2013 Goals

1. Put Foxy First

Koxy Engagement photo

I am very lucky to have such a loving, supportive, funny, intelligent and all around AWESOME husband. Since the moment I met him he has always shown how important his friends, family and now wife, are to him on a daily basis. I am extremely thankful to have found him and I am equally, if not more, lucky that he deals with me and my headstrong  and intense ways. And with a smile, nonetheless!

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More often than not, when I’m training I find myself getting wrapped up in the details. “My foot is hurting, is it a stress fracture?” or “how am I going to fit in a long run over this wedding weekend in x city?” or “I had a bad run, am I cut out for this marathon stuff?” or, just the general random sobs and blabbering out of fear and frustration with training and racing. First and foremost, my goal this year is to make sure to put everything into perspective and put Foxy first. He always is undeniably there for me through anything and never complains about my endorphin obsessed ways. I want to put it out on the interweb that my goal is to not sweat the small stuff and constantly remind myself to channel and put into practice the selfless ways of #1 supporter.

2. Buy a bike

As a life long swimmer and lover of the water and runner since college, I’ve always wanted to become a triathlete. However, the fear of cycling has always been a gigantic barrier to entry. Since 2011 I have signed up for a few triathlons with hopes that I would make the plunge and buy a bike, but other expenses and trips always seem to get in the way. I’ve always seemed to have gotten by with spinning classes and borrowing friends bikes. But, with the decision made to sign up for this race, it’s more important than ever to get the right gear for the sport.

3. Get into cycling and get over my fears

Once I have the gear, I want to find a group to go on rides with and get some log some solid distance training rides. I definitely avoid cycling because I have a lot of fears associated with cycling in this city. But, it’s time to face my fears find some trails outside of downtown Boston and get more adept to this huge portion of any triathlon race. Ultimately, this will make me a stronger rider.

4. Stay injury free in 2013

Kim Tri Finish

and swim/bike/run HAPPY.

This is probably the corner stone to all of my athletic goals for 2013. Foxy would appreciate if I stay injury free aka, stay away from the “Glass case of emotion” injured self. I’m tackling this goal with the following:

  1. Hot Yoga once a week (no exceptions!)
  2. Clams & other hip exercises
  3. Foam rolling every day I run, if not 7 days a week.

5. Complete the Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

Growing up in Boston, the marathon has always been a major bucket list item. I’ve watched countless friends make the turn onto Boylston st and year after year of cheering has only intensified the yearning to also complete this prestigious  race.  As much as I would like to set a goal time, I mostly just want to finish. The last time I ran (or ran/walked) a marathon was in 2009. I think it’s finally time to avenge that race and finish my life long goal of running Boston, and finishing with a smile on my face.

6. Complete the Timberman Half Ironman

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These shoulders are built for swimmin’!

I forget when I first heard the concept of an Ironman, but it has been my bucketlist/ultimate reach goal for at least fifteen years now. It fascinates and scares the bejesus out of me.

Since an Ironman has 112 mile bike ride, I realized that if I never accomplished goals #2 and 3, I would never even get close to the full Ironman distance. This is still a few years in the future, and it is something that Foxy and I will make together. Since my long range goals require me to get more serious about all aspects of the sport of triathlon, I figured that 2013 was the perfect time to dive head first and sign up for my first half ironman.

I do have a goal time in mind, I am not sharing that until closer to the race. At this juncture all I want to do is finish.

So, that’s it folks! I’m sure that these will change and morph over time, but at this point these are my goals for 2013.

What are your goals for 2013? Do you have any triathlon/cycling advice for me?!

Boston Training: Week 1

I am so excited to announce that I am finally in TRAINING! I am very nervous about how things will go over the next 120 days (and I should mention, 243 days until the Timberman half ironman!), but I am also unbelievably excited.

Eyes on the prize!

Credit to Greater Boston Photography for this awesome picture

Credit to Greater Boston Photography for this awesome picture

I have enjoyed tracking friends training recaps and being able to quickly flip through week to week. I also really want to do this to keep me held to my training schedule. So, here goes nothin’!

Monday

3 mile treadmill run, hip exercises, abs & foam rolling

First day of training, wooo! I woke up on Monday feeling a sense of renewed excitement, ready to tackle the challenge of Boston 2013.

Tuesday

Hot Power Yoga 1:30

As a part of my pact with myself to do everything possible to avoid getting injured I have forced myself back into weekly yoga classes. I really love yoga and it’s ability to help me slow down, get centered and most importantly: STRETCH! The problem is, I just have a hard time spending an hour and a half in a class that is sometimes, so unbelievably slow. And yes, I go to hot power yoga and I think it’s too slow! Change is good, right?

This class seemed to address any tightness or issues I was having and I left feeling like a million bucks. Mission accomplished. Change, is in fact, good.

Wednesday 

With a little 70.3k race weighing on my mind, I took a little trip to this little shop over lunch:

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I know, I know what you’re saying, “Swimmykimy is turning into “bikeykimy?!” Well, it’s about time. It’s going to be a long road (more on that later) but first, I thought educating myself and trying out some bikes is a good first step.

I tried out three different bikes and really enjoyed the Specialized Allez Evo, unfortunately, my taste level is a bit higher than my budget. This is an unfortunate problem that I have with, hmm everything! My search will continue and I see a lot of hand holding and research in my future.

Many thanks to the patient staff at Landry’s for all of their help. I will be back!

After work: 5 Miles treadmill run, abs & foam rolling

Thursday

Morning: 3,000 yard swim

I struggled with breathing, I think it was a combination of being stuffed up, neglecting using my inhaler and a really humid pool. I was hoping to do 2×500’s strong (approximately at 70.3 race pace, but I am still working on my tri training) for my main set, but decided to break it up into 5×200’s strong. I ended up feeling great after this 45 minute swim.

Friday

Off day.

YES.

After a great holiday themed dinner party with my girlfriends Thursday evening, I spent most of Friday yawning and oh so excited to change into sweats and catch up on DVR with Foxy and prep for my LR on Saturday.

Saturday

8.20 Long run, 1:13:54

First long run of the training cycle, wooooeee!

I woke up a bit later than I anticipated (still recovering from Thursday, oops) and set out for my first long run since May, how have I possibly not run longer than 45 minutes in over 6 months?! Not possible! I took my first few steps feeling strong but, seeesh, it is cold! I struggled to breathe and dealing with stop lights but finished the run just above an 9:00 pace and pleased with myself that I was able to get back in the groove. After feeling so great on my run, I spent the majority of my day on the couch reading and battling an upset stomach, boo. Luckily, I was able to recover to hit up my friend Katy’s annual Christmas party, in style.

Foxy

How cute is that bow tie? SO. CUTE. Love.

xmas party 2012

Cape Cod Beach kids, all grown up!

Sunday

jinglebell_baeventsSomerville Jingle Bell Run 5k: 26:30

Took this one easy so I won’t push myself and get injured. Rob and I ran together and enjoyed taking in all of the costumes and spectators blasting Christmas music. This run always brings a huge smile to my face.

Unfortunately, no photos this year.

Overall results

Miles: 19 Running, 2 swimming. Total time: 5:06.

Definitely a solid week of training, considering how it was my first foray back into running long in over six months. There are things to work on (adding in: speed, hills, mid week long-ish runs, working on nutrition and fighting stomach issues), so I’m looking forward to the next few weeks to really fine tune and optimize this plan. Next week I definitely need to get back into spinning class, keep foam rolling and focusing on hip strengthening exercises. I’m also finally going to bite the bullet and join a running club I have been talking about for nearly six years, eeps!

Marathon Goggles

Runners High, it’s a beautiful thing. But, what if it leads you to make decisions that might, under normal, non-runners high situations be considered, straight up crazy?

This past Saturday I dragged myself out of bed and hopped in Foxy’s car and made the trek out to Newton. As I drove, the GPS took me on the craziest route, but I finally arrived in the Hilliest place in all the land, NEWTON. As I drove the infamous Newton hills my heart beat with the excitement of the run on the horizon. Is this normal? Hmm, not so much. I parked, stretched quickly and then I was off on my way. In order to get in 12 of the hilliest miles possible, I had to do a quick down and back to Newton-Wellesley Hospital (right around roughly mile 16-17 of the marathon.) I was happy to just space out and take in the beautiful day. I did a quick 3 miles and then I was back near Foxy’s car. I anticipated passing my starting point would result in huge mental battle, but it was quite the contrary, it motivated and catapulted me towards an awesome additional 9 miles. As I ran on the carriage road I kept on imaging what it might be like if the Boston Marathon was happening at that exact second. What if Kara Goucher were here RIGHT NOW? I thought about everyone I knew who ran, and how much determination and will they proved on those trying Newton Hills.

Then, I thought about last year’s Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon. I was ill prepared for this race and absolutely hated my life, but somehow in this beautiful day on the last day of April, I felt as if each hill empowered me. Instead of feeling defeated, I felt strong. When I might have felt exhaustion I felt POWER. When I realized that I was conquering the hills with ease I actually thought to myself, wow, maybe I really am a runner after all!

In addition to being a runner, maybe I could actually RUN HILLS, and not die. Wow, what a thought. I’m going to hold onto this huge victory, and never let go.

For the rest of the run it was more of the same, daydreaming of great races and what my future might hold. What if I decided to sign up for a marathon in the fall…just for fun? Hmmm, what about Disney in January? Running with characters sounds like fun to me…and it was more and more of the same.

As my heart and mind were racing at the prospect of signing up for multiple half and full marathons, I thought to myself, hmm maybe I should ease up a bit? Then I realized I was experiencing the running equivalent of BEER GOOGLES. Yes folks, I had Marathon Goggles.

What are Marathon Goggles? It’s when you have such a great run that your endorphins are a flown’, perhaps more than the average, recommended dose for a functioning human being. This excess in endorphins, which is similar to over imbibing mistakes we all may have made in college, leads to making decisions which appear to make perfect sense in our clouded minds. Sure, Marathon goggles are a little safer than thinking a creepy guy is cute and giving him a kiss, but signing up for marathons in the heat of the moment can definitely lead to some post endorphin remorse.

Original Beer Goggles, circa 2006

So there I was, about 8 miles into my long run, racing down the streets of Brighton and Newton with a huge pair of Marathon Goggles strapped to my face. If there was an inkling or thought to complete a run on the horizon, you bet it raced through my head.

Somewhere around Cleveland Circle I came to the realization: I’m having a fantastic run, but to be honest, they’re not all this great.  So why push it? Just enjoy the run!

My major goal for running the San Francisco Marathon is to enjoy the entire race and get back to LOVING marathons. My other goal? Staying injury free. So, as I talked myself out of signing up for other races, I also told myself to savor and enjoy this moment. Great runs only come around every once and awhile, I wasn’t going to let this one get away from me.

12.0 Miles 1:52:27 9:22 Average Pace.

Have you ever had an unbelievable run or race that lead you to signing up for challenging races? Did it pay off with another good run or race?

Oh Heeeey, Heartbreak!

This past Saturday I set out to log my first long run of San Francisco Marathon training. I wasn’t nervous going into this run, but I have to admit, there is a bit of fear and apprehension as I begin this training cycle.  I’ve had a frustrating past two years when it comes to the 26.2 distance: one heartbreaking Marine Corps marathon where my four months of hard work fell apart in the first few miles, and then an injury a few weeks into training forced me to withdraw from the Chicago marathon.

Earlier this week I made plans to meet Katy on Saturday morning, to run an 8 mile loop starting and ending at the base of Heartbreak Hill. The last time I ran Heartbreak was during the 2010 Heartbreak Hill Half, when I was cursing hills and my lack of hill preparation prior to the race. When I finished the race I told Foxy that I would NEVER run the race again. Well, cue registering for the SF Marathon. It seems to be in my best interest to prepare for a marathon in one of the hilliest cities in the US on one of the hilliest half marathons in the area was probably a good idea. Hill training and avoiding injury are my two goals for SF training, so there is no better place to start than training on Heartbreak!

I met Katy close to 10am, we were supposed to meet at 9:30 but I couldn’t find my favorite running hat and felt a little frazzled (What can you absolutely NOT run without? Mine is a hat!) I found her car, parked and then shortly thereafter, we were on our way.

We started at roughly the 18.5 mile mark of the Boston Marathon course. Comm Ave was absolutely PACKED with people running, so it was a wonderful atmosphere with a lot of fast runners. Katy and I planned to take it at a reasonable pace and just went on our way.

Heartbreak in all of its glory. I definitely struggled through a long story I was telling Katy, but we focused and hammered out the hill. All in all, it wasn’t that bad. When we reached the top, I pointed out the turn that is the half way point in the HBH Half, which is significantly steeper and harder than Heartbreak itself! Luckily we saved that one for another day and ran past Boston College, Katy’s alma mater.

This is continuing down Comm Ave, with the Reservoir on the right. In just a two weeks this area will be lined with people for the Boston Marathon!

When we made our way down Comm Ave to Cleveland Circle, where we popped into a Dunkin’ Donuts to use the restroom and buy waters. Pictured below is 1950 Beacon Street, Katy’s crazy off campus apartment that she lived in Junior year of college. I have a laugh every time I pass this apartment with how many crazy parties we threw there when we were 21. Oh college..

From there we veered off the Marathon route and ran around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, which was extremely windy. Luckily we had each other and kept chatting away. This is when we took the turn onto College Road, which cuts through Boston College’s campus. Pictured here is Katy’s dorm from Sophomore year.

We picked up the pace and ran quickly back down Heartbreak and the other hills of Newton. I had to point this porta-potty out, I’ve read about this before, but it was the first time I saw the Saucony Porto in person. Such a creative Out of Home Advertising execution which ACTUALLY adds value to the consumer’s life. Not many other media placements can say that 🙂

When we finally reached our cars I couldn’t believe we were done. I felt so great that I wanted to keep on going for several more miles. However, in the interest in achieving my goals and avoiding injury, it was definitely best to stop. Some nice people walking by saw me struggling to take an extended arm photo of the two of us and they volunteered to take this photo 🙂

Afterwards Katy and I decided to head to Blue on Highland to grab some lunch because our friend Zach was working. As you can see from the photo, Blue isn’t exactly a safe haven of sweaty restaurant goers, so we were very happy that it wasn’t particularly busy.

I’m definitely not a food blogger, but I was so hungry and the food was SO delicious I had to share. We split the Chicken Sandwich and we each ate a few of the Parmesan and basil fries w/ a truffle dipping sauce. HOLY MOLY amazing.

Then, we split the spinach-prosciutto pizza with roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, & pine nuts. DELICIOUS.

All in all, it was a fantastic run. We had so much fun chatting that I barely realized that the hills were challenging. This run with Katy was so much fun and it definitely has made me look forward to adhering to my training schedule and staying healthy throughout this training cycle. First week down, 17 more to go!

Heartbreak – Boston College Route 8.56 Miles/9:42 Pace/1:22:57

How to you refuel from long runs? Do you have any long run rituals?

Help Wanted…

with my new marathon training plan!

On July 31st 2011 I will run the San Francisco Marathon and I am beyond thrilled. I know that this race won’t be a PR race, but rather I am looking forward to getting back to what I love about running and enjoying the amazing scenery along the way. I’ve always toyed around with Hal Higdon‘s marathon training programs, many times tweaking it with the advice of friends and fellow marathoners. This time, I think I’ll take a step away from my good friend Hal and put together my own plan. But first, I need your help!

Seeing as how I picked up running after graduating college and I’ve never run with a team, I don’t have the best knowledge when it comes to different training strategies. Ok, compared to most of you, I really don’t know ANYTHING, so I am all ears! I’ve also been prone to injury over the past few years, so I’m looking forward to having a injury free training cycle and a successful race on July 31st.

Plan Considerations:

  1. Hill Work – This is an absolute must, I am going to work in hills to my long runs as well as attempt hill repeats (gulp)
  2. Spacing out Runs – When I asked Aron for advice on a training plan for SF she pointed out that I should consider avoiding back to back days to reduce the wear and tear on my body and likelihood of injury.
  3. Yoga – I’m terrible with stretching, so incorporating this into my weekly routine has always helped me, so I’m going to stick with it
  4. Speed Work – I’m forcing myself to do one speed workout a week, I truly feel that this will be a huge differentiator
  5. Cross Training – Prior to signing up for the SF Marathon I vowed to get back to my swimming roots and try a few sprint triathlons, so I signed up for two this summer. Marathon training will be my primary focus, but I think cross training could be a great chance to mix it up and help reduce burn out

So, here it is! I plan on playing around with this a bit before I make a “final” plan (I say that loosely, as training plans are never set in stone!) I’m definitely feeling a little nervous about this, so please let me know any tips or ideas that you have for me 🙂


So, what do you think? What are your marathon training tips for me?

How To Train For a Marathon and Maintain a Busy Schedule

Recently, I’ve felt like my free time is between minimal to non-existent. And when I checked my blog today, I realized I haven’t posted since May 26th, that is almost ONE month! Yikes!

Between traveling to weddings in different cities, various different projects at work, organizing the corporate challenge for my entire office, and maintaining a part time job the has severely limited the time I have available to work out, relax or even sleep. Since I haven’t posted in awhile I thought I would give a quick update on my life, and also outline some of my tips for maintaining a marathon training schedule during a very busy life schedule.

Before I share some tips, I just wanted to share what I’ve been up to the past month…

Danced the night away at a wedding on a farm in rural North Carolina

Met up with an old college friend and former swim teammate!

Drove down to Steve and Michele's wedding in an RV!

Celebrated Steve and Michele's Wedding in Villanova, PA

Celebrated my birthday at Jimmy Buffett!

Tail Gated at Buffett with my mother, her friend Maureen and my boyfriend Rob 🙂

Represented Pestos with Panache at the SoWa Food & Produce Market!

Celebrated at my Company's Summer Anniversary Party with Lizzy!

Phew, what a month! Now that the dust has settled a bit and the traveling and social engagements have subsided for the next six weeks or so, I’m looking forward to training at normal hours, catching up on sleep, eating healthier and of course, consuming less alcoholic beverages 🙂

So, with that chaotic of a schedule, how does someone train for a marathon?

  1. Schedule everything– I am a big fan of the “to do” list, and I relish in the sense of accomplishment I feel when I can successfully cross something off. The same goes for training runs, especially those of the long variety! I’ve compiled my training schedule into an excel document with all of my weddings, birthday parties, BBQ’s, bachelorette parties, showers, as well as all of my runs for each day until the Chicago Marathon on October 10th 2010. By merging social and running onto one calendar I can accurately plan my runs around my social schedule instead of having something sneak up on me
  2. Be at peace with missing something–inevitably, things do come up, and runs are missed, don’t fret, just say to yourself “ok, I’ll give myself that out, next time I won’t make that same mistake.” Own your pitfalls and move on.
  3. Lean on your running buddies– If you’re like me, you have many running friends from multiple different circles. I’m lucky enough to have them in almost every part of my life, so where ever I may be for a weekend I usually have a running friend close by. I find that the buddy system adds an urgency and responsibility to completing the work out.
  4. Find a Road Race in a city you a visiting- I know it might not seem possible, but if you can squeeze a quick 5k into a weekend in New Jersey when you’re there for a wedding, it will not only ensure that you get a work out in, but it will be more fun!

These are just a few tips, I will, without a doubt, be adding to these as the summer continues on.

Thanks for your patience and I look forward to posting with more frequency as Chicago training ramps up!

Heartbreak Hill Half: Pre Race Report

It seems like just yesterday that I was outlining my half marathon training plan and signing up for the Katie Lynch Purple Shoes Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon. Snow was still covering the ground and my boyfriend and I were planning our next ski weekend when I signed up. Since then we’ve had sunny weather, 90 degree days, the Kentucky Derby, and now the race is just 3 days away! After Eight weeks of training, I’m feeling primed and ready. I’ve integrated speed work and tempo runs into my training plan and I anticipate great results. One of my biggest frustrations with marathon training is how broken down and slow I have become.  To combat this I have tested cross training combined with the challenge of interval speed work outs and gentle pick ups to help me ‘feel the need for speed’. I have felt confident and relatively healthy the entire time, so I am anticipating a solid performance, although I knew the course wasn’t easy, this is HEARTBREAK Hill afterall. I knew it was going to be tough, but I figured “I’m in shape, I can handle it” I felt this way until, I made the mistake of checking the elevation map for this race…

WOW. This is going to be tough, 836 feet of climbing? eek! I then made ANOTHER mistake of comparing the elevation chart to one from the Marine Corps Marathon, where the highest elevation was 160 feet. I immediately had flashbacks pop into my head of my chest tightening and suffering the breathe at mile 8 of the Marine Corps Marathon, which is one race I would like to erase from my memory! The highest point of the Heartbreak Hill Half is 280 feet, YIKERS! That’s an additional 120 feet of hill climbing, not to mention the increased frequency of hills compared to the MCM course.

I nervously told my friends about this new elevation discovery, and they shook their head and told me the best advice: trust your body! And you know what? They’re right. I might not have trained hills at the length that I should have, but at least I’ve geared up my training to include speed work and pushing through pain at the end of runs. Plus, it’s not like I haven’t conquered hills or tough courses before. So for the next few days I will be pushing aside fear, self doubt and past issues and looking forward to conquering the hills of Newton! Wish me luck!