sunday feeling refreshed and ready to rock! :)  

Thursday, August 1: BRICK Workout (5.1-Mile Bike and 2-Mile Run)


Friday, August 2: 4-Mile Run


Saturday, August 3: REST DAY


Sunday, August 4: Boston Triathlon (Sprint)


Monday, August 5: 5-Mile Run and 45-Minute Spin



Tuesday, August 6: Harvard Stadium Stairs (25 sections) and 1,300-Meter Swim Session



Wednesday, August 7: 5-Mile Run and Session with Lindsey (Walk to & from gym, 35 min Stairmaster and 30 min Elliptical)



Let the Dopey Challenge training continue! :P

I may not PR again in 2013...

... and that okay with me. But why?

And how am I oddly okay with that?

In case you are new to my blog, I haven't always been a runner. In fact, for most of my life I loathed running and tried to avoid it at all costs.

I finally gave it a go in January 2005 and long story short: got hooked, made it from running 1/2 a mile to completing my first marathon in September 2006 then got injured and stopped running until probably 2010.

In December 2010, I got a herniated disc and had back surgery in January 2012. I was sidelined from running (just after picking it back up) until June 2011.

And then...

... I was hooked.

I started signing up for as many races as I could and as my body healed and the weight came off. It seemed as if I PR'ed race after race.

It quickly became an addiction - the sweet taste of a shiny PR at the end of a race was all I could think about.

But, I was out on a training run for the upcoming Dopey Challenge in January 2014...

(For those that don't know that is running 4 races in 4 days for a total of 48.6 miles in Disneyworld)


... I thought about my training plan. How I am now incorporating five races (four half marathons and one full marathon) into the plan.

(Who the heck ever saw that coming - that I would use a half or full marathon race as a training run!)

I realized I may or may not run those races at full speed because they are going to be training runs.

Will I see how I feel on those days? Sure.

Can I change my mind and go hard at any point in time? Of course.

But, now my goal isn't to get a new shiny PR each race out. It is thinking about the long-term prize: completing the Dopey Challenge and proudly wearing the six race medals it brings around my neck.

I need to re-frame and instead of looking in the short term - taking each race on their own - I need to look at the long term - how will this race get me closer to my goal.

It's weird for me to say that.

But for the girl who once struggled to run 1/2 a mile ... this is an un-freakin-believable post to write! :)


Have you had to re-frame your race goals to keep your eye on a long-term prize?

#TryChocoMilk Challenge

Okay okay okay ... so you're telling me I get to drink chocolate milk (low-fat still cool) after a workout and my performance will improve? SIGN ME UP!

#TryChocoMilk pledge badge 2 (1)

When I was at Fitbloggin last month, I met a couple of the wonderful ladies that work for Got Chocolate Milk's Team Refuel and they told me about a new challenge hitting the twitterverse-Facebookland-social media world.

Challenge? Social media?

Yup. I'm in. Please tell me more.

It's called the #TryChocoMilk pledge, which consists of 21 days of challenges. That's right folks a different challenge each day and you post a picture online using the hashtag.

So how does one sign up?

#TryChocoMilk how-to 2

Seems pretty simple, right? I think I can get behind this.

Will you join me? If you're interested then let's share the good part ... the 21 challenges.

TryChocoMilk challenges

Oh and did you see how the best part of this is that you get to have low-fat chocolate milk after each and every one? :)


I'm in!!

If you would like to follow my progress with the #TryChocoMilk pledge, you can find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook ... with Day 1 being today!!

So are you in???



PS I am a July finalist to make Got Chocolate Milk's ‪#‎TeamRefuel‬ again!! I am vying for $500 in sponsorship money and top notch training gear, along with the potential for free race entries to Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series and IRONMAN!!

Voting is today to August 9 at Midnight ET. Folks that love me can vote once a day (per device: phone, computer, etc).

Each vote also garners a $1 donation to the Challenged Athletes Foundation!

You can vote daily here.

THANKS!!! :)


5 Things Friday

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5 things that got me through today's sweaty 5-mile run

1. Mizuno #WaveSayonara Sneakers


These have truly changed my running the past few weeks...

2. Garmin 310XT

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This gadget allows me to feel in control of my run (since I check in on pace and distance), but it doesn't OWN my run! :)

3. TruMoo Low-Fat Chocolate Milk

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I think we all know I like to refuel after a workout with low-fat chocolate milk! ;)

Lowfat chocolate milk contains the right mix of carbs and protein scientifically shown to help refuel muscles. Chocolate milk helps restore muscles quickly to their peak potential.

4. X-1Audio Headphones

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I am currently OBSESSED with wearing my X-1 Audio  swimming headphones on my Team Refuel visor while running. It means I no longer have to wear my iPhone on my arm anymore and I feel free. :P


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I also can't start any workout without having a serving of ENERGYBits beforehand to give me a natural boost of energy!

For the best energy reboot, we recommend our ENERGYbits® algae tabs which are 100% spirulina algae. Spirulina’s nitric oxide opens up your blood vessels so you get instant access to all of its protein and 40 other nutritional goodies.

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My Makeshift Monday Morning Triathlon...

On Sunday while driving home from Suzi Storm's wedding in upstate New York, I was tracking my friend Tara from A Life Changing Journey OWN her first Half Ironman. At the same time, Krysten from The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail was ROCKING her first Triathlon. How could I not be pumped and inspired by all of that awesomness?

So what did I decide to do yesterday morning?

Attempt my own personal Sprint Triathlon at the gym.

On March 3, I somehow landed on the Boston Triathlon (Sprint Tri) website and registered for it (happens August 4). Don't remember, check this out to refresh your memory!

Training has been slow. I finally bought a bike on May 5, but getting the running-biking-swimming training schedule down has been tough. I am trying to train for the Sprint Tri (1/2 mile swim, 9 mile bike and 4 mile run) while also keeping up with training for a slew of half marathons, marathon and Dopey Challenge - which are all on the horizon.

But with all the awesomness that happened on Sunday, I woke up yesterday morning and committed to attempt to do this whole Sprint Tri at my Boston Sports Club location.

I didn't really want to tell anyone what I was going to attempt in case I failed. I confided in Dacia from Run. Ride. Repeat. since she is a non-judgmental cheerleader! :)

I made sure to get #PoweredByBits before embarking on this endeavour thanks to ENERGYbits!!

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I got to the gym about 10am dressed for the swim with a backpack of clothes for the bike/run.

Thankfully between google and my math degree I was able to figure out that I would need to swim 32 lengths of the pool or 16 laps in order to reach the 1/2 mile swim the Boston Triathlon has.

I popped my X-1 Audio waterproof headphones on the back of my goggles, started my timer and I was off. I was going for nice and even strokes and hoping not to go out too fast.

Boy did the music help keep me focused on the swim and on the correct lap number. :P

I finished the 32 lengths in 15:04.

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Can you tell I was excited?

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My arms felt GREAT! And I owe a huge thanks to my wife since the bathing suit, swim cap and goggles were all borrowed from her. :P

I quickly headed into the locker room to change for the bike.

It has been AGES since I used a regular gym bike...

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... since I normally get my bike on either outside with Roxie or in Spin class!

It was an awkward bike experience, but I was determined to finish the 9 miles on the bike no matter what.

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I definitely know the bike section will be better 1) in the moment, 2) with more practice and 3) on a more comfortable bike!

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My legs were feeling a little tired - I think from the awkward motion from the oversized bike ;) but I was ready to hit up the treadmill for the 4 mile run.

As I was running, I decided to keep myself at a nice 8:30 pace. I obviously was not doing this little experiment for time, but to prove to myself that I could.

But, as the run got to the 5k mark, my legs were feeling good so I started upping the pace a little each tenth of a mile. Because why not, right?

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I ended up with a 8:31 min/mile pace and I was A-ok with that!!

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I DID IT!! I successfully completed a swim-bike-run in that order and with minimal time in between each one.

I know the actual Sprint Tri will be a whole different experience, but boy did completing each distance within a 2-hour timeframe make me feel a tad more prepared!

I ended up finishing my challenge in 1:21:33.

At least now I have a jumping off point for the rest of my training. I have about 5 weeks before actual race day.

Now I need to work on getting outside and swimming in the open waters, bike on the street and put the sneakers on the pavement.

But for now, I will bask in my own awesomeness and inspire myself to get out and do more!