Sunday, April 28, 2013

trying to ditch the negativity

This past week was full of ups and downs.  It started out great, but by mid week I had turned in to a cranky bitch because of my own stupid insecurities.  Thankfully this weekend I was able to get out of my own way and enjoy it.

Let's recap, shall we?

Monday was incredible.  #BostonStrongMilford was a complete success.  My friend Lindsey and I were so impressed by the number of people who came down to run/walk/cheer for Boston.  It was so much fun and I can't thank everyone enough.

If you're interested, here's a video that was on the website Milford Patch.

Also, here's an article that was in the local paper.  I guess it was the headline on the front page, but I haven't seen the actual paper yet.  Major apologies to PavementRunner, not sure why they thought you were a girl.

Oh, and pictures of course...

my American pug

Tuesday I was still riding a high from the night before.  I went for a 3 mile run in the morning and did a 3 mile hill workout in the afternoon.  I felt strong and confident.

Wednesday night I fell in to a funk while trying to find something to wear to dinner.  These fun little thoughts like to get in to my head that tell me I don't look good enough/I'm fat/nothing fits right and it becomes all I can focus on.  I've been fighting this battle with my mind and my body for over half my life and I can't seem to shake it completely.  I know it's ridiculous, and it doesn't get me anywhere but in a bad mood.  I have to keep working and keep fighting to turn my negative thoughts in to positive ones.

Thursday my plan was to run 10 miles.  I was looking forward to getting out and clearing my head.  Plus the weather was beautiful, so I was excited about spending some time outside. That morning I realized I was out of what I usually eat before a long run. So, I decided to go with an old standby, even though it hadn't been agreeing with me lately.  I had hoped it would be ok.  I was wrong.  So wrong.  It was awful.  I had no energy and felt like I could puke at any moment.  I wanted to curl up in to a ball on the pavement and cry.  The last couple of miles ended in a walk/run/please make it home haze.  I felt defeated.  I was angry and frustrated.

That afternoon I watched this interview with Lauren Fleshman.  It's a great interview.  I have to understand that everyone has bad days, and in the end they make you stronger.  Accepting your body and treating it well is so important and something I have to remind myself every day.    

I also saw this tweet Lauren posted, "The only guaranteed human freedom is out ability to choose the attitude we bring to any situation."  Girl crush?  Quite possibly.  It's funny how when you're not looking, sometimes you stumble upon exactly what you need.

Friday I listened to my body and my mind and gave myself a day off.  I was still feeling kind of off, so I crawled in to bed early and tried to get some sleep.

Saturday morning I decided to head up to the track for some speed work.  I ran 2 miles to warm up, did 8x400 and ran a mile to cool down. I guess rest was what I needed because I felt great. I'm really enjoying track workouts and am happy I finally got the confidence to try it out.  

The rest of the day was spent enjoying the sunshine with some drinks on the deck.

Bloody Saturday :)

This morning a couple of my friends who are training for the same half marathon next month (Boston's Run to Remember), where going for their 10 mile run, so I decided to join them to try to redeem myself.  It was everything I hoped for.  It was such a beautiful day for a run, and I had the best time running with friends.  I usually do my long runs during the week by myself, so it was a very welcomed change.

Ok, so this week has taught me a few things.  
1.  a bad run is not the end of the world.
2.  I need to stop being so hard on myself
3.  sometimes I just have to chill the F out.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

a run for Boston

I haven't had a whole lot to say this week in the wake of what happened on Monday.  It's been an emotional and intense week that I was happy to see come to an end.

Tomorrow, thanks to the incredible idea from Pavement Runner, over 100 cities will gather together and run for Boston.  I wanted so badly to be able to do something to support those effected by this horrific event.  So, following Pavement Runner's lead, I organized a run in my town of Milford, NH.

Tomorrow we will run "to unite and show our strength, for those that were unable to finish, for those that may never run again, and for us to try and make sense of the tragedy that has forever changed something we love."

I hope everyone has been finding ways to heal and move forward.  Seeing all the efforts of support and people coming together to get through this has been truly amazing.  In the words of David Ortiz, "this is our fucking city. And nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Say strong." 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston, you'll always be my home.

First of all I would just like to say how sad I am about what happened at the Boston marathon yesterday.  I am still in shock about the whole thing and will never understand how someone could be so cruel and do something so horrendous to so many innocent people.  A day that should have been an unforgettable one for the runners and their loved ones, who put so much dedication, effort, heart, soul, sweat and tears in to crossing the finish line of this now unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

I was at work yesterday and like many others was trying to follow along with this incredible event.  I wanted so badly to be there that day.  Last year I told myself, no matter what I would be there watching and cheering everyone on.  That plan changed when I started a new job a couple of months ago and felt like it was too soon to ask for a day off.  So, instead of being there in person, I tried to watch on TV and follow along on my phone as much as possible.  Once the leaders crossed the finish line and I returned from my lunch break, I figured I should try to pay more attention to my patients and my job and less on the TV.

I was riding such a high from the excitement of it all.  I again vowed that I would be there next year no matter what.  I couldn't miss another Boston marathon.

Then, at 3:20pm the unimaginable happened.  I got a text message from my boyfriend that said "explosions at the finish line of Boston marathon!!!"  I had to read it a couple of times before I could even comprehend what it said.  I quickly ran to a TV to turn on the news.  My heart sank.  I couldn't focus on anything else but the TV and what happened.  Sorry coworkers.  I immediately thought of everyone I knew who could have been there and those who live in the city.  Thankfully I was able to contact them all and find out they were ok.  I received texts and emails from friends and family asking if I was there.  My emotions were all over the place.  I felt this feeling of disbelief, shock, and sadness that I can't really put in to words.  I felt defeated.  How?  Why?  My heart still aches for those who put everything in to that race, and for those who's lives will now never be the same.  It's just not fair.  The finish line of the Boston marathon?!  Really?!  I hoped I would wake up and this would all be a bad dream...a nightmare. 

I drove home last night in a daze.  Still feeling on the verge of tears.  Still feeling empty and confused.  I wished so badly there was something I could do to help.  When I am feeling emotional, I run...or listen to Dave Matthews Band.  So, that's what I did.  I went for a run and listened.  I put on my marathon shirt, I laced up my sneakers and I ran.  I ran for those in Boston.

This morning I started my day watching the news, trying to make sense of it all.  I couldn't.  I still can't and I'm not sure I ever will.  As many other people have said, runners are such a tight knit group.  Whether we know each other personally or not, we get each other and we support one another.  It really is a bond like no other.  So, I feel like what happened yesterday is an attack on my friends and running family, which is why it has been so emotional for me.  On top of that, Boston is so close to my home, and a place I have called home.  It is currently the home to some of my closest friends and family.  My heart continues to break when I think of what happened.     

I grew up in New England.  I lived on the South Shore of Massachusetts until 6th grade and then moved to southern New Hampshire.  Boston was always a city I held close to my heart, and will always be.  I love it for reasons I can't even explain.  My mom and I used to take trips to Boston.  We'd stay in a hotel, eat our way around the city, walk from end to end, and go shopping.  It was always my favorite vacation.  It was a vacation many others could not understand because we only lived about an hour away.  

When I started running, the Boston marathon became something I would love to run, but was a dream I never saw as reality.  I have so much love for Boston, and being a runner, that would be the ultimate goal.  It was a goal that until yesterday... I didn't believe would ever be possible.  

Now, more than ever, I want to be there next year.  However, when I say I want to be there next year... I want to be as a runner and not a spectator.  I hope to run the Boston marathon in 2014 for all of those who were effected yesterday.  When I'm not sure what else to do, I run... and that is what I'm going to do.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

dark clouds may hang on me sometimes...

...but I'll work it out.

I think I should start by saying I have some major love for Dave Matthews Band (maybe obvious to some).  I have always found inspiration from the lyrics of their songs.  I can also relate to many of them.  They've helped me at times when nothing else could.  The title of this blog is a play on lyrics from one of their songs called I'll Back You Up.  The actual lyrics are:

"Do what you will, always
Walk were you like, your steps
Do as you please, I'll back you up"

I've always really liked those words, and when trying very hard to think up a name for this blog, I decided to one again to rely on their lyrics (I changed walk to run...I though it fit better).  Creativity is clearly not really a strong point for me.  The title for this post is also one of my favorite lines from their song Dancing Nancies.

"Dark clouds may hang on me sometimes, but I'll work it out"

I've had a lot of dark clouds stuck over my head throughout my life.  Some were self inflicted, some were not.  There was a point when I didn't think the darkness would ever go away.  I thought I'd be stuck under the cloud forever.  Thankfully I don't see things that way any more.  I am definitely not, and probably will never be, the happy-go-lucky type of person who always sees the bright side of a situation.  I have a lot of dark clouds that still hang over my head...but like the song says, I know I'll work it out somehow.

I even have this tattoo with yet another quote
from their song Cry Freedom...
"the future is no place, to place your better days"      
Ok, now that I have admitted my love for the band, I can move on to the actual point of this post.  On Sunday I ordered the Believe I Am training journal (, which arrived in my mailbox yesterday.  Keeping my head in the right place has always been a challenge for me.  Running has been going great lately, but the demons that like to tell me I'm not good enough, strong enough, fast enough, or thin enough like to make their way back in to my head all too often.  So, I thought I could use a little help from the inspirational messages and words provided in this unique journal.  It was created by two amazing running ladies, Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan.

When I opened in up I found a page folded up inside the cover.  It's called Ro and Lo's Map to Believe: Set, Stick to, Accomplish Your Goals.  With the risk of sounding completely cheesy, I think it's exactly what I needed right now.  Especially this:

Lots of negative thoughts holding me back

I am going to really think about this over the next few days and write down the thoughts that hold me back mentally and physically.  Since I started this blog as a way to open up and get my negative thoughts out, I think this is a good way to to that.  I have a lot of negative thoughts that need to be changed to ones I can believe in.  It's going to be hard, but I know it's for the best. 

Time to start kicking those demons out of my head for good.  Dark clouds still hang on me sometimes...but I'll work it out. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

that time I ran my first 10k

Sunday I ran the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter Run for Food and Shelter 10k.  After not racing at all last year, I had really been looking forward to safety pinning a number to my shirt again.  The morning of the race I was pretty nervous but excited.  My emotions were because I thought I could potentially do pretty well, but I was scared to admit it to anyone, even myself.  I assumed the number of people running would be pretty small, and I had been running faster than ever recently, so I was really curious to see what I could do.

seems like a good number 

I received this text from my favorite running friend that morning: 
"Good luck today! Have Fun!! Try running the second half feeling uncomfortable" 

I had been talking with her about how I wanted try to finish in under 50min.  She assured me that it was possible, and knew exactly what to say that morning.  It was the motivation and the strength I needed.

I decided to start near the front of pack.  There weren't too many people there, and I thought if I started up front it would be just the push I needed.  Butterflies were flying around in my stomach, but I was ready.  Get set.  Go! 

When I first started I knew I was running a little faster than I planned.  But I felt really good so I decided to go with it.  I have a horrible habit of starting too fast, so I expected it.  When my Garmin beeped at mile one I looked down to see 7:36.  Woah.  That is definitely the fastest mile I have ran.  Ever.  I felt great, but I knew I needed to slow down a bit. 

Mile 2. 8:00
Mile 3. 8:14

There was also a 5k that day and both races started at the same time.  Those running the 5k turned left to finish, as we who were running the 10k stayed straight for the 2nd half.  I had a small cheering group of my mom, brother, and boyfriend who I was very happy to see at the half way point.  Only 3.1 miles to go.

Mile 4. 8:01
Mile 5. 7:57

It was around this point that I really truly started to believe I can do this.  I had never pushed myself like this before and it felt amazing.  My legs were getting tired, but it was good tired.  My head was in the right place and I felt strong. 

It was also around this point that the course turned to the left and a strong head wind slapped me in the face.  And then there was a hill.  Thankfully, my house is surrounded by hills so I am no stranger to them.  They don't really bother me actually, but combined with the wind that felt like it was trying to push me backwards, it was not exactly the last mile I had hoped for.  But I kept pushing.  I was almost there and I definitely was not about to give up.       

Mile 6. 8:15.

I knew I was going to be close to 50min.  I could see the finish on my left and saw that there was just one more corner to turn.  As I went around I saw the clock, it was climbing towards 49min.  My legs were super tired at this point and my chest was burning from the cold wind.  I was so close.  I sprinted, or at least felt like I was sprinting.  I was staring at the clock thinking I did it.  

According to the results posted after the race I finished at 49:52 with an 8:01 average pace.  I also finished 2nd in my age group.  WHAT?!  I had to look a couple of times to make sure I was reading it correctly.  I couldn't believe it.  Sure, it was a small race, but I didn't care.  I did exactly what I wanted to do and I was so proud of myself.  

My new favorite medal! 

I am proud of myself.
Up next: Boston's Run to Remember Half Marathon May 26!    

Thursday, April 4, 2013

my best is not failing

On Sunday, I will be running my very first 10k race.  For some reason, I am very nervous, excited, and anxious.  I've never really felt nervous for a race before.  So, I'm not too sure what's different about this one.  However, I guess it probably has something to do with the fact that I've never raced anything shorter than a 1/2 marathon.  I've also never had any sort of expectations for a race, except to not collapse before the finish.

I've always kind of been one to hold back.  Afraid to push myself because I'm afraid of failing.  Less so of failing myself, but failing others.  Never feeling good enough is something I am very good at.  On Sunday, I want to push myself and not be afraid to fail.  Because really, if I try my absolute best, no matter what the outcome, I haven't failed.  My best is the best that I can offer.  My best is not a failure.

I feel like I'm ready to push myself on Sunday and not hold back.  I'm nervous though because I'm not really sure how to do that.  Maybe that sounds strange...I mean, just run as fast as you can, right?  But I know it's not that simple.  I'm not totally sure how to do that, both in running and in life.  It seems like runners usually have a plan for a race.  I don't have a plan.  Well, I'd really like to finish in under 50min.  But I don't have a plan for how to make that happen.  I have ideas...thoughts...maybes...but no plan.  I don't know what my body is capable of.  That's scary to me, but exciting too.  Sunday, I'm going to find out.

Today I did have a plan to run 9 miles.  It was a beautiful day for a run.

Someday I'll stop being afraid and run on the other side of the fence. 

Layered in Oiselle 

Running by a farm is nice...the smell is not.

Finally starting to feel like spring!