Posts Tagged ‘running’

The Jacket

The reward. The reason. The 2012 goal.

I finish five Millennium Running races and I get the very first Millennium Running Series jacket. I signed up in December for the Shamrock Shuffle ,

the Rifest Five Miler,

the Millennium Mile 5K,

and the NH Ten Miler and Santa Claus Shuffle.

Three down two to go, but my most challenging one is just ahead.

I never thought I could comfortably run five miles, and here it is a year later and I have three under my belt, but ten! Ten, that’s almost a half marathon. That’s probably, at least, two hours of running. It will definitely be a test of my mental limits, but if I thought I could do it back in December than I must’ve known something then that I don’t remember now. I must’ve been much more brave.

Whatever the case, when I finish this series, I am wearing that jacket to bed.

Three miles tonight and some weight training– arms.

Shower, wine, bed.


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Dinner tonight, while inappropriately warm for a summer evening, was perfectly simple.

15-Minute Vegetarian Chili! (Source)


1 tsp canola oil
1 clove medium garlic, minced
14 1/2 oz stewed tomatoes
15 oz canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 1/4 oz canned yellow corn, drained
15 oz canned tomato sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried regano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 Tbsp low fat shredded Cheddar cheese, sharp


  • Heat oil in a large, nonstick, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, onion and pepper; stir well.
  • Increase heat to high and bring chili to a boil; cook, stirring frequently, until chili is thick and flavors are concentrated, about 5 minutes. Spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with cheese. Yields about 1 1/4 cups chili and 1 tablespoon cheese per serving.
This chili was delicious with just the right amount of kick for me and Dan, but you could always add more chili powder or a little hot sauce if you really want to spice things up. Give it a try and let me know what you think.


So, last night I almost didn’t go for that four mile run. I definitely would’ve missed out on twenty seconds of bliss.

You’re thinking, ‘what is she talking about?’

I can only describe it as running bliss. My body was on complete autopilot. My arms and legs moved together in stride. My foot strikes perfectly on the treadmill belt. Everything worked the way nature intended. My lungs inflated and deflated in perfect time, filling my body and brain with the perfect amount of oxygen and releasing all the carbon dioxide. I followed my breath until the music coming through my headphones faded to a faint thump, like a heartbeat.

And then came the euphoric feeling of my mind being completely freed.

Free of the anxiousness of wanting to be home. Free of the stress of the day. Free of thoughts of the past and the future. Free of everything, my mind was just open and observant of my physical state.

Runner’s high? Brief meditation? Whatever it was it only lasted about twenty seconds and then it was gone. I feel like a runner now, because I would do anything to get that feeling back.

It’s taken over four years to find that one little spark. I’d love to hear from other runners or meditators even– what was it like the first time you felt that, I can only describe it as, oneness?


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“Easy” Four

Training is going really, shockingly, well in the last two weeks. Last week, I committed to all three of my training runs including Saturday’s five miler, my first since the Manchester Marathon relay.

So far in 2012 I have run a total of 32.85 miles!

I’ve pretty much been living by this mantra that I found on Pinterest. Only two weeks before I will start seeing a difference in my body! Happily, I’ve already begun feeling the difference in my runs.

Today, for instance, I almost chickened out of my run, I’ve just been so stressed out with life, etc., etc. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and say ‘eff’ it!’ But I didn’t. I went to the gym and I ran four miles. No walking. It was a slow run, but it felt good, and right now I feel so amazing! It’s weird.

An hour and a half ago I lamented and now I’m optimistic again. It’s funny how pushing your body and being physical can change your entire outlook in minutes.

Blah! Enough of that!

I hope that you’ve had a good day and a good start to the week. Have you set any goals for yourself? How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

It’s time for a stretch and a shower, then off to bed. Hopefully, I’ll make it through a few pages of The Cider House Rules (YES! I’m still reading it!) before I fall asleep.


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1. As usual, I have only seen one of the Academy Award nominated movies this year. I saw The Help and it was very good. It definitely blew away my low expectations of novel to film adaptations.

Yes, there are lots of bathroom breaks.

2. I get my daily water intake by drinking two Nalgene bottles of water per day.

3. It’s taking me forever to get through The Cider House Rules. Is it wrong that I don’t really care about the orphan called Homer Wells? But! I’m not a quitter and I will see it to the end. I can’t wait to be finished with it.

4. I’m really looking forward to beginning my “Year of Reading Classics.” I”ll begin with Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy and I’ve already created a pretty good sized list that I will share at the kick off. If I ever get through The Cider House Rules. Only 183 pages to go! Seriously, why is it taking me so long?

5. Tuesdays are animal shelter day for me. Almost every Tuesday I volunteer at the Manchester Animal Shelter updating the Petfinder page. I get to meet some really special animals who are waiting for their forever homes, like Roscoe, who is very sweet and loves attention and being pet. Roscoe even loves his next door neighbor, Max. He and Max talk to each other all of the time, it’s so cute. I also hang out with some of the most loving and generous people. It’s a pretty great gig.

Elliptical workout for beginners

6. I don’t understand the elliptical, and I never feel like I get a good workout when I use one at the gym. Today, I found a workout that I’m going to try for run recovery days, in the name of consistency.

7. While we’re on the subject of running I should tell you, I still don’t really consider myself a runner, because I don’t like running. Whether I’m on the treadmill or in the midst of a race, I’m never in love with a run. I do have good runs, not-so-good runs, great runs, and bad runs, sure. It’s all about attitude, but primarily, I run because I know it’s good for me, it gets me moving, and it’s a challenge. Second, and mostly, I enjoy the post-run endorphin rush which is also the joy of knowing that I’ve accomplished something physical for the day.


8. Currently, I’m obsessed with the musical stylings of Gotye and Muddy Waters.

9. My best friend from childhood is getting married next fall and I’m already on the hunt for the perfect guest dress. I’m thinking something like these because I like the shape, the hemline,  and I’m a sucker for a floral pattern.



10. I always write down random quotes from life that I find hilarious. Like this one from Dan back in 2009.

Dan was cleaning out the fish tank, he uses a tube to drain it, but first has to suck all the air out of the tube to get the water started. Not a moment later he tried to give me a kiss. I refused and, after a little bit of ragging on him, I got my quote. It’s been taped on the computer for almost three years now. What otherwise would’ve been a mundane moment is now one of those things I’ll never forget.

Dan even got in on the action. The Post-It is one of quotes from a couple of weeks ago. It says, “Ahhhh… It’s drooping too far!  Swirl, swirl, spin!” I was painting the inside of a bottle.

When I was a kid I used to keep a shoe box full of the funny things my brothers said. I’ve long since lost that box but I remember one in particular, but that might be another story.

So there you have it! My first ten random things Tuesday, and my 85th post!

So, what are ten random things about you? I can’t wait to hear them.


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Most people know that I’m pretty obsessed with nail polish (lacquer). I have been since I was kid. This Christmas my best friend, Megs, was so generous as to gift me with the year’s hottest trend in nail polish: Shatter polish. I’ve been a bit weary of the trend, because I don’t understand why someone would want to ruin a perfectly good manicure, but I was still really curious and more than happy to receive OPI’s Gold and Pink Shatters.

First I tried Gold Shatter over OPI’s Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window. The following picture isn’t great, and were taken before I cleaned up the sides and cuticles, so bare with it.

There was a bit of a learning curve  as to how much to apply. As you can see with the pinky, I put a bit too much on and didn’t  get the full effect.

Today I tried the Pink Shatter over OPI’s My Private Jet (MPJ). First, let me say I am not impressed with the new formula  of MPJ. It’s lost all of it’s holographic properties and is bland and disappointing. It’s going to be a chore, but I will find the original 2007 formula, because it was definitely my favorite OPI color.

Second, I love the Pink Shatter compared to the Gold.

Over MPJ, the Shatter took on a more magenta color than the vivd pink in the bottle. I also found that with the Pink Shatter I needed a little more polish on my brush than the Gold Shatter, so, again, there was a little bit of a learning curve. Overall, I’m not in love with the Shatters.


I like nail designs like the half moon and variations, but the Shatters still seem just a bit sloppy to me. I think I will play with them a little more  and find color combos that could be staples, but this look definitely is a little more work: two coats of polish fully dried then a coat of Shatter and then a high gloss top coat, then more drying time.

I do want to thank Megs for sponsoring this post with her very thoughtful gift. I do love experimenting!

In training news, I ran 2.5 miles today at 26:50. I was disappointed with my time, but then I told myself to stop whining because 2.5 miles at 26:50 is better than zero miles at any time. I have yet to have a consistent week, so I’m hoping this will be the start. (I think I can, I think I can.)

I’ve also been having trouble with my running shoes. You might remember a while back that I was looking for the right shoes. (Here) Well, I never did update that I got a pair of men’s Saucony’s, and at first they were just okay, but since breaking them in, I still have trouble. My left foot still falls asleep at about the two mile point and today I noticed considerable ankle pain. I don’t know how many more miles I will put on these sneaks. They’re just not “the ones.”

Alright then. I hope everyone had a good weekend, and swell Monday! I’m off to shower and snuggle up in bed.


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Today I embarked on my first interval training session or speed workout, as they are also known. I found the workout on a running/lifestyle blog called Healthy Tipping Point. (You can find the specific post here.) I modified the workout for my running capability and so that it was just a speed work out. I left out the hills for now. So, my workout looked more like this:

2 Minute warm up at 5 mph

1 Minute at 6 mph
30 Seconds at 6.2 mph
1 Minute at 6 mph
30 Seconds at 6.5 mph
1 Minute at 6 mph
Repeat 5 times

This was an excellent workout, and the time really did go by quickly.

To keep track of which rep I was on I brought five hair elastics with me and put them in one cup holder and as I finished a rep I transferred an elastic into the other cup holder. That seemed to work out pretty well.

The only trouble I had was keeping my instruction sheet on the treadmill. It kept flying away, and ended up between two treadmills on my last rep. Luckily, I memorized the workout by then, but next time I’ll write it on a POST IT so that it sticks and doesn’t abandon me.

This workout also yielded me my fastest two mile run EVER! 18 minutes and 46 seconds. I hope to continue increasing my pace over the next few weeks, so I’ll definitely make this workout a once a week thing.

Well, it’s been a very long short week, so i”m going to snuggle up in bed with The Cider House Rules until I drift to sleep. I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!


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Two miles in 19 minutes and 54 seconds. I’m getting ballsier in my runs, pushing my speed and keeping my speed up when my silly mind tells me I should walk. My willpower is getting stronger, even after a two week break from running. It’s exciting that I know I can make it through two miles. There’s no excuse to not run at least two miles on any given day.

So, this is what empowerment feels like, because I remember the day when the Couch to 5K program read two miles. I was nervous and afraid. I wasn’t afraid of the run, I was afraid I would quit at a mile and half. I was afraid of myself. Not anymore, not at two miles.

As much as I detest running, and I do, this is why I’m addicted to it. It’s the little triumphs, like knowing that, for the rest of my life, I will never again shrink back from a two mile run.

I hope your first workout of the year went well, and if it didn’t then keep going and don’t let it get in the way of your goal, because your little triumph is waiting for you.


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