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Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

I had a little run in with this old flame today…

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(My gym doesn’t allow four legged friends, but how cute is this?)

For the first time in over a month I ran on the treadmill.
My goal was to give my body a much needed break from running until after Christmas, but I was feeling so stressed today that I hopped on the treadmill on the gym and did some sprinting. For me, there is no better release than a hard run. I only ran for about 15 minutes out of my 30 minute workout, but it felt great–just what the doctor ordered!

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I eluded to the fact that my life has changed basically in the blink of an eye. While I am very comfortable in my decision to leave my day job, I am sad to say that John and I have decided to end our relationship. We have been together for a very, very long time and we both believe it has run its course. He will be moving out in a few weeks and I will be staying in our apartment. I am very sad to lose my best friend, I am scared to be on my own, and I am unsure about what the future holds. It is comforting to know that we are ending mutually and that we will always love one another. I literally have no idea what is next for me and that is terrifying and exciting at the same time.

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I was not going to put in my two cents about the Hunger Diaries article “written” by Katie Drummond in this month’s edition of Marie Claire. I was going to leave it all to the eloquent reponses of Kath, Tina, Caitlin, Meghann, and Heather. Really, I was.

But then I got to thinking. And the more I thought about the out of context words and images that Drummond painted the more I got angry. Mostly, I’m angry because I was lucky enough to attend the Healthy Living Summit in August. I was able to meet awesomely amazing bloggers and blog readers who shared my common passion in living a healthy…and HAPPY life, with the word “happy” being emphasized. And if Katie Drummond did not walk herself right into the Healthy Living Summit with an agenda, then I’d like a better explanation of her words, because the positivity in those rooms could not be ignored.

I’m not saying that the issues that Drummond speaks about in the article don’t exist. ED’s are alive and real within this blogging community and I’m sure they have been triggered by blogs. Maybe we should be thankful to Drummond for drudging all of this to the forefront—it should NEVER be ignored. But I believe the we are all so outraged about this because Drummond’s article takes advantage of those extremely serious, life-threatening issues and uses them in a sensationalist manner, to gain readers. The hypocrisy cannot be ignored…flip the pages in Marie Claire and see airbrushed models, emaciated and pushing these images into the minds of our youth…something that we as bloggers work tirelessly to break.

So please, look at some of my favorite pictures from this year. I hope that you will see a HAPPY, healthy woman who gains strength and power from fitness and healthy foods. Since I started seesinglive in April, I have made new friends. I have had new experiences. And I have pushed myself to achieve things I never thought were possible. If that is wrong, Katie Drummond, then I don’t want to be right.  

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The end of the week is always the busiest time for me and it is tough to get a few spare minutes to blog so here is just a quick catch up in pictures…

I watched as Caitlin and Operation Beautiful made their television debut..

And in honor of this, I posted my first Operation Beautiful note on the mirror at my gym

This was completely liberating and I felt very mysterious…you don’t really know who will see this or how it will have an effect on that person. I can’t wait to post more in random places!

I was also busy drinking green monsters in Brewtus beer glasses

Adding blueberries gives my smoothie the prettiest little speckles of color. Hey, it’s the little things I appreciate!

And then this morning, after working for 14 1/2 hours yesterday, after truly believing my foot was fractured on Monday, and after NOT swimming since my last triathlon on July 17, I finished my second sprint tri. When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea if I competed, based on my feelings of exhaustion and unpreparedness alone. I went back and forth with my mom and best friend for about 30 minutes then finally decided that I would be more disappointed if I didn’t at least give it a TRI, and I did.

I was feeling compelled to get my butt up there largely based on the fact that my Chamber was co-sponsoring this event and I have been working on it from its inception–this was in inaugural year!

Unlike my first tri, I had a much harder time with the swim and the bike and I felt like I flew through the run, in spite of the ridiculous hills.

Here I am coming out of the water. I just could not get into a good rhythm today. But I survived and was on my way to the killer bike portion…

My mom was with me, to take unflattering pictures, of course. 🙂

I was so happy to get off that damn bicycle, no words can describe. I had a delightful 73 year old man pass me on the ride—which is great for your spirits as you are peddling as fast as your legs can take you. This guy was actually awesome and I hope that when I am his age I’m still kicking butt, too. (I did pass him on the run, I wasn’t about to let him beat me in the final time!).

Here I com, trudging up the last hill. This 5K course was VERY hilly, but I flew up and down them, just wanting to be crossed over that finish line.

I really feel like the key to these races is “one at a time”, that was my mantra the whole race. I just kept saying to myself “swim to one buoy at a time”, “peddle up one hill at a time”, “climb one hill at a time”, and before I knew it–I was finished. This mentality got me through.

BFF Alaina and I under the refreshment tent. She is the ultimate athlete and best friend! Seriously, she kicked the tri’s ass. As I was just getting into the run she was already almost over the finish line.

And now, I’m spent. I have to work tonight at 4, so I am doing my best to keep moving so I don’t lay down and not want to get back up. Does anyone else have stomach issues after long races? A few times I’ve felt like I was going to puke and my stomach is NOT happy.

It is a beautiful day here with the sun shining and the hot weather and humidity finally breaking. I hope everyone else is taking advantage of it!

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Lane 10K

Yesterday I competed in the hardest, most grueling, and hilly race I am sure I will ever  compete it. It was 6.2 miles of steep, sharp inclines. It was a beautiful course–on the backside of a lake, but it was very poorly staffed, with only two water stations in horrible places.

My running partner, Yvette, and I knew that we were in for a tough race, but I never imagined it would be as hard as it was. I am very proud of myself for finishing, but disappointed that I had a stop and walk for a bit on a few of the hills. I still finished in about 60 minutes. I found out later that at one point this race had been ranked the hardest 10K course in the state of New York!
Here we are after the race–smiling now because we just rehydrated with a beer and some orange slices. Yvette won a medal for her age category!

After the race John and I spent the entire day helping my day put a new carpet on his boat. John, my dad, and my dad’s friend Joe did most of the hard work, but i was in charge of important things like picking up screws, getting cold beer for everyone, and running errands at the hardware store. Luckily I had my wing man to help out…
This is how Charlie rides in the car when the weather is nice–back feet on your lap, front feet on the ledge of the door, ears blowing in the wind. He loves it!

After a day of hard work and a turkey dinner, John and I got back home at 8:30 and I was completely exhausted. I fell asleep with no effort at all but I have been awake since 3 AM–some kind of insomnia is happening to me! In addition to hardly sleeping, I’m headed off to get an XRay of my foot, I’m worried that I have some kind of stress fracture. I can’t put any pressure at all on the ball, and can only walk using the outside. So please, wish me luck, because I can’t function without exercise and I am on my feet all night long waitressing!

I had a Green Monster this morning–trying to start the day out in a positive fashion!
Milk, banana, small scoop of peanut butter, cinnamon, and unsweetened coconut

Have you ever broken any bones? If my foot is fractured, it will be my first.

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I Did It!

I’m a triathlete!

I woke up Saturday morning and I really wasn’t sure if I could do it. I thought of every excuse in the book…complete exhaustion, sore knee from being on my feet all day long, total and utter fear…but I took a few deep breathes, said a quick prayer, and got out of bed.

After breakfast, packing and triple checking to make sure I had everything I needed for transitions, my mom and I headed to registration.

There were two major perks that helped drag me out of bed race morning—I was on my home turf and knew people would be cheering for me the whole time and my best friend Alaina was on her way to compete as well. I wasn’t about to let her down!
Registration was quick and painless (especially since I knew every volunteer and they were all offering me kind words because I was so visibly NERVOUS). I was lucky enough to have both my mom and dad as my personal race butlers–my mom helped me at T1 and was there at the finish, and my dad was responsible for my bike and water at T2, they made it so easy and it was nice knowing that they were there.

Alaina and I set up our first transition then made our way down the hill to the beach.
Even though the lake looks gorgeous, I was pretty much freaking out at this point. Alaina and I started much closer to the back than the front. We joked our way through the agonizing minutes until the start and it helped calm my out of control nerves. When the horn sounded, Alaina took off! I was so impressed with the way she fearlessly maneuvered her way through the crowd, but it wasn’t long until I was so focused on getting into a rhythm that I lost sight of her.

I am so proud of myself in retrospect with the way I handled the swim. I was definitely the most nervous about this portion of the race, as it is clearly the most immediately dangerous. I never panicked, I never lost focus…I just swam. I didn’t get kicked  or swam over (I was far enough to the back so we were all pretty spaced out), but a few times I was touch by a hand or foot. Oddly enough, it was comforting to know that there were people around me so the seamonsters did get me!

Before I knew it, I was coming out of the water and it was over. I finished the swim in 22 minutes–I consider this a huge accomplishment!

Next up was the bike. I knew the 12 mile course is very hilly and if you have been following, you know that the bike was the leg I trained for the least—in fact, I borrowed a bike RACE MORNING. I decided that borrowing a very nice, new mountain bike with a girl seat made me feel much safer than riding my Uncle’s road bike with the gears that changed by my knees. Safety and comfort were my main priorities.

T1 was quick and before I knew it, I was peddling away. Right away, cyclists with road bikes were passing me. I was a bit bummed, but about 4 miles into the race, my endurance kicked in. I was conquering hills with gusto. I was picking people in front of me and trying to catch up and pass them. And while I only passed two people, no one passed me after mile 4. Before I knew it, the bike was over, and I was so incredibly happy to get my feet back on the ground!

My dad was at T2 to cheer me on, and I was quickly on my way for the run. I was the most confident in the run, but it was definitely the hardest leg. My legs were like lead and the sun was beating down. The course was mostly down hill and I still managed the pass about 10 people. After 3 grueling miles, I crossed the finish line!

That’s me in the blue with about 20 meters until the finish line.

I was greeted by my mom and a few friends. I was feeling very accomplished, but I was feeling more like I was going to puke than anything. I gobbled up some orange slices, gatorade, and water and regained my footing a bit. My overall time was 1:40–much faster than I anticipated! I won’t know my split times until Thursday.

I found connected with this lady in the crowd–she finished in 1:23, she killed it!
I think that I am most proud of the fact that I never felt like I needed to give up. I never felt so physically taxed or exhausted that I had wanted to stop and quit. I thought I was unprepared, but I wasn’t. And it was such a relief.

The rest of Saturday was spent on my mom’s couch. After the race I was out of it…I wasn’t hungry, my stomach was upset, and I couldn’t even nap. I showered and just laid motionless for about 4 hours. I wasn’t even sore! I eventually made my way back to Johnstown and watched a movie with John. I say “watched”, but I really slept through most of it. I slept like a rock that night!

Yesterday was spent on the boat with my dad and visiting with family. It was my goal to take a walk to stretch my muscles, but I ended up just relaxing.

Today I cleaned, relaxed, and took care of some paperwork/errands. I took the day off from work, which was pretty awesome–I love three day weekends! I have another busy, busy week, but only 4 work days make it so much better.

When was the last time you surprised yourself? Completing my first 15k and triathlon in a 6 day span really has me on a high. I’ve never felt more confident and more like I can accomplish anything. I knew I was strong, but was completely surprised by my level of endurance and strength in my body.

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Hello There! I’m back. I’ve been missing because of my ridiculously busy life for the past week, but here I am with plenty to share.

Today I completed the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY–they biggest 15k in the country–and boy, it was BIG! This is the farthest distance I have run to date, and I am feeling pretty proud of myself, but more on that shortly.

Yesterday morning, my partner in racing Yvette and I drove to Utica (about an hour from my hometown) to pick up our packets for the race. We left at about 6:45 because we had to be back by 11 to attend a memorial service for a friend of both of our families. The packet pick up and expo had me VERY excited for the race, especially when I recognized Ashley, as we were browsing the same booth at the Expo! I am so excited to meet a blog celebrity, especially one that I read frequently. She was so sweet and took the time to chat with me for a few minutes and snap a picture with her camera (of course I left mine in my car!)
From there, Yvette and I rushed back home to attend the memorial and then I took a nice, wonderful, fabulous 3 hour nap on my mom’s couch. It was everything I hoped for and more.
At around 5:00 I got myself organized and got ready for an evening wedding of a close family friend. DeAnna and her daughter Cassandra have been friends of my family for years and I can remember Cassandra’s 1st Birthday party! Time flies, and now she is in high school, all grown up, and beautiful. DeAnna married Todd yesterday at a beautiful location right on the water. It was gorgeous and lots of fun. But before the wedding I scarfed some pasta with butter—my childhood favorite meal—to carb up for the race today. I knew that the wedding would be mostly appetizers and I wanted to guarantee I had a good meal

Cute, no?

Cassandra walking down the aisle before her mom.
DeAnna walking down the aisle with both of her parents.
My date, my mom and I at the reception.
Yvette and I enjoying our ONLY drink of the night because of the big race this morning.
We left the wedding around 9:00 and made our way to ANOTHER family party that we both had to attend. This was an extension of the memorial service earlier in the day in the form of a big bash on the beach with fireworks and music. I only stayed for about an hour because I knew that 5:30 am would come quickly and I needed to rest my body so I could be fully prepared for the race today.
There is nothing like fireworks on the beach on a hot summer night!
My good friends Luke and Mike play music together. They are incredibly talented and I love listening to them. This beach house is right on the lake and I think the acoustics of the water made them sound even better than usual.

So, the race. My morning started at 5:00 am. I quickly changed and gathered my gear that I had laid out the night before. I packed a pb sandwich for the ride and a few granola bars and I met Yvette at her house at 5:30. We arrived in Utica at around 6:45, and thank goodness we did because we waited in line for the portapotties for probably 45 minutes. My nerves were building, but my adrenaline was rushing and I was feeling very ready for the race ahead. Did I mention there were 13,000 runners today? Yes, Thirteen Thousand. Ridiculous. While we were waiting for the race to start we were feeling very claustrophobic, so when the alarm sounded and we started to move I was thankful. It took about 5 minutes to cross over the start line and for a while I felt like cattle being herded. When I finally had some space, I felt much more comfortable.
I was aware that this course was hilly, and I knew about the first two, grueling hills and was prepared. Mile 4 is pretty much all up hill through a golf course and I flew up it and even faster down it. That was the second hill, so when I was at the bottom and on flat ground again I thought the hills had past–boy was I wrong. Mile 6 was by far the most difficult part of the course with a gradual, long hill that is about a mile long. My legs felt heavy and I lost some steam, but the thought of stopping never crossed my mind. Yvette and I were separated, but at around mile 7 she found me and we were able to finish together! I absolutely loved that this race had bands or dj’s every half mile and that they crowds cheering you on were huge. Water station were very frequent, but I found my new favorite race treat–freeze pops! People in the crowds were giving freeze pops to the runners and I had three during the course of the race. The cold, icy pops are refreshing and the sugar gives you a burst of energy. I was in heaven! The only real complaint I have about the race today was that after we made it through the chute at the finish, we walked for about 4 tenths of a mile before any water was to be found. I asked a volunteer where water was and she snapped back at the to keep moving. Finally we found some Vitamin water because I was starting to feel a bit faint.
In case you didn’t know, the Boilermaker ends with a HUGE party at the Matt Brewery with free beer and live bands. It was pretty much heaven. I had a few cups of Saranac Pomegranate Wheat beer, enjoyed my free lunch, and listened to great music. The crowd was dancing and loving life! Yvette and I both said we will definitely do this race next year. I’m still unsure of my time since there was such a delay crossing the start line, but I am confident it was under 1:30, which is all I was shooting for. I’ll search the website tomorrow to see if the times are posted yet. I left my camera at the car, but here is one shot of us getting back in the car after taking the shuttle bus back to the start area after the party
The hour ride home was a bit torturous. My legs started to cramp up and my stomach started to feel a bit off, but it was nothing that a shower and quick nap couldn’t fix.

I left my moms and was happy to get back to John and the apartment. We went to a BBQ at his Aunt’s house and I spent some time after visiting with my friend Jess.

I’m about to watch an episode or two of Alias on my computer in bed and zonk out–I am so exhausted. I found the first two season’s of Alias on dvd at my mom’s and I’m loving watching them. It was my favorite show when it was on tv and I was pretty devastated when it got cancelled! Jennifer Garner is my girl crush…just sayin’!

Do you have any shows that you wish you could bring back to primetime that got axed?

I also feel that way about Veronica Mars!

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I know I mention often that I work two jobs—a pr/marketing/office day job and a two-three night a week waitressing job. Most days I can push through the long hours without any trouble at all. Last night was a different story. I worked from 9:00 am until midnight last and I was flat out running my butt off while waitressing last night. And it defeated me this morning.

I got up around 7:00 to get in my 8 mile run before John and I head to my Dad’s for a weekend of boating and fun. My plan was to do 4 miles around the bridle path  and then 4 miles on a greenway. I managed to do ONE LAP around the bridle path and my knee was SCREAMING at me to stop. Being on my feet and working my butt off all night last night and not getting enough rest in pretty much defeated my run this morning. I think it is important to listen to what my body is saying, and as much as I wanted to accomplish 8 miles, a distance I have yet to reach, I knew I needed to rest it.

So I walked home, hopped in the car and went to the gym. I did 45 minutes on the elliptical, which is much, much less stress on this knee of mine.

I don’t feel bad about this because I was in SO much pain just running a 1/2 mile. I just have to rearrange my schedule a bit when at home to get 8 miles in.

Sometimes I think about how much stronger a runner I would be if this knee didn’t cause me so much pain. But, thats life! And I have to work on healing this injury, while still staying as active as I like to be.

I am just about to get ready to head to the Lake for the weekend. It is my FAVORITE place to be, and the BEST time of the year to be there. I plan to enjoy two days of boating in beautiful weather, bbqing, and drinking adult beverages with friends and family! Enjoy the 4th and I will be back with some great pics tomorrow!

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