Boston Strong: 1 Year Later (My thoughts)

Honestly, I had no intentions of posting anything today. I haven’t posted since the end of Growing Up Alex, and I didn’t want today to be my first post back, but something kept drawing me to the ‘New Post’ page. So here I am. Writing about an unthinkable tragedy that happened during an event and on a day where the city of Boston comes together to celebrate.

While I wasn’t in the city of Boston that day, I had several friends visiting and I knew several people running it, just like many of us. I was driving home from a weekend away with my fiancee. We had gone down to Mohegan Sun and were driving back. The radio was set to 98.5 The Sports Hub. And we were listening the moment that they uttered the word ‘There have been two explosions at the Marathon finish line.”

We were only 30 minutes from home when we heard the report. We weren’t sure what was going on, but we knew it wasn’t good. That night we were glued to the television, watching the reports, hearing about the victims and survivors, and holding on to each other.

While I wasn’t at the marathon, I don’t think I have ever been more effected by a single event in my life. I was only 15 when 9/11 happened, and at the point, I knew it was really bad, but didn’t quite understand the brevity of it until a couple years later when I really understood what was going on in the world.

The whole week after I was on edge. I didn’t sleep. I hated the fact these people could attack our city like that. I hated not knowing who did it and was very uneasy about where they were after the attacks. I wanted they captured. I wanted them to know that they messed with the wrong city.

The one thing that I did see; this huge city suddenly seemed so small. The city suddenly reached beyond it’s limits and each person embraced Boston Strong.  I’ve never lived in the city. But Boston is my city. Just like everyone else. The compassion, the need to help, and a city that came together like nothing else. A moment that will always stand out in my mind after that horrible day was the first Bruins game after the attack. When the entire arena sang the Star Spangled Banner along with Rene Rancourt. I sat and cried. Not because I was sad, but because I was so proud to call Boston home.

So on today, I’m going to remember Boston. Remember the strength, the courage, the compassion, and the love. But also remember the victims who were lost to soon, and to those who survived and continue to charge on. I’m going to remember all of those who leapt into action to help those injured. And I’m going to remember that depsite one of the worst days in the history of Boston, that the city of Boston proved to all that their spirit can never be broken.
We are Boston Strong.

It’s Sunny……

And if you’re a New Englander like me, then you know what a huge deal this is.

It literally rained for almost 3 days. Roads are flooded. Rivers are flooded. Parking lots are flooded. People’s yards and basements are flooded.

My car was not thrilled about driving through giant lakes in the road yesterday morning.

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But it’s sunny out. Just not slightly sunny. Like full out, no clouds in the sky, let’s get sunburned sunny.

Normally Tuesday would be a barn night for me. Unfortunately, I woke up with a very stiff and sore back. Ugh. Looks like tonight I’ll be doing some serious stretching. Also planning on taking a long walk outside and just enjoying the beautiful weather. My work is right next to a long rail trail in town and I’m thinking it would be perfect for tonight. I’d like to run a little bit too, but we shall see how the back holds up. I’m dying to hit the pavement with my running shoes instead of being on the treadmill. Let’s just say I’m ready for the heat wave outside.

hot weather

Okay, it’s not that hot out. But right now, 50 degrees will feel like a heat wave.

 

A weekend of relaxation and productivity

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I certainly did. It was relaxing and productive.

Friday: After work, I headed to the gym and ran. I upped my running time to 15 minutes today and I felt great. My muscles were pretty sore though, so one I got home I indulged in a good stretch before hopping in the shower. It was amazing how much better my body felt after a good stretch. Note to self: Stretch more often. The other half and I got salads for dinner from our favorite pizza shop in town and enjoyed a few beverages.

One of my photos in the Etsy shop

One of my photos in the Etsy shop

Saturday: Typical morning for me. Off to the barn I went to clean stalls and enjoy the company of the horses. Once I got him – we headed up to the Kittery Outlets. I wanted to head to the Under Armour Outlet to pick up some more of their HeatGear Running Shirts. I’m obsessed. And thankfully they were on sale for 2 for $30. Added 4 more to my workout arsenal! Now I just need to get some more running pants! After we did our weekly groceries and stocked up on things I needed for my planned cooking frenzy for Sunday.

My only goal for Saturday night was to finish my taxes. In fact, I made it clear to N to not let me do anything else until my taxes were done. He even made dinner during that time (Mexican Taco Bake!).  Once I completed my taxes we watched Frozen (I’m obsessed!) and I got my eryn e photography Etsy shop up and running. The Etsy shop will have all photos from my personal collection (think flowers, landscapes, the beach, etc.)

And now for Sunday.

Sunday was…. a kitchen adventure. I got up early and got a few more things loaded into the Etsy store and then went to get a mani/pedi before the frenzy began. Now, this was a pre-planned frenzy. Knowing N was going to be working all day, I decided to cook dinner and try out a few new recipes.

First up – Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it has easily become a new favorite. To keep it a bit healthier, we made sure to get lean chicken breasts, and low fat ranch dressing and cheese. Obviously not the healthiest meal, but it sure hit the spot!

The finished product

The finished product

While those were baking, I started working on Creamy Greek Yogurt Mac and Cheese. Also not super healthy, but definitely a good comfort food. And the Greek Yogurt gave it such a different flavor. Yum! (I brought a little for lunch today….)

photo 1

After that was done, I went to work on some No Bake Energy Bites. I have to say – these were probably the hardest to make out of everything! However, they are delicious!

My parents decided to stop by during the cooking frenzy, so I took a quick break and threw together a Sugar-Free Banana Cream Pie for my dad. I had the crust and pudding in my cabinet already so it took no time at all. He was pretty excited.

The final meal of the day – Healthy Turkey Chili. I cook this A LOT. We both love it, and it’s super hearty. My decision to make this was super last minute so I was missing the chipotle chilis it calls for, so I improvised. I added jalapenos (1 1/2 cups), sriracha sauce, red cayenne pepper and chili powder (to taste). It gave it an entirely different flavor, but was still yummy. I’m excited to dig into it for dinner tonight!

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Enjoy the recipes! I wish I was created enough to come up with these on my own, but thank god for Pinterest.

My Goal: Just to Have the Time of My Life

TGIF! Happy Friday all!

We’re finally getting some spring-like weather up here in New England (complete with what may be some early April showers monsoon type weather). And by early, I mean essentially the entire last few days of March. At least it will be in the 40s… except for Sunday. Which will be in the 30s. Have no fear, spring appears to be on it’s way!

All I can say is…we better have a LONG HOT SUMMER. I won’t even complain this year if we get multiple heat waves. I will bask in it. Seriously.

So with spring and summer finally on it’s way, it got me thinking about my goals for this year – the things I want to accomplish so I can look back and remind myself how the spring/summer/fall of 2014 will be one of the best years yet!

1. Learn to Paddleboard – I live by the ocean. I should at least learn to do something water related (besides swim of course. I’ve been able to do that since I was a kid!). Paddleboarding just looks like so much fun, while being a great workout, while enjoying the summer weather. Thankfully, Sierra works at a Paddleboarding place in the summer and said she will teach me. Hooray!

2. Run a 5K – I’ve been saying this for probably 5 years now. Maybe even longer. But for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I can stick to training and learning how to run. I am totally getting a runner’s high when I run now. Even when I’m sucking wind after just a couple of minutes. After I’m done, I feel like a new person. And I can’t wait to do it again. This time, I’m sticking with it. Hopefully tonight, I’ll be hitting the road for the first time since it will be close to 50. Got to build up the stamina there since I can’t run a race on a treadmill!

A few spring/summer/fall options for 5K’s in the area are:

  • Flag Day 5K – Saturday, June 14th (It benefits the 1st Lt. Derek Hines Soldier Assistance Fund; I grew up with his family. It also falls 2 days before my birthday. Which would be an amazing experience to finally reach a goal before my birthday!)
  • The Nate Bibaud 5K – Saturday June 29th
  • Yankee Homecoming 10 Mile and 5K – Tuesday, July 29th (it’s during Yankee Homecoming, a Newburyport tradition)
  • 25th Annual Apple Harvest Race – Sunday, October 5th

Who knows! Maybe I’ll be so ready by June I can run all of them. However, I’m just going to go with the flow and know that I have at least 4 ahead of me that I could do! Just need to keep up the training!

3. Travel – Last summer, we took a week off and basically just hung around and took in the sites close to home. This year, I want to travel. I hate flying, but I love visiting new places. We’ve already planned at July trip to Rota, Spain for 10 days to visit my best friend and her husband. A fall trip is also in the works so we can celebrate the other half’s birthday and start planning our wedding (HOORAY!!!). I’m also hoping we’ll get to do some fun weekend trips, as long as money allows!

4. Enjoy Every Minute  – I feel like every summer goes by in the blink of an eye. Suddenly it’s September and I’m looking back wondering where the hell the summer. Come September this year, I don’t want to look back and wonder where it went.

  • I want to look back and say ‘That was the best summer ever.’ I want to spend time at the beach, or by the pool, and attempt to get a tan (I burn usually… I’m Irish).
  • I want to take long walks in the summer evenings, or the early mornings, before the humidity sets it.
  • I want to have campfires and gatherings, and endless nights that we will talk about for years to come.
  • I want to be outside as much as humanly possible.
  • I want to travel around with my camera and create a personal portfolio I will be oh so in love with.
  • I want to have the time of my life.

 

 

 

 

What’s On My Mind Wednesday [3.26.14]

We’re going to go right in to What’s On My Mind Wednesday today – hope you like the new graphic!

STATEMENT #35(1)

1. MH370 – It’s been on everyone’s minds recently. I’ve been watching the reports, and as much I knew in my heart that the plane went down, I hoped for the sake of all of those people and their loved ones that it would be found somewhere with all occupants alive. Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be the case. I hope for all those involved, the wreckage is found soon and they can get some answers about what happened. So sad.

2. Running – My foot pain is nearly gone. I say nearly, because it’s been bothering me a bit the last couple of days. I’m assuming it’s because I’m back to normal activity, but either way, I’m not trying to let it get me down. Last night was the first time in nearly 7 months that I was able to run. I’ve never been a runner, but I’ve always aspired to be a runner. After having this ridiculous injury set me back, I’m more determined than EVER to become a runner.

After work, despite how nervous I was, I hopped on a treadmill and started to warm up. I battled that little voice in my head saying just to walk for 30 minutes, but I knew I had a goal in mind. I at least wanted to see if I could do it; make sure I could do something far more strenuous without pain. And I did it. I managed to run for 3.5 minutes. It was a slow. But I did it. This may have been the longest stretch of time I’ve run for since I attempted Couch to 5K last year. I was shocked that I could actually breathe. Normally when I start thinking to much about my breathing, I panic, thus sending me into full on hyperventilating mode.

I kept up a routine of walk at 3.5 and run at 4.4 the entire time. I think in total I only ran for like 9 minutes. BUT I did it. Even when I wanted to quit because my legs felt so heavy, I pushed myself to do another round.

My quick notes while working out.

My quick notes while working out.

Now to just keep this up and bring it to the streets when it gets nice out.

3. Weather – Which brings me to the weather. It’s official. I am so sick of New England. Well, I guess just the winter. It’s essentially been winter since November. I’m over it. It’s March 26th and the cape is getting hammered by a blizzard and it’s currently 30 degrees out. I’m sick of wearing my Ugg Boots, and my giant winter jacket and having to warm my car up before I get in it. It’s spring. Warm weather needs to be here… immediately.

This is a river.... not an ocean. Contrary to what it looks like.

This is a river…. not an ocean. Contrary to what it looks like.

4. Running Sneakers and Workout Clothes – After I injured my foot, I vowed that if I really become a runner, I would get fitted for running sneakers. I want to make sure I never get injured again, at least in terms of my footwear. I’m running in my Nike Pegasus’s right now. I know they don’t have the best support for running, but for what I’m doing right now, they are perfect. And comfortable. And that’s what matters to me. Hopefully by summer I will get fitted.

I also realized last night that while my ratty old ‘Washington DC’ t-shirt is perfect for walking and the elliptical, it sucks to run in. It was totally drenched in sweat, and I’m pretty sure it added 10 lbs on to my already heavy frame (essentially the 10 lbs I lost already!). Needless to say, tonight I’ll be trying one of my UnderArmour tops – hopefully that will help!

photo 1

5. Thinspo and Social Media – A hot topic around the blogosphere right now. Eating disorders are so prevalant and even more so now with social media. #Thinspo and similar hashtags are common on Instagram, but Instagram makes sure to have a disclaimer up about eating disorders and how to get help. I’m very impressed that social media sites are now trying to help those who are battling this. This very idea is what helped come up with the ‘Growing Up Alex’ series. She has an amazing story to tell, and I wanted to be bring awareness to it. I’m proud of her for telling her story and I hope you check it out. Part 3 will be up on the blog tomorrow!

I guess that’s it! Not too much on my mind this week.

Happy Hump Day my friends!

My Thoughts (aka Ranting) of today

If I seem to be MIA for the next few days, it’s because I’m prepping for my best friend’s wedding this week.

Yep. My first friend and my longest-known friend (27 years!) is getting married this weekend. Needless to say, there is a lot of prep stuff to do here before I travel to Maryland to see her marry the man of her dreams! So if I disappear… you’ll know why!

Okay. On to my thoughts… currently.

First, how long does a navicular stress fracture take to heal? Does anyone know? Because I’ve been in the boot for 3 weeks and I’m already itching to get out of it. I wasn’t even a runner before I got injured and now, all I want to do is run. Seriously. As much as it sucked that I injured myself exercising, all I want to do now is exercise. Like I can promise the second I get the go ahead from my doctor, I’ll be hitting a running shoe store, getting fitted for new shoes and hitting the pavement. Or the treadmill… depending on what the weather is like when the boot comes off.

I feel like I’m crawling out of my skin to do some serious cardio. It’s driving me INSANE. Literally… I just want to run around. I also want to wear two shoes again. I miss wearing two shoes. I also currently can’t find any of my left shoes, which is strange and totally unexplainable. I mean, I put my shoes on and take them on off in the same place. So not sure how that’s happening.

And the whole boot/one shoe look is totally not stylish.

This boot is seriously cramping my style.

This boot is seriously cramping my style.

I know … positive thinking. But I just needed to rant. I go back to the doctor tomorrow and the first thing I’m asking, well probably the second thing, is what can I be doing for exercise. The first will be ‘So are we any closer to getting this thing off?’

Hopefully, I’ll have an update, but if I disappear until next week, it’s because I’m traveling!

Enjoy!

 

I run.

After being away from the blogging world for nearly 6 weeks, I’m back. Hopefully on a more normal schedule. After attempting to run 2 blogs (3 if you count the photography business as well), I started to get overwhelmed and realized that there just wasn’t enough time in the day to do that. Trying to figure out content for each blog was nearly impossible and it had to stop. So as of today, my ‘health’ blog is officially done. I’m coming home to the blog that started it all. It’s all about me and my crazy life, and I couldn’t want anything more.

I’ll call it my ‘life blog with a health twist’ since my current goal is to get healthy.

Ever since the Boston Marathon Bombings a week and a half ago, I’ve felt the need to write. Whenever something big happens, I blog about it. I was started to blog when there was something momentous instead of blogging for the love of it. So instead of writing, I started running. There are enough posts out there about it. In all honesty, I don’t have the words to describe the unthinkable, horrific tragedy that happened so close to home; in the city that I love. I may not have ever lived in Boston, but I consider myself a Bostonian. I was glued to the reports every day for a week. I lived and breathed what happened, like everyone else, but I couldn’t write about it. There were, and still aren’t, any words to describe this event.

So, I ran. As horrible as the tragedy was, it gave me a new form of motivation, like many people. I wanted to run. I wanted to do something that I knew some of these people may not do for a long time. I wanted to run for them. I wanted to run for Boston.

So here I am, in the middle of  Week 2 of Couch to 5K, feeling good about myself. I’m a terrible, slow, runner, but I’m doing it. I started somewhere and I’m going to finish. I’m not going to stop this time. In 7 more weeks, I will be a runner. And that is what is getting me through. Every time I get a cramp in my side or my lungs start to burn, I remind myself that I can do this. I remind myself not to give up. And I push through. I remind myself that I’m not running for me; but running for Boston.

Now, I will probably never run the Boston Marathon (never say never, right?), but in my mind, just being able to accomplish a 5K would be one of the best accomplishments in my life thus far.  Our plan is to aim for a Fall 5K – that way once I’m doing with the training program (which will be right around my birthday in June), we can keep working on the running and speed part. But who knows, as I get closer, I may just feel the need to sign up for some form a race just to give a go!