Becky Runs Boston

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

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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!)


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 🙂





Workout Wednesday: Double the Fun

Have you heard that there’s a ridiculous amount of snow in New England? There’s approximately 3 feet of snow on the ground (which, when shoveled and plowed, means piles of snow bigger than me that I could comfortably live in, igloo-style). The Red Line has pretty much given up on life and has had “severe delays” for days. Eric has given up on trying to get to the office and has worked from home the last few days. The snow has been so bad that I got home from work on Tuesday and ‘angry-shoveled’ the driveway for almost an hour and a half, in my work clothing. Great stress relief. Great workout.

However, all this snow means it is *very* hard to run outdoors right now. The only option is really to run in the street. While I have all the gear necessary to do so in the early mornings, it’s also cold. Last year, I kept running outside in the cold all winter long, but there was far less snow. Now that I belong to a gym, I’ve started running… on a treadmill.

Yeah… running in single, or even negative degree, weather is pretty crazy. But afterwards, you feel like a BAMF, so whatever.

I only joined the gym so that I could get affordable private personal trainer sessions (at $25 for a semester-long gym membership, it was a *really* good deal). I figured that I would use the gym ONLY for access to the trainer and the weight room. But then I had an hour to kill before meeting up with my trainer last week, so I decided “Well, it’s single-digit degrees outside… maybe I should use that time to go for a run at the gym.” Mind you, I used to LOVE running on the treadmill and never ran outdoors. But then one day I ran outside and realized what I had been missing. Getting back on the treadmill after more than a year was strange. And boring. Luckily, Harvard’s cardio machines overlook the pool, so I got to (creepily) watch a water aerobics class taking place on the floor below me. I took it easy on the run, and even watched Seinfeld.

Between this first foray onto a treadmill and today, 30+ inches of snow have taken over the Boston area. While considering my training schedule for this week, I decided to do my cross-training bike day on Tuesday, and switch my hill workout for Wednesday. Because of the gross amount of snow and slush, there’s no way to safely do a hill workout in the Somerville area (without a serious fear of tripping and falling in the gross snow and slush), so I woke up at 6am and trudged to the gym.

I’ve got to say, it was SUCH a good idea. I did an awesome hill workout on the treadmill per the instructions of my Team in Training Coach (Begin with a 10 minute warm up, very slow.  Then set the treadmill to 1 degree of elevation and your marathon pace.  Run at this elevation for 2 minutes.  Then increase the elevation to 2 degrees and run for another 2 minutes.  Keep climbing in this manner until you get to 5 degrees and then go back down from there). After I finished the 30 minute hill workout, I decided to run a really quick mile… as fast as I could. So I did. And I ran it in under 8 minutes. Overall, I spent about 45 minutes on the treadmill and didn’t think it was the most horrible thing in the world.

After a quick stretch and shower, I trudged through the snow to get to the office where I worked for a solid three hours before using my lunch break to meet my personal trainer for a quick 30 minute strength session. A second trudge to the gym, a second workout, a second quick stretch and shower, and I was back to work within an hour. Coming in a little early and staying a little late is TOTALLY worth being able to take time out of the middle of the day for some self-care. Double the workout, double the fun. I’d say it was a very successful #WorkoutWednesday.

How do you manage your time when it comes to fitting in fitness? Early bird or night owl? What kind of self-care do you practice during the workday to keep you happy and motivated?


Strength Training and Random Updates

Strength Training

You guys – I’ve started trying to incorporate strength training into my training schedule and so far I’m actually doing ok! After lots of googling and blog-reading, I found this circuit from Peanut Butter Runner. I’ve started out with 5 pound weights and doing 3 reps of 12-15 and I’m actually enjoying it.

This week’s schedule has been:

Monday: 6 mile run

Tuesday: Strength training

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday: 4 mile run

Friday: 2 miles of intervals, strength training, 2 miles of intervals

And I’ll hopefully get a longer run in this weekend (somewhere between 6 – 10 miles depending on how I’m feeling). It’s been a while since I’ve had a 20 mile week, so I’m excited to get back there again.

Race Timing

In other news, the race season has officially begun, which means my part-time race timing gig is back. I went to Lynn, MA last weekend for the HIbernian 5K St. Patrick’s Day Recovery Run (because, apparently it took them a whole week to recover from St. Patricks Day… but that didn’t stop them from drinking Guinness at 10 in the morning…) and tomorrow I’ll be at the South Middle School 5K in my own town of Braintree, MA. The race should be relatively easy considering just over 200 people ran it last year (versus approximately 1,000 people last weekend in Lynn).

Race Schedule

I signed up for two half marathons this week. I’m still sticking to 2 shorter races in April, and I haven’t signed up for anyting in May (… yet?). However, I’ll be running the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon in June, the Narragansett Summer Festival Half Marathon in July, and the Rockport Half Marathon in August. While I don’t really care how fast I run these three races, I really really REALLY want to PR in my 2nd Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon in October, so I suspect that I will take September off to focus on my training and get my body ready to get a sub 2:10 (sub 2:00??) when I make my return to Hampton, NH.

I’m taking suggestions for half marathons to do in November and December, preferably in New England so that I don’t have to travel too far – but I realize that might be silly since it’s going to get cold. I like planning FAR into the future, so…

What half marathons should I run at the end of 2014? Have you done a half marathon in late fall/early winter? Is this a horrible idea?