Peace Out, 2016! It’s the Year I Run The Boston Marathon!

 

 

We’ve all heard the complaints.  2016 was no joke when it came to the amount of horrible things that seemed to just keep happening.  I have to say, for me personally I don’t think I could say it was horrible.  But nonetheless, it felt fitting to say “Peace Out” with a New Years Eve run as the sun began to set.  I was rewarded with great weather and a beautiful view, so if that was 2016’s farewell to me, then so be it!.

 

I kept New Years low key this year, but from the look of my cats, Blitz and Scramble, you’d have thought I hosted a rager!

 

It was a nice start to 2017, waking up basking in the sun of the new year.  Made it all that much easier to tackle my long run for the day!

 

And what a perfect day to kick off a new year!  I don’t think you could ask for much better January weather (but I will ask for this same forecast every day during my training on my long run days, thanks!)  I only did 8 (my goal was 8-9, per our team coach’s training schedule) so as long as I was in that range I was going to be happy. (I also did 3 miles the day before!)  My long runs are not as good as they have been in the past, but I’m trying to remind myself that I am getting out there and even with a few walks I’m running the majority of the time.  More importantly, it’s feeling easier with each and every run!

Since I no longer run with music, my mind tends to wander . And today I was thinking about an artsy shot I could take.  I was SO happy with my sunnies choice today because I was able to get this really sweet pic with the Boston skyline in my lenses.

It was meant to be! I wanted a cool picture for thank you cards to my donors so this fit the bill!  I can’t wait to get them in and for all of my amazing supporters to date to get one in the mail!  Keep in mind, you can still keep donating and help me reach my goal by visiting my CrowdRise site.  No donation is too small (or too big! 😉 )  Plus, you’ll get one of my awesome custom “Thank You” cards!

It’s been awhile since I ran down to the BU bridge, but check out this awesome view I got as well.

When all is said and done, I would say it wasn’t a bad start to 2017!  Even better, I’m so proud of my parents for joining me in tackling the Run the Year 2017 Challenge.  I’m going to count my run miles and they will count their “intentional walk” miles.  (They even went out and bought fitbits!  It’s a big undertaking, given the fact that to meet the goal we have to log an average of 5.5 miles/day.  But rather than focusing on the ultimate number, I plan to count it as a win if we can all keep moving throughout the year and feel committed to our health, happiness and each other.  Besides, we get to be the Matthess Family Musketeers! 🙂

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So, it’s been real 2016, but I think 2017 has a lot of awesomeness in store.  Not to mention, MY SECOND BOSTON MARATHON!! 🙂

Happy running, all!

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Time to Recap and Regroup

I’ve been trying to get away from a life of making excuses.  But I will offer one here for my lag in updates (since May 4th, eek!)  Basically, I had been severely technologically challenged with my painfully slow computer.  Blogging is something I’ve wanted to keep up on, but posting from my phone was just getting way too cumbersome and my computer was making all efforts take 5 times as long.  So I finally got an upgrade and the goal is to get back to this blog and hopefully make it better and more regular than ever!  I’ve upgraded my blog client so bear with me as I try to really embrace the world of blogging and make this fun, more aesthetically pleasing, and interactive.  Blogging was SUCH an important part of training for y first marathon and it received such a good response.  I want to get back into the swing of things since I’m on to marathon #2 in less than 2 months and definitely have some big aspirations for my future running adventures!

The good news is that despite a writing lag, there has not been a running lag.  Let me try to play a little catch up for the past few months and then we will move it forward from there 🙂

So super important here to remind everyone that my next big race undertaking is the Marine Corps Marathon on October 25th!  It’s coming up and training has been surprisingly good so far!  The summer heat has not been particularly enjoyable, but as of recent it’s started to cool down some and runs are happening in temperatures that are a bit more pleasant (and tolerable!)

Soon after returning from the Wings for Life run in Canada I ran the 5 mile course at the Boston Run to Remember.  It’s a great course and always a great day for a good cause.

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After the ferocious New England winter the race offered the option to downgrade from the half to 5-miler.  I’ll be the first to admit that without Boston in my future this year, my winter running was much more sparse.  Running 13 miles with the little running I had under my belt at this time of the year just did not seem like a smart move.  So I downgraded (apparently with a ton of other folks!) and actually ran way faster than I expected, so that was a nice surprise!

Not long after this race it was time to start getting my base built back up again so going into full-blown marathon training mode would not be a huge stress on my body, and my mind!  So clearly I needed to take my friend to yoga at Boston Winery 🙂

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It’s all about the cross-training, folks 😉

IMG_7213I’m loving living in Charlestown, so I took advantage of the Battle of Bunker Hill Road Race to support the Boys and Girls Club of Charlestown and, while hilly, it was great being able to run through the new hood and there was so much more support from cheering fans along the course than I ever would have imagined!

So then, you guys, June 18th came.  And HISTORY WAS MADE!

I DID MY FIRST EVER PRE-WORK RUN AT 5:30 A.M.!!! IMG_7242

I know, I know, it’s incredible! I’m really happy to report that this has also become a fairly consistent habit in large part to my running buddy Abigail.  I have gone out a few times solo in the pre-work hours, but if it wasn’t for Abigail keeping me accountable at least one morning a week then I would not be going as often. We’ve also upped our morning mileage to 5 miles.  It’s been tough at times (and only getting tougher as it’s now darker and darker) but it’s been really worth it.  It’s amazing how much more you can do in the day after work when you’re not fitting in time for a run!  It’s also been a pretty basic necessity for summer training given some of the extreme heat afternoons and evenings.  And who knew how awesome the city is in the morning before everyone has woken up?! I mean I guess all you morning runners did, but it was like discovering a new world for me!

Next up was the BAA 10K which we ran in a total monsoon.

IMG_7325 IMG_7330 IMG_7347 IMG_7351 I’m happy to say I toughed it out, but I was surprised how many did as well!  It was one of the worst rain storms I ever ran in but this race certainly holds a special place in my memory thanks to the weather.  Special shout out to Dan who outfitted us in GIANT trashbags pre-run.  Not gonna lie, we were the most #trashbagchic folks around!

A huge perk to living in the city has been all of the free summer fitness classes available. My favorite has been a Cardio Pilates class on the Greenway.

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It’s been a nice addition into training to add some strength work to my training, which has not always been my forte.  (I think about doing strength training a lot, does that count at all??)

And then came July!  A super important month.  Not only was it the official start of Marine Corps Marathon training, but it was also the month of the Run Selfie Challenge!

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Oh yes, my friends.  Every day of the month had a different selfie challenge.  I am extremely proud to report that I participated in EVERY challenge 🙂  Rather than post each individual challenge, here’s a compilation of them all for the month.

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It was a ton of fun! I would definitely do this again. It connected me with a great virtual community of runners and held me even more accountable to getting runs in every day for the month (although I did observe a few rest days, but still found ways to meet the challenges!)

When it was time to re-enter the world of double-digit running, I needed something interesting to run for so I got my new running buddies, Amanda and Scott, on board with my plan to run to Revere Beach for the International Sand Sculpting Competition. The route from Charlestown (10 miles, by the way) left a lot to be desired in terms of scenery mid run, however, the end was well worth it as there were the coolest and most ridiculous sand sculptures I have ever seen!


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We also ended our 10 miler with a dip into the ocean which is truthfully how I wish I could end every single long run!

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The rest of the summer has been full of midweek running, Pilates classes on the greenway, increasing long runs on the weekend, and other fun and awesome things.  I’m sad I didn’t keep this up to chronicle it all live-time, but this is the time to get back on track with the blog!  Here are a few more favorite pictures of recent.  Lots of more fun adventures to come and I’m looking forward to you all joining me for the journey!

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