Run with the Beavers 10 Miler

As I mentioned yesterday, I ran my first trail race this weekend. The Run with the Beavers Trail Race was at Casimir Pulaski Memorial State Park in Chepachet, RI. There was a 5 mile and 10 mile option. Registration was only $15 when I signed up last week, and several of my NP friends paid $5 over the winter. If only road races were that affordable…

When I first saw that NP people were running a race in Rhode Island, I didn’t even look at a map when I commented, “I’m in! It’s on my way to Jamestown.” The guy who posted about the event commented back, “You take an interesting way home…” Rhode Island is a tiny state but Chepachet is in the far left hand corner of the state on the Connecticut border. It was in the middle of nowhere, although I did go to Stop & Shop for bug spray on my way.

I left Boston around 6:45am Saturday (apparently bagel places open at 7am here so I had to go to Dunkin Donuts- the worst). The race was just over an hour away. When I got to the race around 8 for the 9am start, a lot of the other NP people were already there. The race was small with about 250 runners total, so the bib pickup process was easy. There were a couple of people sitting at a picnic table with a list of runners, you gave your name, and they handed you a bib. The end.

november project trail race

We hung around for a bit chatting until it was time to start. I’ve heard it from several people but had never experienced it for myself. Trail races are very low-key. We moseyed our way over to the start when they announced the race would be starting 15 minutes late due to traffic. They explained the course briefly and off we went. I think there was a gun, but I can’t remember.

I had no idea how I would do in a trail race. I am a very cautious person in general so I figured I’d be running much slower than my normal pace, but I had nothing to compare it to. It’s different than a cross country race because those aren’t technical, they’re just in the woods on a smooth trail. I only saw a few splits but the ones I saw ranged from 8:45-11.

The course was two five-mile loops. The first 1/2 mile was on a gravel road and then it went into a single-track course. There were fallen trees to jump over, small hills, steep downhills, and stunning views of a lake. Around mile 2.5 we were back on a gravel road where they had a water stop. They forgot to buy cups so they pulled together whatever they could find- mostly solo cups. The water was warm but it was 80 degrees out so I was happy with anything

We continued on the gravel road for a bit before heading back onto the more technical trails around mile 3. I made up time on the roads and then people would catch me on the trails. At mile 4 there was a tiny dirt hill and I stepped the wrong way with my right foot which caused a sharp pain in my knee. It was pretty painful but it felt okay after a few steps so I kept going. If it hurt or altered my gait, I would have stopped and walked to the finish.

After that, I was much more cautious and definitely slowed down significantly. I came through the 5 mile mark which was the finish line, grabbed water, and started loop 2. The second lap was much of the same, but I was trying to be more careful about my footing which in some ways made me trip more. The further into the race I got, the more times I rolled an ankle. At first it didn’t make much sense because we’d already run the loop once. Other people said the same thing, so it probably has to do with form breaking down as you get tired.

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fading fast…

The last mile was the hardest part for me. I haven’t run more than 9 miles since last November and it was getting hotter. There was a semi-steep hill near the end that I did a walk-run up before someone from NP came up behind me and dragged me with him. We ran to the end.

They haven’t posted the results but I remember seeing 1:37:49 just before I crossed the line, so my guess is I was somewhere around 1:38. My watch has an auto-pause feature so every time I stopped for water, it would stop and take several seconds to catch up once I started running again, so my time isn’t accurate on that (it says I ran 1:36).

november project trail race

After the race ended, they did a mini-awards ceremony. One of the girls from NP came in 2nd (10 minutes faster than me) and got a little beaver for her trophy. They had some chips ahoy cookies, bananas, and fritos to munch on and then they asked random questions, such as who fell the hardest, to “raffle” off t-shirts, hydration belts, and more.

Overall this was a great experience and good practice for the trail race I’m running in San Francisco in December. I’m not sure I’m cut out for the trail racing life because I’m so injury-prone and I’m very cautious on non-paved surfaces. I do love how low-key the races are and how friendly everyone is, and that it’s impossible to worry about pace because every race is so different in terms of technicality. It’s a very different vibe from a road race where there is much more pressure and it felt like a relaxed run in the woods with friends.

Have you ever run a trail race?

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Racing, Car Troubles, and Sailing

This weekend was crazy. I got out of work Friday night and drove to my aunt’s house just outside the city. She bought my cousin a bike for college that she never took out of the box, so she gave it to me to get around the city. My family is the best. I drove back to my aunt’s condo, ate dinner, and sat on the couch reading until I went to bed at 8:57pm. Friday night rager, party of 1.

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I sent this to my friend after he asked if I pay people to follow me around and take my picture when I work out

Saturday morning I was up bright and early to head to Rhode Island for a race! I haven’t raced since November (?) and I’ve never done a trail race so it was a totally new experience to me. I’ll recap it later this week, but it was on the RI/Connecticut border in the middle of nowhere. It was only $15 and a ton of NP people were going so I thought, “It’s in RI which means it’s on the way home, so why not?” (It was not even close to on the way home) I arrived at the race, grabbed my bib, chatted with some NP people, and off we went.

november project trail race

I haven’t run 10 miles since last fall and haven’t run in trails since my cross country days but overall it was a great experience. I twisted my knee around mile 4 and it’s a bit swollen, so I’m cutting out the majority of my running miles this week to see if it gets better.

november project trail race

When I was driving down the ramp in the garage Saturday morning, something seemed off with my brakes. Right before I left Baltimore, they told me my brake pads were nearing the end of their lifespan, so I figured that’s what it was. I called the Toyota dealership near my parents’ house and made an appointment. It has a complimentary nail salon inside to kill time while you wait. I was loving life until they dropped a bomb. My front caliper was frozen meaning I’ve been driving around without front brakes for who knows how long. I’ve been contemplating selling my car, but I’m not ready yet and you kind of need brakes to drive, so I forked over a full month’s rent to fix it. That hurt.

I can get everyone on a bike, right?

I can get everywhere by bike, right?

When I finally made it to Jamestown Saturday afternoon, I had a snack and took a shower while I waited for my mom to get back from kayaking. I laid on the hammock for a bit and then once my mom and brother got home, we walked down to the marina to go sailing.

hammock

Folk Festival is one of the biggest weekends of the year in Jamestown/Newport. It’s one of those weekends where you don’t leave the house because there’s just many people. One of the perks of owning a boat is being able to sail over to listen to the music without going to the concert. It can be messy trying to anchor next to hundreds of boats, so we just did a quick drive by.

boatlife

Then we went for a sail because it was a gorgeous night out. The wind was light which made sailing tolerable for me, although my brother thinks it’s funny that I’m afraid of it so he’d try to find the wind gusts to make the boat tip. Towards the end of our sail, he caught an especially large gust of wind that caused me to panic and I spent the last half hour or so in my bedroom below deck.

Expectations

Expectations

Reality.

Reality. Hanging out with my mom’s tube.

We got home around 8 and we were all starving. That’s really late for us and I hadn’t gotten to eat much due to spending all afternoon at the car dealership. My mom made steak tips, pasta, and green beans. My favorite. By the time we finished eating it was almost 9 so I ate a bowl of ice cream and headed upstairs to bed. My dad asked if I wanted to go for a swim and I looked at him like he had 18 heads. Past my bedtime.

Sunday morning my mom and I went for a walk around the island, ate breakfast and did some yard work (picking up stray golf balls from the golf course that make it into our backyard). My dad helped me build my bike and we went down to the boat to do some work there. After lunch my dad and I went for a bike ride to Beavertail and back. We only went about 14 miles but it was beautiful out. I haven’t used my bike in a couple months and I always turn him down when he goes so I’m glad we went.

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Then we headed to my grandparents’ beach house. My dad, grandfather and I went to their beach club in the late afternoon. I walked back around 5 because I was hangry and to be perfectly honest, I’m not a beach person. My aunt and uncle came for dinner and my mom bought me a red velvet cupcake because everyone else was having pie. She does love me!😉

red velvet cupcake

good frosting, dry cake

I didn’t leave Jamestown until 9pm Sunday night, hoping to miss most of the Folk Festival traffic. No such luck. I got back to Boston around 10:45 and passed out without bothering to unpack or lay anything out for the morning. Which, by the way, was a giant struggle. I had to pry my eyes open, my legs felt like lead, I biked on a pretty dangerous road to Charlestown because I didn’t know there was a path, and I opted out of running to NP to give my knee a break. But I felt 100x better because I went and saw so many people that are becoming my good friends.

November project

So many things going on here

This week is filled with excitement- I met Haley (a blog reader/NP-goer) for dinner and ice cream last night, I’m having dinner and ice cream with Jenna, Jon, and Jana tomorrow, and Thursday I’m flying back to Baltimore for a weekend with friends and family! This week will be tough to beat.

What was the best part about your weekend?

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Workouts 7/18-7/24

This was another really good week. My mileage jumped up quite a bit thanks to a last minute decision to run a trail race Saturday morning in Rhode Island, but otherwise it was same old, same old. I got a little bit of everything in and every workout was enjoyable.

Mon– 5.5ish miles November Project Destination Deck

This workout was weird- in the best way possible. That’s really the only way to describe it. We met at Hoyt Field in Cambridge just over 2 miles from my aunt’s condo. The workout began with some dynamic warmups (high knees, grapevine, sprints, etc.).

November Project

Baltimore pride

Then we got into groups of 4. One person held a plank, the second person did leg lifts, and the third did burpees, all while the fourth person chased one of the co-leaders. Then we rotated for maybe 10-15 minutes? From there, we paired up with one person and did Bojans- one person lays in child’s pose while the other jumps over, then the person in child’s pose moves into down dog and the jumper crawls under.

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Finally, we did a bizarre exercise called “tick tocks” We held hands with our partner and did leg lifts while shifting to the other side. It was as awkward as it looks. November Project, always pushing me a little bit further outside my comfort zone.

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Tues– 7.5 miles with The Breakfast Club + yoga at Xtend Barre

Ran a mile to and from Audubon where we met for The Breakfast Club. Kaitlin and I ran together and we did a loop around JP pond. The early miles were in the 8-8:30 range but the latter ones were 7:30-7:45. Way too fast for me to be running on an “easy” day so I will have to pull back a bit if I do run with them consistently. After work, I totally forgot I had signed up for a yoga class through ClassPass. It was too late to cancel without paying the cancellation fee so I went to get a good stretch in. It wasn’t a heated class and it was very restorative, so I’m glad I went because I wasn’t tight after.

Breakfast Club

Wed– 6 miles + November Project Stadium

I think the yoga actually helped because my legs felt great Wednesday morning. I ran the 3 miles to the stadium, didn’t feel all that tight, and flew through the workout. We were supposed to do 40 sections. I did the first 37 sections (our race day workout) more than 4 minutes faster than I did on PR day a few weeks ago. The weather was cool for once so I decided to stay and do another 10 sections with the 6:30 group. Then ran home.

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Thurs – Yoga on the roof at the Colonnade hotel

I was signed up for another yoga class through ClassPass but then Kyndal asked if I wanted to go to the rooftop yoga class and I was all about it. The class was only $15 and it was by far the best yoga class I’ve taken since moving to Boston. It’s offered from 7-8am every Tuesday and Thursday through Labor Day. I loved the instructor, the weather was gorgeous, and it was more of a flow than some of the others I’ve been to.

yoga

Fri – 7.5 miles November Project Hills for Breakfast

Woke up 15 minutes before my alarm and moseyed my way over to Summit Ave. My legs were tired but I’m noticing a huge correlation between the heat/humidity and how my body feels so I’m sure that had something to do with it. I ran 2.5 miles each way to and from the workout and then ran a couple of hills. We did a ladder workout where we turned around at various points on the hill. It was brutal. Every time we reached the top, we did 10 burpees. I ran in a sports bra and was wicked sweaty, so of course I ended up covered in dirt. Last time I ever do real burpees (chest to the ground) without a shirt on in the summer. Actually, probably not. Whatever. Sorry if you were the lucky ones to get my first and ONLY “ab selfie” ever. It will never happen again, selfies are bad enough, but body selfies are straight up weird. I just had to share how much dirt I was covered in.

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Sat – 10 miles Run with the Beavers trail race

Recap to come! Short version: This was a last minute decision mid-week because it was in Rhode Island so it was “on my way home” (not even close). I had a lot of fun, got to know some more NP people, liked the vibe of trail races, definitely jacked up my knee a little bit, and didn’t faceplant.

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Sun – Easy walk with my mom + short bike ride wth my dad

This week will be much lighter. I didn’t plan for my mileage to get up that high but running that race put me over a bit, so I plan on easing up a bit this week. Next weekend I’m trying to fit in a few spin/yoga classes with my favorite instructors in Baltimore, but there will also be a lot less activity in general because I’ll be spending so much time in the car and at our family reunion. My body could use the break.

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Belated Thinking Out Loud

Here I am a day late for Thinking Out Loud. Whoops. Life got the best of me which I imagine will be happening more and more. I’m not usually late to the party (OCD about being everywhere early) but my real life will always come before my blog life.

1) This week has been the best. It’s taken awhile, but I’m having a lot more moments where I say to myself, “holy sh!t. You’re living in the city you’ve always dreamed about. This is awesome.” At first, most of my thoughts were of the “This was a giant mistake” variety. Of course there are things I still struggle with (taking a new job- despite being in the same industry- is a huge adjustment and I do miss my old company, still not having my own apartment and feeling guilty about living on my aunt’s living room floor) but on a day-to-day basis, I’m feeling pretty good about life.

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2) One of my friends was checking in with me the other day and asked how things were going, and I had an “aha” moment. In Baltimore I woke up to workout with friends, went to work, walked home, and sat on the couch by myself until it was time for bed. Weekends were spent with a significant other. Here in Boston, I wake up to go workout with friends, then I go to work, come home, and sit on the couch by myself until bed. Weekends I go home. My life really isn’t all that different here and that made me feel a lot better.

Starting the day with rooftop yoga is never a bad thing

Starting the day with rooftop yoga is never a bad thing

3) I’m sleeping really well, which is shocking given that I’ve been sleeping on an air mattress for 6 weeks. It’s actually pretty comfortable and doesn’t bother me at all. I didn’t expect to sleep well in someone else’s home though. I just figured I would have to go back to taking melatonin every night which is not the case.

apartment

4) I think the reason I sleep so well is because I’m walking more than ever. My commute alone is about 5-6 miles round trip. That’s a lot of walking when you add in all the running miles too. By the end of the day I’m exhausted and can’t wait to crawl onto my air mattress and pass out. Usually before 9pm. Given that I’m awake before 6am just about every day, it makes sense.

5) Because of the extra activity, I eat significantly more than I used to. I eat a bigger lunch now and a bigger dinner. Plus more snacks. I generally hate lunch foods so this took some adjusting and I switched my dinner of salad + potato to lunch and started making pasta and chicken for dinner. I’ve reached a point where I can feel it after dinner if I haven’t eaten enough that day and will snack on sesame sticks before bed if I’m still feeling hungry. Intuitive eating at its finest.

Or getting pizza for lunch just because... my eyes were bigger than my stomach on this one

Or getting pizza for lunch just because… my eyes were bigger than my stomach on this one

6) While I’m eating balanced most days, there’s also room for treats. It’s too tempting to walk past Copley Square and not stop for a whoopie pie at the farmers market. They’re homemade and delicious and filled with the best frosting. Obsessed. I’ve tried the red velvet and funfetti so far. Funfetti blew the red velvet out of the water, which is saying something. I think this might be a new Tuesday tradition. Tuesdays suck, so I might as well give myself something to look forward to.

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7) One night I woke up at 2am with a raging appetite. As in, I was so hungry I couldn’t fall back to sleep. So naturally I got up, grabbed a handful of sesame sticks, and sat on the couch until I was finished before sleeping for another 3 hours.

8) My aunt has Red Sox season tickets. My brother was supposed to go but couldn’t get there in time so she gave them to me instead. I invited one of my best friends from high school and two of my newer November Project friends. We grabbed food at El Pelon Taqueria and then walked over to the game. I’ve never sat in her new seats but they had a perfect view of the field and nobody was in front of us. They ended up winning but by 9:45 they were only on the 5th inning so we didn’t make it to the end. Couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night in my favorite city.

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9) I don’t take pictures of food that often anymore, but I’ve been eating so many delicious things lately that I just can’t help myself. We repeatedly said throughout the night, “we’re only here for the ice cream.” That’s not entirely true as I do come from a pretty avid Red Sox family, but ice cream > everything.

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10) No more food talk, I promise. I’m going to California! One of my best friends is moving to San Francisco next month and I was planning on visiting this fall. Some people from November Project signed up for one of the North Face Endurance Challenge races and everything clicked. We created a team and that was that. I’ve been dying to do one of their races since I always seem to miss out (mostly because I’m indecisive, cheap, and hate planning that far in advance). This is the year of “YES.” I. Can’t. Wait.

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11) ONE week from today I’ll be in Baltimore! I can’t wait to see all of my old coworkers, friends, family, etc. But I’m also excited for closure. Of course it’s not the last time I’ll ever visit, but it is the last time I’ll be there as a “resident.” It’s bittersweet, but I’m really glad I waited a few months before going back. It gave me time to adjust and give Boston a chance. This move has been scary and I’ve questioned my decision so many times but I did something without looking for reassurance for once, and that’s a great feeling.

12) Can you tell life is pretty good right now?

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Have you ever been to San Francisco?

Do you like going to baseball games?

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WIAW: Boston Edition

I haven’t done a WIAW in a long time. I don’t cook and I eat the same foods every day for the most part, so it’s not very exciting to see what I eat. I also think that while it’s not the intention of the linkup, it can lead to judgment and comparison. So this is my disclaimer once again that what works for me might not work for you. I don’t necessarily eat a conventionally “healthy” diet, but I’ve found what makes me feel my best.

Since I’m nosy, I do love reading a day in the life posts, so that’s what I’ll do here. I’ll use Monday as an example.

5:45am- alarm goes off for November Project. I sleep in my clothes so I don’t have to think about it. All I do is brush my teeth, throw my sneakers on, grab my key, and head out the door.

6:00am- run to November Project. The workout was about 2 miles from where I live. I typically walk anywhere a block to a half mile, depending on how my legs are feeling. They felt good on Monday, so I started running almost immediately. I arrive at November Project around 6:17am, hug a few people hello, wait for the workout to start. I try to get there at least 5-10 minutes early so I can settle in before we begin. It can be overwhelming walking into a stadium of 500 people.

November Project

6:30am- Workout begins. This week we did a bunch of smaller workouts so it was less cohesive than normal, but I enjoyed it a lot. We did a dynamic warmup followed by burpees, leg lifts, planks, sprints, tick toks, and Bojans. I’ll go into more detail on the specific workouts we did Monday.

November project

7:20am- run home the long way so I could run with other people from NP. They all head towards Brighton/Allston so I mosey my way back to Fenway/Back Bay area on my own. It only adds about half a mile.

November Project

7:40am– Get back to my aunt’s condo, hop in the shower, grab my lunch out of the fridge, and throw a bagel in the toaster. I pack my lunch and lay my clothes out the night before to cut back on time. I like to stay at the workouts for as long as possible, so I try to cut corners to speed up the getting ready process afterwards.

7:55am– Walk out the door for work. On non-NP days, I leave closer to 7:45. I eat my bagel while I’m walking and pick up a hot chocolate on the way from 7-Eleven. Depending on time, I either go to the one by Copley or Downtown Crossing. I listen to music and occasionally read a few blogs on my way.

old picture from baltimore but you get the idea

old picture from my interning days in baltimore but you get the idea

8:45am- arrive at my office in the Seaport. I immediately start uploading reports from the night before so they’re ready for our morning meeting.

9:00am- round up meeting before the company-wide meeting at 9:30. We go over any campaigns behind pace, campaigns performing well, things coming in the pipeline, or any other relevant topics.

10:00am- work on any reporting or launching campaigns. I’m still training so I do whatever anyone needs help with or has time to show me.

12:00pm- lunch! We usually walk over to Lawn on D to eat. I pretty much always bring a grilled chicken salad with a roasted potato on the side. Occasionally I pack some berries or grapes too. There aren’t a ton of lunch options nearby so packing is a necessity these days.

Grilled chicken salad

Another old picture

potatoes

1:00pm- Back to work. I again work on anything that is assigned to me by members of my team. This could involve sitting in on calls, going to meetings, pulling more reporting (my favorite), or setting up campaigns. The analytics and reporting is what I enjoy the most, and it happens to be what the people on my team don’t like to do.

3:00pm- Snacktime. We have an entire wall of snacks in the kitchen. It’s hard not to eat them all because they’re not exactly “healthy” foods. Sometimes I’ll have a few oreos, Monday I ate triscuits, yesterday was Goldfish, and I also really love smartfood. It gets dangerous having unlimited snacks around all the time. I keep waiting for the appeal to wear off but it hasn’t yet…

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5:00pm– Time to go home! My coworkers and I generally walk to South Station together and then part ways. I walk home through Boston Common (prettiest commute ever).

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6:00pm- Arrive home, make dinner. I’ve been making some sort of pasta dish lately. I don’t cook much so that’s either tortellini with pesto or breaded TJ’s chicken and plain pasta. Simple and quick.

tortellini

7:00pm– One of my best friends calls me a few nights a week and Monday is one of our nights to catch up. He filled me in on his trip to San Francisco and we talked about our weekends. I also ate some TJ’s dark chocolate wedges.

chocolate wedges

8:00pm–  Read blogs, finish up a blog post, pack lunch, and lay out everything I need for tomorrow. Lately I’ve been torn between wanting to do something like take a yoga class and wanting to sit on the couch and zone out. This week is a little crazy so I almost wish I had more free nights.

8:45pm- Get in “bed” and wind down by reading a book on my iPad.

9:00pm- Lights out! #grandmastatus. I get up between 4:45-5:45 every morning and need at least 8 hours of sleep, so early bedtimes are the norm. My aunt happened to be staying with me Monday night and she didn’t get home from her business trip until after I was already asleep.

What time do you typically wake up and go to bed?

Do you make your lunch the night before?

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