Operation Get Your Shit Together.

It should be no surprise to you that I am extremely interested in identity development and formation throughout the lifespan. That’s what this blog has really become, hasn’t it? A raw account of how I’m making my way through this world as I continually strive for the ups and learn to navigate the downs. Week in, week out that’s what I’m doing: I’m working hard to create the life I want to live (and create for my daughter) and tackling whatever unanticipated chaos comes my way.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I was completely blindsided last October and I’m feel as if I’m still healing. If any of you readers out there have gone through a difficult break up or divorce maybe you share some insight into this process. Some days I’m completely in the moment, creating anew and enjoying my daughter, my job, my run; I’m just gleefully living my life. But then a song comes on or a feeling of doubt washes over me and I get pulled back into the squall. I fight the waves to find my way back to the relaxing moment I’m in but I can’t. I’m left feeling unsettled and distracted.  Will I ever truly be healed? Will I ever truly trust again? Does anything actually last forever? I deeply want to believe so. I have hope, the irrevocably complicated minx of an emotion. What am I hoping for? Some days its someone to share my life with. Other days it’s just a partner to laugh with in the moment. But most days I’m focusing on wanting to know that I can tackle with world on my own, well…. or at least with the help of my friends and family.

Last winter I wrote a post entitled Two Feet and I set some goals… resolutions I suppose… for myself. I even bought myself a white board for my bedroom and wrote “Get your shit together Kass” on the top. Have no fear, my shit isn’t a complete mess, however it’s undeniable that there’s room for improvement. On the white board I initially listed the my version of steps I want to take to get my life together and become an independent, self-sufficient woman and mother. A few of the steps included:

  1. Prioritize Lilly. Make sure she knows she is loved. Work hard to create the life I want her to live. Laugh and love.
  2. No boys allowed: no serious relationships for now.
  3. Career- Register for Sports Psychology Certificate program and keep your eye out for job opportunities.
  4. Cook- Learn to cook actual meals and consider (gasp) actually meal prepping on Sundays.
  5. Running- Prepare for Sugarloaf 26.2 in May and start to think about the plan for next fall.
  6. Social- Fill free time with family and friends who will fill your heart and make you laugh.
  7. Eat all the cookies. 🙂 Continue to seek out balance with nutrition.

I call it “happiness in a bowl.”

So how am I doing ? Well I’m nailing #7 like a boss.

I’m just living life. Some days feel totally balanced, happy and effortless. Other days have me getting a flat tire while driving the 2 miles from my parents to my sisters house. Yup, $250 down the drain. Sending out a special thank you to the pothole on Sussex Turnpike in New Jersey. Other days have had me getting sick with a stomach virus at work…in front of a client… FUUUUUCK… (quite possibly the most embarrassing day in my liiiiiiiiiiiife). Cheers to spending an entire day writing training plans in bed while watching episodes of New Girl. (Note: Greys Anatomy made me cry too often, damn tv dramas, so I have switched to New Girl about the affable, awkward chaos that ensues within the dating scene. It’s totes approps for me now.). I’m doing ok though- seriously. Most days I feel calm, rested and present. I get lonely, sure. But not as often. I’m filling my life with things that I want to do, people I want to surround myself with and memories that I want to make. I’m getting there. Just have to keep moving forward.

I finished Friday’s run at the Hingham waterfront.  <3


Running: My training for Sugarloaf has been a mild shit show. While I’m feeling much much better these days the swollen knee/weak hip from a few weeks back put my speed workouts on hold. I’m getting in a solid weekly volume of 50-60 mpw with a long run at 18 miles, but I haven’t done any of the traditional workouts that push my threshold into the gaining speed. My mental focus has been lacking. I’ve been feeling very distracted and mildly uninspired this cycle. I’m getting in the runs and I love racing, but something feels different. Well shit, something is different. I don’t have my running partner anymore. I don’t have a coach. It’s just me, myself and I on the road day in, day out. Hmmm. I’m processing this as I’m writing it- since I’ve sworn off silly boys and serious relationships I’m questioning whether or not I want to invest in getting a coach again to help me refocus for a new adventure when I’m ready. I’ve been bopping around the idea of doing an ultra next fall. Maybe I’m all talk, maybe not. I haven’t decided anything concrete. What I do know is that I’m looking to be inspired, to be challenged by someone or something and I’ll know it when it hits me.


Kass, Our love for you has been reassigned to other worthy beings. Please sit elsewhere. Our condolences, Mom and Dad.


I’ve been leaning on friends and family a lot over the past few months. After MV I headed down to New Jersey to spend time with my family. There I realized that my parent’s love for me now goes directly to their dogs, Ranger and Lilac.



Then again, my mom did bake me a Christmas ham in February so she is forgiven!! I haven’t had a ham in probably three years. Does anyone else get a hankerin’ for a good ham or is that just me?? ‘Tis okay. I’m comfortable with myself and the amount of ham, pineapple and sweet potatoes consumated that evening.



Cooking: While in Jersey I cooked my parents dinner, One-pan BBQ Chicken. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, bacon, peppers and onions, diced tomatoes and BBQ sauce. It is idiot-proof and only requires one pan, hence I LOVE IT!!  The recipe is originally from Carrot’s n Cake’s blog and can be found HERE.  I paired this with Trader Joe’s cornbread and string beans, although you could also serve it with rice. I have made it several times and it consistently comes out delicious, but that could also be because I’ve never cooked with chicken thighs before. Drool. I’m telling you- I’m determined to get better at this cooking thing!! I think I’m off to a solid start. I mean, mom and dad actually ate it. That’s gotta count for something.

Career: Two months ago I was accepted into a Sports Psychology Certificate program. It’s the first step towards integrating my passions of counseling and run coaching. On nights and weekends I have been completing Kinesiology coursework. I am one test and one paper away from finishing my first of six courses for this certificate. Most of my weekend will be devoted to completing my  research paper on the physiological changes that occur throughout the life span that impact marathon training in Master’s marathoners. Furthermore, I’m interested in how these physiological changes impact how Master’s athletes should alter their mental training for race day. This weekend’s gonna be off the hoooooooook with research and journal articles. After Kinesiology wraps up I will shift gears for my next class which starts in early April: Performance Enhancement. So far I’m enjoying the coursework and it’s healthily and begrudgingly keeping me busy.



Approaching the weekend like….

So it’s now nearly 10 am and I kinda want to run. Sorry this post was so disjointed. My mind feels scattered lately. Speaking of scattered here are some of my random thoughts to get you thinking.

Random Thoughts. I’ve had some random thoughts over the past week and I can’t help but wonder… Does anyone else…


* Put clean running clothes in drier to warm them up before a winter run?

* Give each leg a mere 3 flicks of the razor and think, “yeaaaa that’ll do just fine.”

* Ever go to bed before 9 pm and think “ahhhhhhhhhhhh yes, this is living?”

* Wish you could shower sitting down? No, I don’t mean a bath, I really mean shower sitting down after a LONG run when your legs are turned to jello and they’re all floopsy.

*  HAVE TO eat a scoop of ice cream immediately upon purchase no matter the time of day?

* Make up completely random songs that are really just sentences but are more fun when said to a jingly tune? Do you ever think that this is the reason you actually had a child so that you could do just this without it being weird :). Yay social norms.


* Put your damp smelly running jacket in the drier to  do a “quick wash n’ dry” in the morning?

* Like to eat dried figs as a snack AND aren’t presently collecting social security ? Please please please say yes!!

* Suspect that kleenex is secretly laced with a substance that makes you need to use more keenex???

New shoes that will make me feel like a pretty pretty princess.

And on that note I’m off to run….

Can’t stop, won’t stop.

The Lone Runner



Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler 2018


My worlds collided at the MV 20 miler that left me feeling exhilarated, relieved and I’ll admit it- overwhelmed. I was faced with an angry knee that had debunked my recent training, two athletes racing with goals of their own, a friend who I hadn’t seen in 3 years and an ex I hadn’t seen since well… the last time. Oh, and I had 20 miles to race. Why do I put myself in these situations? I’m a masochist. It’s the only damn explanation. Well, that and I’m addicted to running.

The MV 20 miler is a race of pride for many who are brave enough to go to Martha’s Vineyard in February and run 20 miles. The weather this time of year is a complete crapshoot. It could be 50 degrees and sunny with a light breeze, freezing rain and 40 degrees or 10 degrees and a blizzard. And not to mention the inevitable gusts of wind that lift you up and move you across the course when you run on that tiny strip of pavement that leads the way from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown. So who wants to run it next year??? I do. Why? Cause why the hell not!

This year mother nature must have decided to punish and torture engender mental fitness within runners in some others part of the world as the 2018 MV20 miler hopefuls faced a day of light winds, 35 degrees and sun. Dare I say that it was near perfect running conditions? Yes, technically there was a strong headwind from miles 5-7 and 17-20 but I’m pretty sure that’s inevitable when you’re running on an island.

My athletes (Sarah and Mary Beth) and I arrived at the start around 10 am for an 11 am race start. I was a complete ball of nerves with a resting heart rate of 90 (when its usually 38-42). Don’t you love how technology can confirm that you are losing your shit? I know I do. Deep breath… and now another. I was worried about running 20 miles on a knee/ hip that while getting better had been giving me some serious grief in the previous two weeks. I was nervous about my athletes running their own races and achieving the performance they had trained for (mamas always worry). And yes, I was mildly freaking out about seeing my ex for the first time since October. The whole morning I felt like an overstimulated toddler who had stayed up past her bedtime: if you even looked at me the wrong way there was a strong chance I was going to burst into tears. There were simply too many feelings in my midst and I was having trouble processing them so quickly.

I retreated into myself and tried to simplify the quiet chaos that surrounded me, “You’re here to run. Just run.”

At the race start I joined up with my friend, Sarah Slater. An ultramarathoner who races (and often wins) 50 and 100 miles much more frequently than road races Sarah made an exception to hop in on the MV20 miler. Weeks ago my goal was try like hell to run 7:15s for all 20, but then my hip and knee started acting like jerks so my goal… umm…evolved to run with Sarah as fast as I could until my legs told me otherwise. I smart runner. 🙂 At the start we agreed to run 7:40-7:50 pace together for the first 12-13 miles and then empty the tank. We griped like mamas. We chitter chatted like girls. We ran like runners. The miles ticked away at a comfortable 7:30-7:35 pace (faster than we discussed, but it felt goooooood). We started to settle into the race and the paces dropped into the 720’s. Sarah kept saying, “too fast” but she was still conversational and her breathing wasn’t labored. I’m going to go out on a line and say that it was faster than Miss. Ultramarathoner thought she could run, but right in her wheelhouse of her current level of fitness. Sarah’s used to running 50+ miles of technical trails at a slower pace, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not strong enough to hit quick paces on the road.

Sarah and I

At mile 14 our girl talk went from conversational to quiet. The race had just begun. My body was holding up and with six miles to go I was willing to start throwing down to see what my legs and mind could do. Miles 11, 12 and 13 were completed at a 7:19, 7:21 and 7:19 pace, respectively; these paces were far from comfortable, but manageable. My mental goal was to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Somewhere in mile 14 my mind flashed to a study described within the book I’m reading, Endure. It described two groups of athletes who either engage in low or high intensity workouts. The study revealed that pain tolerance increased by 41% with the group of athletes who engaged in high intensity athletics. Furthermore, athletes who set goals on the road and who are willing to tolerate pain for longer are subject to faster race results. During the race I translated this information as such: You are going to be uncomfortable. Discomfort doesn’t mean that you CAN’T. YOU CAN. So start believing. Embrace the discomfort and keep running. Fatigue is a state of mind. 

I can’t emphasize enough the level of discomfort I experienced from mile 14 through 20. I was holding a 7:20 give/take pace and if I wanted to I could slow down. I could ease the discomfort at any moment if I wanted to. But the fact of the matter is that I didn’t want to. I was no longer running; I was racing. I used my mind to push through the final 6 miles of the race. My legs were tired. My body was beyond uncomfortable. But my mind was on point. I left Sarah (or so I thought) and I leaned into my pace to throw a 7:10 down for mile 14. I turned my attention to the athletes on the road ahead and started picking them off. Close the gap. Lean in, Kass. Focus on the mile you are in. Get to the next mile. Just get to the next mile. I chose to ignore the discomfort enveloping my body and focused on getting to the next mile, then then next mile. I saw another female runner ahead of me and told myself, She looks tired. She has run 15 miles too and she’s slowing down. Close the gap. Lean in. Was she tired? I have not a clue. Didn’t matter. I told myself that she was tired. Heck, I was physically tired. I silently pushed onward with an encouraging inner monologue at my side You have a 5k to go. Three miles, 21 minutes, about 5 songs. Focus. Hold the pace. Push. The final 5 miles were a series of rolling hills and I held on to a sub 7:20 as best as possible: 7:22, 7:15, 7:18, 7:13, 7:18 and 6:52.

During the final mile I noticed a female runner wearing bunny ears ahead of me. My personal self thought it was hilarious, but my runner-self was annoyed. I refused to be beat by a bunny-eared maven. PUSH LIKE HELL. YOU GET TO STOP IN 4 LAPS AROUND A TRACK, 3 LAPS, less than 4 minutes of running left. I did it. I caught the damn pink bunny and miraculously managed a 6:52 in the final mile. I crossed the finish line with a final time of 2:28:18 (7:25 splits) and nailed 6th place woman (2nds in my AG). Mere seconds after I finished Miss Slater rolled in!! SHE HELD ON LIKE A BOSS! I am so insanely proud of her. She told me she was maxing out her fitness at 7:30s. Liar! Haha. She has some serious fight in her. Sarah and I are currently in negotiations for future races … it’s possible I’ll do a few ultras with her if she does some road races with me :). I’m pretty sure we just want to hurt each other on our own turf. Muhahaha.



Inundated with so many emotions pre-race I am incredibly happy with the race results and the day. I had a blast hanging out with Sarah, survived coming face to face with the ex, am proud of my athlete’s efforts on the road and best of yet- my body didn’t blow up! Horray! In fact every day since the race my knee/hip has felt a little bit stronger. Maybe it’s the PT or the reduction in weekly mileage. All I can say is that I am starting to feel like myself on the road again. Phew!

Post-race, post-shower, post- shoving cookies into our mouths.


If I learned anything during this race it is that the mind is an incredibly powerful muscle. In the final 6 miles I passed 5 other runners, three of whom were female and one within the final .25 of the race. I couldn’t have done that without being willing to be uncomfortable. I find it affable how willing I am to be uncomfortable on the road and yet not in life. Life’s uncertainty overwhelms me and yet the uncertainty during a race doesn’t seem uncertain at all. Rather, the uncertainty ins a race feels like a challenge. My runner self loves challenges. My other self not so much.



I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- why can’t we always be running? Life feels simple on the open road.

Cant stop, won’t stop.


Post race relaxxxxx with a glass of wine. 🙂


What’s going on….


I promised myself that I would post today so here I am posting. I have about 30 minutes so let see how many words I can smash together on this screen. I haven’t had an epiphany or emotional crisis. Okay well that’s probably a lie, I’ve an emotional being so I’m sure I’ve had lots of mini-crises in the past 2 weeks but as per usual the feeling pass. What have I been up to? Hmmm…. Well…

* My body is semi broken: First thing I should probably say is that I was running a lot. Like A LOT. Like 70+ mile weeks a lot. Which in itself isn’t that bad, however I simply wasn’t doing enough strength work to back it up. I’m a bonehead. I know the rules. I make my athletes follow the rules. If you want to run then you have to lift at least 1x a week, ideally 2. Because of my boneheadednessity (yea, we’ll make that a word) I had a hiccup in my training that resulted in a swollen/painful knee. I refuse to call myself injured; however, I took 3 days off and started physical therapy at Teamwork Physical Therapy in Quincy, because I’m proactive like that.

Yes, I’m well aware my boot socks are awesome (Thanks mom), but also notice how my left quad has subtly more definition than my right? Muscular inbalances are no bueno for running. The only answer is strength training!


So far I’ve learned that I have to do more hip strengthening exercises (boo) and that my right hip is so week that my left leg has been compensating for it. So much so that my left quad actually looks like the hulk and my right leg is all shriveled and sadness. The reality is that if I want to run a lot then I have to do the strength work to back it up. I’m still planning on running Sugarloaf in May as well as Martha’s Vineyard 20 miler tomorrow …. weeeeeeeeeeee! We’ll see how that goes! However, training for Sugarloaf will have to be adjusted to lower mileage and lower intensity. My focus is really to just get through this weekend.



* I have been reading- adult books! This is a BIG deal. I have been reading- a lot. Well, I’ve been reading Harry Potter to Lillian for the past few months but that’s neither here nor there. I often struggle with either making the time to read or staying conscious long enough at night to get through a page. However, I just got this book, Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance and I can’t put it down!! Guess I made the right call to start the Sports Psychology program :). I highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious about how the human mind works and wonders if we ever reach our true limit during a race.


Greg has a go-pro and often runs ahead on the trail then jumps out of the bushes and takes pictures. He’s the trail paparazzi!!


*Trail running with the boys. For the past few months my friend Greg has been asking me to go trail running with his crew in Blue Hills. Week after week I have declined. I’ve used the excuse that it doesn’t fit in with my training plan, but in all honesty I was nervous that the trails would be too hard or that I’d fall behind. But Greg kept asking… and a few weeks back I caved and had a blast!! So, last weekend I went out for 16 miles on the trails in Blue Hills with Greg and a few of his friends again. It was pouring rain at times and muddy fun. The boys even tolerated me asking them about relationships, their moisturizing routine (don’t ask) and other nosy girl stuff. I’m not sure I’ll be invited back, but I had a blast! And honestly…. it got me to start daydreaming about trail races….. possibly next fall… posssssssssibly an ultra- if my right leg doesn’t fall off first.


Can you see the water bottle tucked into the small of my back?

* I’ve been falling in love with a new water bottle I received from SimpleHydration. I received it as a gift from a friend and wasn’t so sure about having a waterbottle smashed right up against my tush. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Yes, I’m well aware I’m stubborn. However, it’s been a few months now and I’ve noticed that I start to reach for my SimpleHydration bottle over my hand flask or waistbelt. I like my hands free and I don’t mind refilling the bottle if I’m out on really long runs. As you know I’m really not into product placement on this blog, but I use this and I really like it soooooo… if you’re looking for a water bottle- I’d recommend giving it a try :).


Puppy sitting Grettle 🙂

* I’ve been mom’ing a lot. Lillian and I have been pet sitting here and there- which naturally has made me want a puppy REALLLLLY bad. I’ve decided that I’m going to buy a Viszla… in a year or two. I hate being financially responsible. Honestly, I want a running partner and since men are being stupid the only logical thing I can come up with is to replace them with a dog. Seems reasonable, right?


Good times in Warwick with Kristi and Philip, my adoptive parents… who do yoga while drinking wine while listening to Desposito on repeat.

*I’ve been reaching out to friends as much as possible… wining here and there and secretly hiding money in their home when they try to pay for me for dinner (KRISTI!) :-P.

When friends become family 🙂



* One more thing…. I applied to Wilder, a weekend long retreat in Maine for women who love running and writing. I truly want to become a better writer and begin to hone this skill; this workshop is the perfect opportunity to surround myself with knowledgeable, passionate women. Organized by Lauren Fleshman, Marianne Eliott and Laurie Wagner I can only hope to be accepted into this fall program. We will see! I will find out in a few weeks and will let you know either way :).

My time is up! I have to pack, get to morning physical therapy and then get my bum to the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard! I’ve got a race to run tomorrow!!! Wahoooooooooo!


Can’t stop. Won’t stop.