Spotted: A Unicorn in TJ Maxx. 

Before I launch into my rant about running, TJ Maxx and counting chickens before those bastards actually hatch, I’m pleased to announce that WE HAVE A SKRATCH LABS HYDRATION PACK #GIVEAWAY WINNER up in here!!!! Congrats, Adrienne!!! Stay hydrated, Girl.🙂

Drink up, Adrienne!

I love a #Giveaway. Probably because I am a sucker for a deal. However, I don’t like to feel like a sucker when I stumble across a deal that reaches up and slaps a big old sign on my back reading “You’ve Been Hosed!” This brings me to my next point. Settle in, Poodles. This one got me. Here’s what happened. 

I woke yesterday all full of ambition and decided to put on my new Janji duds and head out for a run at ass crack o’clock in the morning.  It was barely light out. And it was glorious. Crisp. Cool. Gorgeous. I had a fantastic, zippy 6 miles by the sea. Before coffee. Before avocado-sriracha-toast which I am totally obsessed with lately. It must have been the shorts. Cute, right? Adorbs

Anywho, my run totally rocked, I had my coffee and toast, showered, fluffed up and skipped off to work feeling accomplished. With OODLES of time left after work because I ran early, I took a spin to my local TJ Maxx.  Mill around, check out shoes and possibly snag a new pair of jammies. (Negative.) What do I stumble across in clearance? This. *jaw drops*

What?!?!
Yup. A freaking 2015 Adidas Boston Marathon jacket. FOR TWENTY BONES. There was a rack of them. I just purchased one for my Other Half- I ordered it in advance- and paid the original price of $110.  Just so he’d be guaranteed to get one in his size to wear AFTER he finished. He didn’t even try it on before for fear of bad running juju. 

Now here’s the thing. I know this is last year’s. I know it’s on clearance. But what in the actual hell is it doing in TJ MAXX to begin with?!?! Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird? I didn’t even want to touch the thing because I’m superstitious. Try it on? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Sacrilege! BLASPHEMER! That’s like the Holy Shroud of Running. In TJ MAXX.  For twenty bucks. That jacket is earned. I can not wait to have earned mine. And next year, *makes sign of the cross, sprinkles holy water on head* I will slip mine on, selfie the hell out it, and cry with glee. 

But for twenty… 

I’M KIDDING. 

NEVER. 

Not until it’s earned. However, I do believe I’ve earned this one. And yes, of course I bought it.

Mine!
I wouldn’t buy that jacket out of superstition, but I will admit that I booked my hotel for next year. Totally uncharacteristic of me. And I don’t even know if I’m in Boston 2017 yet. I mean other than death and taxes, is anything in life a given?  I’m willing to take my chances. Either way, at least one of us is running. I have a high 3 minute window and my Other Half and Tina have gobs of time to spare. So minimally, I’ll be a spectator. In a phat hotel. While there have been some chatter on the interwebs about prospective qualifying times and cut-offs for Boston already, it remains to be seen. Patience, Colby. Patience. If I don’t get in, I’m buying that damn jacket. At least I qualified in 2015.

There is ALWAYS an opportunity to run the Boston Marathon for an amazing charity.  Like Miles for Miracles and Bain Capital benefitting Boston Children’s Hospital! They reached out to us with an amazing info graphic to share. See what great things they did in 2016 below. Running for a reason is always an incredible experience- Boston notwithstanding.  And if I miss the cut off?  At least there are wonderful options to run for another. Besides, I’ve got the hotel room. 

And quite possibly a jacket. 😋
More Than Miles 2x

What’s your greatest TJ MAXX find? Would you purchase and wear an item for a race you haven’t run? Have you ever run for a charity? 

Happy Anniversary Drunk Otis! 

The Incomparable Drunk Otis.
One year ago today, our lives were forever changed by a huge, slobbery, brown, frat boy who came BOUNDING into our lives, full tilt boogie. One minute he could be on the cover of Field and Stream, then next he could be the centerfold of Campus Lyfe, complete with a cone on, throwing back Jaeger Bombs and doing keg stands. He has his own Instagram. He’s huge in the New England Cyclocross Scene. He has a sick and expensive sock fetish. He’s our Drunk Otis Brown.
It’s all fun and games until someone winds up in a cone.

And he’s a hot mess.

Happy Rescue Day, Oats!

It’s great to be ALIVE! And RESCUED!

For all of his “drunken” antics, that boy loves to RUN. I’ve said it before, he is the Scott Jurek of Dogs on the trail. Focused. Driven. Happiest. He aims to please you in a way that our other pups, Leon James and Pearl “Evil Beagle” Anne just don’t do. Leon James is the sensitive, sweetest boy. He’s a loyal mush ball. My Most Handsome Leon James is what I call him. Sweet Butterbeans. Such a good dog. I adopted him during Colby’s Life Part 1, from a local rescue group. He was a love from the go. Evil Beagle on the other hand, is a different beast. Evil Beagle could frankly give a shit less about loyalty.  

“Whaaaaaat?!?!? Oh Heeeeeeyyy Everybody!!”
*ticky tacky, ticky tacky*  

That’s her.

Evil Beagle.
She is a non-stop, tri-colored wag fest. But show her a baby bunny and she’ll have that thing pinned and de-fuzzed in 3 minutes flat. I’m not kidding. She’s gotten two. I give her some slack. She’s a former laboratory research beagle I rescued from a pharmaceutical company. It took her a while to become A Real Dog. Much of it I owe to Leon James.
Three Amigos.

He was so patient with her. Now? She’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me. She’s a DOG. A real dog. Who fetches. And runs like hell. She’ll lay smack dab in the middle of the yard, sun on her face, tattooed ear flipped, like she’s posing for her Glamour Shot. Drunk Otis adores her. And quite frankly, other than antagonizing the snot out of Evil Beagle, and pissing off his brother Leon James for sport, he’d much rather be with his Humans. I’ve never had a dog like Drunk Otis. He’s just…well…different. He’s a lab. And a chocolate one at that. Which I swear is a totally different thing. I keep asking My Other Half, who always had labs “Uh. Babe. Is he ALWAYS gonna be like this?” He shakes his head yes. Ever so slowly. Every single time.

Two Peas.
Rescue a pup. Don’t buy one. There are so many Evil Beagles, Leon James’ and Drunk Otis’ out there. A rescue dog’s capacity to love unconditionally knows no bounds. Sure, they’ll drain your bank accounts, eat your socks and wreck your hard wood floors.  But trust me.  They are worth it. Each and every silly one of them. 
Squad goals.
Have you ever rescued a dog? Did you grow up with dogs? Do you run with your pup?

PMC Training and Gardening with Drunk Otis. 

It’s raining cats and dogs. Like, pouring out. Sheets of rain. Drunk Otis, who spent the entire weekend either swimming in streams, belly flopping in puddles or lounging in his kiddie pool “helping” me weed, apparently is afraid to go outside to pee in the rain. So instead, he just lifted his leg on the porch. About an inch from his sister, Evil Beagle. Girl was not amused. She responded by biting him on the face. I can’t say I blame her. 

Hey, Lady. You gonna clean my pool or what?
In addition to Gardening with Drunk Otis, which ended with me sprinting around the yard swearing at him while a gallon container of delphiniums dangled from his mouth, I got in a nice long bike ride.  Which I really need to do more of, considering I will be riding in my 12th Pan Massachusetts Challenge in a few months. Funny how it sneaks up on me every year. I usually ride with my Other Half, which is on par with riding the Giro D’Italia or any other European Classic. Saturday, I rode alone.

Prior to my Other Half, in what I like to refer to as Colby’s Life Part One, I did all of my training alone. Much like my running. In Colby’s Life Part Deux in 3-D, we ride together. And I love it. There are some days though, I adore a solo ride. I just kicked off fundraising for the PMC, a two day almost 200 mile ride across Massachusetts, aimed at funding life-saving cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Kicking off fundraising means I wrote my annual appeal which means I get very contemplative. I always do when I think about why I ride. Especially when I put words to my feelings. It chokes me up. Cancer always does. 

Both Tina and I have written several posts on the Pan Mass Challenge. In fact, they are some of our most read. Take a minute and give them a read. 

And you’ll understand when I say that being a part of the PMC Family means the absolute world to me.  We are all riding together, unified by our common goal- our desire to put an end to cancer. There is such amazing, selfless energy that weekend. Such passion. Such emotion. For that one weekend, we are a part of something great.  It’s so very palpable. We are making a difference in the cancer research landscape one pedal stroke at a time. I feel that. I believe that. And I am honored to be a part of it. 

Riding #StirlingStrong!

Do you have a cause near and dear to your heart? Ride 100 miles or run a marathon? GO! 

 Hate cancer? Me too. To donate to my ride: Click HERE

Don’t forget to enter our Skratch Labs Hydration Pack Giveaway! Click HERE for link to ENTER! 

Skratch Labs. We’ve Got a Giveaway Up in Here!



Skratch LabsIn celebration of Global Running Day, which also happens to dovetail sweatingly with The Hottest Half Marathon I Have Ever Survived, we here at It’s a Marathon AND a Sprint thought it appropriate to do a Skratch Labs Hydration Pack Give Away!!! Skratch Labs  has been my go-to for all things hydration for the past 6 years. Girlfriend is brand loyal. Because when you find good stuff, you stick with it.

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Skratch Labs Giveaway Hydration Pack! All this can be yours!

Back in the day, I knew it as Secret Drink Mix. How badass was that? I felt like a hydrated spy on my whip.  It was big among cyclists who wanted an alternative to what was on the market. It was known as a hydration mix that was easy on the belly and made from “skratch”- no coloring agents, artificial sweeteners, synthetic flavoring agents or excess chemicals. In short, real stuff. Good stuff. For that reason, I tried it.

What followed was a borderline obsession with all things Skratch Labs. These hydration mixes, and since last year, their fruit chews, have fueled me through centuries, half-marathons, marathons, snow shoe races, an ultra marathon and all the way to a BQ. I found a unicorn whilst hydrating with Skratch Labs. #truestory. I chug the Exercise Hydration Mix before, during and after exercise. I’m partial to raspberry, but all of the flavors are delicious- pineapple especially.  The matcha + lemons hydration mix is the only one that contains natural caffeine. Zing! They also make an apples and cinnamon hydration mix which is sipped hot. It’s a hug in a cup. Actually, it’s a hug in a non-GMO + gluten free + dairy free + vegan + kosher + delicious cup.

Skratch Labs for days!

And if you enter this give away?

You’ll get a taste of all of them!

With hydration requirements reaching a fever pitch, HELLO SUMMER!, we thought it was time to put together a Skratch Labs Hydration pack. We care about you. Stay hydrated, Poodles. So go on, enter away.  Giveaway ends June 8th at 11:59pm! We’re linking up with the lovely Erica and Smitha to #WinAllThePrizes in their #Giveaway Roundup! Check them out. Tons o’ giveaways! Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter! And good luck!

Skratch Labs Rafflecopter giveaway!

Some rules. Otherwise, I’d just toss the stuff around like pixie dust. Or better yet, glitter.

Giveaway ends June 8th at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Residents of the US only.  Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. The product provided for the review was free of charge from Skratch Labs.  Colby is a Skratch Labs Taste Agent, however, her opinions, of which she has many, are her own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. We do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner. 

 

 

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Vermont City Marathon 2016: Feelin’ the Burn.

meme

I would like to preface this piece by stating straight on up front that the 2016 Vermont City Marathon and Relay was the hottest race I have ever run. EVER.

How hot?

It was soooooooo hot….

That they cancelled it. 

Yup. Cancelled it. Black flagged. As it was in progress. Done. Finished. Over. Stop, drop and melt.  Or, find a lovely Vermonter to hose you down and pad you with Popsicles whilst you wait for a school bus to drive your desiccated ass back to the finish. The news was trending on Twitter on Sunday. Vermont was trending on Twitter. How the hell often does that happen? That’s how hot it was. It was no joke.

It was the first time in Vermont City Marathon history that the race was halted. I ran the marathon as part of the 2-Person Relay and for those quoted with saying “it wasn’t THAT hot,” to you I say LIAR, LIAR, RUNNING SHORTS ON FIRE!!!  Because they goddamn were. You know it. I know it. We all know it. It was hotter than Hell. So unless you swiftly tucked your horns under your visor or jammed your forked tail into your running shorts, YOU, Overheated Devil Runner, are full of hot baked beans.

Brutal. All I kept thinking about as I watched the course warning move from moderate to HIGH, was that I felt like I was running a half marathon in a Bikram yoga class. Only add direct sun. There was no shade. No breeze. Nothing but heat. And it was radiating up from the lava field  we were running upon. There is a section called the Beltline which was easily the hottest spot in the North East that day. I can’t even explain how I felt. Cooked? Braised? Slow roasted?  All of the above!?!?  That was by mile 4. Within an hour, the warning had moved up to HIGH HEALTH RISK. I saw a runner down around mile 4. And from there until mile 13.1, I saw at least 5 more. It was horrible. The sounds of ambulances were becoming frighteningly common.  No bueno.

burlington free press image
Source: Burlington Free Press.

It was roughly 90 degrees by noon, which is not the only reason why the race was halted. There is something called the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature which I didn’t even know was a thing until I read about it on the Vermont City Marathon website. They did an outstanding job of keeping runners abreast of the heat situation via messaging and posting. Having run the full marathon a few years ago, albeit with a black eye, I can’t tell you enough how much I love this race. I’d run it every year. They do a great job. Besides, I love Burlington. And it’s vibe…and craft beer….and tacos…..and did I say beer?

A photo posted by Colby (@runcolbyrun) on May 28, 2016 at 3:17pm PDT

 

So. Back to the WBGT. The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature is a composite temperature determined by measuring ambient air temp, humidity, wind and solar radiation on humans.  It’s used by athletes and even the military, to determine a person’s exposure level to high temperature. On Sunday, the WBGT exceeded 82 at 3 consecutive readings along the course. Because of this, officials were forced to halt the marathon due to the extreme heat. Tough choice? You bet. But I believe it was a smart, responsible one made by the Race Director and folks at Run Vermont. Would I have thrown myself into Lake Champlain if I was this close to finishing and it stopped? You bet.

I would have had such conflicted emotions. That’s a lot of training and sacrifice lost. Such time and effort. But let’s be honest, even in the most perfect training conditions, anything can happen on race day. With regard to the weather, it’s a total crap shoot.  I’m not sure who was going to bust out a personal best in extreme temperatures in light of the complete lack of extreme temperatures in the week’s leading up to the race. At least in this part of the country. Other than an 80 degree shake out run the day before, I hadn’t run seriously in the heat since last summer. Expectations definitely needed to be tempered. Or, completely thrown out the window. Among the runners I chatted with, they certainly had altered their goals. I know I had. It was so unfortunate for them. I would have been devastated if I were running the full. No doubt. But at the end of the day, it was the right thing to do. They called off the race at roughly the 4 hour mark. My heart breaks for all those who didn’t finish. Darlin’ Rae especially. I feel you, Girl.😦

And me? My race was a hot mess. Literally and figuratively. I am happy to say I finished with my all-time slowest half marathon time, chafing in places that will go unnamed and 2 serious heart palpitations that made me stop in my tracks and walk. What. The. F*ck. And I was salted, trained, hydrated and Skratch Lab’d up.  See why I think it was smart to stop it?  That’s scary stuff. Fortunately, I was absolutely fine. I was just overheating and overexerting myself like 1000s of runner’s that day. I am also happy to report that my running partner and I finished in under 4 hours. Right before the Black Flag unfurled. We were lucky. I’m proud of our run. I’m even more proud of the gracious Vermonters who stood out in that heat and cheered, hosed, iced, Popsicled and orange sliced their way into this hot runner’s heart. Thank you! It was a tough choice, but a safe one. One hot run does not a bad race make.  Run Vermont. I know I’ll be back.🙂

A photo posted by Colby (@runcolbyrun) on May 29, 2016 at 1:24pm PDT

 

Have you ever run a race that was stopped due to weather? How would you have reacted? Hot weather runner or cold weather runner? GO!

Every Day Can’t Be A Damn Holiday.

Three long weeks ago I was all like…

britney
Boom! Source: Giphy
Blogging! Running! New Job-ing! Shit. It was a holiday! Colby IS BACK! I even ran an awesome trail race- Kettletown State Park in the Trail 2 Trail Series. If you can recall, last year I busted my paw. Relive the glory HERE. This year I survived intact! It was AWESOME! 

Lookit me GO! 

Gorgeous trails. Photo: trail2trailseries.com
Then I promptly fell into the abyss…

I was a bit premature in my re-emergence as Runner Blogger Taco Loving Goddess, Colby. The New Gig promptly overwhelmed me and so did running and cycling. It always overwhelms me as I navigate training for a marathon AND training to ride 193 miles in two days in the Pan Mass Challenge. Throw in a new job and it becomes a very crazy juggling act. I have zero clue how triathletes train for three disciplines and then, you know, live life. If I had to add swimming to my repertoire,  I would shank myself with a whittled Bic pen.  I have also been consuming roughly the equivalent of a thimble of water per day which is reeking havoc on my body. I was convinced I had Lyme Disease. Or even fibromyalgia. I texted Tina in a panic. Which didn’t help. She had her own laundry list of rare diseases she was diagnosing. Between us we needed to be admitted.  Come to find out, I’m  just tired and dehydrated.

Such. Shit.

kimLesson learned? Every day can’t be a damn holiday. It’s not all sunshine, kick ass runs, stellar data and clean eating. Sometimes it pours, your legs feel like sausages, the study you’re working on turns to dust and you eat donuts like it’s your job. It’s called balance, Poodles. As much as I might want it to be perfect, it’s not. Just like me, Perfectly Imperfect. In spite of my hot mess of a self, I am feeling like I am starting to get back in the swing of things which is prompting me to dust off my InsideTracker data and see exactly where I am starting. My guess? The beginning. Which is a very good place to start if you ask me.🙂

Have you ever done a triathlon? What is your favorite way to treat yourself? Trails, road or treadmill? GO!

Dr. Everything’ll Be Alright

Dearly Beloved,
We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called…

Running.

.prince gif.gif

What. Too soon?

Oh, Prince. Such very sad news. Heart breaking. The guy was a genius. And Purple Rain was the first R-rated movie I ever saw. I thought I was soooooo cool afterwards. I even tried to make Apollonia my middle name but my Mom wasn’t having it.  I have been listening to and singing Prince all week. It’s on repeat in my head and on shuffle on my iPhone. “Let’s Go Crazy” has been officially added to my “Run Fast Colby!” playlist. Unfortunately, Colby Running Fast has not been on repeat. It’s been on skip.

I actually contemplated hanging up my Hoka’s this week. I’m not even fooling. Hang ’em up and put on my new cycling kicks and ride off into the sunset. Screw it. I’m gonna ride bikes instead. I’m done. I had- hands down– THE worst series of runs I have ever had. EVER. Worse than when I started running which was pretty much the day after I saw Purple Rain which was about 100 years ago. My agony started last Sunday.

Don’t let the smile fool you. I was happy to have made it to my driveway. Dumbest run ever. 10 miles. Hilliest route on earth. Dehydrated. Mildly hung over. And one bitchy hamstring did not make for an epic run. It made for a sufferfest. I decided on this route as a sort of litmus test. A Where Am I Starting?  The answer is right at the goddamn bottom. I couldn’t get out of my own way. I shuffled my pathetic ass up a series of 4 hills, one longer and more annoying than the next. When did this route get so hard? Am I this out of shape? I didn’t think I was. But now? Gah. I’m a hot mess.

So like any runner, I ran the next day. And the next. Both of which were no better than Sunday’s Suck Fest. The next I rode my bike. And had a big old talk with myself. It went like this:

Self,

GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.

XOXO,
Colby

I wish I was paraphrasing. I need to clean up the edges. I need to get serious. I need to see where I’m really starting because I feel like a broken down Yugo. My InsideTracker profile needs a definite update. Hello, Retest! I need to focus on something other than my former job. Like my new one! That tired old stress needs to leave the building, specifically my legs so I can move them with purpose again. My former situation was crippling in more ways than one. Onward and upward! A bike ride always puts things into perspective for me. Sometimes in a way that running doesn’t. Besides, all Running told me was to stop. Who wants to hear that shit when you’re trying to chug a big old pint of Motivation?

So I ignored what Running was telling me. And continued on the rest of the week. After a few moderately better #runventures (and one ill advised mountain bike ride with My Other Half, Drunk Otis, a bloody Achilles and a goddamn massive contusion on my hip), I began to fall into a rhythm. There you are Running! My Old Familiar Rhythm. And here I thought I’d lost you. I decided Saturday night, after icing my hip and cleaning my wounds, that I would re-run The Dreaded 4 Hilled Route. I woke up like it was race day. Hydrated. Well rested. Nary a hang over in sight. And this time?

wonder woman running.gif
Me, Sunday.

Are we gonna let the elevator

Bring us down

Oh, no let’s go!

All I needed was an invisible jet and a goddamn lasso.🙂

Have you ever seriously contemplated hanging up your running kicks? What’s the longest stretch of horrible runs you’ve ever had? What was the first R-rated movie you ever saw?

New Beginnings

This is how I feel in spring. Just put a massive box of Kleenex in her hands.
This is how I feel in spring. Just put a massive box of Kleenex in her hands.

I love spring. Even a cold-ish, allergy filled, rainy spring like this one. Days are longer, sun is higher in the sky and every day something new pops up out of the ground. Had a CRAP week last week, but every morning I woke to daylight, birds chirping and things blooming all around. Even on tough day, it’s really hard not to feel hopeful when life is literally popping up all around you (and kicking the sh*t out of your sinuses while it does, BTW).

Like New Year’s, Spring (at least in the Northeast) is such a sign of new beginnings. It’s like a “new year” without anyone suggesting that you take stock of what you did during the last year and make resolutions for the coming one. Thank God. Even more reason to love it. A new beginning where your main focus is getting out and enjoying the world instead of reflecting on it. Yes, please!

Spring is a crazy busy time for us. Confirmations, graduations, sports schedules that require math exam type planning (If A needs to be at X field at 5 and B needs to be at Y field by 5:15, how likely is it that an SUV travelling at (somewhere in the vicinity of) the speed limit will make both drop offs, assuming no red lights?), end of schoolyear concerts, field days and assemblies. It’s a good thing that we have a winter of hibernation to gear up for the constant movement that is spring. What do people who live in warm weather climates do? Seriously – you warm weather people – WHAT THE HELL DO YOU DO? Do you just run ragged all year long??? I’m tired just thinking about it. I love Spring, but I can only take one per year. And only bookended by a cozy winter and a lazy summer, thank you.

In the vein of new beginnings, I tried a new class the other night, called the MELT method. It is NOT an exercise class. It is a “self-care” class that teaches you techniques to help relieve –and prevent- pain by manipulating fascia much like you would get in a massage session. You use squishy balls (for hands and feet) and a soft foam roller (for the rest of your body). I loved it. I have had a lot of back and shoulder pain lately and cannot seem to get rid of it even with rest days, stretching, etc. and an easy running schedule.

When I began the 1-hour class, I couldn’t lay on my back in the “assessment position” without discomfort in my lower back. By the time I left, I was completely free of aches and twinges. Amazing. I really felt like I do after a massage, possibly even better. Plus, the instructor was knowledgeable and funny- my favorite combo. The goal of the class is to teach you the method so you can use it at home. They say that 10 minutes a day is all you need to stay pain-free once you get the hang of it. I’ll take that!

Discovering MELT was perfect timing, as I want to re-align myself before starting to train for my next marathon. Oh the irony – after all my bitching and moaning about training for a fall marathon last summer, I finally got into the NYC marathon on my 4th? 5th? try. I threw my name in the lottery when it opened in December (perhaps still delusional and glowing from Colby’s and my Best Day Ever at the Baystate Marathon and conveniently forgetting that I hate summer training) and promptly forgot about it until I got the confirmation in my in-box that I was IN. After the shock wore off and the dread of intervals in August subsided,  I realized that I am really excited to get a chance to run NYC. And my husband is almost as excited about getting to experience another summer with me bitching about the heat and humidity and falling asleep at dinner, though he is hiding it nicely.

After NYC, I probably have a month or so before I will start training for Boston 2017, so it really, REALLY is time to rest, assess and get my body comfortable before absolutely beating the crap out it during back to back marathon training. Thank you, MELT Method. I think you will do just that.

If you want to learn more about MELT, here is the main website. https://www.meltmethod.com/

If are in the Fairfield County, CT area, my MELT instructor, Amanda Cizek, is fabulous and is also a trained masseuse. Her website is http://www.consistentfitness.com/ and a there is link to her very cool  “Be Awesome” blog right on the homepage. She wrote a great post last week about perceptions (misperceptions?) of what self-care means to us Type A fitness types. Check it out. Food for thought for all of us. I love her “Campaign of Awesome.” Shouldn’t we all strive to Be Awesome in our Bodies?

Have you ever tried MELT? Do you have a go-to activity like yoga, pilates or massage for balancing your running? Have you ever, like me, felt so tight and out of whack that you thought you might actually snap in half? Anyone running the NYC Marathon this year?

Boston Proud

I’m in the throes of a Boston Marathon hangover. And I didn’t even run it. That’s next year. *dances all saucy in the kitchen*

obama pizza
Yaaaaaassss!

I cheered. And cried. And cheered again. Then I drank delicious IPAs and celebrated with my Other Half. It was a perfect Monday. He ran yesterday. Which is funny to me because he’s really not a runner. He’s a cyclist at heart but with an undeniable runner’s gift. Brat. If I didn’t love him so much, I’d hate him.  I don’t talk that much about him here. Every once and a while I’ll marvel at some ridiculous athletic achievement of his, but otherwise, I’m pretty private about us. Which is just how I like it.

He qualified for Boston straight out of the box. Ran one marathon and qualified with 10 minutes to spare. Insane to me. Simply insane. I am in awe of him and of that kind of talent. While he was quietly proud of his BQ, he was never outwardly stoked about it. That’s just the way he is. Modest. So there he was, training for Boston and BOOM. Injured. 

Probably for the first time in his life, he struggled. He struggled with his body. He doesn’t struggle. He puts in the work, and it comes. Naturally. However this time, he couldn’t work. He was grounded. It was an injury which needed rest and rehab. Both of which he neither had the time, nor the patience for. At least initially. I think it humbled him in some ways. Not that he needed humbling, but when everything comes easy, then suddenly becomes difficult, I think you gain incredible perspective. It gives you pause. And you learn to respect your gifts. It also angered him to no end. I honestly thought he wasn’t going to run. 

Day after day, week after week he became more and more patient. Listening to his body. Stretching, rolling and doing yoga and core work. Honoring his body.  I think in many ways he used to take his gifts for granted.  I think that has changed now.  It has humbled him. 

Slowly he began using the elliptical and discovered the stair mill, which, if becomes an Olympic Sport, he’ll medal in. After 5 weeks of “not running” he began to run. And it was like starting over. The aches. The pains. I still was worried. And not necessarily convinced he’d run Boston without blowing up or really hurting himself.  Every few days he’d give me the countdown. “T- 15 days ’til I’m on my bike.” And so on…He was ready to wrap it up. Over it, I thought. Maybe he never even cared about it, I often  wondered. He was so quiet about it. But there he was, still training, still doing the work.  Every few days he’d run longer and faster with less and less pain. He was slowly getting back but with only several weeks to spare. My nerves quivered. 

The Boston Marathon. Here it was. The day had arrived. I think I was more excited than he was. You know me by now. I get excited about everything. Genuinely so. On Sunday it was a perfect cup of coffee and my new sequined Converse kicks.  It doesn’t take much. 

Sequins and Unicorns
 There’s something to be excited about every day. He’s the same way. Being happy is part of who we are. That includes being happy for one another. For sure.  Marathon Eve I was far more nervous than he. I was laying out his gear. Getting his Skratch Labs ready. Lining up his gels. Obsessing over every detail. 

And what was he doing? 

Laughing about something taco related on Instagram. “Lookit this shit, Babe!” 

Calm. Collected. Relaxed. Either like someone who knows exactly what they are capable of, or, perhaps someone who doesn’t care that much about it. I wondered…

Yesterday morning I walked him over to the buses, kissed him goodbye and told him how proud of him I was. I was choked up. It was a long road to Boston. Even though he initially jumped in the car, revved the engine and peeled out of the driveway. He’s running Boston. I shook my head slowly, smiled and ran off through the throngs of runners to meet Tina for breakfast. 6am:  Are you up? I’ll run up to you. Let’s meet in the middle for coffee.  The response: Shit yeah! I’m leaving. Orange jacket. I’ll see you on Comm Ave. Stay to the right.  And she’s off. That’s a friend. 

After Coffee Chat, I ran off to get a good spot to watch him finish. I was near The Spot. Right by the finish. I couldn’t help but remember. Waiting and reflecting, heavy hearted yet hopeful. My friend Meghan joined me to cheer him on. She came all the way in. Such a lovely, genuine person. Love her. Then, I spotted him. Running beautifully. Striding easily. He was finishing. He heard us screaming our heads off and threw his arms up. YEAH! So damn proud. I cried. He is something! He finished. Right at the exact time he said he would, qualifying him again for next year. When I asked him how it was he told me all the details. The crowds. The cheers. The hills. And then said a little sheepishly that he got choked up. He got a little overwhelmed.

Why? I asked

Because. He paused. This Is Boston. 

My heart overflowed. 

And so did his runner’s one.🙂

  

The 411.

And just like that… 

The Birthday Girl.

…Another year older.

*sigh*

Today is my birthday. So I decided to wipe the dust off of our horribly neglected blog before somebody calls DCF and carts my ass off to WordPress Jail for blog abuse! This always winds up happening in times of stress. I get all angst. I don’t sleep. I run like being chased. And my blogging falls promptly in the can. Which is sad. Because I love this Little Damn Blog. More on My Angst later. Promise. 

I’m not stressed about turning another year older. Aging is a gift. Fine lines and all. Tina and I addressed the fine lines last weekend when we checked our tuckered selves in to our favorite spa for a nice long weekend. It was heaven. We came in pieces. But we left whole. There is nothing like spending time with your best friend. Catching up. Laughing. Drinking. Napping. Ranting. Raving, Relaxing…and did I say, Drinking?  T-Bones and I needed a little bit of down time, to pull out the pony tails, shake our tired locks and reboot. I am so thankful for our friendship. Words don’t even do it justice. I think I am realizing just how valuable friendships are as the years amble on along.  I wouldn’t trade time spent with friends for anything in the world. It’s priceless. We are lucky to have found each other.

I always get reflective on my birthday. This one isn’t A Big One. It’s 44. I don’t feel 44. And after last weekend’s spacation , I don’t look 44. I now appear younger, and visibly firmer. Certainly not 44. I remember when my Mom was 44. I thought: Meh. She’s not that old. And here I am. Not that old. 

I was googling around the internets this morning, looking at the significance of the number 44. While I’m not one to follow numerology, I did stumble across a version of its significance. The number 44 is about business- building a business with staying power. Efficient, conscientious business building. Which is appropriate because I am in the business of building a better Colby. Colby version 44, if you will. The number 44 builds for The Now and for The Future. It wants rewards for its work, and wants to have a positive effect on the future. Simple. And true. 

According to the internets, the number 44 is realistic, pragmatic, efficient, disciplined and confident. It is conscientious, balanced, and methodical with a focus on what it wants to accomplish. 

It’s also Hank Aaron’s number, a cough suppressant and a song by Jay-Z. But I digress….

Conscientious. Balanced. And Focused.

I’ll take it.🙂