Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

There's something about a short week following a holiday weekend that makes it seem like both the best and worst week ever. On the one hand, a 4-day work week is nothing to complain about - you're that much closer to the awesomeness of the weekend. On the other hand, a shorter week doesn't necessarily mean you have less to get done - just a shorter amount of time to accomplish it all. Yikes.

1. It is HOT in the Boston area today, and the heat/sunshine is supposed to continue through the weekend. I'm not complaining, especially after all the rain, but for someone who turns into a puddle of I-don't-wanna-do-anything in the heat, I'm curious to see how the next few days go.

2.  The Bruins play [finally] on Saturday! Can. Not. Wait.

3. A friend of mine awhile back told me to sign up for Groop Dealz. It's similar to Groupon/Living Social with the discount newsletter aspect, but the items are totally Etsy-esque and adorable - jewelry, home goods, clothing, etc. Today I fell in love with these cute arrow pillows and may need to purchase a couple. Where I would actually put them, I don't know.

(Side note for you Boston folks, there's a $10 for $20 Pinkberry deal on CBS Local Offers right now. I snatched up a couple of those babies pretty quickly!)

 4. Sunday I'm lucky enough to be headed to see Luke Bryan in concert at the Comcast Center with Florida Georgia Line, the first of many country concerts this season. I'm super bummed that Thompson Square is no longer performing due to vocal illness, but am still excited for the show. It doesn't hurt that Luke is pretty darn easy on the eyes. He's my perfect combination of hockey-player-meets-country-music. I melt.

5. You know that feeling when you're totally in love with a song, you stop playing it because you've already listened to it 10,000,000x, forget about it and suddenly it pops back into your life?! That happened to me yesterday in Spin when Save Me San Francisco was on our playlist. SCORE. I heart Train.

What are your favorite ways to handle the heat?
Early AM workouts, flip flops, country music, iced coffee/tea and sundresses for the win!

Old song(s) you rediscovered recently?
Train - Save Me San Francisco and T-Pain - Church (both great workout songs)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Graduation Weekend & A Smoothie Recipe

Per usual, I was a shell of a human being when I returned to Boston last night after a weekend home to celebrate my little sister's high school graduation. I accepted a long time ago that my weekends in western MA typically leave me drained, so I'm in constant go-go-go mode until I start to unwind on the drive back.

It was a great weekend with family and friends and, as predicted, I did tear up on multiple occasions thinking about how this little peanut managed to grow up and graduate from high school already. I am so proud to be her big sister.

I could have done without the rain that graced us with it's presence this weekend, but thankfully Sunday was not as bad as expected weather-wise - just a little cold for Memorial Day. We still enjoyed spending time outside celebrating Em's accomplishments with guests, complete with a campfire, s'mores and a favorite family tradition - wiffle ball.

I was able to unpack last night after the drive back and relax for the evening, complete with live tweeting through the awesome premiere of the train wreck we know and love - the Bachelorette. I know, I know. Not everyone jumps on board. But honestly, after you get over the staged drama, absurd outfits and ridiculous conversations, I swear it's entertaining.

This morning I jump-started my short week with 6am Spin class. I'm really starting to enjoy morning Spin - it has the benefits of getting a workout done and over with early on in your day, boosting your energy and metabolism and since you have someone telling you what to do, it's harder to slack off. Since my focus for the next several weeks is on building strength and cross-training to try and end this lack-of-running-streak, I'm hoping Spin a couple of days a week will help.

I've been on a smoothie kick lately. For awhile I never respected smoothies, simply because the ones I tried or made mainly consisted of fruit and juice. Tastes yummy, but for someone who's hungry all the time it really didn't do much in the keep-me-from-eating-my-arm-before-noon department. 

Recently I've been more adventurous with my smoothie ingredients and found some experimental recipes I've liked. This morning was a chocolate strawberry concoction that I thought tasted pretty delightful. Feel free to give it a try - tweak as you'd like, and let me know if you have any other recipes you swear by!

Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie
1/2 C steel cut oats
1/2 C plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
3-4 large strawberries
3-4 ice cubes
3/4 tsp cocoa powder (chocolate protein powder if you have it)
Handful fresh spinach
1/2 C water

Add a drizzle of honey if you want it a bit sweeter

Pulse in your blender and enjoy!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Clearly I've dropped the ball on posting regularly. My apologies, but this whole lack-of-running thing has my game all kinds of thrown off. I promise to be better, especially since this blog has been a dream of mine for awhile. Forgive me?

As a reader, some of my favorite blog posts have come in the form of random musings and interesting tidbits. Since I've struggled to come up with content lately and experienced writer's block more often than not, I've decided to implement Thursday Thoughts as a gateway into whatever randomness I feel like posting. This could include thoughts, recipes, favorite Pins, or whatever pops into my little head at the time. I know, you're welcome in advance.

1. My little sister is graduating from high school this weekend. WHAT?! How is it even possible that she's old enough to drive a car never mind go to college? Talk about making you feel old. There will be lots of tears, I can tell already.

Little sis at prom last weekend. How gorgeous is she?! Dad's
pretty good looking too.

2. I'm on a rice-cake-topped-with-peanut-butter-and-honey kick lately. Since rice cakes are approximately 35 calories, that totally justifies the excessive amounts of peanut butter and honey drizzle I top them with.

3. I participated in the Reach the Beach, MA relay last weekend with team Dude, Where's My Van? as the injured driver. SUCH a fun race that I cannot wait to be able to run next year. More blog posts on that coming up, scouts honor. 

Side note: I'm adding driving a 12 person passenger van and
van art to my skills on my resume and LinkedIn.

4. I went to my first Spin class Monday night. My bum seriously hurt the day after but I think I've successfully found a new way to not hate the bike, especially since I went to class #2 this morning. Sometimes you just need a dark room, loud music and someone to yell at you to work out.

5. One of my greatest pleasures as a runner is getting someone else excited about the sport. I love running, and if I can pass on some of that to someone else I think it's one of the greatest feelings in the world. I got this email this week from a friend of mine who I convinced to run Reach the Beach back in January and developed a training program for. It made my day.

I'm looking forward to a pedi date with one of my other favorite runners tonight and watching my favorite men in black and gold. GO BRUINS!

Have a wonderful Thursday!

P.S. I finally added C&P to Blog Lovin'. I'm still getting used to the platform so any suggestions, tips and tricks - toss them my way! You can follow here or by clicking the icon in the right hand column.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Thoughts of an Injured Runner

32 days.

That's how long it's been since I've run over 3 miles. During those 32 days I've run less than 10 miles total, and no more than 2.6 miles at a time.

I've taken the time off. I've iced. I've stretched. I've foam rolled. I'm even going to see a sports med doc - voluntarily. For someone who avoids doctors at pretty much all cost, that was a big decision.

We're slowly but surely uncovering the issues, what looks to be a combination of ITBS and runner's knee, and addressing them accordingly. I've had many a finger shaken at me for not stretching enough, not foam rolling enough and primarily for not incorporating enough strength training into my workouts.

My frustration at this point is in a lack of progress. Yes, baby steps have been made. Yes, I should be pleased that I did get in a 2.6 mile run, and that it takes longer for the pain to start than it did before. But there's still pain, and every time I run I'm all too aware of just how my knee feels with every step before the ache begins and almost immediately becomes too much to run through.

Ask nearly anyone I know and they will tell you that when it comes to patience, I have a whole heck of a lot of it. And I do - just not when it comes to my expectations for myself and my goals.

I follow a lot of awesome runners, and normally I eat up what they have to say via Twitter and their blogs as fast as possible. Instead, I've barely looked at Feedly in the past month and scroll past their tweets about gorgeous spring running weather, upcoming races and PRs.

It has become palpably painful to talk, read, or imagine running... and yet I do it anyways because it's become such a big part of my life and I want it back so badly.   

Watching the running community rally around each other post-Boston was awe-inspiring. It renewed my love for the sport and its athletes. And yet while everyone was all, "Let's run for Boston!", I felt like the little kid limping along behind saying, "Hey guys, wait for me!".

It's actually embarrassing at times how absurdly dramatic I feel, and yet the frustration and axiety feel all too real to push it away. Running is my outlet. I've achieved more than I ever thought possible through the sport and I've never felt happier with myself. I could talk about it for hours, and I don't think there are many better feelings than the accomplishment you feel after a hard long run or race, or introducing someone to running and watching them fall in love too.

Now? I see all these people out enjoying this gorgeous spring weather that has finally bestowed itself on Boston and it literally makes me cry with jealousy. No, but literally, I've cried in my car passing people out for a run. How's that for pathetic?

I know there's always more I could do. Maybe take a few weeks off entirely. Ice, foam roll or stretch it just a bit more often. Add swimming into my workouts to cross train, or commit to a stronger strength training regimen. What can I say? It's hard to commit to the unknown and stay positive when you're frustrated and feel helpless that it will get better. What if it doesn't?

Tonight marked PT appointment #5. The result? No running, at all, for a week. The combination of the harsh treatment and my trying too hard to get back to it is clearly not working well - so I get to rest. What I feel like I've been doing for the past month.

Each time I go I grind my teeth and temporarily stop breathing while my good friend Graston works out my IT and quad.

Each time I go I tell myself the pain will all be worth it and that maybe, just maybe, after I ice it and stretch for a day, I'll go out for another run and everything will be fine. I'm talking blue skies, rainbows, unicorns and running for miles and miles with no pain.

Unrealistic, yes, but I've got to hold onto something right?