Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NYC

Just wanted to share a few photos from my weekend in NYC.  I was a bad blogger and didn't take as many as I should.  I'll have the race review and recap up later this week.





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who Keeps You Healthy?

When asked by the American Recall Center to write a post about Who Keeps You Healthy, many ideas came to mind and it was hard for me to narrow it down to one person.  I knew I also wanted to write a post about the 2013 Boston Marathon events as today is the one year anniversary.  After a few days of thinking about both of these posts, it dawned on me that it's the city of Boston who keeps me healthy.
 

I never could have imagined the tragic events that occurred a year ago would happen anywhere, let alone in my city.  I mean, who wants to mess with a bunch of endorphin-high runners?  That is definitely a group you don't want to get angry, and I learned over a short period of time, that neither is Boston.  It truly amazes me how amazing Bostonians are and how the city came together to help complete strangers find solace during such a terrible time.

I remember April 15, 2013 like it was yesterday.  I had volunteered to cheer on the runners at mile 18.  I wanted to volunteer at the finish line, but decided it was easier to get to mile 18 than the finish.  I got a later start than planned and was irritated by all the traffic to get into the parking lot at the train station.  What normally would have taken me 30 minutes, took nearly three times as long due to all the spectators of the marathon using the train to go see their runners along the route.  After cheering on runners for about five hours, I hopped on the train back to my car.  I had noticed that I had very limited cell reception, but figured it was due to being on the train.  Then, when I finally returned to my car, I had better reception - and multiple texts, voice mails and emails from friends and family asking if I was okay.  I had no idea what had occurred at the marathon finish line until I turned on the radio and heard the news.  I remember immediately crying and thinking "Thank God I didn't volunteer at the finish".  I called my parents to let them know I was okay, then headed home.  I remember crying the entire drive home.  I couldn't believe what had happened.

I found myself glued to the TV over the next few days, in awe of what had happened - as well as how Boston was responding.  Many runners who were staying at hotels in the area of the finish line were not able to which led to an outpouring of strangers offering a place to stay or even the use of their showers or a meal.  It made me, and still makes me proud to be a Bostonian.

 
Although it's been a year, not a day passes that I don't think about or hear about something related to the 2013 Boston Marathon.  Whether it's hearing about how amazingly well the survivors have been healing or how people who have never run farther than 10 feet have joined various marathon teams to help raise money for the One Fund.  We've always been a proud city, but it still think it's completely awesome how Boston came together to not only support the running community, but to show the world just how strong our city can be.  Boston strong, in fact.

When I'm struggling while out on a run or bike ride, I think about the events that occurred and how strong the survivors have been while working so hard to heal.  In fact, the day after the marathon, I hopped on my bike and went for a ride near the ocean.  I thought about the events of the day and began to cry while riding.  I don't want to sound selfish, but for me, that ride was extremely therapeutic as I realized how lucky I was that I decided not to volunteer at the finish.  I was also crying because of everything that had happened the day before.  Boston was hit hard, yet we persevered.  It's because of this, I get out and move and stay healthy.




So, to answer who keeps me healthy?

Martin Richard, 8, of Dorchester, MA
Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford, MA
Lingzi Lu, 23, of China
Sean Collier, 27, of Somerville, MA
270+ who were injured
The countless first responders and those who cared for the injured for the weeks and months following the events
THE CITY OF BOSTON
 


 

We are forever Boston Strong.


Disclaimer: I was asked to write this post as part of the American Recall Center's Who Keeps You Healthy Campaign.  All thoughts are my own.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

PMC Ribbons - 2014

 
I know I'm recycling an old fundraising idea, but I thought I'd try again!
 

As I've mentioned a few times over the past couple of months, I will be raising money for the Jimmy Fund by riding the PMC this August. 



 

For your donation of $5, I will wear a ribbon on my jersey in honor or in memory of anyone you know affected by cancer. Just visit my fundraising page and make a $5 donation for each ribbon you'd like. If you'd like more than one ribbon, you can make one donation - For example, if you would like three ribbons, you can make one donation of $15.
 
 
There are a couple of ways to let me know who the ribbon(s) is in honor or memory of: 
 
  1. You can make a note in the Optional Note(s)/Note to Rider section of the donation page
  2. You can email me at catiechacha@gmail.com with the name(s)
 
Remember that 100% of the proceeds benefit the Jimmy Fund and their efforts to find a cure for cancer. All donations are tax-deductible too! Don't forget to find out if your employer matches because that means your donation could be doubled. Also, if you have Donor Advised Funds and not sure how to allocate them, the Jimmy Fund is a great choice.

 
Thanks for all who have donated and keep an eye out for my second online bake sale where I will donate homemade treats to raise even more money for the PMC!

Friday, April 11, 2014

What I'm Loving Lately -- Part II

Welcome to another edition of What I'm Loving Lately!  I realize I haven't done a post like this in a long time, so I thought since I'm loving lots of things lately, I'd share with you!

1. Abby Ballet Flat from Banana Republic  These flats are so comfy and versatile.  It took me one or two wears to break them in, but after that, they have been the most comfortable pair of flats I own.  I wear them with jeans, skirts, and dresses.  I have my eye the sunshine (read: highlighter yellow), which happens to be on sale right now with an additional 40% off if you use the code BRSPRING40).

 

2. New Balance 1260v3 Running Shoes Yes, another pair of shoes, but these are at least for running!  I wore them on my last long run before my half this weekend and they felt great!  I've been in need of a shoe with more stability for long runs and I loved these from the moment I started running.  I was lucky enough to find the current version at the outlet a few weeks ago.  They retail for $144.99, but I was able to get them for less at the outlet.


2. Seltzer!  This is not so much a new love for me, more of a continued love.  I have been good about using my soda stream, but sometimes I have to splurge and buy a few bottles for variety.  My favorite flavors right now are Polar pomegranate, Perrier citron, and Poland Spring mandarin orange.  In addition to still water, I drink at least two large glasses a day of seltzer.



4. This video!

 
 
5. Cadbury Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs Would it be bad to eat these as fuel during my half marathon?
 
 
6. My "Find Your Strong" necklace from Erica Sara Designs  I've been wearing it all week, and I can't wait to see what she'll have on display at this weekend's race expo.

 
 
7. SPRING!  It's finally arrived here in Boston (although, after forecasted temps in the 60s and 70s, we'll have a high of 40 midweek.  Ugh!) and I am so excited!  After a long, cold, snowy winter, I'm excited to get back out on the trails and pavement to train for my races and the PMC.  It's such a beautiful time in Boston!
 



Previous versions of What I'm Loving Lately
What I'm Loving Lately -- Part I

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Snapshots


New Balance 890v4 Boston Edition

My last long run before the half this weekend!

I've been wearing my favorite Erica Sara Designs all week to motivate me for the race!

Picked up some running fuel - Mmmm...  chocolate!
 
And to drink...  Peru!  I may or may not be obsessed with sparkling water
View from my hike a couple of weeks ago.  I can't wait to get back into trail running!

I'm loving the forecast for this weekend!  Perfect running weather on Sunday!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Running NYC

Hi!  Happy Wednesday!  Today is my Thursday since I'm off on Friday.  This weekend, I am headed to NYC to run the More Women's Half Marathon.  I can't wait!  This will be my third time running this race and it was my first half marathon - Actually, it may have been my first race ever!


Me, my sister and the Bun post race - 2008

Saturday morning, I'll hop on a train with my sister, her mother in law, and my seven month old niece for a super fun girls weekend!  As of today, the weather for the race looks to be perfect (high of low 60s and sunny).  I'm not only excited for this race because I'll be spending the weekend with the girls, but this year's race will be hosted by Hoda Kotb!  I am a total nerd and hope to be able to get a photo op with Hoda!  I'm also excited because Deena Kastor will be running the race as well.  I' a running geek and I feel pretty cool when I'm running the same race as elites!

Some of you may be wondering what my goals are for this race.  When I signed up months ago, I really wanted to PR - My PR is from the first time running this race.  However, with the cold and snowy winter we had, it was tough to get in many outdoor runs.  I ran all of my long runs on the treadmill except for one.  My last long run was 10 miles and I ran it a week and a half ago.  It was terrible and my body was sore for the rest of the day.  I know it's because I hadn't run that distance on pavement since my half in January.  Also, I had hoped to lose a little more weight by race day so that I could hopefully run a little faster.  I have been playing around with the same 16 pound weight loss for over a month and it hasn't budged.  So, my ultimate goal for this weekend is to have an awesome run in Central Park and just enjoy myself.  I'm lucky to be back in NYC and run this race for the third time.  Let's face it.  I'm really just looking forward to having brunch when I finish!  :)

Keep your eyes out for a race recap and review sometime next week.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Triathlon Training Update

Happy Friday!  Has this week flown by for any of you?  It's been a super fast week for me!  So, I think the last time I graced you with my presence, I told you that I'd just signed up for my first triathlon.  I thought I'd let you know how my training is coming along.

I started swim lessons four weeks ago.  I know how to swim, but not competitively.  So, I decided to enroll in an intermediate swim class at my Y.  The first two weeks were great.  We did lots of drills to help strengthen our freestyle stroke.  Now we're getting into other strokes, such as the butterfly and the breaststroke.  I'm less interested in these strokes and would much rather do freestyle laps and drills.  I did ask my instructor (who happens to be the same instructor as the triathlon class I'm starting in a few weeks) if the triathlon training class will use these strokes and he ensured me that they focus on just the freestyle.  Phew!  I'm pretty good at the freestyle, but I am terrible when it comes to the other strokes!


Now that my triathlon training is well underway, I thought I'd share how a typical workout week goes for me:

SU: Rest or spin
MO: Rest or spin (depending on what I did Sunday)
TU: Track work with my half marathon training group (more on that soon)
W: Swim lessons and sometimes I throw in a spin class before for fun
TH: Run
F: Rest or swim
SA: Long run

 
This week has been a horrible week for training (read: training was completely derailed due to an aggressive deadline at work), so I hope to get back on track this weekend.  I have a 10 mile training run on the schedule for tomorrow morning.  Then after that, I will head to Soul Cycle for a complimentary ride from Racked Boston.  Sunday, I have a 5k, which should be fun in the rain!  :)

Are you training for anything?  How's your training coming along?