On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


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Today: What a difference a year makes.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]My collection of crowned jewels jewelry has grown to include three very important items since January 9, 2011: two marathon medals and one very sparkly engagement ring.

Truth be told, I expected (and hoped!) that Nick and I would get married.  I guess that’s what happens when you find your better half in the world: you hope that, somehow, that person will be by your side for always.  Regardless of my hopes and expectations, I was completely surprised when Nick proposed to me on the roof of our building that Friday night in early September.  I cried like a total goober.  I was so overcome by the excitement of our future together, that I could not even begin to think about a ring, too.  Goodness gracious.  It’s been on my finger ever since.  Except when I’m at boxing.  Totally unsafe.

While my marathon medals pale in comparison (and significance, obvi), I am still quite proud to have them in my jewelry box.  If you had told me  that I’d have both of these suckers in my possession this time last year, I am not sure I would believe you.  Mostly because I still didn’t believe someone like me could be a marathoner.  Let alone a two-time marathoner.  And a resounding hell naw to being a two-time marathoner contemplating a third.

What a difference a year makes.  Training for and completing both races took a tremendous amount of effort and time, but above all, it took believing in myself.  And a lot of Gu.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?


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Today: The waiting game.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I am pretty sure I have packed any and everything I could possibly need for this weekend.  And then some.  I’ve looked at the course map more times than I can count, and Googled “how to get to the Staten Island ferry” more times than I should admit (this is what happens when someone who is easily distracted multitasks). I stuck to my training plan over the past 18 weeks.  I got plenty of extra rest this week.  I have said my prayers.  My iPod is loaded up with Michael Jackson, Prince, and the Boss (though, from what I hear, New York will provide its own soundtrack).  There are two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches tucked into our mini-fridge.

And now, as I sit here on my hotel bed waiting for a bowl of plain pasta and six bottles of water to arrive, with a view of the sun setting over the Hudson, all that’s left to do is wait.  When I wake up tomorrow, however, all that will be left to do is run, baby, run.  Best of luck, fellow runners!

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you running or spectating tomorrow?  I’ll keep an eye out for you!


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Today: Running wild in my backyard.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]One of the many great aspects of condo living is the fact that you’re not really responsible for what happens outside of your three rooms (unless, like, a meteor hits the roof or some other disaster or general building decay occurs).  While it would be great to have a yard of our own someday, it’s rather nice to not have to mow a lawn (not that I have ever done that before).  Or rake leaves.  Or answer the door to strangers hoping to convert you.

Sometimes, though, I just want to run wild through my backyard, like I did as a kid.  In fact, I am really craving a good flying jump into a giant leaf pile.  In the spirit of working with what you have, I’m happy to settle for a less-than-wild run through Fort Point, along the Harbor and past the Financial District.  The city is closest thing I have to a backyard these days.  And what a gorgeous backyard it is.

This weekend I set off for my last long run before Sunday’s New York City Marathon just before the “wintry mix” hit.  I left my watch at home, turned the music down, and just cruised.  I thought about how far I’ve come in the last year.  I never thought I’d be running a marathon, let alone a second marathon.  I would have never believed that on a random Tuesday, I could run over 20 miles.  By myself.  As I crossed the old railroad bridge near the courthouse, I was overcome with emotion (what else is new?).

I am in awe that my body can do this.  I am so thankful my mind can be quiet for an hour or so.  I am incredibly grateful for everyone who supports and encourages me.  I am proud of myself.  And I just can’t wait.  As the harbor and city skyline blurred behind me, I felt like my heart would burst out of my chest.

I should run wild more often.

Also On Tap for Today:


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Today: Twenty is plenty.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]On any other Tuesday, I’d be at the office, working to bring home the imitation bacon bits.  I spent today, however, running through the streets of South Boston, the South End, the Back Bay, Brookline, Chestnut Hill and Newton.  For hours.  With work events keeping me busy all weekend, I took today off to get ‘er done.  By the time I made it back to our condo, I had logged nearly twenty-one miles.  Twenty would have been plenty, but I wasn’t about to take an ice bath at a stranger’s place a mile from home.

After a good cry (I am not sure why the waterworks seem to turn on after the 15 mile mark, but a light breeze or falling acorn could make me weep after a certain point) and a quick shower, I housed two bananas and essentially anything else I could get my hands on, and headed to the gym.  Sort of.  Sarah at Stonyfield Farm kindly invited me a few fellow bloggers to take a yoga class at Equinox, followed by a chat with one of Stonyfield’s nutritionists.  In other words, this invitation was exactly what the (imaginary) doctor ordered following this morning’s long run.

I was the first to arrive and got a chance to chat with Roger Kuhn, our yoga teacher for the event.  He was kind enough to incorporate a hip sequence at the end of class, something he highly recommends for runners.  The class was a great mix of flow and postures, and felt both relaxing and challenging.  At one point, my legs were shaking like… I don’t know… something that shakes a lot.

After class, we headed to Equinox’s main studio for yogurt (jackpot!) and some no-nonsense nutrition advice.  In addition to being a nutritionist, Mary Kennedy is an experienced marathon coach and offered five takeaways for fueling an active lifestyle.  Her reminder that behavior change and setting smart goals is at the core of healthy living really resonated with me.  It’s one thing to know it all (or a lot, at least), and it’s another thing to really plan for smart pre- or post-workout fueling.  I feel like today’s event could not have come at a better time.

I’m looking forward to spending the next 19 days cutting back on my mileage, focusing on smart eating, and getting plenty of sleep.  Twenty may have been plenty today, but twenty-six-point-two awaits.

Is this a bad time to admit that I ate ice cream for dinner?  Probably.  

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have your eyes on a prize?  How do you stay on track?


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Today: The home stretch.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Between the long weekend and unusually high temperatures, today feels much more like a summer Saturday than an autumn Sunday.  After dragging myself out of bed yesterday to finish my second-to-last long run before the marathon, I was so happy to be able to sleep in a bit today.  By the time I took Clark out for his first walk of the day, it was already sundress weather.  On October 8th in Boston?  I’ll take it!

Yesterday’s run took me through the South End and Back Bay, Allston, Brighton, right past my Alma Mater in Chestnut Hill, to Newton Center, and back through Brookline to South Boston.  Running is the best way to see the city (…welp, besides driving.  Or walking.  Or taking the T.  Biking, too, maybe?  On second thought, being pushed in a stroller probably wins.)

I can’t believe I am weeks away from my second trip across the 26.2 starting (and hopefully finish) line.  Thanks to six months in the boxing gym and a bit more diligence with mid-week runs, I feel far stronger than I did in January.  More importantly, I’m struggling less with the mental game this time around.  Having done almost all of my training alone, I’ve done my best to “run my own race” and steer clear of the comparison trap.  I know I won’t break any speed records.  I know I am a back-of-the-middle-of-the-pack runner at best.  But I know I can complete all 26.2 miles.  That’s the beauty of having done it once before.

Training has been so quiet this time around.  No weekly team training runs.  No fundraising.  Not a whole lot of talk about it here On Tap.  As I (slowly, very slowly) crossed the final bridge on yesterday’s run, my calves burning, I started to tear up.  This is the home stretch (literally, I could see our building at this point).  I had passed the last mental hurdle.  With just one more long run to go, and less than a month until the big day (the marathon; we haven’t set a wedding date yet)– I am ready.  I am proud.  And I am extremely excited.  And I can’t feel my legs.  But I suppose that’s the point of an ice bath.

I am sure nothing will top my first marathon, but I have a feeling number two will be just as memorable.  If nothing else, it will mark my triumphant retirement from running.  Just kidding.  Or am I?

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite neighborhood?  Your favorite way to get around?


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Today: Where’s Andi?

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]One of our favorite ways to harass Clark games to play with the Frenchie is Where’s Andi?  He loves my sister and is always trying to sneak into her handbags.  I don’t think he necessarily knows that her nickname is Andi, but he does know– after I’ve yelled “Where’s Andi?!” for the sixth time, that he should be looking for someone.

Clark found her this weekend, in her new apartment, exactly where she belongs.

Hey, guys. I found her.

Doesn’t he look happy?  And like the perfect candidate for braces?

I played my own version of Where’s Andi the next morning, when I peeled myself out of bed bright and early for a long run.  I logged a few miles in my neighborhood before finding my sister in front of her apartment.  She was kind enough to join me for 6 or so miles, giving me just enough motivation to not, say, take a nap on a park bench along the Charles and claim I had actually run.

My sister planned the perfect route for us spanning the distance between the Museum of Science and the BU bridge.  After reaching her apartment, I managed to sneak in a few more miles for a grand total of thirteen.  Unlucky number, maybe?  But I couldn’t be luckier to have a sister, running pal, and dog entertainer like Andi.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Whipping up some quinoa salad for the week
  • I love Chad Ochocinco, I can’t help it
  • Soaking up this gorgeous weather!
What’s your favorite hiding place?  


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Today: A tartey for the party.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]After having such a great run on the Harbor Walk last weekend, I thought it might be fun to bring a few pals along.  Tina, Ali, Anne and I tackled six miles this morning, running from Southie to Charlestown and back.  It’s sort of fun to hop from neighborhood to neighborhood in the rain.

I stole this photo from Anne, while wondering what on Earth my hand is up to.

I’ve been rather enamored with the waterfront lately; nothing makes me happier than a salty sea breeze.  Besides cheese doodles.  And my dog.  And a few other things, too.

After our run, we enjoyed mimosas and brunch at our condo, while Clark and Murphy provided the entertainment.  I found these fun Japanese vegetable cutters earlier this week and was excited to put them to use.  I cut some fresh watermelon, honey dew melon and cucumbers into tiny flowers and tossed them with mozzarella and fresh basil.  The perfect summer salad.

I also whipped up my first berry galette, a free form tarte perfect for showcasing the summer’s best blueberries, raspberries and–my favorite– blackberries.  I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the dough, and sort of winged it from there.  You know Martha would never steer you wrong.  Clearly, this tartey was perfect for our little party.

All that remains is a piddly, little blueberry.

Running with friends, towards a delightful brunch… now that’s how to train for a marathon.

Also On Tap for Today:

Make anything tasty this weekend?