Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Moment of Thanks... Part II

(These pictures are from before digital cameras- I scanned these in!)
The second person I want to thank is my friend Leah from college.  We ran track together at American University in D.C.  We both ran middle distance, HOWEVER she has since gone on to run a 3:11 Boston Marathon.  Let me write that again.  Leah ran the Boston Marathon last year (2009) in 3:11.  Absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!  In college, we ran the 800 and the relays and did a lot of our training runs together.  We were very close in college but lost touch and then got back in touch in the last year.  Anyway, we started talking on gchat and I told her all about my goals of running a marathon.  Then I got injured.  Leah understood where I was coming from because she got injured last year too and also deferred her NY number until 2010.  So... she wanted to help me get a race out of the way before NY.
In January, Leah wrote me out my speed workouts for every Tuesday from January 8th until race day.  She made me feel better about doing most of my runs on the treadmill and really encouraged me throughout all my training.  When I would feel defeated (ex. after the 20 mile race) she would tell me "Most people can't even walk 20 miles."  She just always made me feel like I could do this... I could complete a marathon.  And along the way, I felt stronger and faster and more like a runner with the speed workouts she would provide.  I did repeat 400s, 800s, mile cutdowns, etc etc.  I went from running with no incline to 1.0.  I went from walking during the rest of the intervals, to jogging.  And although I didn't get to show ANY of my speed during my marathon (God- my legs wouldn't move fast AT ALL) I know the speed training helped tremendously.  Thank you Leah for not only writing those workouts but for supporting me throughout! Can't wait to run NY 2010 with you.  (Any by with you, I mean in spirit... like we can hang out before and after the race, haha)

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Moment of Thanks... Part I

I've been thinking about this post for awhile now but haven't sat down to actually write it.  I was going to write a long long post about everyone who got me to this point of being a marathoner... but I've decided to break it up a bit.
I want to first start with my friend Carissa.  Carissa and I met in late 2007 at work and pretty quickly became really close friends.  In January of 2008, she decided to take on a challenge of running a marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training Program.  She had always been an athlete, but never actually ran.  It was a huge goal but one I knew she would complete with success.  Anyway, during this time, I was 'training' for my wedding, meaning I was trying to get in shape and look my best for my special day.  Which also meant I was spending long hours at the gym and even longer hours on the treadmill.  I started running 8-10 miles on the treadmill pretty easily and around March Carissa said to me, why don't you do the Big Lake Half Marathon in early May.  She was doing that race as part of her training. I remember at first I was like, who me???  I'm a sprinter!  But she convinced me and I started training mainly on the treadmill and with older brother Mike.  The course was no joke with tons of rolling hills, but it was huge accomplishment! On May 10, 2008, I finished my first Half Marathon!  
Although Carissa and I didn't run together during the race, she was the one who convinced me to lace up my shoes and try something other than a 5K.  And you know what it wasn't that bad! So lil' one, thanks for convincing me to run long-distance races- I never would have thought I could do it without you!!!!!! Now lets run a marathon together! That was my first of 3 half-marathons and was the beginning of me thinking more like a distance runner and less like a sprinter.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Boston Emmys!

On Saturday night I went with my friend Dana to the Boston Emmys.  It was Black Tie Optional so we dressed up and pretended we were going to the prom and took some pre-award Prom pics!
Dana works for the Patriots and the event was held at Gillette Stadium.  One of the Patriots tv shows she works on was up for an award so we went together to represent the Pats in case they won! (PS- there award was one of the last to be announced and unfortunately, Charlie Moore beat out the Pats All Access...tear...)
We got there around 5:30 and enjoyed many appetizers and some cocktails.  Then around 6:30, we sat down to our table.  And NO ONE WAS THERE!  For a good 30 minutes, we sat alone and it was pretty funny. 
Where is everyone?  Our table never filled up but we did get two more people.  So we had four people at a 10 person table. 
Because of this, the emcee, Mike Adams sat with us when the awards were being presented.  He is definitely an interesting dude.  For those of you who don't know, he is the host of the Planet Mikey Show on WEEI.  His sense of humor and personality is very give or take.  You either love him or can't stand him.  I think he's a nice enough dude... but he definitely annoys me.
Okay on to the good stuff... the food!  Salad was a wedge salad with tomatoes, carrots, pecans, a few tomatoes and bacon.  Oh and Blue Cheese I avoided.  EEEK! Dinner was spinach and cheese stuffed chicken with Brocollini and a Sweet Potato Casserole thingie that was the highlight of the meal.  When the waitress dropped off this dish I asked, "What do we have here?"  Her response- "It looks like broccoli and chicken."  Smooth catering service.  Don't even know what you are serving!
And now on to the most important part- dessert!!!  This WAS DELICIOUS!  And that National Emmy Chip- chocolate and totally edible!  We had some type of coconut flavored tart with chocolate mousse, more chocolate mousse on the side and a raspberry sauce.  It was sooo good.  So good in fact that I kept eating it for hours and hours since the catering staff decided to leave it on our tables all nite.
I also enjoyed a couple of these- Grapefruit and Vodka.  Called Greyhounds?  New signature drink.
Oh, so the awards- there were some celebrity sitings... like our Governor Deval Patrick. 
Liz Brunner from Channel 5 and... I can't remember this dudes name.  I just looked on all the local stations websites... Anyone, anyone?
Winner of the 2010 Boston Emmy Governors Award: Joyce Kulhawik.  Anyone remember her? I thought her speech was very thoughtful and nice.  And kinda sad since they no longer have Arts and Entertainment reporters.  At the end of her speech, I felt bad for her since she declared to the room she was looking for work!  
Of course, because this even went on for 5 hours, we had to check the Celtics score!  The Celts blew away the Magic and we are up 3-0 NOTHING! 
All in all, lots of fun!  Thanks Dana for taking me!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lunch time run with one of my faves!

It's always amazing when I can sneak away with @swimmykimy for a lunchtime run.  Kimmy posted her own blog entry about our typical run but I thought I'd copy her (and steal her photos too)! 

We run what it says on Mapquest as 4.3 miles, but whenever I've done this with my Garmin I know its closer to 3.5.  Anyway, its a beautiful run along Fanuel Hall, the North End, Charlestown, the Navy Yard and back towards work.

Here are some pics!  It starts down State Street.  We dodge people and cars on our way to the water.
Running through Christopher Columbus Park, I love the waterfront, 
to our right is Tia's, one of my fav summer time spots!
Running through North End and the Waterfront...
Seeing the Zakem from afar!
Running over the North Washington bridge into Charlestown.  
We usually haveto dodge people here.  We yell 'on your right', 
but no one seems to move.  
Quite fun!
example below.  People don't like to move for runners! But we are on the Freedom Trail!
And here we are in Charlestown! Running around the Navy Yard!
with beautiful views of Boston!
Running over a dock...
and by a small dog park...
And pretty soon we are back to the bridge again!
Once we are here, you can see the Garden where my beloved Celts 
are going to take down the Magic tomorrow.  No magic for you! 
If you zoom in you can see the ads for the playoffs!
Kimmy and I usually take down some tourists here... 
too narrow for runners and walkers.  I actually usually 
jump in the street and Kimmy gets scared for my life. hehehe
And then we run by the North End.  The North End in 
Boston is amazing but in daylight you don't get to see 
the full amazingness!  Hi Daisy! Hi Courtney!

The Greenway and the financial district And you can see our building!
Crossing the street towards Fanueil!
The Old State House
And here we are! Refreshed and ready for the 
rest of the day (after a shower of course!)
I wish I got to leave the office more often for this run, 
its so nice and so beautiful.  Before I met Kimmy, 
I never ran over to Charlestown.  Thanks Kimmy 
for introducing me to such an amazing route and 
thanks for being my running partner!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Speed Tuesdays are BACK!

Also in June 2010 Running Times, I read an article about Fine Tuning for your Fastest 3.1-Miler.  I don't really have any races coming up, but I do want to get faster so I thought this would be a fun workout.  Here's what Greg MCMillan suggested:
3X3X4 (3 Sets of 3X400M) at 5K pace.  My fastest 5K is around 23:30 which is 7:33 pace. Each set, you are supposed to get 1-2 seconds faster. Based on this, I figured it would be good to start around 1:50 and get progressively faster.
This chart says my 400 should be 1:43-1:49 so I was in the right ballpark. (I just looked this up, when I was trying to figure out my 5K pace I was on the T at 6:30am and my brain was trying to work...)
He said to do 100 meters in between each rep and 400 meters rest in between sets.  Because I did this workout on a treadmill and figuring out 100 meters on a treadmill is tricky, I did 200 meters in between.  
Here is my workout:
1 Mile Warmup (6.0MPH, 1.0 Incline, 10 minutes)
First Set:
400: 1:50
200 at 5.0MPH
400: 1:49
200 at 5.0MPH
400: 1:48
Jog 400 Drink Water at 5.0MPH
Second Set:
400: 1:46
200 at 5.0MPH
400: 1:45
200 at 5.0MPH
400: 1:44
Jog 400 Drink Water at 5.0MPH
Third Set
400: 1:40
200 at 5.0MPH
400: 1:42
200 at 5.0MPH
400: 1:38
Jog 3/4 mile cooldown
Total Mileage 5 miles, 49 minutes
Nice little workout!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Food & Fun!

Friday night a bunch of us went to Casa Romero for some Mexican Eats. I had fun seeing my friends but I wasn't wicked impressed with the dinner.  Our service wasn't the best either!
Saturday I ran a fast three miles.  So fast in fact that I ran the first mile at 7:45 pace.  I'm trying hard to get faster in the next couple months.

When I got back from the run, I made myself a green monster- with Kale, Almond Milk, Blueberries, Raspberries and Frozen Fruit.  I added some Agave Nectar on top.  Good fuel! However, I'm a slow drinker and only got through half before it became cement-like!

Saturday night Dave and I went out to dinner... EARRRLY.  I had plans to go out with my girlfriends so we decided to have a date-night before I went out.  We went to this local bar called Stone's Public House.  It had such delicious food!  We shared two small plates- the Pan Fried Softshell Crab with Black Bean Mango Salsa & Chipotle Aioli and the Lobster & Avocado Salad with Ruby Red Grapefruit on Bibb Lettuce.  Both were so refreshing and delicious.  We also shared a small Lobster Roll that I forgot to photograph.
After our early dinner, I took off to meet my friends at Atlantic Beer Garden in the Seaport area. I had so much fun!  I drank a few Grapefruit Vodkas (I was on a grapefruit kick) with lots of water.  We hung out mostly on the rough deck and the views were awesome of the city.  I love being on the water.  If you haven't been here, this bar is a good time.  I didn't feel like it was quite as young as Fanuel Hall bars and it was nice be a little outside the city.
Good times...
On Sunday I ran another fast 2 miles with Dave.  I wanted to run more but neither of us were feeling it.  It was hot.  When I got back, I got my grocery list together and perused a new blog Ezra Pound Cake and found quite a few delicious recipes to try.  I decided to make Ezra's Baked Shrimp Scampi for dinner. Now I am going to preface this by saying this recipe had a lot of oil and a lot of butter.  I tried to cut it down but probably not enough.  It was oozing with flavor, but not much nutritional value.  Which is okay once in awhile, right?
Baked Shrimp Scampi
inspired by Ezra Pound Cake, originally inspired by my girl Ina Garten
2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp deveined and tails removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (the original called for 12!)
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon of minced thyme 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 extra-large egg yolk
2/3 cup panko
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel, devein and butterfly the shrimp, and remove tails. Mix shrimp in a small bowl, and toss with the olive oil, sherry, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Set aside while you make the butter and garlic mixture.  In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined. Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute.
I served this along with an Arugula Salad with Feta Cheese and Grapefruit.  I also made a dressing with Grapefruit Juice, Lemon Juice, S & P, Thyme, mustard and EVOO. Perfect Sunday Dinner!

I also made something for lunches this week.  I had Chicken that I had cooked on Thursday and needed to eat before they went bad so I decided to make a take on Annie-Eats Creamy Taco Mac.
I used diced chicken instead of ground turkey but other than that I kept the recipe pretty much the same.  I also used 2 Year Aged Cheddar Cheese that I picked up at Whole Foods...... mmmmm.... I love cheese.
Cheesy Creamy Taco Mac
2 cooked chicken breasts, diced
8 oz. dry pasta shapes
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup salsa
4 tbsp. packaged taco seasoning or make your own
1.5 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook pasta according to the package directions.  Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.  Set aside. Dice Chicken and add it to a hot skillet and mix in the garlic and onions and cook for a few minutes.  Mix in the diced tomatoes, salsa and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit.  Remove from the heat and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. Place under a broil for a few minutes to melt cheddar cheese.
I have lots of other delicious recipes on the plan for the week including Greek Chicken Kabobs served with Cherry Tomato Salad for tonight, Cornmeal-Crusted Ratatouille Tart (I'm big into tarts these days), and Chicken Fajitas.  And of course, Kale Chips!  
I ran another 3 miles this morning on the treadmill and plan to do some speed tomorrow.  Wednesday I would like to get over to physical therapy (Stef- will you be there?) and then do some lifting and some running/step the rest of the week.  Have a great Week!!!!!!