Enough already....

Last night I saw this on facebook & thought it was a joke

Of course I am in Springfield, right where the 20-25 band borders the 15-20. 

I know this is a Boston station, but even the local ones are saying 12-18. 
Every storm we've had this winter has been on the high end or more than predicted. I am beyond sick of this, thankfully I am in countdown mode to New Orleans (10 days)! I think I will be ok to make it to the gym in the morning tomorrow, but wednesday will be a washout. I'll get run #1 of the week in tomorrow.

Today I did skip the gym. I'm sore from that 12 miles yesterday & I got a crappy nights sleep. My goal is to do a little Ab work after I make some dinner. Turkey Chili is the menu for tonight.

I may have forgot to mention, my college roomate who came up with the plan to run the RnR New Orleans Half has a stress fracture in her foot & Isn't running now, boooo! Thank goodness my longrun partner Shelley is coming!

Don't forget my Nathan's hydration belt giveaway HERE ends 2/3!
Stay warm & snow free if you can!

i beat the treadmill!

I made it! 
I suffered through 12 long miles on the treadmill & finished in 2:14:33! I had to get off once to refill water, and I did a couple walk breaks, but overall finished strong! Not too bad considering I missed all my other runs this past week, and was extra lazy. Now its taper time, race day is 2 weeks away!

Who else is going to Rock N Roll New Orleans? 
Any interest in a blogger meet up?

I also need a little advice for my Fundraising raffle. Since this is my first one, I'd like a little input from you guys. I've seen some raffles where it runs for a certain amount of time and a raffle winner it drawn each week & chooses their prize, and some where at the end of the time period the prizes are drawn in order. 
Any input either from those of you who have run them, or for those of you that may be interested in participating once its posted, would be greatly appreciated!

Oh... and my post run treat today?

I figured it was a little healthier than the ice cream shop's version across the street. I'm enjoying some while watching 30 rock from last week!

Time share Hell & Sox time!

Last night it took 4 1/2 hours, but I finally escaped timeshare hell.
Remember when I said I won that cruise at the bridal show? The only requirement was to go to a 90 min timeshare presentation. Easy, right? wrong. 
I was expecting something like this

minus the palm trees of course, I am in New England!
I wish I had taken a picture of what it really looked like!

I was expecting prompt service, professional salespeople, and the timeshare folks to try & wow us to buy with them. Not so much. It smelled, there were crappy cookies & popcorn, and the sales staff looked & acted unprofessional, yelling out at each other & egging each other on. They had told us to come for the 4pm session, so I figured we would sit with a big class, watch a video, hear a presenter, then meet with a salesperson & tell them we're not interested.

Well, we waited an hour to be seen, since apparently you are seen one on one with a bloodsucker salesman. I see this short, fat older salesman in a shirt & tie & say to Kevin, "I hope we don't get him." Who calls out our name? of course, we're stuck with him. At the beginning he asked us if we just wanted our gifts we could take them & leave or hear more, I foolishly said hear more. I was a little curious about what the program offered, and how much something like this costs. BIG MISTAKE.

The guy was ridiculous, telling us more stories about his life and vacations that I cared to know x 100. Kevin & him actually got in a fight at one point because the guy was drawing crap everywhere, circling numbers that didn't even include a price and we didn't care about & making a mess. He made us drive to go see a unit, that was nice enough, but nothing special. At one point Kevin said "listen can't we just get to the point of all this?" He was so longwinded, and lengthy in his stupid stories. Once he finally told us the price, we told him no. Then he slashed the prices in half. We said no. Then he said "Would you do it if it were free?" I told him of course. He said "Well let's sign you up then, we do it as a promotional piece, you write a blog or something online."What???

Kevin & I had already added up the numbers. They charge a yearly matinence fee of $750, then you have to pay $200 to "trade" your week at the crappy place in the Berkshires for a beautiful place in Jamaica. Then they charge you $70 a year for travel books they send. You have to pay taxes & fees, for airfare, food, drinks. Probably about $1800 a year for that week vacation, which is probably what we spend anyways on a really nice vacation. But we don't need the big 2 bedroom suite right now, and we were not looking for the commitment. Maybe at some point in the future, but not now. Plus, if someone is offering me something for free that 20 minutes ago required a mortgage and $15,000, now I'm very skeptical.

Finally we got away from him, to wait longer to get our prizes. We got our cruise with airfare, a $40 american express card, a weekend at the cape, and hotel for a 5 night stay in jamaica, aruba, hawaii or puerto rico. I missed a friend's birthday party, we stopped by On the Border to say Hi & pick up an order to go, and came home exhausted.

That was the major adventure, but the better news is my Red Sox tickets!!!

Typically, they do a virtual waiting room the day tickets go on sale, and you are randomly selected from the room, so it could take 5 minutes or 14 hours (typically I wait about 8-14 hours). This year, they changed it so you are actually waiting in line, and get in to buy tickets in the order you were waiting in. AWESOME!
I was in the waiting room maybe 15 minutes, and left with some awesome tickets!
All friday, saturday or sunday games. 4  good ones in the grandstand, 2 good ones in the right field box, and 2 sets of 2 for awesome seats in the Lodge boxes. Probably better than any seat I've ever had at Fenway (besides the Budweiser roof deck). So excited for baseball season to be here!

In workout news, I got dressed for the gym saturday morning, just to get there and have there be absolutely no parking spaces, unless I wanted to park by Walgreens and walk over. I said screw it, and ended up with a short ride on the trainer. Shelley and I decided to do a treadmill long run again this week. The snow/ice is still no the greatest and we are nervous about hurting ourselves so close to race time. I'm off in a few to plug 12 miles away on the treadmill, wish me luck!

Getting back...

10 inches. of ridiculous snow. My reindeer is officially buried.
 Friday. Saturday. Tuesday. Wednesday. More snow.

Thank god I leave for New Orleans in 2 weeks. 55-70 degrees and no snow sounds like heaven.
I got my confirmation/final instruction email today! So excited for the race!
I haven't run all week, but hopefully will be able to tomorrow, or just get through my long run sunday.
Today was better food wise, and I even managed a 20 min bike trainer ride while dinner was in the oven. Jillian's Quinoa stuffed peppers, YUM!

This weekend is a busy one. Red Sox tickets go on sale saturday, and we have a time share spiel to go to. I have a birthday dinner for a friend that night, and a long run the next morning. I will behave and avoid the margaritas to prepare for my last 12 miler before race day.

Don't forget to enter my Nathan hydration pack giveaway HERE! It ends 2/3

State of emergency!


And when I am in panic mode, I eat like crap & miss workouts.

Reason #1? More snow is on the way. We had 4 inches today, and are expecting another 6-10 tomorrow night (although I head a rumor of 2-4 feet). I am thinking I need to get on a plane & get out of here immediately. The snow is messing with my workout plans, messing with my life. I get anxious about driving in it, and it throwing off my schedule. I hate it.

Reason #2? Nuggets. Which is what I call babies. My friend Barbie, the one I did my first triathlon with. One of my girlfriends I am supposed to be running the Disney Princess Half with, just told me she is preggers. WTF?! Now she can't run, and she is missing a whole racing season. I really didn't think she was at the point in her life for nuggets, I guess I misjudged. I feel so far from it. I may be 28, but birthing a nugget seems ridiculous to me at this moment. I want to get married, continue training & racing. Getting knocked up is the last thing on my mind. Then I find out another girlfriend is preggers. Both are younger than me, and it is making me anxious. Like, should I be wanting a nugget right now, because I don't. Does that make me a bad person? I know many of you are mommies & love every minute of it, but it just doesn't feel right to me yet.

I was close to a panic attack at work today. Thinking about this snow & nuggets. I wish New Orleans was closer, because I have to avoid all of this. I wish I could say I used that negative/anxious energy to get my workout in, but instead I ate a bag of stacy's pita chips & 3 popsicles for dinner.

My long run partner Shelley & I have decided to go anti Glouster, MA & make a pact to not get pregnant. Now if only I could do something about this snow.....

Wish me luck getting a workout in tomorrow

Why rehab is worth it.

I am a little more than halfway through: The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete. In case you missed my last post, Matt is a marathon runner & ironman, who gets hit by a truck and impaled by his bike post, breaks multiple bones, and destroys his entire abdominal cavity. The book chronicles his recovery & return to endurance sports.
The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete

I knew this would have an impact on me as a runner.

I never thought it would have such a huge impact on me professionally as a rehab physical therapist.

Even though I specialize in strokes and brain injuries, I love me a good multi-trauma. As weird as it sounds, when someone like Matt is on the list to come in, I get excited. Not excited that they injured themselves so badly that they need my help, but excited to work with interesting problems, troubleshoot through the tough stuff, and help someone get back to living.

Reading about Matt's struggles with his therapists, reminded me of struggles I go through with my patients regularly. 

They're tired

It hurts

It's hard to see the progress

Embarrassment and frustration at their current status

I'm the person that can't care if you're tired or it hurts. I'm the person that tells you it's time to get off your ass and go for a walk even though you haven't in 8 weeks. I'm the one that pushes you to do what you think you can't, all so I can help you get back to your life.

There have been plenty of times when I cried after one of my patients walked for the first time, or climbed a flight of stairs. I cry especially when the ones I've really pushed to get where they are, have progressed enough to get home.

My job in many ways is so satisfying. Working with a patient like Matt (even though he does give his therapists a hard time), makes my job worthwhile. 

A few years ago, I had a 21 year old guy fall asleep at the wheel and hit a tree. He showed me pictures of the car, I was surprised he lived. He broke his pelvis, his arm, his leg. He was only allowed to use 1 arm. He stayed at the hospital for almost 2 months. The day he was allowed to use his legs & walk, I cried. The day he was able to use his arm to try a break dancing move the biggest smile was on his face. A year later he auditioned for So you think you can Dance, and made it to the Vegas round. He told me he made sure the cameras knew how awesome his physical therapist was. so. worth. it.

It makes me think about training. There will always be times when we feel too tired, too much pain, or not good enough. Having someone to tell you that you can, and push you to succeed makes all the difference.

Happy training!

On the mend!

Luckily my back is much better. I spent friday night eating heating, reading, and TV watching, making sure to take my muscle relaxers and pain killers when scheduled. Kevin left for Vermont to go snowboarding for the weekend with some friends, which left me to heal, and have a little alone time.

my best friend: brookstone lumbar support

Saturday I even managed a short trip to the gym. I did the elliptical and stair-stepper, then spent a good 20 minutes stretching. I really worked out my back stretching, and successfully managed a short stint on the foam roller. I was feeling great, and even avoided the muscle relaxer (Aleve only)! 

I was feeling pretty confidant for my 10 miler today, but not so confidant in the weather. Below freezing temps made me worried about ice, and my running parter & I decided to hit the treadmills. We pretended she was interested in joining my gym so she could get in for free, then pounded out 10 miles at an amazing speed. Usually we end up around 11:20-12:20 min/mile pace outside, today however I finished with a 10:58 pace. My heart rate was pounding into the 180s near the end, I needed a couple quick pauses to lower it, and stretch the back, but overall I felt great! And the post run starbucks wasn't bad either. This makes me think that maybe I can run a faster half marathon than I previously thought!

Strength Training for Triathletes

Later, I decided to make my strength training plan. I bought Strength Training for Triathletes a while back, but hadn't put the time aside to go through the exercises to develop a program that would work for me. I really think overall the book is great. Lots of pictures and easy to follow instructions. A good background of information for people who aren't familiar with the science behind strength training. I definitely recommend it!

Here's what I came up with....
3 days of strength training split into each sport
Separate core strengthening I can do at home 2-3x/week

Monday (Run strength)
circuit 1: squats, leg press, hamstring curls
circuit 2: hammer curls, upright row, band row
circuit 3: Split squats, lateral raise, toe raise, runners raise

Wednesday (Cycling strength)
circuit 1: Walking lunge, step ups, single calf raise
circuit 2: back extension, captains chair knee lift, shoulder protraction
circuit 3: front raise, DB push up, one leg squats

Friday (Swim strength)
circuit 1: Cable lateral leg lift, cable crossover, cable hip ext
circuit 2: bridging pullover, tubing stroke, tricep push down
circuit 3: inclined superman, slam dunk, DB shoulder press

V-up, combination crunch, modified bridge, russian ball twist, moguls & twisting punch

I picked exercises based on the areas I feel I need the most work on. I tried to group them together into circuits that I can easily work on in one area at my gym. Any input, ideas, or feedback?

Don't forget my Nathan hydration giveaway! enter HERE by 2/3!

Nathan Hydration Pack Review & Giveaway!

I had been on the hunt for a new hydration pack for a while. I got my first one while training for my first half marathon, Kona, Hawaii with Train to End Stroke in 2008!

It definitely served it's purpose, and I've used it on countless runs and races since then. One of my major concerns when I was running was my low back. I have a history of back problems, throwing it out randomly, and extreme tightness despite a ton of stretching. The left side of my low back was always bothering me, especially when I run. Especially with my northface single bottle hydration pack.

I came up with a theory. Having the single bottle, weighing me down at one spot, in a tilted angle, might be contributing to my back pain since I was unable to evenly distribute the water around my waist. I started searching out hydration packs that held 2 or more 'flasks' and were more ergonomic looking.

I found Nathan's website through another blogger, and loved the look and specs on their hydration packs. I got in touch with the amazing folks over at Nathan who offered to send me a pack to try out! The thing that sets Nathan apart, is that they are marathoners, hikers, cyclists & triathletes. They develop their ideas while training and racing, when they are faced with new challenged to overcome. They test all their products in extreme conditions, so you know its good quality before it even reaches you.

LOVE this baby!
I decided to go with the Speed 4. I like to drink. I never go out for a run without water. On my long runs, I always run out of water & am forced to stop at gas stations or starbucks for a refill. I wanted to get a belt that could really keep me loaded for a race. If I'm so thirsty during a half marathon, what will happen when I plan out a full?!

What did I love?
Besides the amount of liquid, I loved that the 4, 10oz. bottles were evenly distributed. My back pain has practically disappeared on my long runs! 
It has one awesome big pocket, and another small one which is plenty to fit my chapstick, cell phone, sport beans, and extra tissues! 
It never rides up, slips off, chafes, or causes any discomfort! I was in between sizes and went with the smaller size, which was perfect. Its snug, just like I like it, and the velcro closure is perfect for easy on/off.
The bottles are in convenient holders that keep the flasks in firmly, but are simple and easy to get the water out. It took me a run or two to figure out that I needed to bite the tip of the bottle a little to get the water out faster, but now its perfect.

In fact, I loved it so much, my running partner headed over to Amazon to buy a Nathan Speed 4 Waist Pack of her own & she loves it too!

Want one of your own?
Nathan has generously offered a Speed 4 hydration pack in size medium to one lucky reader!
If you can't wait, head over to amazon and buy one here: Nathan Speed 4 Waist Pack.

How to Win
please leave a separate comment for each entry
1. Be or become a follower of this blog
2. Head over to Nathan's website HERE and tell me what you love or what you learned!
3. Like Running to Health on facebook HERE
4.  Like Nathan Performance Gear on facebook HERE & let them know I sent you!
5. Post this to your blog, facebook or twitter (1 for each)

You have until 2/3 to enter, good luck!

I Can't get up!

Seriously. Who throws their back out while sitting on the couch writing a blog post? Me apparently. I've been slightly out of alignment for a couple weeks, nothing major. All the sudden, I got a huge jolt of pain in my low back and I couldn't move. I managed to get myself laying on the couch. I tried to get up and couldn't. It reminded me of the time my back was so bad 6 years ago I spent an hour on the floor waiting for my mom to get home and help me. Kevin & my roomie were both at class, and I dropped my mom at the airport last night. I thought of calling a friend nearby to come help, but the door was locked, they wouldn't even be able to get in.  I called Kevin crying and left him a message to come home. Then, I managed to get semi-upright. I used the furniture to get to an ice pack in the freezer, then even made it upstairs for ibuprofen & muscle relaxers.

Kevin made it home an hour or so after and helped take care of me to get me up to bed. At some point during the night, I made it onto my stomach, big mistake. I got stuck around 5am. I couldn't roll over, I was dying in pain, and sweating it was so hot. I managed to tell Kevin "I'm either gonna throw up for pass out." I'm always a courteous passer-outer. I can usually tell someone before I do it at least. I came to sweating, Kevin was elevating my legs. Needless to say I decided I wouldn't be going to work today, and I convinced Kevin to stay home with me. He took me to the doctors a little while ago to get some new prescriptions since I ran out of my muscle relaxer stash.

So, I never made it to my run yesterday (drained after the funeral), and obviously I didn't make it today. With New Orleans 3 weeks away, I hope I can at least get my long run in on sunday!

Back to TV, napping, and reading!

My own bumper sticker!

A little while ago, Megan at Build-A-Sign offered to help me make something special for my blog. I looked around the website, and they make a ton of different things. Anything from Banners, yard signs, vinyl decals and window clings, to bumper stickers. I decided to go with a classic bumper sticker.

I went to the website & used their super simple design tool to customize the font, colors, and design to exactly what I wanted. They were made & shipped out to me within a week or so!

So if you end up with a surprise in your giveaway package from me, you can thank Megan.

And if you need to make any signs, stickers, or anything for your sport team, school, work, or party needs, head over to Build-A-Sign and start designing your own!

Sneak peaks: weather, raffle, and sweaty band winner!

This week has been a little tough, getting ready for my Nana's funeral. Last night was the wake, and after we went to Olive Garden with the family since it was her favorite restaurant. I overindulged and ate way too much. A little bruschetta, breadsticks & salad (how can you say no?), my meal thankfully was a light seafood dish (and I only ate half), and finished with some tiramisu. Did I mention I washed it down with 2 glasses of Pinot Noir? Thankfully I did get in a fabulous run after work, before the wake. A nice speedwork run on the treadmill for a total of 5.5 miles.

This morning my original plan was a cross training day before a manicure and the funeral. However have you seen the weather report?

I think this is just tonight into friday morning, and we're expecting more during the day. Like we don't have enough yet? I'm anticipating not being able to hit my gym tomorrow. So my new plan is to get my tempo run in this afternoon, and do some videos and the bike trainer on friday. I know I'm not supposed to do my key runs on back to back days, but I really do not want to miss any more runs before the race. I hate how winter weather is messing with my training schedule.

I also started reading The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete, which I won from Whitney's pay it forward giveaway. So far I love it. I am the girl who loves to hear the traumatic stories of accidents gone wrong. I love shows like real life trauma in the ER, and Medical Mystery Diagnosis, and pretty much any crazy trauma show you can find. When I get a new patient at work, the more complicated the injuries, the better. I LOOVE working with complex injuries with interesting stories. Makes my job a MILLION times more interesting! It would have been amazing to be his physical therapist and help get him back on his feet, a HUGE kudos to whoever rehabbed him!
The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete

I want to throw a BIG shout out to the companies so far offering items for my Run to Home Base raffle!

 This is a sneak peak at what there will be, with more items in the works!

Thank you to all the amazing companies who have donated items so far! There are more items in the works for some great surprises too! If you are a company interested in donating to my raffle, please email me at sgrigely@hotmail.com to let me know!
Also, a special shout out to Whitney @ Running with Whit who donated an awesome training log to the raffle!

My Sweaty bands winner?

haha what a hilarious blog name, LOVE it! She's also sponsoring a virtual 5K, so go sign up, I am!

email me at sgrigely@hotmail.com to claim your prize by Sunday!

Happy running, I'll be posting some other exciting things as soon as i have the chance.