Category Archives: Running

Morning miles + smiles

Well, since my last post, the hot hot heat has relented a little, but it still hasn’t been back to my preferred conditions for running. What are my preferred running conditions you ask, Oregon. (Mid 60’s to upper 70’s and dry! in the mornings and late evenings).

Well, this morning was a beautiful exception to the humid East coast summer I’ve been enduring. 62F with the dew point at 42F. Amazing.

I slept in a little longer, then pulled on my favorite PRC top for a quick 3ish miles before work.

What’s better than 3.5 miles with a nice cool breeze? Meeting a friend and his always-happy-to-see-me Labrador at around mile 2! Science and the whole 60+ hrs a week thing has been kicking my butt lately. Friends have been great, but they’re still not the best friends who know me through and through. And that’s when that bounding, unconditional, I-cant-remember-who-you-are-but-I-LOVE-you from a dog is just what this scientist doctor ordered for an immediate pick me up.

To do this weekend: Turn 31. Spend time at a pool. Hang out with Peyton the Labrador. Try not to worry about my F32 fellowship application every waking second like I have been for the last two weeks.

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Rapunzel

Earlier this year, I took a much-needed mini vacation to Disney World with five of my girlfriends from Portland for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Thanks to an awesome cast member hook up, we got the friends and family rate for our “Cars” themed hotel room and thoroughly enjoyed being treated like the princesses we truly are.

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Here we are bright and early race day morning (L-R) Belle, Snow White, Cinderella, Lilo, Jasmin, Rapunzel.

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Ready to race!(walk) this was at the height of the peroneal tendonitis this winter and I finished my first half marathon walk in roughly 3:35. Definitely the most entertaining half marathon I’ve completed!

Well, onto the real reason for the post… At the beach house in Maine a few weeks ago, G. and I were playing with his sister’s princess crown…

20130630-225456.jpg … And my coworker Sebastian mentioned that his daughter loved playing princess as well. Turns out E. loves to be Rapunzel.

Turns out I happen to have a spare set of two five foot long blonde braids and a sparkly princess tiara…

Tada! Oh, the cuteness!

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She loves them. As did I.

PR City!!!

My most recent 5K was last March. There were several over the winter and late spring that I missed out on due to the tendonitis. With all the time spent not running this winter, I was beginning to think my new year’s running goals might not be in the cards this year.
My fears of decreased pace and fitness have been squashed several times in the last month. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the “fast” pace I’ve been able to pull out on several occasions.

The most recent pace surprise was this weekend at the First Hamden 5K on Saturday. My previous PR was 27:45. I wanted to beat 27 minutes so I set an ambitious pace into my Garmin of 8:40/ mi to ensure that I’d be over the line before 27 minutes, even if . This pace is about 20s/mi faster than my tempo runs for my half marathon training plan.

As I crossed the starting line, I knew I had to push my pace for the whole race if I wanted to PR. The first mile and a quarter was uphill! What the?! Note to self: pay more attention to the course when setting time goals. My tempo run mantra cycled through my mind. “Push it!”

Just after mile 1 at 8:10 pace, we turned the corner to continue running uphill. Will it ever end? Thankfully, the first short downhill was just before the halfway mark. I made up some time employing my attempts at Chi Running, leaning forward as I ran down the hill, increasing my foot turnover to use the downhill to my greatest advantage. Then another uphill till about mile 2.5.

The downhill finish was a real boost for me. Even so, I definitely wanted to stop. I think that’s a good sign that I was pushing it enough. As I came around the corner toward the finish, my friend Justin yelled “Push it, Carole!”. I kicked it out through the finish and saw a very gratifying 25:07 on the clock.

So much for being under 27 minutes! 25:07?! That’s crazy talk! Talk about satisfying. Note to self: who cares about the course? Don’t let anything throw doubts into your race plan, you may be very pleasantly surprised by your abilities.

New goals:
5K: Sub 25:00
10K: Sub 53:00
1/2 Marathon: Sub 2:00:00
Full Marathon: Sub 4:30:00

What are your race goals for the summer?

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National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day!

I’ve really been enjoying all of the running pics up on Twitter today. Some people posted pictures of themselves, others posted pictures of their running route. Whatever the image, it was great to see so many people supporting the running community and encouraging others to join in the fun.

The friendly and infectious peer pressure of my runner friends and the runner-friendly community of Portland, OR got me hooked on running five years ago. The #nationalrunningday campaign (can we call it that?) is a prime example of how runners can encourage a healthier, more active culture. Even the not-so-subtle peer pressure totally works, just ask my coworkers – none of whom at this time last year would have thought that they’d complete their first half marathon before the end of the year.

How did you celebrate National Running Day? Me? I ate a 5K for breakfast:)

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#WeRunNYC

Whooowee! It’s been a while!

Science has been moving at a frantic pace for the last couple of weeks and so have I! Riding the motivation train in work, AND in running. Sweet!

What brought on the running motivation, you ask? Feeling close to recovered from the tendonitis in my ankles, and receiving this little baby in the mail a week ago!

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Now I know why so many of my runner friends are addicted to their Garmin’s! I wasn’t intending my run on Thursday to be particularly speedy, but that lap pace notice each mile is a huge motivator for me. The competitor in me loves to beat my previous times, an the scientist in me loves to analyze the data when I’m done. So addicting. In a good way.

Another engine on the motivation train is seeing that despite the tendonitis and not running for most of February and all of March, my pace hasn’t declined as much as I thought. I think my New Year’s goal of a sub 2:00 half marathon is still within reach!

Speaking of trains… I hopped on the Metro North at 5:45 this morning to head into New York for a #werunnyc meet up. The run was hosted by Greatist, and sponsored by some of my favorite sports companies. Lauren Fleshman’s Picky Bars were there- I tried them all. So good! Nuun hydration was there keeping us from dying of thirst on a hot, hot day. And the event was organized by Oiselle Ambassadors, and twitter friends of mine, Jocelyn @jcbonn, Meggie @mbsthinks and Abby @nycrunninggirl.

I thought I might the farthest travelled runner this morning taking the train from New Haven into Manhattan, but the two girls from Scranton, PA beat me! Amazing. We ran from Greatist HQ down to the East River and along the FDR to the Williamsburg bridge for 4, 6, or 8 miles depending on the turnaround. It was a hot, hot day but running through the spray park with my new running buddy, Gabby made it a great run.

Flocking through NYC

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Beautiful hot day on the esplanade.

In short, life is good.

Boston Strong – Part 2

Marathon Monday

Eric headed off early in the morning to get to the start. I chose Mile 22 near Boston College as my place to spectate. It was such a great morning. Beautiful weather, great location, cheering fans all along the course near my location. I got there early enough to see the elites and very nearly lost my cool as Shalane and Kara ran by. So amazing. They were flying. Seriously – check out Shalane’s feet.

Shalane Flying

Shortly after the elite men, I got my first 30K text update for my very first running coach, Dave Harkin.

Dave

Like a Boss, people.  Dave was my Red and Proud Portland Fit coach for my first marathon in 2010. He crossed the line in 2:34. So awesome.

The crowds started to pick up after Dave ran by. 30K text messages came in for my friend Jon, and then for Eric. By then, I was very glad I was one of the few spectators in that area with a homemade sign because I couldn’t pick out Jon from the crowd, and I didn’t see Eric till he was about 8ft from me. He saw his sign though:) Sparty on!

Sparty On!

After Eric ran past looking happy at Mile 22 (something I’ve never managed to do), I hopped on the green line toward the finish.

Eric crossed the line in 3:35:56 and we met up about half an hour later under the “R” family reunion area. He was in pretty good shape, shuffling comfortably in his sweatpants and heat sheet so we walked a few blocks to the closest T station. We tried to board a very full train on our way back to Cambridge but were told to wait for the next one…. Then the packed train didn’t leave… Then the packed train was suddenly “out of service”.  We and about 300 others shuffled back up the stairs and toward the T station in Boston Common. On our way there, the sirens started. Sirens from every direction. The policemen and women who had been friendly and a bit bored-looking 20 mins before were now very concerned and barking at the crowds to clear the roads closed off to automobiles to make way for ambulances.

Then the text messages. “Are you okay?”

“Tell me you’re not still downtown.”

“Tell me you’re okay.”

As the sirens and text messages multiplied, Eric and I knew that something was very wrong. Murmurs started to come through the crowd. Explosions at the finish line. It didn’t seem like we should run, and no one was panicking, but there was anxiety in the air. The look on my face must have been worried because Eric looked at me and said “What do you need right now?” My answer, “I think we need to be farther away from this area. I think we need to concentrate on getting back to Cambridge before we try to really figure out all the details about what is going on.” And so we did.  Thank goodness Eric was capable of walking because walk we did.  The T was shut down so we started walking back to our safe place, Cambridge.

On the way, we met some compassionate and proud Bostonians. They offered us refreshment when Eric needed to stop for a restroom. They let me charge my dying iPhone. And they fiercely defended the marathoners.

The stories you’ve heard about the grace and kindness of the Bostonians as they came together after the bombings are all true. There was only respectful support, kindness, and calm action. It was the best response from a community under siege that I could imagine.

By the end of the day, we were with friends and family, safe, and feeling very loved by friends and acquaintances from all over the country via twitter and facebook.

After

The last week was filled with a lot of processing. Little snapshots of the events on April 15th popped into my consciousness and required attention, distracting me from my work. Little “what if’s” crept in and pulled on my heart.

From reading other running blogs and seeing the response from the country, I can tell a lot of you are feeling the “what if’s” too.  They’re there for a reason -aq to give us perspective, and empathy toward those who are suffering. But we need to remember that those “what if’s” are not our reality. We need to be thankful for that, and work to improve the lives of others who are not so lucky by extending them grace and showing support.

My life is returning to normal this week. The support of my coworkers and my local and national running communities has been uplifting. I was looking for a PavementRunner style BostonStrong event in the area and soundRUNNER came through for the running community by dedicating their Saturday morning run to the solidarity movement. Several of my coworkers joined me for our 5 mile run. It was a great turnout for our small community.BostonStrongBranford

BostonStrong

As I eluded to in my last post, I was in Boston last weekend to cheer on my friend Eric as he ran the 117th Boston Marathon. This was going to be a post about all the fun things we did, and it still will be, but there will be a part two. Eric and I both can describe last weekend best as two separate events – before the bombs, and after the bombs.

Before
We got in to Boston on Saturday evening. We stayed with a couple neither of us knew prior to this weekend. Eric’s yoga instructor’s sister lives in Cambridge with her husband. They were great hosts, although our hostess is 18 years older than her brother the yoga teacher so we were a little surprised to be greeted by septuagenarians. Shea and Alan are real hippies. Like, they were in Haight/Ashbury before it was the place to be. Alan and his childhood friend (who was also there for the weekend) hitch-hiked to Woodstock. So, although I was surprised at the time, I really shouldn’t have been when our host and his friend pulled out the pipe and got high while watching a film staring Charelton Heston. I’d like to tell you all right now that I was a high school D.A.R.E. ambassador. This was a bit of a surreal experience.

Sunday was a beautiful day and full of excitement from start to finish. We practiced the T routes that Eric would take to get to the buses that would be driving him out to Hopkington the next morning. We made it to the expo to pick up his number, and most importantly, buy a BAA 117th Boston Marathon jacket.
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And second most importantly, for me to meet the super-cool and down-to-Earth, Lauren Fleshman. I wasn’t sure if she’d be at the expo all three days so I tried connecting with her on twitter earlier that morning. You can follow Lauren Fleshman at asklaurenfleshman.com.

Guys, did I ever tell you about that time Lauren Fleshman replied to my tweet? No, that’s because it was totally overshadowed by that time I met Lauren Fleshman and said “Hi, I tweeted this morning to see if you’d be here” and she said, “Hey! That was you? Nice to meet you!” She was taking photos with ladies wearing their Oiselle gear. In this pic, I’m wearing my favorite “Running is Elemental” Oiselle tee.
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Lauren was there rep’ing Oiselle and 110% Compression gear.

Sunday evening, Eric and I joined my Portland friends Gail and Jon (Jon also ran the Marathon this year and crossed the finish line in 3:20:14). We had dinner at Taranta in the North End. An excellent place. Sustainable food sources and unique dishes including Paiche – a 600lb Amazonian river fish with flesh the snowy white color and texture of a sea scallop. Yes – we tried the Paiche. Yes – it was delicious. What dinner in the North End would be complete without cannoli? I’ve been to Modern Pastry before and was not impressed. This time, we waited through the zoo at Mike’s and were handsomely rewarded with tastiness. Pistachio for Jon, the Florentine for me. Due to dietary restrictions, Gail and Eric has to refrain from joining us, but I think Jon and I enjoyed our cannoli enough for all four of us.

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