Morning Runs Are My Unicorn

No less than a dozen times in the recent past have I gotten myself super motivated to get out for a bright and early before the birds pre-work run. I am actually totally down for this (in theory). I think about how therapeutic it could be to be on the road, mostly alone, literally running in to the start of a new day. I think about watching the sunrise as I take time for a sort of meditative reflection on life. I think about feeling strong and energized as I head into work and how awesome it would be to say, “oh hey, I can do anything I want after work today because I already did my run!”   

I spend entire evenings thinking about all of this greatness I would derive from a pre-work morning run. I get so excited; I check the weather, I get my running gear all laid out and I set my alarm all usually before even having dinner! All night before bed I think about how wonderful it will be to roll out of bed and charge in to the cold morning air. I’m literally so proud of myself and my plan and nothing is going to stop me!
Then my morning alarm goes off. I hit snooze once, because I deserve 5 more minutes. Also, it wasn’t mentioned above but a 5 minute snooze is built into my morning run wake up plan and was anticipated by the setting of alarm #2 for exactly 5 minutes after alarm #1. (At this point we could derail into a detailed description of my regular everyday morning alarm ritual, but I’ll spare you. Suffice it to say it’s a little ridiculous). 
Anyways…5 minutes later…uh oh, my bed is really cozy. Could 5 more minutes hurt? I mean it wasn’t part of the plan, but I can set an alarm right now. Not a big deal. 
5 minutes later…..ugh, that was a really fast 5 minutes. Time to figure out what time I would get in to work if I give myself 30 more minutes of snoozing and then went for my run. What? Totally doable? Perfect! I don’t have a morning meeting or anything, snooze away! 
30 minutes later…the guilt sets in. I totally defied my well constructed morning run plan and now I’m going to be getting in to work later than I wanted. Plus my bed is comfy. Ugh. I mean, at this point I might as well snooze for 30 more minutes. I can get my run in later today. 
To date my well designed morning run plans have been perpetually blocked by my evil anti-morning twin. It’s a shame that in the series of alarm adjustments I can’t find the same motivation I was exuding the night before. Feelings of greatness honestly don’t even cross my mind at that time of the day; instead I hear the alarm and immediately go into an in-defense-of-sleep mode, of sorts, negotiating with myself ways to allow my body to remain in a comfy bed cocoon. 
Morning runs truly are my unicorn. An amazing concept in theory, something that totally fascinates me and I strive to see, but something that, at least as far as I can tell, will remain a fantasy.  Sigh. 
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A Breathe-Through-Your-Neck-Warmer Kind of Run

So Friday morning, I woke up feeling a bit “off.”  Things only went downhill as I made my way into work. I’ll spare you the details, but not too long after I arrived I took a cab home and got there just in time. That was a huge unexpected, and unenjoyable, bummer, leaving me down for the count for a little over 24 hours. Stupid stomach bugs! Fortunately by mid day Saturday I was able to keep down some food and fluids and started rehydrating. 
You know how sometimes you’re coming off being sick and you just feel like you need to move to fully get past the illness? That’s how I felt this morning. Not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous about heading out (mainly in the event that my symptoms came raging back) but I’m really happy I made myself get out there. It certainly wasn’t any record breaking time, but it felt really good to get some fresh air. Let me clarify, fresh freezing air 🙂 I made it my full 9 miles for the long run this week. 
Not too bad if you’re bundled up! I actually wasn’t all that cold while running, but when I got home and into the shower parts of my body were still so cold that I really had to be careful I wasn’t turning the hot water up to scalding!
The beach in the winter. 
The sidewalk was a bit rough near the beach as the sand and snow/ice combined to some crazy mounds and formations. This wasn’t even the worst part. There were areas with narrow winding footpaths, almost like navigating a mini maze. Of course I had no issues there; I did my Kirby-style run-trip only a block away from my condo at the start of this run haha I think odds I trip and/or fall during the marathon are quite high. The joys of being a klutz!
So that was basically it in regards to my run today, but on to some other news…
Fundraiser Update:
Save the Date, March 12th 6-9p at The Fours on Canal Street in Boston, MA!
That’s right! This week I finalized a where and when for a fundraiser that I’m hoping will be a lot of fun. If you’re in the area and can make it out, that would be amazing! There will at minimum be light appetizers at the beginning of the evening and the full restaurant and bar will be open for private purchases. I’m working on getting a variety of raffle prizes.  The plan is that upon making a donation at the door you’ll be entered into a general raffle (a few smaller prizes) and then additional raffle tickets can be bought to enter to win some other specific items and/or experiences. 
I already have a few things secured, but if you, or anyone you know, might be interested in donating a prize please let me know!  My mom and aunt are coming up this weekend to help me pound the pavement to solicit some other things. When more details are finalized, I’ll make a more official announcement, flyer and event page. The more the merrier so please feel free to invite any other family and friends!
This type of fundraising effort is a new experience for me, but it’s actually kind of fun (and a little stressful).  I’m optimistic, however, that it will be a success. At minimum, who doesn’t love a happy hour mid week with awesome people 🙂 More to come!

Lots of Fun, But Time for a Run

Oh what an amazing week! This was my 9th year with the New England Winter Sports Clinic for Disabled Veterans and, like always, we had an incredible time with friends old and new. It’s so inspiring to meet all of these veterans, hear their stories and then become a part of their victories on the mountain. This post definitely fits into the theme of “fun” for this blog 🙂

I learned at my first clinic that the experience, laughter, friendships and triumphs cannot be captured through pictures, rather it’s an experience you need to live. That said, here are a few pictures from the week that may offer some perspective. 
A group ski in remembrance of our lost clinic participants. 
My team, team Eggbeaters. Such a spirited group!
My counterpart team leader, Robin. Representing our Eggs, rain or shine!
Skiing with one of our new Eggs, who also won Rookie of the Year!
Another new Egg and recipient of the “Give Me a Chance and I’ll Make You Proud” award. Words cannot explain the honor it was to meet this gentleman and see him achieve his goals on the hill!
Day 1: he was going to ski standing up, and he did!
Maybe our most spirited Egg ever. Year 2, but just as loud and cheerful as ever!

Day 2: time to try some outriggers. Awesome seeing her do so well and achieve a goal!

Surprisingly, on Wednesday night I won the NEHSA sponsored 50/50 raffle at the wheelchair basketball game. I was completely shocked! I have since donated the $350 winnings to my fundraising campaign for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and I hope everyone from NEHSA, NEWSC and the local community who donated to the raffle are happy with this half of the winnings being put to this cause. Next time you check out my fundraising page you’ll see the donation in the name of “NEHSA & NEWSC” with the donation being made in honor of “rehabilitation through sport,” a mutual mantra also shared by SRH.

It’s always sad for me to leave this week and return to the real world. I’m already anxiously awaiting next year’s clinic! In the meantime, I’m looking forward to starting my weekly ski instructing with NEHSA next Saturday.
Unfortunately my plan to do my short midweek runs on the hotel treadmills last week was foiled due to broken equipment. I didn’t have a fallback plan since my outdoor gear was left at my parents’ home (lesson learned!) That said, when I took on this challenge of tackling a marathon I knew that flexibility would be just as important as consistency. I mentally moved on and missed my shorter midweek runs, but boy was I itching to get out today! I did a fun 7 miles in the snow at my parents’ home. I still plan to keep my long run for the week (12 miles) but am thinking I’ll bump it to Monday since I have the day off for the holiday. I feel good about this adjustment.  This last week is the only one through the duration of my training that I anticipate to throw a slight wrench into my training schedule. However, if anything else comes up unexpectedly the plan will be to roll with the punches. Other fun is just as important as the run and learning to have it all in my life ultimately gets me closer to being the person I’m working to be 🙂