Dedham Family Gratitude Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving morning, I ran the Dedham Family Gratitude Turkey Trot. It was my 2nd year participating.

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My husband David said my race number was the meaning of life.

I finished in 43:33 minutes this year & came in 1231 out of 1800 runners. I’m proud of that improvement from last year when I finished 975 out of 1000 runners.

I also ran most of the race next to 2 adorable dachshunds. I tried to get a picture of both but only succeeded in getting a picture of one of them.


As cute as they were, I sped up at the finish to be sure they wouldn’t beat me.

Post turkey trot, I changed & headed to 2 different houses for Thanksgiving meals. My side of the family in Georgetown, MA & my husband’s side of the family in Dorcester, MA.

Unfortunately, when we got to the 2nd house, I forgot that drinking water would be a great idea, and ended up feeling ill (probably due to dehydration). We didn’t get home till past midnight, so I ended up sleeping in instead of going to November Project this morning.

I think that I made the right choice to listen to my body & give it the recovery time it needed, so I’ll be all set to run the Ugly Sweater Run 5K on Saturday.

November Project – Week 20 – Warmer Than Expected

November_Project_LogoThis morning I dressed for snow or cold rain. Neither showed up for the workout (and I am NOT complaining).

I’d layered up so I removed my jacket, gloves, and hat to keep from overheating as I climbed the Harvard Stadium stairs.

I started with the slower group that wasn’t trying to complete the whole stadium (37 sections) and set a PR. I’m proud of myself for climbing for all 40 minutes though and not listening to my inner critic telling me to stop. I got in 17 sections of stairs climbed & lots of hugs from other November Project Boston members. My goal was to get in 20 sections (for my 20th week at the stadium) but hopefully I can surpass that next week.

Thank you to my friend Harley, who ran all 37 sections shaving 7 minutes off her PR time, then saw me slowly climbing and joined me for a section. I appreciate your support!

I’m proud that I didn’t let the weather forecast scare me from showing up.

The last Wednesday of the month we have a DJ blasting awesome music and a paint crew tagging workout gear. I got 2 new long sleeve shirts tagged for future winter workouts.

Here’s the group photo:


I was on the top right – but hard to see in this picture

NP_11.26.14_tagPhoto of our gear being tagged – credit Scott Yellow

Thanksgiving Food Plan

There was one Thanksgiving that I was following Weight Watchers Points Program and I actually lost weight the week of Thanksgiving.

That is not my goal this year.

I plan to enjoy my favorite twice a year foods (Thanksgiving & Christmas) in moderation but not feel deprived.

I’m going to drink water and have a snack like a banana before arriving at my 1st Thanksgiving meal. (My side of the family around lunch then my husband’s side of the family around dinner.) I think staying hydrated will be the best way to not be tempted by food that looks good but isn’t my favorite/worth it to me.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers! I hope you have a wonderful day filled with family, friends, and fun conversation. Enjoy the day and do not deprive yourself!

Adding Extra Workouts into Thanksgiving Week

What’s your plan for working out Thanksgiving week?

Mine involves two 5Ks and two November Project workouts.

Wednesday morning, I plan to get in my normal workout of stair climbing with November Project.

On Thanksgiving morning, I’ll be running Dedham’s Turkey Trot 5K Family Gratitude Run.

Friday after Thanksgiving, I hope to wake myself up early enough to join November Project to run some hills in Brookline.

Saturday after Thanksgiving, I’ll be running Ugly Sweater Run in Brockton.

Sunday after Thanksgiving – the city of Quincy has their 62nd annual Christmas Parade, so I’ll be hosting a small party to watch the parade from my condo balcony.

Warmer Workout Gear

Living in MA all my life, I knew it was only a matter of time before wicked cold weather hit, so I’d need to get layers for my outdoor November Project workouts.

I was lucky enough to win the Fitfluential Wellness Challenge Week 4 and the prizes were a Grokker Prize Pack with lululemon gift card. I haven’t received the Grokker Prize Pack yet but the lululemon gift card was just waiting to be spent.


I headed to lululemon in the Natick Collection on my lunch break to check out some lined running tights.

A lot has changed for me in the last year fitness wise – but I still had a feeling that lulelemon was not a store I belonged in. I may not be plus sized anymore, but even with a 24 pound weight loss I’m still the largest size tight that’s stocked in the retail stores. I was a bit self conscious when I walked in to browse and didn’t see my sizes right away. (They’re on the lowest shelf to the ground – I just wasn’t looking low enough.)

The sales staff approached me and asked if they could help me. At first, I was defensive because when they asked what I was looking for clothes for their first suggestion was “just lounging around”. (My brain went into critical mode and I thought. “Really?! All my hard work this year and they think I don’t even work out?!!”) I responded proudly however, “Actually – I’m a November Project member. Since I was out climbing the Harvard Stadium stairs this morning in freezing temperatures, I’m looking for a warmer layer of pants.” There were 2 staffers helping me and one of them said “What’s Movember Project?” but before I could respond to correct her and explain what NP is another staffer swooped in and interjected with suggestions. (One of the November Project founders is an ambassador for lululemon for their Prudential Center store but evidently that info isn’t shared with other stores…)

The helpful sales woman suggested a pair of lined tights that I eventually ended up purchasing. (Speed Tights – Tech) But the kicker was – she asked my size, and when I responded said, “I think you should try a (1 size smaller than the one I said) in these. I know what you just said, but I’m looking at you and I think the ___ size would fit!” I laughed and said I’d try it but that I heard that the sizes here run small so I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I went into the dressing room with those tights, some I’d picked myself, and suggestions from the other staffer.

Well helpful saleswoman was right! Holly cow! Not only did I belong shopping there – but I’m a smaller pants size there!

Here’s what the lululemon blog says about the Speed Tights Tech:

Made with our tech fleece, these babies are crafted in our coldest weather run fabric.

They’re insulating and warm, as well as moisture-wicking, and have four-way stretch that enables you to move in every direction.

Why we love it: Each pair is brushed on the inside for super soft coziness.

I’ll let you know how the tights hold up to NP workouts.

When I got home that night, some long sleeve workout tops I’d ordered from Kohl’s last week had arrived, so hopefully they fit and all I’ll need to look for is some gloves to cover my running gloves & add warmth.

Chaturanga Dude

Wednesday night I joined Sweetgreen at Healthworks Back Bay for a free evening vinyasa flow yoga class.

I spoke with my Dad on the drive over and when I told him I was heading to yoga he laughed and said “After climbing stairs this morning?! You’re a glutton for punishment!” It made me laugh but I disagreed with him.

I’m still new to yoga classes, so I didn’t know most of the moves. (I never did figure out what the Chaturanga pose was.) But, I found the class relaxing and the instructor was great!

Thank you to Rachel for putting the Boston Sweetgreen passport program together. It’s a great way for me to change up my work out routine and get out of my comfort zone a bit.

November Project – Week 19 – Below Freezing in November

NP logo orange

It was a very chilly 23 degrees at the Harvard Stadium this morning.

It was a morning I did not want to get up & go workout outside – but I don’t break verbals. (And I’d said I’d be there.)

I actually arrived at the stadium earlier than I usually do – because I was worried about limited parking.

I need to work on acquiring some warmer layers for the upcoming winter workouts. I had my running gloves on – but usually I cover those with another, warmer pair of gloves – but those were not in my jacket pocket as I expected them to be. Oops.

I walked into the stadium and started clapping to warm my hands a bit. Evan – one of the co-leaders of November Project Boston – ran over in shorts and chatted about the cold as he added a layer of pants before the 6:30 AM workout would begin.

When I was joined by 2 others early for the 6:30 AM workout, Evan decided we should all do 50 push ups to warm up. I figured – when you’re asked by a November Project leader to do something, you do it and don’t complain. I did all 50 push ups proudly, and it actually did warm up my body temp a bit.

It was hilarious how close people were during the warm up bounce this morning so we could share body heat. The hugs were also longer than usual. I got a few complements on my warm looking pink reflective ski jacket. (It was as warm as it looked.)

The cold air really did a number on my lungs and I felt like I was going to throw up after 5 sections. I walked to the women’s restroom only to find it locked. 😦

I called it a day after that & drove home. But, I’ll be back again next week and I’m taking a shopping trip to make sure I’ll be more prepared if the temperature is below freezing.


Can you find me in this pre-start photo?

I’ll give you a hint – I’m wearing a blue hat.

TEDx Beacon Street

On Sunday morning, I headed to Brookline, to hear the first block of speakers at TEDx Beacon Street. The morning opened with the founders of November Project.



Their presentation was pretty cool – including some crowd surfing from Brogan in honor of his birthday. I’ll post the video once it’s available. The audience was a sea of November Project members, with most of us wearing #GrassrootsGear.

The crowd went crazy at one particular section of the presentation – talking about what “fierce” means to November Project. The image of Mary Anna below was used for a visual. Bojan explained how Mary Anna vowed to get in a full stadium tour of all 37 sections of seats – even if it took hours. Below is her reaction when she made it to the top of the last section.


 Thanks to Alan Scherer for the awesome photos. (You should hire him for your next photography project!)

Also in the morning section was a very interesting talk from the President & CEO of Perkins School for the Blind. (In a small world moment – I lead Weight Watchers “at work” meetings at Perkins School when I worked as a Weight Watchers Leader back in 2009.) Perkins School is just an amazing organization and the speech was very enlightening to the issues of working when blind.

After the morning TEDx Beacon Street session, I headed home, then jumped in a car to head to the North Shore to see my brother David compete in a ballroom dancing competition. I thought the UMass Lowell team, including David & his partner, was very impressive!

Another High Stepping Saturday

On Saturday, I set out to get in some walking, but lots of fun too.

I started out the day walking to one of my favorite breakfast places in Quincy – Craig’s Cafe.

Post breakfast, my husband & I walked to the Thomas Crane Public Library to return a DVD & browse the art on display from the Woodward School.

Then, we stopped home to get the car, and headed to a craft fair benefiting the Quincy Animal Shelter. (I wouldn’t return because the items being sold weren’t anything I was interested in – but at least I got some steps in browsing.)

Finally, we drove home & then walked to the T to go to Harvard Square.

We wandered around Harvard Square for a bit before grabbing dinner.

regattabarFinally – we went to Regattabar at the Charles Hotel for an awesome performance from guitarist Johhny A.

The grand total was 12,187 steps for the day – about 5.14 miles walked. Yippee!

November Project – Week 18 – Surprise for the NP Founders

NP logo orange“Good morning!” is yelled at the beginning of every November Project workout & we return the greeting.

It was a good morning this morning!

I got in 15 and 1/2 sections of stairs climbed.

What’s with the 1/2 section? A woman who was climbing near me fell on the steps and popped her ankle. I helped carry her from where she fell, to the bottom of the section. BG joined her at the bottom and sat with her to make sure she was OK and send me on my way to get more stair climbing in. It seemed like the woman was OK – and it was a previous injury that she aggravated.

But what made this morning particularly great – was surprising the Founders of November Project with a huge bag full of thank you notes. Despite notes being collected for months (prior to the big announcement of new November Project Boston co-leaders) they didn’t find out till they were handed the bag this morning.

Here’s a photo of their reactions thanks to another awesome NP Boston tribe member’s instagram:

NP GiftA huge thank you to Elin for organizing this group “thank you” project & doing such a good job keeping it a secret from BG & Bojan!

Here’s Elin bringing the bag over:

Elin Santa

Also, I teared up reading Bojan’s reaction on his Instagram account: