Monthly Archives: February 2012

Ready for Spring!

Aren’t we all ready for Spring time?  Even though DC’s “winter” has been really mild, I’m ready to put away the boots and sweaters and bring out the capris and sandals!  In addition to the increasingly warmer weather, I’m also ready to decide on my Spring races and start kicking (PR) butt!

Since completely bombing in Miami (I’m totally okay dealing with it though!) I’ve been “base training”.  It was all about enjoying the runs, regardless of pace.  But lately, I’ve been itching to do some speed work and am ready to set some goals.  So these are my major race plans so far

March

I wanted to do the Rock and Roll USA half on March 17th, but I dropped the ball and waited too long to register. But that’s okay because I have a few friends running it, so now I have the chance to spectate! I’m excited to cheer for Maria, Jane, Krystal-Rose and so many others!  I’m working on my poster-making skills as we speak…

April

I also failed to get into the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, but that’s because they rejected me in the lottery system.  Boo!  But again, it’s my chance to cheer Sam on to her first 10 miler! Yay!

George Washington Parkway Classic – April 22nd: I finally made it into a race I wanted! I did this race last year, and it was absolutely beautiful and enjoyable.  I’m very excited to do it again, and hopefully get a PR in the 10 mile!

May

Frederick Running Festival (half-marathon) – May 6th:  I’ve never done this race before, but its been on my radar for a few years now.  Doesn’t hurt that its 1/2 of the Maryland Double, which I’m DETERMINED to do! And it was a solid option, until Sarah presented…

Harpers Ferry Half Marathon – May 12th: Doing this race would give us (Sarah and I) the state of West Virginia, plus the chance to hang out in Harpers Ferry.  The questions is, can I handle 2 half-marathons, one week apart?  And if not, am I ready to put the dream of the Maryland Double off for another year?

Last year, I managed to pull off 2 ten-milers a week apart (Cherry Blossom and GW Parkway Classic were back to back in 2011).  And I had a great time doing both! Will the additional 3 miles (6 miles total) be too much for my leggies?  Not sure yet, but I haven’t registered for either yet, so both options are still open.

June

Mount Washington Road Race – June 16th: Sarah and I heard about this race from a past issue of Runner’s World, and we were immediately interested.  7.6 miles uphill?  Obvious choice for two gals that fail (to put it mildly) at training.  Yet, attempt (AND FINISH) we will, because the sense of accomplishment from finishing would be THE BEST.  Also, we’d cross New Hampshire off the list.  It’s a win-win situation! We get to run to the top of a mountain AND visit the Granite State! However, this one’s not guaranteed.  You seeeee, they do a lottery, so we’ll have to wait until March 16th to know if we get to run it.  I’m excited AND hopeful, after all, its “just one hill”! 🙂

The rest of the summer will be filled with smaller races, 5ks to 10ks, while I move into marathon training mode for the Marine Corps Marathon in October.  Last year, I had my marathon debut at the Marine Corps Marathon.  And although I’m proud of myself for getting through it and finishing strong, my time was not what I wanted.  So, I’ll be back for another round on October 28th! (Registration opens on March 7th at 3pm!)

Is anyone else still deciding on their Spring/Summer races?

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Nap or Run?

Apparently, instead of hitting Publish on Thursday night, I just hit Preview, and this post was never published.  😦 Bloggin’ fail.  But, I caught the mistake, so I’m posting now! Sorry for the delay!

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Napping vs. running.  Its not usually a big dilemma in my life but yesterday it was.  I was just sooo exhausted from the work day, that I knew I needed to go home and spend some time curled up in bed.  I’ve fallen victim to the longer-than-anticipated-but-my-bed-just-feels-so-good naps, and I wasn’t going to let that happen.  I HAD to go for a run because it was over 60 degrees out! (also bc Krystal-Rose told me to!)

My solution?

Sleep in my running clothes of course!  That way, when I wake up and see the bright-green of my sleeves, I’ll be immediately reminded that I have to go run! And it worked! (after I hit snooze once) I got a great 40 minute nap, and then hit the streets of DC.

Now, we all know running alone at night is not the safest, but sometimes it’s just what you gotta do.  And as someone that does it pretty frequently, I have grown to love it.  There’s something serene and calming about being out at night, despite all the night-time National Mall runners I see.  And although I don’t always ever wear my reflective vest, or carry a flashlight, I do make an effort to wear visible & reflective clothing, from head to toe.  I stick to white, bright and reflective.  I see too many runners out at night, wearing black, grey and navy blue, and hope and PRAY that they see cars and cars see them.  DC drivers can be really, really aggressive, and I just wouldn’t want to chance it.

So, when getting dressed today, I opted for my ULTRA VISIBLY REFLECTIVE SUPER OBNOXIOUS long sleeve tee.  It’s bright, bright green and honestly my fav.  And I decided to pair it with a pair of grey shorts.  I chose the grey shorts bc they have a white trim.  So I was hoping that if the green of my shirt didn’t catch anyone’s eye, then the white trim of my shorts would?

Next up, socks.  Well lucky for me, I invested in a 3-pack of highlighter-colored Asics socks.  So, I thought it only made perfect sense to bust out the green one. All done in hopes that my highlighter green feet (in my shoes of course) would alert on-coming traffic that there’s a runner in the road.

And the final touch?  Earrings.  Yep, i ALWAYS wear earrings when I run (studs only – nothing dangly!).  Not sure why, but I just always do.  And when I run at night, I try to wear the most blingin’ earrings I have. (don’t worry, no diamonds!) Yep, so that a reflection can/could be created.  I don’t know if this actually works, but it sure provides me some comfort!

Ready to run!

Awful picture I know, but it shows the reflectivity at work!

Can I just say, I love where I live.  I love that I’m quick 10 minute jog away from the National Mall and all the monuments.  And I love, love, LOVE running by the monuments at night (unless the route to them is along a poorly lit path – hello JEFFERSON).

It was a relatively short run (4.5) where I started feeling hungry/tired around mile 2, so it was a race to get home and chow down.  And I’m pleased to say this led to proper post-run fueling! 🙂

Peanut butter with some non-fat plain Chobani, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  I’ve been holding on to the Chobani for a while now, so I was looking for a way to use it.  I figured it would provide a nice complement to the sweetness of the peanut butter (which has a hint of coconut).  And it was! It made for a nice refreshing post-run snack.  And it packs in plenty of protein ( i hope!)

Do you run at night?  If so, what do you wear to make sure you’re seen?

And what are some great post-run fuel options? 

I know Julia mentioned SlimFast-like shakes as a good option.  Any other recommendations?

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Dear Under Armour

Dear Under Armour,

I love your running clothes.  They seriously are great.  They keep me warm or cool, always comfortable, and make me feel speedy.  Which is why I was so excited when I got a pair of your running tights as a Christmas gift.  The looked and felt great.

And then I tried to run in them.

I realized, I either needed to hold my pants up, or tie a shirt around my waist in order to prevent myself from becoming a running plumber.  Not a good look for Daphne.

Today, I thought I would be smarter and safety-pin these lovely tights, like so:

Sorry for the awkward pic, y'all!

A safety-pin on each side, and a band-aid underneath to prevent chafing from the pin.  I must thank Krystal-Rose for the additional safety-pin and the excellent Woody band-aid, because just one was not enough to keep my pants up.  All this, to complete an almost 8 mile run (at 8:52 pace! woo!).  I will say it worked, but I’d like to not have to do this again.  Please start making your waistbands proportionate to the pant size.

Love & Running,

Daphne

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Post-Valentine’s Day

Now that Valentine’s Day is said and done, the real fun begins for me. 🙂

  • After-holiday candy sales.  Valentine’s day is no different.  Hello multiple-bags-of-candy-hearts-for-50% off!  I promise I won’t go too crazy – just a few bags to stash at work, and a few for my apartment (and maybe I’ll share with my roommates?)

  • Dinner with Kevin!  I made it up to b-more this weekend, and we dined at the lovely Milan restaurant on Saturday night.  Sorry there are no pics from the dinner, but I promise it was all super yummy! For my main course, I had ravioli stuffed with grilled chicken, tomatoes and spinach.  It was great! And the tiramisu for dessert was perfect! 🙂

This is probably what I looked like

  • Time to get back in shape! My week off from running is over, so I am officially getting back into it! I ran 5 miles on Saturday morning, and it felt okay.  I mean, I was really aware of the fact that I had taken a week off, but I managed to get through it.  Tomorrow, I plan to do about 6-7.  Also, I need to start doing that intense core workout again.  I’ve decided this is going to be the summer of abs!
  • 2 weeks until my birthday! (and i’ve already let my parents and my sister know exactly what they should get me – heellllo new running shoes!)

I’m not going to lie, my approaching birthday is a bit more panic-inducing than excitement-inducing.  But I’m trying to focus on turning 20-fun instead of something else 🙂

And now tomorrow is President’s Day! Yay for having a day off! And to celebrate I’m going to go for a run with maybe a few stops at the monuments. Happy birthday Presidents!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

-daph

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Well, so much for plans…

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

(source)

I know the day is just about over, so I hope everyone had a wonderful day/evening, full of lots of candy/roses/chocolate/shenanigans. 🙂

Since Kevin lives in Baltimore (and I dont reeeeally believe in the hype of Valentine’s Day), I just planned to go to my usual Tuesday night run club.  I left work on time, changed and headed down to City Sports to meet with the Run Club crew.

And I was 1 or 2 people.

I guess the Run Club crew believes in the celebration of Valentine’s Day!

So naturally, we decided to celebrate our way: WINGS! 20 cent wing night at 51st State, that is! Woohoo!

Way better than a  5 mile run around the monuments, don’t you think?

However, I would like to add that I did in fact eat a “healthy” lunch.

Last night, I was feeling inspired by Roti’s tomato and cucumber salad, and decided to make my own.  I chopped about 3 roma tomatoes, a half of cucumber, a little broccoli (had some leftover) and about one chicken tenderloin.  Threw it all in a bowl, added about 1 tsp of greek vinagrette and shook.  Shoveled into a tortilla, and then promptly shoveled into my mouth.  #winning!

I plan on having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. 🙂

And now, to continue on the downward food spiral – dessert!

I promise I’ll actually run tomorrow to make up for all my non-running.  Night y’all!

-daph

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Don’t forget…

Part of my base training is a long run on the weekend.  Since this is my first week of the “plan”, I decided that my long run should only be about 6-7 miles.  After spending most of my Saturday morning, flopping around in bed, I finally got the motivation to get up and get dressed for my run.  I pulled out my clothes and all the running accessories I would need: ipod, gloves, house key, knee strap.

I grabbed everything, locked the door and left.  Within the first few minutes, I started to feel some pain in my shins.  I was not happy to find something else wrong, but I decided to go a bit further to see if it persisted.  Just before the 1 mile mark, by the Capitol (not the Hunger Games one…) I realized I left my knee strap sitting on the floor in my room. (cue dramatic sigh)  I literally stopped, and thought for a moment about my options.  I could go back and get it, I could attempt to do all 6 without it, or I could just run shorter.  I decided that my best option would be to just cut my run short.

I was certainly angry/disappointed with myself for leaving the knee strap at home.  I had these grand plans on completing a great 6 mile run, and then going home to ice, and possibly do an ice bath.  And all of that was ruined bc I forgot a silly strap. I guess I turned my anger towards my run, so my pace was pretty fast for me (right now).  I only ended up cranking out 3 miles with an 8:39 pace.  I might try to do 5-6 tomorrow, depending on how I feel in the morning.

The one good thing about cutting my run short is that I didn’t aggravate my shin pain.  I’m definitely one of those runner’s that will run through almost all pain, until it basically cripples me.  And if I had not forgotten my knee strap, I can bet you $100 that I would have done the 6 miles regardless of how my shins were feeling.  BUT, this year is supposed to be different.  I’m trying to listen to my body more, and treat it well.  That requires stretching, strengthening, slow build-up of miles, icing (and ice baths – thanks to Melissa @ Hungry Healthy Happy for the recent info!), and resting when things hurt.  I sometimes forget that I shouldn’t be feeling pain with every step.  Sometimes, its okay (and a good idea!) to just call it quits and go home.

(source)

Anyhow, to make up for my long-run-that-wasn’t, I decided to torture my abs.  Because I want to be RIPPED, but also just want a strong core. 🙂

(source)

I got this workout from Meghann @ Meals and Miles.  And its HARD.  Like, really, really hard.  It says to do 6 sets, but so far I’ve only made it up to 3.  Clearly, my core needs a ton of work.

Now that I’ve stretched, iced and food-ed, it’s time to watch the UMD vs Duke game! Go Terps!

-daph

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Smarty-Pants!

This afternoon, I needed a little push to stay productive.  So, I decided it was time I head to Rite-Aid and pick up some goodies.

Yep, I am in fact a 6-year-old child that loves Smarties.  And, I’ll admit, I didn’t stop at these 4.  I had 3 4 more… Whoops! So much for everything in moderation!

And later this evening, while I was waiting for the Comcast technician to arrive for our installation date (which btw, ended in failure.  SURPRISE, Comcast failed.) I had this…

Yum, yum, yum.  🙂

So, when dinner time rolled around, I decided I needed to ingest something fresh. (Hehe, you can see a roll of smarties in the upper left – pre-dinner energy!)

Thanks again to Marie for providing me with the veggies for freebies! I sautéed the veggies and boy it all looked good!  Then, I threw them in some pasta sauce, poured it over some cooked rigatoni, topped with shredded mozzarella cheese and then baked at 350 for about 15 minutes.

I wish I had a picture, but I dipped into it right away, because I was that hungry.  But trust me, it was good!

Does anyone else out there still eat Smarties?  What’s your favorite can’t-stop-eating-it candy?

Have a great night!

-daph

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Welcome back to running!

After taking over a week off of running (bc I’m lazy), I finally made my grand return!  Woo hoo! I also decided on how I want to proceed training-wise for the next few months.

It took some convincing, but I finally made it out the door this evening.  I ran about 4 miles, in an unknown amount of time.  I can be a relatively competitive person, especially with myself.  So, whenever I run with my garmin, I’m constantly aware of my pace.  This sounds like it could be good, but what ends up happening is that I push each and every run.  So, in order to force myself to calm the f**k down, I made the executive decision to leave my garmin at home.  For this run, it worked out great! I was able to relax, and just enjoy the run.  I’m going to start forcing myself to leave my watch at home for at least one run a week (maybe long run?)

Do you have this over-competitive problem?

I also thought a little about future training and races.  Since I’m still experiencing some tightness in my IT Band, I think I will hold of on planning for any races until March.  That way, I can focus on building a solid base, stretching and strengthening.  Luckily for me, in the latest issue of Runner’s World, there’s a piece on base training, so I can make sure to do it right.  The next 3-4 weeks (at least) will be my base training.  I’m excited to begin “base-ing”! 🙂

And now, onto today’s breakfast:

Chobani, apple butter and Kashi cereal! Yum!

Over the weekend, my sister and I decided to make some apple butter.  Last time I made it, it was such a hit, but a tad too sweet for me (weird, considering my passion for refined sugars).  So this time, I added less sugar and it was perfect!  This morning, I decided to add the apple butter to my greek yogurt, along with some Kashi Go Lean Crunch.  I promise, it was way more appetizing than it looks!  The sweet and tartness of the apple butter complemented the yogurt perfectly, and the cereal added a little crunch!

While I was at my parent’s house this weekend, I also took advantage of my Mom’s grocery shopping.  She went on a fruit & veggies run, so naturally I had to come along (with my own grocery bag too)! I walked away with tomatoes, bell peppers, grapefruits (breakfast tomorrow!), swiss chard, apples and broccoli. (Thanks Marie!) So needless to say, I was excited to come up with something to cook tonight.

I’ve never cooked swiss chard myself (i know, Marie treats me so well) so I decided to put that on the menu tonight.  Plus, I had some leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip from the Super Bowl fun that I wanted to use.

A buffalo chicken sandwich with ranch dip, and swiss chard and bell peppers

I sautéed some garlic and red bell peppers with the swiss chard.  And then I made a sandwich with sliced deli chicken, tomatoes and the buffalo chicken dip.  I also mixed some ranch seasoning with greek yogurt to make a ranch dip for my sandwich 🙂 Overall a great and super filling dinner.

I feel very content with Monday.  I got to work semi-on time (thanks WMATA for the 15 min delay), I did a good amount of work (thanks IT staff, for not getting the Intranet up ALL DAY), I went for a great run  AND I made a delicious dinner!  Obviously the second part of my day was better than the first.  🙂

Here’s to a great rest of the week!

-daph

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Race Recap: ING Miami Half Marathon

First, I gotta apologize for this race recap coming so late.  This week has been pretty busy.  We arrived back in DC on Tuesday afternoon/evening, and catching up with work these past few days has had me completely drained in the evenings.  But alas, I digress…

So when we all first signed up for the ING Miami Marathon, the plan was to get away from the cold DC winter and frolick and play in warm sunny Miami.  This plan was solid.

Amelia, me, Emily and Kevin in sunny Miami Beach!

Upon arrival the temps were in the upper 70s.  Beautiful.  Well, until you consider running 13 miles in that kind of warmth.  I immediately began to worry.  Forecasts said to expect temps of 66 at the start and mid-70s by noon.  Those sounds like great hanging out temps, but for someone that has been running in relatively cold winter temps (and performs terribly in the heat) it was no good.  And the only thing I could do was hydrate and hope for the best.

Water! Water! Water!

(source)

And hydrate I did.  Along with some carb-loading.  Well, I guess spaghetti bread would really be double-carb-loading. But it was some seriously good double-carb-loading.  Will def be making that again! Yum! Thanks to Amelia for finding that recipe!

Pre-race dinner: spaghetti rolled up inside bread = Spaghetti bread!

The next morning, we took a cab to the start, and as predicted it was already in the mid-60s. And a lot more humid than I was used to. Panic. More hydrating.

Amelia, Kevin, me, Rachelle and Emily before the start of the ING Miami Half Marathon

We got to the start, hopped in our corrals, and waited for the race to begin. The entire time, I was worried about my “race strategy”.  I found a knee strap at the expo the day before, but I didn’t know how it would actually hold up for me.  So I decided I would stop and stretch my IT band every 2 miles.  More hoping. *fingers crossed for a good race!*

Eventually we were off and running through the streets of Miami and over the bridge to Miami Beach.  As predicted the course was flat, so that was nice.  The only hills were the bridges we went over.  But it was certainly warmer than I was used to.  By mile 2, I was already a sweaty mess.

This is exactly how I felt

(source)

I managed to continue trucking along, stretching every 2 miles, and then later in the race, at every mile.  I remember getting to the 6 mile marker and feeling relief that I had no IT band pain.  I hadn’t run over 5 in more than a month! And there I was at 6, still ready to do more. 🙂  And when I finally got to the mile 12 marker, I was SUPER pumped.  But also SO over running.  Regardless, I decided to high-tail it for my last 1.1 miles.  When I felt like we were close, I upped the pace a bit more.  And then, we hit this turn that took us to the finish.  I started to really stride, and then got BOXED-IN! I couldn’t believe it! What happened to everyone trying to finish strong!  Eventually got around those idiots runners and sprinted to the finish.  DONE!

Overall, the race went well, and I think I would do it again.  The temps did climb a bit, but the water stops were great.  There was a water stop about every mile or so, so it was very easy to stay hydrated.  I will say that the water stops were a bit hard to run through (either bc the race was too crowded or bc the stops were too short), so I ended up walking through them (fine by me!).   And the volunteers at the water stops even started launching the bags of water (yes, they had bags of water) to race participants with outstretched arms!  It seemed like a great idea, until I had to start ducking out of the way of flying water pouches!

My IT band was fine until about mile 7 or 8, when I started to feel some pressure/tightness.  At that point, I stopped to stretch every mile to prevent it from getting worse.  Also because I was (and really, still am) terribly out of shape.  By mile 8, I was really wishing that I only had 2 more miles to go.  And also wishing I had been able to run anything over 5 miles for the past 2 months.  Actually training for a half-marathon is key.  But that is neither here nor there. It was great to be in Miami and enjoy a race with friends!

Kevin and I after we finished! Woohoo!

Huge shout-out to Kevin: he finished his first half-marathon! He did quite a bit of training leading up to it, and ended up racing a great race! He totally beat me (this time…).  I think this boy is totally hooked on running (and maybe the medals too!)  Now on to the full marathons, eh? 🙂

This race was not my best time ever, but I’ll take it.  2:15:37.  Considering that 2 weeks before the race, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to run it at all, running the 13.1 was a huge accomplishment.  But, next time, I’m going sub-2.  And that’s a PROMISE. (i’ll also make sure i train)

Do you like traveling south for winter racing?  What’s your favorite race/destination?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to everyone! I hope you get to enjoy lots of delicious (and maybe healthy?) snack!

-daph

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Sunshine, drinks and a bit of running

Now that I’m back in DC, im really, really missing the sunshine and mid-70s temps of Miami, FL.  I know DC isn’t terrrrrribly cold, but it’s certainly not ANYWHERE close to the weather of Miami.  Being down there just forces you to smile 🙂

The whole trip was fantastic.  The food was delicious, the drinks plentiful, and beach time great. Some of us enjoyed the sun more than others, but there will be more on that later (Kevin…).

Cheers! We all got glasses of white wine, yet none were in wine glasses... 🙂

I would also like to add that the sea-gulls were aggressive.  All they wanted were some crumbs, and they did anything to get it.  Despite their ridiculous behavior, Emily did try to save the life of a young sea-gull.  He had some plastic in his beak (he was trying to chow down on it), and Emily loves the earth, and the sea-gull species too much to let that happen.  So, she chased until he let go…

Emily works hard to save a sea-gull life

But the real highlight of the trip was running the ING Miami Half Marathon!  At the expo, I found a knee-strap and was able to run all 13.1 miles, sans ITBS pain! It was far from my best half-marathon, but I’m not allowing myself to think about it too much.  After all, my longest training run was under 5 miles.  But, Rachelle and I did learn a valuable lesson: when you don’t train, 13.1 can be quite difficult (although she TOTALLY blew my time out of the water).

Oh yeah, look at those awesome medals.

I promise I’ll recap the race tomorrow (too much to write, right now), but before I head to bed, I will leave you with the dinner Kevin and I had last night.

Yum, yum, yum! Nachos and beer!

Once we arrived back in DC, I declared that I wanted nachos.  And yes, I stuck to that declaration even after stuffing a Cosi sandwich in my face (for the record, we had skipped lunch, so that was my 4:30pm lunch.  I hope there’s no judgement).  So when we finally arrived chez moi, we went grocery store shopping for nacho ingredients.  (Plus, I had to take advantage of the fact that Kevin had a car!).  Ground beef, (Kevin’s choice!) tomatoes, red & green bell peppers, onions, cheese and chips.  Nice and simple.  And yes, I’m the fat kid that HAD to have the dollop of sour cream on the side.

How do you make your favorite nachos?

Tonight, I tried to be healthier and placed the leftover nacho fixings on a bed of salad as my dinner.  Haha, hardly qualified as healthy, but I think it was a step in the right direction 🙂

Night y’all!

-daph

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