Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 Boston Marathon...done and done!

Ya know, the 2012 Boston Marathon was the most surreal, awesome experience of my life. I mean, DUHHHH....right? I simply don't even know where to begin. I wish I wasn't so lazy the last week leading up to the run to really give you better perspective on what was going through my mind.

I was stressing the F out over reaching my fundraising goal of $5,000 for the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, but we made it happen the Friday before the run!!! How awesome is that!??? (and by the way, thank you so much to all my friends, family and professional contacts for your relentless support and generosity - I am completely humbled by the out pour of support....and acknowledge that I need to start saving up for all the causes you'll be supporting and will be hitting me up for donations...hey what's fair is fair!).

I was quite relieved when that was all said and done, then Mother Nature decides to strategically have the mother load of menopausal hot flashes ON MONDAY, APRIL 16th. Really, Momma couldn't post-pone a day or two? As I'm sure you all were made aware, the Northeast was about to have an unseasonably warm day on race day. Now, I understand one would think, "ohhh that's great right??? Warm weather is easier to run in??". And the answer, unfortunately is "yes, it's great or the Kenyans who are quite acclimated already". As you all know, I am not Kenyan. Naturally, I panicked, had my girly emotional roller coaster waaaahhhhhh moment, then decided to suck it up. The Marathon organizers were sending out emails discouraging people from running and giving us the option to defer to next year's race, which scared me even more. However, the only thing I kept thinking is, knowing my luck, I'll defer to next year and it will be another freakish 90 degree weather day. So, I said, time to put on my big girl pants, suck it up, be extra cautious and just get through it. And that I did!
Me at the Runner's Expo picking up my Bib

Then came Monday - what an explosive, awe-inspiring day. Turns out there were plenty of other nut jobs out there who said the same thing as me, "F*&*! It! I trained the last 5 months for this thing, I'm running it!"
Hey, I have to go to the Vet....Cause these puppies are SICK!!!

I purchased some damn good sun block, sprayed myself down multiple times in the morning before I even got started and one last spray right before go time. I figured I'd be out in the sun for a stupid amount of hours and my pasty white, winter skin is not prepared for it, but dang that sunblock did the trick! I also took the sound advice seriously from an old-father-time looking runner to keep dumping water on my head to keep me cool. By the look of crazy in his eyes and his clearly emaciated running physique, I figured home boy knows a thing or two and I should listen to this guy! So, I ran the entire thing soaked from head to toe...literally.

Go Time Baby!

The spectators were amazing. Really, all the communities along the route really come out and support the runners. There were people with hoses, sprinkler systems set up, one automechanic with his power washer - it was honestly what saved my ass. Any chance I got, I ran under a hose, dumped a cup of water over my head, soaked my clothing to keep my core temperature cool. Had I not done that, I would've been puking alongside the road like some of my less fortunate compadres.

The crowds energy was explosive and so supportive. When I felt myself struggling with the heat, hunger or fatigue, I simply started giving high fives to the crowd who would burst with explosive cheers, or talk it up with a random runner next to me on the course. Matter of fact I stopped listening to my music a couple miles in to it, because clearly what was going on around me was much more entertaining!

I think I enjoyed the simple fact that I could control whether or not spectators were energized. The best part was an old Vietnam Vet war looking dude standing outside his house hooting-hollering at us runners. It was rather quiet till I started hollering back at him - the best part of the whole run, his response, might I add at the top of his lungs, "PAIN IS TEMPORARY....PRIDE IS FOREVER!!!!" Every runner around me starting cheering uncontrollably and you just felt everyone picking up their pace. Myself included because I triggered that very moment.

This race was not about competing, it was about completing it and enjoying the experience of it. Once I let go of the idea of beating my best time and just enjoying the moment, I truly did just that.  The best part about crossing that finish line was knowing my parents and my dedicated Coach (aka Boyfriend) were there waiting for me - Yeah, I'm a happy girl!
It is an experience I am really proud of and grateful for the opportunity to run for a great cause.

Might you ask what is next for this little Portuguese-Sicilian pit bull?

Welll......Tough Mudder, Mt. Snow Vermont is in a month....

ANNNDDDDD.....I dropped my name in the bucket for the 2012 NYC Marathon...we shall see!!! Stay tuned for more adventures from Maria's Jog Blog!

Thanks for following my journey!


Maria D.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Peanut Butta Taper Time!

"Peanut Butta, Jelly, Peanut Butta, Jelly, Peanut Butta, Jelly, wit a baseball bat!!" Who doesn't know that precious dancing banana, singing that famous song that went viral quite a few years back?!?! Ok, well, if you have no clue what I'm referring to, You Tube it.

Anywho, please excuse my silliness...the miles are impacting my brain along with my knees and IT band. All in all, feeling good! I completed a 20 mile run this past weekend in 3 hours and 45 minutes...and I may have love-hated the entire thing. I loved it because I had my Coach (Aka Boyfriend) biking alongside, pushing me through those last crucial miles. And his momma even joined for some of it, via rollerblades (I know, badass! Right?!?!). I hated it because it was 20 miles and I have half the leg size of normal people. People mistake me for one of the family members from "Little People, Big World" when I'm out running. Heck, I would if I saw me out running!

You ask, what does "taper" mean? It is the glorious few weeks after running the 20 miler where you get to taper back the amount of miles you run before the big day. It is crucial to give your body ample amounts of rest before the main event. Now, tapering back doesn't mean you stop, it just means instead of me running 18 this weekend, I "only" have to run 10. This is very exciting to me!!! Going for a 5 miler tomorrow and am so looking forward to a "shorter" run.

Did I tell you?? I raised $1K in like a 24 hour time span last week! How rad is that??? Now, I just have $1,500 more to go and T-minus 14 days to do it!
Please help me reach my fundraising goal of $5K. Donate to

T-minus 14 days till the 2012 Boston Marathon. Can not believe I'm so close now!!! Hope you can come cheer me on-Monday, April 16th!!

Thanks for reading my awesome blog!!!

Rock on!

Maria D.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Think I Can...I Think I Can...

"I KNOW I can!" Is what I need to be telling myself at this point in the game. So last weekend was not my finest work. I was supposed to get a 13 miler in and gave up at 7.5. I was simply O-V-E-R IT! I had a big fat WAAAHHHHHH moment, where I just did not feel like running. All I wanted to do was spend time with my family, my boyfriend, have fun and not stress out over spending endless amounts of time training. I believe that is what's commonly referred to as, "hitting the wall". I gave myself the break I needed and now it's time to get my head back in the game. And by back in the game I mean, 10 miles tomorrow, cross training Thursday and going for 20 this weekend (Booo-ya!)

These past few weeks have been quite challenging with balancing a very hefty workload, trying to raise $5,000 for the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP - the awesome cause I'm doing all this for...please donate endless hours of running and cross training, eating, eating, eating and yes, more eating and etc, etc, etc etc. I don't mean to bitch and complain by any means - I'd MUCH rather be super busy then bored, it's just that I think I'm in need of restoring a little balance in my life...ASAP!

Well, the 2012 Boston Marathon is just around the the light at the end of the tunnel is near.

Oh, did I tell you?? I'm signed up for a Tough Mudder event in Mt. Snow, Vermont one month after the Boston Marathon...what was I saying about restoring balance again???

Keep those donations coming folks! MBHP and I NEED your help! Donate now

Rock on wit yo bad self!

Maria D.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Got Your Hunger Games!!!

I am quite amused by all the buzz around the tween sensation, Hunger Games.  Not hating on the series by any means -- I actually bought the book, but haven't had time to actually sit down and read it.  I just laugh every time I see a Facebook posting or other advertisement for the Hunger Games, because I literally chuckle to myself and think, "HA!  I got your Hunger Games!".  Literally, I can not stop eating, constantly hungry, not enough calories in this world to satisfy this "hunger game"...except it's not a game, it's expensive and my teeth are going to rot and fall out of my face from the constant grazing required to prevent me from turning into the Sicilian Hulk.  My stomach is grumbling, literally as I am sitting here typing this.

I know this is quite normal and quite healthy with the amount of miles I am up to at this point, I just do not recall being THIS famished the last marathon I trained for...then again I don't have the best memory.

Ohh well, on a very exciting note!  I completed 18 miles this past weekend!  And had my "Coach" (AKA Boyfriend or Ginger) along with his mini clone (AKA son) biking alongside me for a very crucial part of the run - Mile 10 - 16.  I say this part of the run is very crucial because I am ok to be alone with my thoughts for 2 hours, beyond that, I struggle.  I need that mental distraction, someone to crack a joke with, keep me laughing during these really long runs.  Can't even tell you how much that helped me.  This run was soooooo much easier than 16 - go fig!

I'm really excited because this coming weekend I "only" have to run 13, the following weekend I'm going for the BIG SHA-BANG, 20 and it sounds like I may have recruited a couple "Coach's" to help me get through portions of that run.  PS - Those of you who are joining me on that 20, I'm giving you a hug right now (SQUEEEZZEEE!!!).

I LOVE the support everyone!  Thank you!  YOU ROCK!!!

2012 Boston Marathon - I'm coming for ya baby!!!!  See you in t-minus 26 Days!



Sunday, March 11, 2012

16 Miles...Gets Me Every Time!

Today I rocked 16 miles!...ok, maybe 16 miles rocked me...Whatever, minor details!  This was probably the first run in a long time, where I felt muscles and joints I did not know existed.  As the saying goes, "no pain, no gain", right?  I'm stoked I got 16 miles under my belt, just now feeling a little nervous for 18, 20 and the big sha-bang, 26.2!  The miles are now getting up there in preparation for the big day - it's exciting and nerve wracking all wrapped into one!

As I was wrapping up 16 miles today, clearly in pain, the thought that crossed my mind is, "Holy Crap!  In 1 month, I'll be running this...PLUS 10 more miles!" I suppose 16 miles wouldn't have been so challenging if I had a running buddy to keep me out of my own brain for 3 whole hours, but such is life.  Today really was a good mentally challenging run.  I ran solo and had to figure out a way to shake the negative thoughts out of my brain a few times, I resorted to pretending my old running buddy was running along side me, then mixed it up and pretended my boyfriend was biking alongside was not as good as the real thing, but totally did the trick!  It's amazing really, our body's will do anything to get us to stop doing whatever it is that is conflicting pain.  Thoughts will turn from positive, "I got this in the bag!!!" to "you can't do this, there is no way you are finishing today's run".  It's a humbling experience to overcome those pessimistic thoughts and finish what you sought out to achieve.

The funny thing is that when I was training last year for the San Francisco Marathon, the 16 miler run was a physically and mentally exhausting run as well...only difference is that last year it was 20 degrees out and snowing/ least today was close to 60 degrees and a perfect blue bird day!.  Either way, glad to be past this threshold.

Next weekend, I'm going for 20 miles and already recruited my "Coach" aka boyfriend to bike along side me.  Not going alone on that one!

Stay tuned to hear how it goes!

Countdown is getting real, people!  Please donate now to MBHP...for reals, like NOW!!!!

Thanks for following my journey!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Miss My Running Buddy!!!

I have to take a moment to tell you about THE best running buddy on the face of the planet...her name is Amber Wood and she is the one who essentially created this Monster!

This is Amber and I after the Reno Rock and River 1/2 Marathon - the run that started it all!

Amber and I met a couple years ago when I lived in Reno, Nevada and one day she informed me that she randomly ran a 1/2 marathon up at Lake Tahoe - mind you, this is 13.1 miles at 6 - 8,000+ ft. elevation. For you flat-landers, that means she went for a really long run at an elevation where the air is a tad bit thinner. Naturally, this gave Amber some serious street cred in my books!

Amber's Super Woman-esque accomplishment triggered a little voice in my head that said, "Hmmmm, maybe you can give this whole long distance running thing a whirl...who knows?? You don't know till you try!?". And so, I expressed interest to Amber that I wanted to give this whole crack head, long distance running thing a go and we should start training together. Naturally, she was down with the sickness! So, we started our running journey together. At first, I was some what annoyed by Amber's always positive and peppy demeanor and wanting to talk the whole time, but it didn't take long for me to see that I was the one who had it ALLLLLL wrong! After the first couple runs together, talking the majority of the run, I quickly realized that the long 2, 3 hour runs were going by SOOO fast. Matter of fact, it hardly felt like long distance running! Not to mention, all these miles together, gave us time to get to know one another and get the weight of the world off our shoulders. It became our therapy session for the week!

Amber and I ran 2, 1/2 marathons (13.1 miles) and 1 full marathon together (26.2 miles). While training for all these races, we helped keep each other accountable, motivated and pushed each other through those long grueling runs.

If it weren't for my running buddy, I don't know that I would be where I'm at today!

So, if you are looking to take up running, reach out to someone and recruit them as a running buddy - you will be surprised at what you can accomplish and who knows, you may just make a life long friend!

I'm going for 14 miles this weekend...minus a runing buddy :-(  Wish me luck!!!

2012 Boston Marathon - T-minus 6 weeks!

Please help me clear $2k in my fundraising goals - donate now to Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP)

Thanks for being a good person!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Por Que!?!?!?!

I never really filled ya in on why I'm doing all this in the first place, right?  Well, here is my story and I'm sticking to it!...

Once upon a time, I was dependent on my parents, naturally, from infant age up until I graduated from college and decided it was time to cut the umbilical cord.  During this time, my parents served as amazing role models in my life and did the best they could with what they had.

My mother born and raised in Sicily and my father from Portugal (hence why I call my rents "F.O.B.'s" - Fresh Off the Boat.  It's not offensive, it's a term of endearment).  My father will boast (rightfully so) how he left home at 14, was drafted into the Portuguese Army at 18, spent time in Angola, Africa fighting in the war, always held a job, worked hard, earned an honest living and owned/ran a restaurant business for 22 years...all with out even a High School level education.  My mother, although didn't have it quite as rough, had her own journey.  She came to the United States at 14, had to learn the English language, faced discrimination in her high school years (kids are mean anyways, but some kids were real jerks to my mom and called her all kinds of mean names - all because her nose was bigger than theirs - I personally think they were jealous!).  My mom obviously got over it though - built a career for herself, went back to school for her AA when she was in her 50's and has worked for the same company for over 35 years!  Both my parents worked hard and fought relentlessly to provide me, my brother and sister with a roof over our heads, food on the table and opportunity for higher education (something they personally didn't have quite so readily available).

I'm not too proud to admit that I would NEVER in a million years be where I am today, had I not been blessed with 2 loving parents to provide me with all the basic necessities I needed to launch me in the right direction.  Let's be clear about something, times were NOT easy!!!  My parents were ALWAYS stressed; they had to support 3 kids and a business and there were times where the food on the table was no-frills hot dogs and mac-n-cheese because times were tough (as a kid though, it was like the greatest thing ever - we loved it when Mommy and Daddy were poor!).

As I start to work on this whole grown-up thing and dream of raising my own family some day, I really see what kind of time, energy, commitment and $$$$ it really takes to do it right.  I also see a lot of unfortunate situations where other children in this world just aren't being offered the same "luxuries" I had as a child, like a safe house to come home to, protective loving parents, food on the table (even if it was kinda ghetto at times), opportunities for socialization, and most importantly the valuable lesson I learned of "how to go fish, rather then just being provided with the fish" - No pun intended...well, ok, maybe just a little bit! :-/

And that is why I decided to support MBHP (, they offer tons of different programs to those in need, to help them feel empowered to become self-sufficient and self-reliant.  MBHP is helping afford individuals opportunities their environements wouldn't otherwise provide.  If all the running and fundraising I'm doing can help launch one young child's life in the right direction - then I can sleep pretty sound at night.  That's all I can ask for - help me get a good nights rest!!!

Please help me reach my fundraising goal of $5k - I swear it's going towards a great cause!

Donate now -


Thanks for reading this awesome blog - I know, you feel all sorts of warm and fuzzy! :-)

Maria Dias