Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I’ve Applied for the Boston Marathon

I just sent in my application to be a charity runner for the 2010 Boston Marathon. Yes, I know, I go from one thing to another. I’m aware, my mother has told me this for the past 33 years. It’s how I get by-always looking for what’s next.
I was pretty upset when Komen for the Cure informed me they had no bibs. I had to write a very sad email to the Remember Betty Foundation, letting them know that I was not going to be able to run in memory of Danny Wood’s mom. I received a reply asking if there was another foundation that supported breast cancer research, but alas, there wasn’t.
That being said, I started to look at other charities. I kind of felt like a flip-flopper at first. Hey, you don’t have any bib? Well then I’ll just move onto the next foundation that does! But when I began looking, I didn’t feel any connection to the charities. I mean, its a good thing that I don’t know anyone with leukemia.
One of the last charities I looked at was GoKids Boston. Per their website (, their mission statement is: “We are driven to improve the health, wellness, and overall outlook for adolescents, pre-teens and teens.
We provide kids personalized instruction and support to become more physically active, improve fitness, eat nutritiously, and gain self-confidence.”
Kids + physical activity +nutrition=a charity that I would be passionate about!!
The more I looked into this group, the more I fell in love. Education about positive body image in young women? Check. Partnership with UMass Nutrition Extension Program. Check. Research in the area of physical activity and nutrition in school aged children? Check.
Not only does this sound like a great charity, it also sounds like a great job.
And me being the pain that I am, I have already emailed the woman in charge of selecting the Team members, plus added her to my Linkedin connection list. I opted out of asking her to be my friend on facebook –that’s just a little over the top. For now.
Back to waiting…good thing I have a half marathon in November to occupy my time until I hear back. See, always looking at what's next on the horizon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

And the Wind Has Been Taken Out of My Sail

Great-received this email today

Hi Lisa,

I was going to email you today actually. Unfortunately we did not receive any entries to the 2010 Boston Marathon. Thank you so much for your interest and please check back with us next year!

Susan G. Komen for the Cure®

BOOOOOOO! Now what do I do?!?

Hartford Marathon

This blog probably won’t read very well, as I want it to serve my own purpose of remembering the events of my first marathon.
I picked up my bib on Friday night at the Expo, and had the family tag along. They had shirts for sale that said, "26.2 Hartford I Did It!" Who the heck would buy that the night BEFORE the marathon? Talk about jinxing yourself. Honestly, I thought the Expo and getting my bib was going to be more magical than it was. Kind of a let down, but maybe it had something to do with just having driven 3 hours in a car with 2 kids, 2 dogs and a stressball husband. Just a thought.
I went to bed shortly before 10pm and had very little trouble sleeping, which surprised me. As it got closer to the 5:45am mark, I was more anxious, but still managed to get some sleep. I got up prior to my alarm, got ready and ate about a half of a bagel before the vomit sensation set in. My mom got up to take my picture, just like the first day of school. She asked me what you say to wish a runner good luck, and I informed her that it wasn’t the same thing you say to an actor prior to going on stage.
It was still dark as I left for Hartford. It was about an hour drive from my parent’s house, and I foolishly took the back roads, which had either drivers who were going off to work at an ungodly hour on the weekend or people who were staggering home from a night out-neither one left me feeling very secure. Once I got to Hartford, it was pure chaos. I was going to follow the map and park in the designated lots, but I saw some guy who was letting you park in his lot for $8-I was sold. The walk wasn’t too bad (foreshadowing) and I promptly got into the port-o-potty line. The first woman I spoke with was running her first 5K (they have a 5K, half marathon and marathon all at the same time). She seemed very relaxed and she helped to keep my nerves at bay. After going to the bathroom, I promptly move to a port-o-potty line closer to the start. It’s a given-I’m going to have to pee twice prior to running, so I always get right back in line once I get out.
The next line I was in, I starting talking to another woman who was also running her first marathon. She told me she lost 200 pounds over the past year and couldn’t believe she was here!
I finally headed to the start line and decided I would try to join the 5 hour pace group. I didn’t catch the leader’s name, so I called him Sparky. I met Kelly, who decided she would run with me. She was a spunky little thing who was also running her first marathon. There was also some smelly guy in the group-lucky me. He was going to be rather ripe after 26 miles if he smelled like that at the starting line.
The race started and it was a good 6 minutes before we crossed the starting line. Sparky seemed to be shot out of a cannon, so I decided that following Sparky wasn’t the greatest of ideas. Kelly and I ran and chatted a bit, and she was a bit of a heckler (just my style), so she was shouting stuff at people in the crowd and on the bridge. One of the first signs I saw read “Mind, Heart, Guts” I loved it! Around mile 2, I see a lone cow bell-rining person-its Christy! She had driven down from NH THAT MORNING (aka left at 5am) so she could cheer me on, as well as run the end of the race with me. I was so happy to see her that I ran up to her and flung my arms around her. What a nice surprise so early in the race! I met up with Christy again around mile 5 or so, and she ran a bit with me then, until I dropped her off where we would meet at mile 17.
Kelly had to pee at some point, so we stopped running together, although she somehow caught up with me later on, then zipped past me. There was also a woman with a note on her back that read, “Please don’t touch me, I have broken ribs.” I told her that running with bronchitis didn’t seem so bad. I continued on, doing whatever I could to occupy my time, such as telling the frowning cops to smile (most didn’t think it was funny) or chatting with random people. I met a guy who is a news anchor in CT (I later found this, as I didn’t know who he was,0,5669699.story) He was funny and entertaining.
I saw Sparky, the 5 hour pacer once in awhile through mile 6, but then he was gone, which meant my goal of 5 hours was also. I finished mile ten in 1:57:11, an 11:44 pace. Around mile 11 or 12 (its all a blur) you turn around and loop back the other direction, which was somewhat refreshing to be able to see all of the people who were running behind you (or a mental boost thinking “I’m not last”) On the loop around, I met Larry. He is 64 and has run a marathon in every state-I think he said he has run over 200 in total. Larry was another perky soul, who would cheer on everyone coming in the opposite direction. His favorite phrase was, “Here comes the fast women-I love fast women.” I also met a gentleman named Cliff (I think?) He randomly came up to me and started chatting. He told me he ran his first marathon in 1978 (I informed him I was 2 then) and that no marathon has meant more to him than that one. He encouraged me to write down every detail of the day, as he wishes he could remember everything about his first marathon. He also quoted scripture, telling me “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” Meaningful, although I don’t think it applies to marathons. He introduced me to another guy wearing a Wonder Bread shirt. This gentleman was a pharmacist from Dallas, so we talked about Swine Flu vaccines (He STRONGLY encouraged me to get them for the kids) He talked about all of the different marathons he’s run, including one that he ran in 4 hours, 2 minutes, which he claims he couldn’t do again if he tried.
I find being a middle/end of the pack kind of runner has this comradery that the elite runners don’t get. Whenever I see the first female runner, I always cheer and shout for her. Nothing. Not an acknowledgement or anything. Same with the guys. Maybe they are just so focused they can’t spend any energy into acknowledgements. Not that I even have the ability to be an elite athlete, but I would take the cheering and encouragement from others verses the isolation any day.
Another exciting thing that happened was that my sister (Josh helped) had recorded encouraging MP3 from friends and family, and even some of my favorite Fitness personalities. This was so helpful. Everyone’s messages were a reflection of them as a person. Most were funny, some were serious and really reminded me of why I was doing this. I had messages from Petra Kolber, Cathe Friedrich, and Charlene Prickett. Charlene starred in “It Figures”, which was the first aerobics show I watched and exercised to back when I was 13 and started exercising. So nice to have come full circle and have these wonderful, inspiring messages!! I love my sister. And everyone who took the time to do this for me-it really helped me through!
I had a shirt made that said "This 26.2 is for all of the girls picked last in gym class." EVERYONE came up to me while running and commented on how much they loved my shirt. So many said they were picked last. One gentleman ran up to me and said, 'There is no way YOU were picked last." If you are a gym teacher, please oh please don't have kids pick teams. Cleary we are all scarred adults from this matter. Thank you.
By mile 13, I started to feel like I had a brick on my chest. I was happy I had made it past mile 10, since the Dr. said I wouldn’t, but at this point, the backlash from the 3 weeks of coughing was setting in. I was at the halfway point at 2:36:56, an 11:59 mile. I figured this wasn’t so bad, since there was a 6 minute lag time and I usually finish my half marathons around 2:20. By mile 15, I was walking/running, and by mile 17, when I saw Christy, it was mainly walking.
I felt bad because I knew that Christy was using these last 9 miles as part of her training run for her upcoming half marathon. But I just had no gas left in my tank. Whenever I would run, the pressure would start in my chest-it felt like I had a TV set on it at this point. I would pick a random spot ahead and slowly jog to it, then walk again. I must say, the last 9 miles are somewhat of a blur. By this point, there were fewer and fewer people on the course, and they were opening the course up to traffic (my biggest fear, as it meant I wasn’t meeting the time guidelines). I had vowed that I wasn’t going to stop to go to the bathroom, but at this point, I really had to pee, and I figured, who cares about my time. Of course, my legs weren’t aware of this fact and I lost my balance and landed on the port-o-potty seat. Excellent. At least I got to sit for a second.
Christy was a wonderful running (term "running" used loosely at this point) buddy. She kept my mind engaged and made sure I was doing ok and that we were on the right path. We jogged through a bunch of spectators and she made them all cheer my name. She took pictures of everything, which is great, since I had no clue of where I was or what I was doing. The end of the race had some interesting features-running by the CT river, running down a flight of stairs, running across a bride, and over railroad tracks. And a fair amount of hills. Towards the end, my mouth was so dry, yet all of the fluid was sloshing around in my stomach. I tried to eat a piece of cereal (hey, ,it had been HOURS since real food) and I no longer was producing saliva. Couldn’t swallow it, yet when I tried to spit it out, it dribbled down my chin. I passed the 20 mile mark at 4:28:43, now a 13:27 mile. I didn’t care though, at this point, I just wanted to finish.
Those last miles seemed to take forever, probably because I was going so slowly. Christy was “pretending” to jog with me, but when I told her it was ok to just walk when I jogged, I could see just how slowly I really was going. I was surrounded by people dropping out left and right. We passed a gentleman who had something wrong with his calf. He said he was going to kill his son once he finished because his son made him do this on a bet. We passed a girl in her 20’s who had to drop out-the poor thing was sitting on the curb, crying. At least 3 ambulances were on the course. The van that drives non-finishers to the finish line seemed to be circling me like a vulture.
Last side note-if you ever want to run for a charity, it appears the Team in Training is the way to go. All runners for the Team had someone with them for most of the race, running with them, keeping them company, and encouraging them. They had a tent with real food and drinks midway for the Team runners as well. And they had people on bikes riding the course, so you knew where to go and always had someone near you. Wow.
Thank God Christy was with me-when I was all alone towards the end, there would have been no way I could have finished-mentally, I would have just given up and gotten in that van. I cannot thank her enough for sacrificing her entire day to help me out.
Right before we hit the 25 mile mark, I saw a man on crutches who appeared to have just had his leg amputated. When I saw him, I thought, “Lisa, quit your complaining –be thankful you have 2 good legs!” At this, I decided to jog the remainder of the race. I could hear the announcer at the finish line and Josh and Erika were there at the 26 mile marker to cheer me on. At this point, I was about to go under the arch, so I bid a fond farewell to Christy. Running under the arch was really magical. ( Partially because of its size and mainly because you know that once you run under it, its just a few more steps!! Another perk to being end of the pack is that you get all of the attention. I saw my girls, my parents, Josh, Christy and Erika (yes, they really had to gun it to get there in time) and I knew this was the end! The girls had made great posters for me that read “Go Mommy Go” and were signed with their full names. Gotta love it. The announcer was probably sleeping and was thrilled to have something to announce, since it had been hours since someone crossed the finish line. I heard my name being called, and I threw my arms up in a victorious manner! I was DONE! I rather handsome man put my medal around my neck (I later learned his job was “body catcher” and he hold people who collapse when they cross the finish line) I started to cry, mainly because I had finished, but because I no longer had to move! My final time was 6:14:47, a 14:18 mile pace. Obviously I was disappointed with my time, since I thought I could finish around 5 hours, but seeing as though the prediction was that I would crap out at mile 10, I was just really thankful I finished.
I must say walking to the car sucked. Now I was wishing I parked closer. But I have never been happier to see my POS car because I knew that this would be the first time I could sit down since 7am.
I have to say that I didn’t feel as bad physically as I thought I would, and actually ran an easy 3 miles 2 days later.
I read that running a marathon is like childbirth. You think its terrible while you are going through it, but the outcome is so great, you forget all of the pain. I can’t wait to run my next one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not the B Word-Yes, Dear, Bronchitis

My blog has a think layer of dust on it-similar to my table due to my lack of time to do anything but train for a marathon. I went MIA for 3 weeks mainly because I got sick. I completed my last (and farthest) long run of 20 miles and literally stepped off the treadmill sneezing. That was the beginning. I was able to keep up with my training the next week, but struggled through my runs. Then the bronchitis set in. Week 2 of being sick, I went to the doctor begging for a cure. She gave me antibiotics, but they did nothing. I spent the week resting lots and trying to take it easy. I did the bare minimum for my running, but when it came to my 10 mile run, it just wasn’t going to happen. A week before the marathon and I’m unable to run 10 miles? Not a good sign.
I went back to the doctor 6 days before the marathon in tears, hoping he could give me a miracle drug. He agreed to give me a different antibiotic, although he was convinced it was viral in nature. I asked the BIG questions, “If I run the marathon will I die-or end up in the hospital?” Nope, but he said it would be a miracle if I made it past mile 10-my lung capacity was so diminished at this point, he thought it would be impossible to finish. Wow, how inspirational.
Each day, I felt a little better, but still continued to sound like I had been smoking 17 packs of cigarettes a day for my entire life. Luckily, since I was tapering for the marathon, I barely had to run at all. But even the short easy runs were tough. I’d come home and Josh would ask how my run went. I’d lie and sputter out an “Ok” as I was trying not to cough up my liver.
I spent most of that week in tears, thinking that I just needed to give up on trying to run the marathon. I looked into alternative ones that I could run in the next few weeks, but there weren’t any. By Wednesday, I need to decide. People were waiting on me to make their plans and I needed to mentally decide to dedicate myself to doing this or to just say “Maybe next time”. The more I thought about it, the more I realized there will always be a reason not to run. Whether its sickness, time of year, weather, etc. there could and would always be an excuse. I decided that I would run, not care about my time and just hope to prove the doctor wrong.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Polly Perky and the 5 Mile Run

I love the title of this post. The title sounds like it could be from one of the many “made up” stories my dad would tell us as kids (of which, my sister and I would think everyone knew of the story/song and we would go to school and be met with empty stares from our classmates. Ever hear of Fast Mary? Exactly.) And the story would start like this, “There once was a girl named Polly Perky. And Polly loved to run…”

I met the real life Polly Perky. And yes, I called her Polly Perky to her face. Repeatedly.

Bit o’ background-last Friday, I started out on my long run of 18 miles. And failed miserably. By mile 14, I was dying, and by mile 15, I was walking. I pooped out at 15 miles, went home and promptly became ill, not knowing if I was going to puke or pass out. I was seeing stars, knew I needed to get my blood sugar back up, but couldn’t even stomach anything. I think 2 main factors contributed to it-1. I ran about 30-45 seconds faster than I normally do on my long runs 2. I think I had some sort of crazy virus, as I’ve never had a reaction to running like that before. Despite these “excuses” I was crushed. I have 3 weeks left, not many long runs to complete, and I just couldn’t do it. I was defeated and I just wanted to cry in the corner and have a big old pity party that included lots of chips and ice cream.

On Saturday, I was signed up for the Fox Point 5 mile race, as part of the Seacoast Series. This was the 6th and last run I needed to complete to get my Seacoast Series jacket. I had talked with my best running partner, Christy, about taking it easy on Saturday, since I would have (or was suppose to have) run 18 miles the day before. Being the great, easy going person she is, she agreed.

It was raining, the race was at 5pm, and I was still pouting over the previous day’s events. We start the race and at mile one, we’re running a 8:48 minute mile-which is relatively fast for us, especially when we are suppose to be taking it easy. I feel pretty good though, or at least better than I thought I would. Our next mile is a bit slower, but still running relatively fast. By mile 3, which we did even faster than mile 2, I hear something. It’s breathing. And footsteps. And weird snorting sounds from some old dude next to me. Oh my goodness, my own breathing is so quiet, I CAN ACTUALLY HEAR OTHER PEOPLE BREATHING. Normally, I am so winded, I can’t hear anything but the Darth Vader sounds I am producing. I am thrilled at this, as it makes me feel like I have made true fitness progress.

Once mile three begins, so do the hills. Since I can actually hear people talking, I hear a woman next to me shout “I love this hill!” I look over to see a woman, mid forties, sporting pigtails and smiling as we approach this hill. Sarcastically, I say, “Wow, Polly Perky, that’s a good attitude towards hills.” Polly responds with, “Oh I love this hill. I love running it. I love all hills.”
Um, ok, you are a little too enthusiastic about this, lady. But it’s hard not to be a little inspired by a 40 year old in pigtails. At the top of the hill, she spouts some other words of wisdom, and I kiddingly say, “I want to run with Polly Perky.”
“Come on, we’ll run together and get through these hills!”
Prior to this, Christy had given me the high sign to go on ahead, as her knees had been bothering her. So off I went with Polly. Polly asks me about my running, and we chat about various topics. At one point, she says “Keep your chin up.”
“I’m trying to, but sometimes this running thing gets me down.”
“No, I mean literally keep your chin up, it helps with your body alignment on the hills.”

Not only is Polly a philosopher, she an expert in biomechanics.

She continuously checks on my status-“You doing ok? Feeling alright?” I tell Polly I think she needs to be a pacer in a marathon.
“Yeah, a slow pacer. Well, not that you are slow.”
Ooh, Polly IS human, and opened mouth, inserted foot.
I inform her I am completely aware of my slowness, and I’m ok with that.

At the end, Polly tries to push me for a fast finish, but I am spent-I am happy just running at my current pace and making it over the finish line without needing a medic. 46:01, best time ever for a 5 miler. Thank you, Polly Perky.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

18 Miles

Last week, I completed my first 18 mile run. Let’s start with the positive: I didn’t die. That’s about all the positive things I can say.
The dread started earlier in the week when I realized I really couldn’t run 18 miles in my neighborhood. It would be rather tedious, and as my other post mentioned, the neighbors are started to comment (Side note: during my shorter run yesterday, the aforementioned neighbor yelled, “Keep it up!” out the window) . I tossed around the idea of running at UNH, but quickly thought better of it because I wouldn’t have access to fluids and a bathroom as easily as I do when I’m near home. And I wondered if the college kids would care about my comatosed body on the sidewalk, if God forbid, anything happened to me.
So I could run up and down excessively in the ’hood, or I could do it at the gym. I chose the latter.
This had its pros and cons as well. Pros-access to fluids and bathroom as much as I wanted. Lots of people to call 911 as needed. Cons-Staring at the same wall space for almost 4 hours, feeling like a hamster on my hamster wheel.
I decided to play mental mind games to get me through. I mentally broke the run down into three, 6 mile increments. I was thinking the most ridiculous things, such as “Only 3 more hours to go!” or “Wow, 15 miles left, I can do this!” After the 1st 6 miles, I was doing rather well. And at 12 miles, I was still happy and smiling. I was so happy that I decided I would break to go to the bathroom, then get right back on and finish out the last 6 miles strong. WRONG. When you have been moving nonstop for 2+ hours, then decide to stop for a minute, its not so easy to get back in the groove. My legs didn’t want to restart, my arms wanted to swing all willy-nilly, and honestly, I just wanted to sit down. I decided I needed a change of scenery, so I decided I would do the last 5 miles (as I somehow got one more done) on the indoor track. Of course, my Garmin foot pod really needs to be recalibrated, so I couldn’t count on it for mileage. I needed to count 18.5 laps in my head, 5 times. Yeah, that was fun.
Then I started to get rather light headed. I was trying my best to drink and get in enough carbs to sustain my energy. I clearly did not succeed. These last 5 miles took what felt like FOREVER. The last few laps, I regained my mental and physical composure, and ran them fast and strong-and I even ran a victory lap, while “raising the roof.” Who cares, no one was around. And hell, I had already been there for half a day, people think I’m weird anyway.
Tomorrow is my 2nd to last long run before the marathon. 18 tomorrow, then in 2 weeks, 20 miles. Tomorrow I may convince myself I need to run just 2 miles-and do that 9 times. Hey whatever works.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Quick Glimpse Inside My Neighbor's Mind

I ran 10 miles today around my neighborhood. The area is not very big so I have the run up and down (and up and down) the same streets over and over. I see a gentleman outside of his house at his mailbox and I say "Hi".
"I have a question for you-how far are you running and how many times are you going to run by my house? I just saw you a bunch of times in the past half hour."

I think I need a new running route.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Marathon Training Stopped By a Bug Bite-Please Don't Let This Be My Headline

I am in week 12 of my marathon training. Up to this point, so far, so good. Nothing too terrible to report. Yes, the 16 mile run last week stunk and I was mentally and physically all over the place during it, but at mile 10, I somehow was able to focus and finish up rather strong, or as strong as I could in the given situation.
Finally going to hit over 30 miles a week and the schedule has upped the training to running 5 days a week. Looking forward to a long run on Sunday. All good right? Then this past Saturday came. I wake up with this really itchy leg. I look and it appears I have been attacked by 100 giant mosquito. As a child, whenever I got bit, the bite would swell and become red and hot. Haven’t really had this issue in awhile though, but didn’t think much of it. My 6 year old promptly treated me with the bug bite pen and I was good to go.
Now, to back track a little, about 10 days ago, I was mowing the lawn (push style) and got stung or bit by some evil creature. After hoping around on one foot, yelling a string of profanities, and applying a baking soda/water concoction to help ease the pain, I didn’t think much of this incident.
As the day progressed, the pain in my leg got worse. My foot and calf became very tight-as though my skin was being stretched. I look down and now my ankle and foot have gotten into the mix. And the red mark on my leg is spreading. I opt to not wait it out, being 5pm on a Saturday and decide to head to the walk in clinic before they close at 6pm.
Sure enough, my leg is infected. Cellulitis, for all you medical gurus. The PA draws a circle around the mark so we can see if it continues to grow. He contorts my leg in an odd fashion to be able to get the entire perimeter and asks me if I think I can hold this odd position for long.
“Sure, I can. I’m training for a marathon.”
“A marathon? Wow, I just starting running a year ago. I’m training for the Seacoast Half…”
And this is how the conversation went for the next 20 minutes. Poor Josh had his head so far buried into People Magazine.
I get a prescription for antibiotics and Josh asks the question I did not dare to ask. “Can she still run?”
I look at the PA, deep into his eyes.
“Think LONG AND HARD before you answer that question.”
Luckily he said that I could run, but he thought with the swelling it would be difficult to do. He also warned me that even though I started the antibiotics, my leg might get worse for the first 24 hours, and that if by Tuesday it wasn’t better, I needed to come back.
Stupid me, ran 10 miles yesterday. And then my ankle and foot looked like it belonged to a 500 pound man. Did plenty of soaks and elevated it yesterday, which helped. Today, it is not as red, it has stopped spreading, and now looks like it belongs to a 300 pound man.
So here’s to hoping I am on the mend-because if I really have to say I had to quit 12 weeks into marathon training because of a bug bit, I am not going to be a happy camper.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cathe Road Trip

On July 31st, I was lucky enough to take a road trip with my sister down to NJ for the Cathe Road Trip. What is a Cathe Road Trip, you ask? Great question! A Cathe Road Trip is a 3 day weekend where you go down to the Four Seasons Gym in NJ and workout for hours and hours with Cathe Friedrich, who I consider to be the ultimate fitness expert. We leave for NJ from CT on Friday afternoon with 4+ hours to get there-PLENTY of time, right? WRONG. It took 8+ hours to get there, spending 4 hours alone in NYC. I hate NYC and the traffic. Sorry, I said it, damage done.

We got there soooo late, we missed the first workout class of the night. At that point, we were so cranky, we decide to skip the stretch class as well. We called it a crappy day and went to bed on Friday night to get up bright and early on Saturday.

Saturday was much better-started the day with a Step Class, then I took a Yoga class, then a Boot Camp class, then a Lower Body Blast class. That's 4 hours of working out in one day! Most people think this is crazy, but one of the great parts of the weekend? You are around one hundred other people who DONT think this is crazy! Saturday night we get a chance to go on the Cathe stage and do a quick, 1 minute routine, just as you would in her workout DVDs. Its awesome.

Sunday was a kickbox/boot camp class, then off to the diner for a greasy, fatty breakfast to round off the weekend.

This weekend is so great-a chance to workout with other people who have the same "priorities" as you, a chance to spend time with someone I look up to in the fitness industry, and a chance to just get away from everything-including running. But the best part-spending the weekend with my best friend, my sister. I realize that even though this weekend has so much to offer, I could be in a canoe on the Quinnipiac River with my sister-and still have fun. She's what really makes the Cathe Road Trip worth going on!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

26th Annual York Days 5K

This past Sunday, Christy and I ran the York 5K, which is part of the Seacoast Series ( We ran it last year-it's a pretty flat, easy course, with the last part being by the water. My time last year was 29:06, which is a 9:24 min/mile. I think this was one of the first times I ran a 5K under 30 minutes.
This year, it was raining a little at the beginning-and it was humid. When its humid, its like running with plastic wrap on you. I don't mind getting wet from the rain, but I do mind humidity. Because of this, the race felt hard-but in a different way. I sometimes give my 110% in a race and feel tired and spent after a race, but feel energized because I know I gave it my all. This race, on the other hand, was hard, but I didn't feel like I was giving it my all. You just can't when its hot and humid. I did the best I could for the circumstances, finishing at 28:20, a 9:08 min/mile. I placed 61/133 for my bracket and 461/787 overall. I finished and did improve from last year, so that is all I can ask for!
Next race in the series-my archnemesis Saunders at Rye 10K. I HATE this race. Here's why: 1. Its on a Thursday night, so you spend your day trying not to exert energy. The day ends up becoming a total waste. 2. It is by swamps-it smells and you get this coating of salt all over you. Fine, yes, I get that coating all over me anyway from sweating like a pig, but this makes me double-brined 3. Last year, it was my 2nd 10K ever. Each race prior to this (my 5ks), I had improved my finishing time every race. Not this race-I did WORSE. Now, not a lot worse, but not better. This was my first personal defeat in racing.
I remember finishing feeling like I had been run over by a dump truck. It was hot humid and at 6pm at night. Nothing wonderful about this race. And now it is completely messing with my mind for this year. I better go in there and kick its sorry little Rye, NH butt.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Running with Tri-Kate

Wow, keeping up with this blog is harder than I thought! Anyway, a couple weeks ago, my friend Christy and I met with a running coach. ( My main purpose was to correct my form. My body is in tough shape-I have severe lower back pain and foot pain from running. And it only gets worse with more mileage. Hey, I have a great idea-I should run a marathon, which ups my mileage when my body is in the worst shape to date! I’m not very bright.
We arrive at the track and meet Kate. Kate looks just like her website picture-with the addition of looking like a Power Bar ad has thrown up on her. She has Power Bar socks, hat, shirt, etc.
Side note: I always apply to be “sponsored” by these companies-you get free gear and free food just for wearing their ads while you run. Part of the application process is informing them of your best racing times. They probably look at mine and laugh. But if they were smart-they’d pick me. Here’s why-when Kate runs by people, the crowd thinks, “What’s Pwr Br?” If I ran by them, the crowd would think, “Hmm, Power Bar. I wonder if those taste good? They were on sale at Shaw’s this week-10 for $10. I wonder how many flavors they come in?” All while I am still running by them. See, more exposure to their ads. Those marketing gurus need to think like me.
Back to Kate-she provides us with a ton of handouts and starts reviewing all of the information-which is a lot. I feel lucky that I have a background in exercise (I was a certified aerobics instructor back in the day), so I am able to follow along pretty well. She reminds me of me when she talks (but my topic is nutrition)-she is such a fountain of knowledge and enthusiasm about her discipline, she showers you with it-all at once. I often did this with clients-provided way too much info, so really, they had no need to come back for another visit-I told them all of the information they needed in that first hour. Maybe this is why I never was in the black with my practice.
We get on the track and Christy and I take turns running around the track-and she films us so we can see “before” and “after”. Since there was so much information, I will provide you with the 3 main take home messages:
Focus more on your exhale than you inhale. If you keep trying to inhale when you haven’t exhaled enough, you aren’t using your lungs to their total capacity. Empty them out with a huge exhale-now you have made room!
Heart rate monitors are vital. I had ordered one, but listening to her helped me to justify my purchase. I’m still in the process of tweaking it, in regards to my training and my Garmin, but knowing my heart rate during certain runs has helped judge my exertion. (or lack there of)
Most important-the changes to my running form. My back hurt-so I thought, I need to stand up straighter. WRONG. That was making the impact to my spine worse! I need to learn from my ankles and make sure my arms move front to back-not side to side like they normally do.

It’s been over 2 weeks since we met with her and I must say-zero back pain. My feet still hurt (its because I land on the balls of my feet)-so we’re going to meet again soon to tweak my form and possibly get me a pair of shoes especially designed to prevent my tip toed running. I also feel like I can run faster with less effort. Well worth the cost of admission.
If you are interested in running and improving your running form, I would highly recommend Kate!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Everyone's An Expert

This afternoon, my friend Christy and I will be meeting with a running coach. I am looking for someone to critique my form (which I know is awful) and give me feedback and tips on my current training schedule. For you see, I know my own personal/professional limitations. Although I have been a certified aerobics instructor and have done aerobics for 20 years now,I know that there are times in my life I need to seek the input of someone who has more training/education/experience than me on a certain topic.
Sadly, no one give me this professional courtesy.
For you see, I am cranky today, because once again, no one views me as the nutrition expert. Four years of undergrad work, a year internship at Yale, my masters in human nutrition and 11 years of work experience-and, well, everyone else is an expert in nutrition. Clearly, since we all eat, everyone must know everything about food.
Don't get me wrong-I definately don't know about all aspects of nutrition-no one can. That's why there is specialization. But come on, give me a little bit of credit. Please.
I was trying to come up with other examples, similar to "just because you eat, doesn't make you a dietitian."
Leave it to my sister to amuse me and cheer me up:

Everyone breathes, doesn't make them a respiratory specialist
Everyone poops, doesn't make them a proctologist
Everyone spanks their Cooley (or bum, as normal people say) , doesn't make them an exotic dancer
Everyone talks, doesn't mean they're saying anything important.

Or as Joan Cusack says in "Working Girl"-
"Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn't make me Madonna. Never will."

Monday, June 29, 2009

One Down, Only 15 More to Go!

My mother likes to remind me that "the road to hell is paved with good intention". I really wanted to give an update last week of my first week's progress, yet life got in the way. So better late then never.
Last week was my first week following the Runner's World Marathon training plan. I have chosen the 5 hours marathon plan, but have tweaked it, because the running times are a little too slow (yet the 4 1/2 hour marathon plan is ironically too fast). I look at the plan for the week-2 miles, 2 miles, 3 miles and 6 miles. That's only 13 miles-I'm used to pushing through 24 miles minimum each week. Which, BTW, don't ask me where this magic "24 miles" has come from. I considered myself a woman of science, and try to make evidence based statements. But this "I have to run at least 24 miles each week" has no basis other than being pulled from the location on my body where the sun doesn't shine. So I decide to let go of this and follow the plan.
The first day I run the 3 miles. And despite having changed the pace times on my Garmin (its a magical watch that tell you anything and everything you would ever want to know about running), the thing is still beeping at me. And not in the usual beep of "Speed Up" (aka "Move your buttock faster woman")-this is actually beeping for me to "Slow Down". Continued tweeking is in my future to reduce the annoyance factor of a beeping watch.
The next day, I run 2 miles, walk another 1. See, I'm only running 2 miles like I'm suppose to (this is called justification). I'm extra ok with this, because my sister and I head off to NYC to partake in a workout with my favorite aerobics instructor of all time, Cathe Friedrich. This woman is the smallest person I've ever seen-and I'm not talking height-although she's small in that aspect too. I swear, her waist is the size of my 6 year old. Although I love having my picture taken with her, it makes me feel giant-like a giant who is going to eat her. But its nice to have a afternoon workout, since running only 2 miles left me wanting more.
Friday I run 2 miles, doing hill repeats the entire time. I have no choice, as my mother's neighborhood is composed entirely of hills. It was extremely muggy, so running only 2 miles was fine. I walked another 2 just for good measure.
Sunday, I'm home, back to the land where the roads aren't as hilly, so I complete my 6 mile run here. Nothing thrilling to report about this one. Oh, other than it started pouring during my run, so I ran home, got a kitchen towel, and a plastic bag for my watch-and just kept at it.
One week down, 15 to go. Next stop, meeting with the running coach.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Step by Step

So now, the plan for Boston is in place. Here are my steps:

1. Sign up for Hartford marathon-to get one marathon under my belt before Boston

2. Apply and be accepted for a bib via Komen for the Cure

3. Inform Danny Wood of my plan

4. Oh yeah-train and run 26.2 miles

5. "Don't you know the time has arrived" -ok, I had no more steps and I figured this was only appropriate with the "New Kids" theme going

Well, like my things I have mapped out in my life, I needed to go out of order. Obviously, I would have love to secure my bib before telling Danny, but when opportunity knocks, I must take it. So this past Friday (June 19th), I was doing the meet and greet at the NKOTB concert in Mansfield, MA. Yes, it was my 4th one, blah, blah, not of relevance here.
My plan was as follows: I was going to go into the meet and greet and tell Danny I needed to talk to him about something. I was going tell him that I was going to run Boston in memory of his mother. I figured he'd ask if I had ever done anything like this, so I was ready to read off all of my running credentials, such as 3 halfs, 15+ 5 and 10K's and Hartford in the fall. As I played this moment in my mind, I got very emotional, as I hoped to convey to him a little about my past, how as a kid I would cry when I had to run a mile in school, so for me to voluntarily run 26.2 was beyond my wildest dreams.
Things didn't go as I planned-yet again. There was some mass confusion, usual for these M&G, and I kind of started the conversation at an awkward time, but I really didn't have any other chance. I told him I was going to run Boston in memory of his mom.
Danny: "Boston?"
Lisa: "Yeah-you wanna run 5 of the miles with me?"
Danny: "Screw that."
Lisa: "Come on-if each of you ran 5 miles with me, then I'd only have to run 1.2 on my own."
Danny: "Nah, I'm gonna do the walk in September instead. Are you gonna do that?"
Lisa: "Um, no. But I'm gonna write a blog and I will send you the link so you can see my progress, and, and, and"
Check out the above pic-this is me trying to get it all in. As you can see, I'm midsentence in the pic.
I'm such a loser. This was my chance to spill it all, get it all out there to him, my passion about this, my dedication to running and this cause. And I couldn't even tell you how I ended the conversation. Ugh.
Onward and upward-this week starts week one out of 16 for Hartford Marathon training. And I'm ready. This will put me on the path to completing Step One-"We can have lots of fun..."

The Grandiose Boston Marathon Plan

After watching this year's Boston marathon (BTW: it was at work, with the sound off until my boss came in and saw what I was doing), I decided I really, really want to run Boston in 2010. Part of the allure of the Boston marathon is that you have to qualify for it. For my age group-I'd have to run (and maintain) an 8:25 mile. Yeah, I currently can't even do that for my 5K. So qualifying isn't gonna happen. My only option is being a charity runner. "Real" runners (aka those fast enough to qualify) think this is the "cheater" way to get into Boston. Hey, I'm gonna raise $3000 which I am financially responsible for if I cannot raise and STILL run as far as you will be running-I see nothing that resembles "cheating" in this scenario.
As this plan evolves in my pea-brain, I stumble upon the GREATEST IDEA ever. I will combine my love for running with my undying love for New Kids on the Block. I decide I will inquire to see if I can run Boston for the Betty Wood Breast Cancer Foundation ( This foundation has been created by Danny Wood of NKOTB, in memory of his mother who died of breast cancer. I email the foundation, after agonizing over what to write. The women who is in charge of the emails send me a lovely thoughtful response, saying that since they were a small non-profit, they cannot secure bibs for Boston, but that I should see if I can get one through Komen for the Cure.( I email them, and they said they were in the process of obtaining bibs for 2010, so I needed to check back in the fall. So now I sit and wait....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oldie But Goodie-The Story of my First 5K

Before I start my marathon aspect of this blog, I decide to repost something from my dusty old MySpace page, from Oct 2006. Its very touching to me at this point in my "running career", as I've come so far-and hope to go (literally) even further.

Saturday, October 14, 2006
I'm Tired Because I Ran a 5K, What's Your Excuse? Current mood: accomplished Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes
I work at UNH and every time I open my Internet Explorer on my office computer, the webpage was taunting me-"UNH Homecoming 5K".
Hmmm. Inspired by my sister-in-law Erin, who is currently doing the "Couch to 5K" running program, I was mildly interested in this taunt from UNH. Could I do it? I've been running/walking for awhile now, nothing long distance, and the continuing increased weight of the 2 girls I push in the carriage makes it rather hard to push my running threshold.
I decided I'd do a trial run on Thursday. I mapped out 3.1 miles using the internet, then decided to also check my pedometer. I did 3.5 miles in 47 minutes. Not great, not terrible. I call Erika.
"I did the run in 47 minutes. It's better than the person who came in last at the UNH 5K in 2005."
"Yup, they were 62 years old though."
I asked Cassandra what she thought of mommy doing a race.
"Mommy, I don't think its a good idea."
"You're not a very good runner."
Ah, my confidence was being boosted by the minute.
I told Josh I was thinking about running. "Well, who will make breakfast for Marina then?" (His sister stayed over after watching the kids on Friday night)
"Umm, how about you? And that's not the point of this conversation."
Needless to say, I went into this with not too many people thinking it was the greatest of ideas.
I drove the loop on Friday, cringing at the hills, but excited at the prospect. I signed up-worse case, a $12 donation to UNH. Not that they don't already have enough of the Hetrick/Corman moolah.
I woke up at 6 on Saturday morning, nervous as all heck. Mind you, we were out until 11 or so at a 5 course, cigar dinner. The perfect pre-run meal. Marina was nice enough to offer to watch both girls, but I decided to take Kaylee with me, as I don't know what to do with my hands if I'm not pushing a carriage, and at least she doesn't yell "Run faster" like her sister does.
My goal: Not to come in last. That was all I wanted. That was all that mattered. Low expectation, just not to be 300 out of 300.
I start at the end of the pack, as I don't want to be in anyone's way with the carriage. But within the first 5 minutes, I quickly realize I am last. Crap.
I keep running. I run the first mile, slowly passing people. I keep running. I have now passed a fair amount of people, but I can still see them close behind.
Every water station or cop stopping traffic, I yell, "Come on, cheer for me." They do-and it just makes me run even faster.
At one point, I start to cry. I became overwhelmed at what I was doing. Here I am-a person who has spent over 1/3 of their life out of shape, a person who weighed 82 pounds in the first grade, a person who was on the JV volleyball team just so they had someone to warm the bench for the other players-running a race. I quickly realize that crying is taking up too much of my needed oxygen, so I stop.
I see the final road. The cop cheers me on (with prompting, of course). As you come around the final lap, they annouce you.
"188, Lisa XXX from Dover." I sprint to the finish line. 37 minutes. Not bad for an old lady pushing a carriage.
And I wasn't last.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Market Square Day 10K

I ran the Market Square Day 10k in Portsmouth, NH for the second time. Last year, it was my first time running a 10k, and I was happy with my chip time of 1:02:07 . (I love races with starting and finishing mats.) This year, my goal was to complete it in under 1 hour. 10K's haven't been that plentiful in my racing career, so I had done only 2 others (Saunders and New Year's Day 10k's) since. Although I didn't meet my goal, I still set a new PR for a 10k at 1:00:48, which is a 9:48 mile.
Mental notes for next year-although hilly, always a straight away once you get up the hills, so you can always catch your breath. Also, once at the top of the last hill (where the Children's Museum was)-the finish is at the end of the downhill, so start to gun it once the hill is over.

Also, the second time this year I was bib #2-many people asked who I knew that helped me get that number. Just like to register early!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Run Like a Mother

Well, one of my New Year's Resolutions (which, by the way, I despise) was to start a blog about nutrition, running, and being a mom-3 of my favorite things. And aerobics-can't forget the aerobics. I'm sure no one will bother to read any of this, which is fine by me. I'll just write to indulge myself.
I started running "seriously" last May, but my first race was back in October of 2006. That's a good story-I'll post my MySpace blog about that at some point.
I love reading other people's blogs, so maybe-just maybe-someone will enjoy reading mine.