Becky Runs Boston

My adventures running in Boston, searching for that runner's chai.


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Week 1 and a Race Recap

More than $1,000 raised towards our $3,000 goal for Sweet Paws Rescue. With 70 days between now and the start of my 3 half-marathon challenge, we’re doing great! Check out the Sweet Paws Rescue Facebook to read the amazing stories of the dogs they’re saving. I hope you will consider a gift to support them! Please visit my fundraising page!

Also, for the runners out there, I highly recommend checking out the United Relay of America. Starting in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, runners will be running across the country. They’ll be in almost every state, so there’s a chance they’ll be running near YOU! If you’re in the Boston area, join me for an 8-mile run from Watertown to Boston. Or, you can always make a gift to support my fundraising minimum for Boston Children’s Hospital!

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This morning I ran the Half at the Hamptons in Hampton, New Hampshire and it was GREAT! I’ve been dealing with knee pain on my long runs and have been going to physical therapy for the last few weeks to work on it. My PT says that it stems from a muscle imbalance in my glutes/hips/core and he says he’s already seeing some improvement. Last week I was able to get to 11.5 miles before my knee crapped out, so I was hopeful that I’d do ok this morning.

Welllllllll instead my knee started to hurt at around mile 4. However, I realized that it felt better while running, not walking. If I went from running to walking, my knee would freak out and stop bending. BUT if I kept running, the pain would decrease and just hurt a little, and more importantly, keep bending and allow me to run. So I kept running. And I figured that at some point my knee would give up, so I might as well run at a faster pace to make up for any time I would lose when I would eventually be stuck walking. Except… that didn’t really happen. My knee held out and I finished in just over 2:12. YES! One of my best times!

 

I’ve been on the Elimination Diet for a week and it actually hasn’t been that bad! The no caffeine and alcohol are a bit annoying (says the girl who went to the Phantom Gourmet Food and Wine Festival yesterday and drank all the wine samples…. whoops? at least I didn’t eat any of the food samples?). Here’s some pics of what I’ve been eating:

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Week 1 Lunch and Snacks – Salads were based off of this Big Vegan Bowl from Oh She Glows and snacks were a super easy chia seed pudding with almond milk, chia seeds, and berries.

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Dinner for a few days was Roasted Chicken with Fall Vegetables based of this recipe from Damn Delicious.

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Another Dinner: Based off a Curried Sweet Potato Roti recipe from my friend Jen. Added shrimp… and way too much cayenne pepper. Still delicious!

 

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Coconut crusted cod with curried cauliflower and kale. I ate almost a full head of cauliflower. And Eric politely asked me to maybe not cook curry several nights in a row. I suppose that’s a fair request. He DID rave about the Coconut Aminos that I cooked the kale in, so that’s a pretty good win.

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Korean Beef Noodle Bowls from Against All Grains, an awesome cooking book from my friend Ash. I LOVE zucchini noodles, and I successfully cooked beef… I think?

 


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Welcome to 2016!

I know that next week is February, and my introduction to 2016 is a tad late, but…

1. I haven’t had much to say related to the blog, and

2. I’ve been too busy and the blog has unfortunately taken a backseat to everything else.

But, the last 24 hours have proven pretty interesting and, fingers crossed, if all things go as I hope, I’ll have some fun and exciting news related to reaching a running goal for my 30th birthday while doing some good, too. One of my faults is that any small thing can send me into a tailspin of excitement and planning, setting me up for disappointment if it doesn’t work out. There’s a good chance that this could be one of those instances. Send good thoughts my way that I can make this work!

In other news, I’m almost done with the Marathon Sports Winter Warrior Challenge – a month of running/walking at least a mile outside every day. I’ve done almost 60 miles this month, but some of those were collected by walking Annabelle around the neighborhood. (Have I mentioned Annabelle? Our awesome dog? That we adopted in mid-October? Follow me on Instagram to get access to a bunch of pictures of her!)

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Annabelle, the best dog ever.

I’m still strength training at 0600 Conditioning and doing personal training sessions with Staci and still totally loving it. I’ve started researching equipment to get a sense of how much it might cost to buy some of the key pieces to create a home gym in our basement. I no longer feel like a newbie in my bootcamp classes, and still can’t believe that I’m capable of doing real push-ups. Next up? I’d love to do some pull-ups. Recently, 0600 has been hosting Mobility Clinics that should really be called “Super Painful Stretching Clinic.” I know that these moves and positions are SUPER beneficial in the long run (haha, get it? I made a joke), so I’m going to try and keep it up on my own. (Note to self: Buy a lacrosse ball to sit on.)

The next month is dedicated to getting ready for the half marathon in early March and 20-miler at the end of March. Over the weekend I went out for a 10 mile run. While everyone else on the East Coast seemed to get dumped with snow Saturday, we only got a few inches, so Sunday ended up having decent conditions. Some of the sidewalks still had some snow, but the sun was shining and I only had to wear a long-sleeve half-zip over a t-shirt. Basically naked compared to the amount of clothing I usually have to wear this time of year! I wasn’t feeling super inspired, so I figured I’d do a few 5K laps on a flatter part of the neighborhood. At around mile 6, my phone died (cold weather kills my phone, and my Garmin watch was at home charging. Note to self: Better prepare for long runs!). I had a decent sense of how far I had gone and how far I still needed to go, so I kept running, without technology (I also don’t run with music, so it was just me and the roads).

At mile 9, my left knee gave up. My knees have been bothering me on long runs lately – but are totally fine the rest of the time. I’m not quite sure what the issue is, and I’ve been stretching/rolling to try and figure it out, but no such luck yet. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, I’d love to hear them! I walked back to the house and calculated that I ended up doing about 9.6 miles – close enough to 10! Hopefully next weekend will go better and my 13 miles will go smoothly and pain free 🙂

 

 


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Five (Gear) Things Friday

Happy Friday! This past week I’ve been having a lot of fun with gadgets and gear and I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you!

1. Fitbit – The Fitbit has changed my life. Not only does it tell me how many steps I take and sync to Weight Watchers to give me activity points, but it has a SILENT ALARM CLOCK. This is a life-changer. For years, I’ve been waking Eric up between 5 and 6am so that I can workout and run in the mornings – an hour to two hours earlier than his own alarm. Now, the Fitbit buzzes softly on my wrist to wake me up – and lets him keep sleeping.

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I apologize for how blurry this is – it’s really the most beautiful jacket you’ve ever seen. Especially when placed next to my medals.

2. Boston Marathon Jacket – Is there really anything else I need to say? It arrived in the mail this week and after trying it on to make sure I got the right size, I promptly hung it up and I will not wear it again until I’m done running the Boston Marathon. I might ask Eric to hold on to it while I’m running so that I can wear it on my way home from Copley Square. It’s beautiful and I finally get to be one of *those* people who wear their Boston Marathon jackets year-round because, why not?

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Oh so cozy… which oftentimes ends up being oh so sweaty.

3. Awesome Saucony Gloves – I am loving these gloves. I got them on sale at City Sports and they are incredibly warm. No more numb fingers in the morning! The fact that they are bright pink helps, too. And they have a blinking red light that you can attach that is charged with a USB. These are some fancy gloves – and they only cost $20!

photo_5[1]4. YakTrax – If you live in New England, then you’re probably aware that we’ve seen a bit of snow in the last week. Team in Training practice was cancelled on Saturday so I decided to venture outside in the snow and try out my YakTrax for the first time. Overall, I was incredibly pleased with how they performed. I felt more confident running over the slippery and powdery snow than I would have in normal sneakers, I think. The only slightly annoying part was that snow would clump together in the coils of the YakTrax, forcing me to stop and pick out the snowballs under my feet. I wasn’t able to make it 11 miles like my training plan told me to, but I got through 9 miles, which I call a success. We’re getting a little bit snow right now and tomorrow morning, so I have a feeling I’ll be running tomorrow’s 13.1 miles with them on.

roadidwatch5. Road ID – Have I mentioned how much I love my Road ID? I got one last year after fainting in a BBQ restaurant while eating lunch. (OK fine, the real story is that immediately after getting off a flight from BOS to RDU, I gave blood with friends and even though I was hydrated and had eaten a good amount of food, I fainted at a BBQ restaurant an hour later). Some runners wear their Road IDs only while they’re running, but I wear mine 24/7 for running and fainting purposes. It has contact info for Eric and sister, explains that I faint sometimes, and that I have an allergy to penicillin. After wearing a too-big medium sized black band, Sarah got me a smaller teal band that is way cuter and fits much better. Road ID is also a super awesome company that is sponsoring the Dobie Dash 5K for LLS! Not only are they providing real race bibs to the first 50 people that sign up, but the first 50 people will be entered into a raffle to win $15 Road ID gift cards (3 winners will be chosen). Sign up for the Dobie Dash today for your chance to win a super awesome Road ID like mine or another piece of their super awesome running gear and apparel!


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Headed to Austin, TX

Technology is a crazy thing, my friends. I am ON A PLANE headed to Austin, TX for the CASE Persuasive Writing Conference and there is wifi, allowing me to chat on Facebook, read the news, and write a blog post. I may have paid $13 for the honor of having 1 hour to do these things, but on a 5 hour flight, I think it’s worth it.

You know what’s fun? Hanging out at Logan Airport the day after the Boston Marathon. I swear, everyone on my flight ran the marathon yesterday or was the significant other/child of someone who ran the marathon. They’re all wearing their marathon jackets and their marathon medals. Some are clearly a little sore, limping along the terminal, while some appear as if it’s any other regular day… except today they get to wear some serious bling around their neck. And I want to hug ALL of them.

I love all the runners. ALL OF THEM.

Because I’m a huge nerd, I may have struck up conversations with at least one family, ooh’ed and aah’ed at some of the wheelchair racers in the security line in front of me (because, they are all BAMFs), and quietly (but still out loud) congratulated a line of runners sitting in the terminal as I walked past them.

There have been some amazing articles about the Boston Marathon in the last 24 hours. A friend shared this one, which I have to share here, because it totally exemplifies the feelings of the 118th Boston Marathon. The idea that this year, everyone was going to finish, and nothing was going to stop them. The only thing that stopped me from crying while reading that article was remembering that I *am* on a plane, surrounded by people (and still a few marathoners).

Back to the point of this post – I’m headed to Austin! For a conference! That will help me write more persuasively! And I’m very excited!

Our hotel seems pretty central to a bunch of great areas to run, so I’m excited to explore in the mornings before the conference starts each day. I’ve done a little crowd-sourcing and have a few trails that I want to check out, including the trails along Shoal and Barton Creek and Lamar Beach/Lady Bird Lake. Any other suggestions of where I should run while I’m in Austin? Where should I eat? Give me some tips!


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Boston Marathon Part 2

With plans to travel to Austin tomorrow for a work conference, I didn’t watch the Boston Marathon as closely as I did last year, but here are some of my thoughts on what I did manage to catch:

Tatyana McFadden – What an awesome birthday present for herself – 25 years old and two-time marathon winner in the women’s wheelchair division.

Shalane Flanagan – amazing. Not only did she lead the women the majority of the race, but when she grabbed her Gatorade at one of the stops and got pushed behind some of the others, she pushed her way back through to the front, and continued to drink her Gatorade like a bamf! I missed the part where she was overcome by the other 4 runners, led by Jeptoo. She was still able to get in the top 10, finishing 7th. I’m sure she’s disappointed she didn’t win it for Boston, but she’s still amazing. AND she still managed to achieve a personal best here.

Rita Jeptoo – flying down the last few miles, running faster than the green line at one point. 2:20:43 was the course record and while smiling and waving, she slayed the record with 2:18:57 for a new course record. She looked so adorably happy, falling to the ground with tears, and then standing up to jog around with utter happiness. While I wish Shalane could have kept her crazy momentum throughout the course, I also kind of love that Jeptoo finished first again this year.

Meb Keflezighi – an American (!) who left the other elite men in his dust. I’m so sad that I missed his triumphant finish where he apparently did so with his fists pumping (I had actually looked away to do work! Huge mistake, clearly!) He is the first American to win the Boston Marathon since 1983.

I will say that the perk of watching the livefeed online is that you get to see everything, rather than just one moment from the sidelines. But, it’s less appropriate for me to cheer people on from my cubicle. Next year, fingers crossed, I’ll be running. In the meantime, congratulations to all the runners, thank you Meb for slaying it for America, thank you Rita for coming back after last year, thank you Shalane for wanting so badly to win for Boston, thank you everyone for making this the best day of the year in Boston!


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Marathon Monday

I love my job. Love love LOVE my job. But when I found out that Harvard doesn’t observe Patriot’s Day aka Marathon Monday, I was shocked. And depressed. The rest of Massachusetts, especially its schools and universities, celebrate the holiday, but Harvard continues to hold classes and remains open for business.

 

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Pretty much my exact reaction when I was told that I had to come into work instead of stand on Comm Ave and cheer for thousands of inspirational people.

 

I’m attending a conference in Austin, TX Tuesday-Friday this week and taking a personal day next week to move, so it would be really unprofessional to take a personal day just to celebrate the Marathon. So, instead, I will be watching it from my desk. This is what I did last year and it ended up working really well until the bombing. We have nice big monitors that can support double screens – so on one side of my screen will be Boston Marathon coverage and the other side of my screen will be Boston Marathon coverage… I mean, the reports I need to write.

 

At this point, my team probably secretly refers to me as that crazy runner. Watching the marathon from my desk will be no surprise.

Even though my long run day was yesterday (8 miles – and I was able to keep my pace under 10 minute miles, weeeee!) but I still woke up early this morning to get in 3.5 miles around Pond Meadow Park. We start moving April 27, so I only have a few more runs in Braintree left. While this morning’s run wasn’t the Boston Marathon, fingers crossed that I’ll be able to get a bib next year and will be in Hopkinton this time on April 20, 2015.

 

It's still cold, so there was a nice hazy mist over the pond this morning.

It’s still cold, so there was a nice hazy mist over the pond this morning. There were also some deer who were unwilling to pose for a picture. Rude.

Good luck runners!