Becky Runs Boston

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


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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?

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Happy Hump Day!

Happy Wednesday! (I will always love this commercial)

Last night I was in a little bit of a funk, but this morning I’m feeling much more positive about things. And here’s why:

1. I have an awesome new job!

2. I signed up for my 3rd class at Harvard Extension School. It’s a class on graduate research and writing methods and the topic is Religion in America. While I would rather take the course on Vampire Literature and Film (I mean, who wouldn’t want to take that?), the graduate research class is the last prerequisite that I need before I can officially apply to the Masters in Liberal Arts program (aka Goal #11)

3. There has been a sighting of downward motion on the scale during my daily morning weigh-in. A fellow blogger at I’mPerfect Life has been dealing with the same weight issue of needing to drop the pounds that have creeped up during all the summer fun and she refers to it as #nipthatshitinthebud. After a super fun time at the Newport Folk Festival this past weekend, I’m on a little bit of a self-imposed dairy and gluten detox, and I’m finally headed back in the right/downward direction.

Setting up myself for success on Monday night with some roasted eggplant and sauteed zoodles (aka zucchini noodles)

Setting up myself for success on Monday night with some roasted eggplant and sauteed zoodles (aka zucchini noodles)

4. I’ve gone to yoga 2 weeks in a row. Namaste.

5. I’ve gone to November Project’s Wednesday stadium workout 3 weeks in a row and today I did my first (real) full tour around the stadium (aka, I did it in the allotted time and didn’t start early). It took 50:57 to complete (I actually used my MapMyFitness app this time and the gps map is crazy!). AND because I did my first full tour, it counted as a pr, which meant I was awarded with a meet and greet with Phoebe the PR Pig. Yes, a mini pig came to our workout this morning. Yes, she was adorable. Yes, we took a selfie.

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This is my face of pure joy upon meeting Phoebe the PR Pig.

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Now that’s what I call a workout.

6. I’m officially part of the November Project tribe aka I got a t-shirt! If only it was work appropriate…

7. It has been beautiful the last few days… borderline feeling like fall. While I’m not ready for summer to be over, I’m loving the cooler weather during my morning runs!

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8. I’m running half marathon #8 on Sunday with my adorable co-worker.

9. I’m seeing my family in 10 days!

10. ERIC AND I ARE GOING TO EUROPE IN 20 DAYS!

There’s a lot to be excited about. A LOT. I’m a #happygirl.

 


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2 Month Goal Check-In

The first two months of being 28 years old are officially over (WHERE DID THE TIME GO?!), so I thought it might be good to check in and see how I’m doing on my goals. Here are some updates:

3. Run 6 half marathons. 1 down, 1 this weekend, 3 to go!

5. ACTUALLY begin doing yoga regularly again. I went to yoga! Once! But my lower back kind of hurt afterwards. I’m considering going back next week. I know that strengthening my back would make it hurt less, and yoga is a decent way to do that, it’s just probably going to take some time.

8. Make our new house a home. In Progress. We’ve painted the living room and dining room. We still need to paint the bedrooms, office, and entryway. The artwork is no longer piled up in a corner of a room and is now spread up among the rooms where I think I want to hang them. Just need to get out the hammer and nails.

9. Check out November Project on a Wednesday morning. Fail. Maybe Wednesday? I’m having trouble getting the motivation to go by myself and have been asking people if they want to join me. Anyone? Bueller? Please? I tweeted at the November Project about how one of these weeks I’ll actually get there, and someone responded that saying stuff like that meant nothing and that if I want to make it happen, I need to be more accountable. So, that was awkward. I tweeted back and said I’m going Wednesday, so I think I actually have to go now… Also, now there’s another run club, RunFellow, that I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I also want to check out. If stairs aren’t your thing, how about running in a group? Anyone?

10. Get back to my goal weight… and stay there. Ugh. I’m still about 7 pounds off from my goal weight and it’s annoying as hell. I’m trying something new to see if a shake up in the routine will help, and instead of Weight Watchers, I’ve been using Lose It! a relatively new calorie-counting app. I like the app, but I haven’t (yet) been successful. Some days I track using both apps which is kind of a pain, but helps to compare how I’m doing in regards to both.

16. Pay off those credit cards. YES!

18. Find a place to volunteer 1x a month. Working on it. We’re so busy that it’s hard to figure out where/when. I’m hoping that once the summer is over (and we no longer have plans EVERY.SINGLE.WEEKEND) we’ll have more time to devote to others.

23. Keep a plant alive. So far so good! I got 2 little plants from Trader Joes the weekend after we moved in and they’re both still alive! Sister also gifted me a little cactus. That’s 5 plants in the house right now. They’re all alive. They have little buds, which I’m pretty sure means that they’re GROWING. And I’m the one watering them!

24. Cook 28 new foods/dishes. I made strawberry rhubarb pie for the first time a few weekends ago, so there’s one! Although, I got so excited about the people who came over for a little cook-out that I accidentally left it in the oven… for an hour and a half. Whoops. It was still (mostly) edible! For July 4th, I made this Red, White, and Blue Fruit Pizza from Skinnytaste (don’t be fooled by the name, it was actually more of a cookie cake and it was DELICIOUS). And I made this skinny taco dip too (also from Skinnytaste), which was also super yummy. AND my ‘big sis’ came to visit last month and sent me the Runners World Cookbook as a thank you that I am SO excited to start cooking from!

Ignore how gross I look - focus on how pretty my masterpiece is!

Ignore how gross I look – focus on how pretty my masterpiece is!

The taco dip was almost gone before sister and her bf came over to the house.

The taco dip was almost gone before sister and her bf came over to the house.

25. 28 days of running at least a mile every day. See yesterday’s post.

SO that’s the update! The year is already 1/6th over! It is crazy to think about. Time is flying, so I must be having fun 🙂

What goals are you working on this summer? Tell me in the comments!


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28 Things to do while 28

Eric took me out to dinner on Friday at an amazing Southern restaurant in Somerville called M3. I had the most delicious chicken and waffles. And I wasn’t asked for an I.D. when I asked for a glass of sangria. As someone who is oftentimes mistaken for a college student, I am carded the majority of the time and it’s a big deal when I’m not.

These were actually the best chicken and waffles that I've ever had. Sorry, Roscoes.

These were actually the best chicken and waffles that I’ve ever had. Sorry, Roscoes.

But then it happened again on Saturday at the hotel bar. And again on Sunday at dinner. Apparently, a person turns 28 and all of a sudden they finally look old enough to legally drink!

My birthday was Sunday (aka Mother’s Day) and I am now 28 years old. The big 3-0 is looming for the first time ever. I’ve never been one to stress out about birthdays and getting older, but I gotta say, I’m finally feeling it. And that’s ok.

I thought it would be a good activity to think about what I’d like to accomplish this next year, so here’s a list I’ve been mulling over the first few days of this new year:

1. Get a Boston Marathon bib for the 2015 Boston Marathon.

2. Run my first marathon (preferably, the Boston Marathon) (I’m kind of a masochist and this chart illustrates why anyone who runs Boston is also a masochist)

3. Run 6 half marathons (June, July, August, and October are already scheduled!)

4. PR in one of those half marathons (Hit just under 2:10 at last year’s Smuttynose Rockfest, so my goal is to beat that when I run it again this year!)

5. ACTUALLY begin doing yoga regularly again.

6. Eat clean(er).

7. Quit that coffee habit  Check! No longer do I get headaches on days I don’t drink coffee, and I definitely don’t drink coffee every morning anymore. So, the goal is to keep it up!

8. Make our new house a home. (It’s been 2 weeks and I’m beginning to think we’ll never be unpacked. I have a lot of ideas and plans for the space – I just need to make it happen).

9. Check out November Project on a Wednesday morning.

10. Get back to my goal weight… and stay there.

11. Officially apply to the Harvard Extension School’s Master of Liberal Arts program.

12. Get 200 followers for my blog – I’m currently at 50!

13. Hike the Alps (THIS IS HAPPENING! August 2014).

14. Run a sub-25 minute 5K (my PR is 26:17).

15. Plan my next Ragnar Relay (Cape Cod? Napa Valley? Las Vegas?).

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Ragnar Del Sol – “Running from the Law” February 2014. Note the amazing bright orange shirt and yellow reflective vest combo. I always like to be the most stylish person in a group.

16. Pay off those credit cards (and get better at balancing my love for frequent flyer miles with not over-using my credit cards).

17. Check out Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville and (maybe) start rock-climbing again.

18. Find a place to volunteer 1x a month. I want to give back (walking dogs at the dog shelter? yes please) but I already overwhelm my life with activities so I don’t want to sign myself up for something that is going to make me feel even more overwhelmed. I want to look forward to the activity and enjoy the activity, not feel like I’ve added a chore. Maybe that’s selfish, but at least I want to do something? #sorrynotsorry

Volunteering shouldn’t feel like this. Just sayin.

19. Spend more time with family (Sister is moving 0.3 miles away and I could not be more excited about it).

20. Talk to friends more often (Many of my closest friends do not live in Boston and I’m horrible at talking on the phone #Fail #PoorPlanning).

21. Blog at least once each week.

22. Try acupuncture. I already see a chiropractor monthly for my lower back alignment issues, but I’m interested in seeing what acupuncture might be able to offer. There’s even a place down the street from my chiropractor, within a mile of my house!

23. Keep a plant alive… without Eric’s help. I have two leafy green plants in the apartment and can’t seem to remember to water them regularly. I’ve killed multiple cacti in the past. I just bought two little potted flowers from Traders Joes and they already look like they’re struggling (and I’ve watered them!)

After doing some crowd-sourcing on Facebook for more ideas, I got the following ideas that I think are great:

24. Cook 28 new foods/dishes (thanks Chris for the suggestion). I love cooking but oftentimes stick with the easy/basic. Giving myself this goal will allow me to explore a little bit (especially since I have a bigger kitchen and more time to cook these days) AND I can blog about all the (hopefully) yummy things I make.

Homemade macaroons for Passover, thanks to a recipe from my mom.

Homemade macaroons for Passover, thanks to a recipe from my mom.

25. 28 days of running at least a mile every day (thanks Dan S. aka Courtney’s hubby for the suggestion!). This might be a great way to get runs in during the colder winter months. If I can tell myself that I only need to run 1 mile every day, I’ll have an easy way to motivate myself to get outside!

26. Find a stranger in a bookstore and get a book recommendation (thanks Taryn!). With my brand new “reading room” I expect to/better spend a lot of time reading. Even though my commute is so much shorter (I literally don’t have enough time to take out a book and read two pages), I do have more time in the evenings AND I’m not taking a class this summer, so book recommendations will be critical/necessary.

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27. Plan the next big trip (taken from travel location tips from cousins Bat Chen and Mike – I miss you both!). Already this year, I’ll be in Michigan for family, North Carolina, New York, and Maine for weddings, and Switzerland for a 6 day European adventure, so I don’t think I can add any more big trips to my 28th year (and that is TOTALLY ok with me – that’s already a LOT of traveling!!). BUT, that won’t stop me from racking up frequent flyer miles so that I can start thinking about where we should go next!

And…. drumroll please…

28. Ok, let’s be honest. I don’t want to just run the Boston Marathon. I want to DOMINATE the Boston Marathon. I want to work and train hard for it so that when the big day comes, I feel good and positive and confident. I want to remember the day as one of my greatest accomplishments, one of the best days of my life. So, this blog is going to be pretty dedicated to that topic (let’s be honest, it already was…). I’m counting on all of you to keep me accountable and make sure I’m training as hard as I can!

What do you think? Book recommendations? Ideas for what we should do in six days in Switzerland? Great recipes that I MUST make?


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Training Begins TOMORROW

It has officially been more than a week since I’ve gone for a run.

After last Saturday’s failure, I made sure that my back had all the time it needed to recover. However, during my week off I signed up for the Ragnar Relay Del Sol in Arizona and took a peak at their suggested training plan and holy moly am I behind! Last week, I created a personalized training schedule for myself. Although this is not my first time training for a race, this will be the first time I attempt to incorporate one day of yoga each week. I’ve practiced yoga casually in the last 5+ years, committing to weekly yoga classes for 6 or so months at a time, and then abandoning the practice when life got busy. I’ve noticed that in the last year or so since my last batch of yoga classes, I’ve lost all of my flexibility (for serious, I can run a half marathon and NOT tough my toes? What the heck?). And after my back injury, the need to build core and back strength is even more apparent. So, to yoga I will go!

On Saturday, I went to a Vinyasa class at Jai Yoga. I did not expect the class to be so advanced. I did not expect there to only be 5 other students. And I did not expect the teacher to walk around the class softly speaking the different poses we should move through rather than stand at the front of the room demonstrating the poses to us. Then again, I’m pretty proud to say that I could keep up the majority of the time (and I think the teacher even complimented me on one of my poses – WIN!). There were several poses I could not do (aka could not even fathom how I would attempt them), but the teacher seemed ok suggesting easier poses for me to try (and seemed ok with me just laying there, which I did on more than one occasion). After the class, I commented to the teacher that the class was a bit above me but that it felt awesome to at least try – and would you believe that he responded that I should just keep coming back and after a few classes I’d be up to par? Really? If you say so? I don’t think I’ll be able to catch up that fast, but I did like the class… so I’m going to try and go back on Tuesday night. 

I can’t wait to start my training tomorrow morning. I stocked up on my new and favorite recovery foods (helloooo chocolate milk, you delicious drink). My legs are itching to get out there and run again after this long, extended break. Wish me luck!

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