Lynnfield Turkey Trot 5K Recap

November 5K – Check!

So far this year, I’ve run a 5K in May, September, October and November.  And damn, it feels good.

I decided to run the Lynnfield Turkey Trot this month for a few reasons.  First, it was super close being in the town right next to mine.  Second, it had “Turkey Trot” in the name and we all know how much I love anything holiday-themed.  Third, it started at 11am.  Hello extra sleep!

The morning of the race, I slept until 9, made my pre-race breakfast (2 slices of light wheat toast with peanut butter) with lots of water, and drove over to Lynnfield at around 10am with Stephen to pick up my race packet and free t-shirt.  Fun fact about me: I love t-shirts, especially free ones.

The race started right at 11 and I was ready for it.  I made a great playlist complete with the songs “Sexy & I Know It” and “We Need a Little Christmas” Glee version.  My strategy was simple: run slow to start, run smart the whole way.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Happy pre-race .... even with the sun in my eyes

The Highs:

The weather.  It was the perfect day to run.  Cloudy with some sun, 60 degrees with a nice cool breeze.

The course.  With the exception of one HUGE hill, the course was very nice.  I ran around pretty Lynnfield neighborhoods and there was still enough foliage to keep the sun off of my over-heating face.

My stomach.  Woo hoo, it cooperated!!  The only time I wasn’t feeling so hot was when I sprinted at the very end.

The Lows:

No PR.  I honestly thought that I had done enough to get one and when I saw the clock and realized I missed it by 40 seconds, I got upset.  Like very upset.  I crossed the finish line, grabbed a water bottle from Stephen and demanded we leave right away (I didn’t even know I missed the free bagels!).  In the car, I came very very close to tears and almost had an all-out tantrum.

But then I stopped being a 5-year-old and thought about the race.  I ran almost the entire thing without stopping.  I didn’t think I was going to throw up or pass out.  I wasn’t hurting (yet) or want to quit running right then and there.  I felt good, accomplished and for once in my whole life, I ENJOYED running.  Genuinely enjoyed it.  Go figure.

New running tights = love. Also, I love finish lines!

 December is so close and at this point, I haven’t signed up for a race yet.  Since I’m nervous about running in the snow, I wanted to do the Beverly Reindeer Run 5K on the 3rd and pray that the snow holds off.  But now I might have to do shooting for school that day.  Dilemma.

Your turn: How do you feel when you don’t PR?  Do you throw a tantrum or chalk it up to a good experience?  What holiday races in December are you running and can you recommend a good one for me?

Weekly Gratitude

It’s been a really long time since I did a Weekly Gratitude post.  Sometimes when I’m stressed out or just really busy, I forget about the things that are really important.

I’m thankful for dance.  This is a frequent flyer on my Weekly Gratitude list but it deserves to be there every single time.  I’ve had the amazing opportunity to choreograph, see my visions come to life, meet some of my best friends, and be a complete goofball (aka be myself).

How'd that get there?

I’m thankful Thanksgiving is next week.  I get 2 Thanksgivings.  Stephen and I start at my house, have some dinner with my family and leave before dessert to get up to his aunt and uncle’s house in New Hampshire for pie.  We chase it down with Christmas movies because with our families, Christmas starts the moment the Thanksgiving turkey is gone.

I’m thankful for my BU friends (and that our semester is over in 3 weeks).  They are fun and I like them.  Plus, they understand why I want to rip my hair out from stress, mainly because we are all in the same boat.

I’m thankful that I chose BU.  Yes, it’s a ton of work and yes, the commute blows but I already know so much more than I did a mere 3 months ago.  I had almost no experience in front of the camera, minimal experience with editing and didn’t even know what a JVC HD was.  Now, I’m shooting, editing and putting together all of my own stuff and it’s incredibly gratifying when other people like the projects you spend hours and hours on.

I’m thankful for my AC friends.  I don’t get to see them everyday, but the occasions we do get to be together are the absolute best.  I’m so excited for Christmas on the Cape and to give my awesome Secret Santa present.  But I digress.

This is Alyse. I do not have her for Secret Santa but she'd appreciate my gift.

I’m thankful for my family.  Even though sometimes they drive me nuts, family is family and I love mine.

I’m thankful that I have someone special who loves me.  Mushy?  Yes.  But it’s true so it’s there.

He's a saint because he puts up with me. Seriously... ask anyone.

I’m thankful for crafts I can do.  I’m not a crafty person.  I can’t draw, paint, build, sculpt.  But once in a while, I’ll come across something that is “so simple, you can do it with your kids.”  Well, if small children can make these Christmas gifts, so can I, damn it.

I’m thankful I have a 5K tomorrow.  Did I really just say that?  I probably won’t feel that way when I wake up tomorrow but it’s still true.  After last month’s rough Witch City race, I’m ready to get back to PR-ing.  Here that stomach? Be cool, okay?

TELL ME!!  What are you thankful for today?  I’ll be thankful you told me!


It’s officially the middle of November.. when the hell did that happen?

I only have 3 full weeks left in my first semester of grad school.  That is an amazing sentence.  I could do a cartwheel with that sentence.

The beginning of November included lots of filming, lots of editing, some friend-filled parties, more editing, a trip up the the Tonry Tree Farm in New Hampshire, applying for the London Summer program at BU, dancing, running, and some freaking out.  There is always a little bit of freaking out.  Here’s the first half of my month picture-style:

My best friends from undergrad and I have pulled Secret Santa names and determined a theme (let’s just say it centers around sports).  This is going to be an interesting gift swap!  I already bought my gift and it’s AWESOME.

Best Friends at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grille

This is RD Sahl.  You may know him.  He was an anchor on NECN forever.  He’s now one of my teachers. 

We're his favorites.

This is what we call a Live Shot.  It took a few tries but we got there.

I want to be on TV when I grow up.

And when my DanceWorks friends get together, well, wine and dancing are always the most populat combination.

Is that white wine in my glass? All the red must've been gone.

And we learn dances sometimes.

Check out that pose.

And this is Fred.

He’s a great snuggle buddy.

That’s been my month up til now.  Running has been more of a priority this month and dance has been the top priority in my workout world.  The DanceWorks Boston show is less than a month away (only 2 rehearsals left!) and I’m so excited. 

So what’s coming up?

This weekend:

I’ll be driving up to Hampton Falls, NH again this weekend but this time, it’s to film for my final project for my Visual Media class.  The Tonry Tree Farm (where we get our tree) has agreed to let me capture their beautiful farm and their history on camera.  I think it’s going to be the perfect Christmas ending to my semester.

Family dinner to follow that night… my parents, Stephen’s parents.  They’re best friends, it’s all very cute.  I’ll be going to bed on the early side because I have my fourth 5K race, the Lynnfield Turkey Trot, on Sunday morning.  I’m gunning for that PR and my goal is to run it around 32:00 but anything under 32:30 works for me!

Next week is a 3 day week school/work week!  2 days of class + 1 day of work + 1 amazing holiday + Black Friday = Happy Marie.

Next Thursday is obviously Thanksgiving and I will be creating some healthier versions of my favorite holiday foods.  Example: Hungry Girl’s stuffing with apples and cranberries.  I’ll also be sticking to lots of veggies and some white meat turkey.  And probably a small slice of Boyfriend’s apple pie because it’s just that good.

Black Friday is not a typical shopping day for my family.  I don’t enjoy the 5am rush to the mall.  I don’t enjoy being pushed and shoved for “on sale” items that are still over-priced.  I do enjoy listening to Christmas music and driving an hour to New Hampshire.  We spend the day shopping for something very special: our Christmas Tree!  Together, Stephen’s family and my family go up to the Tonry Tree Farm, find our (very large) trees, make Stephen cut them down, strap them to the hoods of our cars, make a pitstop at Market Basket for some tax-free beverages and then head home to put the trees up  and decorate all. night. long.

Well, I’m certainly not going to do that…

Next Saturday means homemade raviolis and my 5-year high school reunion.  Strange.  5 years.. seriously?  I’m kind of excited though.  I get to see people I haven’t seen in a really long time and I think it’ll be fun.  And Sunday is my friend Sandy’s 24th birthday which we will be celebrating the following Tuesday night.  The rest of the month leaves a couple of paper deadlines, lots of filming and editing and getting ready for the end of the semester/my dance show/Christmas!!

I wanna know… what are you looking forward to most this month?  What is your favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving?  Is it too early for you to listen to Christmas music?  (I don’t think it is….)

Witch City 5K Recap

Better late than never!

Third 5K in historic Salem.  With a running buddy.  Not my best race but still Halloween-tastic.

Running Buddies woo!

The Ups:

The weather.  Chilly, yes, but it was a gorgeous morning and the air kept me cool.

The location. Historical Salem, MA during the Halloween season is the BEST.  People (not me) were dressed in costumes, the city is adorned with all sorts of fun decorations and the course itself was lovely.

My running buddy.  My friend Kim and I started the Couch to 5K programs only weeks apart at the beginning of the year but this is the first time we ever run one together.  Seriously, even though my stomach was puke-y and she has somewhat of a bum knee at the moment, having someone running next to you who trains at a similar pace is one of the best motivations out there.  And we wore matching shirts.  What now?

The Downs:

My stomach.  Seriously stomach?  I don’t understand why I constantly feel the need to puke during every race I do.  Can anyone help me on this?  Is it my pre-race morning routine?  My pre-race dinner?  My pre-race jitters?  I don’t know but whatever it is needs to be rectified.

No PR.  I was gunning for it too.  And I was disappointed.  But ya “win” some, ya “lose” some.

Pain.  Foot for me, knee for Kim.  Aspirin post-race.  What can ya do?

Overall, it was a fun time despite the downs. 

Next up?

Well, here’s my debate.  I have a goal to run a 5K each month until the end of the year.  I rocked one in September, didn’t puke in October and now, I only have 2 months left.  I found 5Ks in both months that look promising.  But there is a very big BUT staring me in the face.

You may have heard that Massachusetts has already gotten snow.  Yes my friends, snow in October.  And yes, it is 35 degrees out.  I’m not a fan.

Now it’s November and another 5K is rapidly approaching for the end of the month and I honestly don’t know if I’m going to be able to run it in the cold weather.  Call me a baby, a wuss, a whatever.  If you have tips for me for in heavy, cold air, please let me know.

I’m probably just going to suck it up and register for both.  But any advice is much appreciated!

Who can run in this??

I want to know: When it’s cold, what do YOU run in?  Hats, scarves, special shirts/shorts? TELL ME!