Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Today was a good day...not only am I already two days down in the work week already (thank you holidays), but I had a great morning run - first time I have woken up early to run since this heat wave hit Boston, and it was gorgeous out, anddd to top off the day, I won a giveaway! Me, miss wicked unlucky :)

Workout
  • 5 mile run 38:30 minutes - 60 degrees, sunny, low wind = heaven
  • Hot Yoga, Journey to Your Core - Karma Yoga Studio, South End Boston
    • Hottest yoga to date!! I looked like a jumped in a pool afterwards (which is reason enough not to take a photo, fear of water damaging my camera)
After a great morning run - I love morning runs because I feel jazzed up and ready to take on the day - I brought back the yummy Whole Wheat english muffin with PB - one side with jam, one side with honey and cinnamon, both sides banana, mmmhmm. I also filled up a cup of homemade iced tea with a little lime, very refreshing on a morning that was already 75 degrees by the time I was leaving the house!

Work was productive, but nothing too special...until...I was reading through Ali's posts about her holiday weekend, and realized I won her Planet Gear giveaway (also, if you have a chance, go over and tell her congrats on her half marathon PR from this weekend - all for a great reason (Boston's Run to Remember).  I am really excited to get this giveaway and head over to Planet Gear to pick up some great active gear/equipment!! Thanks again Ali!

After this little rush of excitement, I did something else that was pure awesomeness - I took up a co-worker's offer to lunch in the sun and actually left my desk at lunchtime, like got away from my computer for almost an hour!! This means I am on my way to checking off another goal on my 2011 goal list! And oh, what a fabulous afternoon break it was - the sun was shining, there was good conversation, and a great "everything but the kitchen sink" salad with some leftover veggies and BBQ chicken from yesterday's BBQ!
Fenway Park - what a great hometown field!

Then, if winning the giveaway wasn't enough - my Dad called and offered Sox tickets for tomorrow afternoon! Score! This will be my first game of the season and I can't wait - Go Sox!!
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So here I am, I just finished a semi-alright seared Tuna (not chicken), with homemade peanut soy sauce, homemade sweet potato fries and eggplant wedges (no pics, cuz well it wasn't picturesque). Bedtime for me - can't wait to try another run tomorrow AM!

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What is your favorite baseball team?

Boston Red Sox all the way - call me a pink hat, but I love to watch the games live at Fenway, a fabulous feeling!

Do you like to work out in the morning, lunchtime, or evening?

It is more convenient for me to work out after work, but with marathon training happening during the heat of the summer, I am trying to amp up my early morning runs....they are really a great way to start off the day!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Where the Figawi?!

So, as I mentioned Friday, I spent this fantastic Memorial Day weekend on a boat (well most of it).  Tripp and I saddled up at the ripe time of 9 o'clock pm on a holiday Friday to embark on what would be an epic sailing trip taking us from Hyannis, MA to Nantucket, MA and back again in 24 hours - this race is the one and only Figawi.  We were armed with our water proof packs and this deliciousness...
Summer in a bowl...strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, oranges, pineapple, watermelon and mango
After a quick pit-stop about 30 minutes into the drive, we finished off dinner around 10 and were in Hyannis and tendering out to our yacht by 11.
Chicken Ceasar Salad with salsa instead of dressing - best surprise, there were hot peppers and olives in there!
After a tiring day of work, baking, packing and driving, we found our bed for the next two days, crawled in and crashed hard - we had an early day of sailing ahead of us and we wanted to be in prime shape.
Our sleeping quarters for the weekend - notice our waterproof packs, efficiency at its best
We woke up bright and early and welcomed the last 2 members of our crew, cooked up some bacon, egg and cheese english muffin sandwiches, busted out that fruit salad heaven, and prepared the boat for a riveting ocean race to Nantucket.
Notice the pea soup fog back-lighting this fine group
Vehicle of choice, a Hunter 31 by the name of Persistence, and yes we fit eight of us in there for the duration of the weekend - we are that good.
The gang's all here
With a thick fog covering the harbor and 100 yard visibility, we buckled down and waited out the 3 hour delay...what better way to kill a couple of foggy and damp hours than pulling on our foul weather gear, breaking into the vodka gimlets, and cracking some beers - a typical pre-race routine, no?
After 3 solid hours of pre-race prep, the horns were blown and the race was underway! We were under the navigation of our trusty Skipper Sam and a few more guest Captains along the way - what a great group of teammates, let me tell you!
The race was off to a great start! I have never seen so many sailboats in a race at one time, so I was a little bit in awe...or maybe I was swooned by my seatmate
No, it was definitely the massive amounts of boats around us - some larger than others, some with motors, some with black sails, some with spinnakers, some without...
Keeping an eye on our competition, we kept a steady path, we laughed, we cried, we tacked we jibed, we sat the rail and manned the lines...
We snacked...
and snacked pretty well! 
We hydrated...
Magic Hat summer ale - one of my favorites! It is a beet based beer!!
And we snacked some more...
We were out there to have a good time (well and to win a race), and a good time we had...
Everything was so surreal, the one thing we were missing was...wind - yes, I know, a sort of important component to racing sailboats, especially while racing upwind.  After about 4 hours of drifting and dodging other boats and buoys, the race committee extended the end time by an hour, and more importantly, the post-race festivities - which was great news since we were still quite some ways from Nantucket - but inevitably an hour later, we bit the bullet and lowered our sails - the motor was on, but our pride was intact.
Sails down into Nantucket Harbor

We surely weren't the only ones to bring our sails down, and motor in...
Once we secured our spot on the slips, we really let loose and celebrated making it to Nantucket safe and sound - and how gorgeous a night we had to celebrate in!
We popped some Rose bubbly

We took in the sites

We grilled out on the back of the boat (grilled corn  - first of the season for me!, steak tips, swordfish, and salad)

We put on our party hats and cheersed our phenomenal day!
Some say the Figawi tent party is even more epic than the race itself - and I would have to agree - which is why there are no photos of that portion of the night...the camera got tucked away and our dancing shoes (and drink tickets) came out to play!  Let's just say this was one really great night on Nantucket :)

Sunday morning came too quickly, we cleaned up our act and the boat a little, piled back on deck and were off for our return trip to Hyannis...
The sun was shining...

Then the sun was not...and the pea soup returned and Tripp was not so happy
 But we put on some smiles and our foul weather gear again, avoided some ferries, avoided some other boats, and thanks to some sick navigation, made it to shore - where surprise, surprise, the sun was out and in full glory!
Bet you can't tell who this is...went from shorts and bikini to this fine get up within 10 minutes of sailing.



Tripp and I packed the car back up and headed back to Boston, where we de-sea salted, put ourselves back together and went out on the town...the night was warm, so we hit up our favorite summer spot, B&G Oysters in the South End, for some light seafood, oysters and white wine. Honestly Barbara Lynch is a genius and I am obsessed with all of her restaurants I have tried (still need to hit up Butcher Shop, Sportello and Menton).  Each of her restaurants have been a solid experience all around I must say!

Today, we layed very low, did some laundry, picked up some groceries and grilled up a pretty phenom Memorial Day BBQ with some friends and some fro-yo and a walk - there are no pics, because I promised Tripp I would keep the camera under wraps for the remainder of the weekend (I am still working on him thinking it is semi-normal for me to photo my food - I don't know why he really finds it odd, since I have been doing it long before I started this blog :) ).

So, with work in the AM and an exhaustingly fun weekend - I am hitting the hay...hope you all had a great and safe weekend, I know I did :)
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Have you ever competed in a distance sail race? 

This was my first and I have to admit, I was mainly on snack/meal duty - I am more of the mother hen on board than a weathered sailor.

How did you spend your Memorial Day Weekend? Are you ready for life as usual on Tuesday?

I had a great experience sailing and spending time with awesome friends - no I am not ready for real life to start again tomorrow!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hello Hamstrings and Figawi Friday

First off...HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLISON! Last night was spent celebrating with friends for the lovely Allison's birthday. We hit up Whiskey Priest down at the Seaport and there was some of these ladies: 
Besties  = Allison, me and roomie Jenna

A few of these...
Some pretty potent drinks for appetizers
And these handsome studs... 

Matt and Bryan
 Dinner was nothing spectacular, but what can you expect from a restaurant with Whiskey in the name?
Jenna and I split this steak and spinach salad - a little bland, but score for the grilled portobellos on top and fried onions?
We also split this: I promise there is filling in this sandwich - Grilled Portobellos , red pepper, and mozz
 And dun dun dunnnnn....the star of the meal :)

Well and birthday girl of course!!


At the time that bottle of wine was a good idea, I swear
It was a really fun night with some great people - Happy Birthday again Al!!

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So here we are, Happy Friday everyone!! I hope you are all psyched for the weekend, as I know I am; the sun is finally shining in the Northeast, work is almost done for the week, it is a long weekend and what an awesome weekend we have planned!! Tripp and I will be joining 3 other couples tonight out in Hyannis, MA to spend the weekend on a boat - sailing from Hyannis, MA to Nantucket, MA in a race called Figawi.


Now I have never attended, nor partaken in this type of race before, so I am not quite sure what to expect, aside from a pretty cool sail and some massive parties (half the people I have spoken to are going out for the island (Nantucket is technically an island, not the tropical one you may be envisioning, but an island none-the-less) and won't even be participating in the race (well I guess it is a perspective thing...drinking all day and making it to the evenings' outings is a whole nother competition in itself!) So keep your eyes peeled for the Figawi recap on Sunday or Monday (I have a feeling you won't be disappointed :) )


In other news...you might remember that I don't really have spectacular hamstring or calf muscle, compared to my thunder thigh quads...well, I took my second ever spin class yesterday (sensing a liking of this activity) and found my hamstrings big time! I was supposed to wake up and run a 10 - 12 miler (to stick with my base building mileage) but instead I found my Stick and went to work...don't get any wrong ideas here - it is a muscle massager to roll out sore muscles...

I realized that I was so worried about fitting in cross-training, that I forgot to respect my body for actual running.  I have fit in speed workouts, kick-boxing, yoga, spin, boot camp, field hockey and that is leaving my poor legs little energy left to just run...it also doesn't help that there is high pollen warning in Boston (hello sinuses, please start working again) and I have been averaging 7 hours of rest (maintaining 8 hours of sleep a night is uber important to keep the body going strong).  So I am going to listen to my body, and I am going to rest a little this weekend.  I am going to enjoy friends, good weather (fingers crossed) and a great event (plus, I get Tripp a whole extra day thanks to Memorial Day!).

After first field hockey game of Spring Season at Bentley (my old stomping grounds) Wednesday night...could be why the hamstrings and butt are screaming at me...just sayin....
Instead of running this morning, I used The Stick, and I did something I am pretty proud of, not gonna lie...I made my very first Green Monster Smoothie!! I want to make sure I have high nutrients and hydration today, so that I make it through the weekend without burning out.

Freezer Dump Green Smoothie

Throw the following into a blender, blend through smooth and enjoy! (2 servings)

  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberris, blackberries)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3 frozen peach slices
  • 1 1/2 T flaxseed
  • 2 T slivered almonds
  • 3/4 c. milk (w/e type you want, I used 1% cow milk)
  • 1/4 c. OJ 
  • 1/4 c. water (to thin out at the end)
  • dash dried ginger pounder
  • 2 tsp. agave syrup
It is a whopper of a smoothie, but I literally dug through my freezer and found everything that looked good to throw in :) Could maybe use a little more OJ for sweeter flavor...

I am off to work, pack and pick up some key ingredients for a funtastic weekend! Enjoy the long weekend - take a walk, have fun with/catch up with friends, get outside, and just RELAX!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hump Day Half-Week Workout Recap

So yesterday's post on routinism (I may or may not have made that word up) really got me thinking about working on breaking some of those routines, because afterall - a healthy fitness and food lifestyle involves mixing it up once and a while! Your body gets so used to the same old foods and the same old workouts, that it stops reacting in positive healthy changes, but instead remains stagnant.

The only thing I would have to say is healthy about routine, is keeping a routine of eating healthy, working out and having FUN - just make sure you are intertwining new foods, workouts and fun activities to keep it fresh, exciting, and beneficial!

So I am adding a couple of goals to my 2011 goals list (seeing as it was a little bland to begin with, and I already did #1: Sign up for (and follow through with) a Spin Class - yay!)

I am going to....

  1. Try to eat outside at least once a week and take a real lunch break (weather permitting)
  2. Try to take a walk at least once a week at lunch time
  3. Try one new workout/fitness activity a month (baby steps)

Now that I raved a little about what has been rocking my brain for the last 12 hours...here is my half-week in workouts:

Sunday:

Day off - I ran twice on Saturday and was traveling a lot on Sunday

Monday:

37 minutes speed interval workout on treadmill:


  • 5 minute warm-up
  • 30 sec sprint
  • 2 1/2 min recovery pace
  • sprint/recovery x 6
  • 2 minutes more at recovery pace
  • 1 minute fast walk
  • 1 minute moderate pace
  • 30 sec sprint
  • 2 1/2 min recovery
  • walk/moderate pace/sprint/recovery x 2
  • 2 minutes walk cooldown
60 Minute Kickboxing Class

Tuesday:

60 minutes boot camp
  • 1.25 mile warm up on treadmill
  • 1 minute jumping jacks with barbell (7.5 lb/side)
  • 1 minute bent over rows with barbell
  • 1 minute bicep curls with barbell
  • 1 minute upright rows with palms facing down and thumbs touching each other
  • repeat 4 minutes of barbells
  • 4 minutes pushing sandbags and wall sits
  • 4 minutes side to side lunge/squats over raised bench
  • 1 minute mountain climbers on bosu ball
  • 1 minute burpees (up/downs) with bosu ball
  • 1 minute push-ups on bosu ball
  • 1 minute plank on bosu ball
  • 1 minute burpees (up/downs) with bosu ball
  • 4 minutes sit-ups with partner, passing weighted ball overhead
  • 2 minutes spider man push-ups (each time you go into push-up, bend one leg up to same side elbow, switch sides on next push-up (ouch!)
  • cool down/stretch
75 minutes Journey to Core Yoga: Karma Yoga Studio, South End Boston

So I decided, as you can see, to start sharing some of the moves I do through boot camp, so that you might be able to start incorporating some of the strength moves into your own routines if you want.  
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In other news...there are still no forks in our company kitchen :( andddd I enjoyed the incredible, edible lentil loaf on a bed of frozen (well cooked) green peas, yet again for lunch :) 

And I am working on hydrating per usual after my strenuous hot yoga last night and especially after reading Julia's post on Hydrating :)


Monday, May 23, 2011

Moody Monday and Base Building

I will admit, I have been a bit moody today, I mean really who isn't moody on a rainy, dark, no sleep Monday?  That is right my friends, I am not proud to admit, but I got a very unhealthy 5 1/2 hours of sleep last night.  I can't complain though, because poor Tripp, who did get a little nap in the RV on our trek back to Boston, had to fly out...again :( ....early this AM.
(excuse the blurry phone pics - the RV was rambling down the highway)
So yes, back to my mood, I did a big no no, I snapped back at a co-worker! Well not too bad, but I just couldn't get out my whole sentence/thought without being interrupted, and I sort of yelled about it, only a little...

After so much unhealthy, but oh so fun, weekend shenanigans (drinks, little sleep, little workouts, lots of junk food), I vowed to take it healthy this week.  I am going to try my hand at some cleaner eating and more mindful snacking.  As you probably recall, I am not so good at "diets" so this is just a thoughtful eating plan.  So for breakfast, I had this:
Yogurt bowl car breakfast: black cherry yogurt, vanilla almond Special K,
dried mixed fruit, banana, and some frozen peaches on top
I washed that down with a big liter of water on my uneventful drive to work, and was pretty darn full until around 11, where I brought out some Yogi Green Tea (Triple Echinacea flavor) carrots and peanut butter (this was post snapping - I figured it might be no sleep mixed with low blood sugar) and boy did that perk me back up a little and I got productive...nicely :)

Until the tummy grumbled a little more, and I started droning out a little more, and then came this:
Garden Lites Roasted Veggie Souffle - not bad, a little bland, but ingredient list was great and I brought a little ketchup (mixed with some hot sauce of course) to spice it up a little :) I also had some Kashi Heart to Heart Whole Grain Crackers for some carb lovin...
Then I was refueled and fresh to go for another 4 hours of work! Without tooting my own horn, a pretty good start to my clean eating week, I must say!

So base building...no not architectural, not stomach mechanics, but running :) Oh yeah, you might have forgotten that I signed up for the Newport Marathon this coming October!! Well I haven't, and now that my good friend Emma is signed up too, we will be running a lot more together to train for this thing!!
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A Runner's marathon base is one of the most important components of the pre-race training, because it allows your body and mind to build the endurance and strength needed to power through your full on marathon training plan, without burning out on your first long run, or getting hurt from increasing the more than 10% recommended weekly mileage increase.  A base is a program of target mileage to get you ready for your full training regime. There are lots of free schedules out there, but this one below from marathon-training-guides.com follows the principles that I am describing about base (mileage) build-up


WeekSun.Mon.Tue.Wed.Thu.Fri.Sat.Total
120102016
230102017
330202018
430202029
5302020310
6402030312
7502030313
8302030311
9502130314
10602130315
11402120312
12602230316
13702320317
14402320415
15702320418
16802330420
17402330416
18802430421
19902430422


By not working to build your base, you put yourself at risk for training-ending (and therefore, race ending!) injuries and defeat before you even begin the race.  Depending on how experienced a runner you are, determines the length of your base building.  If you are pretty new to running, you might start your base at 4 - 5 shorter runs per week (think 2 - 3 miles) and clock your base build week 1 at 8 to 15 miles.  Remembering the rule of 10% increase, you should only be totally around 9 - 16 miles in week 2.  Ideally, you want to gradually build to be able to run your long distance goal by at least 4 months out from the marathon.  This could take a few months, so be patient!

If you are already further down the line on this base building plan, as I believe I am (which is a good thing, because I need to start my marathon training plan in two weeks!), you can pick up from that week line and keep building!

I will be documenting my marathon training on here, and will post a schedule once I get my act together :) But I am really excited to share with you all and to get going on this!!

I am off to get in a speed workout and some kick-boxing (if I don't fall asleep at the gym!) and then digging up some healthy goods for din din - maybe that will jolt me out of this Moody Monday!!

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Have you ever snapped a little more than you should have in an inappropriate place (i.e. work?!) How did you react?

I gave a little tude today and I was apologetic, but still a bit embarassed!

Have you trained for a marathon before? Did you build a base or jump right into training? I am interested on others opinions on this?!

I have been steady running 20+ miles a week for a while now, so I kind of jumped into the base training, but I can definitely see the immense importance of building a solid (and comfortable) mileage before getting into the 20 miles at a time runs!! (I am still a super nervous for those!)

Mad Catter Regatta Recap

Wow what a weekend! Get ready for picture overload!!

So as I mentioned in my Thursday post, I spent the weekend outside of Syracuse, NY for Tripp's regatta - the first of the season for me!
Chris our fearless leader, yet again - manned the driving of this rig the whole way!!

The snacks I consisted off of for the past 3 days - healthy I know...please don't judge, I was appeasing 5 guys in the process
I love regattas, but I usually have a little more female companionship than this weekend. I drove in a massive RV from Hopkinton, MA to Brewertown, NY with 5 guys ( started with 2, picked up 2 more in Ludlow, MA, and a tripp at Syracuse airport).
Good thing I woke up at 6:30 Thursday morning to bake these! They went
like hot cakes - oh, and don't mind the presentation - it was the taste that matters...and the
fact we had to keep them in the RV sink so they wouldn't crash onto the floor while driving
Hanging out once we got to Oneida, although that was also Tripp's seat once he jumped in the RV, riding in style, only the best for my sailors :)
What an event! We left Boston a good hour late, thank you traffic, and had to pit stop in ludlow to pick up some sailors and the boats- nothing too important :) we met them at clearly the best place in western mass, Randall's Farm. We just happened to be hungry and Randalls just happens to have fabulous sandwiches and cider donuts - so I grabbed us dinner while the boys hooked the boat up to the RV.
Holy Hugeness! This get-up made it both to and from Syracuse, NY!
6 hours after leaving Lexington, we were pulling into Oneida state park and ready for bed - boat work, hockey and distance races on the plate for the boys - working from the RV for me.
My humble work and living abode for the weekend: Le Chateau de Gansett (official sponsor of the NE F-18  fleet)
One thing about regattas, you have to be able to stay up late drinking run drinks and beer, and still be able to get up early to sail and sail well. This is still a fete I have not comprehended...
Tripp had to work really hard for a few hours on Friday as well

F-18 fleet flag, can't tell, but it is hot pink :)
I did get out on a boat for a little while Friday afternoon- not to race, but just to check out the boats mechanics and check out the lake ( they raced on a lake, which is a refreshing location compared to their usual beach-front regattas).
Garth and I looking good in our wetsuits!
I went to bed slightly early Friday night and got some crap for it...but I had very little sleep Thursday night and I wanted to do a longer run in the morning without my stomach and head hating me.
Enjoyed this delicious loaded veggie pizza and a big salad, a regatta beer and headed to bed
Instead if the 9er I planned out, I was asked to do a morning run with Chris (the fearless leader from the cape relay and tripp's skipper for this regatta). I don't turn down running buddies and was really excited he was amped to go. We did a 4.8 miler and the weather was perfect for a morning run!
Bfast goods I packed for the boys...

My bfast, typical english muffin, pb, jam, banana and some fresh melon & pineapple...yum!
We had to get back for the day's sail races (that was the reason we were there after all) or else we might have run a little further, but it felt great to get something accomplished before 10 am on a Saturday.

The start was delayed...

And delayed...

And delayed some more.

A little surprise showed up! Grandma and grandpa verbridge and the worlds most amazing oatmeal raison cookies (i may have had a few more than 1 of these) - they were fantastic!

Tripp even surprised them since he race was still delayed and took them out for their first catamaran sail with him!

Grandma & Grandpa Verbridge on the cat :)
When the races finally got started around 2 pm, they got about 3/4 of the race in before they sent all boats back to shore due to lack of wind. I mean really, you make the poor guys and gals rig up their boats, wait around all day, get all excited and suited up to finally get out there and almost through the race and then pull the plug?! Just let them finish one!

While they were starting to come in, I knew I would be bored and doing nothing special, so I did what any other crazy sailor's widow would do and I laced up my running shoes and headed out for a second run of the day!

The sun came out full blast finally! And 4 very hot and slightly exhausting miles later, I was back at camp just in time to grab my shower bag and walk with my man to the showers. 8.8 miles on a Saturday - not too shabby in my book!
Saturday night's dinner and regatta brew :)
Tripp and I playing on the playground toys and instruments



The Saturday night party was pretty epic as promised and they even had a bar made from a catamaran Hull (and more bottles of rum to stock it than I knew what to do with).
The "hull" bar




Today was slow for me needless to say, but the boys had their wind and got out on the water early! They got in 4 awesome races while I froze on the beach and read from my new book, Christopher McDougall's Born to Run ( very excited for this, everyone has given me rave reviews about it - will recap later when finished). I did make a friend and we drove down to Syracuse to pick up some Dinosaur BBQ - which also had rave reviews (and deserved its 4.5 stars from yelp) that it most definitely lived up to! No pictures because the boys were so hungry and so happy that they chowed it down.

Me freezing on the beach in my 3 lays of sweats and LUNA winter hat (thankful I had this for sure!)
Love these snack packs - interesting yogurt covered dried fruit for only 80 cals and not too horrible on the nutrition facts (I was CRAVING healthy!)
Then it was time to clean up, pack up, and head home. Tripp and Chris won 2nd in their class (F-18) and won a case of Pabst blue ribbon for a beer handicap in the distance race Friday afternoon. My superstars :)
The boys getting their 2nd place trophy! Way to go Tripp and Chris!
Now we are heading home, dropping off some sailors, giving Grammy a hug and kiss while we drop off the sailors and hopefully getting home by 11 pm! Phew...what a weekend! I am so tired, but had so much fun at my first regatta of the season, there will be many more to come!

**Update** Didn't get back to Boston until 12:30 AM and bed by 1 AM, didn't get the chance to post last night!
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Have you ever been to a regatta? Do you enjoy watching sailing or going sailing?


I went to my first regatta two years ago when I started dating tripp (and his sailing life) and I love them more and more! I am no good at sailing, but I love to see tripp get so excited and do so well!