Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Study Break

6 little days are all that separate me from freedom!!

6 days until the biggest test of my life. Terrifying and SO exciting at the same time.

I have barely had time to squeeze some itty-bitty runs in for the past 2 months, never mind time for blogging, but I'm hoping I'm able to return after I finish the bar next Thursday.

In the meantime, here's a recipe for a smoothie that I've been enjoying a lot of lately! 

Strawberry Banana Brain Food

1 Banana 
1 cup vanilla almond milk (more if you like it thinner)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
5 frozen strawberries

It's a great breakfast smoothie and always keeps me full until lunch! Looking forward to sharing workout habits for full-time studiers when I'm back!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Group Fitness

So, I'm finished with law school.

Well that sentence was a long time coming! Yesterday was my first full day off from school, and it still hasn't really hit me that 3 of the most challenging years of my education are over. With some extra time off before the studying starts again, there has also been some extra time for fitness.

The other day I tried November Project for the first time (check out their website!) and nearly died as I ran the 37 flights at Harvard Stadium. Such a great workout, I've been back to do it once since! NP also runs Summit Hill on Friday mornings right near my apartment, so I plan on joining them for a few of those, too.

CM is training for a Tough Mudder on the first weekend of June, so I've joined him on his training runs. We stop at local schools and use their jungle gyms for obstacles. (Or just act like little kids). It's been fun!
Probably not working hard enough but having fun.

Pull-ups at the jungle gym.

Harvard looking extra pretty at sunrise.

Delicious snack from yesterday: KIND honey-nut granola, vanilla greek yogurt (2% Cabot), honey, and almond butter.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Race Recap - Spring Classic 5k

When CM asked me to run a 5k last week, I immediately declined because finals are right around the corner. (Last one's ever!!! happy dance)

Anyways, he started to talk me into it, so I said, "Okay, I'll run one if the proceeds go to The One Fund." (The charity established by the city of Boston to benefit the victims of the marathon attack - donate. do it.)

He informed me that this one didn't benefit the one fund, so again I declined. Finally, he talked me into it when he said it benefited the Special Olympics (something that hits close to CM's family), aaaaand there was free beer at the end. Okay, I'm in.

So we ran the Spring Classic 5K this morning in Cambridge, and I'm so glad we did!!

First of all, it was a PERFECT day for a race. Sunny, 65 degrees, not a cloud in the sky.

Second of all, I PR'd! When we found ourselves at the very front of the starting line, I decided to really push it and try to run the race competitively (something I don't normally do during any race, never-mind 5ks). Well I ran it in 20:38 (6:38 min miles), and I finished 1st in my age group (19-29), and 4th woman over-all. I was thrilled! I also thought I was going to puke.... the whole time. At about 2.6 our friend AD ran next to me and tried to strike up a conversation. I gave him a look of death and told him to keep running. He helped motivate me to speed it up at the finish though. It was a great flat course, and pretty much an out and back into Harvard Square. Afterwards we enjoyed a free beer ($$$), and then I got some breakfast outside with CM. All in all a lovely Sunday!

Now it's time to hit the books....

I look like a hillbilly thanks to the shadows.. 
CM, AD, and VP - great race buddies!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Unfinished Race

I'm just finally finding time to sit down and put my thoughts on Monday's tragedy to (metaphorical) paper.

Needless to say, this week has been different than any other, and I've been finding myself pretty distracted: Refreshing my twitter news feed constantly, always reloading, finding tedious tasks pointless, and definitely looking at it all with a new perspective.

4 minutes are what put us between the second bomb on Boylston, and the point before the underpass where we were finally stopped. That means if I didn't stop to pose for CM's picture, if T hadn't hugged her mother at the foot of heartbreak, or if CS hadn't kissed her courageous police man in Autobahn Circle, there's a high probability that that's exactly where we would've been. 

The "what if" game...

 It can't be avoided after events like Monday's. After I run through the list of my "what ifs" (and they go on: What if my parents were standing in the same spot they had on Boylston the first time I ran the Boston Marathon? What if CM had been able to get on that first train in Cleaveland Circle and had been waiting for me at the finish line?...) I start to think of those families that are playing the what if game in the exact opposite way I am: For the Richard's family - What if he hadn't run the race this year at all? For Krystle Campbell - what if she had just been standing somewhere a little further away? For the BU Grad Student - What if she had chosen an entirely different country to visit? What if, what if, what if...

My heart is broken for them. For their families. For all of those who are injured physically and mentally. For those who will be healing from the scars of April 15, 2013 for years to come. A senseless act of violence on such a beautiful and perfect day.

It was no more than 2 hours before the bombing that I said to CS and T, the two first-timers I was running with, that Marathon Monday is such an amazing day for Boston. A day where people come together to celebrate as a community the millions of dollars raised for some of the most important causes in the world: Cancer research, homelessness, for the perseverance of the human spirit. 

My heart is broken for the loss and pain, for the fact that my first timers were robbed of that life-changing experience of taking that left turn onto Boylston, seeing those blue and yellow letters, and knowing amazing feeling of crossing that finish-line after months of training. After the physical and mental test of the past 26.2 miles. A test that teaches you so much about yourself and about life.

I am angered and saddened, but even more than that I am determined and inspired. I am inspired by the acts of kindness of the runners who continued to MGH and were turned away because so much blood had already been given for the victims. I am inspired by my amazing friends who rescued us at BU opened their homes and arms for those who couldn't get home right away. I am determined, as are CS and T who have already signed up for their next marathon in just a month, and VM for her half. I am determined to run Boston again.

At first I said, "I might be too scared to ever run this race again," to go down Boylston Street and to see that finish line. But then I think, the 118th Boston Marathon will surely be the biggest yet, because Boston and America won't let those terrorists win. We cannot let hate drive out what so much love has come to accomplish. So remind me again, when I need it most, in late March of next year - when I'm hating the blisters and cramps and long runs dodging snow piles: This time it's for those who can't.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Final Countdown

So the marathon is in the 10 day forecast and I am getting so excited!

Cross your fingers, and say your prayers, and wear your pajamas inside out so that the weathermen/women will be right on this one, because that's some perfect marathon weather!

After a weekend of marathon drinking (whoops) and a whopping 2 hours of sleep last night (thank you 4am wakeup and insomnia) I sure hope I have what it takes to run 26.2 on Monday!

I have a feeling pure adrenaline, the crowd, and these two lovely ladies will have what it takes to get me through! 

hydrating... or something like that.

goofing around

Steps to the Pru - getting this city excited!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

This is a great recipe for herbivores like myself who want a healthy, protein packed, filling meal. It's a little time consuming, but for the most part easy and delicious!

1 cup quinoa
1 cup veggie broth
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
handful of diced cilantro
1 half lime juiced
Cyan pepper to season
1 3cup bag of Mozzarella cheese
1 avocado
4 peppers (red, green, yellow, or orange)

1) I found the recipe for the Mexican Quinoa on one of my favorite blogs Peanut Butter Runner. Follow her recipe there for the stuffing of these peppers. (I changed it up a bit based on my tastes as you can see from the ingredients above, but it's basically the same).

2) While you are making your quinoa, heat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tops (the stems and about a 1/2 inch of top) off the peppers, and scoop out the seeds and insides into the trash.

3) Rinse the peppers and fit them into a 9x9 glass dish

4) When the quinoa is finished, scoop it into the peppers until they are half full. Sprinkle in a layer of cheese. Scoop in more quinoa until the peppers are full. Top with more cheese. Cook the peppers for 20 minutes or until the peppers are soft and the cheese is melted.

5) Remove fromt he oven and let cool. Serve with leftover quinoa and slice up avocados. Squeeze the rest of the lime over the peppers for extra flavor.

So tasty and jam packed with protein from the cheese and quinoa! Tell me if you can eat more than one at a time because I was stuffed!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

what 20 miles looks like

Okay, so this isn't really what 20 miles looks like, but it's the only photo I have from our 20 miler on Sunday. (Plus, it was my treat after the long distance, and it's way more interesting than sneaker pics).

Chill is an amazing frozen yogurt place in Cleveland Circle right next to my old apartment, and I just can't let it go. I couldn't think of a better reward after 20 miles than coconut froyo, fresh mangos, strawberries, and bananas.

Back to the run: The poor hungover amazing CM drove over an hour to drop T and I off in Ashland, just 3 miles from the Hopkington and the start of the Boston Marathon. Ashland didn't provide us with much to look at, but it was exciting to run our whole run on the actual route, and Natick, Newton, and Wellesley are really beautiful. I was a little overdressed for the 45 degree weather and sunshine, but I'm not complaining with all of the snow we've had while training. T and I stopped at mile 13 for a water/GU break, and hit the hills hard at mile 15 when we turned onto Commonwealth Ave. We stopped again for water outside of Hearbreak Hill Running Company. I'm dying to buy some of their gear, and they're always so great about putting out water and cups for runners.

It turned out to only be 19 miles when we finally reached Cleveland Circle, so as much as we dreaded it, we took a lap around the reservoir to make it a full 20 miles. It was definitely tough, but it feels amazing to finally get that last long run out of the way. We have a couple more weeks of tapering (a 13 miler and a 10 miler before the big day), but we are definitely excited for it to get here!

In other news, a new favorite brussel sprout recipe (I'm hoping to incorporate more healthy recipes!):

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 lb of brussel sprouts (Or I used 2 bags of pre-packaged ones from Trader Joes)
2 cloves garlic
Block of parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Cut sprouts in half and remove wilted outside leaves, rinse sprouts
2. Mince 2 (or more if desired) cloves of garlic
3. In a bowl, toss sprouts, minced garlic, and a generous amount of olive oil (maybe 3-5 tbl spoons)
5. Grate fresh parmesan and mix all of this together in the bowl, and season with sea salt and pepper
6. Spread on a non-stick oven safe pan, or grease a 9x1 3 glass dish
7. Roast for 40-50 minutes until outside leaves are golden brown and middle is tender

These are delicious and so easy! I can eat them by the bowl-full!

Monday, March 18, 2013

I'm back!

Don't know if that title should be quite that enthusiastic.

I'm back to the grind of school & job after a wonderful trip to sunny, beautiful, warm Florida... ugh.

Only about a month left, though, and then onto new and exciting chapters!

Florida was perfect for recharging my batteries. I made sure to get in a long run, jogs on the beach, and lots of resting and relaxation. 

Stretching/posing after 10miles.. need to get that arm straight!

The roof deck was gorgeous and the perfect spot for some stretches. This is my favorite 'bird of paradise' and 'runner's lunge' which really stretches your quad well.
Taking time to smell the flowers :) 
This was right in the middle of mile 7 for us! It was perfect. I think we were well under the speed limit.

Showing my running partner, motivator, and biggest supporter some love.

Paddleboarding! I've been dying to try this. Definitely want to rent some on the Charles this summer.

In something besides workout clothes (which I swear I didn't wear them all trip)!

Sunset on the last night. Missing Captiva already!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


This is definitely one of my life manifestos.

I love to travel and see new places, and am thrilled to be jet setting south today to Florida!

This vacation will probably be filled with lots of relaxing and adult beverages, but I promise a few long runs and pictures when I'm back!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

a quarter century

A quarter century!?! holy &*^% that sounds like a long time...

As of this week, that's how long I've been alive. 

Sort of makes me want to throw up. 

Joking aside, I really can't believe I turned 25 on Monday. I think this is the age I'm going to stay at for the rest of my life, if you know what I mean. My mom and I used to talk about how when we were little girls we could never picture ourselves getting past a certain age, so we were really uncertain as to what was going to happen to us once we reached that age... (morbid, huh?)

Relax, my age was 23... and I'm still truckin' 2 years later.

In honor of the fact that I am now officially closer to 30 than 20, and definitely ripe with wisdom, I thought I would share some of my hard-learned and favorite lessons from the last 25 years:

*When you treat your body right through health and fitness, it rewards you in ways you never imagined - like giving you the ability to run marathons, climb mountains, or simply the ability to walk down the stairs in the morning.
*Always be thankful for these and all of your abilities, especially because there's millions of people out there who aren't fortunate enough to have them.
*Waterproof mascara is always a MUST, especially for the initial viewing of PS I love you (right, JNR?)
*Breakups are always going to suck. You get hurt. You hurt someone. However, they are also some of the best teachers - learn from them. Learn about yourself, how you want to be treated, how others deserve to be treated.
*Never settle.
*Education is important. Treasure it. People can steal all of your worldly possessions, but they can never take away your knowledge, beliefs, and opinions. Also remember, not all learning has to be done in the classroom or in books.
*Always. Always. Always. treasure your girlfriends. Relationships with your closest friends are different from any other. They understand you on a level that a lover can't, and their support is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. Be the kind of friend you'd want to have.
*When in doubt - eat the ice cream... Or the cupcake, or the oreo, or the MEGA STUFFED oreo. Life's too short to worry about that extra dimple on your butt. (Right VM?!).
*Listen to your mother. She is always right (as much as I hate to admit that). Don't be afraid to share things with her, it will make you closer. Besides, she was a naive/inexperienced/scared kid once, too, why not learn from her mistakes? (Kidding, Mom.)
*Stay close to your siblings (Rights, MattK?) If you want to know why, listen to the Sunscreen Song.
*Never take yourself too seriously. No one else does.
*Travel. (But don't always drink the water).

If you made it through that whole list you deserve a cookie (or a cupcake, or a MEGA stuffed oreao)


Sunday, March 3, 2013

heartbreak for 14

What a crazy/amazing weekend! 

It's been full of alcohol, food and running.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), not all alcohol has been consumed. I spent the majority of yesterday and today in a special weekend class on OUI prosecution. I am fully embracing my alias - Caity Dent (see Harvey Dent - don't we look alike?) and learning all about how ADAs and Defense Attorneys deal with these charges. Can I be a lawyer now?

As far as consumption goes: I did enjoy some beverages at the Harpoon Festival celebrating the best holiday of the year - St. Patty's! I was joined by CM and the Stonehill girls and we had a wonderful time sipping, swigging, and for some of us swing dancing (SI!) It was nice to unwind a little before this busy weekend.

CM showing some love
Like I said, SI getting her swing on
In food news - CM took me to an un-be-lievable birthday dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak house last night. A weird spot to bring a vegetarian for her bday you say? Not when you can get gourmet barbecue shrimp (or scrimp as CM likes to call them), calamari, and potatoes au gratin. Feeling pretty lucky!

To cap it all off, T and I decided to do our weekly long run along the marathon course today. We set our alarm clocks for 5:30am and met in Cleveland Circle for 6am where we started the 7 miles out to Wellesley and back, including the infamous heartbreak hill. We didn't see a single runner until around 7am. Pretty proud we got a jump on it! (Or that we're a couple of crazies). It was a rough run in the beginning (those Newton hills are no joke!), but it got easier around mile 8, and we chugged our way up heartbreak at the end. It took us a little over 2 hours with a water stop at Starbucks, and we were happy to have it all done before 9am. We rewarded ourselves with a couple greasy Eagle's breakfast sangys! Can't believe we're 8 weeks into training, and can't wait get to the top of Heartbreak in just over 8 more weeks!

Wish I took more pics during the run, but here's the portion of the map we ran (starting at mile 23 in Brookline).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Kicks and Race Recap

Thanks to some friendly motivation/challenge, my friend T and I have decided to train for the legendary Boston Marathon.

This will be my second Boston Marathon, and second as a bandit, but I promise it's all in training to one day run for a favorite charity or cause. 

We just finished up week 8 of training following a rookie marathon plan, and at the end of last week we were scheduled for a 13 miler, and I had the good fortune of running the Hyannis Half-Marathon in the pouring rain.

Yep it was freezing and soggy but it'd be a lie if I said I didn't have a great time! The route was a little hilly, but there was some great views of the ocean, and the strawberry donut at the end made it all worth while.

Not to mention the charming stay with CM at the Chatham Bars Inn the night before! For anyone who runs this race I definitely recommend checking the Inn out! It's gorgeous, and their off-season rates are much more reasonable than summer rates.

After the race we stopped at some outlets for some post race goodies, and I picked up a new (last season) pair of Nike Lunar Mariahs. (Check out this forum for some opinions on the Nike Lunar series). I personally like these better than my last pair of Nikes, because there's a little more structure to the front, and a little more arch support inside. I'll keep you posted as the training runs progress!  

The new kicks!

Finish line - a little over 2hrs in the freezing rain/wintery mix + a bathroom stop!

Mid-week training run on Fan Pier in South Boston