Monthly Archives: May 2012

Track Party Wednesday

I did it! I managed to drag myself to the track for the second week in a row.  And you know what? I actually enjoyed my workout!

I know, I’m just as shocked and surprised as you are!

I got to the track, a little nervous and a bit reluctant to start.  My track buddy was stuck at work (boo!) so I had to go it alone.  Track party of one? I pulled myself together and I started with a 3 lap warm-up.

3 laps? Why not 2, or 4?

Well, the plan was just to warm-up with 2, but I didn’t feel sufficiently warmed-up (which is odd bc it was hot and humid) so I did one more.  And then I stretched for a bit.  And finally, I was ready to step up to the line.

The plan was:

  • 3×800 @ 4:00 w/ 400 jog recovery
  • 2×400 @ 1:30 w/ 400 jog recovery

What actually happened:

  • 800 @ 3:58
  • 800 @ 3:53
  • 800 @ 3:49 (thought this was my last, but decided to do another)
  • 800 @ 3:45
  • 400 @ 1:38 (made me realize I’m not a middle distance runner anymore! ha!)

I was feeling good with the 800s.  It’s always a challenge, but I think I start out slow enough that I have a bit more pick-up in the end.  After seeing my time on the 3rd one, I was like heck! Let’s see if I can do that again.  And I went ALL OUT.  And it felt great! And then I looked at my watch and was like WHAAAAAAT??!! I know it doesn’t seem awfully speedy, but for me, that’s FANTASTIC.  Also knowing that I was able to bust that out after 3 challenging 800s just makes me feel super strong.  :)

So I decided to go ahead with the 400 to finish off the workout.  I’m doing an 8k in about 6 weeks, so I’d really like to work on my “short distance” speed and finishing speed for that.  Plus, one of my friends is convinced that our team can place, and that I’ll be one of the scorers! Ha! Talk about pressure.

Well, the 400 didn’t feel as good as the 800 did.  And I finished 8 seconds slower that I really wanted to.  But you know what, I’m still happy.  I ran it all out, and I ran it after doing 4 progressively faster 800s.  I’d say that’s a good start to my summer speedwork season!

I finished it all up with a 1/2 mile cool-down.  Serious happy face :) So glad I got out, and rocked it.  If I can keep this up, MCM will go exactly how I want it to!

I followed up my Wednesday night workout with a Thursday morning run.  Not going to lie, I really, REALLY considered just skipping it and going back to bed this morning. My bed is so comfortable, and I was just so sleepy… But then, I thought:

#RWRunStreak

So I got up, a jogged 2.5ish slow easy miles.  It was perfect bc I certainly needed to loosen up my legs.  So for me, the RunStreak is doing it’s job!  My route included a nice loop around the Capitol Building, where I stopped to take a pic, just like a tourist. :-P

Yep, it was 7:00am and the sun was out and ready! It was already a little warm, but I survived.  That’s day 3 of RunStreak for me! (and now I can go to hh guilt-free!)

Do you work out in the morning, afternoon or evening? I’ve been trying the mornings, but it’s so hard!

Favorite track workout? I’m looking for some inspiration and to change things up!

I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I do feel the need to mention why I decided to do the RunStreak.  I have trouble committing myself to my workouts, training plans, morning runs, whatever.  So something that will get me up, out, and on the road is a HUGE plus to me.  Also, with my training, I’ve been trying to incorporate more slow, easy recovery runs, and forcing myself to run the day after a hard run encourages that.  Without the RunStreak looming over my head, I probably would have stayed in bed this morning.  For me, the RunStreak is the extra kick in the butt I need to get my training on track.  It’s not about running a certain number of miles, or adding in harder miles, or even junk miles.  It’s about committing to something, and coming out strong.  Believe me, if I think I need a rest day, I’ll take a rest day.  RunStreak or no RunStreak.  So let’s all be happy for those willing to attempt it, because each person has their own reasoning, but each person could probably use some support!

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To Streak Or Not To Streak?

I’m sure many of you have heard of the RunStreak that is being hosted by Runner’s World.

Basically, it’s a promise/challenge/opportunity to set a running streak, and run every day from Memorial Day until July 4th.  That’s 38 days of running.

Originally, I was like “Psssssh, RunStreak is not for me. No-way-Jose!”

And then I was like, “Hmmm, 38 days of running could be a fun challenge…”

And now I’m like, “Yes! RunStreak, I will!”

Except, there’s one problem.  The RunStreak started yesterday, on Memorial Day.  And I didn’t run.  So, now the questions is, how do I make up for it?  Run an extra day after the end of official RunStreak? Or run twice tomorrow?

I’ve never done this before, so I’m pretty excited/nervous to try it.  I think the most days I’ve run in a row is probably 6 or 7.  But the key is here that you only need to do a mile.  So even on rest/gym days, I can warm up on the treadmill, and then go about my workout as usual.

Are you doing the RW RunStreak?  What’s the longest running/workout streak you’ve held?  Think its a good idea or bad idea?

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Fixed!

Remember when my watch died like forever ago.  And I was planning on fixing it/ earning myself a new one?  And I did? Well it was time to fix that.

Finally, I gathered the necessary materials and brought my Garmin FR60 back to life!

It was a pretty easy process.  But I will say, I took several laps around CVS to find that eye glasses repair kit.

But now we’re ready and back in action! Just in time for my attempt at running intervals tonight! Hopefully this will help me stay on track for my future runs and through MCM training.

(I’m still hoping to “earn” a newer, better watch, I’ll post soon about my upcoming race for that)

However, after running 2ish months without a watch, I kind of like the freedom and the back-to-the-basics feeling it gives me.  I think I will continue to do many runs without it, but still using it for intervals, tempo runs and long runs.

How often do you run with a watch?  Necessity or distraction?

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Taking the plunge

Well almost.  It’s more like I’m getting my feet wet.  But still, it’s a step!

I joined a gym! (again – almost, I’m in the testing phase)

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but with our office moving, I didn’t want to join the one in Dupont.  But then I found a Gold’s Gym in Rosslyn.  And, it’s like 3 blocks from my office!

My plan is to use it for lunch-time yoga/pilates classes, some strength training in the evenings, and the occasional spinning class.  I’ve been told I should try out body pump too, but it sounds a bit intimidating right now.

Are you a part of a gym?  What classes do you take?

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Food Truck Love

When I found out my office was moving to Rosslyn, I complained. I complained a lot.  And then I realized food trucks go to Rosslyn too.  And suddenly the move to Rosslyn didn’t seem that bad did.

This week, I’ve had the chance to visit TWO food trucks, and I can honestly say I enjoyed them both!

On Tuesday, I checked out Something Stuffed.

I got the CTM Empanada.  It’s made with local, free-range chicken, flavored with Indian spices and a rich tomato cream sauce.

I gotta say, I was a huge fan of the crust.  Light and flaky, but didn’t feel toooo greasy.  It was delish!

I enjoyed 3 of those! I will def check out Something Stuffed when they come around toe Rosslyn again!

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of visiting with Seoul Food.  My boss had tried it a few weeks ago, and just RAVED about their bibimbap. So naturally, I was itching to try it.

When we got to the truck, there were a number of options I was interested in trying, one of them being the kimchi quesadilla.  However, I decided on the chicken bibimbap with medium sauce.

It was DELICIOUS! As soon as I started eating, I couldn’t stop! Everything just tasted so good! The chicken was amazing, and the sauce was just right.  Not too spicy, but a little bit of a kick.  I will ABSOLUTELY be going back to visit Seoul Food! And what makes it all even better is that it was only $8.00!

I was hoping to check out another food truck today (what 3 in a week is too much?) but there weren’t any here. :( That’s okay though! Next week, the Po’boy truck will be on my radar!

So far, Rosslyn, you are treating me well… :)

How do you feel about food trucks? Any favorites?

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Monday smiles

Today was sort of a slow, grey day.  The sun barely came out, it was raining on and off all day, and I felt tired and super frustrated with work (mostly bc I screwed up).  So, I’m going to take the time to focus on some things that are making me happy. :)

My latest race medal – I worked hard for this, and I’ll work even harder for the next one!

Yay for a half-marathon PR!

Candy dishes at work – especially ones that used to hold birthday flowers

It contains chocolate for my office mate too!

Tickets to the Newseum – as a thank you from our CFO for helping with the new office painting.  Anyone want to go? :)

I’m excited to go visit the Newseum!

Manicures – My mom, my sister and I all got manicures for Mother’s Day! (I forgot to get pictures of all of us)

Yep, those are jelly beans in the background. If you ask nicely, I’ll share.

What’s making you smile these days?

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Race Recap: Frederick Half Marathon

So I should start by saying that while I did not reach my sub-2hr goal, I did get a PR in the half marathon distance.  And a PR is a PR, and I’m okay with it.

Yep, now I do!

Let’s start at the beginning…

Sunday morning, Kevin and I hopped in his car (at around 5am!) and headed up to Frederick, MD.  Although the race didn’t start until 7:00am, we were aiming to be there by 6:15, because parking traffic apparently gets really bad.  We made it there by 6:00am and hung out in his car for a little bit.  It was chillier than I expected (about 60-65 degrees) so I wanted to stay as warm as possible.  Yes, I’m basically cold-blooded and 65 can feel chilly to me. :)

Eventually we exited the car, and headed toward bag check.  For some reason I felt the need to check my bag even though I could have left it in Kevin’s car.  Bag check was quick and easy, and we quickly headed to the start line.  The race was relatively small (5,000 runners for the half) so everything was pretty easy to find.  Oh, I should also note that they did a GREAT job with port-o-potties and bathrooms at the start.  There were so many options, which made the start super relaxed!

I had been warned about how hilly the course was, so that was running through my mind.  I had looked at the course profile, and although there was nothing GIANT, there were definitely rolling hills. However, I tried to stay cool, telling myself that running up Capitol Hill had prepared me well.

Anyway, we continued to the start line.  There were no corrals, but there were pace signs and pace groups, so you could line up according to that.  I decided to jump in with the 2:00 hour group, determined to hang onto them.  After the National Anthem (which included the obligatory O! from Orioles fans), we were off! As usual, my plan was to start off conservatively, and then start to speed up after the 10 or 11 mile mark.

Miles 1-3

Hated it.  I felt like I was putting so much effort into every step.  I was so into my misery, that I didn’t really notice the scenery.  And sadly, this is typical for me.  I need to start planning my music so that I’m pumped up.

Miles 4-7

Started to settle into a groove.  I was enjoying the rolling hills, the cute neighborhoods, and the community that was out cheering us on.  It was super cute, and I was really enjoying the race.  Because it was so humid, I decided that I needed to stop at every water stop.  And also bc it was raining (sprinkling really) so I wasn’t sure what was sweat and what was rain.  I thought it would be better to be safe and hydrate.  Around mile 6, I realized I needed to make a pit stop at a port-o-potty.  Found one at mile 7 and made the stop as quick as I could.  Sadly I think it was still about 3 min.  Needless to say, I lost the 2:00 hour pace group. :(

Miles 8-10

I took my Gu, and spent probably a mile and half trying to find my pace and get into it.  Since I didn’t have my watch (rawr!) I was clueless as to how I was doing, my current pace, etc.  And let me tell you, it’s not a good feeling.  I seriously lost all hope during this point.  I got to the point where I told myself I didn’t care about a sub-2 race.  Eventually, I was able to push through it.  I may credit this song with saving me. :)

Miles 11-13.1

I was ready to go and feeling good.  I got to mile 12 and saw that I had about 8 minutes to make it under 2 hours.  Panic, excitement, nerves, relief all set in.  Yes, it was a whirlwind of emotions.  I was cruising along at a comfortably hard pace, and then I saw it.  The final hill.  The loooong endless final hill.  I’m pretty sure I audibly groaned.  Twice.  Regardless, I trudged up that hill as quick as I could, hoping that it would finish in a downhill right into the finish (this is one of those moments where I wished I had studied the course map/profile).  Welp, the finish was not there.  I had to go a little ways, around a turn, and then we entered the track, where we completed 3/4 of a lap.  It’s important to mention that the track was dirt and gravel (you can see it in the picture).  And very uneven.  I had to keep my eyes on the ground to make sure I didn’t roll my ankle.

I’m pretty sure I’m eyeing the clock

And then I saw it.  The stupid 2:01:xx. And I was angry. I was sad. I was disappointed. But I was still determined to finish strong.  And I did.  But I still wasn’t happy.

At the time, the only thing I could think of what that I missed.  How the bathroom break ruined my race.  And I was a huge brat about it.  Poor Kevin had to deal with me being a grump all day.  2:01:30.  Just not good enough.

Later, I found out that my official chip time was 2:00:48.  Which sounds better, no? Nope. It just made me feel worse. All I could feel was regret, and mass amounts of pity for myself. I had so many “if only’s” running through my head.

But now, I’ve accepted it.  Even more, I’m happy with it.  Sure, that 2:00:48 is 49 seconds short of my goal.  But it is still almost a 7 minute PR for me! And 49 seconds is way closer than 1:30! Also, 49 is going to be easy to knock off my next half-marathon, especially if I skip the port-o-potties!

Joey’s wearing my medal because it was apparently his turn!

I want to thank all of you for your positive comments! Yes, I am super close and I will certainly get it next time! I also had negative splits which is a great thing! And I even got some great tips on when best to look for port-o-potties (early in the race – I never even thought of that before).

Overall, it was a great race and I would certainly do it again next year.  It’s challenging because of the rolling hills, but not so much that its all you think about.  There’s so much community support all along the course.  While going through the neighborhoods, there were kids, teens and adults all handing out water, bananas, snacks and high-fives.  It was really great! And, it didn’t ever feel crowded too! And the best part? It’s half of the Maryland Double medal – now I just need to figure out if I’m going to do Baltimore in the fall!

So now, I have a new half-marathon PR of 2:00:48!  I’m excited now for my next race!

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So close!

Yesterday, I ran the Frederick Half Marathon. It wasn’t my best race ever, but I ran as best I could.

Well, apparently that wasn’t enough.  Remember that sub-2 hour half marathon I’m chasing?

When I crossed the finish line, the clock time was 2:01:31, and that hurt.  But being a mere 49 seconds away from sub-2 hurts more.  I will be back.  Sub-2, you will be mine.

(actual race recap coming soon!)

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From Dupont to VA

For the past week, much of my time has been consumed with our office move.  Moving from Dupont Circle (in DC) to Rosslyn, VA has taken a lot of work. There was packing, shredding (a lot of recycling!), coordinating, painting, moving, more painting, etc.  But, I think the new office space looks great and is totally worth it!

I’ve worked here for over 2 years , so I’ve had some time to acquire quite a bit.  Here’s a picture of my cubicle, as it was, and after everything was all packed up:

I know, there was a lot going on.  And you can’t really see it well, but I had a wall of international monies going too.  My cube was something of an international circus. :) (which made it so much sadder to see everything packed up)

When we visited the new office, the first thought was, “Wow, there are a lot of white walls.” Thus, my office mate and I decided to paint a bright accent wall in our office:

The (almost) final set-up of the office:

We’ll eventually get around to un-packing and actually putting things up on the wall.  But for time being, getting our desks set-up was a big step :)

And now, the view from our window:

You can sort of see the dome of the Jefferson Memorial in the back, if you squint…

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