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A Christmas Recap

Hello again!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, I certainly did!

Before Christmas Eve dinner!

Before Christmas Eve dinner!

With no small children in the house, we slept in pretty late and didn’t end up opening presents until around 9-ish. We had a leisurely morning, sipping coffee and listening to Christmas music while we opened all the presents. As expected, Brady hid upstairs, only making appearances for the occasional dog biscuit. 😉 Once all the presents had been opened, he did return, and I rewarded him by turning him into Rudolph and then featuring him in a SnapChat photoshoot.

Brady. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo.He loves me.

After opening gifts, we put our French toast casserole in the oven to bake (we had prepped it the night before, so there was no cooking to be done that morning). We followed this recipe, and it was incredible. Everyone loved it, and we’ve decided that this might have to be a regular Christmas tradition. 🙂

Christmas Breakfast. Oven-baked French Toast

Around noon, my mom and I headed out for a Christmas run. The weather was unseasonably mild, and we both ran in only mid-length tights and t-shirts! I would have loved a white Christmas, but it was a nice change to be able to run in such good weather. We got in a good six miles before heading home to shower and clean up.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and making a Bûche de Noël with my dad. Despite some issues (discovering we didn’t have any parchment paper for one!), it still turned out pretty well and tasted delicious!

Christmas baking.

Worrying about the state of our dessert.

 

And now being goofy.

And now being goofy.

And the finished product-

Christmas dessert. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoMy mom and I both had to work the Friday and Saturday after Christmas, but on Sunday, we were both free and went to our running club’s weekly run – my first time back since coming home from school! It was so fun seeing everyone, and we got in a great 4 mile run, despite the rainy morning. Now that I’m home, I’m really looking forward to being able to go to more of our running club’s events!

Afterwards, I dressed cozily for the rainy day, wearing my new mint Nike hoodie. 🙂

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoIt’s so soft and comfortable, and I know it’ll be great for runs, once our weather cools down again!

In the afternoon, my mom and I went to see Into the Woods. The theater was packed, and the movie definitely did not disappoint! It was just as good as I remember (from when I played violin in the pit orchestra for my high school’s production of it), and just as funny! Chris Pine as Prince Charming was hilarious.

"I was raised to be charming, not sincere."

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and in advance – HAPPY NEW YEARS!

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Home For the Holidays

Hello hello!

I’m finally home and back to the blog! 🙂 It feels so wonderful to be back for the holidays, with my family and of course, Brady and Keeper!

Brady. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Keeper. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

I think they missed me. 🙂

It’s been a crazy last few days – just to recap, my mom and I went into Boston on Thursday, and walked around Quincy Market a bit, window-shopping and keeping our eyes out for Christmas presents! We obviously had to take a picture of the beautiful tree.

Quincy Market, Boston Mass.We didn’t end up buying much, but my mom and I did share an oreo cannoli and cappucinos from one of the bakeries in Quincy Market, which was pretty fantastic!

I spent most of Friday and Saturday trying to unpack all the things I’ve accumulated since starting college – not an easy task!

But Sunday, my mom and I got our first run in together since my coming home! We decided to make it a long one, and ended up going just over 7 miles – my longest run in a while!

Back to running.

It was flurrying a little, but we bundled up and it wasn’t so bad. I guess we can’t really let the winter weather stop us, given that we’ll be running our Florida half marathon in less than a month! 🙂 When we got home, we had coconut pancakes (it was a mix from Trader Joe’s) – these were SO. GOOD. I forgot to take a picture because I was so hungry and happy to be eating pancakes. I’m a bad blogger. 😉

This morning, I’ve been doing a little wrapping, and took Brady on a brisk, 3-mile walk. He loves his exercise and was happy as a clam to go.

Brady walking

While we walked, I listened to the last episode of Serial. I learned about this podcast after reading about it on Natalie’s blog, and have been listening to it regularly. I’ve really enjoyed it, but I have to say I was a little disappointed by the ending. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so I’ll just say it left me with some unanswered questions.

I’m looking forward to a relaxing and merry Christmas later this week – I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the time with your family and loved ones (including your pets!)!

If you listen to Serial, what did you think of the ending? 

 

 

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Anticipating the Holidays

Hi again!

Again… Sorry it’s been a while since my last post. I had my first final yesterday and was studying diligently for it. 🙂 It’s crazy to think in exactly 5 days I’ll be done with my undergrad. AHHHHH! Lucky for me, my dad was nice enough to pick out a few things for a care package to help me get through all the studying. 🙂 I’ve been loving the Starbucks peppermint mocha via packets he sent! I only use a little bit of each packet, and mix it with regular coffee, otherwise it’s a little too sweet, but I love how festive it tastes!

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running duo.

I have to say I am very excited to go home and celebrate graduating and the holidays. I keep getting cute pictures of Brady and Keeper from my mom and I miss them!

Brady and Keeper. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoOther things I’m excited about:

  • Being able to run with my running buddy once again – and running 2 of our favorite holiday races: The Lowell First Run on New Years’ Day and the 5k Resolution Run to Kick CancerThese were the first races my mom and I signed up for after deciding that we wanted to run a half marathon in the upcoming spring! They’re usually pretty brisk, but we always have a good time.
  • Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

    Here we are running the 10k on New Years Day!

  • Getting to see our Christmas tree! Here’s a sneak peak of it:
  • Christmas Running Gift under the tree!Enjoying some of my mom’s stellar home-cooked meals (and helping her out in the kitchen while listening to some good music!)
  • Being able to read books for fun!! Haha, this is always something I miss during semesters, and I’m very excited to finally dig into my copy of Gone Girl.
  • Going to see the movie Into the Woods with my mom. I was in the pit orchestra when my high school put on this play, and I fell in love with the music. With Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and Johnny Depp all in Disney’s version, it’s sure to be good!
  • Into the Woods.
  • Obviously Christmas. The only individual in my house not looking forward to Christmas is our dog Brady – Christmas is basically his least favorite day of the year because he hates boxes and the tearing sound of wrapping paper. He usually ends up hiding away from all of us until the present opening is all finished.

Brady the ReindeerWhat are you looking forward to around the holidays? Any special winter traditions?

Have a great end of the week/weekend!

 

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Thanksgiving Break

Hello hello!

I know we are still a couple days away, but I just wanted to say…

Happy Thanksgiving. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI’m not going home for the holiday this year, since I will be home for good in about a month, but I’ll still be spending the break with family and I’m looking forward to some delicious food and a little break from the pre-finals grind! My mom wrote up a little post for today, talking about some of the things she is grateful for, and here it is!

When Nora and I began our “running journey” in November 2011, our goal was simple; train for and run a half-marathon in the spring. And we did that. But we  never expected  that that modest ambition would get us here.
Last month Nora posted her 100th blog entry, as well as hitting the 100 followers mark!!
So with Thanksgiving only a few days away I wanted to say thank you, to Nora and to all of you!

When we revised our goal and decided to aim to run a half-marathon in every state – and to start this blog, we knew we would be in for some adventures, some hard work, and a lot of fun.

But for me it’s meant something entirely unexpected. Of course, I would have kept running after those two half-marathons in 2011, but without these goals, I know my running would have continued in a much more casual way.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoInstead, I’ve challenged myself to run more than I ever expected, to read more (of course books about running), to expand my knowledge of cooking and nutrition, and to revisit the writer in me. Three years ago I would never have dreamed  that I would be contemplating running another marathon as a way to celebrate my next birthday! But that is exactly what I am doing and all these things are gifts that I never expected.

How to run a marathon.

My plan for marathon training. 🙂

So I wanted to say thank you to Nora for expanding our running goal to include every state, and for starting this blog which has been so much fun (and a lot of work!) and which has taught us both so much. (Remember the cricket bars? Yes, you can eat protein bars made with crickets.). And I wanted to say Thank You to all of you, our followers for reading about our adventures and contributing your thoughts and ideas.

So Thank you for everything and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

What are you thankful for this year?

 

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The Rochester Marathon

We did it.

My Mom and I can both officially say now that we are marathoners. After months of training and reading anything and everything about marathons, we finally went out and completed 26.2 miles. There was uncertainty, crazy weather, and blackened toenails, but we made it.

Let me start from the beginning though. 🙂

Late in the afternoon on Friday, my mom made the long drive up and picked me up from school. It was fantastic to see her again and we chatted the whole time as we made the drive into Rochester. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with my aunt and uncle, so it was a great mini-family reunion. Friday night, we just relaxed, ate pizza and visited, before turning in for an early bedtime. We wanted to make sure we got plenty of rest in preparation for Sunday.

Saturday, we slept in a little, before going for a gentle 2-mile jog, as prescribed in the training plan my mom and I followed. We were also keeping a close eye on the weather that morning, as the forecast for Sunday was looking awful. There was a strong chance of severe thunderstorms from 6 am on throughout the whole day. In the paper, there was an article that explained that if there was thunder at the start time (7:30), then the race would be delayed ten minutes. If the thunder continued – the race would be cancelled. My mom and I were freaking out. At that point, I felt like I would gladly run through the pouring rain, as long as I got the chance at my marathon.

So obviously, we were pretty concerned. We went to pick up our packets as usual though, hoping for the best. Packet pick-up was held at a local running store, Fleet Feet, and it was hopping when we arrived.

At packet pick-up for the Rochester Marathon

My mom and I loved the race shirts, but we were also excited to pick out another commemorative, first-marathon-ever shirt! We both went with these awesome long-sleeve Nike running shirts.

Rochester Marathon Shirt

We tried to stay relaxed on Saturday, but the weather reports continued to predict strong chances for thunderstorms. We organized our running materials that evening – putting pins on our bibs, packing our GU’s in our fuel belts (I wanted to do one every 5 miles through mile 20, at which point I was going to switch to Sports Beans aka jelly beans for runners). With the predictions for rain, my mom and I both made sure to bring hats to help keep the rain off our faces.

We had a simple meal for dinner that night to round out our carbo-loading routine – grilled chicken and baked potatoes. After that, it was a little TV and then bed time.

While I had a little trouble falling asleep, I was shocked at how well I slept until the alarm started ringing at 5 am. My mom and I quickly got up and started prepping the coffee and bagels (with almond butter and raspberry jam of course – our favorite!). It was a little hard to stomach at such an early hour, but we knew it was important to eat early so we would have time to digest a bit before the race began.

A friend of mine from school was running the race as well, and she got dropped off at my Aunt and Uncle’s so that we could bring her to the start with us. We were pleasantly surprised by the weather as we drove into the city of Rochester – a little cloudy, but warm with no rain!

We checked our bags (complete with all the necessary post-race items, including sweats, Snickers bars, and a hairbrush. All completely essential.), and made a last porta-potty stop. Kudos to the race organizers for having enough porta-potties to accommodate all the runners, as this always seems to be problematic!

At the start of the Rochester Marathon

Then, we excitedly went to the starting chute. Of course, there was time for some pre-race selfies.

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

We stretched for a few minutes and I reveled in the fact that it was not raining on us. I think all my worry about the weather left me feeling more excited for the race than nervous. Then, the race announcer led us with a moment of silence for a Rochester police officer, Daryl Pierson, who was shot and killed three weeks ago. It was a touching moment, and so important for us as runners to show our appreciation, as the entire Rochester police department was out, directing traffic and lining the course to help keep us safe and the race running smoothly.

Next, the National Anthem played… and we were off and running our first marathon!!! Ahhhhh!

Along the course of the Rochester Marathon

With all the excitement, the first few miles flew by, but my mom and I did a great job pacing ourselves and sticking to our Galloway method-inspired strategy: run a mile and walk a minute. I really enjoyed checking out the beautiful 19th and early 20th century mansions that we passed along East Avenue.

Mansions along East Avenue. Rochester Marathon

Absolutely beautiful. We continued along, sticking to a pace around 10:30 minutes/mile. Just before mile 5, we came up on our cheering section who surprised us with this awesome poster. 🙂

Of course, we had to stop to take a picture.

We had to stop to take a picture.

As we continued along, my mom started telling me to take off. I was feeling great at the pace we were running, but she wanted to dial it back a little because of the humidity we were dealing with. We had planned on staying together longer over the 26 miles, but with her blessing and some good luck wishes on both our parts, I headed off.

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Around Mile 6 or 7 (I think… it’s all blurring together a bit), we turned off and ran along the Erie Canal bike path, which was pretty, despite the clouds rolling in. Soon thereafter, it started to rain – and I thought to myself, “This is it. It’s going to pour, and I’m either going to have to run another 15+ miles soaking wet or it’s going to thunder and they’re going to pull us off the course.”

Thank god that’s not what happened. It rained lightly for maybe 15 minutes, just enough to cool me off, and then it stopped! It was a marathon miracle. 🙂

I was feeling great, and got super excited when I reached the 13 mile marker – halfway done! And I kept feeling great through mile 18, and that’s when it truly started to feel like a marathon. My big toe was starting to hurt (ironically, not on the foot where I struggled with my EHL strain – that foot held up like a champ.). I was running behind someone with a shirt that read “Black Toe Racing”, and I remember thinking a lot about the foreshadowing and symbolism of that. 😉

I kept chugging along though, desperately looking forward to each 1 minute walking break whenever I completed another mile. While I cherished those breaks, I noticed that after about 19 miles, it hurt just as much (if not more) to walk as it did to run. Ugh.

Around mile 20 of the Rochester Marathon

I certainly wasn’t the only one taking walking breaks by this point though.

The last 6.2 miles were the most challenging miles I’ve ever run. I knew I was close to being done, and I just wanted to cross that finish line and for the RUNNING TO STOP. Thank goodness for all the fantastic spectators along the course, and for the people who cheered for me, reading my name off my bib and encouraging me that I was almost done. I also loved all the creative signs –

  • Toenails are for sissies (so true.)
  • Keep Calm and Don’t Poop Yourself. (Also excellent advice.)
  • You’ve been training for this longer than Kim Kardashian was married. (gotta love humor at the expense of the Kardashians.)

FINALLY, I was turning off the canal path, back onto the major roads, and knew I was close to being done. I passed the 26 mile marker, and I pushed it into high gear. Next thing I knew, I was crossing the finish line in 4 hours, 36 minutes. I look pretty damn good for having just run 26.2 miles, right?!

Finishing the Rochester Marathon

Marathon complete.

I was so happy to be done, and to see my boyfriend at the finish. It was good that he was there, because I kept losing my balance and tilting over. Also, my fine motor skills were shot, which made texting interesting.

I couldn't text at all after running a marathon

I tried to type “I’m done” and autocorrect thought I was trying to say “I’m conspiracy”. So that shows you how successful I was. 😉 After that, I made my boyfriend send the texts. We also took some snapchats to send to my friends at school, who had been amazing about sending me congratulatory and good luck texts-

post marathon

And some regular pictures. In between bites of a bagel, obviously.

After finishing the Rochester Marathon

My mom also ran an incredible race (SHE GOT THIRD IN HER AGE GROUP!!!) and finished in 4 hours, 58 minutes.

What an amazing race. After so much concern over my EHL strain and the fears about the weather,  I feel so lucky that I was able to run my marathon. After 9 half marathons, it was time, for both my mom and I.

More marathon reflections are coming, but this post has already gotten ridiculously long. Thanks for reading it and also, thank you SO, SO MUCH for all the advice, and good luck messages sent our way through this blog. It meant the world to us to have so many people rooting for us.

 

 

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So Why Now… (My Mom’s Decision to Sign Up for the Full Marathon)

Hey there!

So, about a week after my mom was swearing she would never run a full marathon (and making me double-check that I had registered her for the Rochester HALF and not the full), she made the decision to take the plunge and transfer her registration to the full 26.2 miles! I asked her to write up a little post explaining what had changed, and this is what she said. 🙂

Why My mom decided to run a full marathon

I guess it’s because when you run with someone who is always looking ahead for the next challenge, you can’t help but feel a little of that excitement that comes from taking on a new challenge. Last year, Nora took on a sprint triathlon, a whole new adventure for her.

Nora at the Wild Cat Sprint Triathlon

Nora finishing the biking section of the Wild Cat Sprint Triathlon

But that’s how she is, always checking out new things, considering possibilities, and then taking that educated leap in the pursuit of a new goal. Just like with the triathlon, she’s willing to try new things and to work hard to reach those goals. So in the end, even though I’m the parent and should set the example, I find myself inspired to follow. Needless to say, I took into consideration the fact that I have now run 9 half-marathons without injury, and that it seems perfectly reasonable to assume that I am healthy enough to pursue this goal! And of course, though we run together, we will each run our own race, with our own plans, our own paces, and our own individual goals, but always finding each other at the finish.

findeachother

And who knows? In the end, I might become one of those impressive souls I meet at races; someone who despite discovering running late in her life, now runs all kinds of races – including a few marathons a year – making friends as she travels and runs, always remembering what Helen Keller said – “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

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Tips for Running with a Buddy

Happy Monday, hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!

Saturday was a fun day for us, as my mom did her first muddy obstacle-course 5K, the Dirty Girl Mud Run! I volunteered at the race, so we were both busy, but it was a lot of fun (and yes, my mom got very muddy!). I promise, a full recap is coming! 🙂

Today, I wanted to post about something different though.

Tips for Running with Someone

As you may have gathered by now, my mom and I run together on a pretty regular basis. We have run countless races together, as well as a whole lot of training runs. I love the accountability of running with someone. When we make a plan to get up at 6:30 to go for an early morning run, it’s a lot easier to crawl out of bed, knowing that my mom will be doing the same. It can be so easy to just hit that snooze button when you’re alone.

But running with a partner also has its challenges. Let’s face it, we all have THOSE days. The ones where you’re just a little bit grumpier than normal, where you just want to walk every two seconds it seems like. Or maybe it’s just the opposite – your legs feel great and you just wanna tear it up on your run… but maybe the person you’re running with isn’t really feelin’ up to that crazy pace.

After running together for so long, I feel like my mom and I have developed a pretty darn good system, so I thought I would share some of our tips for running with another person, friend or family!

Advice for Running with someone

 

Tip #1 – Be completely honest with each other. I tell my mom when I’m hoping to PR in a race, so it’s no surprise! We usually start together, and then when I’m ready to push the pace a bit, we say our goodbyes and I tell her that I’ll meet her at the finish line. Same goes for training runs. When you need to walk, tell the other person – don’t just struggle on, silently becoming more and more frustrated with your running buddy!

  • Tip #1B – Discuss pace with your running partner BEFORE you start running. If you’ve never run a 7:30/mile before, and your partner wants to run that pace for 5 miles, it’s a recipe for disaster. Don’t be afraid to push yourself, but be honest if you think the pace might be a little fast and that you might have to slow down after a while.

tip 2 CROP

Tip #2 – Be ok with a comfortable silence. Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok to talk! My mom and I have talked about a whole lot of stuff while running. But as we tack on more miles, we’ll frequently fall into silence. That quiet often enhances the meditative aspects of running, so don’t feel like you have to force conversation.

tip 3 CROP

Tip #3 – Agree on the route. My mom and I each have a route that we consider “our” route. 🙂 While I run my mom’s favorite route a lot of the time, I sometimes get bored and need to switch things up. On those days, I’ll run my route. Sometimes, my mom will come with me and sometimes she sticks with her route. If you and your running buddy ALWAYS run the same route and you’re starting to feel like you’re going to lose your mind if you have to run down that dirt road/past that blue house/through that totally shade-lacking cul de sac, then BE HONEST (See Tip #1)! Maybe your running partner feels the same way, and is only running the route because he/she thinks that’s what you want!

And when I asked my mom to think of a few tips, here’s what she came up with-

final advice

When running with a partner or buddy, always be gracious:

Tip #4 – When your buddy asks to “borrow” your tissue, hand it over with a smile, even though your buddy has stated definitively that she won’t need one.

Tip #5 – Share your water bottle, even though your running buddy says it’s just a short run and he/she won’t get thirsty

Tip #6 – Try to get your running buddy to wear sunscreen, even when he/she tells you there isn’t any sun. (It’s never too early to worry about sun damage and those pesky wrinkles.)

Tip #7 – Buy your running buddy cool running paraphernalia to make up for all the times you make her late by grabbing tissues, filling water bottles, or putting on sunscreen.

 

So there you go! 🙂 Go grab your sneakers and a bud and get running!

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