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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Can I Get a Do-Over Please!?!?

Let's just say, today was a random day that I would like to simply forget EVER happened. Where do I start? Last night, woke up at about 3:30am because my sinuses were reeking havoc on my life, yet once again. I hardly slept, that is somehow miraculously till it was time to get up in the morning. Running late into work this morning sucked as is, but it gets better! As I was driving in to work, I realized that I had a 9am meeting on my calendar that I was clearly late to. The day just got better and better and better as you can imagine. It's like you know when you get a bruise on your body, it's like that bruise becomes a magnet for more beatings?? That was my life in a nutshell today. So to sum this whole day up - Can I PLEASE get a do-over???

Uggghhh!!! Someone please call me a WAAAAAhhhmbulance!

So, here I am, once again dealing with a sinus cold (3rd luck's a charm, right???). I'm going to try to keep positive here people...however, I ain't gonna lie, I am STRUGGLING.

Any words of wisdom or encouragement you can offer is much appreciated. I just need some love right now.

T-Minus 8 weeks till the big day - I'm still convinced the Boston Marathon will be an epic day in my life.

Please help me reach my fundraising goal of $5k (time is a tickin'!) - donate now to MBHP

Thanks for your support -- YOU ROCK!!!

That's me this past weekend!  I ran 12 miles with my amazing "Coach" (aka boyfriend), biking alongside me the entire 2 hour run.  Talk about love and dedication!!! :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Milk Was a Bad Choice

As previously mentioned, this week was pretty rad for me!

I not only got back into the swing of things, but I'm losing a toe nail (yeah, it happens and it's kinda bragging rights for runners), I broke $1,000 in my fundraising (by the way, I still need to hit my goal of $5,000 for MBHP - please donate now!!!, and I ran 10 miles this weekend (and it was AWESOME)!!!

So let me tell you a bit more about this 10 mile run - first of all, not only did I shave a full minute off my average pace, but I maintained a stupid fast (well, fast for my standards, 9 - 9.5 minute miles) the entire 10 miles - YEAAAAAHHHH BUDDDY!!!! I'll admit, the terrain for this run was primarily flat, which is not the norm for me. Typically, I'm running some good hills and that impacts my pace. So it was nice to know, that if I don't run hills, I can really huff it!

So, you ask why am I quoting Ron Burgundy, "Milk was a bad choice"?...because IT IS!!!! I typically drink Almond Milk now-a-days because it is much kinder to me then the creamy cow-produced, goodness. However, on occassion I yearn for the real deal and unfortunately opted for a big bowl of cereal with real milk the morning I went for this awesome 10 mile run. Thankfully there was no need to wear a runners diaper (like the hard core marathon runners actually do!! No joke!), but I will admit my tummy was NOT having it! It was a great reminder of A. Why I no longer drink real milk and B. It is now crucial to keep my diet on track as I get into the longer mile runs.

So word to the wise kids - don't drink milk or anything that will bloat your tummy up like a balloon prior to a 10 mile run!

2012 Boston Marathon - T-Minus 9 Weeks!

Whoop Whoop!!

Me working the camera, in my new winter running gear, post-10 mile run...I'm a tiger, now I'm a kitten...raaarrr!

Baby It's Cold Outside!

This week was an amazing week for this girl!

I ain't gonna lie, I was pretty cozy in bed Wednesday morning contemplating life, trying to decide if I should stay in the warm cozy bed or get my Porkchop butt out into the cold (21 degrees to be exact) to get a good run in. After a good 15-20 minute debate (aka, hitting the snooze button on my alarm multiple times), I finally reminded myself that I was out of commission for a solid 3 weeks and there was NO doubt, it was time to get my butt out of bed and go for a run.

Needless to say, I was so thankful I did, it was the most beautiful morning for a run - cold, but still beautiful. I happened to stumble upon a great running spot, Lake Park, which is right on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, MA. The best part, I got to see a pretty rad sunrise on the lake that morning...

Lake Park, on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, MA - new fave running spot!