Tuesday, June 8, 2010

They Did it!

Wow!!!! High Fives to the Medfield Fit Girls team who raised over $1,000 in order to "adopt" a village in Northern Ghana, Africa. The girls' fundraising efforts will allow Community Water Solutions to provide clean and healthy drinking water for children and their families. All the girls did a GREAT job at the 5k Trail Fun Run followed by a pizza banquet on the field. These girls rock!

Monday, May 17, 2010

This spring the Medfield Fit Girls team will be "exercising their hearts" by supporting the Community Water Solutions in Ghana, Africa. Our goal for this community outreach project is to "adopt" a village which means we will be raising $1,000 for CWS! And how will the girls be doing this?? Lemonade stands, bake sales, bottle and can drives plus doing extra chores around the house are just some examples of the initiatives the girls take on in their fundraising efforts. One of the founders of CWS, Kate Clopeck, grew up here in Medfield and serves as a fabulous role model for my team of girls.

The mission of CWS is as follows:

To implement community-level water treatment businesses in communities of the developing world that:
1. are run by members of the community
2. provide clean water for residents of that community
3. generate economic growth and
4. empower women in the community.

The girls grasped on to the importance of clean water very easily, and they created this sign after one of our recent workouts.

So here's THREE BIG CHEERS for the Medfield team! What a great cause to support!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Boston Marathon 2010 Photos

DFMC Pasta Party: Receiving "my chair" honoring 15 years with DFMC!
Hopkinton: With my fellow Trinity College runners - GO BANTAMS!!

Finish Line: This was a tough one, and boy does it feel GREAT crossing that finish line.

Finish Line: With Richard Laronde, the father of Stetson from whom I run in memory. He lost his battle with cancer when he was 7.

Recovery Zone: Where's the application for DFMC 2011?!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 Race Report: Short Version

It wasn't fast, and it wasn't pretty...but I made it to the finish line. With all my hamstring issues, lack of long runs, weekly mileage and let's face it , MY AGE, I didn't have any expectations of a strong race this year. Nevertheless, I love running the Boston Marathon each year with the DFMC and I went into the race focusing on the event as a wonderful celebration of my 15th Boston Marathon and 30th marathon overall. It has been 15 years of wonderful races, great people, lots of laughs, plenty of aches, pains and frustrations, but I am SO HAPPY that I found my way into the fabulous running community here in Boston.

Race conditions were perfect. I pretty much guessed that the first half was going to be okay but that I would begin to struggle the second half. This was EXACTLY what happened! Lots of walking breaks in the second half, particularly on the hills and through water stations. Finally finished in 3:41, and I believe my qualifying time for over 45 years of age was 4:00, so I had some wiggle room. I guess that is one benefit to getting old!!

More importantly, this year I was thrilled be honored as one of the DFMC 100k Fundraisers, meaning that with the support of family and friends I've been able to raise over$100,000 for cancer research over these 15 years of running with DFMC!!! A very exciting lifetime achievement indeed.

So what's next?? I must be nuts, but I've registered for the Mt. Desert Island Marathon in Arcadia National Park in Maine (October). Super hilly (mile 20-15 is all uphill!) super hard yet a BEAUTIFUL course! These days I'm more about beauty and experience than speed plus it's always nice to have a new goal. Looking forward to long, hilly (and slow) training runs this summer.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back Into the Woods...AGAIN!

I might need to rename this blog The Bluestocking Hiker/Biker. The pain and tightness in my hamstrings and hips after last week's 9 miles gave me a MAJOR message....STOP RUNNING AND LET US HEAL!! If I hope to run 26 miles in 4 weeks I have to seriously rethink what I'm going to do moving forward. My efforts to train through the tightness are just NOT working. My last long run was at the end of February (20 miles) so this year I'll be having an unusually long tapering period in my marathon training - like 2 months of tapering! I'm going to take Jack's advice and hammer some arc trainer workouts indoors, but on the others days I will be biking and hiking.

I was all excited when I first bought my mountain bike two weeks ago only to realize that most trails are closed during the muddy, wet months of March and April. And because of the heavy rains recently it REALLY is a mess out there on the trails. Certain trails are completely impassable because of flooding. This forces me out on the roads which makes me very nervous as most of my friends who bike regularly have been hit by a car at least once. I am not at all comfortable with those statistics. So yesterday I decided to take a trip down to the Cape and ride the 22 miles back and forth (total of 44 plus) on the Cape Cod Rail Trail starting in Dennis and ending in Welfleet. What a blast!! Weather was kind of crappy, but definitely doable, plus I headed off trail a few times when I saw what looked like a fairly easy trail through the woods. I'm guessing I biked about 50 miles and after some research on the Internet I was disappointed to learn that this was only equivalent to about a 10 mile run. However, one BIG bonus was I FEEL GREAT TODAY!! No aches or pains and I had FUN.

While I'm really anxious to start running again, I'm also very excited about mountain biking this spring and summer. NEMBA is a great resource for finding good trails, and at this point I'm looking for ones that are mostly ranked as easy/moderate. I can hardly wait to explore the Myles Standish State Park (Plymouth) and the Shawme Crowell Forest (Sandwich) this summer.

At least my biker chick adventures and research serves as a distraction to my (non-existent) marathon training frustration.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Back On the Road

After six days of NO RUNNING, I was back at it with the DFMC team in Lexington on Saturday. Ran 10 miles and felt good. Not great. Definitely still feel some tightness in the left hamstring, but I was happy to comfortably log some miles this week. Basically I've got 2 more weeks of training before beginning the wonderful tapering process. So my plan is to run easy this week tossing in a long run of 14-16 miles followed by a second week of easy running with a final long training run of 21 miles (Hopkinton to BC Annual Run). THEN I get to taper!

It is very doubtful that I'll be able to head out on the trails on foot or on the bike (Did I mention that I bought my first mountain bike this week??) due to all this rain. I actually bought a pair of waterproof pants at REI today - a necessary item for my upcoming "walking holiday" to Ireland with my oldest daughter after the marathon and an equally usefool article of clothing for wet and windy New England days. I tested them out today as I attempted to "trail wade" through Dover - what a complete mess!! But my legs remained toasty and dry thanks to my new REI pants. Gotta love goretex!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Marathon Training Robert Frost Style: You Come Too

Forget the Galloway Approach to Marathons. This week, due to my hamstring/piriformis issue coupled with a nasty cold/sore throat, I'm using the Robert Frost Approach to Marathons which consists of lots of rest and lovely long walks through the woods. Clearly this will not result in any PRs, but I'm actually ENJOYING this week!

For the past couple years I've been exploring (running/walking/xcountry skiing) the great trails in Medfield including Rocky Woods and Noon Hill. And just recently I discovered that Medfield is one of the 20 or so towns on the Bay Circuit Trail which connects more than 85 areas of protected land from Newburyport down to Duxbury. How cool is that?! I've already traversed my fair share of trails on the Bay Circuit in our area and am looking forward to exploring more when the weather gets better.

This prompted me to do a bit of research for trails in town neighbors - Dover, Sherborn and Westwood. Today I had the most FANTASTIC walk in the Noanet Woods in Dover. Isn't it great to realize that adventure and beauty is in your own backyard?! At some point I hope to start running along these trails, but for this week I'll listen to my body and enjoy the slower moments in life.

"The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleepl"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pain in the Butt

That is what forced me to only run 12 miles instead of the planned 17 scheduled for this past weekend. I was really looking forward to this long run after the successful 20 miler race on the Vineyard 2 weeks ago plus I had an early Friday night and was well-hydrated. At this point in the season I should be able to run 12-16 miles in my sleep, but very early on I started to feel lowsy. No energy and really struggling to put one foot in front of the other. And then I started to notice that my left hamstring and butt check were incredibly tight and sore which was REALLY affecting my stride as I tried to compensate. Things went from bad to worse and at mile 12 I had to call it a day.

So DFMC guru, Jack, suggests lots of yoga, stretching and long-distance walking (yea!) this week in order for those tight muscles to loosen up. After 15 years Jack knows how much I hate indoor workouts, so I was thrilled that he recommended long-distance walking in the woods. Somewhat frustrating, but I'm not looking to break any records or personal bests this year. Looks like a week of trail wogging and rolling my butt back and forth on a foam roller.

I'm also THRILLED to pick up my copy of the newly released Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson that Vikki from Titcombs Bookshop blogged about in a recent post. Any title described as "charming" and "delightful" taking place in a "small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills and thatched cottages" is SO up my alley!! Pour me a cup of tea and give me a bag of ice to sit on and I'll be more than happy this week.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fundraising Letters are out!

For the past 15 year’s I’ve had the honor of running the Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team. And each April there are many special people for whom I run in honor and in memory. This year I’d like to share the story of cancer survivor, Elisabeth Mann.

Many Medfield residents know Mrs. Mann as she has helped generations of children safely navigate their way to and from school. My son, Beau, has been a big fan of Mrs. Mann since he first met her in 4th grade. She was born in Germany in 1929 and moved to Medfield in 1954 with her husband, a Medfield native, where she continues to live today.

Mrs. Mann was diagnosed with cancer in December of 2008, and after 5 grueling surgeries and intense radiation she is now cancer-free and back to work. I think most Medfield residents will agree that Mrs. Mann is one of the most upbeat, friendly and endearing women you could ever meet. After hearing her stories about her childhood in East Germany during and after WW2 and her battle with cancer, I’m in awe of this COURAGEOUS LADY who chooses to embrace and celebrate life one day at a time. She is a gem of a human being, a real inspiration and I’m thrilled to be running in her honor this April.

(My son, Beau, with his favorite crossing guard)
My goal is to raise $10,000. And anyone who makes a donation of $100 or more will be in a drawing for:

Sarah’s Barefoot Contessa Dinner Party
(in honor of your DFMC donation)

10 names (couples) will be pulled at the end of April. The location and date of the dinner will be arranged at your convenience over the course of the year. Medfield or Sagamore Beach…there will be options! So what do you say to 5 Cheese Penne Pasta or Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola Sauce???
If you would like to support my run for DFMC, please click HERE to make a donation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

20 miles in the bank

Last Saturday, in honor of the 10th anniversary of what was probably my best race ever, I headed out to Martha's Vineyard to run the 20 mile race they host in February. It's a great event that brings people to the island at a time that typically is pretty dead. I was a bit nervous about the distance as my longest run this season was only 16 miles. Jack made a point of reminding me (and others who were considering the race) NOT to try and race it. So the pressure was off...this was going to be a nice, long run with great views of the ocean.

However, I really didn't take Jack's good advice. In my glory days of sub 3 hour marathons, 7:30 pace was a nice, easy training pace. Today that pace is pretty much tempo/race pace! I enjoyed running with DFMC Laurie (one of our fastest female DFMCers) and new friend, Melissa, and was thrilled to cross the finish line in 2:29:31 - JUST barely breaking that 7:30 pace! That was hard work for me, and it blows my mind that I was able to run that same course in 2:04 ten years ago! Oh...the good old days!

The kids are on vacation this week, and I'm "staycationing" here in Medfield while Brian and Hannah are down in Florida and Beau is skiing in NH. I'm home to supervise Kallie who is training for a divisional meet at the end of the week. My legs felt very heavy the first few days after the race, so I'm stretching and tossing in lots of cross-training this week. SO thrilled with the new, fresh snow we got yesterday and will be heading out to the woods for some skiing pretending I'm in Lake Placid! The ski will be followed by dinner in the "village" (Noon Hill Grill)!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Fun Email

Congratulations SARAH NIXON!

You’re eligible for guaranteed entry to the race of a lifetime—the ING New York City Marathon on November 7, 2010. You must claim your guaranteed entry by March 15. If you’ve already applied, please contact reghelp@nyrr.org with your name and entry number to have your file updated.

Friday, January 22, 2010

2009 Emma

"People - their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations -there I am the expert"

Oh Joy! Oh Rapture! Masterpiece Theater will be presenting the BBC's latest film version of Emma beginning on Sunday night! For a sneak preview follow this link:


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cleansing Detox: The final hours

I'm just a few hours away from completing my four days of my detox cleansing diet. While my goal wasn't to necessarily lose weight (although a few less pounds would always be nice!), it was more of a clean and healthy eating program and kick-off for the new year. Thank goodness I ran 16 miles the Sunday before starting the program because I found myself tired during my easy training runs (5-8 miles). Tonight I'm running the 9 miles of hills to Crossroads which might be a challenge, but the motivation behind this run will be PIZZA and WINE at Crossroads as my reward of 4 days of healthy eating! Here I come, Robert Mondavi!

In general, the detox diet was a good idea. I feel rejuvenated and this has motivated me to be more "mindful" (love that yogi word!) of my eating habits. I purchased items from Whole Foods that I hadn't heard of before this week: agave syrup, almond butter, quinoa, flax seed, etc. These were some of the ingredients for the recipes suggested in the plan. Having a smoothie in the morning is a terrific way to start the day, but "NO THANK YOU" to the suggested leafy greens that were in some of the recipes. Adding kale and swiss chard to my fruit smoothies was just plain gross.

The lunch recipes, however, were great. The almond-crusted baked chicken (served over baby spinach leaves dressed with lemon juice) was delicious and I plan to make this for the family next week. The side glass of V8 was an added treat.
All the dinners were liquid...in the form of soup. Lentil soup was served up on Monday and Tuesday, followed up with a butternut squash/apple soup on Wednesday and today. Both these recipes were quite delicious and surprisingly filling. However, I was always hungry later in the night and went to bed early finding it easier to be asleep and avoid the temptation to snack. And let's not forget about the cups and cups of pomegranate green tea (in my Jane Austen mug, of course). It was an interesting experiment for 4 days. Moving forward I'll stick with the general plan, but allow myself dairy, cheese and the necessary whole grain carbs I'll need for training, along with a few other necessarily evils (coffee, white wine) on occasion. After all, we don't want to be too obsessive about this healthy thing!
"How quick come the reasons for approving what we like" - JA.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cleansing Detox

I've heard some of my friends talk about the detox programs. No dairy, no alcohol, no caffeine, etc. Sounds horrible, but I'm considering giving a four day detox a try. For the most part I'm dragging myself around in the morning, and I just don't feel the skip in my step during my daily runs. Just more dragging myself around.
The Nixon family recently has a whole new load of magazines delivered to the house as we supported Hannah's magazine drive this fall. One of the articles that sparked my interest in detoxing was a 28 day plan from Martha Stewart's body and soul magazine. I'm not sure about all 28 days of the plan, but I might be able to stick our the initial four day detoxing plan (and then resume my sinful habits!)

During my 4 day detox, I'll be sticking to liquid meals for breakfast and dinner consisiting of fruit smoothies for breakfast and soups for dinner. I'm allowed a solid meal at lunch which suggests low fat protiens (fish/chicken) and lots of veggies. One of my concerns is will this provide me with enough energy for my training? I'm going to start next Monday, and Jack has us running a fairly low-mileage week - long run at the end of the week is only 10-12 miles. Thursday will be my last day of detoxing, and I'm guessing that I'll have a difficult time finding something to eat/drink at Crossroads after "doing the thursday" 9 mile run. Perhaps my detoxing program will be 3.5 days!

After the fours days I'll begin making smarter choices regarding food, but allowing myself moderate intake on the sinful stuff (cheese, wine, coffee). Unfortunately the cleaning diet SERIOUSLY conflicts with my latest obsession with the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks! Tonight on the menu I'm making her Penne with 5 cheeses that looks incredible (a recipe she adapted from the chefs at the amazing restaurant, Al Forno, in Providence). There isn't a single ingredient in the recipe that will be part of my detox week. Let's just say I'll be gently easing myself into this detox mode. Hey, at least I'm drinking green tea right now!

An another article that grabbed was about Elizabeth Gilbert's (Eat, Pray and Love) new memoir - Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage. On one level these self-help magazines and books make me a bit gaggy. I overdid that kind of reading years ago. I found Elizabeth a bit high maintenance, self-absorbed and often completely irrational in Eat, Pray and Love, although I do enjoy her writing. And thank goodness she didn't have any children during her "journey of self-discovery"! It appears she's grown up a bit based on what I read in the article. "I bring an enormous sense of self-accountability to this (new) marraige. The way I was with my ex-husband, and all the men in my life, was that whoever was next to me at a specific moment was credited or blamed with whatever was going on with me. If I was happy, then that person was terrific. If I was unhappy, that person was a jerk." Gotta love self-awareness and emotional maturity! I might just pick it up and give Elizabeth a second chance.