September Recap

After a great month in August, September actually started out really rough for me and didn’t get any better. I have been having problems with planter fasciitis and even though I am trying to do everything possible to heal and get better it seems that the only way to have 100% percent recovery is to not run at all. I’ll be posting more about working on healing the heel soon. School started again so practice most days is now in the afternoon, so no more running through the empty halls!

September RecapAfter running through it most the time in August, I only ended up with 45 miles this month, which is pretty small compared to my big month last month. It was frustrating to me because every time I ran I felt terrible the next morning. I was doing everything possible for injury prevention and to make sure it was healing, but it didn’t seem to help. With rolling it out, wearing a special sock at night, heat and ice therapy and going to physical therapy, it’s pretty time consuming and not getting better faster. It’s also difficult to coach cross country when you can’t run as much as you used too.

In the middle of the month I was really getting frustrated I would get out of bed in the morning and my heel would be on fire. Towards the end of the month I decided that I was going to take two weeks off to see if that helped and then work on doing my long runs before the marathon in November. I have come to the conclusion that I can’t really do much else.

September RecapOn the flipside, this month is really exciting because I got into the Boston Marathon. I am so thrilled but yet, it’s a little scary because I want to be able to train well to run that race in April. I’ve come to the conclusion that after the City of Oaks Marathon in November, I am definitely going to take around two months off and do as much as possible to help my heel recover. Another exciting thing is our cross country season is officially in full swing. Our team had quite a few races and it’s been a lot of fun to watch the kids grow and actually race! They have a lot of talent and it’s exciting to see many of them realize how fun running and racing can be.


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2014 Breast Cancer Awareness Products

A few fun products that give back to finding a Cure for Breast CancerMany of you know that I lost my mom to breast cancer 7 years ago and the month of October is one of my favorites because of all the pink things out and how many people show support and raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Not long ago someone commented on last year’s pink post about how it was “Pink Washing”, which some people consider to be a waste of a company’s money and how it doesn’t actually do anything to raise awareness. I have never had breast cancer first hand so I don’t know how I would feel towards it, but I did find this to be interesting and I definitely see both sides of the argument.

For me personally, I like wearing pink because it reminds me of my mom and how hard she fought to live for 4 years with the disease. When she was diagnosed, she was still the rock to our family. Through her battle she taught me to be strong and always to be true to myself.  She fought hard to do all that she could while she was sick. I have such great memories of our family and friends doing the Breast Cancer Walks at the end of September and all of us wearing Pink. I also remember the time when my cousin and I did the Avon 3 day walk with my mom supporting us and how proud she was of us.

So in that spirit and with that in mind, I share with you a few of the things I’ve found that donate some, if not all, of the proceeds of the given product to a charity in the hopes to help raise awareness of Breast Cancer and to one day find a cure. Make sure to check with each product to see what part of the proceeds go to charity.

Here’s the 2014 round up of sports products that give back! I included a fun yoga mat and also some t-shirts that could be great for running or going to the gym. Also – the Give to Love, Love to Give tee is a part of the Forever 21 Give Back Campaign as well, they have a lot more products online!

Nancy Rose Performance Pink Tank

Give to Love, Love to Give Tee

Reebok Full Zip Fleece

Under Armour Support Tee

Under Armour Hope Tee

GAIAM Pink Ribbon Yoga Mat

The North Face Full Zip Hoodie

Aktiv Adidas Hooded Long Sleeve Tee

Under Armour Compression Capris

Under Armour Power in Pink Socks

Enjoy and remember, until there is a cure, this terrible disease will still affect so many women in the world whom are loved. Breast Cancer Awareness is about saving a woman, not a body part.


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Digital Gathering of Running Apps

Apps that make running more fun! Including safety, music, tracking and nutrition.I usually run with my phone when I head out not only for safety reasons but also to track my run and to listen to music. I wanted to do a round up of a few of my favorite running apps, or ones that I think might be beneficial to those who are just starting running!

A great app to use while running to track your mileage - RunKeeperI track every run with Run Keeper. I previously used Map My Run, but it’s mileage tracker was usually off and when running longer distances it started to matter how far off it became. When I track my run, it’s all about having it for my own personal records. Personally, I don’t want to compete with others or share it on social media. I know that Strava and a few other apps have that option which is cool if that’s what you’re looking for. I can see how it can be motivating but I just want to track my run for myself. RunKeeper has great features too like tracking elevation, pace and it also has a web based portal which is nice because I don’t have to access everything from my phone all the time.

Umano - an app for listening to spoken news stories. Rock My Run - An app that has music categorized by beat per minute, perfect for runners.Apps for RunnersFor music, which I usually listen to while running, I switch between Pandora, my downloaded music on my iPhone, Rock My Run or Umano. I’m just becoming familiar with Rock My Run and I like it a lot! It offers interesting mixes at certain Beats Per Minute to keep you going the same pace and it’s great when you know how long your run is going to be because you can make a choice based on time as well. I really do well with more upbeat songs so having them at a certain beat per minute helps me out a lot. Umano is interesting because it curates news articles for you that you may be interested in and reads them to you. It actually helps because sometimes there are a few news stories I do want to read but I just don’t have the time so it’s great to ‘favorite’ them and then listen to them out while I’m running. It’s much different listening to stories or spoken word while I’m out running because I am so used to music, but it is nice on a longer run or when I’m not feeling the music that is playing.

Couple AppRoadID Tracking App - great for family members to track their runner while they are out running.As for safety, usually I’m running at practice with the team, but when I go out solo, I always make sure B knows where I am and where my planned route is and approximately how long I will be gone for. We also have an app called Couple, which I really like and it allows me to share my location with him. I also like using the RoadID app, which is another way he can track me and see where I am running at and you can customize the lock screen of the phone to have an easy access to call whoever you would like. I haven’t had any issues yet, but I’d much rather be proactive with safety while out running.

Keeping nutrition on track with My Net DiaryFor food tracking and nutrition, when I’m actually trying really hard to work out and watch what I’m eating, I use MyNetDiary. It has a lot of foods stored in it when I try to enter them as ‘eaten’ and shows my calories for the day and my targeted calories for my goals. Again, I’m sure you could possibly share it online and use it with other people, but I’d rather just keep it to myself.

If you’re just starting out, try out one of the free Couch to 5K programs. They keep you on track and give you specific workouts to do each day to get you to your 5K goal. I know a lot of people who have done their first 5K with it and really like it! Hope these apps help you out!


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Heading to Boston!

Boston Marathon Acceptance Day - Getting into the Boston MarathonWednesday was a very big day! I finally found out if my qualifying time was fast enough to earn a spot at the Boston Marathon Start Line come April 20th. Last week I registered and never really thought that much about the option of not getting in until they announced that the cap was filled and they wouldn’t be re-opening registration. I started freaking out about how far my cushion of time I had to get in, 2:03, and really wondered if it would be enough. The obsession of checking my email and bank statement began around Tuesday mid-day and I couldn’t stop. Every 10 minutes I was checking both and there was NO announcement besides the fact the email was coming on Wednesday.

Boston Marathon Squeaker Mouse - Getting into the Boston MarathonDuring this obsessive time, I came to the realization that there is a whole plethora of people who were in my same boat and they have a name of Boston Marathon Squeakers. There’s even an official squeaker mouse, of those who ‘squeaked in’. I never thought about not making it in once I qualified and all of a sudden it was all I could think about. I didn’t want to think negatively, or that I wouldn’t make it in, but it did cross my mind how incredibly disappointed I would be and I knew what a hard day the Boston Marathon 2015 would be if I wasn’t able to run in it because I didn’t finish faster getting my qualifying time.  (Photo)

Finally, Wednesday came and I continued to check the facebook page for any type of update and the nerves really took over as I read a status with over 250 comments ALL from squeakers and those who were ‘hoping to get in with a 3-5 minute cushion.’ I really started to freak out then because I had less time to get in. Finally at 11:25, I got the email notification and hesitantly went over to see what it said… CONFIRMED! You are ACCEPTED!

Boston Marathon Acceptance Letter - Getting into The Boston Marathon!

I double checked the entry list and yup! There was my name listed! I never have been so excited to run as I was this afternoon. My eyes got a tad misty and my heart literally felt like it was soaring in my chest. I WAS IN!

I wore my Boston shirt that B got me after I qualified to practice this afternoon because I was so excited. I’m so glad that the news was good and that I made it in. It made my run that much sweeter even though it was 88 degrees. Now, to get through The City Of Oaks Marathon first and then heal up the heel and then it’s time I get to start working towards the Finish Line on Boylston Street!


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Registering for Boston

I want to document my ‘journey’ to Boston this Spring and today is a big day, Registration Day! At 7 am, I entered my information in hopes to have run fast enough to get in for next year’s race.

My Journey to the Boston Marathon - Registration Day! I’ve been running longer distances since 2008 and that’s when I first heard about the Boston Marathon. I remember the first time I looked up what my qualifying time and thinking how impossible it seemed, knowing how hard I would have to work to get there and how it seemed unimaginable to run that fast for that long. I was also dealing with stomach issues while training and was in the thick of trying to figure that whole situation out and didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel with that whole problem.

Toward the end of 2009, I had an incredible ‘breakthrough race‘ and broke four hours in the marathon and was so happy. I still think about that day and it brings a huge smile to my face. It was my “Boston Moment” at the time. Since then, I never had the desire to qualify, which I believe that you have to truly want it to train hard to qualify. I broke four hours, but was a far 20 minutes away from my then qualifying time of 3:40 and I really ran as hard as I could that race. I never imagined I would be able to run harder.

Then, qualifying times went up because the race was becoming more popular and I remember seeing mine going to 3:35 and thinking it was never going to happen. I told myself, when I’m older, after kids, later in life. I joked often maybe I’d go when I was 90 so I could have a slower qualifying time.

My Journey to the Boston Marathon - Registration Day!I remember last year seeing the Boston Jacket at a track meet and thinking I want to to do it. I want to train hard and I want to qualify. I told the kids I coached to push themselves and go for their big goals, but I wasn’t doing it myself. I had the loose plan to try to qualify at Long Beach this October because I knew the race, I train well in the Summer, and that was my ‘magic’ race before. When I was having a great day at Mountains 2 Beach back in May, I realized I needed to go for it then and push myself as hard as I could. I really left it all out there that day and I’m so incredibly excited to register for Boston today. I can’t believe that I did it and now I hopefully get to train to run Boston in the Spring.

My Journey to the Boston Marathon - Registration Day!I also remember this time every year, when all the Boston Qualifiers would be so excited about registering, training, heading to the race. There was always a small pang of jealousy I felt when I read their stories and saw their photos at the finish line and throughout the city, because I felt like I really didn’t know if I could ever make it there. It’s tough to be on that side where it’s something you want but you don’t know how to get there yet, or if you can really do it. Keep with it! You can get there. It takes hard work and it’s not easy, but the moment of crossing the finish line and knowing you qualified is such an amazing feeling, I still remember the tears blurring my view of the finish line as I ran toward it.

My qualifying finish time is 3:32:57 – so I’m 2 minutes ahead of my age division qualifying time of 3:35:00. I wish I could have run faster at Mountains to Beach at the end, but I just had nothing left in the tank. I’m hopeful I will get in and will be at the start line on April 20 next year!


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