We all do it during the summer months – fill up our weekends and free time to the point that our ‘time off’ is anything but free. This past weekend was certainly no exception but I was really looking forward to it because all of the activities were fun.
I woke up early Saturday morning for an 8 mile run with Chrissy on her birthday. She was excited to begin her special day with a long run and I was definitely happy to have some company for what was actually the start of a new training season preparing for the Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon. It’s been pretty warm and humid in Boston the past couple of weeks but we planned a route along the Charles River where we would have access to water along our way. It’s the longest I’ve run since the Vermont City Marathon so I was definitely feeling tired toward the end of the run but chatting along the way with Chrissy made it go by super fast. We finished up at her new apartment where we took in some water and took a photo to document our run.
After walking home I found the motivation to do a quick set of abdominal work. I’ve been really good about incorporating even a short set of abs after every workout to strengthen my core. I originally had a ’30 Day Abs Challenge’ sheet but it bothered my back so my chiropractor gave me a few different exercises that with even a short set, it seems to get the job done. I’m also using this awesome exercise that I’ve learned in Rebecca Pacheco’s yoga classes. Check out this link for omgal’s ‘eagle abs’… and prepare to burn.
Saturday night I met up with Chrissy again when a group of us gathered to celebrate her birthday. I had the brilliant idea to take another photo to show how well we clean up but it never happened. We looked pretty, you’ll just have to trust me.
I was up early again on Sunday for the City Sports Back in the Day 10k but this time it wasn’t my race. My Saucony 26 Strong partner, Christine, was registered and this would be her first race. It was the perfect opportunity for me to show my support and meet for the first time. I was able to find her at the start and helped her pin her bib number on. Since it was a warm day I offered some advice including that she stops at every water stop to be sure she stayed hydrated and if she was having a hard time it was okay to back off a little bit. The goals were to finish strong and have fun!
The race had an 80’s theme and some of the outfits were fantastic, plus they were playing some terrific retro tunes so the time went by quickly waiting for the runners to start crossing the finish. I was positioned perfectly at the finish with a great view of all the runners. Just after the 1 hour mark I saw Christine heading toward the finish with a huge smile and hands raised in victory. I was so proud! She let me know that she felt good but it was very hot and ‘there were many hills’.
After getting some water, cooling off and having some fun at the post race party we were able to sit down and get a bite to eat. We talked a lot about training strategies and the importance of taking the training week by week to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the longer mileage that is ahead of us. We also got to know one another by talking a bit about our lives outside of running – not that I have much of one. I’m so impressed with Christine for taking on this challenge along with everything else that is on her plate but its also clear to me that she is ready to put the work in and conquer the marathon training. I think that I was helpful in answering some of her questions and curiosities about nutrition, training and racing. She had some concerns about a trip she will be taking this summer but I had some ideas about how she can still get in the training that she needs while away and having a possible solution seemed to put her at ease. If I can continue putting more of her concerns at ease throughout the next several months I’ll consider my mentoring a huge success but Christine makes it easy.
Sunday evening was a dinner date I had been looking forward to all week long. My partner in crime, Lucy, and I were heading out for the night to celebrate our birthdays – hers at the end of June and mine on July 1. We haven’t had an opportunity to catch up one on one in a long time so we ordered half the menu and a pitcher of sangria and spent the night talking and giggling over our silly jokes. It was long over due but perfect.
My birthday is on July 1, the start of new month, the start of the second half of the calendar year and the start of a new year for me. The beginning of 2013 had its fair share of challenges but I feel stronger, wiser and much braver than I did 12 months ago. I woke up on my birthday feeling great (albeit a little drowsy and dehydrated). Chrissy and I met for our 2nd birthday run in just 3 days and thanks to the magic of social media I received a birthday greeting from almost everyone I know. It’s a reminder of how blessed I am and how much support is around me. To be honest, I’m hoping the second half of the year is a little smoother than the first but no matter what I’ll be sure to make the best of what comes my way.