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!)

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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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Trigger Foods, or Why I’m Not Allowed to Bake Anymore

I had an important revelation at Weight Watchers tonight. Or, rather, an important revelation was pushed onto me. I skipped the meeting last week because I had to work late. Even though I knew that I wasn’t going to see any love from the scale tonight, I forced myself because I needed some serious tough love from my WW leader, Maria.

I didn’t feel like participating so I sat in the back. The topic of the day was asking our food if it was worthy of us (aka what questions can you ask yourself before eating something). Recognizing my silence, Maria called me out and asked what questions I ask myself when presented with food choices.

“Really? You’re asking the girl who ate pretty much an entire batch of cookies this weekend?”

And all of a sudden, I was no longer hiding in the back. From a discussion of the original reason why I chose to bake cookies (because I was pre-menstrual, stressed out, avoiding my paper, and craving sugar) to the ways I could have avoided eating the whole batch (knowing that I *could* freeze them, *could* bring them to work, or *could* have purchased a single serving treat is not the same as having any interest in doing those things), Maria eventually said something horrible:

“Becky, maybe you shouldn’t bake.”

I’m sorry, what? I shouldn’t bake?! I love baking! I love baking cookies and pies and muffins and biscuits and… and… I have a bookmarked website for mini eggnog cheesecakes that I’ve been meaning to try!!

I also love eating raw dough (yes, I know it’s got raw eggs but after 28 years of eating raw dough I’ve never been sick, SO THERE). And I have no self control when it comes to sweets. I’ve never had self control when it comes to sweets. If it’s got a sugar base, then servings don’t exist and it’s more than ok to eat EVERYTHING.

“Becky, how many cookies did your boyfriend eat?

“Um… maybe three?”

“And how many did you eat?”

“Um… no comment. Except that there were no more cookies after 24 hours.”

I’m an adult, yet I don’t know how to say no to baked goods. So, even though I almost cried in tonight’s meeting, I think Maria might be right. I think that I might need to retire from baking.

I’ll still bake for special occasions… But only when I’m not taking it home at the end of the night or there are guests to take the leftovers home with them. And it’s not like I’m not allowed to eat baked goods – I’d obviously never give that up – I’m  just not allowed to bake them for myself.

I’m super sad about tonight’s revelation, but in the end, I know that it’s for the best. Sigh. At least I still have my crock pot.

What have you had to give up for your weight loss goals? Or, to keep up with tonight’s main WW topic, what do you ask your food before you choose to eat it?


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4 Month Goal Check-In

Remember when time was FLYING BY and I was feeling a little overwhelmed but also excited about ALL THE THINGS? Yeah, that’s where I’m at right now.

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Let’s get serious for a moment. It’s hard to write a post on September 11th without recognizing that it is the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in America that led to the destruction of the World Trade Center and the destruction of so many lives. I remember the moment when I first learned about the place crashing into the World Trade Center towers. Living in Los Angeles, I had just gotten out of the shower and my mom was yelling at me and my sister to come to her bedroom. Every morning as we got ready for work and school, my mom would watch the morning news. As we watched the events unfold on the news in front of us, I don’t think that I — a sophomore in high school — had any idea the impact the day would have on the country or the world.

Now that I live in Boston, 9/11 has an even greater meaning since the planes departed from Logan Airport and were on their way to Los Angeles. 10 years later and it could have been me on that plane – headed home from college. To honor the memories of those who flew out of my airport, headed towards my childhood home, I started my morning reading the names of the passengers on American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175. My heart and prayers go out to the families and friends who still mourn them.

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Now for my regularly planned update on my 28 goals for 28 years old.

1. Get a Boston Marathon bib for the 2015 Boston Marathon. Working on it! The charity team applications are beginning to get posted and I’m applying for the ones I feel the most inspired by. So far, I have applied for 2 teams – the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge Team at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 2015 is the 5 and 10 year anniversaries of my grandparents deaths, and since they both died of cancer – and my grandmother died from leukemia – running for one of these teams would be incredibly meaningful and the best possible way for me to honor their memories. I also feel strong connections to Playworks – an awesome organization supporting children and healthy habits in the Boston area – and the MS Society. Fingers crossed.

3. Run 6 half marathons (June, July, August, and October are already scheduled!) Done (almost!) I ran half marathons in June, July, and August. I’m currently taking a break as I prepare for the Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon in October. I also signed up for the Chilly Half Marathon in November. Still considering and searching for a race in December.

5. ACTUALLY begin doing yoga regularly again. Doing it! I really enjoy my Tuesday morning yoga class and have gone pretty much every week except for when I’ve been out of time. This past Tuesday, I even went for a quick 20 minute run before yoga, which felt awesome!

6. Eat clean(er). Working on it. The past couple months have been so busy with travel that we haven’t been cooking as much as we usually do. Now that it’s fall and we’re getting back to a normal schedule, I think we’ll be cooking and eating healthier. Right now, I’m trying to incorporate salad as one of my 3 major meals every day.

10. Get back to my goal weight… and stay there. Since I haven’t been able to do this on my home, I’ve made my triumphant return back to Weight Watchers. There’s a meeting 2 miles away in the neighboring town of Arlington that is led by one of my WW mentors. I went to the Monday night meeting the day before we left for Europe, and after 2 weeks of being on vacation and then Labor Day, I went back for my second meeting this week. Since it’s only 2 miles away, I can run or bike to the meeting and have ZERO excuse to miss them.

11. Officially apply to the Harvard Extension School’s Master of Liberal Arts program. I’ve started my 3rd required prerequisite class, which means I’ll be able to apply for the MLA program starting in mid-October. However, I did the math, and if I want to keep taking the slow and steady 1 class per semester schedule, I won’t be writing my master’s thesis until… 2017-2018. Oy.

13. Hike the Alps (THIS IS HAPPENING! August 2014). DONE! (See previous post)

24. Cook 28 new foods/dishes. There was one weekend where I got a big batch of cilantro and decided to find ways to use it all up. I made a cilantro sauce to cover some salmon and it was FANTASTIC. More recently, Eric and I cooked an awesome dish from my Runner’s World Cookbook – shrimp and white beans in a tomato sauce. Ate it so fast that I forgot to take pictures!

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ALL the cilantro!

Cilantro salmon on corn tortillas with avocado!

Cilantro salmon on corn tortillas with avocado!

Phew! Not a LOT of progress, but progress nonetheless. Let’s see how I do in the next 2 months – maybe at the half year point I’ll have accomplished lots more!

Now that summer fun is over, what are you hoping to accomplish this fall? What are YOUR goals?