Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Spinning Playlist

Tomorrow morning brings the last day of the year. Our 5:45 AM will be spinning it up with some tunes that are designed to remind us to focus on the opportunities ahead.4)

(1) "Brand New Day" Sting- extended warm up with a few pick ups at end to shake out legs

(2) "Love Generation" Bob Sinclair- think positive and a few jumps to get heart up to working heart rate

(3) "One More Time" Daft Punk- one more time we are going to celebrate all that 2009 gave us; sprints on the hill

(4) "Let the River Run" Carly Simon


(5) "Seven Wonders" Fleetwood Mac- two positive songs as we climb the hill for 7 mins

(6) "I Gotta Feeling" Black Eyed Peas- sprints! And, tonight's gonna be a good night!

(7) "New Year's Day" U2- steady hill, pick one hill, one pace and maintain.

(8) "Let's Get Loud" J Lo (remix)- jumps! sprints! Let's exude energy

(9) "Auld Lang Syne" BB King- one hill, one minute fast to the end

(10) "Standing Outside the Fire" Garth Brooks (because how could I not include some country in the final playlist of the year)
"Life is not tried it's just merely survived if you're standing outside the fire"


(11) "If Today was Your Last Day" Nickelback- extended cooldown

Happy New Year!

12/31- Update- I received a shout out on the great blog by Cynthia, Spinning Music. Visit her blog here to see some more great rides!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New York Times Article

I clearly have way too much time today.... or am simply procrastinating cleaning my house....

Carpe Diem!

Runner's World Quote of the Day

Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.

Sarah Condor

What a great reflection as we enter into the New Year! Although we may not be motivated to get moving, the euphoria we experience once we do far outweighs our previous dread.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Family Fitness

After dropping my husband Bill off at the train today, Cisco and I drove up to Quincy to walk with my father. My parents live right at the end of Wollaston Beach. For walking Cisco, it is quite convenient as the whole length of the beach is paved.

My father was never much of a workout guy when we were growing up. Sure, we always played outdoors, and as a Boston firefighter, my father had a pretty active job. But now, in his retirement, my father has a new approach to his health. He is quite focused on fitness, and every day, motorists traveling down Wollaston Beach will see my father out there around 7AM.

My father is a great example that it is never too late to start a fitness routine. We always have the opportunity to make health a priority.

Cisco loves to go for a walk, and he love Jerry Fowkes even more. So, today was a real treat for my little golden.

Cisco and I just got back from our 3.5 mile walk with my father. The walk did the trick with my little friend, as he is now completely content to rest on the couch.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post Christmas Musings

Christmas in the Ramsey household was excellent. I received lots of nice gifts from my husband, pretty much all of them related to fitness. I am sure that plenty of people think we are crazy with the gifts we get each other, as they are pretty much always centered around exercise. I think that is why we are married- we are just both a bit passionate at time about our fitness.

I received some nutrition.... I love that the little gingerbread man is wearing a race number!

A book that I have been hoping to read.... I would love to run an ultra, but I don't know if I have it in me.... However, I never thought a marathon was in me either!

A gift certificate to yoga at Open Doors....

Some triathlon shorts that are awesome that I am not sure if I will keep.... I have a pair already. These ones are way cooler and way more comfortable, but I need to decide soon if I need two pairs.

An unpictured pair of goggles that I am going to return, and my favorite gift of all.... I am such a dork!

I am super psyched for this pump because I can never ride my bike as my tires are constantly flat. My friend James told me to get a stand up pump as my little one leaves me too impatient!

Clearly my husband has triathlon on his brain. Too bad that I stink at swimming and don't really love it. I have all the gear necessary to rock this sport now.

I also received lots of gifts from my parents. They are very generous.

Some were funny. My mother is not into fitness at all, so I am not really sure if she gets me sometimes. But, she always does her best to get gifts that suit my interests. In my stocking, (yes I am 31 and getting one), Santa gave me this magazine....

I think Santa wants me to quit running and get into body building. Is it a hint?

But, the greatest gift I received was a digital camera. Yes, I blog, tweet and have facebook, but I have no digital camera. Now, I can move into the 21st century. Thanks Mom and Dad!

A great day, and Bill and I both managed to get in some quality treadmill miles before the feasting commenced. I am going to be running a lot more this winter than I anticipated, so there will be more to come on my training for the next few months.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Girl's Weekend in St. Thomas Dec 11th-13th

Here I was in a tropical paradise not even two weeks ago, and now I am sitting in a winter wonderland....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Not My Usual Post But....

As you know, I feel blessed to have been educated in an all female environment for high school. When I saw this youtube video on a blog, I felt compelled to share it. It is not my usual leanings, but a great message!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I earned that teeshirt!

I felt like, well, a turkey during this year's trot. There was nothing pretty about it. Bill tried to convince me not to go before I left, to which I responded, "it is only 3 miles." When I arrived to get my registration, they could not find me. That was strike 2. But, the very nice woman gave me a number that ended up being another bad omen- it was number 13. I was standing with my friends Paul and Michael before the race, and both gentlemen tried to convince me not to run. Michael even offered to just hold my number for me and take it to the finish! I was sounding and feeling pretty miserably sick.

There was quite a crowd for the little 5K in Hingham at 7:30 on Thursday morning. There were exactly 1130 finishers. I think that is a great turnout for the morning after the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving as well as terrific for the Hingham HS Cross Country and Track Boosters which the race supports. So, I swallowed my athletic greediness and took off as the gun went off. I felt terrible from minute one, and I had no choice but to take it easy. It was the worst feeling. I had nothing in me that would let me push the pace. The whole entire race involved me swallowing any bit of pride that I had. I was coughing and barely moving the entire time. At the first mile, I was at 8:49. When I crossed the finish line, I was at 28:02. That ends up being a nine minute mile pace, so I actually slowed down! A few friends were waiting for me at the end, and one said, "Wow, you really must be sick because I cannot remember ever beating you!" She was rather pleased with herself.

I wish I could say that I didn't care how terribly slow I was on that day. But, that would be a lie. However, I furthered my pain tolerance. I figure that if I can run like that in the worst cold I have had in my thirty one years, then I can really start to push the pace in some other events. In many aspects of my life, I struggle with expanding my comfort zone. However, with experiences like this, it causes me to realize that I can.

I have not run since then and have only worked out on the elliptical thus far. It is a sunny but windy Sunday morning here in Hingham, and Cisco the dog and I are headed out soon to do his "sniff and run". I figure that at least I can blame my slower than normal pace on him- j/k.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Trotting

The annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot is in Hingham tomorrow. I am signed up for it, and after last year's fiasco where I overslept, I feel I need to show up to it. The national holiday that is the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving did me in. (Although in all fairness, I grabbed Cisco, and we ran up to the finish line to cheer on my friends.)

I am not in the good 5K shape that I was earlier in the spring, and to top it off, I developed a nasty cold overnight on Monday. I woke up on Tuesday morning barely able to talk I was so congested. I made things far worse as I had to teach Spinning class that morning. At 5:30 AM, there is no calling around for a substitute. By 7 AM, I had little voice. Yesterday was miserable and closed out by falling asleep on the couch at 9PM watching the Biggest Loser. Full disclosure- I NEVER watch television. It is just not be thing and probably never will be. But, apparently, it was just what I needed, as I feel a bit better today and have more of voice. However, I am still coughing.

What am I to do? Am I okay with adjusting my goals? Although I am not in 7 minute/mile shape right now, I had hope to be in at least 7:30/mile when I signed up for this race. With this cold, I think that might even be dubious. When every gasp for air will be interrupted by coughing, I do not know if I want to put myself through that.

However, it is a community race that most attend as it is a great way to see friends on Thanksgiving morning. I am certainly NOT an elite runner, but why am I so caught up in what my pace will be? It is funny has even for the most average runner, running gets so mental. We want to maintain our paces, and get faster, not slower. We feel we need to perform at every race.

I think the plan will be for me to eat a big piece of humility pie. As of right now, I plan on being there. If I feel anything like I do today, it is not going to be pretty. But, I need to learn and to accept that running isn't always pretty. We don't always meet our goals, and sometimes speedbumps like illnesses can slow us down a bit. It will be a good mantra for me to work on!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Training to Start Marathon Training

As you know from my last post, I signed up for Boston. Bill basically forced me to do it, but that is why we are married. He usually can forecast what makes me happy and what drives me to misery.

The only problem now is that I have to get back into marathon running shape. I have kept up my running since the marathon, but I definitely know that I have lost some fitness. It has been seven months since I was on a training plan. I love a training plan. I love looking at the goal at the end mainly, but I also love being able to track my progress and cross off the boxes as I go along. It brings some sort of logic to this crazy thing that we call marathon training.

So, the goal for the next six weeks before Boston training starts is to get some strength and find my speed that I lost. Here is how I plan to accomplish it.

(1) Return to my beloved treadmill. I have been ignoring her in favor of running outside in this beautiful weather we have been having lately.

(2) Jillian Michaels- In other words, I have started the 30 day shred. I have made it two days and am already sick of it. I like her workouts- they are efficient and quick. However, I don't know when I will ever stop hating weights. My friend Katie, the physical therapist, reminds me often of why I need to start lifting them. But, it just does not get my heart rate up or destress me in the way running does. End of story!

(3) Return to the races: I have signed up for two races, the Hingham Turkey Trot and the Hyannis Half. I missed the Turkey Trot last year as I had trouble getting out of bed. This year, I am limiting myself the night before. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is always fun, but I don't want to miss the race this year. My running class is HOPEFULLY going to have a mini-reunion at it. If only Lydia comes, it will be a success. (She recently became engaged and I have yet to see her ring. Even though she lives down the street.... as such is the state of my life.)

I also signed both Leann and myself up for the Hyannis Half Marathon. My plan is to try to follow her- she is much faster than me so we will see how this plan goes. It is always freezing cold on this day, but it is a great race filled with friendly runners. I heart it very much. More importantly, at my birthday celebration this past weekend, I managed to convince Leann, Joanna, Courtney M, Courtney L and Liz that they all should run it. So far, three of us and one other girl are signed up. I plan more martinis and wireless access to get the others signed up.

That is the plan. Coincidently, this coincides with a mid December ladies trip to St. Thomas. Funny how the 30 Day Shred is planned right before that.....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm Shipping Up to Boston

Well, all last week, I was debating whether or not I was ready to sign up for Boston. I had received an email from the BAA saying that registration was filling up faster than normal. Then, my friend Rich emailed me to make sure I got the email. Next, the status updates on Facebook started, as my friends started posting that they submitted their registrations for Boston. I was telling Bill all this, and he pretty much demanded that I register then and there. He said to consider it an early birthday gift to myself. Usually, he is right when it comes to things, so I went ahead and did it.

There are so many reasons that I LOVE to run this marathon, many of which I am sure will appear on this blog in the next few months. For now, I leave you this youtube video to get you thinking about this event.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Running down a dream

There is something about that Tom Petty song that just gets me fired up. Whether it is blaring during spin class or on my ipod, it always revs me! As I was running on the treadmill yesterday, Tom came on and started singing to me. It got me thinking- what is my dream right now?

I have a dream of sorts right now, and it does not involve running. Very weird- all of my dreams involve running.... Setting PRs, finishing Boston, the list goes on and on. So, it is very strange for my new dream to not be athletic based.

But, I still am running on. I read a great post by Kristin Armstrong the other day on that really resonated with me. She writes about using running as a therapy. Now, all of you can figure out what I have been doing all these years!

Friday, September 25, 2009


I have a confession to make. It might be quite shocking. But the truth is, I love the treadmill.

My friend Walter calls it the "dreadmill". The Fitnessista refers to it as the revolving apparatus of death. However, as much as I do love being outside, as much as I love discovering new places by foot, I do love the treadmill as well.

Consider the treadmill to be the most honest friend that you have. No matter how hard the truth is sometimes, the treadmill will make you face it. You cannot underestimate how much you run or how fast you are going. It is there in front of you, and there is no fudging it.

But, your honest friend also reminds you of your good qualities when you are down. As you know from the blog, I am down in the dumps about my lack of running goal lately. I tend to be a slacker when I don't have a goal. This week, I have had two awesome treadmill runs at 7.8 for 5 miles. I remember when I could not do 6.0 for 1 mile; seeing that is like the treadmill giving me a high 5.

I know I am crazy, but really, I do love that mill.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Centering Myself

Today was a crazy day back at work after the holiday weekend. Our new interns whom I supervise started today, I was the on call counselor and with travel looming next week, I felt like I had a million small things that needed to be organized. I spent the morning plowing through things, and I was happy with my progress as noon approached.

I had brought my sneakers today just in case. I thought it might be one of those days when I left this morning, one of those days in which I would need the freedom and joy of a lunchtime jog. So, I headed out, and what a refresher it was. Never does a run fail to clear my head, to make my so called problems seem somewhat minor in the grand scheme of things.

One of my thoughts while I was out is how off the exercise wagon I have fallen. As I have mentioned before, I am a very goal centered person, which is often why I am training for some race. Motivation is my true center. I do not have any immediate race goals right now, but I want that fire in me. So, I have decided to create a yoga challenge for myself.

I know that seems ironic- yoga challenge. But, the thing is I love yoga and I simply don't make the time for it. Really, I love going to the studio, working through the asanas and then resting so gloriously during the shivasana. Namaste indeed! However, I skip out on it ALL THE TIME because I make the excuse that I do not have the time to get to the studio or have the time to give an hour and a half that the class requires.

Thus, yoga challenge- for one week, I need to do twenty minutes of yoga a day. I decided to start tonight. I downloaded a podcast of Paul Farmer's class, and I laid out my mat and started it. Obviously, for me, it was not as good as being lead through class by an experienced instructor in an environment where the community feel is encompassing. But, it is a start. If busy parents can figure out how to pursue their passions, I hope I can carve out a small portion of my day for it.

I am trying to get back to my center, and yoga is a great way to start.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Return to the Blog....

Well, it has been about six weeks since I last blogged. I have to admit that it is soley due to a lack of motivation, writing and running wise. I do not have my begineer running group to keep me inspired, and I decided not to run a fall marathon. I hate, hate, hate running in the heat, and it is nice not to be fretting how to fit in forty plus miles a week.

I still have been running, but mainly for my own enjoyment. Bill and I ran a few races this summer. We ran our second annual Falmouth Road Race in support of the MS Cure Fund. Despite running terribly in Nantucket the week before, we managed to run it it about 56 minutes. It was super crowded for the first three miles, so I am suprised we picked it up so much at the end. My friend Joanna ran with us the whole time, so we were a happy little group.

My excitement level is building though as the temperatures are dropping. Running in the fall in New England is simply heaven to me. Nothing is better than running in shorts and a long sleeve, while the fallen leaves crisp under one's sneakers. But for now, I am content with the cooler temperatures, and I have jumpstarted my running with a few local races. I am excited to do my usual preprep for marathon training, where I work in the few months before I actually start to get myself back into marathon training shape.

I love little local road races though, and running in them are such a good way to test my fitness. Today, Joanna, her brother PJ, his girlfriend Julie and I ran in the Nantasket Seaside 4 Miler. It is a small race with only a bit over 300 runners, but it was full of crowd support. Joanna and PJ's family turned out to support us, and her dad Paul is one of my favorite people ever. So, to see Paul twice during a race was rather awesome! Joanna and I ran together until three miles, when she totally left me in her dust! Go Joanna! The cool part was that she ended up winning her age division, her cousin Sean won his and yours truly ended up winning hers. We all received gift certificates from the Greater Boston Running Company and a rousing ovation from the entire McCann clan.

I have not been excited about running lately, but today renewed my enthusiasm for the sport. Running with friends is a blessing and a blast, and having the ability to run is an even greater gift.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Runner's World Quote of the Day

Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about.

PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

M.I.A. in so many ways

I was reading through all the blogs that I link to off of mine and came to the realization that I have not posted in over a week! Oh goodness..... I am certainly M.I.A.

Well, two weekends ago, I headed out to Nantucket for the first ever Nantucket triathlon. My race was soso and does not even deserve a race report; let's just say that after biking 18 with Courtney the day before and running 5 with Leann was not the best way to rest my legs. However, my crazy plan fits with my summer goal to simply enjoy my workouts and not place too much stress on having a goal for each one. And, it was a pretty warm day as the race did not start until 12PM. My friend Katie was with me, and if I complained of having more MS numbness because of the heat, she would have literally had my head.

The event itself was phenomenal. It was well organized and the perfect excuse to escape to the island. Also, it was a great place for spectators as they could lounge at the beach all day. Before I headed up to the transition area, Katie, Lori and Nancy settled in for the day at the beach where it took place, and I simply walked back over to them once it was done. Having fun= mission accomplished!

Upon return from Nantucket, I had a few days to get organized before I headed for California for a work conference. I ran here and there, and was so happy to not be swimming in the pool. Cali was great, but even better was reuniting with Bill at the airport as he had been in Wisconsin for two weeks. And, seeing Cisco when we got home was super as well.

However, now that I am back, many other things are MIA as well. My goal of having fun with workouts has pushed my motivation into hiding. I am a very goal centered exerciser, so pushing myself when I would rather eat lunch with my colleagues has become a bit of a stretch. A plan for the fall is MIA as well- I usually pick some sort of event, and I cannot seem to come up with one as I am debating running a marathon.....

For now, I guess I will just settle in on Falmouth Road Race..... That is our fun race for the summer to benefit the MS Cure Fund, but at least I have motivation here to finish it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Catching Up

As many of you know from earlier blogposts, my friend Leann is my best running buddy. She is my go to girl for miles and motivation, and I clearly place the success of my last marathon on her shoulders.

Leann and I have not been able to see each other much since we stopped marathon training in April. Our lives have readjusted a bit and are more focused on things other than running. We had the guilty pleasure of being able to tell people all winter "Sorry, I cannot do it, I have to run," and now we would feel guilty leaning on that crutch.

I do not work on Fridays, so I called Leann yesterday to see if she wanted to run this morning. (I needed someone to get me out the door to run early!) I received a "Yes!" text message back, and at 5:10 this morning, I hopped in the car and headed up to Milton to meet her.

Why would I ever get up this early to run in another town on a day off from work? Leann of course! Our friendship is based around running, but through all this time spent together, we have discussed issues that I am more afraid to share with other friends. We have solved the problems of our lives through the miles, because when you are running, you have no other choice as you face the miles in front of you. And, sometimes, the world around you seems a lot easier when you consider you have covered 15 miles on a wintery morning.

Today, we just caught up, reconnected and also got the benefit of the almost five miles. Mornings like these with Leann are exactly why I run.


Nantucket triathlon tomorrow- I will post my race recap on Monday. I am not expecting a great race, but I know it will be a super girls weekend on the island.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Being Present

Last night, we had a mini-reunion of the running group. Lydia and Cherie met me at the Rec at 6:30 and we headed out for a quick run. We recapped a bit of the 4th of July race and told the stories of how we met our significant others among other things. We looped past the high school and back on to Main Street. It was a lovely evening stroll through Hingham. All in all an easy three miles full of good company.

When we finished, we all commented that we were glad that we met up as we may have never headed out for a run otherwise. It made me think. We often focus on being perfect in our workouts. We want to run faster and farther, hold that headstand in yoga longer, or lift a heavier weight. But, it doing this, we miss the bigger picture about exercise and fitness. Instead, it is about being present. Every workout does not have to be perfect. But, we need to focus on being in the moment when we exercise, not letting other responsibilities and pressures interfere with us taking time for our fitness.

On those days when you think that the workout isn't worth the effort, remember that it will be regardless of how challenging it is. Exercise is always good for both our physical and spiritual well being.


Random aside- I played "Modern Love" by David Bowie at Spin this morning. I love that song! And, I don't know why.....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Finish Line

Running has gone beyond fitness. The jogging movement, which began as a pursuit of health, has become an experiential quest.

George Sheehan

After ten weeks, we made it to the finish line. I hope you enjoyed the journey. I know that I sure did.

If you remember from my initial email, I wanted to teach this class to share my love of running with others. I also wanted those who thought that they could not run to realize that it was possible with a little work.

Those were my goals when I began with you in April. What were your own goals for the class? Did you accomplish them?

Now that the event is over, think again as to what you wish to accomplish. It may be to continue running. It may be a switch to a healthier lifestyle. Whatever it may be, continue to evolve. This is the mark of our humanity, our continuous journey of self definition. Embrace it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Goal Setting

"The Tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach." Benjamin Mays

Last night, our running group enjoyed a leisurely run through downtown Hingham. Although we have been experiencing the WORST weather in June's history, the weather gods must have granted our wish for a dry run. How amazing was that after the treacherous storms of the day?

We journeyed out and about, jogging, running and sprinting up hills with a few walks breaks, completing almost 3.5 miles according to Debbie's transponder. Oops- my mapmyrun skills lagged again! But, it was great. Our last run gave us a chance to reflect on our path from April 28th. We have run more than the distance required of us on Saturday, and we know before we even toe the line that we will finish.

Before we started our group, we shared a common goal- to finish the July 4th road race. And, we will? But, what other goals did you have? What other goals have now sprung from knowing that your accomplishment of this one is so near? (Lydia, we will find you a 10K!)

There is a saying that goals need to be SMART


And, by following this philosophy, our goal for Saturday almost seems so small now. We have a set goal, a way to measure its success, a plan to get there, one that was realistic and one that had an end date. Such a good way to think about ANYTTHING we want to accomplish in life, whether it be an athletic endeavor or a personal wish.

I will see you Saturday. For now, drink lots of water over the next two days, getting plenty of rest, and run only between one and two miles. Your goal is near.

"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." (Hebrews 12:1)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Race Day Tips

Credit to

________________Race Day Tips______

Day before the Race
 Rest, at most walk to stretch the legs
 Hydrate well throughout the day
 Go to bed early
 Set out all your clothes & gear
 Eat a high carb meals, do not try anything new
 Pack bag with dry clothes for after the race
 Visualize the event and you doing well, smiling!
 Do not berate yourself.
 Remind self over and over it is ok to walk
 Accept nervousness, this is a natural part of racing
 Make sure you know your location, parking should be figured out
 Find out how many water stops

Day of the Race
 Set alarm to wake up with plenty of time, no rushing
 Eat breakfast 2 hours prior to start, nothing new (for our purposes, eat whatever you have had before Saturday runs. If it has been nothing, don't change that now!)
 Hydrate well, @ 16oz. 1 hr. prior to start, not all at once, taper
 Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start
 Do not try anything new this day!
 Warm-up should consist of 5-10 minutes of walking
Make sure to stand in line for the bathrooms early, even if you do not have to go
 Line up at the correct place
 Do not go out too fast
 Positive mindset always!
 Enjoy the exhilaration & rewards

During the Race
 Make sure to stop at all water stops
 Grab the water and walk past the tables, get over to the side to drink so you are
out of the way
 To adequately get fluid in you need to stop and walk and drink, pinch the top of
the cup
 If you need to walk at any point, move over the side to walk, do not stop abruptly
 Keep moving when cross the finish line
 You WILL get cut off. Deal with it. This is common in big races.
 Do not hotdog it to the finish line. If you have that much left you did not run a
smart race. Finish strong and relaxed.

After the Race
 Make sure to walk around, do not stop until your heart rate has returned to
 Remember to have your chip cut off your shoelaces
 Refuel with water, Gatorade, and good sources of carbs & protein
 Once feeling good, sit down for a good, relaxed stretch before you head home
 Take the next day off from running, cross training (swim, bike) would be ok.

Last Training Run

Wow- we've made it! Seriously, I am getting teary eyed here at work thinking about it.... Hopefully my boss won't walk in and realize that I am posting on the wrong blog! What a great experience this has been for ALL of us!

Tonight workout- leisurely running.... we will JOG and then I will have us throw in a few pickups to get the fast twitch muscles activated! Also, we are running the last mile of the race backwards. I want you to remember how many times you have run up the hill well when you are scrambling for the energy to run down it on Saturday.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Just a few more days

So, are we ready? It is hard to believe that we are almost to the race. Our group has improved since our start in April, and I am confident that you will reach the finish line next Saturday.

I had a great time running with you all this weekend! The bigger group tackled the heat on Saturday and then Cherie, Kim and I ran the course on a misty Sunday morning. And although I know I am teaching the class, you were all solid motivation for me to get out of bed and run! Goes to show you the power of the group and also the importance of scheduling our workouts so we cannot back out.

However, that run was longer than what you will have to journey next Saturday…. Speaking of which, it looks like it will be mostly sunny and in the 70s! Hydrate this week.

Homework- run between 2 and 3 miles!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tomorrow's Run

Are you ready?

Remember, we will meet at my house at 7:45! I am headed to Jimmy Buffet, so quick recap before I have to meet the tailgaters at 9:30. Are we 16????

Here it is....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chatty Cathys and a New York Times Article

Well, last night was a lovely run, wasn't it? I think it was Meg who commented on how chatty we all were, and isn't that an indication of us having a nice little time out there?

Seriously, solid effort last night ladies! We did not kill ourselves, but that was not my intention. It was just about being out, enjoying conversation and being grateful that we can run.

Interesting NYT blogpost about interval training- some background as to why I put you through track pain last week!

I owe you a big post- now only if I can get my annual reports finished for work!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On the Road Again

Hello there- we are going to do Saturday's posted workout for tonight. Same route!

I am super busy at work this week after being out for two days last week. I cannot write that much! Instead, for some fun reading, here is a Runner's World link on "How to Run the Perfect Race."

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Just so I don't forget-

map out 3 miles and get it done- I have lots to write about, but I am going to wait until tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Out of My Comfort Zone

As I told many of you tonight, I am headed to space camp tomorrow. My mother won a sweepstakes- who does?- so we are headed to Cape Canaveral tomorrow at 7AM. On Saturday, we will be on the zero gravity flight. I am in a rush, but I promise that my mother and her sweepstakes are a whole separate blog post.

I am COMPLETELY nervous about this ride. I have walked through the markets of San Salvador looking very American by myself, but for some reason, the whole space thing freaks me out. It is completely outside of my comfort zone. I cannot explain it, and I know it a once in a lifetime opportunity, but for some reason, it is completely disconcerting for me!

I am not sure why- I don't know if it is that I am such a person of strategy, and I like to know what the backup plan is before it is needed, and that the whole concept of outer space and not knowing does not fall into it. Regardless, I am sure I will have much to say when I get back. Enough freaking me out!


Homework- Run four miles, running and walking. Don't worry about time. Just enjoy it.

Workout for Saturday.....

3 minute run
30 second walk

Last Track Workout of the Season!

Tonight is our very last track workout of the season. Here is the plan.... Every 200is equal to a HALF lap of the track

Run 200
Walk 200
Run 400
Walk 200
Run 600
Walk 200
Run 800
Walk 200
Run 1000
Walk 200
Run 1200


See you tonight. Remember to bring water to the workout.

Monday, June 15, 2009


4 miles somehow, someway.... start working on your strategy for the race. How do you plan to get to the finish line?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Bachelorette

Well, my single life ends tomorrow. I am excited for my husband to return from West Point, but the bachelorette life has not been all that bad. (Granted, I saw him over the weekend, so it is not like I have had to go too long without him.)

Dinner has been all about me- I have had veggies,brown rice and tofu stirfry, spinach salads, veggies burgers, soy milk, and all those earthy crunchy foods that would never enter his mouth. I have been able to go to yoga a bit more, and I am now Cisco the dog's best friend. I have read so many books, something I normally don't have time for....

But then I remember that it's nice to share a meal with him, and I miss our morning rituals. And, taking care of Cisco alone is a lot harder than when it is a team effort. I think, well, it is probably okay if I keep the soy milk in the fridge next the the real stuff. After all, marriage is about compromise, right?

I have had a good week, connecting with friends and with myself. My other half coming back will turn it into a great one though.


On another note, AWESOME run the other night ladies. Everyone did at least 4 miles, and we kicked its butt. I was so proud of our little tribe kicking Otis Hill's butt. We looked even stronger heading up the Main St hill.

You are all such an inspiration, seriously. It took me much longer to become a runner, and you all will get there in ten weeks. Wow!


Running for yourself has to be the ultimate motivator. Everyone else can help with the preparations, but it is ultimately you who digs deep in the middle of wanting to stop.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tonight's Run


3 minute warmup
4 minute run
1 minute walk
Repeat- turn around at 25 minutes in

Girls Night Out

As you know, I am a big fan of the local road race. Big races have their magic and pizzazz, but give me that start line where the seven year old is lined up to THAT guy who will win the race anyday.

I am lucky to have a nice group of women who share their passion about running. We may have never connected without running, but we have created strong bonds over sweat and early morning runs. One of those special ladies, my best running buddy, is Leann. She is a phenom, whose ability to run up hills should be photographed for the Museum of Fine Arts, it is just so beautiful to watch.

Leann lives in Milton, and every year, the Milton Junior Women's Club hosts a Tuesday evening race. Last year, it fell on Leann's birthday, so we had a little group to run the race. It was literally 100 degrees last year when the gun went off at 6:30. I only did the 5K last year, because I was too wimpy with the heat and my MS.

Since we live in New England, of course the weather was completely different a year later. It was 53 degrees with misty rain last night. However, the weather may have helped us, as we had a slightly bigger group for what we now call Leann's birthday run, and not the Milton race.

Before the race, we did typical female things, emailing each other wondering what each other was going to wear. (Isn't it amazing that we do this as females whether it involves a night on the town or a race =)?) We decided on long shirts and shorts, and met each other at the race. We ran into some of our L St friends, including two of my other female running buddies, Maureen and Michelle. More chit chat about nothing and then we lined up for the race.

OMG- I should have stuck to the 5K. The 10K is WAY hillier than the 5K and my legs were toast from my morning Spin class and my afternoon swim. (Side note- who does that? I am not a professional athlete. I do not know why I thought I could be all bad aXX.) So, I trudged on just trying to keep Leann's orange shorts in my sight. I was successful until about mile 4, but it just wasn't my night. I finished the race with much help from my friend Susan, who came up behind me with about a half mile and told me to pick it up and follow her to the finish line. Yes, she beat me by a few seconds and she is old enough to be my mother. I hope I have 10% of her energy when I am her age. But, I finished, and sometimes, that is all that matters, having the energy to finish strong when the energy to run is just not there.

We went back to Leann's afterwards for a birthday celebration, and more female talk ensued. In fact, the men in our group went outside because they were bored by it. I told Leann that I tried REALLY hard to keep her shorts in sight, and she mentioned that she just tried to keep Maureen in sight. Joanna piped in that she just kept my pink shorts in sight!

Isn't it funny? We all were encouraging each other without even knowing it. We may always not perform deliberate actions to support a friend, but sometimes the unintentional act offers as much.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Less than a Month to Go

Goodness gracious- where has time gone!

The race is getting closer and closer. We have a big two training weeks, and then we will start to taper down.

Tomorrow night, we will be on our feet for 50 minutes total. If you need to do your homework today, please only go out for 25-30 minutes. Keep it short!

And, to save the date, on Saturday June 27th, we will run from my house to the middle school. Then, we will go over some race hints on my porch while we drink coffee and eat breakfast. You will need to be at my house at 7:45 that day, and I imagine that you will leave after coffee around 9:30/9:45 or so. I just want to throw it out there so we can plan it out.

Tomorrow we will head to the harbor.... See you at 7!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Double Loop

Reminder- I am away on Saturday, but will be there on Sunday night at 7PM. Ann Marie sent an email about running on Saturday, so get back to her if you want to join her.

This week's workout is a DOUBLE LOOP. You will complete the posted workout twice, to give you a total of 4 miles. Doing this helps you to think about what we refer to as NEGATIVE splits. Take the first one easy, let your body warm up, and then push a little harder on the second one. I also am having you do this as it will mimic the last mile of the race for you twice.

See you on Sunday or Wednesday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Track TIme

Hello runners, tonight we will be doing our workout on the track. Meet out back at the Rec for a rocking good time.

Here is our work out....

5 minute warmup
3 minute run
1 minute walk
4 minute run
1 minute walk


Let's start right at 7, and we will finish up at 7:50 so that we have time to stretch.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Even the New York Times

Is promoting the run/walk concept. Great advice here- when we plan our walk breaks, we gain control over our race.

See you Wednesday! It is track night out back at the Rec.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Identity Crisis

As many of you know, I ran a personal best this past year at Boston for the marathon. I ran a great race, and I attributed it to great training and even better training partners.

After Boston, the New England racing scene shifts to much shorter races. With the weather heating up, the distance gets shorter. Our speed starts to pick up from marathon pace, and we shake out those winter cobwebs that have built up. Every town seems to have some local 5K for a cause, motivating the marathoner to see how their long slow distance training translates into speed and the weekend warrior who thinks “Yes, I can complete 3 miles even though I haven’t done anything all weekend.”
I dread this time of year. One would think I was a sane person and look forward to it, knowing that I do not have a nice twenty miler waiting for me on a Sunday morning. But, I as you know, have not a sane bone in my body. The thought of running only three miles at a REALLY fast pace freaks me out. I cling to my identity as a long distance runner, telling people often that I can run far, but I am certainly not fast.

Even though I do not care for the 5K, I seemingly get dragged into a few each spring. There is always a great cause to support, and always an obliging heart that will say yes.

Given this context, I signed up for two recent small local races, the Pembroke Titans 5K and the Scituate SHORE Run. Both were within a week of each other, one on Memorial Day and the other the Saturday directly afterwards. I prepared really well for both; not running any speedwork sessions and actually, as a complete fluke, I shared beers with my husband rather than actual dinner and food the night before each event.

The Pembroke 5K was a super cute event, with lots of local kids joining the race. I love these races when the starting line is literally lined full of kids ready to go. We headed out, and there were no mile markers. So, I just ran, having absolutely no real idea of where I was. I also was completely unfamiliar with the course, so I ran completely oblivious of where to save myself for hills, etc. Somehow, I managed to finish in 21:39, good enough to win my division and set a personal record.

I completely thought it was a fluke; the race distance must have been short. There was no way I could run a 5K at a 6:58 pace. Bill, my husband, tried to tell me that I was just a little speedier than I thought… but I told him he was crazy.

Less than a week later, and after running with my learn to run class that morning, I found myself at the starting line of the SHORE 5K. And, we were off…. The race did have mile markers. At 1, the timer yelled out “7:07”. Yikes- I better slow down. At the 2 mile mark, it was “14:10.” What was going on there? When I checked the results later that day, I saw that I had ran a 21:38. What? Another sub seven 5K?

I still am a little perplexed. I know I earned my Boston time, but I am a DISTANCE runner. My body is made for it, right. So, where is this little speedster coming from? It goes completely against my identity as a runner. I hate 5Ks. Why doesn’t the 5K get that?

A day later, I am starting to realize the moral of the story. I set my expectations for myself too low. I don’t want to disappoint myself, so I always think I cannot run fast because I am a distance runner who runs Long Slow Distances!

How often do we all do this? How often do we set expectations low for ourselves because we don’t want to disappoint our worst critic, our inner self? How have we limited ourselves because of this? How often do we cling to an identity that may actually not exist?


30-40 minutes of walk/run as you feel!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Saturday's Run

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Our First Four Miler

Are you ready? We have been flirting with going the distance, but tonight is the night!

Walk for 5 minutes
3 minute run
1 minute walk
Repeat until done!

I am super busy at work- presenting at a conference on Friday and working to get transfer deposits in and settled. So, I don't have much time to be reflective or inspiring. However, I was reading an interview on Runner's World and this caught my eye as applicable to us as we train for the race.

As backrgound, Rick Ball is a single leg amputee who just set the world record in single leg amputee 10K. "

"My coach told me running is a very honest sport -- if you miss your training runs, then the truth will come out on race day. It is OK to have a big goal, but you need to set smaller goals in order to reach that."

Enough said! Promises for a more orginal blog after Friday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Runner's World Quote of the Day

Love this one! Such a reflection on how we emerge as runners.

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one."

Mark Twain

Monday, May 25, 2009


Oops, forgot to post!

30 minutes, walking and running as you feel.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Saturday Workout

Here it is... we are venturing a bit off our usual path

We will do the same workout that we did on the track

5 minute warm up
Repeats of 2 min run/1 min walk/3 minute run/1 min walk
We will turn around at 24 minutes, no matter where you are on the route. Again, for now focus on time on feet and not distance covered!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What is Next?

I have not been running with that much purpose lately. I get out there, run some, but it is so different from my runs of only a month ago. During marathon training, I was counting miles, running repeats and spending Sunday mornings with my band of runners. Since the marathon a month ago, there has been a total switch in my focus, with my struggles shifting to trying to withstand a few laps in the pool. (Which, I ended up not being able to get any workouts in this week- slacking!) As bad I want to be an triathlete, I just cannot get myself to find the joy in swimming. I love the water; it is just so much better when there are waves to catch and fish to observe.

Tonight was one of those perfect almost summer evenings. I came home from work, ate a little cake because I was hungry, walked Cisco and then changed into my running clothes. I headed out with literally no purpose except to escape the housework that awaited me at home. (Newsflash- I am cleaning because my husband’s bachelor friend is coming for the weekend. I obviously have much more wrong with me than my inability to love swimming.) I had no plan; I just put my ipod on and went. It was pure zen as there is nothing like pretty little Hingham on nice evening before mosquito season starts. I started thinking about what I would do next; what was my next running goal? I don’t think there is a marathon in my near future, and I really do not think I am going to get any speedier. I am running a few local races in the next couple of weeks, but with Boston under my belt, I have no qualms about arriving at the finish line.

Do we need a purpose to our running? Do we need an end goal? Or, is it about making the commitment to do something for yourself?


Class recap- AWESOME job last night! 47 minutes on a track of walk/run. Talk about boring. But, you did it! Great training of time on feet.
Homework: Walk/Run as you feel like for 35 minutes

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Vroom, Vroom

Start your engines runners! We are headed back to the track tomorrow. Here's some great reading from Runner's World for you about why we use it!

We will meet behind the Rec at 7:00 and then we will get our workout in until 8.

5 minute warm up
2 minute run
1 minute walk
3 minute run
1 minute run
X seven

Then, we will stretch and head over to the Greater Boston Running Company for our evening out. 20% off- bring your family and friends! Then, onto Rustic Kitchen for a cocktail we go.

It may still be hot tomorrow, so drink your water!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Being Present in the Moment

Like all busy people, I try to manage many things at once. It is a necessity of my life; if I was not able to, my life would be utter chaos. However, the responsibilities and activities that swirl around me cause one of my greatest flaws- my inability to be completely present and focused in a moment. When teaching Spinning in the morning, I am running a mental list of things I need to do at work today. At work, it is sometimes hard to focus solely on one task, rather than continuously thinking about the next meeting or the other project that is in the mix.

This is my constant struggle. As I race to the next event, I am thinking about what comes after. I want to be one of those people who have found zen, one of those people who can be totally focused on the person with whom we are with at a particular moment. I want to work on it, but I am lost on where to start. I do try to focus my attention when I am working with a student or chatting with a friend. But, I have to consciously choose to do so! Frustrating!

I guess that is why I run- because although my mind swirls with too many things, it is a time that thinking about too many things is acceptable. I don’t stress out that I am not completely present in the moment, because running doesn’t have rules and only requires that I show up.


Even though we missed Saturday due to my Miami trip, a small group of us got out for a 42 minute run/walk on Sunday evening. (Kudos to those who showed up without me on Saturday morning and thanks to Tara for organizing!) It was a solid effort of a little over 3 miles, and we ran more than we walked. Nice work to all!

Homework- 30 minutes, running and walking when you feel like it.

Wednesday evening- meet at the track. We will be working out for 45 minutes. Then, we will reward ourselves with our trip to Great Boston Running Center.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I am going to Miami.....

Did I get the Will Smith song in your head? Don't kid yourself- you remember it.

Well, I am just finishing my packing for Miami, and as usual, there are a million and three things going on in the Ramsey household.... And, mapmyrun is not working and I need to post your workout! I am so frustrated!

So, here is your workout. Just so we have a pretty picture, you can follow the same route we did on Wednesday evening. We are actually going to follow the same workout, but with an added segment. So, you will want to turn around at 20 minutes.

Minutes 1-5: Walk
5-7: Run
7-8: Walk
8-10: Run
11-12: Walk
12-14: Run
14-15: Walk
16-18: Run
18-19: Walk
19-21: Run
21-22: Walk
22-24: Run
24-25: Walk
25-27: Run
28-29: Walk
29-32: Run
32-33: Walk
33-36: Run
36-37: Walk
37-40: Run

Have fun! I will see some of you on Sunday at 7 PM.

Thursday, May 14, 2009



Map out a mile, whether it be from your house or at a track.

Run the mile and time yourself. The goal is to run a COMFORTABLE mile, not a mile that is the fastest that you can go. If you feel like you ran too fast, you did!

Take a break. Walk around for about 5 minutes or so. Then, run that mile again as a comfortable mile. If you need to walk in the mile that is fine! Just allow yourself to only walk for one minute and then start running again. You can do this- we have only been allowing one minute walks anyways.

More to come later- right now, I need to get back to work!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rec to High Street....

Is exactly one mile, for those of you with curious minds!

I will post again tomorrow, with reflection and workout details. Thank you in advance to Tara for agreeing to jumpstart the Saturday morning group while I am enjoying mojitos in Miami!

Runner's World Quote of the Day

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."


How weird is it that the RW quote of the day directly related to yesterday's post?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I love being a teacher. Even though I left formal teaching five years ago, I continue to act as a teacher in my career as an exercise instructor. It may be the older sister in me, but I love to instruct and encourage.

Certainly, I have changed much in the way I teach from when I started at Notre Dame right out of college to now as I work with exercise students at the age of 30. However, the most important lesson that I hope to bring to my students is that of consistency. We achieve goals when we are consistent in meeting the stepping stones to them. Our relationships are strenghthened when we act in a consistent manner, whether it be in our personal or professional lives.

Why consistency? Well, simply put, it does matter that you show up. It does matter that you can be relied on.

In exercise, we build a relationship with ourselves. We promise that we will take this time to strengthen our body while nurturing the spirit along the way. Whether a beginner or more experienced runner, we all strive for consistency. It can be showing up to our practices each week or it can be dragging yourself out the door when you really would rather relax a bit.

All of us have these moments regardless of our ability level. Sometimes, we don't want to head out for a run.... there is dread there. That is the great equalizer for us all- none of us will improve or achieve our running goals unless we do not allow such thoughts to distract us. We grudgingly lace up our shoes some days, and afterwards when we finish, we realize that it wasn't so bad but was in fact pretty good....

Okay, enough of me.... Here is your workout tomorrow.

Minutes 1-5: Walk
5-7: Run
7-8: Walk
8-10: Run
11-12: Walk
12-14: Run
14-15: Walk
16-18: Run
18-19: Walk
19-21: Run
21-22: Walk
22-24: Run
24-25: Walk
25-27: Run
28-29: Walk
29-32: Run
32-33: Walk
33-36: Run

I have posted the route below- we are using another out and back. It is about 3.2 miles. Once we hit 18 minutes, you will turn around head back to the Rec. Not everyone will do the entire route, but it is NOT about the distance. Tonight is focused on time on your feet!

Mea Culpa

I broke my promise- yesterday ended up being a very busy day at work with a doctor's appointment thrown in. When I returned home, there dinner to make, laundry to do and a mother in lsw who needed help using the computer.

I managed to DRAG myself downstairs to the treadmill while dinner was in the oven. I was mad- it was gorgeous out and here I was stuck in the basement so that I did not burn down the house. The first mile was tough, but I am not sure any first mile on the treadmill is appealing. I forced myself to change my attitude, reminding myself that I needed to make this effort work. Falling into a trance, I listened to feet plod left, right over and over again. I emerged off the treadmill, thankful I had made the choice to start, because the reality is, a short run is better physically and mentally than none.

So, isn't that life? I promised you that running would not taken over your life but would instead become a part of it.

I am really happy with how you are all progressing. We went over 3 miles on Saturday! How great is that!

When thinking about your group, I always smile. It is so hard for anyone to make the commitment to exercising, because it is all about showing up to each practice. Amby Burfoot, of Runner's World fame, states it best:

The beauty of running is that it's so simple, so adaptable, and so positive. Any healthy person can run. ( And many others, despite assorted physical and mental handicaps, have also succeeded) you learned to walk when you were a child. Running is nothing more than glorified walking.

You might not run fast. And you might not run far. But you can do it. And even if you have to mix walking with your running, you'll lose weight, lower your blood pressure, reduce the street of daily life, and feel a surge of energy.

And those are only the physical benefits. The mental benefits include lowered risk of depression and increased Creativity. Many runners take up the sport because they want to lose few pounds or decrease their inherited risks of heart disease. They continue running for the way it clears their minds every day.

Running is the ultimate individual sport. It doesn't matter how fast or slow you are relative to anyone else. You set your own pace and you measure your own progress.You can't lose this race because you're not running against anyone else. You're only running against yourself, and as long as you are running you are winning!

Amby is just so smart!

We are emerging as runners! Tonight's post later about tomorrow's workout....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quick Recap

Runners, I promise I will reflect and write more tomorrow. I have had a busy weekend with housework and fun gatherings with friends.

Great day yesterday- we held off the rain and accomplished over 3 miles! Bravo!

Homework- IN THE ZONE- 35-40 minutes,run when you feel like it, walk when you feel like it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Saturday's Route

We will be doing 2 minutes on, 1 minute walk, after a 5 minute warmup. It is 3.1 miles. For those who want to might want to keep in under 3, I have mapped the out 2.5 miles and 2.8 miles as well.


"Many people shy away from hills. They make it easy on themselves, but that limits their improvement. The more you repeat something, the stronger you get."


How applicable is this to most things in life? We can always push ourselves to improve mentally, physically and spiritually.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Today, I woke up to rainy skies and chill in the air. New England weather does funny things and by afternoon, it was sunny and sixty. Clearly, someone wanted us to have no excuses for our run tonight.

My trusty friend Detective Galvin lent me the wheel so that I could run around the track and see how long it is. Mike Perraino handed it to me at the police station and I headed out back to complete my measurements. I really wanted to be accurate for you all.

Past the baseball players and around the soccer players I went.... and it was 1207 feet long.... What did that mean? I completed my run, keeping that number in my head as I journeyed through Hingham. Once at home, I opened up my laptop, found a conversion calculator, and found out that 1207 feet equals .23 mile.

.23? How did the town ever make an imperfect track? (Then I remembered that we are training for a 4.6 mile road race....) I contemplated what to do as I made my way back to the Rec, deciding that it would be my mantra for the evening. You see, we all are imperfect. Yet, we all manage, despite our flaws and inconsistencies, to set goals and achieve them. We work through our imperfections and grow beyond them.

Great job tonight. The track workout allowed us all to settle into our pace and not that of our neighbor. I am sure that bumping the run up to 2 minutes was challenging, but you all achieved it.


Minutes 1-4: Walk
4-6: Run
6-10: Walk
10-12: Run
12-16: Walk
16-18: Run
18-22: Walk
22-24: Run
24-28: Walk
28-30: Run

See you Saturday!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wednesday Workout

Here is the preview for Wednesday runners! We will be using the gravel track that is in the back of Town Hall. Our plan is as follows:

Minutes 1-5: Walk
5-6: Run
6-7: Walk
7-8: Run
8-9: Walk
9-10: Run
10-11: Walk
11-12: Run
13-14: Walk
14-15: Run
15-17: Walk/Grab water
17-19: Run
19-20: Walk
20-22: Run
22-23: Walk
23-25: Run
25-26: Walk
26-28: Run
28-29: Walk
29-31: Run

As you can see, we will be upping our running in this workout. Our first 5 intervals will only be for one minute, and then our next five will be for 2 minutes.

It is important that you go at your own pace! For this reason alone, we will be using the gravel track in the back. Meet back there for class. Please feel free to bring your I Pods, your watches, your cheering section, etc. I will not lie to you- running the track will be boring sometimes. Track workouts give us a sense of making a deposit at the bank- we know that these give great return on our investment. Moreover,my goal is for everyone to find their own pace and to not worry about competing with one another. The track will provide us with that environment. We will all be running "together" and getting some group love, but our bodies will all be able to find our own pace.

Little funny story- I actually do not know how long the track is..... Detective Galvin, who I hope that none of you have had any encounters with, is letting me borrow his measuring wheel that he uses at crime scenes. I will know tomorrow and let you know.

I was thinking of you all yesterday when I was swimming. I am not a great swimmer; in fact, I admittedly struggle with swimming. My ego hurts when I think about my lack of aptitude here; I can run marathons but one lap in the pool makes me cringe. I have trouble pacing myself, breathing, you name it. There would be no mistaking me for Michael Phelps' sister in the pool.

However, I am going to stick with it. I am going to keep doing my little swim drills and putting my time into the water. I cannot tell my mother that I don't feel well and do not want to go today, but I can tell myself that only hard work in this sport will give me the confidence to not be so fearful of the freestyle.

Marathon Finish

My friend and L St photographer Paul sent me this picture from after the marathon!

I think that we both must have been pretty happy with my time!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Sunday Strolls

I was bad today- I bagged the plan to get up early and head up to L Street. My friend Katie had invited me to her house last night for dinner, and then of course, some Celtics game watching was on the list! By the time I got home, I decided that sleeping in to put some ZZZs in the bank for the week was in order.

Of course, sleeping in for me is 7:30. So, that meant that Cisco and I were out for his run at about 8:00. We did our usual 2.8 mile loop, and even visited Carol's spin class before they got started at 8:30. Cisco loves his grandma Carol!

Leann, my bestest running friend, came over a little bit later. She was with me at Katie's, so we vowed to just chat and not push it. (Leann also ran a 3:31 at Boston; I am lucky that she runs with me!) Before we knew it, we were back at my house and more chatting and waffles were in order. There is nothing like two friends catching up over a run and waffles.

My gears are definitely switching with the changing of the seasons. During Boston training, I was so focused on getting quality runs in on Sunday morning and getting in the mileage neccessary to train for a marathon. Now, I am focusing on reconnecting with myself, spending time with my friends and strengthening my relationship with running by sharing my passion for it with others.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday's Run

Another Running 101, another success. Despite the threat of rain, it was a solid recap. And, none of you seemed to notice that we switched to one minute on, one minute off.

A few recaps- first, what to eat before you arrive at 8 AM? I ate a a slice of wheat bread with some peanut butter on it; other suggestions that I have would be a banana or a yogurt. For some of you that may be too much or too little. If you learn anything from me over these next ten weeks, here it is- everybody's body is different, and the key to fitness success is coming to peace with that. If we try to compete with others, we cheat ourselves of finding healthy ways to seek improvement. We don't all fit into one mold!

Next thing, invest in some cool max wicking shirts. Especially as the temps rise, you will want the sweat to be off your body and not sitting in your clothes. On that note, a great new shop focused on female athletic gear (Sorry Wil!) opened up practically across the street from my house this week- Gettigear. I met Laura, the owner, today, and she is carrying some great items. She has crossover items as well as running specific items. (She carries a lot of great sports bras as well; I know personally that this is my most important running item!)

Homework- walk for 36 minutes. (I just mapped it out and I added one minute.) After every five minutes, run for one minute

1-5: Walk
5-6: Run
6-11: Walk
11-12: Run
12-17: Walk
17-18: Run
18-23: Walk
23-24: Run
24-29: Walk
29-30: Run
30-35: Walk
35-36: Run

I am going back to my running club tomorrow morning. It will be the first time that I have run more than 5 miles since the marathon. I will let you know how the legs hold up!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tomorrow's Workout

1:30 walk, 1 minute run times 5

1 minute walk, 1 minute run times 5

We will use this loop twice:

Runner's World Daily Kick in the Butt May 1

"Life is complicated. Running is simple. Is it any wonder that people like to run?"

Kevin Nelson, The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration

I will publish tomorrow's route this afternoon!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Woman's Best Friend

Tonight, I arrived home from work, and a certain little golden retriever awaited me. I was a bit tired; it had been one of those days at work, and I had taught my early morning Spin class. Cisco, my golden, looked at me with his big eyes trying to gauge if I was going to take him for a run or not.

I did not want to; I just wasn't it the mood. But, Cisco motivated me out the door. Running with him is always a joy- seriously. He just loves to be out and moving; he does not have a race to train for and a time to beat.

Good thing that he guilted me out the door- I received two mental boosts. I ran by one of the Running students doing her "homework" (Yeah, someone listens to me!) and literally ran into my old high school friend, her husband and their eleven week old son. If my little friend had not needed his run, I would have missed both! Talk about unexpected little surprises!

Now, he needs to take a nap.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The First Step

The first step is always the worst as we have to commit to putting ourselves out there.... But, we all made it tonight and completed our first workout! Great job to everyone- remember the hardest thing in life is showing up sometimes. There were many Sunday mornings this past winter that I had NO desire to get out of bed to drive to Boston to run with my training group. However, I knew that the marathon would be a lot tougher if I did not show up to practice.

Homework reminder- please take 1 30 minute walk either tomorrow or Friday. It will help your body acclimate to impact exercise. On Friday, I will post Saturday's workout.

We all are here for a reason. My reason is to intrcduce you all to one of my great loves in life. Please do not hesitate to email me with questions. I will post all answers to them on the blog. (Don't worry- I won't reveal who asked it!)

Nicole asked a great question about how should the foot hit the ground when running. There is SO much debate about the oorrect way to do it. There is a great article on "The Science of Sport" blog if you want a break down of the debate.

See you Saturday, and remember to walk for 30 minutes!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wednesday Night Run

Tonight we will be starting with an approximate 2.5 mile loop. Our workout will be as follows- 2 minute walk followed by 1 minute run. We will repeat until we finish the loop. I have pasted the route below- don't worry I will get us to that 2.5! Wear running clothes and sneakers. We will also stretch to close out class. See you at 7 PM!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Learn to Run 101 Introduction Email

Dear Students:

Hello and welcome to Learn to Run 101! I want to congratulate you on taking the plunge and registering for this class. Commitment to a goal is scary at times, but it is somewhat liberating once we make such a decision. (And, yes, that quote from the Starbucks cup resonated with me!)

I look forward to meeting you all on Wednesday night, but I thought I would send a short email to you all to introduce myself.

I never ran in high school or college. Instead, during high school, I was a competitive figure skating. My college years found me on the water as a member of the BC Varsity Sailing Team. My point being, I was never involved in a sport that involved any sort of running. In 2001, a year out of college, I joined a gym. It was completely new to me, but I stuck with it. I progressed as we all do and will, and I hate to be so cheesey, but I fell in love with exercise. I loved the way I felt (endorphins are not a myth), I enjoyed that there were clear physical benefits to it (no use to lie!), and most importantly, I adored that NO ONE could interrupt me while I was at the gym. I was not a cardio afficionado that first year, but mainly focused on Pilates and Body Blast classes.

My second year I started Spinning. I was afraid of it the first year and never tried it, (the people looked too intense!) but my second grade teacher was an instructor at the gym and made me go to her class. I started doing a walk/run on the treadmill, and I made the 2003 Hingham Road Race a goal. I finished and was so proud of myself. I set a goal and accomplished it! It is probably my most important milestone still, as I NEVER thought I would be a runner.

Since then, I have run marathons, become a Spin instructor and run every Hingham Road Race since. In my non-exercise life, I have changed jobs twice, earned a Master's Degree and married my husband. I don't want you to think that I am trying to express how great I am- I am not great by any means. However, what I want you to know is that anyone can become a runner, no matter how busy or how hectic your life is. It is all about making time for exercise; it will not have to be the main priority in your life.

Okay, so that's me! Now, here are some things to know.

(1) I will be posting all of our workouts on my blog that I have created for the class, and will also recap the class, post answers to questions, etc. It is if you want to look at it now. I have a few postings not about our class, but it will be dedicated to our class once we start Wednesday.

(2) I sent you my phone number via email. I am best reached between 7:30 and 8:30 AM and 4:30 and 5:30 PM. (That is my work commute; did you figure that one out?) However, you can call me at other times at well. You should NOT hesitate to call or email me if you have ANY questions or concerns that you think of outside of class.

(3) We will be following a WALK to RUN program; you will see how this works on Wednesday. Please do not be impatient with it. We are acclimating your body to running to ensure that ten weeks from now, your body will be injury free when you approach the start line on July 4th. There is a method to the madness!

(4) You will work with me two days a week, but you will need to have two other workouts during the week. You will have flexibility on the days. I will tell you exactly what you need to do each week.

(5) Please make sure that your sneakers are up to date. Old shoes that are from five years ago will lead to injuries. If you need suggestions here, please let me know.

(6) First workout is Wednesday. Please come dressed to run outside. We will do introductions, do our workout and then return to the Rec to stretch. We will meet in the game room.

I look forward to meeting you all!

All the best,

Biker Girls

Today, we were blessed with unusually warm weather. It was in the 80s with not a cloud in the sky. My friend Courtney and I decided this meant one thing- first bike ride of the year.

(Actually, I should back this up. My husband gave me a beautiful new bike for my 30th birthday this past November. Besides my initial test it out ride, I have not ridden it at all. The roads around here are just too bad during the winter; I did not want to put my new baby through that havoc!)

Courtney and I had one of those glorious days. With the marathon just six days ago, we decided that we would just ride for the sake of getting out on the bike. No time goals, no need for long distance, just two friends out tooling around on our bikes looking at the ocean. I might also add that we wore tops that were strategic for sunbathing rather than riding. I think I was hoping she would let me take a swim at some point.

We rode through Hingham and around the harbor, then into Hull down Nantasket Beach. From there, we went up and over Atlantic Ave, past Gunrock Beach and onto my most favorite road to run, bike, gawk, etc, Jerusalem Road in Cohasset. Court and I stopped to chat and grab some water at Sandy Beach, marveling at how many people were at the beach and those kids who were brave enough to be frolicking in the water. Back on the bikes, we headed past Cohasset Harbor and onto Scituate, climbing the hills of Border Street into North Scituate. Court and I rode down the beach roads in Scituate, turning around at Scituate Harbor and then spun past the lighthouse. We circled back to Hingham. I hate out and back type of runs and rides; however, this ride is so full of water views that it is one that I cherish.

And, that ride- about 35 miles in just over two hours. Nice job for an easy effort day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Great Advice from 'Runner's Rambles" Blog

Aron from "Runner's Rambles" posted her great advice about marathon training. Reading through them, I realize they are applicable to ANY goal that we might have regarding a race.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Boston 09

Isn’t it a shame that it is over?

Crossing the finish line of a marathon always brings a mix of emotions. Crossing the finish line of Boston only deepens them for us locals, as we know that our family and friends eagerly await our arrival, and remember that during each mile, we said a little prayer for each of them. The race encompassed everything in the world that it just so much bigger than us.
As many of you know, last year’s Boston was my ABSOLUTE worst marathon by a long shot. I was married to my terrific husband Bill just three weeks before the marathon, and let’s just say that the bachelorettes cut into the training a bit. (I guess running down the Strip at 4 in the morning does not count as cross training.) On top of that, I had recently started a new medication for Multiple Sclerosis, and it certainly was fighting some sort of internal war within my body.

Finishing Boston 08, I doubted my identity as a runner. I was not sure if I deserved it or not. Honestly, a half hour slower than my slowest? My husband, a very practical man, told me to stop my crying and focus on the positives. Did I run for a time, or was I running to celebrate the fact that I could run?

All summer, I refocused. I ran the bike paths in Nantucket and the beach of Nantasket. I rediscovered running with a friend, both of us with I Pods in tow, along the beautiful little way that we on the South Shore call Jerusalem Road. No fall marathon for me; I bagged New York. Instead, I ran the most awesome Eiffel Tower to Versailles Race while I was in Paris for work. (And then wore m y finishers’ medal at USA College Day.) I helped a friend at work discover the joys of running, stepping out with her at lunch time to get a few miles in and have some fresh air away from our office. My husband and I ran up Diamond Head to watch the sunrise in Honolulu, and I remembered that there was more to running than our marathons.

Why do I mention all of this? I know that these months, and this shift in my thinking made running fun again. It turned away from looking at BQs and marathons, but focused on why I loved running. I love the sense of accomplishment that just one mile gives, I love L St (go figure) and I love that for those times that I am on a treadmill or on the road, the rest of my life must wait. And, I just adore my friend that made sure I was at the start line this April 20th.
With this attitude, I traveled out to Hopkinton. We had a great training season. No, we were awesome! When we finished the 20 mile run from Natick, I think we all realized just what we were capable of. We had tested our mettle. And, I realized that running with some great company through the rainy streets of Boston cements both friendships and memories. It certainly helps that we all act as each other sherpas, guiding us through to the end, bringing us to the top of our own personal Everest that we face in the run.

The morning of the race, I was mellow. For those of you who don’t know me, there is NOTHING mellow about me. I work in college admissions, teach Spinning at the crack of dawn and talk faster than the normal Bostonian. After saying goodbye to the L St bus, I walked up to the start line, joined my coral and then we were off. From step one, I was in a trance. I was the definition of runner’s high. No offense to Ashland, Framingham or Natick, but I don’t remember them! In fact, it was so relaxing and every mile seemed to go so easy. I thought of something positive each mile, rather than focusing on the road ahead. Mile one was definitely for my husband, and throughout the race, I thought of each of you who gave me encouragement throughout the training season. All of a sudden, I was at the half way point and the Newton Hills loomed. I faced a problem I had never experienced before- I was “afraid of the bonk” and slowed down because I could not figure out why I felt so good! I did not have my own personal sherpas- Leann and Maureen- near me to pace off of! Could I finish this final part by myself?

I made it, over the hills, past my alma mater and into Brookline. Kenmore Square appeared, and I was into Boston, onto Hereford, and running into the wind down Boylston. I crossed the line, making the simple sign of the cross. I made it thanking the heavens. Not just for the ability to run, but I also gave my respects for such a positive experience. Don’t get me wrong- I trained hard, showing up on Sunday mornings and running on the treadmill during lunch when birthday cakes were served. (I am a sucker for frosting!) But, I think that my renewed attitude toward running helped me to remember that I will never be Kara Goucher, but I can be thankful for the fact that I am healthy, surrounded by a wonderful support crew and that my husband’s birthday (April 20th) was not ruined by a grumpy wife who had a bad day!

Boston 09 will go down for my records, not just because I was happy with my time. I rediscovered my identity as a runner this training season. I tested my mettle. Most importantly, I experienced how allowing myself to be part of the network of support that we all offer each other produces energy that cannot be described. We may all have a bad race now and then, but we can utilize the great tribe of runners as we round the bend.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Anyone can run!

I am a big propent of the fact that anyone can run! Yes, it is true. With the marathon on Monday, the Boston Globe has a great article for those who want to become runners but are not quite there yet.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Well, this is my first venture into the blog world.... I hope it goes well!

Although I have been a runner and a fitness instructor for a number of years, I have never ventured into the world of blogging. However, I am starting a new class at the Hingham Rec department, Learn to Run 101. Every year in Hingham, the town hosts the annual Fourth of July Road Race. We have a great Recreation Director, Mark Thorell, and he has been a friend for quite some time. Mark is used to my crazy ideas (I teach the Spinning class at 5:45 AM on Tuesday and Thursday.) I approached him with my thought that we should host an affordable class that would train people for the annual race, a walk to run program where students would be empowered to get to the finish line. Mark bought into it and told me to go ahead with it! I am happy to say that with about two weeks to go, I already have enrolled students.

I plan to use this blog to post information and training tips for my students. I will also post the workouts as well and give recaps of each training week.

Read along; you are about to learn of something wonderful- the birth of new runners!