Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tale of Two Weddings

I know you are all anxious to hear all about my sunset cruise with Tripp last night, but it will have to wait...this one is a long overdue photo recap of the crazy weekend of weddings I had a couple of weeks ago.  I have to start out by saying, I was blown away by how stunning both weddings were, and how completely different each one was! It was truly a fantastic experience to see the beauty in each day/evening, despite how different they were! This post is just going to be the first wedding, there will be a second post for the other wedding - too many pics :)  It is full of love, friends, tasty morsels and more!

So without further ado, I introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Chris and Katie T.:
Newport, RI August 19, 2011
Rehearsal Dinner
Wedding Day: Prep
Wedding Day: Ceremony

Wedding Day: Reception, Rose Cliff Mansion
Before we headed over to the Mansion, bubbly cheers!

The girlfriends :)

Time to go home (or to the second wedding I should say!)
I caught the bouquet! 
Wow! What a stunning, glamorous and beautiful wedding it was! Thank you guys so much for letting us be a part of your special day, congratulations and wishing you many happy years together!

stay tuned to see the contrast in beauty in my next post :)
What is the most elegant place you have ever been fPublish Postor a wedding?

This was definitely the most elegant and luxurious setting!

Have you ever caught a bouquet (garter) at a wedding before?

First time for me! Didn't even have to fight anyone (very badly)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Marathon Training Recap, Week #8...bummerrrr

Thank you all so so much for your comments on not only the training program, but on the race fee as well.  I know those are both very controversial and unique topics to discuss, and I really value all of your feedback and suggestions! That being said, I think with only 7 weeks (eek!) until Newport, I am going to continue on with my current week-by-week schedules, listening to my body and not upping the mileage more than the 10% rule I try to run by (which I broke the week before I got hurt, tisk..tisk...) - as it stands now, I am not running at all, so I am more so hoping I will be able to get in some quality long runs and speed work before my taper down week.

In regards to the race, I completely agree that a 100% refund is not a reasonable expectation (although I know we would all love if it were :) ), but something 50% or over would be a lot better received, or an attempt to re-schedule perhaps?  My mom did go to pick up our packets w/ our shirts and medals, but she said there wasn't even any granola bars to snag - it was just the ugliest $60 shirt she has ever gotten...hmm...rumor has it though, that the race series, USRAHM, is going to be offering us all something more than the 20%, so I will keep you updated....for now? I am going to rock my ugliest $60 T-shirt :)

So, as my last post mentioned, I am on RICE this week...it is only Monday, and I am already ancy, anxious, somewhat un-motivated for the gym, all of the above and then some...my week recap is going to be short, because well...I ran once...no speed work, no long run, no hills, no nada...

I did however kill it in the cross-training department, and hope to keep it up again this week.  The only thing stopping me, is that it is already Monday (one week since I last ran) and my knee doesn't feel ANY better....I don't know why this is, because the Dr. was pretty certain there is no soft tissue damage, there is no muscle pull, and the bones around the knee look fine....all I can do is RICE and pray that this subsides a bit over the next week.

I got a massage today to try to loosen up the muscles around the knee, so lets see how I feel tonight and tomorrow (fingers crossed, not worse!).

In other news, I am happy to read about how everyone survived and persevered through Irene...which despite it's downgrading, left a wealth of damage in its path and even some deaths.  I am not taking this lightly, and I really think it is bad karma for those of us out there that are poo pooing the weekends events...Tripp and I came out unscathed, besides some tree damage at his parents, but some others did not fare so well...
Trying to clean up some debri
the debri trying to clean up me
Swampscot beaches - these boats didn't fair too well through the storm and winds
There were probably 5 or 6 at this beach alone that were sitting like beached whales :(

After waiting out the storm in the North Shore (I was hoping for a front row seat), eating lots on comfort foods (think stack of pancakes and syrup, buttered grilled cheddar cheese on foccaccia, and lots of homemade peach pie, oatmeal raisin cookies and brownies), losing Monopoly,  starting Carrots n' Cake (pretty easy read, excited to finally be reading it!), watching wayyy too much TV....I went home and made myself a veggie FILLED dinner and watched two more episodes of Make It Break It....I am a winner
Salad greens, spinach, corn, black beans, avacado, kiwi, red pepper, carrots...and a microwaved cooked sweet potato w/ cinnamon (later topped with pineapple cottage cheese)

This was also my fabulous lunch today...can we say, someone needs to go grocery shopping?!
I was feeling sluggish from no running, and lots of butter - so I woke up bright and early to get in some elliptical (low resistance speedy intervals) and weights....the knee felt alright, but it is sore now (I am actually sitting icing right now in my maxi dress...cute, right?).

Tripp and I are off for a romantic sunset cruise tonight...I will let you know how it goes tomorrow!
How do you deal with injuries?

I am really impatient and aggrivated, but I got some good recommendations on my post from last week, so there might be some pool running in my future?

How did you weather the storm? I hope everyone is safe and sound!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Really USRAHM? Thanks Irene, you're a real pal

First of all - update on the knee...I have a diagnosis of "Left Knee Posteriolateral Capsular Strain"- in layman's terms, I have an overuse strain...way to go me, not...this will keep me out of running shoes for the next week (thank goodness I don't have to run the half this Sunday, but that is the next part of this post).  I will be on an RX of some RICE, mixed with a little anti-inflamatory meds, and some lighter cross-training.

Lesson in un-training for sure, but really happy I realized this halfway into my training, rather than 2 weeks from the race.  Granted, October 16th definitely seems like it is right around the corner, but I have a full 7 weeks of quality training to put in to be in tip-top, healthy shape.  Cross-training and rest is quality training, and that is how I am going to look at week #9 of the plan...can't slip into negative mindset this late in the game...THINGS COULD BE WORSE, and I am really thankful/grateful/happy they aren't!

That being said, I just want to share with you my Dr.'s reaction to my marathon training plan, which if you might remember, I establish on a week by week basis, but with input from various other respected marathon plans, as well as intuition on how my body is feeling after the previous week's workouts.  I don't know if I was still on a high from finishing my 18-miler, placing in my AG, or excited for my double-header weddings, but I wasn't sore going into Thursday's 20, and really felt like I was doing good.  My Dr. told me that my plan was all wrong, and that I should be taking a "fall back" week in between all of my long runs, not just the 20-milers like a lot of the plans I looked at listed (this weekend was going to be a fallback weekend anyways).  He said my knees (which have been through a bit of trauma in their short life) couldn't take all of the stress I was putting on them in such a short period, which caused the strain.  He also said I shouldn't need to do anything over 20 in my training (which I have a 22 on the plan coming up), and to "trust him" - I guess I will have to trust him...he is a renowned orthopedic surgeon, he is a pretty good cyclist and he is a marathoner himself...

He also told me that he doesn't want me running more than 5 days a week, to which I replied (big smile on my face because I thought this was good) "That's fine with me, I only run 4 days anyways!" Wrong...he said 5-days would be better, and that they should be broken down as so:
  • 3 days of moderate runs (6-8 miles)
  • 1 long run
  • 1 easy recovery jog (3 miles)
What do you guys think? I am hearing a lot about the "Run Less, Run Faster" book, but my Dr. is telling me to run more...just push the long runs out....to me they are so different, but both have proven successes.

Anyways, onto my race this weekend that, thanks to Hurricane Irene, was cancelled today.  The good part is that I would have been strongly disobeying Dr.'s orders if I ran this (I am not supposed to run until at least next Friday), the bad news bears of this all? The USRAHM, the series running this half marathon (which was supposed to be in Springfield, MA, but due to the tornado damage from back in June, they moved it to Holyoke, MA), doesn't offer refunds if the race is cancelled "Due to an act of God", but they do offer 20% off your next race entry into any one of their series' races or off of next year's Springfield Half....20%?! Really USRAHM? I am surely NOT going to be signing up for any of their races anytime soon.
Their consolation prize, besides 20%, is that you can still pick up your finisher's medal!  WTF?! Why would I want my finisher's medal if I didn't run, therefore did not finish the race?  Also, the race was $60 a person, and since my mom and I were planning on running this, that is $120 down the tubes, plus another $30 because my little sister signed up for the 5k ($30 for a 5k?!) This is NOT in an exotic location, it is NOT a famous race...doesn't that sound a little steep to begin with?

I am really curious on this topic as well, where do you stand? Should you be able to at least gain free entry into next year's race at the same venue? Is 20% generous, or are they jipping us?

All my east coasters...how are you preparing for the storm?! Were any of your races cancelled?

Where do you stand on the policy of no refunds, in the case of cancellation?

Are you a run less, faster type of runner or a run more, less strenuous type of trainer?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three Things Thursday, and one lucky (or not so) girl

First of all - thank you so so much for the compliments and Birthday Wishes for Tripp...he really is my rock and I think he had a spectacular day!

1. I will start with the good of this good, bad, and random three things, so that if you get sick of reading part way through, at least you got the good part in :) You're welcome... So I am not a lucky girl, like ever...but this past month? I have been on fire! At least in the blog world, which has an uncanny way of engulfing me!  So I am going to celebrate, just a little :)

This month alone, I won 4 giveaways! One from Amanda @ RuntoTheFinish a great Fiber One pack, including some yummy cereal, a pedometer and an arm band to carry music/phone.
which I have been enjoying on top of my morning smoothies :)
One from Mel @ Will Run For Margaritas for some Pickybars! (who is running Hood to Coast this weekend, so go over and wish her luck!)
I took this pic from her blog, because they aren't technically in my hands yet :)
One from Michelle @ Running with Attitude for some Gotein samples, which I cannot wait for - I have been meaning to try these out, since they are rocking the blog world reviews!
And last, but not least at all, I won a great little pack from Kim @ Sunny State of Mind including larabars, some fun Artisana coconut butter/oil and tahini butter, andd a couple FREE Oikos yogurts coupons!
I am most excited for the cacoa bliss butter, and the chocolate  chip brownie larabar :) I am a choco-monster!
2. Now that the good is out of the way, and how sweet it is! I have the bad...my knee...remember when I hinted at some knee trouble earlier this week? Well, fingers crossed, it is just a slight strain and a week of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) will be the answer - but I had to miss my Wednesday night LUNA run, which really put a dagger in my heart, and I had to skip my run this AM, when the weather was oh so perfect...thank goodness my bed was comfy and it willed me to stay put.
Yes, that is my icing my knee in my cube with a fleece blanket on...the ice is cold and I am wearing a dress today...you get the picture
I have a half marathon on the schedule for Sunday, that I will be able to run if it is just a little strain, with a fitted brace, and I won't be going for the gold, so I think a walk/jog will suffice.  I also have a Dr. appt. with an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow morning, to get a yay or nay and an accurate diagnosis (instead of me sitting here whinig and not knowing what is wrong and probably running too early if something really is wrong).  I know an orthopedic surgeon is a big first step for consultation on this, but you need to know my history with my knees and why I go to the big guy first...

I have had 4 surgeries, all before I graduated high school (the first knee before I was even in high school!), 1 on my left knee to repair my ACL (torn completely) and to clean up torn meniscus, and 3 on my right knee to repair my other ACL (torn completely) and clean up torn meniscus (1 to repair the ACL, 2 more irrigation & debridement surgeries to clean up an infection from the new ACL - a cadaver - eh - that's a story for another day) - so when I was doing jumping jacks last week, and I felt the exact moment it tweaked (there was no pop, no sharp pain, just this instant ache), I slightly freaked out inside and did the smart thing....tried to run....woops - so now that the achiness hasn't subsided, all week, and I had some swelling behind the knee - I am going to the big guy...

3. Is this the random part? Hurricane Irene is going to throw another dagger through my heart if I am able to run this half on Sunday....wish me luck that I don't get blown into another state! Random thought of the day...is it strange I am slightly freaking out more about the weather on Sunday than my ortho appt tomorrow?

Stay safe out there everyone!!!

Have you ever had major surgery? Are you more tentative with that body part now?

I am usually pretty good with my knees, but when the pain/achiness doesn't go away, even with rest...I cringe

Are you experiencing the effects of Irene?  

It is windy as heck, and the storm isn't even supposed to hit up here until Saturday/Sunday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I Love Wednesday, Birthday edition

Last week I decided to start doing these, What I Love Wednesday posts, and I really enjoyed putting together the things I am loving right now....and what more perfect day to post this, than the one I really love's birthday!  So Happy Birthday Tripp, you are...

And everyday...

When you are the hott, to my hot mess...

That you protect that tanned physic :)

 That you love wine as much as me...
 But even more that you appreciate the magnificence of stunning sunsets...
 I love that you clean up oh so nice....
But know how to get down...
 and sometimes take me with you....
 I absolutely adore how awesome you are...
 at the thing you love...
 And how you surprise me, with the the absurd things I dream up...
 And how you support my goals and dreams...
And sometimes you even partake in my dreams...

And let me join you in yours...
 Because I support yours, and adore your success and motivation
 I love when you hold me close when I am cold or upset or scared...
 And that you make me laugh, at least once a day...

Happy Birthday to What I Love this Wednesday, and every day...Tripp :)

What are you loving this Wednesday?

Have you ever been horseback riding?

We went in the Dominican...it hurts your buttooty!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Marathon Training Plan, Week #8, zip-lining, or not?

Last week was a busy week for me outside of running/training, with weddings and work and travel, so I didn't get in too much cross-training and the miles were really jumbled during the week (long run on Thursday?!) This week I am going to focus a little more on cross-training, and still try to maintain my 30+ mileage, but will not be disappointed if I am under, as this is a fall-back week after my 20 last week.  The fun part of the plan comes on Sunday, when I run the Springfield Half Marathon (with a warm up and cool down to make it a full 15 mile long run) with MY MOM!!

As you can see, I only have one speed day on there (and since I did it yesterday - I know the plan was already fudged), but my knee has been bugging me since last Friday, and I don't want to push it...the plan before last night was to put on at least a speed and hill run, but no hills for this lady this week, which is fine for a fall-back, easier week.

Oh! You want to know why my run last night sucked? When the weather was oh so perfect for a run (speed at that) here in Boston? Well...last week I tweaked my left knee (pray it is just muscular tension) doing, of all things, jumping jacks, so when I started out for my 6-mile tempo jaunt, it went downhill, you could say...fast :)

I started out great, no pain, a little stiffness, but that shook out in the warm-up mile (7:45ish pace - a little fast for a warm-up, but I was in a zone)...mile 2 (1 of 4 7:10 miles) went better than expected, and I felt smooth and fast (7:00 mile), mile 3 started out lighter than mile 2 and I was all positive thoughts, until my left calf started seizing up...not good...I stopped at the end of that mile (6:50 mile), vowing to change the workout to 2 x 2-mile repeats instead of 4 miles tempo, and stretched and massaged my shin and calf, realizing the pain and tightness was probably stemming from the knee pain that I was just starting to feel again now that I was stopped.  Well that second set of speedy 2 miles never happened, instead I limped/walked/jogged back 2.5 miles to my house with a defeated grimace on my face...and changed my training plan for the week to incorporate easy runs (if I can tolerate them)...

Onto more exciting things, well kind of...So last week, I had put "zip-lining/hiking" on my plan for Sunday up at Berkshire East Canopy Tours, Tripp and I were wicked excited to get out there and zip away, but mother nature had something else in mind...with scattered thunderstorms streaming through the hills of the Berkshires, the tour guides informed us that although they didn't know us very well yet, they still didn't feel right about sending us off onto a 1.5 mile lightning rod...I was sad, but I had to agree...the frizzy hair look just doesn't suit me :)

So what to do when you are waiting around for the nice man to tell us it was a no-go, while you are sitting on the deck of a ski-loft, looking at a ski-lift, but no snow?
Just looks wrong...doesn't it?!
Well for starters, you get your camera out and obviously beg ask nicely for the lady next to you to take a photo of you all ready to not go zip-lining
Document your smart choice to wear your running shoes (which are definitely not trail running shoes) for a hike, even though they are in your active shoe rotation for marathon training...
Then tell Tripp for the ten millionth time again that he might enjoy running more if he had real running shoes :)
While he makes really sexy faces at you for his reply...
But I didn't pay attention because I was too busy watching his plastic cup art and being artsy myself...
That's a shark in the top right and top hat in the bottom left...my man is talented :)
So I told him to go climb a tree....
And he did?!
This was enough fun for one snow-less ski mountain, so we packed up our disheveled selves and decided to explore Shelburne Falls a little, from the beautiful Bridge of Flowers and the famous Glacial Potholes
Then we went back to Greenfield, cleaned out my car for a couple of hours (yes it was that bad) and went for a run (he must have felt bad about no zipping, because he actually said he wanted to go this time!)...the end :)
Have you ever been zip-lining?

I went once in college, we did a ropes course as a "team building" field trip...yes, we took field trips in college :)

Do you have a hard time getting your significant other to get out and run with you?

Yes...but I know he doesn't like to, so I don't pester....all of the time....