I'm a 36 year old librarian who loves to run, read, do yoga and hang out with my friends and family. I ran the 2008 & 2009 Boston Marathon for Team Eye & Ear to support the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Go Team Eye & Ear!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Over the Hill

Last night I went to the gym and did my go-to premarathon workout, which is basically a 30 minute hills workout. The crowds are really starting to thin out, and I'm hoping that it's only 2-3 more weeks until people's New Year's Resolutions really crap out and things are back to normal at the BSC. After the gym, Husband and I met Staci & Ian at the Beer Garden in Southie for a little beer and gardening, uh... I mean beer and dinner.
Tonight I'm going to do a 7 mile stamina run at the gym, before we head off skiing for the weekend. Originally I was planning on running the 10.5 mile group run tomorrow and taking today as a rest day, but tomorrow's weather is 100% chance of rain and snow, so we're heading to the slopes.
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Party Re-cap

Last night was the Team Eye & Ear Kickoff Party held at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. It was so nice to meet a lot of my teammates and compare training & fundraising strategies. The evening started off with a talk from MEEI's President & CEO, John Fernandez, and he gave a great talk about how our fundraising money will help the hospital's programs. It was also great to finally meet Kristina Sym, who is the Special Events Coordinator at MEEI and has been patiently answering all of my emails these past couple of months. Perhaps the highlight of the night was getting to listen to Bill Rodgers and Zeus Estrada talk about their extensive marathon (and ultramarathon) experience.

Asking for advice on marathon techniques I've found sort of to be to the equivalent of asking someone for advice on a golf swing. That is, if you ask 10 different people how to practice chipping & putting, you'll get 10 different answers. The same has been true for marathons. I've been asking people what they eat, how to train, etc. etc. and while most of their advice makes sense, it's hard to know what is the "best" answer. Bill and Zeus' talk last night really shed light on a lot of lingering questions I've had and gave advice I haven't heard yet- like training for downhills just as you would for uphills. They were happy to answer any questions and really took the time to speak to us individually, which just demonstrated what nice guys they are and how they want to share their love for the sport with us. Bill was even nice enough to agree to have a picture taken for the blog. Thanks Bill!

Here I am with running legend Bill Rodgers!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When you're here, you're family

I'd like to thank Kathleen for her generous donation! Keep 'em coming, people!

Last night I ran 6 miles at 6.9 mph for my stamina training. Usually, Pardon the Interruption is on at the gym at some point while I run, and the show's time segments really help the run go by quicker for some reason. (Unless "5 Good Minutes" is someone uninteresting.)

Last night Nick and I classed it up and dined at the Olive Garden in Dorchester. Don't be jealous. My meal was actually really good, Ravioli di Portobello. Nick had a chicken Alfredo pizza that was also very good. After dinner we went to Circuit City where we played Rock Band for PS3. This game is awesome! The staff had to tell us to leave because they were closing the store, but I think I could have played all night. We were talking about buying it, but I'm not sure how we would store everything...

This morning I got up early and went to the gym for my cross-training, because tonight my marathon team is getting together at Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary for a Team Kick Off Meeting. I'm excited to hear Bill Rodgers talk!

Nick playing along to Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Running & Donation Update!

Time to get this blog back on track! First of all, many thanks to Betsy, the Stacey family (especially little Isabelle), and Lyndsey for their generous donations! Tonight I am continuing my stamina training and running 6 miles at the faster pace- 6.9 mph on the treadmill.
Oh, & here's one more photo from Lisbon. What do you think the safety rating on the Smart car is? 0?

Some Photos from Portugal

Please enjoy some photos from our trip!

The hotel mattresses were so stiff that even my 210 lb husband couldn't make a dent in them.

Here's the view of our hotel from the beach.

Friday night we had dinner at a local restaurant, which provided us with some fine local entertainment.

I'll raise a glass to that!

About 10 years ago, Lisbon had some art commissioned by the same artist who designed the LOVE stamps. Here's Nick in the O.

Nick with fountain.

Here I am posing with some chick near the castle in Lisbon. If you think this is crude, you should have seen what we caught some British dude doing... (the photo is a little too risque for the blog...)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Mom & Lily, her favorite "child"

I want to wish my mom Happy 55th Birthday! I love you!
Nick's in Portugal, but sends my mom greetings as well! (Nice hat!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's Official!

Early Bird

First of all, a HUGE thank you to the Dugdale family for their generous donation! I'm now past the halfway mark to my fundraising goal, which is amazing! As of this morning, total donations to the Firstgiving page are $1835!

Last night, I ran 4 miles at a 8:40 pace to kick-off my stamina training phase. The idea is to build up milage at a quicker pace than I'll run the marathon at, thus building up my (you guessed it) stamina. Ideally, I'd like to run 9:05 minute miles, but I'm trying not to get set on a time goal. After the run, I met some friends for Frank Sinatra night at Red Sky, only to find out that poor "Frank" had an allergic reaction earlier in the day and was in the hospital. The bar played one of his CD's, but it just wasn't the same. Tonight I'm meeting up with some friends to celebrate Jen's 30th birthday! We're going to Mare, which looks pretty good.

Since dinner is right after work tonight, I woke up early and made it to the gym before work for my cross-training. The gym's actually pretty crowded at 6:30, but not like after work. It was nice not having to fight for my Cybex and the showers and dressing rooms are in great shape, so I don't feel like I'm in a college dorm bathroom (although I do wear flip-flops in the shower.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Save the Date- Thursday, March 20th!

In order to help raise money to meet my $3,000 goal, there will be a fundraising event at McFadden's in Boston on Thursday, March 20th. Please come and help support one of America's Best Hospitals!

To reserve your spot, please make a $25 donation via Paypal.
Visit: http://www.got2fundraise.blogspot.com/ to make your donation and learn more about the event.

*1 free drink
*hot/cold appetizers
*awesome surprise gift

We've had a great response so far! Anyone is welcome to attend- I hope to see you there!

Or, if you can't attend the event, but would still like to make a donation, you can do that via my Firstgiving site: http://www.firstgiving.com/aliciapriselac

Thank you for your support!

Red Sky at Night, Sailors' Delight

Where are they now? Apparently, thriving in Portugal...
According to my trusty book, I have now entered the "Stamina Phase" of training, so I can say good-bye to my Wednesday night quarter mile repeat workouts, and hello to 4 mile at 8:45 pace workouts. I'll miss the 1/4 mile repeats, especially since I probably looked bad-ass programing my treadmill for 10 minutes with all the workout goals. After my run tonight, I'm meeting some friends for Sinatra night at Red Sky in Boston. We've been a few times, and "Frank" is really entertaining- plus Red Sky's food is pretty good (and they make a mean martini.)
Our hotel in Portugal was a little outside Santa Cruz, and it's mainly used for conventions, meetings, etc. There is nothing in the immediate area to do and since the hotel staff probably does not want hundreds of bored business people on its hands, they did their best to have as much on site entertainment as possible. There's a gym, indoor and outdoor pool, a spa-type area where you could get a massage, a bar, restaurant, game room with a ping-pong table, and... a disco. I only made it down to the disco once, but it had a glimmering disco ball over the dance floor and a little bar/cocktail table area. A professionally dressed couple about my parents' age came in while I was there and took a look around. At this time, Ace of Base's "The Sign" was playing, and I expected them to chuckle at the thought of staying and leave. Nope. They arranged their lap top bags and suit jackets carefully on a couple of chairs, put on some sunglasses, and made their way out to the dance floor. At this point I decided that instead of being "too cool" for the Hotel Golf Mar's disco, I was not cool enough and left.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I'm back! (and exhausted!) Portugal was a lot of fun- I'll post some photos when Nick comes home on Saturday since he still has the camera with him. Yesterday was a long day. I thought the traffic in Boston was terrible, but Lisbon might be worse. Our hotel was about 60 km (that's about 40 miles, to you and me) north of Lisbon, and it took Luis (my cab driver) 2 hours and 10 minutes to get me to the airport. Then I had a 2 hour 45 minute flight to London, an hour layover over, an hour on the runway, and then a 7 hour flight back to Boston. I'll post more about our totally excellent adventure soon. Tonight I dragged my butt to the gym for 30 minutes of cross training.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Phoning It in!

Greetings from Portugal! We are on our way to Lisbon now and I thought I'd try a quick post from my BlackBerry. Yesterday I had a good run from our hotel to the next town, Santa Cruz. It was a little over 5K each way and very hilly. I felt very worldly running along the Portuguese coast. Last night we had dinner at a typical Portuguese restaurant that involved many bottles of wine and lots of fish and meat. Vegetarians would be up the creek here. There were dancers in tight skimpy costumes that put on choreographed numbers to old George Micheal songs for us. So, I guess you could say we are having the typical European experience.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Free Beer!

Now that I have your attention...
In order to help raise money to meet my $3,000 goal, there will be a fundraising event at McFadden's in Boston on Thursday, March 20th.
Please come and help support one of America's Best Hospitals!
To reserve your spot, please make a $25 donation via Paypal.
Please visit: http://www.got2fundraise.blogspot.com/ to make your donation and learn more about the event.
*1 free drink
*hot/cold appetizers
*awesome surprise gift

We've had a great response so far! Anyone is welcome to attend- I hope to see you there!

And the donations keep coming in!

Albuquerque Balloon Festival
Huge thank you to the Wachob family for their generous donation!

Last night I ran at the gym and then Nick and I went to our friends' house for dinner. Vince & Steven made us a wonderful 3 course meal and I learned that Albuquerque is not a flat city, but rather quite hilly. (Steven's from there.) I guess that's the "New England" in me- I know my little part of the country, and can only take wild stabs at what the rest of it is like. Also, much credit goes to Vince and Steven for politely listening to my gross chafe and foot injury stories!

Tonight my wonderful husband is taking me to Portugal with him on his business trip! I told him that I might sit in on some of the trainings, so maybe I'll have something interesting to say when I come back about Sarbanes-Oxley. The hotel has a gym (according to their site) so I hope to get in some good workouts while I'm there.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Definitely 'Party in the Back'

Daisuke Matsuzaka doing his best to bring back the mullet

But not quite 'Business in the Front' I wonder how many Sox fans will be sporting this pseudo-mullet come Opening Day?

Estou a viajar para Portugal

Mas, eu não falam Português. However, I do speak Spanish, so hopefully that will help me out should I need to ask directions or order lunch. I'm tagging along with Nick since he has to go for business. We leave tomorrow evening and I'll come back Monday night, while he'll be back that Saturday. According to the web site, our hotel boasts a discotheque and a spa that offers something called a Scottish shower, which hopefully doesn't involve haggis.
Last night was a rest night and I made some oatmeal Craisin cookies to bring to Vince and Steven's house for dinner tonight. Before dinner, I'll have a 40 minute run on the treadmill and after dinner, I'll be packing for my trip!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Powder to the People

We didn't end up going to the photography exhibit on Friday night, but come to find out you can view most of it online, so the good news is that we saved ourselves a long, cold, & crowded T ride out to Brookline!
On Saturday my alarm went off at 6:15 and I dragged myself out of bed in order to make it to FitCorp for 7:30-ish. Our group runs start at 8, but by the time I put all my stuff in my locker, fill my water bottles, & stretch it's pretty close to 8. Saturday's run was an 18.3 mile loop that ran down Beacon Street to Cleveland Circle, where we turned left at the Res and continued up Beacon and turned right onto Chestnut Street. From Chestnut Street in Newton, we turned right onto Comm Ave, up Heartbreak Hill and down Beacon Street back to FitCorp. The weather was not too chilly (at least not compared to the 16 mile loop 2 weeks ago) and the sunny was shining, so I can't complain. This was the first time I finished all 4 water bottles on my fuel belt, took water or Gatorade at all the stops and "refueled" (not snacked) on 2 GU packets. (Oh, and the Tri-Berry and Strawberry GU's are 1000 times better than the Orange flavored GU.) I finished in 3 hours and 3 minutes, which at 183 minutes makes it pretty easy to determine my pace for an 18.3 mile course! I'm pretty happy with the time and more importantly felt good when I finished. I think I realized how important it is to stayed fueled and hydrated while running.
Saturday night we went to a surprise party for my friend Jen's 30th birthday. We had to be at her sister's apartment by 7 for the surprise and managed to successfully surprise the birthday girl! Jen's sister and friends did an awesome job with the party; however, Nick and I only made it until a little after 9 since I was exhausted from the run and Nick was still jet-lagged from his trip to London. Sadly, we were asleep by 10.
After 9 hours of sleep, we felt refreshed enough to make a day trip to Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire. Now my book says, "Never skip a rest day!" but I like to live on the edge, people. Our skiing pals Brad and Jenny, along with Joel and his girlfriend Karen met us there and we were able to take advantage of some great conditions. I felt pretty tired, but managed to get some good runs in, despite going in for lunch a half hour before the rest of the crew. I had never been to Mount Sunapee before and it's a great day-trip, but the lodges were packed with kids. Seriously, there were what seemed like thousands of parent-less children roaming around. We spent a few minutes watching a little girl who probably didn't clear 2 feet trying to get on an elevator without a supervising adult. She pushed the button to get on, but I didn't see what happened as I turned my head back to my tasty chicken sandwich.
Today is a much-needed rest day!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Classing it up

My kind of museum
Once in awhile I like to class it up a bit- dive bars, pizza joints and bowling alleys are great fun, but sometimes I'm looking for something a bit more intellectual. That's when I visit a museum or gallery and (pretend) I understand (or enjoy) art. I know it sounds terrible and unsophisticated, but within half an hour of going to a museum of (art, history, science, etc. but excluding sports halls of fame) my skin starts to crawl, my eyelids droop and my stomach growls. I just don't like visiting these types of places- I spend most of my time wondering about how the art is cataloged and not about the art itself. UNLESS I can see the entire collection within my half hour time frame. In recent memory, one such place is the JFK Presidential Library & Museum. I was in and out within 30-40 minutes and can honestly say that I had a good time and learned a few things. I have a feeling tonight will be another successful attempt. Some friends and I are going to a photography exhibit tonight at the Brookline Arts Center, and I'm actually looking forward to it!

Tomorrow is an 18 mile run with the FitCorp crowd that will potentially leave me on the couch for the rest of the weekend (although Nick is making a strong case for a ski trip Sunday.) Hopefully the rain/snow doesn't start until Saturday afternoon (and hopefully I'm finished by then!!)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chacarero: Accept No Substitutions!

I went to Au Bon Pain to grab lunch just now and was greeted by a woman offering me a sample of their new sandwich. Never one to refuse a sandwich in any shape or form, I helped myself and was horrified to discover it's their new Chilean Chicken Sandwich. It's a complete rip-off of the popular Chacarero sandwich in Boston. In fact (much to my embarrassment) I audibly gasped, "It's the Chacarero!" I sincerely hope Au Bon Pain's new sandwich does not take away from Chacarero's local business. While the sample tasted pretty good, it was no substitution for the original.

Don't Need No Credit Card to Ride this Train

First off, there have been a lot of great donations the past few days! Thank you to everyone who has donated towards attending the fundraiser on March 20th at McFadden's! Again, if you would like to attend, please click on the link to the right or visit www.got2fundraise.blogspot.com. Also, thank you to my friends Kristina & Michael, Trisha, George, and the Ahlschlager's for their generous donations via the First Giving site!

Tuesday night I found myself back on the weird Cybex machine, which was actually a good workout. Last night were the quarter mile repeats, which are an intense workout, but time goes by quickly. My book recommends eating a carb snack before and after the workout; however, yesterday I didn't have time to grab something before rushing to the gym to secure a treadmill. I did have a package of Pina Colada flavored Clif Shot Bloks in my backpack and decided to try them out while on the treadmill, since part of my training involves learning to take these energy supplements while on the move. The Bloks are the exact consistency of Jujubes and maybe slightly larger, while Clif describes them more scientifically as, "chewable, 33 calorie cubes." Yum. The package recommends taking 3-6 per hour, so every 15 minutes or so I popped one into my mouth and chased them with water. They tasted pretty good, but I couldn't tell during the run if I felt any better than I had the week before. The main difference is that after my repeats I still felt OK- and I wasn't famished. I have another package of "margarita" flavored Bloks that I'll try again, but I think I'll stick to more traditional supplements during the marathon.
This morning I had a dentist appointment in Walpole that I had to drive to (vs. taking public transportation.) It's a bit of a haul, but Dr. Strac is a great dentist and it's not so bad considering I only have to go twice a year. I used to commute to Norwood, and while I don't miss the bumper-to-bumper traffic on 93, I do miss listening to the radio this morning. My hellish drive to the dentist this morning was compensated by the fact that I got to hear Huey Lewis' "The Power of Love" and the Who's "Squeeze Box."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Don't Forget

I wish I got a sticker...
I was rewarded by doing my civic duty this morning by getting caught in a downpour. Although, the volunteers at my polling location were so nice and helpful this morning. One woman took the time to go step-by-step through my change of address form, which was way too complicated and ambiguously worded. Thank you to the cheerful folks at the Condon School in Southie!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Weekend Re-cap

We had a great time skiing this weekend. Sunday River has enough terrain to keep us excited for 3 full days of skiing. Back in October, we booked 3 weekend trips at the Boston Ski Expo, and got a slopeside condo for this weekend for a song. The only downside to the condo is that it's located in the same building as Gringo Harrys, which smells (from the outside anyway) like moldy feet combined with that guy on the bus with the GI issue. Granted we've never stepped foot inside there; however, the smell is so bad that I was horrified to learn on the web site that you can host your wedding reception there. We really only skied about 2 full days combined because 90% of the lifts were closed Saturday due to high winds- which was doubly unfortunate considering that it had snowed about 6 inches the night before and was still snowing when we decided just to call it a day and get a voucher (vs. fighting a million people on about 5 open trails.) We also had to leave around noontime on Sunday in order to get Nick back to Boston in time for his flight to London. The time we did get to ski was a lot of fun though, and we're fortunate to have good friends to go with! Last night my brother came over to watch the Super Bowl with me, and even though the Patriots were manhandled, we still had a good time.
Tonight I ran 40 minutes at the gym- 20 minutes at 6.3 with a 1.0 incline and 20 minutes at 6.2 with no incline. Tomorrow is 30 minutes of cross-training. Please enjoy some photos from the weekend!

Group shot from the first night

Brad & Jenny on the lift

Arrrrrr you ready for some football?

Nick & I tearing up the dance floor (I suspect he may ask me to remove this one)

Overall opinion of the weekend (after 8 rum & Cokes)

Free Beer!

Now that I have your attention...

In order to help raise money to meet my $3,000 goal, there will be a fundraising event at McFadden's in Boston on Thursday, March 20th. Please come and help support one of America's Best Hospitals! To reserve your spot, please make a $25 donation via Paypal.
Please visit: http://www.got2fundraise.blogspot.com/ to make your donation and learn more about the event.

*1 free drink
*hot/cold appetizers
*awesome surprise gift

We've had a great response so far! Anyone is welcome to attend- I hope to see you there!


Well, at least the half time show was awesome...