Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday- Reflective rest day!

Ahhhhhh day of rest! For most of us crazy running lovers, it's a challenge to take the day off. Running is our sanctuary. It's the time to set aside the craziness of the real world, clear out our heads, and get a more lucid image of our lives. As complicated as everything else is in my life, running is the complete opposite: it's simple. You get on shoes and GO! With that in mind, I'd like to continue running for a long time (I'll be the 80 year old lady winning her age group in 50 years...I GUARANTEE IT!). To do so, it's important to take care of your body. So when it's a rest day, take the rest day! That means no cross-training, no pilates, NADA! Just RELAX! :-)

Running has not only given me mental stability, it's also helped be an all around healthier person. I used to eat chocolate cake for breakfast, laffy taffy and french fries for lunch, and nachos for dinner (no joke). I was ignorant and not concerned with how my poor eating habits were effecting my body because it wasn't noticeable on my lil Irish girl body frame. It wasn't until I started running that I learned that you really are what you eat. I take lots of vitamins to stay healthy (vitamin d, calcium, fish oil, a multivitamin, and biotin for good hair and nails...again, refer to the title of this blog! haaa), in addition to a pretty healthy diet. "Diet" does not mean depriving yourself of food. In fact, it's the opposite!! I probably eat more than most people, but I eat the right things. I eat lots of whole grains (whole wheat pasta instead of refined, white pasta and brown rice instead of white rice), fresh fruits and veggies, beans, organic condiments like peanut butter and jelly that are made of natural products instead of preservative filled yucky stuff, etc. I eat three big meals a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a snack in between lunch and dinner. I also stay well hydrated (be careful to not over-hydrate...I'll explain my story with this later on) and well rested (try to get anywhere between 6-8 hours of sleep a night). When I became healthier, my running performance GREATLY improved. If you click through my racing times from 2008-2011, you can see the dramatic improvements.

I'm so grateful that running has come into my life, and am forever indebted to my former coworker that inspired me to run the Cleveland Half Marathon. THANKS, JESS!!!
Me, my running inspiration Jess, and my lil sis Kristin at the CLE Half Marathon in 2008

So, my message for today is to open your heart and your mind to inspiration! It's amazing the things you can do with inspiration if you just believe in yourself. The picture on the front of my blog page is me as I'm turning the corner on to Boylston Street, on my way to the finish line of the Boston Marathon. That day will forever be one of the most amazing days of my life...and I earned every second of the experience. It's reflecting on all of the hard work and time I put in to get there that makes me most appreciative. I'm so grateful to have had that awesome opportunity!!

I've got my fingers crossed for some sunshine today...could use a little poolside time!! Tomorrow morning I'll be heading to the beautiful Tow Path for a 90 minute long run. And, again depending on how I feel, I'll be running "A Most Excellent Race" 10K on Sunday in CLE Heights!!

Speaking of inspiration, check this out!


  1. I have to agree with you on the is so important! Once a week I do treat myself to something I wouldn't eat during the week- like ice cream. I will be running 8 miles tomorrow-(we also have a beautiful Tow Path in Princeton, NJ) and 4 on Sunday. Have a nice weekend and good luck on your 10K. Nice Picture!!!

  2. Thank you!!! Have a great run this weekend as well!!! :-D

  3. I am so impressed with the fantastic improvements you've gained in just a matter of couple of years from a4:29 marathoner to a BQer! Did you stick to the Hal Higdon program for your 2nd marathon? I've done 21 marathons and still hoping to break 4 hours in NYC this fall. My plan is to follow the runners world program, but now having read your blog and the impressive improvement, I may have to rethink and jump on hal's program.

  4. Thanks, Aileen! I followed a plan designed by Nike for the Chicago Marathon for Chicago in 2009 (I finished 3:42,I ran this the fall following my 4:29, and I was just 1min 27seconds short of a BQ!) Getting so close to Boston and missing it lit a fire in me. There was NO way I was going to miss the opportunity considering I got so close without even having Boston as my focus. I decided to use that same plan that spring in 2010 to BQ, and ran a 3:19 marathon in place of my 2nd 20-miler, and a 3:18 a few weeks later. I did use Hal's plan for the Marine Corps and like it a lot(finished 3:30...I moved a few weeks prior to the marathon and just didn't have the same "fire" to push it).

    To be honest, I'm not sure it matters what plan you use as long as it has the following qualities:
    (1) you're running 5 days of week
    (2) speed training is incorporated
    (3) it's prescribes at least 2 20milers
    (4) you schedule in several "tune up" races throughout your training
    (5) you do some form of cross training on one of the 2 non-running days, and rest on the other
    (6) set a realistic time goal and have the confidence in yourself to get there! I honestly feel that this was the biggest factor of my 26.2 success in 2010

    I like Hal's plan because it's very detailed and has the qualities I listed. I used the Advanced-2 for the Marine Corps and Boston Bound for Boston. I'll be using the Advanced 2 for NYC, and am hoping to get back under 3:20!!

    Let me know if you have any other questions, and feel free to compare training as you go! 19 weeks til NYC!!! :-)

  5. I have a feeling we will be comparing notes as we get closer to this NY journey. I'm looking forward to sharing what works and what doesn't. NYC is near and dear to my heart as I PR'd last year. Glad I ran into your blog. You are an such an inspiration, and have so much to offer. Keep writing. Here's to NY!
    By the way, I am already packed, is that crazy or what?

  6. Awe thank you!!! Congrats on the PR! I'm so excited for the NYC experience!!!

    And, WOW, packed already?!?! We're runners...we're all crazy! :-D