This is what I hope to do come marathon day now only a few weeks away. Hopefully I won’t need a tow plane to pull me along the course to get me gliding striding.

Tow plane
Ready to glide
I’ve got wings

Today I worked out alone. In the rain. Slick roads. Humid air. Gray sky.

drip drop
Peaceful Power

Time to focus. Warm-up and then find my pace for 5 x1 miles at an 8:05-8:10 pace. I have been consistently running faster than suggested and feeling great. I want to achieve this feeling on race day. To race smart. I have that 3:40, Boston qualifier in my sites. Perhaps on race day I will be the “silent but deadly” runner leaving runners in my wake.

Silent but DEADLY

Training hard, training smart . . . Time will tell what I’m really made of on race day.


I am going to be grounded

The planned workout today on my schedule was a 40 minute tempo run at an 8:00-8:10 pace with ten minutes of warm-up and ten of cool down. The first couple of miles felt sluggish and my splendiferous running partner Bridget and I feared the workout was going to be grueling. Once we shook the lead out of our shoes however the pace rapidly changed to speedy. Perhaps it was the bright pink socks that gave me the energy.

Pink Power Socks
Sporty Sandy

Actually, I don’t think it’s the socks. It must be the training and my awesome training partner. On every run I am discovering new power in my legs. I am also finally finding more length in my stride (My legs are ridiculously long. I have the same in-seam as my husband, 36). I hope this is what it will feel like on marathon day! My friend Bridget (who is blazing fast) has been amazing to train with and encourages me with positivity. She has given me new motivation to push through the tough parts of the run especially at the crest of a hill where it is easy to slump into a slower pace. Once she even got mad at me when I didn’t push the pace to the downhill startling me by saying sternly, “What are you doing?!?!?!?!” I think about that now every time I am going uphill, it’s a new mantra of sorts that has helped me to find new energy within.

Just like that our “slow run” became 1 hour and ten minutes, 9 miles at 7:46 min/mile pace. Definitely not the planned workout! I know my coach may scold me but when you find that speed it’s hard to slow down as the endorphins push you along. I want to be smart about my training so hopefully I won’t get “grounded” for not following my plan.

Please don’t ground me Denise.

What do you do when you find new speed?

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Fresh Friday-Power Pancakes

I am geared up to try something new once a week. I am sure that I will have successes and flops during these trials especially when it comes to trying new things in the kitchen. I figure being a parent we are constantly asking our children to try new things and sometimes as an adult it can be easy to forget the different emotions that come along with trying new things. When trying something new you can feel excited, worried, nervous, happy, scared, energized . . . the list of emotions is endless.

How do you feel when you try something new?

Starting this blog is my first new big challenge in a while (other than the new and continuing challenge of parenting). I felt scared and even a bit embarrassed to put my writing into public view but now that I am doing it I feel energized because i am sharing my passions and it is also a source of release for me.

So now I will share my first FRESH Friday post. This week I am focusing on fueling my body during my marathon training and also to get ready for the VT City Marathon. Getting enough calories for my body has been a challenge throughout my life. My mom always laughs when we remember how I would come home from school and snack on entire can of baked beans. When I was pregnant with my son Brock my blood-sugar level constantly crashed, I would see stars and immediately feel like I was going to pass out. As the runs get longer during my training I am trying very hard to avoid that feeling and to have the energy to power through.

My big goal is to work on pre-fueling leading up to the longer miles and tough workouts to give me the energy stores that I need. Through the guidance of some other inspirational athletes such as Sarah Stanley I have learned about some new ingredients to add to my diet. This week I made what I’ll call “Power Pancakes.”
The “power” ingredient is Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder. I added one tablespoon in with my pancake mixture which includes other favorite ingredients StonyfieldOrganic Milk and our Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs of course. Plus some fair trade bananas for some extra calories.

Power Ingredient

I must say that I was a little unsure of the hemp protein powder because I did not like the smell but when I tasted the pancakes they were delicious (maybe a little dense). Hemp seeds and hemp protein powder is plant based protein that comes from a whole food source. Hemp protein powder also contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which are essential to a balanced diet. This type of protein is also easily digested. The Hemp protein powder definitely packed a punch and I felt great on my tempo run after loading up.

The only drawback was that I ended up having to eat the pancakes right before heading out the door due to kid meltdown during the process of pancake creation. Thankfully my beautiful pancakes with strawberry and basil salad as an accompaniment and fresh maple syrup waited for me while I raced to get my kids in bed.

I will definitely be adding Hemp protein powder to my repertoire for cooking and also to add to smoothies when training hard.

Ingredients for Power Pancakes
Power Pancakes and Strawberry Basil Salad

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“Benefits of Hemp Protein”

Accept the Challenge


I am officially underway with my marathon training so how appropriate that I ran past Training Field Lane today in Sugar Hill, NH. The run today was tough. A progression run with the pace picking up every ten minutes. I picked a hilly loop with sweeping views of Franconia Notch, rolling dirt roads, and of course a long climb up Sugar Hill up to the Sunset Hill House

This run challenged me physically and mentally. My legs are feeling the after effects of the mountain race last weekend and the interval workout the other night. My mind is reading the fatigue in my legs which is translating into internal defeat. I need to keep remembering to not over think and to keep my body relaxed.

Training runs that are tough on the mind are key to a successful performance on race day. It is so important practicing pushing through both the mental and physical walls.

How do you push through your challenges?


I finished the run today although I could have used one of these gondolas to carry me to the top and some Polly’s Pancakes to power through.




The challenge is on!