Race Recap – Marine Corps Marathon

Okay, I’m finally ready to tell you all about this race.  I apologize for the SERIOUS delay in writing this recap.  I was busy for a while, then traveling, and then just lazy. 🙂

That being said, let’s begin.

FIRST: I am still counting my blessings that the effects of Hurricane Sandy did not factor into this race as much as it was originally anticipated to.  For the few days leading up to the race, weather reports said it was going to be a rainy and blustery day for us marathoners.  And honestly, I was VERY unhappy about it.  But, the rain held out, and it was about 50ish degrees at the start, perfect marathon weather for me!

For this race, I was determined to stay even and relaxed, and make sure I was properly hydrated and fueled.  So, I started my morning with some oatmeal and a bottle of water.  I had this around 6:30 as I was getting dressed.  This was the first race that I had more than a quarter of a bagel for breakfast, and I think it worked out for me.

I met up with my friend, and we took the obligatory pre-race omg-we’re-so-excited-this-is-going-to-be-awesome pictures.  We were so ready!

And we were off!

Mile 1-4 : Super crowded.  Spent most of these miles weaving in and out of people, trying to catch up with my friend (she like to get OUT for races).  It was so frustrating that at times, I was running on the curb, or the grass.  I was also trying really hard to stay calm about my calf.  It wasn’t feeling tight yet, so I was doing okay.

Miles 5-10: Finally just gave up trying to stay with my friend, and settled into my pace.  Tried to really enjoy my surroundings and the race, but unfortunately, my calf started to get reeeeally tight.  Stopped to stretch it around mile 7.

Miles 11-18: Found my friend again! Yay! But then lost her when I stopped for the bathrooms on Hains Point (I knew there would be real bathrooms here, so I took advantage of that J).  But then I found her again a few miles later! Woohoo! At that point, we decided to just split up and run our own races.  I was starting to get really smiley and happy and just really enjoying the race.  BUT, my calf was still bothering me, and I was unnecessarily worried that I was going to tear a muscle.  Yet, I continued on!

Miles 19-23: I tried to stop and stretch somewhere around mile 19, and some lady behind me was like “you can’t stop now! You’re doing so well and you’re getting me motivated!” So obviously, I had to keep going! And that one comment fueled me for a few miles! I passed mile 20 and was feeling super strong, and I couldn’t help but smile the biggest smile ever! And in Crystal City, I actually enjoyed the crowds this time!  It seemed like everyone was out cheering for the marathoners!

Miles 24-26.2: After leaving Crystal City, I just wanted to be done.  There weren’t many spectators around this time.  Just me, the other marathoners and the road.  I just kept telling myself, “you can run any pace for 20 minutes”.  I kept trucking along, just knowing that once I finish, I can relax.  I saw my friend, and she really inspired me to push strong until the very end.  And I charged up that monster hill before Iwo Jima and sprinted to the finish.  DONE!

4:22 – A 7 minute PR

I actually enjoyed this marathon, even though I was pretty off my goal of 4:15.  It was a great experience, I felt strong, and I’m actually sorta looking forward to another!

Categories: Fitness, Marathon | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

It’s getting closer!

Think I should call this a “Terrified Tuesday” post?

Categories: Fitness | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Good Days and Bad Days

We all have both.  Some days are just inevitably better than others. Some are downright awesome, and some just suck.  But it’s life, and we deal.

Tuesday was one of those great days for me.  I woke up, enjoyed a cup of coffee (or two) with my roommate.  I completed a cover letter, and sent it in for a job application.  And then I baked some cookies. Yummy, yummy peanut butter cookies with a rolo inside 🙂

These guys are SO good, and really simple to make. I used a pouch of cookie mix from the store, but you can use this recipe to make them from scratch.

You just tuck a rolo into a ball of dough and bake! Ta-da!

After making those cookies and eating a few ton, I laced up my new sneaks to head to run club.  Since I recently bought these, I figure I should actually run in them…

Originally, the plan was to run the 3.5 miles to run club. But I left my apartment a bit too late and realized about half-way down The Mall that I wouldn’t make it.  So, the best thing to do was to hop on the metro at the Smithsonian stop!

I finally made it to run club, and had a great time running the 3ish mile loop with the group! Huge thanks to the Saucony rep for letting us wear test the shoes and the vests!

Then, I met some friends at a bar to watch the debate.  Good times!

And then came Thursday. I woke up a little later than I had planned.  And when I was ready to get dressed, I realized the pants I wanted to wear for my meeting that day, had never got washed (whoops!).  Cue panicked Daphne.  I finally resolved to just wear a skirt.  Which I decided I needed to iron.

I got that ironed with no problem.  And then, as I was folding up the iron, this happened.

Yep, caught my finger in the leg of the ironing board.  Super sad face.  Super throbbing finger.  But, I had to move on and get out the door for my meeting.

The meeting went well (woo!) and I came back home.  I sat down to do some reading and ended up falling alseep.  FOR ALMOST TWO HOURS! Wah! I woke up and it was 5:30pm! And to make matters worse, my finger was still hurting! (I know, I’m such a baby)

I decided to go out for a quick run, and ended up making it a semi-speed session.  It felt good to run “fast”, even if it wasn’t for very long.  I was also able to clear my head a little and convince myself that I CAN do this marathon (10 days!) Then I came home to this guy.  Enter foam roller.

Everyone tells me that the foam roller is good for me.  But let’s be honest, it feels otherwise.  But I still try to keep our relationship going. One painful roll at a time. 😦

So to console myself, I made a nice tray of kale chips. Works like a charm every time!

What do you do to make a bad day better? Candy usually works for me, but last night, kale chips won! (well that, and some more of those cookies 🙂 )

Categories: Fitness | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Big Decisions

I put on my big girl pants and made some pretty big decisions.  I’ve decided…

  • I will attempt another 20 miler this weekend.  I figure I’ll go out, and if I feel like cutting it short then I’ll go home.  If I’m feeling strong, then I’ll finish out.  If I finish the 20, I’ll get the confidence on knowing I have a solid 20 miler under my belt.  If not, then I start resting my legs and begin the taper.  Either way, I think it will be a win-win situation!
  • What I’m going to wear for the Marine Corps Marathon 🙂

  • To actually put candy into this thing.  But now I need more candy to fill this up! More Skittles or should I mix in some jelly beans? Maybe Mike and Ikes? ( I can’t make ALL the decisions)

  • To try kale in a salad, and I actually like it! I’ve had kale before sautéed, baked in a casserole and made into kale chips, but never had it raw.  I threw it into my salad last night, and it was good! (also contains spinach and red-leaf lettuce)

  • Well, I already knew this but THE NATIONALS ARE AWESOMEEEEE! I’m super pumped for game 5 tonight against the St.Louis Cardinals! #NATITUDE

Have you made any big/little/important/funny/etc decisions lately?

Categories: Fitness, Weekend Activities | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

3 Weeks Away!

It’s official.  I have 3 weeks until the Marine Corps Marathon!

Okay, so I have a liiittle less than 3 weeks, but 19 days is close enough, right?

Either way, I’m starting to get excited, and I might even venture to say I’m feeling a teeeeeny bit more confident about getting a PR.  Last weekend, I did a great 18 mile run, that left me feeling confident and strong.  This past weekend, I wanted to do 20-22.  I headed out Saturday morning, ready for a life changing experience.  The only thing I got was a super tight IT band.  After 4ish miles.


Instead of slogging through 16 more miles and further irritating my IT band, I decided to cut it super short and go home.  I figured my time and efforts (and confidence) would be better off icing, foam rolling and using my massage stick.  So, I finished with about 7 miles for the day.

I took Sunday off (a bit more foam rolling) and was ready to tackle my 20+ miles on Monday!  My friend mapped an awesome route that took us along parts of the MCM course AND finished at Iwo Jima.

I met my friend right by the Jefferson Memorial and we were off! 14.5 miles later and in Crystal City, we decided to call it quits.  It was getting cold and dark and we both still needed to make it home.

We were both slightly disappointed, but I def think it was a smarter move, then trying to make our way to Iwo Jima in the dark, and then both of us having to run home.  But that’s okay, because we’ll be running today AND maybe a final long run on Saturday!

When do you normally start your taper?  Do you think a 2 week taper will be enough?

Also, I’m looking for inspirational words/phrases to write on my hand for the marathon! Any suggestions?!

Categories: Fitness | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Ragnar Relay (Washington, DC) – Race Recap

I’m sure most of you have heard a ton about these relay races so I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details.  Important facts to know:

  • We ran from Cumberland, MD down to Washington, DC (ish – actually finished at the National Harbor in MD, but these are just details)
  • Started on the morning of Friday, Sept 21, finished afternoon of Saturday, Sept 22 (and then my friend and I went out that night – but that’s another story 🙂 )
  • A team of 12 – separated into 2 vans
  • Each person ran 3 times, in distances from 2-10 miles
  • We were Team Ray’s Hell (11 ladies, 1 Ray)
  • I was runner 8, and ran a total of 20.6 miles (you can see the elevation charts here)
  • It was AWESOME

I think the best part of this race was that I met 2 of the runners over twitter! They needed two more people for their team, so my friend and I joined in! And we had a blast! It was great to meet and spend some quality time with those ladies (and Ray!)

Here are some pictures from our 30+ hours together 🙂

Everyone kept asking where Ray was! He was in Van 1!

The Van 2 ladies of team Ray’s Hell!

You know, just hanging out on the side of the road. Doing the cheering thaaaaaang.

During my first leg, around 6:30pm! Time to put the headlamp on!

Just powering up those monstrous hills! I look totally, in control, right? 🙂

Post- Leg1 and I’m clearly feeling much better! It’s sorta blurry, but I busted out the massage stick.  It was INCREDIBLY useful after some of those hills!

Sometimes you get lost on your legs, and then you make sure to write down all the directions the next time. I was completely guilty of this.  I made sure that for my 2nd leg, I had every left and right turn written down. (Important to note: you will get sweaty, and your directions might smudge…)

And then sometimes you just want some freakin’ sleep!

But if you’re not sleeping, why not do some core work on the side of the road! V-ups, anyone?

We made it to exchange 18! It may have been like 3:00am, but we were still excited to be there! It was a creamery and they had a ton of breakfast food.  Since I was less than 2 hours from my next leg, I opted to skip on the breakfast sandwiches, but HUGE KUDOS to those of us that enjoyed some bacon and rocked a run less than an hour later!

More running through lovely MD (and I don’t say that just bc I’m from MD 🙂 )

Some of these legs were just pure, beautiful running trails. #loverunning #thatsnotmebutitlooksawesomeanyway

Holy crap we finished! AND we weren’t too sore to do a jumping photo!

And now, the rewards. Beer and pizza

And the best part?

The medal doubles as a bottle opener 🙂

This was my second time doing Ragnar Relay DC and it was such an enjoyable experience.  The camaraderie among runners/teams is amazing! Teams are always cheering for other teams and runners!  The Ragnar staff and volunteers are well prepared and always cheerful! We ran into ZERO problems, and everything was super smooth! HUGE thanks to all those that helped out along the way!

Have you ever done a relay race like this?

This was my 3rd one (did Hood to Coast once, and Ragnar twice), and it was still as fun (and just as challenging!) as the first! I can’t wait to do it again next year (or maybe in January? Ragnar FL Keys, anyone?)

Categories: Fitness, Weekend Activities | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Ragnar Relay DC – Quick Update

On Friday, September 21, Team Ray’s Hell began our trek from Cumberland, MD down to Washington, DC (actually the National Harbor).  It was a lot of running, and time spent cramped in a van, but it was SUPER fun!

Van 2 of team Ray’s Hell at Exchange 6 (Ragnar DC)

Since I was scheduled to run 20 miles that weekend, I wanted to do legs that totaled at least 20 miles.  I chose Runner 8.  Stupidly.  This is the elevation profile of my 3 legs.

Leg 1 – 6.8 miles

Leg 2 – 6.9 miles

Leg 3 – 6.9 miles

My 3rd leg doesn’t seem that bad.  But, oh, it was.  Between all the uphills and downhills on the first 2 legs, my quads were over running.  The downhill part (Capital Crescent Trail) and the flat part (C&O Canal Towpath) were do-able, but those last hills on completely dead legs were just awful.  Also, it’s important to note that the last half-mile was completely uphill.  It was just mean!

But I finished, and I’m decently proud of myself for doing that.  And once the soreness goes away, and I’m able to walk again, I’m sure I’ll feel even better about it!

Yay for team Ray’s Hell (slogan: 11 Ladies. Just one Ray.)! We did an awesome job and I had so much fun! Also, HUUUUGE thanks to all the volunteers out on the course! This literally could not have happened without them all!

More pictures/ a real recap will be coming soon!


Categories: Fitness, Weekend Activities | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Oh, hi! Remember me?

Hi-lo! Missed me much? (that had better be a nod yes…)

Yep, I’m back!

The last several weeks have been SO crazy and busy, and I’ve gone through many ups, downs, emotions, etc.  So, instead of boring you with all the nitty-gritty of my life, I’ll share the big ones.

  • Marine Corps Marathoning fear.  Yep, it’s alive and well.  And whats even worse is that I’m fearing my long runs as much as I’m fearing the race.  Last year I had the 18 miler from hell, and that broke ALL my confidence.  And I’m TERRIFIED its going to happen again.  I’m planning to do 16-18 this weekend, so let’s all cross our fingers…
  • Long run nutrition.  Along the lines of marathoning fear we have the inability to consume food/gels/chews.  Yes, I’ve used them in the past, but everything has always messed with my stomach.  And I’m not planning on stopping by the port-o-potties this year, so I’ve got to find something that works.  So far, I’ve managed to do all my long runs with just a bit of water and gatorade.  As much as I would love it, I dont think that’s going to hold me together for all 26.2 miles.  Any and all suggestions welcome!
  • Roommate transitions! A new roomie moved in in July, old roomie moved out in Aug, another new roomie moved in in Sept.  A lot of transition, but it’s all working out!
  • Unemployment! Sadly, I was laid off (whomp.) BUT it is certainly a good thing for me.  I had been telling myself I need to start job hunting for a while now, so now I have the chance to get SERIOUS about it.  And I don’t think I fit with the organization as well as I had in the past.  I’m pretty excited about what my next opportunity will be – but hopefully it comes soon! If anyone wants to do a lunch date in DC, let me know! My schedule’s pretty open right now 🙂
  • Ragnar Relay DC! Oh yeah, I joined a team for this year’s race! I saw a tweet, and jumped at the opportunity! I did Ragnar DC last year, and Hood to Coast the year before that, so I’m no newbie to relay races.  I am a newbie to a leg that’s long (20 miles total) and sorta hilly.  Oh yeah, and its next weekend (realized that on my run today).

As things start to smooth out a bit more, I will certainly be back to (more) regular blogging and blog reading! I miss hearing from you all!!!

Any big things happen to you in the last several weeks?

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Back to loving running

So I have pretty big news: I enjoyed my workouts this week! I LOVED it! And even more surprising, I WANTED to do each workout! It was great! After spending the past 2 weeks in a funk, it was so refreshing to actually WANT to be out there running.  🙂 I really hope this continues! Here were my workouts last week:


I don’t know if this really counts, since it was supposed to be my long run from the week before, but I’m counting it because it felt like a turning point.  I did about 10 lovely, relaxing miles.  It was fantastic.  I truly enjoyed myself, and finally I felt like I was myself again.  Runs like this are so rewarding.


Cross training – went swimming with my roommate.  Since we live like 2 blocks from the community pool (it’s free!) we decided to check it out.  I don’t know how many laps we did, but we swam for like 40 minutes.  I really enjoyed it, and I think we’ll try to make this a habit.


Run club! I did the 5 mile loop, but on the way back, we discovered some road closures that were also closed to pedestrians.  So we had to figure out a new way back, which added a bit more mileage.  Total for the run ended up being 5.5 miles.  I should add that I spent the entire time trying to catch up to the 2 guys I was running with.  Needless to say, it was a harder run than I had planned to do.


Rest Day.  My legs felt super tired from playing catch-up yesterday, so I decided not to do the planned speed work.  Instead, I went home and watched the Olympics!  In retrospect, I should have done an easy recovery run instead.


Hills! It’s a hard thing to really WANT to do, but I somehow convinced myself that it wouldn’t be too bad.  Started with about a 2 mile warm up, and then ran up Capitol Hill 5 times.  I originally told myself I was only going to do 4, but I decided to tack on another for mental toughness (i need to start proving to myself that I’m stronger than I think).  Followed by a mile-ish cool down.  It was a hard work out, but one that makes you smile as your making your way home.  “Yep, i DID just do that.” 🙂


Rest Day.  Another rest day to get myself mentally ready for my upcoming long run.


Long run! Left my apartment at 5:30 to meet my friend downtown (about 4 miles away for both of us).  Then we continued to do 8.5 together AND to finish at Iwo Jima.  It was a pretty hilly route (about 3 of it was straight uphill) but it was a nice challenge.  And finishing at Iwo Jima will help prep us for the finish of the Marine Corps Marathon (it’s a pretty tough uphill right at the finish).  The pace for this run was a bit slower than I would usually like, but I think it’s important for me to do these at an easier pace, and make my other runs faster.  So overall, I was very happy with this!

This week doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for someone that was struggling to get in 2 runs a week, this is a huge deal! I really hope it continues! I’m also going to try to squeeze in one more running workout a week.  It will have to be something easy-ish, but I think it will ultimately make me stronger.

Also, huge thanks to Claire at Let’s Go On A Living Spree and Alli at See Alli Run for the blogger award nominations! I’ll post on those this week!

Categories: Fitness | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

Friday (random) Things

A lot has happened the past month, so I figured I’d give you all a quick recap 🙂

There was some time in Charleston, SC and at the beach (with an obligatory stop at South of the Border!)

And there was time spent at a few Nats games

Getting the free beer stein

Using the free beer stein

(not pictured: losing the free beer stein, then having my friend beg someone for theirs)

Enjoying some sweet treats (this picture times 100 is more accurate)

Late night walks home

And putt-putt at the National Building Museum!

Oh yeah, and watching lots and lots of Olympic events! Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much running.

I’ve been in a bit of a running funk lately.  I just haven’t had much desire to run hard or long, or even easy.  Instead, I’ve just been all too content with watching Olympians work hard!  But I’m slowly emerging from it, and ready to dive back into MCM training.  I went for a “hard” run last night, and it definitely showed how little I have been working out.  I did 5 min hard, 5 min easy, 4 min hard, 4 min easy, 3 min hard and 3 min easy.  At that point, I called it quits.  It was hard, but not in the fun way. It just sucked.  Speed work is never easy, but this didn’t even leave me feeling strong. I just felt pitiful.  😦 Needless to say, I will be jumping back into training this week! Looking forward to busting out some repeat 800s and feeling good about it!

Do you ever go through a fitness funk? How do you pull yourself out of it?

Categories: Fitness, Weekend Activities | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.