First Team Run!

Last night was my first run with the MGH team!  We met in Newton at Howard Weinstein’s house which is near the base of Heartbreak Hill and we all layered up.  We each got new MGH headbands that cover your ears and are perfect to wear outside for a run- so we all looked like a team!

MGH Prepped for a Team Run!

MGH Prepped for a Team Run!

Around 6:30 we left his house and headed out for a 2mile-ish warmup jog up and down his street which eventually took us to the base of Heartbreak Hill… then it was time for the hill workout.


Base up three blocks to the 3rd street (2x) Cool down pace running downhill.

Base up two blocks to the 2nd street (3x) Cool down pace running downhill.

Base up one block to the 1st street (4x)  Cool down pace running downhill.

Everyone looked great and were really pushing to get up the hill.  I only hope I will be running that fast come April!

The entire run totaled around 4.5 miles, and we were out for probably around 45 minutes or so.

COMM AVE... We are comin' for ya!

COMM AVE… We are comin’ for ya!

After the run we had pizza, beer, fruit and gatorade while we got to meet some new friendly faces.  It was a great time and I am really looking forward to the next time we will all get together.  Hopefully Mer can join in!

* Meredith and I are training for the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause. THANK YOU! *

Weekly Training Schedule

After our race on Saturday we took a much needed day of rest on Sunday.  It was cold and snowy in New York and our legs needed a break.  But this morning we were back at it, waking up at 5:30AM and heading to Crossfit 516 for a WOD.  This morning we did 4 rounds of 8 back squats.

Next was and EMOM (every minute on the minute) for 14 minutes:  On the even numbers we did 7 toes to bar and the odd numbers we did 3 hang squat clean @85lbs.

We ended with 3 rounds of 15 situps and max effort pullups.

This was a solid workout and a great start to the week after a fantastic race! Felt good to get the legs moving again.

This weeks training schedule:

MONDAY- Crossfit

TUESDAY- Crossfit

WEDNESDAY- 3-6 mile run (hopefully outside)


FRIDAY- Crossfit

Saturday and Sunday hopefully it will warm up enough for us to get in a nice 8-10 mile run!

* Marissa and I are training for the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause. THANK YOU! *

#Run4MGH  #BostonStrong #BostonMarathon2014

Me getting ready for a set of 8!

Me getting ready for a set of 8!

Mer lookin' strong
Mer lookin’ strong


BRR-ooklyn Half-Marathon – Finishers!

Some races, everything just clicks. 6:30am wake up, cup of coffee, hard-boiled egg and out the door. We made it to Brooklyn in 25 minutes and scored the sweetest parking spot on the street super close to the finish line. We stayed in the car until about 8:15 to keep warm, then headed up to the starting line. It was cold, but certainly not any colder than the Ted Corbitt 15K, and it was actually snowing that day. This felt much better than that. Plus, we had hand warmers!

Off we went! The first half-mile was the biggest hill in Prospect Park, but we felt strong. The park is a really nice loop of a little over three miles. Its relatively flat, with nothing steep enough to write home about. The other racers were in good spirits, and everyone was having a good time. How can you NOT have a good time during a half-marathon in 20 degree weather!?

At Mile 3, we ditched our outer layers in a pile right by the finish line (the benefit of running a race with lots of loops = you get to pick up all the stuff you drop off!). Our hands were warm, our toes were warm, and we were cruising along. We were hitting a 9:25 min/mile pace.

Go Bruins!

Go Bruins!

By Mile 6, we were reading for some Gu Chomps and a pit stop for ice cold Gatorade. We thought the best way to really represent in Brooklyn was to rock our Bruins gear. It was pretty amazing how many “GO BOSTON!” cheers we got, and at one point, Marissa even got a pat on the back and a little push up the hill by a passerby who said “GO MILAN!”

We were definitely sick of the one big hill by the time we started our fourth and final loop. Crossing the crest, and speeding down the other side was such a high point in the race. We only had 2.5 more miles to go, and we really felt good.

Roo crushing 13.1 miles at the finish line

Roo crushing 13.1 miles at the finish line

We crossed the finish line at 2:08 and 2:11, a HALF-MARATHON PR for Marissa and one minute over my PR from 2006 (which I am pretty confident I will beat in the warmer weather NYC Half in March). We got our big silver capes, finisher’s medals and one of the best cups of hot chocolate I’ve ever had – really!

Currently we are drinking mimosas out of our BRR-ooklyn Hot Chocolate Half-Marathon mugs and sitting pretty on this chilly January day. We did it! We both needed that confidence boost to bring us into February and March, our longest training months (mileage-wise). Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement, and thanks NYCRuns for putting on an awesome event. I’d do it again in a heartbeat! Just not tomorrow 🙂

yup. prosecco in coffee mugs.

yup. prosecco in coffee mugs.

* Marissa and I are training for the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause. THANK YOU! *

Marathon Memories: A Tale of 2 Cities

My love affair with Chicago started in 2006. On a whim, 6 months after my last chemotherapy treatment, I registered for the Chicago Marathon. My feet had never even walked 26 steps in the Windy City, but on October 22, 2006 they ran the entire 26.2 miles. I can still feel the streets shaking above me as we started out of Millennium Park, and towards Michigan Avenue. My pace was fast (too fast) as we headed up the Gold Coast. With every step I took, someone next to me was cheering on the sidewalk, and I felt the city of Chicago hug me tighter and tighter. That day in 2006, the city of Chicago stole my heart, and ever since then I’ve taken every opportunity I could to get back there. I’ve done New Year’s Eve, outdoor hockey games, birthdays, and for the first time this summer, introduced my daughter’s to the Second City (and went to my first Cubs game!).

Chicago Marathon 2006 (that's me in the front in the purple)

Chicago Marathon 2006 (that’s me in the front in the purple)

I expect my second marathon to be a little different, as I’ve heard they all tend to be. See, the city of Boston is part of my soul already. Born and raised there, I’ve been to lots of towns and cities, seen it from all angles and ages, but never from the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boylston. I will see the city in a whole new light, in a light of rebirth after last year’s marathon bombings, in a light of pride, and I will have my sister right next to me. I know I’m going to fall in love with a whole new Boston on April 21, 2014. Because that is what running a marathon can do to you.

Ellie in Chicago!

Ellie in Chicago!

The cherry on top is that I’ve been given the opportunity to run both Chicago and Boston as part of charity teams that help people just like me fight the good fight to beat cancer. If all I have to do is lace up my shoes and run, just tell me where to sign.

Chicago, you’ll always have a piece of my heart somewhere out there on that marathon route. Boston, we’re coming for ya.

* Marissa and I are training for the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause. THANK YOU! *

Training Run: Tempo 10K

6 days to go until our first half-marathon, so its a taper week over here. My CrossFit Endurance training plan called for a “Tempo 10K” today. I decided to interpret that as more of an on/off tempo rather than an all-out tempo, so that I could get in a couple of really fast miles (for me) rather than just 6 sort-of-fast miles. Anyway, here’s how it broke down:

Mile 1 – 9:29 warm-up
Mile 2 – 8:37 ON
Mile 3 – 9:14 OFF
Mile 4 – 8:07 ON (fastest!)
Mile 5 – 9:18 OFF
Mile 6 – 8:42 ON

I was pumped that I could get three “on” miles to feel so good during this run. It went by fast, and the weather was so cooperative. Very thankful for a long weekend so I could run in the warmer middle of the day. It looks like the frigid temps are rolling back through just in time for the BRR-OOKLYN half this weekend. Awesssssome.

short run on a long weekend

short run on a long weekend

The last time I ran a half-marathon was January 2007 at Walt Disney World. For my training run today, I wore the race shirt from 7 years ago. This time next week, Roo and I will have another half-marathon under our belt! Send us warm weather wishes, please!

Throwback to my last 1/2 marathon

Throwback: Ran in this shirt today from my last half-marathon in 2007!

Tasty Thursday: Perfectly Baked Bacon

Yesterday, Merri reached the halfway point of her overall goal of raising $5,000 for the MGH Marathon Team!  Congrats Mer!  I am only $329 away from $2,500 with 14 weeks to go.  Thank you to all of our friends and family who have made donations thus far, it is very very much appreciated!  For those of you who would like to donate you can visit Marissa’s page here, or Meredith’s page here.  THANK YOU!

Today it looks a little dreary out but I am planning to go out for 6 or so miles.  I needed a little pick me up before the run so I decided to make some bacon and eggs to get the day off on the right foot. eggs

Today’s Recipe is PERFECTLY BAKED BACON,  my favorite way to cook Bacon!  This method involves the oven, not the stove top, so you do not have to deal with crazy grease flying out of the pan and possibly hitting you in the arms and or face:

  • Pre-Heat oven to 400 degrees;
  • Lay bacon flat on parchment covered baking sheet;
  • Bake for about 15-18 minutes depending on how thickly cut your bacon or how crispy you like it;
  • I flip the bacon once at about the halfway mark just to make sure they do not burn on one side;
  • Remove from the oven and transfer bacon to paper towel lined plates to drain the excess grease;
  • Eat!


I am heading out for my run… only one more week until the Brr-ooklyn Half Marathon!

5 Miles at 5:30AM: A Coffee Story

I meet my friend and running partner Liz at our local Dunkin’ Donuts on the days that we decide to tackle a morning run. This morning at 5:30am, I was surprised how chilly it was when I set out to meet her. We’ve been spoiled by some warmer weather lately. I stood inside the Dunkin’ Donuts while I waited for her, and stared longingly at the hot coffee and sweet treats. How is it that every single DD everywhere in the world has the EXACT same smell!? The coffee had to wait though…we had work to do!



Liz and I ran our usual route through some quiet streets of Manhasset. We chat the entire time, and sometimes I wonder if people inside their houses can hear us as we come down the street. Yeah, we’re THAT loud sometimes. Ooops!

Miles 1-3: Nice pace, 9:20/mile, and we were able to chat the whole time. The roads were much more slick than I thought they would be, so in a few dark spots we did a little jogging tip-toe.

Mile 3.5: Said bye to Liz, and dropped off my outer layer and headband on my front stoop, and headed back out to run a little bit more with headphones and tunes. I don’t know about you guys, but more and more lately I don’t even feel warmed up until I am a couple miles into a run.

Miles 3.5-5: A nice, solo mile and a half before the sun came up to finish up my workout. I am really happy that I can hold a 9:20/mile pace for these types of distances, and could even go faster if I really wanted to push it. My MGP (marathon goal pace) will probably be in the 10:00/10:30 range, which will still get me to my marathon PR!

* In fundraising news, Marissa and I are BOTH in the +2K range now! We are SO thankful for everyone who has donated money, left us a note of encouragement on Facebook or on our blog, or cheered us along this journey. To donate to the MGH Pediatric Cancer center, click here! Thank you! *

14 Weeks To Go – Weekly Training Schedule

Monday – CrossFit
Tuesday – REST. My legs needed it today after lots of squats yesterday, and 11 miles on Sunday.
Wednesday – Meeting my friend Liz for a 5:30am run. Probably do about 3-4 with her and another 3-4 on my own
Thursday – CrossFit
Friday – 8 miles
Saturday – Speed workout on the track, TBD
Sunday – REST

Lower milage this week so I can really ATTACK our first half-marathon next week in BRRR-OOKLYN!


Ten Plus One = Long

It’s been over a week since my last long run, but my training program allows for long weeks, followed by shorter weeks to give your body a chance to adjust.

Mile 1– All those days off the road, and my legs were raring to go. I hit an 8:53 min mile to kick things off, and had to reign myself in a little. That’s faster than I want to pace for the marathon. Way faster.  Usually my first mile is my slowest, as I am either sore from a hard CrossFit workout, just waking up, or trying to work some kinks out. I knew this run was going to be special right from the get-go. We finally had sunshine!

Miles 2-5 – I really like the same out-and-back route from my house, down Northern Blvd to Port Washington Blvd. I decided to do it twice today because the hills are great practice for Heartbreak Hill and the rolling crests of Newton. Mile 5 sort of crushed me though (ended on the biggest uphill portion), and I slowed to a 9:21 pace. It totally pissed me off, so I came back and negative split 6 and 7, at 9:11 and 8:59!

Mile 7 – I planned the route to go right past my house, and I left water on the front steps. I ditched my outer layer and headed out on mile 8.

Mile 8 – Hit a 9:04, followed by a 9:01 mile 9. So exciting to finally be able to hold this pace for 5+ miles. Training really works!

Miles 9-11 – Since I was feeling so strong, I decided at mile 9 to try and go for 11 miles, instead of the planned 10. Crushed it. I can’t say enough good things about the Run: Swiftly Turtleneck that I got this week off of the Lululemon Facebook Exchange. They are sold out in stores, so I was totally pumped to grab this one in bright coral. It was the perfect mid-layer to start off with, but then for the last 4 miles, I was warm enough just to wear it as a solo-layer.

My average pace of 9:09 makes this the fastest, farthest run for me in 2014! I still have a total runner’s high, but the brightest moment of all happened when I walked in the door to my house. I checked my email, and saw that my dear friend Ellie & her family made an incredibly generous donation to Mass General’s Pediatric Cancer Center on my behalf. This is why we run. We are all so thankful for all your support!  Bring on the BRR-OOKLYN half-marathon on January 25th! Roo and I are READY!

Run: Swiftly Turtleneck, high props

Run: Swiftly Turtleneck, huge props

* Marissa and I are training for the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause. THANK YOU! *