Posts Tagged With: running

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!

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

Whomp.

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!

HAPPY MONDAY!

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

Sunday:

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.

Monday:

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.

Tuesday:

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.

Wednesday:

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.

Thursday:

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.” 🙂

Friday:

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

Saturday:

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

Race Recap: Rockville Rotary Twilight Runfest

It’s def over a week late, but here it is! A recap of my recent 8k race…

On Saturday, July 21st the Night Crawlers team was ready to run the 2012 Rockville Rotary Twilight Runfest… but first, let’s start at the beginning.

And by beginning, I mean the t-shirt creation 🙂

Yep, creating team t-shirts is one of my specialties.  And this time, I even had some help and guidance from these lovely ladies!

And boy did those team shirts look good 🙂

Oh yeah, and the race.  That was fun too!  It was an 8k through the neighborhoods of Rockville, MD.  The last time I did it was 2 years ago.  I wasn’t in great shape, and I didn’t run it incredibly hard, so my memory of the actual course was a bit fuzzy.  But this year, I had been thinking about it for a while, and I’ve been making a conscious effort with track workouts in order to get faster in shorter distances.  My last 8k was in December, and I finished in 42:XX.  I was hoping for a PR this time, and with the plan of averaging about an 8:30 pace.  Since I had done a 3 mile tempo run a few weeks ago at an 8:15 pace, I was confident I could hold 8:30 for 5 miles.

Well, it didn’t quite work out like that.  But, I did run a good hard race, and I’m very happy with my performance.

The first 2ish miles of the race took us up and down hills, through the neighborhoods.  At the first mile marker, I realized I was running about a 9:00 min/mile pace, which was so confusing because I felt like I was working really hard.  Mile 2 came with about an 8:45 pace, which given the hills is pretty decent.  I stopped keeping track of my remaining miles, but I definitely kicked it up once I hit the mile 3.  I kept telling myself, “you can run any pace for 2 miles!”

The last mile, I really kicked it up! It was significantly flatter the the previous miles, and I was still feeling strong.  I came across the finish line in 42:55, with an average of an 8:38 pace.  I was super pumped because I was so sure I had PRed! And it felt great!

The last 8k I did was in December, and I ran it while experiencing pain from ITBS.  Although it was flatter, and the weather was better, I definitely felt stronger this time around.  Welp, turns out I did not PR.  I ran 42:39 back in December.  I missed a PR by 16 seconds.  Whomp whomp.

You win some, you lose some.  But was really mattered is that I ran hard and strong, and had a great time with my teammates.

(and that we had a lot of free beers to consume…)

Will definitely be back next year for this race (4 free beers per person!!)! It’s fun, local and relatively small.  Registration is also pretty inexpensive! And its a great mid-summer race!

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

More Food Truck Happiness

Yesterday, I visited a food truck for lunch.  It was so delicious, I thought “I must share this with everyone!”  And then I devoured all the food, sharing it with no one.  BUT, it reminded me that I also visited another food truck last week.  So now I have two food trucks to share with you! I hope you’re huuuuungry!  We’ll start with my experience from last week.

Last week, my friend came into town for a few days before we headed down to Charleston (pictures from that trip coming soon).  I immediately told her that we were going to hit up the food truck scene for lunch.  I’m pretty sure she has never been more excited.  We headed to Metro Center, since that’s where a lot of trucks gather.  And we happened upon this beautiful sight:

No, not that man, although I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Anyway, say hello to Wassub! They are an Asian-fusion sub truck.  It was the first time I had seen them, so I decided to give it a try.  I got the Regular Bulgolgi sub, and it came with provolone, lettuce, tomato and mayo.

It was soooooo good! But also super huge! 9 inches! As much as I wanted to, I could not finish both sandwich halves.  So not only was the sandwich delicious, it was s great deal! $8! Will definitely be searching for this truck again (and hoping they come to Rosslyn soon!)

I’d also like to share this sign with you, taken from the Wassub truck itself:

Haha, my friend and I couldn’t help but crack up as we read this.  Makes you really want to try their subs!

And yesterday, I visited another food truck for lunch, Red Hook Lobster Truck.

This truck is known for their lobster and shrimp rolls, either warm in butter (Connecticut style) or cold in mayo (Maine style).  I always go with the Connecticut style, and it certainly did not disappoint.

Just looking at the pictures now makes me hungry for another.  And after taking one bite, it wasn’t long until I had devoured it all.

The lobster rolls are full of delicious lobster chunks, and the rolls are soft, yet lightly toasted.  Just delicious.  But, then again, for $16, it better be.  I will DEF (and have a few times) go back the next time they’re in Rosslyn!

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And for a running update, yes I’m still doing that (haha, sort of…).  I actually will be running the Rockville Twilight Run tomorrow evening! It’s an 8k that takes place at night, and me and my friends have put together a team.  I randomly (or bc of vacation) have taken a week off of running, so this race will mark my official return.  The last time I did an 8k was in December, and I was hardcore struggling with ITBS (it had yet to be identified as such).  So, I’m hoping I can pull off a PR, despite my seriously long (and accidental) taper.  Oh, and yes, you can look forward to pictures featuring our “Night Crawlers” uniform. 🙂

Happy Friday!

Any fun weekend plans? I’m also hoping to go to a Nationals’ baseball game tonight, but the forecast does not look promising.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

Weekend (and last week!) recap

Boy, it’s been a while since I last posted! Last week was crazy busy, but I’ll try my best to catch you up!

  • Hot, hot, hot.  I’m sure everyone else is feeling this, but boy is it hot.  I’ve been trying my best to stay strong in the heat, but also stay smart about running.  Which means, I’m carrying my handheld water bottle on basically anything over 6 miles.  I’m pretty sure my biceps will show evidence of this in a few days

  • Track Party Wednesday actually happened on Wednesday! Woohoo! On the schedule was 6×800 @ 3:55.  I managed to do them in 3:55, 3:50, 3:50, 3:51, 3:49, 3:43.  I’m not going to lie, but this makes me feel good about MCM training!  Hopefully, I can keep this up!
  • Crazy storms this weekend!  Luckily I spent much of the storm in  Metro train car, on my way from Foggy Bottom to Cap South, so I had no idea until I emerged!  There sure is a lot of damage! My parents & sister are still without power finally have power back.  Which is awesome, bc oh yeah, and it’s still HOT. 2.5 days without AC is moooore than enough.

  • Made 2 attempts at a long run this weekend.  First on Saturday morning- only got to 4ish miles before I called it quits.  My legs weren’t into it, and neither was my head.  Physically and mentally, I wasn’t ready for a long, hot run.  Attempted again on Saturday morning, but didn’t head out until 7:40, and it was quickly starting to heat up.  Did about 8, so it was close to the planned 10.  It was miles/strides above my attempt on Saturday, just really warm and sunny.  Have confirmed that long runs now need to start during the 6am hour.
  • My calves have been bothering me a bit, and my shins too, so I thought I should bust out the compression socks again.  But since it was above 80 degrees, I figured it was too hot to wear them during my run.  So I opted to rock them after. 🙂 It sort of matches, right?

  • I’m heading to South Carolina in less than 2 weeks!  My friends and I are going down next weekend to spend a few days in Charleston, SC! I’m super excited! I’ve been working on my “beach body” so I’m pretty sure I’m only a few crunches away from perfection.  And by crunches, I mean crunches of the chips and guac I’ve been snacking on 🙂  Any suggestions on places to eat/things to do/see while in Charleston are welcome!
  • PROBARS! I ordered some ProBars (to split with a friend) and they came! I’m def going to use them as my pre-long run fuel.  Although, I read this article the other day, which has me reconsidering breakfast…

  • The beginning of July means… official beginning of MCM training! I’m excited, nervous, anxious, terrified, pumped, etc.  My training partner and I have decided that our motto for this training cycle will be “No Excuses. Play Like a Champion.” (name the movie- this should be easy)

How has the summer heat been treating you?  Are you ready for fall like I am? (well, after my trip to Charleston, of course!)

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

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