My First Running of the Boston Marathon

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Pure Joy.

It was everything.

And more.

I have spent the past several days ruminating.  Chewin’ the cud, so to speak. Compiling my thoughts. Sifting through my emotions. And riding the wave of an unimaginable runner’s high. I am on Cloud Freaking 9.  Or 10.  I suspect I will be for quite some time. It wasn’t because I nailed my goal after months of training with Hansons Marathon Method. SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t. I didn’t PR. I didn’t BQ again. I guess I should be disappointed.

But I’m not.

It wasn’t because Hansons failed me. It didn’t. Not by a long shot. That plan works. I have never felt stronger. Or faster. Or more “runner” than I do right now. My 45 year old self can kick the snot out of my 25 year old self. Then run a half marathon, throw on heels and go out for cocktails right after. I used to strictly believe that perfect results require perfect conditions. I still believe that to be somewhat true. However, I think I need to redefine the terms a bit. “Perfect” comes in many forms.

This was my 10th marathon. I will go on record saying that I trained my heart out to run Boston. You know it. I know it. I worked. I wanted to prove to myself that I belonged. Crazy, I know. I qualified and all, but I’m just being honest. I also gave this race EVERYTHING. Everything I had. This is The One Marathon that I gave everything I had to give. Period. Physically. Mentally. All. I finished Depleted. I’ve never felt more spent in my life. Or more accomplished.  I ran the last 5 miles on The Edge. You know what I mean about The Edge, right?  It’s that point.  The limit. Your limit. That threshold. It was foreign ground to me. I reached my body’s limit. I toed that line, willing myself to go faster.  “This is BOSTON, Colby.  And this is YOUR fucking day. GO.”   Over and over in my head I shouted. And my legs? The wouldn’t. They wouldn’t go. They revolted. And cramped. It was so, so hot. So I backed off. And toed that line. That Edge. For the rest of the race. And soaked in every single drop of Boston. It was epic.

I’d never pushed myself that hard. Ever. At a point when I should have felt defeated, I didn’t. It was quite the opposite. Forget the goal. Forget the time. Embrace the effort. The work. The accomplishment. In that moment I have never felt stronger. It chokes me up thinking about it even now, 1 week later. This journey has taught me so much about myself.  I am so much stronger than I think I am.  I love what running has done for me. It has built me back up. Running has made me believe that anything is possible.  Anything.

The heat was oppressive last Monday. It was way hotter than I think anyone anticipated. And it was run mostly in full sun. Brutal temps with no lead in to acclimate. That’s a death sentence for me. Hot weather runner girl, I am not. I dumped roughly 22 cups of water over my head. I’m not even kidding. And drank even more during the race. And I’m still thirsty. Even without the heat, the course is relentless. The down hills. The down hills tear your quads to shreds. To me, they were far worse than the climbs, which were ample, long and steady. Cresting Heart Break Hill and thinking about all of the running greats who have crested before me made my heart swell.

It’s a course so rich in history. You feel it with each mile. As grueling of a road race it is, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I adored every hot minute of it. I did. I ran a 4:04:40 last Monday. And I am so goddamn proud. Right on Hereford. Left on Boylston. Then soar. Honoring those along the way and sopping up every ounce of emotion with a smile as big as the sun. I ran right down the center. Like I belonged. Fists pumping, tears falling. Such gratitude.  What a moment. Sometimes you may not run the perfect race you trained for, but somehow it still winds up being the perfect race of your dreams. ❤

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The Thrill of the Done

 

I can’t thank all of you enough for all of your warm wishes! And of course for following along on My Journey. I’ll post a more detailed recap next. But honestly. This week post-marathon has been so special. I’ve been replaying the race over and over in my head and soaking it all in all week. What a day!
xoxox,
Colby

Running and Marathoning in Ten Days!

excitedHomestretch, Poodles. HOME. STRETCH. And to think. I thought it would never end. I might release doves, and twirl on a balcony in a cute flowy dress out of pure glee. Or minimally, crack open a nice cold IPA and do the Running Man in my ratty old sweats in my kitchen. Either way, I am thrilled. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s glorious.

Yes!

As you all gathered by my last post, Girlfriend here was starting to come UNDONE.  

#TrueStory

And not in that cute messy bun kind of scatterbrained way. In a very real, I am an emotional mess and I am so tired I’ll be over in the corner, rocking, kind of way. Totally beaten down. Like into submission. But that’s all behind me now. I can see the horizon and my marathon is sitting right smack dab in the middle of it. The worst of it is over. I am as trained as I ever will be. I feel ready. And that’s the truth. I trust the training. You hear that Hansons!?!?! I trust your insane program. There. I said it. I drank the SkratchLabs. I’m all in. I put it all on black. I am letting it ride. The chips are about to fall. All I need is the payout…

And in 10 days, Bitch better have my money. That’s all I’m sayin’. #thuglife

Here’s how it went down last week. To Week 16!!

Monday: 6 miles. Easy. Ain’t no thing, but a chicken wing. Other than the fact that I did not want to run, it was fine. {Cue exhaustion.}

Tuesday: 11 miles total. Strength intervals. 4 x 1.5 mile, 800 recovery, warm up/cool down. Rocked the pace. Was BEYOND STARVING at the finish. Did I mention it was on the damn treadmill? Yeah. And I worked late. By the time I got home, I was eyeing Drunk Otis’ kibble.

Wednesday: RESTFUCKINGDAY! And? A deep tissue massage. Ahhhh. I’ve got The Best Massage therapist on earth. She’s amazing. I’ve been going to her for almost a decade. I needed to be wrung out. Then? Bring on the laziness! Bring on shit TV! Bring on a raw cookie dough treat! I love you, Rest Day. 

Lazy Drunk Otis, Velociraptor.

Thursday: 13 miles total. Tempo run. 10 miles at prescribed pace (BOOM!) plus warm up/cool down. Only today? This wasn’t along my favorite beach. And I wasn’t rewarded with a gorgeous sunset. No Sir. It was ON THE DAMN TREADMILL. I can’t. You’ve gotta do, what you’ve gotta do. And when you’re tied up at work, and it’s pitch black outside as you’re dashing to your car in a monsoon after a very long day, you make nice with the treadmill. You apologize for calling her a horrible rude string of expletives, and you run.

Friday: 6 miles. Easy. Legs were sufficiently fried. Fried frog’s legs dunked in remoulade. That’s what they felt like. Gross.

Saturday: 8 miles. Cold, wet and yucky. Is it over yet? Oh. And I skimped. It was supposed to be 10. That’s all the time I had. And if you thought I was going to even LOOK at a treadmill, you’re nuts. Besides, I had a cyclocross race to attend. And it was pawesome!

Sunday: 10 miles. Crisp and fall-like. Legs actually felt better. Then off to Day 2 at my Other Half’s Cyclocross Race. So much fun. I love being an athletic supporter. 😉

 

Zoom!

 
Total number of miles: 54.

Total number of times work interfered with my running: 1,000.

Number of times I shook a cowbell and screamed my head off at an awesome cyclocross festival: 104.

Does work chronically get in the way of your running? Are you able to run during your lunch hour? What did you want to be when you grew up? And did it pan out? 

Running, Blowing Kisses and Finding a Unicorn

Week 14 of Marathon Training had me like….Shy Ronnie

GAH.

ONE MONTH TO GO, POODLES! I can’t even deal. I will also add, that if the remaining month of training continues to be as Hot as Balls, I will completely throw myself on the floor, over dose on lobster rolls and delicious IPAs, and PACK THE SHIT IN. Go home Mother Nature. You’re a meth head.

After realizing last week that my taper consists of 55 miles the week before the marathon, then one week of light running the week of the marathon, I have been in a state of perpetual nausea. Total bundle of nerves. It’s really almost here! All this work and it’s really winding down. Of course I still have insane miles to run, but I’m chipping away at this beast. I can’t believe it. My runway has shortened. I am almost there.  In my head and heart, I honestly believe that I’ve already won. #truthshe who dares wins

As for the Taper, I have to come to terms with it. I have accepted it. The anger and depression stages are over and I’ve moved towards acceptance. Like a Big Girl Runner. I also re-read the chapter in Hansons Marathon Method that explains all this Taper Business. I see the method to their madness. Keep your foot on the gas. Ease off a bit. Don’t turn the car off. Instead, idle. Then get ready to BLAST OFF.  Of course, I’m paraphrasing.  I trust them.  I have warmly embraced advice from fellow Hansons Maniacs, who have ensured me that the “Taper” will truly feel as such. And when I awake on Marathon Morning, my legs with sprout glittery wings and lead me to a BQ. I will then be known as Colbysus, Queen of the BQ.

Ok. Maybe they didn’t say exactly that.

But in my head it’s exactly what I goddamn heard.

Here’s how Week 14 of Marathon Training went down!

Monday: Easy run. 6 miles. And that’s exactly what it was. No muss. No fuss. Just a nice, hot, humid, 6 stinking miles on tired legs. At this point I was counting the seconds until my rest day. Wednesday? Where are you???

Tuesday: Strength Intervals. 2 x 3 mile with 1 mile recovery. Nailed the pace. YES! With warm up and cool down, we’re looking at 11 miles total. Before work. My quads raised the white flag and threw out a string of expletives at the end of this workout. Then they realized they were off until Thursday and promptly poured themselves a Bloody Mary, high fived each other and then did the Running Man. Just ‘cuz. Quads…They’re Crazy!

Wednesday: RESTFUCKINGDAY. I blew dried my hair, debuted a cute pair of flats, threw on some lip gloss and had a run-less day. I smiled. A lot. And may have even blown a kiss to the Coffee Guy after he handed me my brew. It was glorious.

Thursday: Tempo Run. 12 miles total. It was hot, but not humid. Each goddamn week, I dread this run. To me, it is a barometer for how I am training. Can I keep the pace for 9 miles? Will I be able to actually keep my intended pace on Marathon Day? I was a nervous wreck. I’m not kidding. I put so much pressure on myself. Honestly. Who does that? It’s just a goddamn run, Colby. Chill, Bitch. Chill. Here’s what happened: I ran. Fast. For all the miles. I nailed that pace. To the second. It was One of Those Runs. You know, The Unicorn of Runs. The one that makes you remember why you love running so much. Your breath. Your legs. All in concert. A symphony of perfection. I was overwhelmed. Tears. And then this reward…

My Reward.

My Reward.

Friday: Easy 6 miles. Legs were like string fries, but all good. NBD.

Saturday: 10 miles, a parade and a fair! I may have run along the parade route. I also may have waved and blown kisses at the crowd whilst doing so. That’s twice this week! #truestory

Flying Wallendas

Flying Wallendas!

Sunday: How far? You’ve guessed it! Another 10 effen miles. Only this time is was cool out.  Seasonal even. Like fall. Finally. 🙂

Total Number of Miles Run: 55

Total Number of Kisses Blown: 25

Number of Times I Spontaneously Burst Into Tears of Joy: 1

Now that's my kind of cannoli! #ItalianRunnerGirl

Now that’s my kind of cannoli! #ItalianRunnerGirl

Running, Half-Marathoning and Galloping with Drunk Otis

Inside Out Disney PixarAnother week of Hansons Marathon Method Training in the books! BOOM! POW! HOORAY!  I ran a lot. A real, whole heck of a lot of miles. What I really “ran” was the gamut of emotions that comes with getting way the hell out of your comfort zone. Doubt. Anxiety. Angst. Discomfort. Fear. The whole kit and emotional caboodle. I am pleased to report that although last week’s training left me stressed, I neither cried nor threw in the goddamn towel. Instead I used to it wipe the sweat from my GIANT SATISFIED SMILING FACE

I am noticing that with each passing week, my confidence creeps up ever so slightly. This whole Colby’s Marathon Training Weekly Recap thing is good. It’s keeping me honest and holding me accountable. Bear with me, Poodles! Here’s how the EPIC week went:

Monday: 6 miles. Easy pace. Except it was 91 degrees. Not so easy, now. Is it? Ick. 

Tuesday: 7 miles. Intervals. Sweaty, god-forsaken intervals on the treadmill. 8 x 600m (7:57 pace), with warm up and cool down. I almost threw up. Instead I forgot where I was and belted out Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ at the TOP OF MY LUNGS during my last one. As you can see by the text exchange between my Beloved and I, I was foul-mouthed and salty from the start. See actual text below. This love note was sent with one interval to go. 

LOML

Now that’s love. That text was followed by this exchange in the ladies Locker Room.  #truestory.  For the record, I did not direct my Salty Pirate Speak at Little Miss No Antiperspirant.  I laughed. Right in her absurdly dry face.

Wednesday: {Cue trumpets.} REST DAY. Ahhhhhh. And what did I do? Absolute zero. Well, zero running. I weeded, mulched, edged beds, gardened, walked Our Zoo, then planted my ass on the couch and binge watched Botched on Bravo. Don’t judge. It was my rest day. I can zone out on over-filler-inflated lips and deflated breast implants if I want to.

Thursday: Tempo Run, 8 miles total. The Dreaded Tempo Run executed at Zero Dark Bullshit. My first early morning tempo run before work. This is what caused me the anxiety. And? I did it. I can’t believe it. I lived to tell. Relive the glory HERE. I still need to work out eating super early in the morning, before running, so I can avoid feeling like a busted can of biscuits after EATING ALL THINGS upon finishing. Because I am starving.  Baby steps, Colby. Baby steps. 

Even Drunk Otis was smiling.

Even Drunk Otis was smiling.

Friday: 6 miles. Easy. Legs were tired. But basically a non event. Wasn’t that nice?

Saturday: 6 miles WITH DRUNK OTIS! Drunk Otis and I hit the road this time, instead of his beloved trails. I am pleased to report that he is GREAT running on leash. It was unseasonably cool out, which is why I even brought the Brown One to begin with. So many businesses around town leave dog bowls outside, it’s awesome. There’s water at every corner. It would be awesome-er if Drunk Otis actually drank from a public dog bowl. He’s a germ-o-phobe. Perhaps even a snob. He’ll splash in it. Dump it over himself. Or even take a sip from a putrid puddle teaming with giardia. But drink from a fancy ceramic bowl with paw prints hand painted on it? NOPE. Not gonna do it. He will instead pick up a dead squirrel along the route, and carry it in his mouth for a few strides. You know, just cuz. He’s a mess. But I love him.

Courtesy of Suze @ Suzlyfe

Drunk Otis. Courtesy of Suze @ Suzlyfe

Sunday: 13.1 miles. It was supposed to be 10 miles, at an “easy” pace. Instead it was 13.1 hilly miles as fast as my tired legs would allow. It was the (Formerly) Dreaded Fairfield Half Marathon. I say Formerly because for the first time in 7 years it was not a half marathon run on the surface of the sun. It was actually cool out. The torrential rain cleared, and cool temps and humidity rolled in. I’d take that weather any day. I did not miss the sun. As a result, I had a kick ass race. My fastest in 7 years of running it. And I’m 7 years older. And ran it on dead tired legs. I actually teared up as I finished. Got a little mushy even. All week long this training program intimidated me- especially knowing I had this race on Sunday. My legs hated me yesterday. But they didn’t quit. To have run well made ME well up. A qualifying time for Boston seems a million miles away. Or maybe just a couple of hundred thousand this week. 🙂Fairfield Half

Do you run a particular race every year and regret it every time? Do you pre-register for races, giving ZERO care to the weather? Do you ever run with your pup?

Running, Riding, Racing. And a Cookie.

anchormanhoorayAnother week in the books! Before I launch into Colby’s Week In Review, I’d like to take a quick second to say Happy Father’s Day to all of the Daddio’s out there! Dads are special folks. Especially My Other Half. Who is a kind man, a hard worker and a wonderful, loving father.  Muaaahhhh! Love fest complete.

On to Colby’s 3rd Week of Marathon Training! Note: I’m trying to be all peppy and shit about this, so as to keep my proverbial ‘marathon-ball’ rolling. These posts are purely self-serving. They are keeping my ass on track. They are holding me accountable. And they are keeping my honest. Please humor me and read them. Cheer or heckle, if you’d like. I’ve just gotta put them out there.  I’ve got a goal, dammit. And if I don’t achieve it, at least I can’t say I DIDN’T FREAKING TRY. It’s that damn Hanson Method. It’s got me all really running. Who am I?

Monday: 5.5 miles at the prescribed pace in the pouring rain. It was supposed to be 6 miles. But it started thundering and I screamed and ran straight home. I hate running in thunder and lightning. Snow? Sleet? Hail? Pouring rain? All fine. But Thunder and it’s nasty sister, Lightning? Game. Over.

Tuesday: 7 miles. INTERVALS. They’re not getting easier, but I am- dare I say- starting to enjoy them?? 12 x 400, 400 recovery. For what seemed like an eternity. But I did them. YES. And I have the sweaty mean mug to prove it. 

Game face.

 

Wednesday: Rest. Sweet Baby Jesus. Rest. And rest I did. I firmly planted my tired ass on the couch and binged on documentaries on Netflix. One of which was The Queen of Versailles. Totally engaging. I started watching it thinking it was merely going to be an extension of the Real Housewives Franchise,  but it quickly took a turn going from ‘Reality Series’ to ‘Shit Just Got Real.’ I couldn’t look away. Watch it if you haven’t. Sadly, one of the daughters in the documentary was recently found deceased which is what prompted me to watch it in the first place. The whole story is totally tragic yet, totally worth your time. 

Thursday: 6 pleasant miles. At the prescribed pace. I could have run all night. It was actually cool out. The storms broke that awful humidity, and my legs were feeling moderately “fresh.” Go figure.

Friday: 6 trail miles with My Other Half AND DRUNK OTIS!  This was our first foray together into the woods, as a little trail running family. And? Drunk Otis ain’t so drunk on the trails. He’s Sober Otis, Cover Dog for Field and Stream magazine. I couldn’t believe it. He’s a natural. He’s also quite big on the No Man Left Behind concept. He waited patiently for his sweaty human, showing her which way to go with the biggest, slobberiest smile. Such a good dog. He was made for this.  And when we busted around the corner, startling a deer? He stood like a statue and POINTED. He didn’t chase. He didn’t go off of the trail. He didn’t leave our sides. He freaking POINTED. We couldn’t believe it. Of course he swam in every puddle, stream and thimble full of water he could find, but that was AOK with us. So proud of our New Boy. Great kick off to the weekend. 

Drunk Otis, Cover Dog.

 

Saturday: I was supposed to run 6, but instead rode 47 miles with my girl, Carly! Such a great day. One that ended at a delicious new cookie shop in town, Red Rooster Gourmet Cookies. Fresh and Delicious.   

Cookie Monsters.

 I may or may not have yelled: COME ON! GET OUT OF THE SADDLE, CARLY. WE’RE GETTING COOOOOOOKIES!!!!!!! During our last climb. On the top of my lungs. Like a Crazy Person. Christ, we could almost smell the cookies from there. Talk about incentive. Those cookies tasted like heaven. If heaven was made out of buttery goodness. After the cookie stop, we headed back, picked up The Boys, who had been out shreddin’ the gnar, and refueled properly. That is, with beer and lobstah rolls. Such a perfect day with friends. 

Stony Creek Brewery. Cheers!

Sunday: I was supposed to run 8 miles, but instead raced 5. In the rain. On very tired legs. I woke up. Listened to the thunder, then promptly fell back asleep. I’m so not racing in this weather. (See Monday.)  Woke up again. Texted Tina. She agreed. Bullshit. Listened to rain drops. Drank coffee. Reassessed my legs. Meh. They’re moving. Gun goes off in 35 minutes. COME ON! YOU’RE DROPPING ME OFF.   

Super Janji!

I throw on brand new Janji singlet, grab a banana and a bottle of Skratch Labs and jump in Other Half’s car. Make it to the start area with 4 minutes to spare. Hear announcer. Run wildly. Score an open porta-potty. 3 minutes. Dash to the start. Wind up next to my friend whom I was supposed to meet an hour ago. What are the odds? We hug. I’m off. It sounds frenzied, but honestly, it was the calmest start EVER. I should always be running late. I didn’t even THINK about running. Or having to pee. Or not drinking enough. I JUST RAN. And considering that I felt like a broken down barnacle barge? I had a decent race. YAHOO! 

Miles Run: Just shy of 30.

Miles Ridden: 47.

Cookies Consumed: 1.5

Have you ever dashed to a starting line, and made it in the nick of time?Do you draw the line at thunder and lightning? If you were granted one day of Netfix Binge, what would you watch? 

The Joy of Almonds. Five Fun Facts!

Almonds

Well stuff my cheek pouches and call me Nutty! I am on a super almond kick lately. Like. Super. Now that I’m Little Miss Hansons Method and am ramping up marathon training, I find that they are the perfect snack to stash away in my purse, gym bag, car, desk, mailbox- wherever- for whenever a Serious Snack Attack strikes. Which for me lately, is practically every hour. I don’t have to tell you about Tina and nuts. Ever since that time she turned into Sherman Klump before running the Philadelphia Marathon, I’ve sort of forbid her to eat any nuts near me. Which means ALL THE NUTS for Colby. Now that’s a friend. 🙂  The happy folks over at nuts.com inspired us to write a piece on almonds. I couldn’t wait to chomp right down on it..

I guess they figured we were health nuts.
*pause*
{She’ll be here all night! Tip your server!}

I slay me.

Here are 5 Fun Facts About My Favorite Powerful Little Nut, The Almond!

  1. Peaches and almonds are cousins.  Shocker, right?!?!? Who knew! The nut that we eat (in my case, by the fist full) is the hard-shelled fruit of the almond tree. Think of it like a stone fruit. Cherry, plum, peach….ALMOND. Mind. Blown.

    Behold! Young almonds. Photo: Wikipedia

    Behold! Young almonds. Photo: Wikipedia

     Mature Almond. Photo: Wikipedia

    Behold! Mature Almond. Photo: Wikipedia

  2. Almonds are some of the lowest-calorie nuts around. YAHOO!  Almonds pack 160 calories, 9 grams of mono-unsaturated, heart-healthy fats, 6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber per 1 ounce serving. And, they’re LOADED with the antioxidant vitamin E.  That’s E for EXCELLENT. Go Almonds! They’re about neck and neck with pistachios and cashews in the calorie department. Eat ’em in moderation folks. They’re easy to binge on. RHOBH Brandy
  3. Almonds were used as a Fertility Charm.  In ancient Rome, newlyweds were showered with ‘em. LIGHTBULB. So THAT’S why at every single Italian baby shower or bridal shower I’ve ever gone to, there are little tulle pouches of almonds- Jordan Almonds specifically!!

    5 Jazzy Almonds. Photo: Pinterest.

    5 Jazzy Almonds. Photo: Pinterest.

    Total ah-ha! moment here! Traditionally, five Jordan Almonds are wrapped in tulle and tied with a ribbon.  And usually, at least in my Italian circles, there are usually 5 in a bag.  According to my very shallow internet reseach, the 5 almonds represent happiness, health, wealth, fertility and long life. They’re given in an odd number to represent the indivisibility of the marriage bond. Why fertility? Because those little guys are egg shaped. Awww. I once chipped my tooth biting into a Jordan Almond at a bridal shower. But. I still love them.

  4. Almonds are considered BRAINFOOD. Smarty pants! I’m guessing they’re considered healthy brain food because they are rich in healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamin B6 and in the anti-oxidant, vitamin E. The 3 of which are thought to improve brain health.  Raw almonds are loaded with omega-3s. Eat up. And before you know it, you’ll be doing the New York Times crossword with a pen. (One of us does already. Hint: It’s Tina, not me.)

    Photo: Nuts.com

    Photo: Nuts.com

  5. Almonds are delicious. Duh. Especially in granola. And super especially if you make your own. Which is a snap. Just ask the Barefoot Contessa. I really dig this recipe- Cherry, Almond, Coconut, Oats, Honey…..DELISH. Use tart cherries and you’ll be rocking the whole Super Food Thing. Don’t like apricots?  Ditch ‘em. It’s your Almond Granola. You do you. That’s the beauty of homemade. Yum.

Photo: Food Network

Photo: Food Network

Homemade Granola. Courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup good honey
  • 1 1/2 cups small diced dried apricots
  • 1 cup small diced dried figs
  • 1 cup dried (tart) cherries
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews

 Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Toss the oats, coconut, and almonds together in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil and honey in a small bowl. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. Pour onto a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  •  Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Add the apricots, figs, cherries, cranberries, and cashews. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.
  •  (Inspired by Sarah Chase’s Open House Cookbook.)

What’s your favorite nut? How often do you snack while marathon training? Do you do the crossword puzzle with a pen?

Running, Racing and Sweating My Face Off

Big Ang Summer

It’s summer. And I know. This past winter was OFF THE CHAIN cold. I remember being in the throes of it, wishing for a sip of sunshine. That’s just it. I wanted the sunshine in sips. Small doses. I didn’t want to shotgun the sunshine. Or funnel it circa 1994 Spring Weekend Party at Brick House. I wanted to sip it. Casually. In moderation. You know, ease into summer. Like all runners should. Wouldn’t that have been nice?

What happened instead was a sufferfest that lasted all damn week, turned my runs into slop, and made me nauseous. Damn. Just when I felt I was really rolling. A Running Meltdown.  I know. I’ll suck it up. I’ve got no choice. But man, that initial heat wave was BRUTAL.  It just sucks every damn ounce of life out of me. I am horrible at running in temperatures over 80 degrees. At least initially. I totally suck at it. Camel, I am not. I am hoping and praying that with a little acclimation, I turn into Helios, and laugh right in the sun’s bright, hot, fat face. Until then, I’m running alongside the Stuggle Bus. Here’s how the week went:

Monday: 5+ mile run at lunch.The elusive run at lunch, or “runch” as all the cool kids say.  Not incredibly hot, just incredibly wet. I got caught in a down pour. And in a stupid stealth move, this happened:

Yup. I found a discarded plastic “baggie” in a super seedy section of town by my work, turned that bitch inside out, ignored suspicious residue and saved my phone. And I’d totally do it again.

Tuesday: 7 miles +. Intervals. Treadmill.  12 X 400m, 400m recovery. Plus warm up. Plus cool down. Plus exhaustion. But, I did them. Then almost blew it by eating gelato for breakfast.

Gelato. Oh how I love thee...

Gelato. Oh how I love thee…

Wednesday: REST. I took my rest day seriously. Drunk Otis and I went for a walk. It was OPPRESSIVE.

Where's Drunk Otis?

Where’s Drunk Otis?

Thursday: 5 miles. Was supposed to be 6 miles. Bad Colby. Got nauseous and light headed. Cursed the heavens. Did manage to run at my prescribed pace, but nearly melted in the process. Ended run in a damn heap.

Note: I should have known I was going to spontaneously combust on Thursday. Especially since I started the day all fired up with the #TimHunt “girl-scientists-are-blubbering-temptresses-and-should-work-in-segregated-labs” bullshit.  

Stop. Just stop.

Friday: 5 miles. Was supposed to be 6 miles. Bad Colby. Again. Packed black t-shirt, black shorts, black hat. Died 1,000 deaths. Did not get nauseous. Progress. Did however consume shaker of salt the moment I staggered in the door. Checked weather app before run and this is what I got. (P.S. The actual temp was 86. Liar.)Hot

Saturday: 6.2 mile trail race. This was the second race in that Trail 2 Trail Series I ran a month ago. Such a great race series. If you’re in the Northeast- check ’em out. I ran. I sweated. I got lost. I had a goddamn blast. I love trail races! Although I am quite certain I left with malaria. And a tick borne disease. In a very happy twist, I managed to come in 2nd in my age group and consumed a small watermelon at the finish. YES!

In a heap.

In a heap.

Sunday: 20 mile bike ride at break neck speed. I rode with My Other Half. Which means, I rode a Stage of the Tour. You pretty much know you are screwed when you look at your bike computer and think to yourself: Huh. Check me out! I’m riding well! 25mph. Lookit me go!  Then you glance back up and realize you got dropped LIKE YOU WERE STANDING STILL by your Beloved. He turned the screws on my tired ass. And dropped me like a hot, sweaty potato.  Agony.

But beautiful.

But beautiful.

Total miles run:  Just shy of 30.

Total miles biked: 20. They were a blur.

Gallons of sweat lost: 6.

How long does it take you to get accustomed to running in the heat? Hot weather runner or cold weather runner? How do you hydrate during long runs: hydration vest, hand held or plant water bottles?

Running, Reuniting and Drunk Otis. 

Last week I eaaaaaased back into Marathon Training Mode. And by eased, I mean cannonballed. Straight in. With a big ass splash. I’m using the Hansons Marathon Method and, like I posted last week, am a little freaked out. I’m also bad at counting. And started this whole 18 week thing early. Which really isn’t a big deal, I’m just planning on repeating Week 2 of training because RUNNING. 

I figured out what’s got me spooked. It’s not the lack of a traditional long run in the training program. Nope. That’s not it. 

It’s the speed workouts. Intervals. Strength workouts. Tempo workouts. It’s the -being-tethered-to-my-Garmin-obsessing-about-pace workouts. It’s all stuff that pretty much every runner on the planet does except me.   Why? Because I’m intimidated by it. It makes me sweat. That’s why I don’t do it religiously. I’m more of a run by feel kinda gal. And usually forget my goddamn Garmin because 9 out of 10 times it’s dead. This time, I have a goal. And if I want to achieve it, I need to- in the words of the incomparable Taylor Swift- SHAKE IT OFF. AND GET REAL. So. Here’s what the Fearless, New and Improved Colby ran last week.  

Monday: Easy 6 miles. Well, wait. That’s what it was supposed to be. After our hot, humid, hilly, half-marathon we forgot about last weekend and my 30+ mile zippy ride the next day, I was toast on Monday. So I ran 4 instead. There. I said it. And “Easy” runs in this program aren’t considered fluff. Not every run needs to be a knock down, drag out sufferfest. The volume is beneficial to your body. It’s not junk miles. Besides, suffering is what Tuesday is for. 

Tuesday: 12 x 400, 400 recovery. GAH. 1.5 mile warm up and cool down. GAH. it was the longest time I have spent on a treadmill in all my years on the planet. GAH.  But I did it. YES. And I may have loved it. In that sadistic sweaty way. 

Wednesday: OFF. Sweet Baby Jesus. OFF. 

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: Easy 6 miles. Ran it all and faster than I should have. *slightly puffs up chest*  WINNER!   

Class of 1990

 Sidebar: I also attended my 25 Year High School reunion on Saturday.What in the name of all that is ancient was that about?!?!? 25 YEARS. Damn. I’m getting old. I also realized I had forgotten how much my high school actually means to me. There is something about attending an all-girls high school. There is this sisterhood. It’s really something. Such strong bonds. Such dear life-long friends. Made me choke up a little. Just like it’s doing now. 

Sunday: Easy 8 miles and BOOM nailed my prescribed pace. Legs are tuckered, but I feel a tad- a pinch– more confident. Minimally, I’m learning how to use my Garmin. Oh. And this. This happened Sunday. 

Drunk Otis

 Introducing Otis Brown.! WE GOT HIM! He is just starting to settle in. Drunk Otis, as he will be known, is 11 months old and pretty much goes from being an obedient, athletic, strapping chocolate lab, to a Fraternity Brother on Spring Weekend with a bucket of Jaeger Bombs in the blink of a bloodshot eye. We love him. He’s alllll chocolate lab. Through and through. So far, Leon James hasn’t eaten him. I am convinced they will be BFFs. Evil Beagle, however is wondering when the hell someone is coming to cart his drunk brown ass away. Girlfriend is BENT. 

Total Miles Run: Roughly 39. 

Total Number of Memories Relived and Laughs Had at Reunion: 10,000.

Total Number of Dogs: 3.

I’d say I’m off to a solid start. 🙂

Are you a Pace Head or a Run By Feel kinda runner? Have you attended any momentous occasions lately? Am I going to die a Crazy Dog Lady?  

MMMbop. It’s Training Time!

ermahgerd hernserns mahtherd

How fitting that Marathon Training Kick Off week coincides with National Running Day! Or should I say MAHRERTHERN TRERNIN! EMG is right. I just got nauseous. That kinda snuck up on me. It’s time to get my Run Face on, lace up my Newton’s and get real. This time I mean business. This is the year I will give it all I’ve got. Yeah, I’m looking at you Boston. I’ve got my eye on qualifying.  And I’m mixing this shit up a lil’ bit. I’ve decided to use Hansons Marathon Method. Unorthodox, I know. Crazy? Maybe.

The Hansons Method eliminates the Uber-Long Run and the Uber High-Mileage weekend, two age old staples in marathon training. Training for a marathon without an 18, 20 or even 22 miler kinda makes me itch. It would really make me burst out in hives if this were my first marathon, but it’s not. It’s my 8th. And quite frankly, if I am focused on my goal of a running a Boston qualifying time, I need to re-focus my training plans. If I hadn’t seen how well my Other Half’s marathon training had gone using this method, I probably wouldn’t have considered it. He was super ballsy doing this plan for his first marathon. I was worried he would lack the pre-requisite mental confidence that is gained with a 20 mile run. (Uh, no. He didn’t.) Hold on to your butts, Poodles! Here are the cliff notes to the Hansons’ radical marathon training method!Jaw Drop Wreck It Ralph

  • No Weekly Long Run. You max out at 16 miles. Pick your jaw up off of the floor. It’s true.
  • No Back to Back Super Long Runs. That doesn’t mean you won’t be running your face off, your just not following your 20-miler with another doozy the next morning. ‘Cuz there’s no 20 miler. *Gasp!*
  • You will run 6 days a week. Consistency is key.  It’s about the quality of miles run and not necessarily the quantity of miles run. But believe me, you are RUNNING.
  • You will run speed, strength and tempo workouts that are focused on your goal pace. Goal pace is key with this plan. And if I want to run a particular qualifying time? Duh. It’s time to focus on my pace. No slacking, Colby. Strap on your Garmin. See this oval thing? It’s a track. You’re gonna remember how much you loved each other.
  • Other than prescribed workouts, your runs will be grouped into Easy Runs (1-2 minutes slower than goal pace) and Something Of Substance Runs (SOS). Keep your eyes glued towards the heavens. You will see me sending up SOS flares from time to time. I am sure of it. Gah.
  • Fresh Legs? Forget ‘em. You’re not going to have them. And that’s for a reason. This method’s focus is on the last 16 miles of the race. Bonking? What bonking? This plan emphasizes Active Recovery, hence your Easy Runs.

What does all this mean for you, Dear Reader? Fasten your 5-point harness, because you’re going to be getting Colby’s Hansons Training Updates with frequency! Aren’t you lucky!  I apologize in advance. But it’s true. At least they might make you giggle. I think I need to put ’em out there to keep me honest. I am locked and loaded. I’ve been running for years. Enough. It’s BQ Time.I run

I would be remiss if I didn’t say: Happy National Running Day! Remember to hug another runner! Why do you run? I run to overcome! I run because slapping people is frowned upon! I run because it keeps me whole! I run to experience The Thrill of the Done. Giving it all you have. During that run. On that day. In that moment. There is simply nothing better. Happy Running Friends! 🙂

God, I love running.

God, I love running.

 What marathon training method do you use? Would you be comfortable training for your next marathon WITHOUT The Long Run? Am I nuts?