Slice of Life

Fall in Boston: boots, sweaters, pumpkin spiced lattes, colorful leaves…not quite fall 2017! Despite some adventurous Columbus Day weekend hikes like this:




Tips for Staying Hydrated

Thanks to Melissa McDonough, RD, CSSD and Coaches Julie & Lisa @ Run Farther and Faster for providing much of this content.

Summer running means sweat, slower paces, and serious tans (please apply sunblock before heading out the door!). Just because it’s hot outside, doesn’t mean you need to scrap your run. Appropriate hydration techniques will help get you through those sizzling days.

Dehydration can lead to serious complications, so staying hydrated should be a main focus for runners and non-runners alike. Depending on the climate, you should aim to get about 2 to 4 L of water throughout each day – approximately 8 to 16 cups.  You may need to modify your total fluid intake each day depending on how active you are, or for factors such as gender, weight, age, heat, humidity and altitude.



The Best Podcasts to Get You through a Run

Runners, listen up! Even the best playlists can get boring after a lot of miles, so I suggest you start tuning in to podcasts as an alternative to your top-40 playlists. Whether you are in need of some extra running or fitness motivation, lifestyle tips and hacks, or general entertainment, there is a podcast that will fit your mood.  Here are some podcasts that I am currently obsessed with now, that will get you THIS pumped to run:

26615102614_51da2ba0b1_oPhoto credit: Meredith Ruth, Seattle 108 Wanderlust Festival

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How Races Can Benefit Your Training

Good morning and Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend.

On Saturday, I ran the Black Cat Road Race in Salem, MA as a Boston Marathon training run. 


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Winter is Back in Boston

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope the first half of your weekend has been great! Congratulations to reader KELLY who was randomly selected to receive a SPIbelt!! Thank you all for your entries, I loved reading your comments- you guys are so inspiring to me! Stay tuned for future giveaways and thanks again for stopping by my blog!

It’s been a busy weekend over here in Boston, in the wake of a decent snow storm that visited on Friday. My good friend was lucky to give birth to a precious baby boy yesterday just as the snow stopped falling! So Happy for Rachel and Kevin :)

The city only saw about 6 inches, but it was enough to cover the trees and make it seem like Christmas. I almost felt like belting out some carols while out and about last night!


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Feeling Like a Monday!

Well, it’s that Monday morning feeling! The weekend was a great one—hope yours was too!

The weekend started and ended with some quality girl time! Friday night dinner and drinks with some Boston gals followed by visits with friends and family, followed by Sunday bridesmaid shopping! So many colors, shapes and sizes to choose from! The bride went with a beautiful color for us that will look amazing for a fall wedding in Maine. It’s going to be a busy summer and fall ahead with 7 other weddings!


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Miami Half Marathon Recap

Big hello on this Monday! Hope your week is off to a great start! Only 125 days until Memorial Day, my official start to summer. I don’t go by the summer solstice! :)

Today’s post will be a quick recap of the Miami half marathon and our weekend down in the sunshine state.


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Back in Boston and A Running Streak

Today’s long run of 20 miles was a tough one! It is a windy and cold day in Boston, about 35 degrees. Since winter running is relatively new to me, I still haven’t honed in on the perfect running outfit. On cold runs, I typically wear gloves and have started to wear my new favorite clothing item: lululemon running scarf (link here)- thanks sis! It’s light with a perfect fit around my neck, and keeps me toasty! I wore two long sleeve layers (shell and thin base layer), and felt a little warm- but my extremities were chilly even while covered!

Super happy to get the miles in- only 3 more 20’s to go in my coaches‘ Phoenix Marathon training plan! Next weekend will be another long run, and then I will be tapering for my half at the end of the month.

The winter-like Boston weather (it’s finally here!) was a contrast to the colorful, beachy warm views of PR! Here are some last shots:

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Holidays and Getaways!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend with your loved ones! We had a great time together in our little town south of Boston. I’m so lucky that most of my immediate and extended families live in the area!

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Sunday Keeping my Eye on the Prize

Happy Sunday of this holiday weekend!

Contrary to taking it outside on Friday, I took my workout inside yesterday. It was a rainy 40-something degree Saturday in Boston and it was only my second time on the treadmill this week.

I ran 60 minutes at a few different speeds (harder to do true time-only runs on a treadmill!), and felt strong although antsy to finish up halfway through the run. I was lucky to have a nice view:


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Windy Saturday in Boston!

I am so saddened for Paris and my heart goes out to the innocent lives that have been lost for no reason.

Despite the heartbreaking news overseas, I hope your weekend has been a good one so far! Mine started off with some much needed time with friends. Pizza, wine, blasting Adele’s “Hello”, and chocolate cake were all involved. My Boston girlfriends and I gather at least once a month for “wine night”, but this time we let the guys join. We didn’t mind it too much. :)


Boston was the windy city today (Sorry, Chicago), but I felt prepared for the cold during my 14 miler this morning. Long sleeve, long pants, vest, and gloves were all essential. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to layer up so much for a run! It felt nice.


My runner friend (she is an incredible ultra-marathoner, but is between training cycles) joined me for the first half of the run. Was great to catch up, as always, and the first half flew by! We ran along the Charles, and managed to stay on the ground even though the winds were gusting up to 25 mph.

Given the conditions, my coaches wanted me to run “by feel” rather than time, and that’s exactly what I did. I averaged about 9 minute miles in this long run. My coaches also wanted me to test out my fueling during this run, and I took down a chocolate GU at 8 miles. I felt strong the rest of the run so didn’t feel the need to take a second GU. I think I will try the honey chews soon- I’d like to experiment with a few different fueling regimens the next time around.


The run was followed by lunch at Whole Foods, hot shower and tons of stretching. Will most likely veg out to Friday Night lights and maybe a Star Wars movie to prep for the new one that is coming out next month. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your day!

IMG_0910Windy, cold day in Boston. #winteriscoming

Any races/runs for you today or tomorrow?


My Favorite Gear

Happy Friday all! 

I have received some questions from fellow bloggers and runner friends about my favorite running gear. Over the years, I have experimented with many different outfits, brands, fuel options, electronics, and other running gear. The list below includes the items in which I currently rotate depending on the run/season.


  • Brooks GTS Adrenaline 14 & 15 (I own both and rotate between both).

FullSizeRender (2)Brooks Adrenaline 15’s, 14’s and Glycerin (I prefer Glycerins for walking, not running)


  • Garmin 310XT watch: large face so you can see your time while running, lightweight. Watch has some glitches, but is easy to reset. Boyfriend prefers the Garmin Forerunner 15, which is less bulky.
  • Apple Ipod shuffle: This small music device seems almost weightless, and clips well on sports bras/shirts/shorts for both men and women. It is not too pricey, has functioned very well for me so far! The only negative is that you cannot digitally see the songs that are playing, but you don’t want to fuss with that while on a run anyway!
  • Yurbud headphones: These babies have taken quite a beating in all elements, and still fit well in the ears. Highly recommend these!


Shirts & tanks:

Compression Socks:

Jackets/neon gear:


  • GU (chocolate, vanilla, and salted caramel are my favorite flavors, although I recently tried a salted watermelon and thought it was also delicious!)
  • Honey Stinger Waffles: I eat these before races, rather than during as they are a bit hard to carry given their size. They are light on my stomach and give you some last-minute extra calories as needed, with a lot of taste.

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Other gear:

  • Running belt: I wear a Spibelt during runs (training and racing) to conveniently carry my phone/GU/keys/money etc. I find the stretchy waist belt very comfortable.
  • Foam roller: I have used a variety of different foam roller models over the years, but my current favorite is the “Trigger Point” foam roller. This high-density foam roller has just enough firmness to massage my always-tight muscles.


  • Running stick: They say that this is a “toothbrush for runners”. I am not sure about that, but the stick helps me self-massage muscles! Sticks have a variety of flexibility, but I use the firm model.

So that is my list of current favorite gear– what are some of your favorite clothing/fuel/other running items?

What are your weekend plans? 

-Mine: Party at la casa tonight (it’s been awhile!)/14 miler on Saturday with a running buddy/friend’s birthday party on Sunday. Busy weekend! Hope you have a great one and get outdoors!!!

2015-09-treetops-day-2-32Just a nice photo of one of my favorite mountains (Cardigan, NH) taken during a hike with friends last month. Starting to plan some more spring hikes! Thanks @imnotquitejack! :) 


My Journey to BQ at Big Cottonwood Canyon Marathon 

Warning: this is a long post! I have been meaning to write about my BQ at Big Cottonwood Canyon UT for a while and wanted to include info on the training leading up to the race as well as an overview of the race itself. If you don’t want to read about the blood, sweat, and tears I faced in this race, I won’t be offended if you click away :)

After my annual viewing of the Boston Marathon this past April, I found myself more determined than ever to attempt to re-qualify for the marathon (even despite the horrifically rainy and cold conditions of the 2015 race!). I decided that day in April to find a race in a unique location, which had a favorable course for a PR. I perused through my marathon go-to source (, and quickly found my race of choice: Big Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake City, Utah. The race is put on by REVEL, and had great ratings. I watched some footage on a previous year’s race and promptly signed up.

IMG_0886Marathon training in Boston is fun!

My training:

My Big Cottonwood marathon training cycle started in mid-May. I had already built up a solid base after running Philly marathon the previous November, and had also run a couple of half marathons in the spring. But in general, I was starting this training cycle with fresh legs, and was determined to train hard and with consistency.

As a part of this plan, I hired my first running coach because I needed to make some changes to my training, and needed someone to push me. I also work best (like many others) when I am held accountable to someone other than myself- and this ended up being the missing link for me.

My coach set up my training schedule on google calendar a month ahead of time. I would log each run, and she would comment on occasion. Throughout summer 2015, I built my long runs up to 22 miles, and also added in speed work and tempo runs (400 meter, 800 meter, or mile repeats, with cool downs in between). I incorporated 4 half marathon races into my training, and at times added on more miles post-race if the day called for more miles.


Providence half & Gloucester half this summer. Love incorporating half marathons with marathon training!

Some of my long runs were “fast finishes”, ie- the last several miles were at marathon pace. One long run included a couple mile warm-up, 10 miles at marathon pace, and a couple mile cool down.

IMG_09494th of July road race!

In general, I think I was prepared for Big Cottonwood Canyon on marathon day (September 12th, 2015). Some of my long runs during the training cycle did not go as well as I had wanted, particularly because of the time of year (summer), but I usually hit my speed work splits, so hoped that those runs would help me run strong in those last few precious miles.

IMG_0951Another training run along the Charles River

The race:

Big Cottonwood is known as a fast race, amenable to PRs. The first 19 miles of the course are mostly downhill, but miles 19-23 have some rolling hills. The last 2 miles are mostly back to being downhill, a change which is subsequently very tough on the legs (well, more tough than usual for the last two miles of a marathon). My sig Mark (who was running the half) and I decided to drive the course the day before the race, which helped me mentally prepare for the downhill and course logistics. I highly recommend driving a race course to prepare if you can, especially if the course is completely unfamiliar!

IMG_0947View in Moab during my last training run before the marathon!

Race expo was easy, on the small side. Plenty of parking, but you’ll need a car. Note that Utah is a very car-friendly, car-necessary state.

Our hotel was not one of the official hotels for the race, as those had sold out, but we were fine with the Courtyard Marriott in Sandy, UT. On race morning, we had to drive a few miles to the shuttle pickup. The lines for the shuttles were VERY long, but moved surprisingly quickly. They took us to the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, roughly 9700 feet high in the sky, to where the marathon starts. Half marathon started a couple of hundred feet south of us at 7300 feet. Coming from Boston, I felt a little hard core being so high in the mountains.

REVEL runs an organized race- the top/start had plenty of porta potties, and our bags at bib pickup included mylar blankets and gloves, which were perfect for early mornings on the top of a mountain. Coming from sea-level, I could feel the effects of being almost 10k feet high, but the downhill nature of the course outweighed some of the effects.

True to the course description, the first 19 miles of the race were basically a steady downhill (with an exception of a steep hill at mile 4, which was at an elevation of roughly 8500 feet high- this was tough on the lungs to say the least). I maintained a 3:25-3:30 pace for this portion, and was determined to stay well ahead of the 3:35 pacer. A 3 hour 35 minute (or less) marathon finish was the time I needed to qualify for Boston.

After the half-way point, I desperately wished that I had trained on downhill courses more frequently to prepare for this terrain. But despite the deep fatigue my legs were feeling from all of the pounding, I felt great and ran consistent 7:30-7:45 minute miles. At mile 19, my pace slowed up as the course became hilly. Hills at 5500 feet elevation were no joke. At one point I had to stop and stretch, and also just catch my breath. It was a very interesting feeling, being out of breath at this point even in the flat sections. I knew that I was far from home.

At mile 23, I noticed the 3:35 pacer slowly creeping up to me and at that moment felt very emotional and overwhelmed. The pacer caught up to me at 24, and asked me how I was doing. I was honest and told her that I was very disappointed to see her. She said that she was running a minute or so ahead of a 3:35, that the rest of the race was downhill, and that she knew I had it in me to push myself. I know she had no idea, but her motivational lines helped me push through.

At that point, I was determined to reach my goal and pushed I crossed the line @3:33.06 and saw Mark, who promptly yelled “you friggin qualified!!!”.

The rest of the day was a blur, but I remember bits of the following: devouring pizza and Gatorade at the finish, crawling to the car, showering off the massive amounts of salt that caked my body (maybe the dry air evaporated the sweat?), passing out for a long time, then crawling to the movie theatre and lastly eating amazing Mexican food at a restaurant in SLC where I devoured so many chips and guacamole, that I got my fill for the year…almost :)

End of story: run this race if you can. Loved everything about it, and it’s a great one if you’re serious about qualifying for Boston (aren’t we all?).

661About to cross the finish line- won’t ever forget that day!

What is your favorite running memory? 

Anyone else on the road to a BQ?


Relaxing Weekend and Race Morning Routine

Happy Sunday! It was so nice to gain an extra hour this morning, despite the fact that it will start to get dark at 4:30PM where I live! Hope you all had a fun Halloween yesterday- we sure did! We ended up dressing as a tree and a treehugger. As the treehugger, I sported a comfy flannel, whereas Mark was covered with leaves. I think I got the better deal :)

My Halloween started off by sleeping in (it’s been awhile!),  and then my sister came over to visit before heading out on a long run. She is training for the Philadelphia Marathon, and yesterday’s 20 miler was her last before taper. My sister often comes in to the city from the suburbs so she can join other runners or enjoy her favorite running paths in Boston!


I also went out for an nice 7.5 mile run, first run since last weekend’s marathon! It was a perfect fall day outside. I wore my new favorite running shorts, favorite long sleeve, and compression socks. It was the best weather for running!

I wanted to completely recover before I jumped back into my running routine. As I was getting ready to head out the door, I thought about my typical pre-race routine.


My typical routine on the morning of race:

  1. Wake up EARLY with plenty of time to stretch, eat and wake up before you head out the door
  2. Take a quick hot shower to warm up the muscles
  3. Foam roll routine
  4. Stretch routine, with dynamic stretching
  5. Apply body glide to most areas of the body
  6. Eat my banana-bagel breakfast, sometimes with a honey stinger
  7. Drink one cup of coffee and a lot of water. If you are a coffee-before-race drinker like we are, check if your hotel has a coffee machine. If not, buy cups of coffee the evening before (Starbucks usually isn’t open at the early hour of the race, especially if it’s on a Sunday!). It may be cold, but cold coffee is better than no coffee before a race! You want to stop drinking fluids about an hour prior to the race, otherwise you will have to use a port-a-potty along the course. Now is the time to drink!
  8. Put on my throw-away, make sure I have all my gadgets (ipod, phone, garmin), and head OUT!