Spring Race Schedule

2009 HHCC JP Morgan Corporate Challenge Team nearly 90 strong

I know I haven’t been the best with updating this, but please be warned, I am planning to update this with intense frequency over the coming months. Before I dive into training plans, nutrition, race reviews I wanted to share my own personal Spring Race Schedule!

April 18th, BAA 5K , Boston, MA

April 19th, Boston Marathon*, Boston, MA (Spectating and cheering for my good friend, Super Noel!)

April 25th, Pancreatic Cancer Research Run, Westborough, MA

I must find a good 10k, any good suggestions?!

May 16th, Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon, Newton, MA

June 24th, JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, Boston, MA

I figure this list will only grow, but I just wanted to get everything down, as it stands right now! In addition to this, I’ve already signed up for Chicago (wooo!), and I’m planning on doing both the Falmouth Road Race AND the Brewster Brew Run back to back on the same weekend (Yes, I might be crazy!) But, to focus on the short term, I’m looking forward to the half marathon in May. my goal for this is to test drive how training at high milage, plus cross training goes (look out for a post on this in the next few days!) as well as increased speed work outs and emphasizing “gentle pick ups” at the end of runs. My hope that cross training will help condition and strengthen my core muscles, which are extremely hard at the end of a long run. For the speed work, I’m Hoping that focusing on speed as well as participating in more 5k’s can help me in the speed department!

Shredding some Colorado “Nar”

At this time last week, I was just finishing up my first day on the slopes of Breckenridge, and as the title of this post denotes, it was “Gnarly”! As I’ve posted over the past year, I’ve recently made a renaissance on the ski slopes. My mother thinks I am absolutely crazy, but I figure if it makes winter more enjoyable, and it gives me a great work out, I’m all for it! I head west to visit one of my best friends from college, Courtney as well as her Fiance, Dave. Luckily, another one of my best friends was able to join from Chicago. It was such a great mini reunion!

Prior to leaving for Colorado I was freaked out about my first experience powder skiing, so I put in some serious gym time. My work out schedule was comprised of, multiple Core Fusion Classes, Bootcamp classes, daily lunge series, running and other cross training exercises. I was worried that my inexperience with skiing would make me tire quickly, thus cutting my powder time short. Luckily, since I worked it so hard (many times pulling “double sessions”) that I was delighted to find that after a complete day of skiing my legs barely felt the burn!

Our day at Breck started early, the alarm went off around 5:40 am and we fumbled around half awake for about 45 minutes before finally packing all of our skiing and snowboarding gear into Dave’s Subaru (the official car of CO & VT, in my humble opinion.) We hit the road and after about an hour and a half, we arrived at the Gondola parking area, YEAH! After strapping on our ski pants, boots and helmets, we were good to go. Luckily, Courtney and Dave both have the Colorado Pass, which means that Kathryn and I were able to buy companion passes to Breckenridge for $60/each. That is FANTASTIC savings compared to the average $93/each pass at the ticket booth, ouch.

We finally hit the slopes and, WOW, it was fantastic! We took several runs on easier green runs on Peak 8 and then moved over to Blues Squares on Peak 9. My friend Courtney apologized for the lack of fresh powder, but compared to the ice of the Northeast, this was absolutely fantastic. I found that though my legs never tired yet, I did become light headed and thirsty extremely quickly due to the altitude. Luckily, I was able to take a few water breaks and regroup and rebound to my old self in order to enjoy the slopes until the end of the day. I even was able to tackle a Blue/Black run, which was much more steep and difficult than anything else I’ve skied on this season, hooray for me! All in all, it was a great day with good friends.

Here are some pictures from the day at Breckenridge:

Courtney & Me at Breck

Loving the "Nar"

Pooped after a great day on the slopes

Day Two was at Arapahoe Basin (affectionately referred to as ‘A-Basin’), which is a much smaller, and advanced mountain. Prior to leaving my brother told me how much he enjoyed skiing at A-Basin, stating that it was skiing at its finest: gorgeous views, ungroomed trails devoid of massive condominium developments on the mountain. The drive from Breckenridge to A-Basin was breath taking, I couldn’t get over the gorgeous views of mountains that surrounded us at every single moment.

When we arrived at Arapahoe Basin we were treated to a spectacular blue bell day, now this is what it’s like to ski in Colorado! On our first run I could feel that all of my leg muscles were aching; ouch, I guess I did feel that long day of skiing at Breck. Luckily, I was able to push through and enjoy a fresh coat of powder on the slopes, awesome! Again, we stuck to Blue Square trails but I went out on a limb and attempted the Montazuma Bowl, a difficult and steep long trail on the back side of A-Basin that treats skiers to some of the best views in all of Colorado. We ended up hitting the road at 1pm, a significantly shorter day than Breck, but it was worth it!

Check out some photos from A-Basin:

The Crew at A-Basin

Gorgeous

Heading up the Zuma chair with Breckenridge in the distance

Our ride back to Denver was a gorgeous, yet, a little nerve racking as we wound through the curves of Loveland Pass:

Loveland Pass

So it was official, after nearly four years, I finally made it to Colorado! In the car I nudged Courtney’s shoulder and said, “Well, thanks for having me. I hope you’re ready, because now I’m coming every year”, she laughed and said, “great!”.

Designing Noel’s Boston Marathon Race Shirt

It’s the end of February and the Boston Marathon is right around the corner! I always get excited around marathon time: I get goosebumps when I see the first Adidas out of home ads go up the month before the race. Then, once the race weekend arrives there is a certain excitement in the air: the runners start to filter into the city, everyone’s conversation circles around the Patriot’s day festivities. Then, eventually on race day I sit on the end of my couch watching TV coverage of the gun going off in Hopkinton, and then head down to Heartbreak Hill, or Beacon St to watch the race and then finally, congratulate runners on their fantastic achievement around Copley Sq. Couple that excitement with the fact that one of my best friends is running this prestigious race and I’m full on freaking out! I email my friend constantly telling her about how we’re going to have a pasta party, where we’re going to cheer her on, what we’re going to do afterwards, the list goes on! Thankfully, she’s a good sport and says that my excitement is helping her stay focused and keep her eyes on the prize.

My newest obsession is designing a great race T-Shirt for my friend. She recently found out that she got into University of Florida’s MBA program, so I’m thinking of a Gator orange and blue scheme.

Here are my current thoughts, let me know what you think:

  • Gator orange shirt with blue lettering
  • BIG bold lettering for her name on the front of the shirt
  • Boston Marathon 2010, somewhere on the back
  • Perhaps an east coast map with a route line from Florida (where she’s from) to Boston
  • And some fun phrase/ or song lyric (TBD)

I still need to bring the idea to my graphic designer friends to see what they can come up with, but this is a start!

Can you tell I’m excited?!

Powder on the Slopes!

Beautiful Stowe

This past Friday, after a really great work week (I was promoted on Friday, hoooray!), with my Lent/nutrition plan in full swing, and snow in the forecast, we packed our bags and went straight up to Stowe, VT. Rob and I were able to utilize my brother and sister in law’s house, which is located just outside of downtown Stowe. Since the house was empty, we invited our avid outdoor friends Greg & Paulina and Kate & Alec. Everyone was beyond thrilled to be making the three and a half hour trek up to the beautiful New England town for a chance to ski and snowboard at one of New England’s best mountains.

We got up late on Friday night, after sitting in stop and go traffic on 93 north and a lengthy stop at a belly busting Mexican joint somewhere in the Lebanon, NH area.  We were wiped, but that didn’t stop us from popping out of bed Saturday morning as if Santa’s gifts were waiting for us under the tree at 6:45am. Greg and Paulina were able to get to the mountain for the first chair, an impressive feat! Kate, Alec, Rob and I all strolled in shortly after 8am, and hit the mountain in order to catch some corduroy!

Mount Mansfield in all it's glory

Due to icing and freezing rain issues a lot of the lifts were closed and the lines were CRAZY. As the day went on, the lines got a little better as more lifts opened up, thank goodness. Shortly after 12pm it started snowing and we were treated to snow, which just increased the beauty and amazing conditions on the mountain!

After a several runs we went inside to grab a quick lunch and then head right back out there. Since the Gondola had opened, we decided to ski over there and WOW, was it worth it! Once I skied onto the trail it looked as if I was literally skiing through a Christmas card. The pine trees were encrusted in snow and there was fresh fluffy powder everywhere you looked: absolute perfection.

Rob and Paulina Skiing down Nose Dive

The snow was actually so fresh that I had a hard time maneuvering in it. After a few frustrating attempts near the top of the trail, I finally eased into a pace and got into a groove, but wow did my thighs burn, Oww! After two runs off the Gondola, I was toast, so I called it quits and head into the midway lounge to join friends for an Apres ski party. I have to say, I do enjoy that drinking beers after sweating profusely and pushing my body to the limit is actually encouraged in the sport of skiing. Perhaps this is something we can bring to running on a larger scale, Apres Run anyone?! After everyone filtered in around 4:30pm, we all enjoyed a beer together and then made our way to our lodging for the night, the “Winter Cottage” (my friendly nickname for my brother and sister in law’s abode.)

After a great night of sleep and we all woke up and feasted on a fantastic breakfast over at the Gables Inn. After we rolled out of breakfast we all went over to the Nordic Barn on Mountain Road to rent some snow shoes, poles and snow boots. We went to this rental shop on Saturday per my sister in law’s suggestion, but I do have to say that it was by far one of the best experiences we’ve had in terms of service and atmosphere. So when we brought up the idea of snow shoeing, we made sure to head back and give them our business! The man working was great and not only got us all up to speed and demonstrated how to properly put them on, but he gave us maps and suggestions on where to go “shoein'”. Thank you Nordic Barn!

Rob and Greg Snow Shoeing

The best review and suggestion we received from the man at the Nordic Barn was for Wiesner’s Woods, a reservation land that is popular with cross country skiers and snow shoe’ers alike. We went over and had fun hiking around the snow covered trails! While snow shoeing is very different from running or skiing, it is a nice change to get outside and go for a hike and enjoy the weather. I even worked up quite the sweat when we came upon a few hilly areas of the trail. It wasn’t the most thrilling experience, but it definitely felt great to get up and get another chance to get outside. Though, afterwards I did feel a pang of jealousy when I looked through @ShredSnow’s Flickr photos of their Sunday snowboarding adventures!

Scenic Overlook from Wiesner's Woods

All in all, it was a great weekend. It was a chance to get out on some great snow and ski and snow shoe with some good friends. When I called my mother and told her about my fantastic weekend I could tell she was in disbelief. Her exact words were, “Where is Swimmykimy, and what have you done with her?!”. I told her, “Well, it’s a long winter and I’ve found a way to make it a little easier to deal with :)” I’m hoping to make it up to VT a few more times before the winter is over, but for now, I’m focusing on my impending trip to Colorado! Next post, how I’m prepping for powder in my gym work outs!

The return of the Lunch Time RUN!

Since entering the working world I have struggled to adjust to sitting at a desk, virtually in one place for nine (or sometimes more) hours a day. Sure, I drink a lot of water which requires subsequent refills and bathroom trips, but I find myself feeling pretty empty being holed up in an office during beautiful days.

The solution? The lunch time run! I have been known to take these frequently in the spring and fall, but rarely in the summer and winter. Well, I have a new policy, once it gets over 40 degrees and my Outlook calendar declares that the hour of 12pm-1pm (or, maybe even if I’m lucky, 1pm-2pm) are free, I’m heading out on a lunch time run! Not only does it help me get some desperately needed vitamin D, but it gives me the chance to get out and explore the city during the beautiful daylight hours. PLUS, working out over lunch it also helps me alleviate my bundle of stressful nerves that tend to plague me throughout the work day. A final benefit is that It awakens my senses and gives me a boost of power to get through the day. Now, that is something that eating an unhealthy slice of pizza or 750 calorie Cosi salad certainly can not do!

Today I ran with my cell phone and sent automatic updates to my twitter account to document the run, below are the pictures–Enjoy!

Kim’s Lent Plan: Less Junk; More Gym!


I don’t always give up something for Lent, but this year I decided that it might be a good idea. When I have given up something, I’ve always found it to be difficult to adhere to my lent perimeters (no matter what I decide to give up!), so to make it easier I’m putting an emphasis on good health for the next 40 days. My motto is: Less Junk (Food, drinks) and more Gym (whether it’s running, a group exercise class, skiing, walking, lifting–whatever, it just has to burn calories!). So, if for instance, I decide to over-indulge on a weekend (which, quite frankly happens more than I would like to admit), then I have to go the gym and do more than my standard trip to make up for it. Now, I consider myself a healthy person, but I have been known to cave to the occasional cookie left over from the 2pm meeting, or a bagel loaded with cream cheese from the 9am client presentation–ICK. Or, one celebratory beer or glass of wine with a friend turns into six. Not going to say these events are never going to take place, but I’m certainly going to try to stay mindful of my actions.

The next 40 days I’m going to update my work-out routine, race schedule, and nutrition. My boyfriend has also given up junk food, so wish both of us luck on this quest!!

Getting in Tune with MN (Mother Nature)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w7sVSMbjyM]

My sister in law shared the sheer brilliance of this “Cross Country Snow Boarding” clip with my boyfriend and I sometime this past summer. It never fails to put a smile on my face and fill the room with my obnoxiously loud laughter.

While I don’t have the patience, nor the desire to master regular snow boarding, not to mention that of the cross country variety, I have however, been tearing up the slopes quite a bit this winter!

My first trip of the winter was to Stowe, VT, which is the idealic and picturesque definition of a ski town if I’ve ever seen one before! My boyfriend and I went up for the weekend to visit my brother and sister in law as well as get some quality time in on one of the most prestigious and beautiful mountains on the east coast.

My brother, KC & I on the top of Spruce Peak


We got an early start and for the first time in my life I skied “corduroy” (for those who aren’t skiers, it refers to shallow, closely-spaced parallel grooves in the snow made by grooming machines.) We started easy, but with the help of my brother, quickly moved onto more difficult and steeper terrain. We had a fantastic day, but by the end of it my legs were shaking uncontrollably! OWWW!

Foxy enjoying a walk through the notch with some pups

Our next trip was to Sunday River with some friends for a day of good skiing, good music and of course good times. Rob and I were still sore from hard work outs earlier in the week and some late nights so we made the decision early on to stick to easier trails and stress the social aspect of the weekend rather than pushing our skiing ability. Great weekend all around. I really feel like both of us are really getting the hang of skiing and hopefully will be really ready to challenge ourselves during our next ski trip!

Kate and Jeff Enjoying a Break on the Deck of the Foggy Goggle


Tired after a long day, but happy 🙂

Exhale Core Fusion: Review

Last Thursday I finally tried the much anticipated Core Fusion class at Exhale Mind + Body Spa in Boston, it was great!

The moment I stepped foot into the spa I instantly felt at ease. The entire space smells of wonderful eucalyptus, which was a delight to my senses considering the polluted city walk I took from my office to their Arlington st location. The lighting and decorating were also very inviting, I definitely couldn’t wait to change into my yoga gear and get to work.

I was lucky enough to try the class out with a friend who goes on a regular basis, so she set me up with the necessary workout aids: a cloth band and light weights. The class is all done on carpet, so it was surprising and felt a little funky, but certainly no bad by any stretch. You are also required to wear socks during class, so that was another funky little detail.

So instantly I loved the class instructor, she was spunky and cute, you could tell right away that she loved her job and couldn’t wait to have all of us feel the burn. She came around and said hello to all of the regulars and introduced herself to all of the newbies, which was another sign of excellent service and attention to detail.

The class started with a series of warm up exercises and launched directly into difficult plank based core movements, ouch! I was still sore from a rough bootcamp class on Tuesday so I knew I was going to have to bite my lip to get through this 60 minute class. From there we did multiple ballet bar based movements, yoga inspired stretching, leg and ab work among many other exercises. All of the movements were extremely challenging, but the teacher was very good about addressing the varying abilities of those attending the class which enhanced the overall experience, especially as a beginner!

Overall, I loved the class and I look forward to the rest of my nine classes. I think it will be a great diversion from running, spinning and another way to work my core aside from bootcamp class. Even though I loved the class, I still really found myself wishing I was in a yoga class, which surprised me. I thought that Core Fusion would be the perfect card infused stretching regimen I craved, but instead it made me think that I should be doing yoga in addition to core fusion, bootcamp, spinning, etc. I look forward to tracking and updating my progress on my new workout plan throughout the next few weeks!

Embarking on a New Frontier: Core Fusion

So tonight is the NIGHT! After listening to my coworkers sing the praises of the Exhale Spa Core Fusion class, I’m finally trying it! Ever since my coworkers started going this past fall, I’ve been dying to try it but the cost was holding me back from trying this yoga and resistence fusion class.

Core Fusion at Exhale

So, how did my coworkers manage to afford it? Luckily, they were able to take advantage of a deal on Ruelala.com, which is an invitation only designer and lifestyle closeout auction style website, and snag a 10 class pass for $130 vs the standard $255 which is the standard rate at the spa. My coworkers were able to take advantage of the deal, while I exercised great restraint and held back in favor of saving that money for my Panama vacation in January. Luckily, the day of the mid month paycheck (yay for the 15th of the month!) was also the same day as an exhale “boutique” on Gilt.com (yet another popular invitation only auction style website), so I snatched it up immediately! Since my schedule is no longer AS hectic, and I’m no longer under the shroud of the winter bla’s (hoooray!) I finally signed up for my first class, which is tonight!

I’m not exactly sure what to expect, so be sure to check back here tomorrow for a full review of my first Core Fusion class! Based off of my coworker’s comments, the bar is set pretty high! I really hope it can live up to the hype.

Good Bye Winter “Bla’s”!

So since returning from vacation, it’s taken a little bit to work back into daily life again–work, the cold weather, commuting and of course THE GYM. The first week back was pretty rough, for some reason I felt like I was spinning my wheels every time I stepped foot into the gym. I honestly think I was so resentful of the cold weather that I worked myself into a funk. One day was so bad that I went home directly after work, bundled up in sweats and blankets and rooted myself on my couch. It finally took my boyfriend to drag me to the gym! The instant I stepped on the elliptical trainer I felt like a new person. Who knew such a workout nut could be in a fitness funk?

Since the forced gym visit, I am happy to report, I have been on an upward fitness and wellness swing–hooray! Not only have I gotten back into the routine of attending weekly bootcamp class (ouch!), running on the treadmill, but I took a trip to Wholefoods and Trader Joe’s and stocked up on all of my favorite nutritions products (post to follow sometime this week.) It’s not that I ever pig out on junk food, but it’s difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan when eating breakfast and lunches out–yuck!

So the ground work has been laid for a great winter in the gym (and running outside when it gets above 40 degrees), I’m back on the nutrition bandwagon (hopefully for the long haul!) and now more exciting news, I have registered for my THIRD marathon! Yesterday at 9am I registered for the Chicago marathon and I am absolutely thrilled. The excitement of registering, along with my friends Michele (marathon compadre, who I have run NYC & MCM with) and Noel (Boston qualifying superstar friend!) bolstered me through a quick, but very intense three mile run that ended with me running at 8.0 in the last half mile. Take that winter blues, I’m fighting back!

It may not have been the prettiest route to optimal fitness and nutrition regimen, but I’d like to announce that I am BACK! I look forward to blogging about nutrition, books, training techniques more often. I’m going to hold myself to blogging in order to hold myself to my reformed healthy lifestyle. Until next time, happy running!