When is it time to hire a coach? Answer: NOW!

So I did a thing a few weeks ago. I hired a coach. WHHHAAATTT??? I know.  I don’t even know who I am anymore. What prompted this very Adult-Runner decision was running yet another marathon –  and missing my mark. I ran Sugarloaf Marathon in Maine several weeks ago and while I didn’t have a horrible race, I did fall short of my goal. As per recent years, I trained using my beloved Hanson’s Marathon Method which kicks your ass, then hands it to you in a fatigued, sweaty heap.  You’re exhausted, but you are ready. Hanson’s is tough. As I know from experience, it’s quasi-unorthodox method works for me. At least it had until it didn’t. My training block went well this time around with Hanson’s.  I believe I only missed 2 runs due to minor injury,  but after reflecting on Sugarloaf, I felt like my training was missing something.  I ran the miles. I hit the paces. I checked off the boxes as I had in the past. I even had some really excellent tempo runs. But, it seemed like something was off. Did I have Hanson’s Fatigue? Was my body getting too used to this type of training?  Did I need something different to mix it up? My running needed SOMETHING more. *cue hiring Coach*

There are a million reasons why you fall short of reaching your goal. Physical, psychological, mother nature, the course, your stomach, your ankle, the stars not aligning properly, not wearing you’re lucky ponytail holder…..the list goes on, real or perceived. No matter how many marathons you’ve run, there is ALWAYS room for improvement. For me, after many cycles with Hanson’s, religiously following their sadistic program,  I felt like it was time for a change. Don’t get me wrong, Hanson’s got me all the way to Boston. It works, but now I feel like I’ve plateaued. It’s not you Hanson’s, it’s me.

its not you its me

Here’s the short list of why I hired a coach. Again, in the interest of full disclosure. I’m not some super-certified running guru. I’m just a girl with a blog who loves lobster rolls, IPAs and running. (A lot.) I’m also a girl who has goals. It’s been almost 2 weeks with my new coach and here’s why I’m loving my decision already.

  • Accountability. I never really had a tough time being held accountable. I documented my running exploits often on this little blog.  I put it out there. But something about having a Running Table for Two makes the accountability even more real. It’s keeping me honest and completely on-task. My Garmin uploads directly to the training app we use the moment I hit save. I can count on feedback within the hour. It’s magical.
  • Interaction. This is key. Having someone to really talk to about your runs, how you’re feeling and where you’re at is something I am finding invaluable. For instance, I had a horrible cold last week. Previously I would have just plowed on through. It’s on the schedule, therefore I must run in spite of this hacking cough! Let’s be honest, we runners are terrible patients. With my coach, he adjusted my workout based on my need. As a result, I had a much better speed workout because I was rested. Who knew? (I’m laughing. We all know. We just don’t do it. Until someone we respect tells us to. Directly.)
  • Fit. If you are going to choose a coach, make sure it’s the right coach for you. I spoke with several of of my coach’s clients – super fast, fast and downright normal runners – and got feedback from each one. Pluses, minuses, likes, dislikes, whether or not they improved- anything I could think of.  Usually coaches have options available.  Whether they put together an individual plan for you or have one on one coaching with feedback – there are usually multiple plans to choose from ranging in  the amount of interaction and cost to fit your budget.
  • Variability. I am digging the variability in the workouts! I mean, it’s running. You run. How fun can it be? OH BUT WAIT, POODLE! It really can be fun!  Mixing up speeds, times, distances, surges, intervals- it’s not just the same old same old. In order to get fast, you need to run fast. And I ‘m learning that there are MANY ways to do so. It’s like a breath of fresh air.
  • Permission. Here’s a surprising one. Like I mentioned before, I was sick all week. I had a full running week as well as a 50 mile bike ride on Saturday and a long run on Sunday. My coach messaged me and wished me luck for Saturday’s ride then added – let’s see how you feel for Sunday. I’d rather have you get some extra rest. I don’t want this cough to linger. So instead of running long, I ran easy and short, just enough to shake out the legs. It may sound silly, but if I’m going to follow a plan, I FOLLOW THE PLAN. I spent 13 years in Catholic school. Discipline and guilt run strong up in here. I wasn’t slacking. I was sick and resting. I’m sure we can do a full on psychoanalysis of this another time,  but being given permission to sit on the couch and catch up on Real Housewives instead of slogging through a run just to get the miles in, meant an awful lot to me. It was a stress lifted. Permission granted and accepted.
  • Motivation. I have been more inspired to run in the past several weeks than I have in a very long time. I attribute that to the decision to hire a coach. It’s new. It’s fresh. And I am excited! Running was starting to feel like a chore for me. It was sapping the fun out of it. Even though you have big goals and are serious about what you’re doing, doesn’t mean that you have to be miserable doing it. Just keep that in mind. 🙂

Have you thought about hiring a coach? Do you have one? Are you one?! What would you look for in hiring a coach? Do you love lobster rolls as much as I do? 

Weekly Running Recap: 10 Weeks of Hansons!

I’m runnin’ down the back side to Boston, Poodles! How bah dah? Ten weeks of training with Hansons Marathon Method down, 8 weeks to go. I have officially turned the page. I am also officially pretty damn tired. That may have had more to do with the sinus and double ear infections I was diagnosed with last week, but there you go. What a mess. (Note: The next time you are seated next to a screaming crying baby on a plane who is tugging her little ears, cut Baby Girl some slack. Ear infections suck. Like, bad. #IFeelYouBabyGirl) If we can recall from last week’s training recap, I was feeling super under the weather. In fact I trimmed my freezing cold snowy run down from 15 miles to 10 last week because I could neither stop coughing nor hear a goddamn thing. Broken rib or chiseled abs? It was a coughing toss up. Despite my affliction, I still managed to get in a solid week of running whilst on antibiotics. I know. I don’t reccommend it. But here’s how it went.

Monday: Elliptical, 45 mintues. Woke up. Dragged my coughing, clogged head to the gym. Attempted to run. No bueno. My teeth felt like they were falling out. Ellipticaled instead. Dumb? YES. However, I did leave the gym and march directly into my doctor’s office. I left with multiple prescriptions, double ear infections and a sinus infection for good measure. I haven’t had an ear infection since I was 4 years old. I’ll take kid diseases for $400, Alex. That seems to be the thing with me lately. Kid diseases. *sigh*phoebe

Tuesday: Easy Run. 3 miles. 9:05 pace. Why? Because although I couldn’t hear, I felt better. Should I have stayed home in my comfy lil’ fleece nest cuddling with Drunk Otis and My Other Half on Valentine’s Day? Yes. But I couldn’t. Because Boston. I’m training. And I’m a stubborn Italian who can NOT sit still if she’s feeling better. Somewhere Little Gram is smacking me upside my head. With a dish towel.

Wednesday: Intervals, 3 x 1600, 600m recovery, 7:25 pace. 7 miles total. Holy torrent of snot. Seriously. I have never had such a runny nose in my life. I thought my nose was going to fall off Walking Dead style. Ugly. I was an ugly mess. But it was done.


Not bad for a stop light sunset.

Thursday: Easy Run. 7 miles total, 9:15 pace. Less snot. Less coughing. More antibioitics. Not bad, Colby.

Friday: Tempo Run. 8 miles at marathon pace, 8:35. 10 miles total. YAHOOOOOO! What a difference meds make! Felt good. I honestly did. And as my Tempo Run Reward. THIS. Behold! The elusive Pliny the Elder! Cheers! And cheers again. Pliny, the beer equivalent of finding an East Coast Unicorn, did not disappoint. De-lish.


Oh, Hey Pliny!

Saturday: Easy Run. 8 miles total. 9:15 pace.  For me, the run following the tempo run is the worst. My legs are usually half dead. Which is why I have taken to rolling the hell out of them which helps tremendously. What a gogeous day! It was spring like! Gone was the snot and much of the snow. Nothing but mild temps and a new dope running hat from Janji by Ciele Athletics. That’s a collaboration made in heaven. Hat on point!img_8587

Sunday: Long Run. 15 miles total. 9:28 pace. As promised, this was my do-over run from the previous week. The last 3 miles were a bit of a struggle but it was so nice out and there were so many birds chriping that it didn’t even matter to me. Happy Sunday!

I must admit, considering how the week started and knowing how much I despise having to juggle around my schedule, I was pretty damn proud of myself. The week ended on a high note. Of that I am certain. It’s getting closer by the mile. And I’m so excited I can scream. I’m feeling like my substance runs (Intervals and Tempo Run) are really coming together. Next week my Intervals switch from speed to strength which is a BEAST for me. It’s at a slightly slower clip than speed intervals, but with more total miles. The goal now that I am no longer infectious, is to stay that way. To sound sleeps, rolled muscles and healthy weeks ahead!

  • Total number of miles run: 50 miles
  • Number of minutes spent on an Elliptical feeling like a zombie under water: 45 minutes
  • Boxes of Kleenex used: 4. I am not kidding. FOUR BOXES. 

Do you do stupid things like run while on antibiotics or drink tough to obtain IPAs while taking them?  When is the last time you had an ear infection? How has the weather been in your neighborhood? 


Drunk Otis, Editor.

A Fortnight of Forgotten Runs

Fourteen Runs. Two entire weeks of training- poof!– done in a few shakes of Drunk Otis’ tail. Training for Boston with Hansons Marathon Method is flying by. Or maybe I just black out every week and forget the agony. Yeah. That’s it. Repression at its finest. That also means I’m behind 2 weeks of blogging, Poodles. I’m quitting the small talk. WHAT?!! And hopping straight to it. We’ve got miles to cover!

Monday: Easy run.7 miles total. 9:12 pace in sunny Florida! When we last we spoke, I was recovering from a bout of amoebic dysentery. Or, a stomach bug. Same diff. This was my first real run post gut issue. I felt great. Couldn’t possibly have been the view? Nah.

All runs are better along the sweet blue sea.❤️

Tuesday: Rest Day. Flight from 84 degree weather to 24 degree weather. I had to flip flop my scheduled rest day. Which meant the rest of the week would be chock full o’ pain.

Wednesday: Intervals. 400-800-1200-1600-1200-800-400, 400m recovery, 7:34. Warm up/recovery. 9 miles total. This is a tough one. I’d like to call it the Ladder of Pain. And Suffering. And All Things Unpleasant. I did it though. So at least there’s a little bit of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy, painful, cold, Not Florida day.

Thursday: Easy Run. 7 miles. 9:21. Here’s where things get hairy. Usually, there is a rest day between Intervals and The Dreaded Tempo Run. Because I had to shift my Rest Day to Tuesday, I was going into a new cycle sans rest. Remember, Easy Runs don’t seem so easy on tuckered legs. They stink.

Friday: Tempo Run. 7 miles at 8:34, 9.5 miles total with warm up and cool down. *cue choir of angels* YES!  Shock of all shocks, I felt great. And here I thought It was going to be hairy. Success! I rewarded myself with 2 beers. Cheers!

Take THAT Tempo Run!

Saturday: Easy Run. 8 miles total at 9:18. Not gonna lie. I was pooped. And it was cold. Really cold.

Sunday: Long Run. 14 miles total at 9:29. Nice and steady. Cold and windy. Money in the bank. Cha-Ching.

Monday: Easy Run. 6 miles total at 9:18. Rest Day? Where are you? Little did I know that I would have to flip-flop ANOTHER WEEK OF TRAINING because of work, weather and a gym that closed early. A “dusting” turned into 4 inches of snow and ice. Thanks, Mother Nature. You rat.

Tuesday: Welp. I got my Rest Day a day early. Which was fine. Except now I’d have to run another hard week. But then again, what else is new? It’s Hansons. Welcome to the Sufferfest.

Wednesday: Intervals. 3 x 1600, 600m recovery at 7:37. 6.5 miles total with warm up/recovery. These sucked the life out of me. Mostly because I drank the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of water all day. Not. Good. Tip: Just because it’s cold and icy out, you still need to hydrate. Preferably with Skratch Labs. I also found out I am a 2017 Taste Agent! See…Pop-Up Interval Day wasn’t all that bad after all. Good things happen to those who are dehydrated and exhausted. They drink Skratch Labs. 

Thursday: Tempo Run. 7 miles at 8:35. 9 miles total with warm up/cool down. Awful. And after my previous killer Tempo Run, so stinking disappointing. That’s what happens when you do two “SOS” runs back to back. (Something of Substance in Hanson’s speak.)  Which by the way, you shouldn’t do. There’s usually a rest day between them. This was a 1-2 punch. Tip: Don’t do this. You will be disappointed and beat yourself up. Especially if you do it on the soul-sucking treadmill.

Friday: Easy Run. 6 miles at 9:15 with Drunk Otis! He loves easy run days. He also loves Vermont which is where I headed after this run.

Hey, Lady. Get out of the car. We’re running.

Saturday: Easy Run. 10 miles at 9:18 in lovely, bitter cold Vermont! Beautiful run. Beautiful part of the country.

I ❤️my new Atlas snow shoes.

This run was followed by a 5 mile snow shoe hike with our Partners in Adventuring and Beer Drinking, Anthony and Carly. So much fun with great friends. Happiness abounds! And exhaustion.  But, whatevs.

Vermont trail porn.

Sunday: 3 mile hike in Vermont. 45 minute spin. Why no run? Because my ankle was not happy post snow shoe adventure. Girlfriend was super sore. In the spirit of listening to thy body and after consulting with my Partner in Adventuring and Beer who is a health care professional, we decided that ice and Advil would be better for the long term. Better to miss a run now, then be injured later. And in deference to my pin-containing ankle with limited mobility and lotsa issues, that’s what I did. But I didn’t like it. Not one bit.  I also obsessed about missing a scheduled run, resulting in my friend, Carly giving me a “Bitch, you cray. Chill.” talking to. Thanks, Girl. Thanks. I needed that. 


Total number of miles run in 2 weeks: 92. Damn. That’s a lot.
Number of miles hiked +/- snow shoes: 8 miles. 5 of which were up-up-uphill in said shoes.
Minutes I spun on my trainer because I bought I hadn’t run enough: 45.  

Do you obsess about missed runs due to injury as much as I do? Have you ever run or hiked in snow shoes? 

Back in the Saddle

Well, well, well. Look who kicked off Boston Marathon training with a steaming hot cup of Hansons Marathon Method and 5 inches of snow? *points thumbs at chest* THIS GIRL! Week One of Hansons is actually an abbreviated week, a teaser if you will, of all things painful to come. It kicks off mid-week and begins with a Rest Day. I know. Laugh now. Because let me tell you, I’ll be celebrating these goddamn Rest Days like every Wednesday is Christmas for the next 18 weeks. 18 days of Christmas. One Rest Day a week, for 18 weeks. Not so silly now, huh, Poodle? Here’s what went down, Easy Week and all. 

Wednesday: Rest Day. 0 miles. Only it wasn’t a Rest Day. Gah. Already I’m switching shit around. Oh, Colby. The switch was definitely warranted. I pulled the old ‘bend and snap’ because I had a very important date with My Best Gals on Earth in NYC on Sunday and I knew running was going to be a struggle. So instead of resting, I ran 5 miles and did core. Totally worth it. 

Thursday: Back on track! 6 miles, Easy. According to The Bible of Hansons, easy pace is 9:15 to 10:15 minutes per mile. I ran them at 9:15. Boom. 6 miles down, 994 to go. JK. I have no idea how many miles I’ll be running. Quite frankly I prefer not to think about it, lest I black out and konk my head. 

Friday: 6 miles, Easy. Only easy is not easy when you have a decadent 3 hour Holiday Luch with you colleagues, drink bottles of Sancerre then decide it’s wise to run on a damn treadmill because goals. *hiccups* Rough run. But I did it. And at the prescribed pace. 

Saturday: 8 miles, Easy. I woke up super-fly excited. SNOW! And plenty of it! 5 inches of the white stuff! Peace, quiet, tranquility and 8 glorious miles! Have yak trax, will run. Wheeeeeee! 

It was gorgeous for more than half of my run. My sleepy town looked like a straight up Winter Wonderland.

Winter Wonderland!

Then it started to get icy. Then it poured rain. Cold, miserable rain. I got tired. 

But kept running. 8 miles, done.

Colby the Soaked Grinch

Sunday: Rest Day NYC Brunch with my Homegirls! And Bloody Mary’s! And delicious Mediterranean plates of goodness! And chit chat, laughter, silliness and friendship. I couldn’t possibly have ended Week 1 of Training on a higher note. To friendship, health, running and laughter! Cheers! 

Deliciousness at Hundred Acres, New York City.

Week 1 By The Numbers:
Total number of miles: 25 + core 
Number of times I almost fell flat on my face running in snow, slush and ice: 0.
Yak trax RULE! 
Total number of times I felt blessed to have such strong, sassy, smart women in my life: Infinite. 

Patty, Jenn, T-BONE and Me.

Do you switch up your training or do you run by the book? Snowy runs or sweltering runs, which is your jam? 

And so it begins…

Boston Marathon training officially kicks off this week, Poodles! {Cue hysteria.} Week 1 of 18. I am stoked beyond words. Fasten your 5-point harness. I’m blogging this magical journey! And I’m apologizing in advance for the profanities, saltiness and utter ridiculousness of my upcoming posts. I’m keeping it real. I’m going to be exhausted, discouraged, elated and thrilled all at once. Bear with me. That’s the Joy that is Hanson’s Marathon Method. 

I got to this point in my running with Hansons Method, qualifying for Boston at Baystate Marathon with the run of my life (HERE). I can’t quit you, Hansons.  Not now. There’s still work to be done. There’s a level of accountability that comes with blogging which far surpasses me blathering on about running to my poor friends and Drunk Otis. Christ, my mother doesn’t even like to DRIVE 26.2 miles, let alone run them or even hear about me running them. Accountability, Friends. I need it. And these posts are providing it. Like it or not, it’s gonna be a long sweaty frozen road. I’ve got a goal.  

My marathon goal is 3:45.  

There.  I said it. 3:45. And although my heart just felt like it fell out of my chest, It’s ON. I’m ready to give this everything I’ve got. A friend recently gave me some sage advice.

Train for Boston as if you never know when it will happen again

-Running Yoda

That’s sticking with me. Like Gorilla Glue. 

Today wasn’t officially a training run. That insanity starts on Wednesday. Why Hump Day? No clue. All I know is that today I ran 5 miles on the god forsaken treadmill. I sweated to death, came home, peeled my tights off to hop in the shower and found two dryer sheets stuck to my ass. 

And here we go…

Ermahgerd is right. Let the games begin. 😄

Do you find it helpful to blog or journal about your training?  What’s your 2017 Running Goal? Have you ever left the house covered in dryer sheets? 

While visions of unicorns, danced in her head…

Reality Check: Marathon Monday is in 19 Weeks. 

Reality Check Number 2: The party is about to be over.

I’ve got 7 days. So repeat after me.  Put down the IPA, Colby. Pick up your beloved Hansons Marathon Method. This will become your Bible. You will not complain about running in freezing temps.  You will lay off the suds. You will eat copious amounts of spinach and leafy greens. You will make sleep a priority. You will cross train. You will work your goddamn core. You’ve got one week before you start training to run the race of your dreams.  You waited your whole life for this- DON’T SCREW AROUND. 

*puts on game face*

Right after my game face was firmly planted, I randomly burst into tears. Yup. Totally true. While running intervals tonight it really sunk in- It was time to start training. Official Training starts next Monday. In one week. So like a total Crazy Pants, I sobbed.  Not because I was dreading training. Not because I was overjoyed. I cried because I was overwhelmed. I was beside myself. I’m training to run THE Boston Marathon. I can’t even wrap my head around it. Still! It’s a dream. The enormity of Boston. I never thought I’d ever run it. I never thought I would earn that BQ. It’s so damn big. 

So tonight, like I do every single time since I started this Boston Marathon journey, I visualized myself turning onto Boylston as I ran. I tried to imagine how I would feel so close to the finish. I visualized every breath, every stride. I allowed my imaginary feeling to sink in.  Such hallowed ground. I imagined myself seeing that finish line. I am Boston Strong. It moves me every time I visualize it. I finished my run, and headed home to find a package from my very best friend, Tina. What a nice surprise. She always knows exactly the right words to say at the exact right time. That’s a true Best Friend. If you find one good friend in life you are lucky. Me? I Found Tina. That means I hit the jackpot.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m taking my pillow to bed. I’ve got some dreaming to do. Thanks, T! Muahhhh!


Are you kicking off training for a Spring Marathon soon? Do you practice visualization techniques

5 Things I Did While I Wasn’t Blogging This Summer

Welp. I’d love to say this was my list:

  1. Wrote the great American novel
  2. Found a cure
  3. Danced in a Sia video in a unitard and cool wig
  4. Won an Emmy
  5. Found The World’s Best Lobster Roll – and it’s sold right next door to my house!

Yeah. Not so much. I may not have written the Great American Novel, but I did ride my bike in support of a cure for cancer. I also did get tickets to Sia and I wrote my Emmy acceptance speech in my head during one of my god-forsaken Hansons Marathon Method Tempo Runs and I did find a delicious lobster roll on MY DAMN RUNNING ROUTE! I know!??! Right?!?! Good times, Poodles. Good times. Here’s want really went down in Colby Town this summer. That is, besides lobster rolls and IPAs.

Nom nom nom…

1. Rode in my 12th Pan Massachsetts Challenge– with Tina! 200 miles in two days in support of cancer research at The Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Hands down, THE best weekend of the year. For one weekend, I feel as if I am a part of something great. Something impactful and meaningful. Something much bigger than myself. Happiness times 12.

Why I Ride. (📷 http://www.pmc.org)

Your long lost cancer fighting bloggers!

Good Morning, Day 2! Bourne Bridge.

2. Rang the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange. Yup! True freaking story. That beats winning an Emmy! It was such an amazing experience made possible by my amazing friend, Mark. Mark is a survivor, a Marine, a veteran, a fellow PMCer and most importantly, a friend. He works tirelessly for Verterans and may be one of the most selfless people I have ever met. Tina and I were honored to be a part of such a special day with our friends at Convergex and the Pan-Mass Challenge. It was surreal!

Selfie at the NYSE!

Ding! Ding! Ding!


Colby and Tina at the NYSE!

3. Gutted my bathroom and remodeled my kitchen! I should also add:  “without killing one another.” I live in a small house, not a hipster trendy Tiny House, but a small house in a great spot. As you are well aware, I also live with My Other Half and our 3 Stooges- Leon James, Evil Beagle and Drunk Otis Brown. So. Maneuvering 2 humans, a pit bull mix, an Evil Beagle and a massive chocolate lab around while we gutted our home was…well…a goddamn comedy show. At the end of the day, my house looks fantastic, no dogs were harmed, and I’m in still in a loving relationship. In other news, I am also thinking about being a Paint Master for Benjamin Moore. You need a gray? I got it. 

I am in love with my bathroom vanity.

I am obsessed with this granite.

4. Hansons Marathon Method Training. Version 2.0.  I can’t. I love to hate Hansons Marathon Method. It’s hard. But it works. This time around, I was juggling a new job, a remodel, training for a 200 mile bike ride and a god forsaken cold/disease/plague for ONE MONTH right around marathon training kickoff. I can cry thinking about it. My training suffered because I was sinking in a Petri dish of despair and infectious yuck. I got in as many miles as my legs and lungs would allow, but it wasn’t perfect. Life isn’t. Which is why I need to accept the early weeks of training for what they were- an imperfect struggle- and embrace the final 8 which are feeling pretty good. I’m beginning week 14 which culminates with the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of week 18. It might not be my prettiest marathon, but it will certainly do.

She’s baaaaaack!

5. I registered for the Boston Marathon! And like thousands of other anxious runners, am chomping at the goddamn bit patiently waiting to hear if I am in. I should know by this week. I have over a 3.5 minute cushion. Cross your paws that it’s enough. Tina is IN! My BFF is wicked fast!  And she had the run of her life and qualified with ample time. What I wouldn’t give to run it with her. Say a prayer! Burn sage! Light a goddamn candle! Either way, I BQ’d. And PR’d. And also have a feeling I’ll be live tweeting the result from a local brewery. Stay tuned. I hope I find that unicorn. 🦄


Isn’t she glorious?

Have you lived through a renovation? Has a nagging cold sidelined your training for more time than you liked? Are you waiting to hear from Boston?!?! 


Running Through a Ball Pit and Surviving Hansons Marathon Method!

In the words of the almighty, incomparable Gloria Gaynor:

Do you think I’d crumble?

Did you think I’d lay down and die?

No, not I…


*not a direct quote

high fiving a million angels

17 weeks of Hansons Marathon Method. BOOM! Done. I’ve never been more excited to finish something in my life. IN MY LIFE, POODLES. I lived it. You lived it. We all lived it. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. I’ve bitched. You’ve groaned. I ate enough lobster rolls to make a fisherman puke. I have consumed enough delicious IPAs to send me to detox. And through it all you have stuck with me and my ridiculous training and endured these recaps. Millions of kisses! Your encouragement has meant the world to me. It has buoyed me when I felt like I was drowning in a kiddie pool of sweat and strength intervals. It has built confidence on my darkest, uberest-exhausted days. It has made me believe that I am capable.



All kidding aside: You Rock.

Here’s how the last official week of training went! Week 17, I’d never thought I’d see ya, Baby!

Monday: Easy 8 miles. No muss. No fuss. And by the way, IT’S FALL! For reals! Colored leaves, cool temps and utter HAPPINESS!

Tuesday: Strength Intervals. 6 X 1 mile with 400 recovery. Warm up/recovery. Yadda. Yadda. 13 miles. Ready for this? They felt easy. SHUT UP! #truestory

Wednesday: RESTFUCKINGDAY. {Cue Hallelujah Chorus} I relaxed. Put my paws up. And even went to yoga. I know, right?!?!? Gentle yoga. I needed a lil’ deep breathing. I needed to feel grounded. Rooted. Centered. I’ve been so obsessed with the body, that I’ve neglected the mind. I needed some quiet, focus and clarity; three things I had been overlooking as of late. So off to yoga I went. I don’t know why I don’t go more often. I emerged centered. And maybe even a half-inch taller.paws and reflect

Thursday: The Dreaded Tempo Run. The very last one. This workout has been the litmus test for my progress. I hate you, Tempo Run. But I love you. It’s a complicated, terrifying relationship, Tempo Run and I. It stresses me out every damn week. This week was obviously no exception. I cracked my knuckles. Took a deep breath. And ran. 13 miles total. The pace? Spot on. Spot on with far less effort than it has been the entire time. Holy Toledo. I was ELATED. And in true Colby fashion, wound up singning U2s, “It’s a Beautful Day” ON THE TOP OF MY LUNGS during the last quarter mile, then burst into tears in my crowded, filthy (you’ll see why) gym. Did I mention I had to run this on a treadmill because I didn’t get out of work until after 6pm??? Yeah. There’s that additional layer of hell and emotional angst.

Friday: Wake up to discover that my eyes, which had been blood shot for two days, are now swollen, blood shot and light sensitive. What the f*ck. Did I sleep in a McDonald’s Ball Pit? Am I a Mogwai? Did Drunk Otis give me rabies? Or meningitis? The petri dish I call a gym! I throw on my glasses and manage to squeak in 5 miles outside. Air will do me good. It was supposed to be 7, but my eyes were killing me. I immediately call my doctor. I get an appointment, get antibiotic drops and also get a “If there is no response over the weekend, you are heading to a specialist on Monday.” ren and stimpy

Spoiler Alert: Fast Forward. Guess where I was yesterday? Yup. Eye specialist. Summary: I have some jacked up virus in my eyes and am on steroid drops. So yes, I will be doping for Baystate. Tina may also be running as my guide if I can’t wear my contact lenses. But guess what? I’m wearing the goddamn lenses. Period. The. End. Cross your paws that this treatment works. Or you’ll be reading a seriously expletive laced review of the Baystate Marathon.

Saturday: Drunk Otis, My Sad Eyes, and I could only handle 5 miles. My Guide Dog was on point! Thanks, Oats! Besides, we had cheering to do at My Other Half’s Cyclocross Race.

Drunk Otis, Guide.

Drunk Otis, Guide.

Sunday: 8 miles. Legs felt great. Eyes felt like they were being massaged with fine sand paper. Let’s hope this week brings clearer eyes. Poor things. Now on to my Micro-Taper. Squeee! 🙂

Total number of miles: 52

Number of different types of eye drops I used to prevent myself from looking like a stoned blood hound: 4

Number of times I tripped over Drunk Otis whilst running because I couldn’t see: 5

Have you ever gotten a version of pink eye as an adult? Ever jump in a ball pit? Do you run with your pup?

Taper Thoughts

Well, it is officially Taper Time in Marathon and Sprint Land, and here are a few thoughts that have been buzzing around my head:

1. This is the weirdest freaking taper for both of us. For Colby, there is no taper. She doesn’t have time to get the taper crazies because she is too busy running “Hanson style.” All day, every day. On a treadmill, for Pete’s sake. For me, it doesn’t feel any different from earlier weeks. Other than a handful of long runs, the past 16 weeks weren’t sufficiently different from a taper for me to feel like I earned this. I think we both feel a bit robbed. (and I’m feeling a bit scared.)

2. Overnight, the forecast for Baystate (yes, I’m checking) went from cool temps and rain to a high of 59 and sunny. Thank God the rain went bye-bye. It better stay that way. After my hypothermic experiences at the 2014 PMC and 2015 Boston Marathon, I have started to feel like a bit of a jinx. Let me repeat, Mother Nature: Cold = Good! Rain = Bad! Sun= Meh! Clouds please! But more importantly, can we please keep the weather for this race to something that won’t leave me with blue lips? Philly weather was perfect (40’s and cloudy), but I’d like to skip the serious allergic reaction part, as well. So I’m ordering up cloudy, 40’s, hold the nuts. Am I asking too much? Let me know.

3. I may not be prepared for the race itself, but I’ve got plenty of plans for afterward. We are going to have a full-on Masshole celebration! Wahlburgers! Laughing in a Boston accent! Lil & Mike! Watching the Patriots Game! I’ll bring some Patriots gear for you to wear, too, Colby. Yes, we need to suit up even if only watching on TV.

4. Anyone have any tune suggestions? This is a double loop in a not-so-scenic area with varying crowd support. I’m thinking a few new songs might not be a bad idea.

5. Has anyone run a good marathon on crappy training? Please feel free to share your success story. Oh, and by “good” I don’t mean “win.” More like finish with dignity intact and not in a medical tent.

6. Even a lame taper motivates me to clean. What is it about the taper that brings out my inner OCD? And good god, my house is a mess. I am overwhelmed.

7. I still need to figure out what kind of fuel I think I can stomach (literally) during the race. Ugh. I need to get on it. Honey Stinger chews are the front runner but they are so bulky to carry. Any suggestions?

8. This will be my third marathon in an 11-month period and I am just plain tuckered. I know there are plenty of people who run multiple marathons every year but I don’t think I was intended to be one of them. I think I could actually run 3 marathons each year, no problem, as long as I didn’t have to train. It’s the lead up that kills me. Either I train hard and am exhausted, or train poorly and am mentally exhausted from beating myself up about not training well. Either way, it’s exhausting.

9. I know I’m officially sick of training for races, because it has been a sheer joy to go out for a run this past week and not worry about how fast or long it was when I am finished.

10. Colby is going to kick ass at this race and I am so glad I will be there to see it!!

Who else is tapering? What’s buzzing around in your mind? And GOOD LUCK to everyone racing Chicago and anywhere else this weekend!