Sunday, July 31, 2011

Odyssey Cruise: Boston Brunchers

If you had more interesting things to do with your weekend than read my blog check out these posts:

The Running Buddy Dilemma
You Are a Runner So Run

Also don't forget to check out my Bondi Band Giveaway!

In the short time that I have been blogging, I have really come to love it. I have made great friends and met some awesome people.  I have also got to do some really great things that I would never do without blogging!  Today was no exception.  Today I was lucky enough to join the Boston Brunchers on the Odyssey Cruise for brunch.  The Boston Brunchers was started last year with a group of bloggers just going out to brunch, as foodie bloggers will do.  Since then it has evolved into a monthly event where bloggers come together to enjoy brunch together.  Sometimes it is free and sometimes you might have to pay a few dollars, sometimes it is by raffle and sometimes it is first come first serve.  I first learned of Boston Brunchers from Elizabeth at On Tap for Today.  And could not wait to sign up! So when the call came for the Odyssey I jumped, I was actually the first one to put my name in the raffle, and I won - a trip on the Odyssey Cruise for lunch with a guest of my choice and a ton of other bloggers and their friends.

So today, after my painful (I mean painful my shoes sucked!) elliptical workout (yes the shoes/feet were painful on the elliptical!),  I met my friend Samantha and we headed to the Odyssey. Overall, I had a great time!  It was so wonderful to catch up with old blogger friends and meet new ones.  For the first hour, before we even left port, we dined and then for the other two hours we lounged on the top of the deck and did some sun bathing (sad to say probably the most sun I have gotten all summer, yea I know, sad...)

On the positive side, the company was magnificent, the service great, and the view speculator.  Additionally, the event was not too long so that you felt stuck on the boat but instead it was the perfect amount of time - we ate before we left and spent the rest of the time outdoors.  At first I thought it was going to be too much, but in the end I was sad to leave.

The food, however, was only ok.  It was a buffet, and I am not a big buffet person.  Things just seem generally to be colder and not as fresh with buffets.  Here it was fairly fresh and not cold but what I had was just ok.  I enjoyed waffles and french toast with tons of fruit and whipped cream but it still left much to be desired.  There was tons of other choices both breakfast and lunch options from bagels and lox to chicken and a veggie pasta.  They also had a nice selection of desserts as well as a chocolate fountain, I did not try them out (I was way too full from brunch) but it looked pretty yummy.  We also were treated to mimosas, it was actually my first ever and very enjoyable!

 All in all it was a great day. Biggest downsides, (1) all that sun has led to a major headache, lesson learned, I need to get more adapted to the sun and (2) walking in my sandals far distances to get to the boat only created more problems for my feet = blister city (too much information? sorry!)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

You Are A Runner So RUN!

So I am here, made it back alive from my run with my new Daily Mile Friends and it was really wonderful to have people to run with again!  We kicked out 10 miles, which is actually the most I have run since May and I am feeling it.  I actually ended up running in Asics2160s (back to a stability shoe) but that is neither here nor there for the moment.  Do you ever notice how you can instantly find yourself chatting away with someone you don't even know on a run and it is as if you have been friends forever...

More importantly, last night I by happen stance had the opportunity to meet with a running coach who coaches everyone from newbies to pro athletes.  I explained to him my shoe problems and he examined my shoes, feet, and gait.  He, like my PT, agreed that one can not blame the shoe for my IT Band problems and the stability shoe is much better for me.  He put me in the Asics with a SuperFeet and told me to give them a whirl.

I also asked him his advice on training and what he would do.  His advice would be to start over. To do one mile one day, a day off, two miles the next day, etc!.    From there he would have me run more.  He explained "You are a runner, so RUN!" In other words, in his opinion, I am not running nearly enough and I should be running 5-6 times a week as opposed to 2-3 times a week.  I explained that the last time I tried this I got injured, fast.  He explained that it is not the volume but the types of runs (e.g., tempo, junk runs etc.).  I agreed that the last time I ran like this I was not cross training and not doing different types of runs.  However, I still have large misgivings about this idea and many questions.  Would I just get injured again?  Is this really the right way to run?  What about my PT who has coached me for so long who I would not dare give up!  On the other hand, I have been in a bit of a slump and a new training plan might help me get to where I need to me...might!  To make things more confusing,  this morning I read an article against running more than 3 times a week and had a very similar plan to the one my PT has set up and that I have been using for the past two plus years.

I wonder what your thoughts are?  My initial opinion was if this new coach could find me sneakers I would at least be interested in a gait analysis as I have been looking to have one anyway, but would you go further than that?  Do you run more than 3 times a week?  Would love opinions and thoughts on this!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Running Buddy Dilemma

We have all seen posts about whether or not one likes to run solo or with a group?  I for one have had a lifetime of running alone and just want to run with people now and have a good time but that is not the spin that I was looking to take on this post.  Rather,  I wanted to talk about what to do when you want to run with others but no one wants to run with you (or no one is around to run with you!)

Once upon a time, I had a running buddy.  I loved having a running buddy, he pushed me, made me run faster and we had a great time together.

Now he is injured, potentially moving further away, and our schedules do not line up.   The hubby has been nice enough to take his place riding along side me on his rollerblades but this week this happened!

Rollerblading is not looking good right now.  Plus, rollerblading was not ideal. I love "running" with my husband don't get me wrong but  it slows him down and it is not an exact science or a long term fix for him or me in some ways.  I have tried a running group but they are far from me and thus expensive and extremely time consuming to be a part of since i have to drive nearly an hour to run 40 minutes with them...hmmm...I have tried some other friends and seen if they wanted to run, while some have, our paces are significantly different and we always end up separating and those that are my pace, well they never seem to want to go out for a run :( they might have something better to do, our schedules are off, they are faster, or they just don't want to!

Well, if you build it they will come, right?  I decided, if there was not a group for me, maybe I would make one or at least try my hardest to find people to run with and so I put out some feelers on Daily Mile. Two guys responded that were right within my pace as well as lady a bit slower than me.  One of the guys said he would run with me.  Yay, I thought.  Someone right within my pace and in my area.  But then here comes real life 2011 back to bite me in the ass.  Who is the person on the other side of this Daily Mile account really? Can I trust them?  Am I just this little stupid, naieve girl waiting to be captured (not that I could not out run them and scream my ears off) but really who is on the other side?  It is a double edge sword ultimately! I posed this to my friend and he agreed that his own wife was not too thrilled by the idea and that we needed a third, probably another woman to make things "safer."  One of his lady friends said she would join us.

So now I feel better.  But still a bit anxious. I guess you never really know?  Is this what this day and age has come to? How sad!  Why is it that I have no misgivings about women but am nervous about men?  Well hopefully it will all go well and I will be back to everyone tomorrow with a good report!

So I guess the question becomes what do you when you love to run with others and there is no one to run with?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Runner's World v. Real Life

Have you checked out my Bondi Band Giveaway?

In my life, there are two different worlds that collide on a day to day basis - the runner's world and then everything else, which I am going to nicely term, for lack of a better world, "real life."  As runners/athletes, we have a LOT going on.  Training takes a lot of time, energy and commitment.  We wake up early to get in runs, we refuse to stay out late to be fresh for our workouts and we schedule our lives around running.  Maybe you don't, maybe I am the only one. But for me I am constantly balancing my running committments and then everything else.

Since Aaron's injury, we have been running (well not running) around like crazy making sure to get him the care he needs.  I am stubborn, of course, and as I noted, an over-protective woman and am not letting him move more than he needs to.  But we have had to go to a ton of doctors and last night we got back from the Physical Therapists at ooo midnight, the perfect time for dinner right?  Between this and the fact that we had gotten up at 3 a.m. that day, I announced to Aaron that I was likely not going to be exercising tomorrow morning.  His response "thats life Steph!"

We set the alarm for 7 (see I really was not going to go to the gym), but my body woke up momentarily at 5:39 to be exact, so what did I do? Went to the gym of course! I had a schedule to keep to continue my training or lack thereof.  On the drive to the gym, I began to notice how tired I really was - having to blast the radio to keep myself fully aware.  When I got to the gym, I headed towards the elliptical, I was scheduled to do two 20 minute intervals fast and then weights.  Lets just say we got to just shy of 25 minutes and they were anything but fast and you better forget the weights. At this point, I did the only thing I could left the gym and called Aaron whining about how I was coming home and that I could not complete my workout.  He asked "why did you go anyway?"

Why did I go?  My answer was I thought I had it in me at the time.  Which I feel was true but was it really? Was I just pushing myself to get my training in despite the fact that I was so tired from the other demands life threw at me in the past few days.  Why was I so stubborn? Was this one training session really going to help me - more likely it was probably going to hurt!  But yet I went, I was determined that my real life responsibilities were not going to infringe on my running schedule.

But guess what?  Apparently things are not so black and white. Sometimes "life happens" and the run or workout you thought were going to have is just not going to happen!  Sometimes we are lucky and can juggle all the balls in the air at once, but sometimes not.  It is at this point when you have to ask yourself the question - what matters more?  You can't always have both!  Is it more important to get in your training or should you stay out late making sure your husband gets to the doctor?  On a lesser scale, do you suck it up and switch your morning run to evening because you have to be at work crazy early?  Sometimes these things are easy - of course I am going to get Aaron the help he needs first but sometimes it can be soo hard to put real life responsibilities first.  But you don't always have a choice.  I guess, what my ramblings of the day (please forgive me, lack of sleep) is trying to say is Sh*t Happens! Life is not always going to go my way and I can't always do what I want when I want it (although I clearly don't understand why) and this applies to running and everything.  So for today I am learning acceptance and flexibility. 

How do you all feel?  Am I the only one out here on a limb, join me please, leave a comment and help me wake up a bit!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bondi Band Giveaway!

Whoever said all you need to go running is a pair of running shoes and the open road, clearly had never met me.  Apparently, if I find a hobby, I clearly find a need to accessorize it between my Garmin (that may apparently be DEAD oh no!), my iPod shuffle, and my running clothes it takes me a good amount of time to get suited up and ready to go out for a run.   Luckily, I am not alone.  Many others share my need to have all the "necessary" add ons when going out for a run.

Most recently, I have noticed people wearing these "head bands" as I perceived them on their runs. I have to admit, I was not interested in them, at first, for function but rather to add to my "running attire."  What better than to complete my outfit than a band that says "Will Run for Icecream." (I promise, some of this is in jest, I really use this stuff for function...sort of...).  So as soon as I saw these, I could not wait to get my hands on them.

Bondi Bands was nice enough to allow me to try out a pair for review as well as one to giveaway - does not get much better than that in my book!  They asked me to browse their website and find the one that was right for me.  I did not see one that said "I Will Run for Icecream"  but they were nice enough to make one for me. I also did not see one that said "I Will Run for Wine" and guess what, they made it for me too (good news for you all!)

Can you catch the Band in this one? I could not resist reposting my now favorite picture ever! 

I know the best picture ever of me right?

Ok some better pictures!

As soon as I got the bands,  I could not wait to try mine out.  I was actually a bit concerned - would it slip? Would it annoy the back of my ear?  Would they be hot and uncomfortable? To be safe,  I do what I always do when trying out new equipment and gave it a spin on the elliptical first.  Check everything seemed to go well - so off I went for the run.  And here is what I found out.

1) Clearly completes my race day attire
2) (more importantly) keeps the hair out of my eyes
3) keeps the sweat out of my eyes
4) does not irritate the back of my neck or ears
5) does not feel hot or annoying with the band on while I run!

I only really have one con,  it is not that the band moves around a bit but that I sort of keep adjusting it.  Maybe it does slip a little here or there but I do find myself playing with it.  Now, this is a big CON for me and I thought that it pretty much ended my career in Bondi Bands. But then I went on a run without it and I missed it sooo much.  It really did help me with sweat and the hair in the eyes syndromes.  The next time I was back at it with my Bondi Band and with this heat, boy was I happy to have it.

So there you have it, short and sweet this one.  I know this is not the biggest giveaway on the books but let me tell you these things are worth it so here is how to enter to win the "will run for wine" bondi band:

Giveaway Entry
1) Be a follower of this blog (mandatory!)
2) Tweet, I want to win a BondiBand at or something to that affect
3) Go to BondiBand's FB Page Like them and tell them I sent you
4) Send me any advice on what to do with a dying Garmin or if you ever had that experience

As always, one comment per entry please!  This giveaway will be open until next Thursday August 4th (August already? 10 days from the 4th is Falmouth!!).  Enjoy :) 

P.S. Want extra chances to win a different type of headband check out Nurse on the Run's giveaway - great minds think alike!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hubby's Hospital Happenings

Now not to be stereotypical but Jewish mothers and pretty much all Jewish women (I know anyway) can be overprotected and bossy, in a good way of course.  I just think it is in our genes and I am very much ok with it.  While I am not a Jewish mother yet,  I still have a whole lot of these traits.  So when Aaron left me a voicemail this morning saying "I'm ok but I did something stupid and I need your advice"  I was on the phone within seconds and when he did not pick up the first time, I just dialed again until he did pick up- no waiting for a return call for this gal.

Apparently, during hockey, Aaron went down for a puck ( he is a goalie and could probably recap this better) and never got back up.  When he went down, he heard a pop.  I learned later that instead of rushing to the ER, the guys helped him to the locker room and proceeded to finish the game!!!! Uhhh, it is pick up hockey people!  Oh well, Aaron apparently drove HIMSELF to the emergency room - you can see my motherly blood just boiling here.  At this point is when I called him.  He proceeded to tell me the shorten version but I did not know until he came home what popped and was soo worried it was his knee!  He told me it was fine and to go to work. In true fashion, I told him to Shut Up and that I was coming to him. 

As it ended up, he had me meet him at home.  As my trooper (but maybe slightly stupid - sorry honey) husband, drove HIMSELF back to the house.  As I waited for him in the garage to exit the car, I saw it an air cast and crutches around his sprained ankle. Phew!  We can live with that, right?  Apparently only 1-2 weeks no sports etc.  But you know we are headed right to my PT don't you?

Now I love our new house but it has stairs. And when I say stairs, I mean lots of them.  There are three flights and geez I would say there are like 10-15 steps in each staircase - not ideal for crutches in the least.  Aaron immediately took to trying to hop up the stairs...halfway through I commanded him to take a break )I am not even going to cross out the command word here because thats what was necessary).  It is then when he invoked his mommy's instructions to 2 year old Aaron - "tushi first" and up he went "tushi first" up the stairs.

Once we got him on the couch, this happened.

And I could not resist a little of this too.  Did I ever mention I am 5'1 (5'2 on a good day) and Aaron is 6'3 (6'4 on a good day) - makes for interesting photos....

Anyway,  again the motherly instincts kicked in - I prepped his food for the day, set him up with a cooler for ice, and even tried to bring his massively amazing computer downstairs.  Apparently, I need to work on my upper body because we had to settle for the laptop and extra monitor instead - his computer is crazy heavy!! Aaron lifts it like it is 5 lbs, definitely not.  I also offered to give him a pail so he did not have to get up to use the bathroom, he refused for some reason beknownst to me! lol. Too Much Information?

Aaron promised me he would be ok and would get to his work and told me I should do the same.  So I did, reluctantly.  Now, I guess it is important, at this point, to note that Aaron, for a few reasons, cannot take pain meds and has not had any pain medication or alcohol in about three years.  At the hospital, they wanted to give him Tylenol 3, so we are talking heavy pain here, the man refused! Me I run for these pills if in need of them, I am a weakling when it comes to pain.  Thus it was not long before I got a message from Aaron that he tried to get up felt all light headed from the pain and had to give up for the day retiring to the couch.  He also managed to slip a bit and run out of ice.  As I could not get home, I suggested calling our neighbor and good friend for help.  He explained that this would mean he would have to get up and unlock the door, highly unlikely at this point.  This carried on all day!!! Oh dear, was I worried - checking in about every 5 minutes.  Doesn't he know that I am the only one allowed to have such problems?

When I got home, Aaron was stuck  on the couch right where I left him :(   I started making dinner, I was going to make pizza.  I was prepping for an hour while trying to get rid of the annoying fruit flies (ugh i hate them!!) and when I get ready to use the dough I bought, it was crap and got lots of holes in it and would not stretch out.  Needless to say we had bagels for dinner again...
That's it for now. I think we are still being punished for no traffic on the Cape.  Oh well, watch out for a giveaway for BondiBands coming soon - it was going to be today but I had to post on the above, you can blame the hubby for that one (sorry again dear, totally not your fault, my laziness!)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chased By Bugs - Cape Cod Part 2

So where we left off we were finally sleeping after a night of trying to find a cool, air conditioned place to relax!  After only a few hours of sleep, Aaron and I popped out of bed at the wonderful hour of 5 a.m. to kick out 8 miles, me on foot and him with his blades.  Minus the massive tiredness and humidity, I was excited to get going as I love running the Cape Cod Canal Trail.  I have only gotten to run it once, last summer, and have been itching (no pun on words, see below) to run it ever since.  So off we went.
It was crazy humid. Not too too hot but humid enough that I was gasping for air by mile one…great!  Let’s just say there were lots of water breaks and stops and tried to just go with it, non-judgmentally….hmmph…Anyway, we were going along as well as possible until about mile 2.50 when Aaron started noticing that there were a ton of bugs all around him.  In my running, humidity state I was not really sure what he was talking about. But then I saw it.  These yucky, brown looking small bugs were following him in a pack behind his back.  Some clung to him on his back, hair and arms and others just chased him.  I am going to throw up just thinking about this.  He tried to get them off and that is when we realized I was having the same issue. In true fashion, I started freaking out!  I  started running back and forth and screaming EWWWW EWWWW.  Lets get out of here.

It was so hot the camera lens fogged up, can you see me squirm in fear?
So we jumped off the trail and back onto the street, luckily Aaron is master of navigation.  Now one of the reasons I was looking forward to the trail was because it is relatively flat and since I have been dealing with the shoes hills did not seem wise.  Well whether or not I wanted it, here was this massive hill starring me in the face.  Well, I sure as hell was not getting back on the trail so up I went, what is one hill right? Oh, only if it was just one hill.  There was not a flat area in sight and for the rest of the run we went up and down, up and down.  I was actually fairly happy with my performance, only one scream and jump when I thought one of those bugs flew into my ear!

This was a small hill  

Look how happy I am - hmmm, doesn't everyone run with their eyes closed?
When we got back to the car we had about a little less than a mile to go so we ran around a shopping center.   Now the grown up thing to do would be to just run around in circles, but not me.  First we went through the Dunkins Donuts drive thru (which in my state of exhaustion and pain thought was a Burger King and was very confused why there was a line around the block at 6 am for BK).  Most of the people in line at D&D had their windows open, and what did I do - the only polite thing to do, I said hello, good morning, have a nice Aaron's dismay.  
The next drive-thru we went through was actually BK (I thought how strange, why are there two next door to each other hmm).  We rounded it once and I instructed politely asked Aaron to wait at the drive thru for me to circle to take a picture - the best picture ever btw double click to see the larger version, so worth your time!- it only cost me a bit of a rolled ankle (minor but painful a bit, I hope!)

With that our run was pretty much at an end.  I think we were being punished for having no traffic at rush hour on Friday. The run overall was faster than last week by two minutes but I am still stopping more than ever and the pain is still there.  I have new shoes coming but my PT wants me to give the Glycerins one last time.  

Afterwards we did the only thing natural, showered FOREVER and then took my aunt and uncle out for breakfast where I enjoyed a yummy blueberry muffin! Can't get better than that.  

 Aunt and Uncle - I am so jealous of my Aunt's tan!


Sunday I woke up with bug bites EVERYWHERE - scalp, arms, legs, neck, shoulders, ooo Calamine lotion how I love thee!
Anyone ever attacked on a run lol or have any shoe suggestions of the week?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Escaping the Heat...Or Not

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and survived the sweaty long run of this summer heat.  If you missed my weekend posts while you were recovering from the heat check them out here:

I Run on the Treadmill in the Pool - Aqua Therapy Style
The Sounds of Nature I love to Listen to When I Run

Friday my Aunt and Uncle came to visit from NJ.  I was so excited to have them and wanted to show them a good time.  Due to this little heat wave we have been experiencing, I had this genius idea for us to go to the Cape.  They have never been and Aaron's family has a beautiful Cape house.  How can you resist this?

And this?

And this?
The thought was Saturday we could escape the heat on the beach (oh and I could run in better weather on the Cape Cod Rail Trail).  Everything was going soo well!  We left at 5 p.m. meaning rush hour traffic and had NO traffic, none!! We sped down there (while abiding by the speed limit, of course) and made it in record time.  After some pizza, we headed to the house.  Aaron's father was there and we thought he knew we were coming, but there was a bit of miscommunication.  It was not until about 15 minutes before we arrived that he knew we were coming for sure (this was no one's fault but things just got screwed up).  In preparation for us coming, he went to put on the air condition in the upper bedrooms (where we would be staying the night).  And low and behold what happened?  It did not work.

Now, we are talking about 100 degrees in these rooms and the air is not working. Aaron's father is very religious and keeps the Sabbath.  That means once the Sabbath starts on Friday, he cannot do any work including fix the air or call someone to do so (not that anyone would be around at this time of night).  Aaron and his dad frantically tried to fix the air.  Aaron's dad was more than accommodating trying to help us and giving up his prepping for his holiday.  Finally, the air came on!! BUT, it was already 8:30 p.m. and it was not getting cold anytime soon. what?  We called Aaron's great aunt who also has a home on the Cape.  Mysteriously, she was not at her house on the Cape.  But we told her our predicament and she graciously offered her home.  Ok, we thought, lets go there and stay for the night.  And we packed ourselves up and drove over.  We got there, and the house was stifling.  We went looking for the air, only to find a little space air conditioner,  apparently this house did not have air either!!!  Now it is about 9 p.m. my aunt and uncle have been traveling ALL day and we are all very tired but can find no where to sleep.  So we decided to head back to the house and see if the place cooled down and IT HAD! a degree.

Aaron's dad suggested we go out for ice-cream and see if it goes down anymore.  Out we went again for ice cream.  My uncle asked for soft serve, and we knew just the place.  When we got there, I noticed they had fro yo (just liked Pinkyberry) and I got SO excited.  Until the server pointed to the sign, no fro today! :( Oh well, good thing soft serve is sooo yummy!

Ok icec ream done and bellies full, back to the house.  And guess what? The room had cooled again, we were now at 88 degrees...perfect for hot yoga!!!  We brought every fan upstairs and tried and tried, but it was just too hot and did not feel right putting my Aunt and Uncle through this.  We were all but ready to go back home making my Aunt and Uncle's trip total about 12 hours of driving for the day, when Aaron's dad and Aaron decided they would grab a bed carry it up from the basement and set in in the living room (where the air worked fine).  My Aunt and Uncle felt so bad and did not want to intrude.  But we insisted.  At this point, I felt soooo awful!!! So FINALLY they had a cool bed to sleep in and rest!! And Aaron and I sweated it out upstairs - no biggie, it actually got really cold in the middle of the night phew!!

I would like to say the rest of the weekend went smoothly on the Cape.  Well....hmmm, not so much.  Stay tuned tomorrow for my run - involving scary bugs, lots of screaming, too many hills,  multiple drive thrus, and ankle rolls..if you can imagine that!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Sounds of Nature I Love to Listen to When I Run

I have a friend who runs unplugged. He loves to tell us all through Facebook about his running adventures and all the wonderful sounds of nature that he hears as he continues his run. 

I hear these sounds too, but I think mine and his are a bit different... here we go.

Sound Number 1:  Comes around o say Mile 1 (of a speed work out) all of a sudden I start to hear something.  I can't make it out at first, it just sounds almost like a strong burst of wind maybe some angry trees.  As I continue, the sound gets louder.  That is when I is me huffing and puffing up a storm.  Go figure - that is Sound Number 1.

Sound Number 2: is this sweet melody that sways in the breeze screeching pitch, what is that I cry?  A cheetah perhaps? An angry little dog running after me? Nope, Sound Number 2 is just me "singing" along to the music.

Sound Number 3: the battle cries of nature - animals in the distance - in other words me telling myself "Come on" "Come on" "almost there" "Dig Deep."

Sound Number 4:  is that the chirping of the birds? Nope Sound Number 4 is just me WHINING and saying "I can't do this"  and Aaron telling me I CAN!

Sound Number 5: This is my favorite sound in nature - it is the end of the run sound where cheers and appaulse escape from out of nowhere.  Today, I did 3 miles in 22:32 (my fastest in awhile) the sounds of nature went something like the usual way they go: "OMG" "need to sit" "water, water" "OMG" "going to throw up" "i knew I should not have eaten so much."

And those are my Sounds of Nature! Don't even get me started on the smells!!

Tell me what your sounds and smells are!

Friday, July 22, 2011

I Run On My Treadmill In the Pool - Aqua Therapy Style!

Early last Friday morning, I was minding "my own business" on Twitter (yea...right) when a Tweet came through from Corey at RunnersCookie about meeting BostonSportsWoman that day at 4.  I had no idea what this was about but, hey, it sounded good to me so I immediately repied and BostonSportsWoman replied back - they were going to meet at Boston Sports Medicine (BSM), in Allston to try out running on the treadmill, in the pool!  Running you say?  Meeting an awesome blogger?  Yes please! Nevermind the fact that I don't own a bathing suit or that I am suppose to be shopping after work today.  These are all little speedbumps in the road.  After all, who really needs to have food for their BBQs, right.  (Side note if you have never looked up BSW (I had not oops!!!) it is amazing, it brings together amazing bloggers in Boston and I am psyched I got a chance to get hooked up with this great establishment!).

Anway, so after work on Friday, I did the only natural thing possible.  I made Aaron map out a route to the nearest store with a bathing suit and then to BSM.  Well, I know many of you spend a good amount of time in the pool but not this girl.  I have not been to the pool or beach once this summer (BOO!) but as per swimming laps, I did my time for two years with my high school swim team (it was not pretty) and then hung up my goggles.  So having about 5 minutes to find a suit was a little less than ideal.  I essentially entered the store grabbed as many sizes as I could and ran to the changing room. Results, wrong size, of course!  I opened the changing room door (in my suit)  and tried to get some help, no luck! Just some two young boys starring at me like I was from Mars.  I made a mad dash for the bathing suit rack and came back with a suit, perfect.  Oh and I had to buy a towel too.  Nevermind the little fact that I had not really shaved my legs in hmmm two or three days ooops, maybe the super high tech cameras would not notice.

So I made it to the BSM and was first to arrive.  Boston Sports Medicine is a physical therapy practice that focuses on sports rehabilitation, orthopedic rehabilitation, post-surgical rehabilitation, and aquatic therapy and is located in Allston, Boston, Brookline, Somerville, and Watertown.  Now, as many of you know, I have "some" experience with PT and my first impression of this place was that it was beautiful.  State of the art, clean and inviting.  At first glace, it appeared to be a great place to do some rehab in.

But our real interest that day was the pool!  I could not wait to hear more about this idea. Running in the pool on a treadmill, wow! Corey arrived and we quickly changed and Dr. Michael Velsmid, the founder of Boston Sports Medicine, took us to the pools (yup they have two of them!). 

See that little belt, it is a treadmill!

 Just look at Dr. Velsmid, he means business.  He was so sweet but you could tell that he was going to make you work and get better faster!

Before, we got into the pool, Michael explained to us a bit about the pool and what it is used for.  In brief, aquatic therapy can be used for people of all kinds.  Specifically Boston Sports Medicine treats athletes with injuries including runners and ballerinas as well as others suffering from various injuries and ailments sich as post-surgical patients, patients with arthritis, and those suffering from orthopedic injuries. BSM  has not one but two pools that cost a whooping $75,000 each not to mention they keep the water at 90 degrees - this made me happy because I am generally a cold person.   Within a few minutes of talking with Michael, I was sold on aquatic therapy.  Why you ask?

The Top Five Reasons for me to get back in the pool!

1) They allow you to get back at it right after becoming injured.  Michael explained that they have patients in the pool within a week of surgery or injury.  This is possible because the pool is non-weight barring (only 20%, 10% for us short people over here)!  This would have been a lifesaver for me had I known about it when I was first injured a few years ago and could do nothing but sit on my butt :(
2) There is the potential for pain reduction - joint movement is possible in the water even if you experience pain! "Warm salt water is analgesic and supports the body and reduces stress to the joints so you can streghten and condition your muscles even as your injury heals"
3) You experience increased circulation and range of motion as well as improve balance and endurance.  
4) The water protects your joints during exercise, reduces stress and decreases swelling.
5) And the best one yet, you won't lose any of your training. Michael explained to us if you got injured and at that point you were at 12 miles in your training, you could continue to train in the pool and when you are ready to get back on dry land and you would not have  lost any of your training.

Well, that was enough for me, I could not wait to get in this thing!  We jumped in and Michael started us running.  I was a bit short but just made it without having to put on the "floatie" (my husband loved that!).  Anyway,  I got to run on the treadmill, move sideways, and backwards and even do some arm workouts.  I also did a little swimming!  Michael put on the jets and told me to swim against the current.  I think those Tri-folks out there would eat this up!  Finally, I even got to have a little massage with the jets...don't mind if I do. 

Corey, ramped up the speed on the treadmill (it goes up to 7.5) and worked her leg muscles. 

It was amazing!  Seriously, I am not doing this place justice.   Afterwards, we did a little Q&A which was videotaped and hopefully will be available soon. 

As a thank you, Michael offered us a discount on their new service, massage therapy.  A thank you?  I was flabbergasted!  I was thanking him!  But I could not turn it down and have already signed up for it. Besides massage therapy, they also have Graston Technique, which I have personally never tried but apparently people swear by it and it is worth looking into, and many other services.  All in all it was a great afternoon.  Thanks to Michael for having me as well as Corey, BostonSportsWomen (represented by Kathy) for allowing me to tag along and for taking some awesome pictures!  I can't say it enough, check this place out and get yourself in the pool

Top Reasons You Know You Are Training for a Marathon

Well, it is official, 100 days until, *gulp*, my FIRST MARATHON.  Marine Corps here I come!!! Oh dear, what have I gotten myself into!  In honor of 100 days (if u r reading this and my counter to your right says 101 just wait it will change later today I promise), I thought I would give you some tal ltell signs that make you know for sure that you are running for a marathon.  I am starting the list on my blog but to see my full list head on over to Angela's Blog at MyPinkyToes to see the rest of the list.

So without further ado,

20) You eat more calories than Michael Phelps on a good day! 

Ice-cream is the way to fuel right?
My fridge - supplied with enough food for two

19) Your idea of a good beverage on a Friday (prior to a long run) is water, orange juice, or Gatorade.

18) When your friends call you to go to the beach on Saturday at noon, you are passed out on the couch covered in salt, surrounded by icepacks, foam roller, and PB.

17) Sleeping late is 6 a.m., after all those 5 a.m. wake-ups that is all you can manage on a rest day.

16) is your number choice of websites.

15) You get mad at when it says Saturday at 6 a.m. it will be 68 degrees out and then it turns out to be 71. 

14) Your best friends are your iPod and your Garmin.

13) You fight with your Garmin  when it says you did 8 miles in 1:00:02 and you could have sworn you stopped the damn thing at 59:59:59.

12) You have more sneakers and running outfits than regular shoes and work clothes. 

11) Your diet is made up of LunaBars, Shotblocks and Peanut Butter, of course.

For the final 10 head over to Angela's blog.

Now its your turn, you know you are training for 26.2 when....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Courage, Perseverance, and Determination

Courage, Perseverance, and Determination.  Something we as athletes know a lot about.  Every time we have a hard run or ride or swim, we strive to get through those moments.  And sometimes they seem like never ending moments.  Sometimes, when it is not a very good workout session, you can't wait to escape, to just flee from those moments and sometimes we might do everything we can to distract ourselves but other times we bite down and perserve over our tough day.  Life is sort of like that sometimes, in good times and bad ones.  We don't talk about as much in our blogs, but some bloggers are pretty amazing and courageous, and not just in an athletic way.  In my opinion, Angela over at MyPinkyToes is one of those ladies.  I have really enjoyed reading her blog and understanding her journey.  I think we have a lot to learn from this lady.  I hope you  read on and learn, as I have.  And let her know, as I hope I have, how amazing she really is!

Hi pretties! My name is Angela, I am 25 years old, and I blog at MyPinkyToes. I was honored when Stephanie asked me to write a guest post for her...she is an amazing girl!

I'd like to chat a little bit about my relationship with food. Food and me have not always been best friends. (This is still true for some foods...ahem, condiments.) When I was younger it wasn't about the calories or grams of fat...I was just picky. I can think of a particular Thanksgiving when I refused to eat anything except oatmeal. That was me...the girl eating oatmeal at Thanksgiving dinner. I completely avoided all school lunches, so I lived off peanut butter and fluff (heavier on the fluff) sandwiches for six years. 
While I avoided foods like turkey, mashed potatoes, and scandalous looking meat loaf, you could always find me in the cookie or candy aisles of a grocery store begging my mother for something sweet to eat. You could also find me hanging out at my favorite Mexican restaurant where the servers knew me by name...and knew to have several baskets of tortilla chips ready and on hand.

I’d also like to chat a little bit about my relationship with fitness. I’ve always been a very active girl, whether it was acrobats, dance, basketball, volleyball, or diving. You could always find me doing something. I love to move, and I continue to set new “moving” goals for myself. My newest goal? To run my very first marathon.

Now how I was able to keep moving in my younger days being fueled solely by sugar and salsa…that’s a mystery.

As I got older, the list of foods I would eat became smaller and smaller, and this time it was more about the calories and the number on the scale. Throughout high school and college I dealt with many eating disorder behaviors...restricting, counting calories, binging, over exercising, restricting, counting calories, binging, purging...the story is all too familiar.

Food made me feel bad about myself. 
Food and me became was a means of self destruction.

I was beyond fortunate to be able to go to inpatient treatment for bulimia when I was 20 years old. While I thrived in my recovery, I was still weird about food! While I was becoming less concerned with calories and grams of fat, I still was afraid of foods I thought I didn't like. I relied on oatmeal as the backbone of every breakfast, and although oatmeal is a very good option for the first meal of the day, I was guided to try new foods. 

About a week into treatment I was feeling great, happy, and brave, so I decided to try sausage for breakfast. A sausage patty. My plate came, and guess what was sitting on my plate?

A sausage link. 


I didn't want that...a patty was safe...a link? A link was scary.

That day was a turning point for me, and looking back now I can see that is was a critical moment for my recovery. I thought I was defeated. I thought a sausage link had ruined all my chances of getting better.
But I ate it. And I didn't die.
I have realized that a lot of foods I avoided or thought I didn't like or was afraid of were foods that I had not even tried! 

And now, as I am closer and closer to turning 26, my list if un-scary foods is getting larger and larger. My plate at Thanksgiving? You will see a plate piled with potatoes, corn, green beans, and a little bit of turkey. Meat loaf? Sure (as long as the recipe doesn't call for ketchup!) Tuna? Well, I tried it for the first time last week...not so much for me...but at least I tried it! Mushrooms, jalapenos...I love them!

Not only did food and me become friends, we also became teammates. I know now that there is no way I can run my first marathon without fueling my body. I need food to live. I need food to fuel. I need food to thrive.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How I Spend My Hard Earned Money

Look what arrived this week:

My very own first race tee-shirt! Designed by me, myself, and I. Ok I also had the help of my lovely husband and my good friend over at I am sure most of you have never heard of him. But I have to give him a little shout out here.  Mat, the owner of Break Mark has been working with me for weeks to get me the exact shirt I wanted for race days.  I sent him ideas and he sent me marks up and we went back and forth deciding on the best design for me.  This is only my first shirt, there are many more to come! Hi everyone, my name is Stephanie and I am race-shirt-aholic!  What can I say, as a runner I can't get enough. Thus I could not wait to try this one out!

Anyway Mat actually started his business for frisbee players but I have pretty much lured him over to the dark side of us runners and he has been graiously helping me formulate my dream shirts patiently putting up with my redesigns.  He even said that we could work again on getting the colors even more specific to my shoes (does this guy know his stuff or what).  Plus the jerseys have the design dyed into them so there is no weight to the design!

This gets even better.  My adorably persusaive self (more on that later) as Aaron calls me, asked Mat and he agreed for a special price for my lovely bloggers.  He will do shirts for anyone of you for $25 dollars that includes shipping and a graphic on the front and back and oh btw did you notice the shirts are Dri-Fit (and they come in different colors!).  Pretty crazy.  If you are interested, let me know and I will get you in contact with Mat. Can't say enough about the guy he is a sweetie and a home-grown company boy so its always good to support them.

Guess what else came in the mail?

Ahhhh! I am sooo excited. I initially found these through Erin @UntilYouTri's giveaway. I did not win but with a discount offer, I could not resist. And I could not be happier.  Stephanator as many of you know is what my PT calls me.  I love it, so fitting - more on that later too!

That's it, not a bad day for the mail!

Any of you get some fun goodies in the mail lately?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

For those of you who don't know the reference, I will just be the little lone Jewish girl without the Christmas tree.  Actually, it is a pretty well known song anyway...

It did not take long for Aaron to realize that I like to play match maker. It is my favorite game in fact. I love matching people up and getting them together!  I guess I am just so happy with Aaron (yuck I know), I want others to be as happy and can't grasp why so many of my nice friends won't fit perfectly together.  I am in the midst of one of many schemes now.  My friend, at temple, this weekend stated "we need to set our friend up..." She could not even get the words out of her mouth before I jumped and Aaron began to shake his head. Not again. Because he knows, I love to play matchmaker and thus rushed home to e-mail my friend who is all the way in Prague, no less, to set this one up hah! Now maybe Aaron would not hate my obession with this if it was not for the fact that I have never really been a successful matchmaker (unless you count the time freshman year of college where I decided I was not right for a boy I was interested in and he instead started dating my roommate and they later married).  I have big hopes for this one though, I know this time will be different!!!

Maybe it is the fact that my matchmaking skills are so bad is the reason that my shoes just don't seem to match with me.  No matter what shoe I pair myself with, it is a loss. I always find something to annoy me.  It might be the heel cup or the tongue or the bottom of the shoe, but there is always something I am annoyed with.  It is kind of like me and boys.  I could never find a guy I liked. I always found some imperfection with them and that would be it.  Sounds awful, but it is just how I knew we were not right. If something so simple as how polite they were (I KNOW, I am crazy) annoyed me to no end, I reasoned it was really about something much more!  I tell Aaron, I couldn't find anything that annoyed me about him and that is how I knew he was the "one." 

Well, unfortunately, as many of you know, it has been this way with me and shoes lately.  Love them one second want to delete them from my Facebook and cellphone the next.  I guess I should get a new job, I am not such a good matchmaker huh?

As some of you may know (as I whine about my issues calmy contemplate my dilemma), I have been having "some" trouble finding shoes - in fact its been 2 months now and I have not found my match. It has almost been a shoe a week.  I have owned about 8 DIFFERENT pairs of shoes (see one a week) and NOTHING works.  We thought the Glycerins were it. Brooks Women's Glycerin 9 Running Shoe,Black/Metallic Pavement/Aquarius/Silver,8 B US

But then started the top of the foot pain (in come the shoe tying methods). Then we realized, hey, maybe it is the shoe as we discovered a weird crease down the bottom of the Right shoe where the pain was.  I went back to the shoe store and another one had that problem, but a final one didn't.  I put them on, I ran 8 miles in them = success! Could not be happier.  But today (almost one week in) the weird crease is coming back, slowly but surely....Oooo no not again!

Luckily, Brooks is absolutely amazing.  They have a 30 day guarantee so they will take one pair of my Glycerins (the first pair) bac).  They will also take back my Trances and Adrenalines (even though it is way over 30 days - an exception). And will send my the Dyad and the Launches to try.  If one is better than the other, they will send me another one of my favorites and I will keep my second pair of Glycerins and see if they work out. Can everyone follow that?  It is a lot!! But Brooks has really been awesome. I spent a good amount of time last night on a chat with Brooks and they were sooo nice.  I could not be more grateful to them.

But, I am frustrated. Frustrated. I can't find a shoe, I can't run. But more so that I am annoying everyone under the sun about my little problem. Sorry all!  It is at times like this that I try to practice acceptance and look at the big picture.   There are a lot worse things in life than not finding shoes.

Recycling photos? sorry, but this is such a great one, how can you not want to see it again lol

Anyone else out there like me and a poor matchmaker and can't find shoes :( - I hope not for your sake!

Oh by the way, I did this little giveaway and the winner is....

Email me missy and I will get you all set up!  In the meantime everyone else, check her out. She is great!!  I know it stinks not to win (been there) but I will have more giveaways I promise!

Thank you everyone for your participation and comments. I am sorry I could not reply to all of them but I read them all and I was so happy to see new faces. I hope everyone sticks around, I promise not to complain about my shoes too much!

On one last note, I am the worst speller of all time, matchmaker one word or two? ;)