Friday, January 30, 2009

And when I'm not running....

...I'm usually reading or knitting. And I love making baby hats. They're fun, fast and relatively easy to create, and I'm having SO MUCH FUN experimenting with a new pattern weaving strips of ribbon in the hat. And the "rabbit ear" pattern is so sweet too!

The only problem is that they are beginning to take over the shelves in our family room. I need heads for these hats! Thank goodness there are a handful of DFMC veterans having babies this spring. (Again ...blurry pictures as I'm not very good at taking pics with my cell phone. But I wanted to post these for Om Gal after our knitting chat last night at Crossroads)

For FABULOUS baby hat patterns and ideas check out Itty Bitty hats by Susan Anderson

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

12 Miles and Starting to Fundraise

Tuesday was my designated "long run" day of the week, and I managed to run the Medfield to Dover center and back loop (12 miles). This particular loop has a history. It was the same loop I ran in 1995 the morning after a dinner party discussion about someone who ran the Boston Marathon doing all of his training on the stairmaster. My two oldest children were babies in 1995, and the trip to the gym and dropping them off in the nursery was my only chance of having some time for myself. I worked out a lot in 1995, and I was a fiend on the stairmaster, cranking up the intensity to the highest level for my hour long workout. Before this fateful day in January of 1995, I was NOT a runner. In fact, I hated to run. Stairmaster training proved to be excellent pre-conditioning for running as I stepped out in aerobic shoes for my very first "run" in January of 1995. A few months later I ran my first Boston Marathon as a bandit runner...and the rest is history.

Of course the marathon experience took on a whole new meaning when I signed up with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team in 1996. And this April will be my 14th running with DFMC. Times flies when you're having fun and giving back to a great cause. I recently sent out my first email to potential 2009 donors with my new "Save a Tree: Save a Life" theme where my fundraising with be paperless. My goal is to raise $10,000, and while I realize that we are facing financially difficult times, cancer does not care about the economy. ANY DONATION of ANY SIZE is greatly appreciated in our battle against cancer. To make a donation please visit my DFMC webpage.

On another note, last Friday I was honored to be presented with the Heights Award during the half-time of the women's Boston College basketball game. This particular award, presented by Boston College and the Massachusetts Lottery, "honors an individual who has made significant contributions to the development and advancement of women's sports in Mass. Through influence or personal achievement this individual inspires girls and women on and off the field." What a thrill!!!! My oldest daughter snapped this picture at the ceremony (a bit blurry but it's the only picture we have).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Plan

Now that I'm finally back to running, and actually feeling pretty good after a couple weeks of easy, every-other day workouts, I'm ready for a training plan. So here is goes:

The problem with my heel started back in October when I tried to toss in too many long, hard runs after months of summer, easy running ( typically no longer than 8 miles as I just don't deal well in the heat). That strategy didn't work too well as I had to bag out of running the NYC marathon. (That is now on the calendar for November of 2009!). So the first part of the spring training plan is to take it slow and easy. I'm going to stick with the every-other day plan for another month focusing on building up the weekly long run. I'm up to 9, and if I add 2 miles each week I should be ready for a 20 mile run in early March. Bascially my goal is to get to the start of the Boston Marathon feeling healthy and fit without any concerns regarding race pace. At this point in my life I can safely say that my PR days are behind me which really is okay with me. Staying injury-free is now my goal and focus.

I've been real lucky with all this great snow here in New England as I've been doing lots of cross-country skiing which is a great cross-training activity for runners. It keeps me outside and the my typical 90 minute workouts are tough yet SO enjoyable. I've been out every day this week (I doubled up on running and skiing on Sunday and Tuesday) as you never know how long the white stuff will be with us. So enjoy it while you can!

See y'all at Crossroads tomorrow night!!!! (I can't wait to run the hills!!!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Heathcliff makes a GREAT distraction

Okay, so I might not be able to run 15 miles this weekend with the rest of the DFMC group (I'll put in 8-9) but the viewing of Masterpiece Classic's Wuthering Heights this coming Sunday night will be a great distraction.

"You know I could as soon forget you, as my own existence" - Heathcliff

This should be great fun, and no school/work the next day due to the MLK holiday, so I might make a of party out of the showing. Heathcliff's emotional immaturity tends to bug me...his passions are so intense that he pretty much destroys everyone around him..even the woman he loves! But, hey, like most of us, he is a complicated guy. I think I'll give him another chance and see how I feel after the latest PBS presentation. I may even get my daughter, a junior in highschool, to watch this with me. She suddenly is in a bit of a panic that she is turning into her mother based on the fact that she now loves to run (captain for the Medfield cross-country team next year) and likes literature and philosophy...go figure!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Words from Hawaii

Aloha Sarah,

The weather outside's delightful (to the "Let it Snow" tune:) - at least here on Maui.Just read on your blog that you ran 3 - 4 times this week, including 2 consecutive days. Do you want to run now or in April? as long as you run on a painful foot, it will only get worse, or not get better and the amount of running you can do now won't help you get fitter anyway.Did you get my info on the Alter-G treadmill? If you were to live on the Arc Trainer 3 - 4 days / week and get on the Alter-G 1 - 2 / week, I believe you could get real fit with no stress to your foot. It will eventually heal but you shouldn't be running on it now - my $.02 worth.Stay warm -

Aloha - Jack

Even on his vacation our DFMC dedicated coach can't resist tossing out running wisdom! (I actually ran 6 miles on the trails on Saturday too. If felt good! But Jack's right...the next couple days will be filled with cross-training activities. Heading out to cross-country ski in a short bit to enjoy the new snow here in New England!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Weekly Mileage

Tuesday: 3 miles on treadmill (no pain)

Thursday: 5 miles on the road (not great - some discomfort at the run)

Friday: 3 miles on the trails (felt good!)

Not exactly what one sees in Jack's DFMC training guide for the second week in January, but it is a start.

After an MRI, bone scan and CT scan, there still is no real answer for the discomfort I've been having in my heel. No stress fracture, that's for sure. The word "stress reaction" has been tossed around which seems to be another term for overuse. So I've been given the thumbs up to run again and see how it feels. The treadmill and the trails are more foregiving and I've felt pretty good after those two workouts. The longer distance on the roads caused some post run aches and pain and I'm not sure if it was those extra 2 miles or the pavement. I really love strapping on the Yak Tracks on my new Mizuno trail running shoes and heading out onto the trails in Rocky Woods and I was thrilled that today's run (more of a jog as I don't want to sprain an ankle tripping over a rock or root) felt good. My plan is to try a longer distance on the trails and see how that goes. Heck - maybe a majority of my training will be repeat loops on the trails in Rocky Woods this marathon season! Just as long as I'm outside enjoying the great oudoors.

And just MAYBE I'll be able to run around the river next Thursday night in order to join the regular Thursday Night post-run gang at Crossroads. I miss those teeny tiny wine glasses!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I started making plans for a trip to the Lake District as a means of battling the dark days of a running injury. My training for Boston is a bit stalled, to say the least, and I'll be happy if I can just slowly jog those 26 miles in April as part of the DFMC team. But hiking and walking seems to feel okay at this point in time. I've heard wonderful things about the Lake District - home of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. I LOVED the Renee Zellweger movie, Miss Potter, and boy, she did A LOT more than just paint bunnies. Wordsworth described the Lake District as "The loveliest spot that man hath every found."

The trip begins and ends in Windermere (south part of the Lake District).

Here is the itenary
Day 1: Travel to Windermere where your first nights accommodation has been booked.
Day 2: Windermere to Grasmere. 10 ½ miles (17 km).

(This is a picture of Dove Cottage in Grasmere, Wordsworth's home)
Day 3: Grasmere to Coniston. 12 miles (19 km)
Day 4: Coniston to Windermere. 9 ½ miles (15 km)
Day 5: Depart from Windermere after breakfast

Mileage is a piece of cake! And I like the self-guided aspect of the tour as I'd go crazy in a bigger group with amblers! Independence and Adventure - what a great combination!

And here is what is included:
4 nights accommodation in en-suite rooms with private bathrooms (where available) in selected hotels, inns and guesthouse

  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer along the trail
  • A set of maps with the route marked on and route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, detailed instructions on how to find your accommodation each night, town plans, information about facilities and places of interest along the trail and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it.
  • Emergency Assistance ( I guess that is a good thing considering I've got a horrible sense of direction!)

All this beauty and adventure can be YOURS for a cost of 250 Pounds - that's only $372 American Dollars - not bad at all! Okay, so I'm sure the accomodations aren't exactly 5 star hotels, but with these types of views....sounds like a trip of a lifetime!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cross Training Activity #1

Indoor workouts are boring! You can definitely get a great workout and build up a real sweat on the indoor machines, but I can't stand the stationary aspect of the workouts. You're working hard and going NO WHERE! So I'm developing a program where I alternate indoor and outdoor workouts. We did a bit of organizing closets over vacation, and I uncovered a pair of hiking boots. There are many wonderful trails in Medfield and the surrounding towns, and I'm really enjoying my outdoor hikes. And when there is snow I strap on my cross-country skis and head out onto the trails. Today I decided to dig out an old pair of snowshoes (barely used) and try some snowshoe jogging. I'm hoping that this sort of "running" is okay for my heel considering it is fairly low impact (?). At least it adds a bit of zip into the exercise routine.

Let me tell you, trying to run/jog in snowshoes is HARD and a great workout! I definitely had to toss in walking breaks. I've done some research and they do make snowshoes specifically designed for fitness and running. The snowshoes I was using were pretty clunky, but if I can keep up this routine of snowshoe jogging I'll feel like Tinkerbell by the time I can actually run on the roads in my orange Mizuno racing flats!

I'm also getting the itch to travel, so I'm beginning to make plans for a 3 day hiking/walking/jogging adventure in the Lake District in England sometime in May. I've been given the thumbs up from my husband, and I have plans to discuss my UK adventure with my good friend and summer neighbor, Mary, who lives in London and Scotland. More details to follow.....