Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Study Break

6 little days are all that separate me from freedom!!

6 days until the biggest test of my life. Terrifying and SO exciting at the same time.

I have barely had time to squeeze some itty-bitty runs in for the past 2 months, never mind time for blogging, but I'm hoping I'm able to return after I finish the bar next Thursday.

In the meantime, here's a recipe for a smoothie that I've been enjoying a lot of lately! 

Strawberry Banana Brain Food

1 Banana 
1 cup vanilla almond milk (more if you like it thinner)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
5 frozen strawberries

It's a great breakfast smoothie and always keeps me full until lunch! Looking forward to sharing workout habits for full-time studiers when I'm back!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Group Fitness

So, I'm finished with law school.

Well that sentence was a long time coming! Yesterday was my first full day off from school, and it still hasn't really hit me that 3 of the most challenging years of my education are over. With some extra time off before the studying starts again, there has also been some extra time for fitness.

The other day I tried November Project for the first time (check out their website!) and nearly died as I ran the 37 flights at Harvard Stadium. Such a great workout, I've been back to do it once since! NP also runs Summit Hill on Friday mornings right near my apartment, so I plan on joining them for a few of those, too.

CM is training for a Tough Mudder on the first weekend of June, so I've joined him on his training runs. We stop at local schools and use their jungle gyms for obstacles. (Or just act like little kids). It's been fun!
Probably not working hard enough but having fun.

Pull-ups at the jungle gym.

Harvard looking extra pretty at sunrise.

Delicious snack from yesterday: KIND honey-nut granola, vanilla greek yogurt (2% Cabot), honey, and almond butter.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Race Recap - Spring Classic 5k

When CM asked me to run a 5k last week, I immediately declined because finals are right around the corner. (Last one's ever!!! happy dance)

Anyways, he started to talk me into it, so I said, "Okay, I'll run one if the proceeds go to The One Fund." (The charity established by the city of Boston to benefit the victims of the marathon attack - donate. do it.)

He informed me that this one didn't benefit the one fund, so again I declined. Finally, he talked me into it when he said it benefited the Special Olympics (something that hits close to CM's family), aaaaand there was free beer at the end. Okay, I'm in.

So we ran the Spring Classic 5K this morning in Cambridge, and I'm so glad we did!!

First of all, it was a PERFECT day for a race. Sunny, 65 degrees, not a cloud in the sky.

Second of all, I PR'd! When we found ourselves at the very front of the starting line, I decided to really push it and try to run the race competitively (something I don't normally do during any race, never-mind 5ks). Well I ran it in 20:38 (6:38 min miles), and I finished 1st in my age group (19-29), and 4th woman over-all. I was thrilled! I also thought I was going to puke.... the whole time. At about 2.6 our friend AD ran next to me and tried to strike up a conversation. I gave him a look of death and told him to keep running. He helped motivate me to speed it up at the finish though. It was a great flat course, and pretty much an out and back into Harvard Square. Afterwards we enjoyed a free beer ($$$), and then I got some breakfast outside with CM. All in all a lovely Sunday!

Now it's time to hit the books....

I look like a hillbilly thanks to the shadows.. 
CM, AD, and VP - great race buddies!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Unfinished Race

I'm just finally finding time to sit down and put my thoughts on Monday's tragedy to (metaphorical) paper.

Needless to say, this week has been different than any other, and I've been finding myself pretty distracted: Refreshing my twitter news feed constantly, always reloading, finding tedious tasks pointless, and definitely looking at it all with a new perspective.

4 minutes are what put us between the second bomb on Boylston, and the point before the underpass where we were finally stopped. That means if I didn't stop to pose for CM's picture, if T hadn't hugged her mother at the foot of heartbreak, or if CS hadn't kissed her courageous police man in Autobahn Circle, there's a high probability that that's exactly where we would've been. 

The "what if" game...

 It can't be avoided after events like Monday's. After I run through the list of my "what ifs" (and they go on: What if my parents were standing in the same spot they had on Boylston the first time I ran the Boston Marathon? What if CM had been able to get on that first train in Cleaveland Circle and had been waiting for me at the finish line?...) I start to think of those families that are playing the what if game in the exact opposite way I am: For the Richard's family - What if he hadn't run the race this year at all? For Krystle Campbell - what if she had just been standing somewhere a little further away? For the BU Grad Student - What if she had chosen an entirely different country to visit? What if, what if, what if...

My heart is broken for them. For their families. For all of those who are injured physically and mentally. For those who will be healing from the scars of April 15, 2013 for years to come. A senseless act of violence on such a beautiful and perfect day.

It was no more than 2 hours before the bombing that I said to CS and T, the two first-timers I was running with, that Marathon Monday is such an amazing day for Boston. A day where people come together to celebrate as a community the millions of dollars raised for some of the most important causes in the world: Cancer research, homelessness, for the perseverance of the human spirit. 

My heart is broken for the loss and pain, for the fact that my first timers were robbed of that life-changing experience of taking that left turn onto Boylston, seeing those blue and yellow letters, and knowing amazing feeling of crossing that finish-line after months of training. After the physical and mental test of the past 26.2 miles. A test that teaches you so much about yourself and about life.

I am angered and saddened, but even more than that I am determined and inspired. I am inspired by the acts of kindness of the runners who continued to MGH and were turned away because so much blood had already been given for the victims. I am inspired by my amazing friends who rescued us at BU opened their homes and arms for those who couldn't get home right away. I am determined, as are CS and T who have already signed up for their next marathon in just a month, and VM for her half. I am determined to run Boston again.

At first I said, "I might be too scared to ever run this race again," to go down Boylston Street and to see that finish line. But then I think, the 118th Boston Marathon will surely be the biggest yet, because Boston and America won't let those terrorists win. We cannot let hate drive out what so much love has come to accomplish. So remind me again, when I need it most, in late March of next year - when I'm hating the blisters and cramps and long runs dodging snow piles: This time it's for those who can't.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Final Countdown

So the marathon is in the 10 day forecast and I am getting so excited!

Cross your fingers, and say your prayers, and wear your pajamas inside out so that the weathermen/women will be right on this one, because that's some perfect marathon weather!

After a weekend of marathon drinking (whoops) and a whopping 2 hours of sleep last night (thank you 4am wakeup and insomnia) I sure hope I have what it takes to run 26.2 on Monday!

I have a feeling pure adrenaline, the crowd, and these two lovely ladies will have what it takes to get me through! 

hydrating... or something like that.

goofing around

Steps to the Pru - getting this city excited!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

This is a great recipe for herbivores like myself who want a healthy, protein packed, filling meal. It's a little time consuming, but for the most part easy and delicious!

1 cup quinoa
1 cup veggie broth
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
handful of diced cilantro
1 half lime juiced
Cyan pepper to season
1 3cup bag of Mozzarella cheese
1 avocado
4 peppers (red, green, yellow, or orange)

1) I found the recipe for the Mexican Quinoa on one of my favorite blogs Peanut Butter Runner. Follow her recipe there for the stuffing of these peppers. (I changed it up a bit based on my tastes as you can see from the ingredients above, but it's basically the same).

2) While you are making your quinoa, heat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tops (the stems and about a 1/2 inch of top) off the peppers, and scoop out the seeds and insides into the trash.

3) Rinse the peppers and fit them into a 9x9 glass dish

4) When the quinoa is finished, scoop it into the peppers until they are half full. Sprinkle in a layer of cheese. Scoop in more quinoa until the peppers are full. Top with more cheese. Cook the peppers for 20 minutes or until the peppers are soft and the cheese is melted.

5) Remove fromt he oven and let cool. Serve with leftover quinoa and slice up avocados. Squeeze the rest of the lime over the peppers for extra flavor.

So tasty and jam packed with protein from the cheese and quinoa! Tell me if you can eat more than one at a time because I was stuffed!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

what 20 miles looks like

Okay, so this isn't really what 20 miles looks like, but it's the only photo I have from our 20 miler on Sunday. (Plus, it was my treat after the long distance, and it's way more interesting than sneaker pics).

Chill is an amazing frozen yogurt place in Cleveland Circle right next to my old apartment, and I just can't let it go. I couldn't think of a better reward after 20 miles than coconut froyo, fresh mangos, strawberries, and bananas.

Back to the run: The poor hungover amazing CM drove over an hour to drop T and I off in Ashland, just 3 miles from the Hopkington and the start of the Boston Marathon. Ashland didn't provide us with much to look at, but it was exciting to run our whole run on the actual route, and Natick, Newton, and Wellesley are really beautiful. I was a little overdressed for the 45 degree weather and sunshine, but I'm not complaining with all of the snow we've had while training. T and I stopped at mile 13 for a water/GU break, and hit the hills hard at mile 15 when we turned onto Commonwealth Ave. We stopped again for water outside of Hearbreak Hill Running Company. I'm dying to buy some of their gear, and they're always so great about putting out water and cups for runners.

It turned out to only be 19 miles when we finally reached Cleveland Circle, so as much as we dreaded it, we took a lap around the reservoir to make it a full 20 miles. It was definitely tough, but it feels amazing to finally get that last long run out of the way. We have a couple more weeks of tapering (a 13 miler and a 10 miler before the big day), but we are definitely excited for it to get here!

In other news, a new favorite brussel sprout recipe (I'm hoping to incorporate more healthy recipes!):

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 lb of brussel sprouts (Or I used 2 bags of pre-packaged ones from Trader Joes)
2 cloves garlic
Block of parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Cut sprouts in half and remove wilted outside leaves, rinse sprouts
2. Mince 2 (or more if desired) cloves of garlic
3. In a bowl, toss sprouts, minced garlic, and a generous amount of olive oil (maybe 3-5 tbl spoons)
5. Grate fresh parmesan and mix all of this together in the bowl, and season with sea salt and pepper
6. Spread on a non-stick oven safe pan, or grease a 9x1 3 glass dish
7. Roast for 40-50 minutes until outside leaves are golden brown and middle is tender

These are delicious and so easy! I can eat them by the bowl-full!