Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Weekly Review

I'm definitely dragging today as we got home from Disney at 1 in the morning and we're right back at work today.  But here's my summary of last week to lighten my spirits a bit by looking back on the weekend :) I knew it was going to be an active weekend so the week was just 2 short runs with some yoga thrown in.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - Morning run before work


Wednesday - rest day since I went to see Mike in a sketch comedy performance after work


Thursday - Runners World Yoga Essentials

Friday - mid-day run since I was working from home


Saturday - Lots of walking.  I wanted to rest my feet today but that's hard to do in Disney.  I ended up walking a lot at the expo, at Disney Springs, and then walking back to our hotel room (which was much further then we thought).  It ended up being more than 15,000 steps according to my fitbit.  But I was in bed by 8:30pm for the super early wake up for the half marathon.


Sunday - Star Wars Dark Side half marathon!  Plus lots of walking afterward, which probably helped with my muscles.  I'll have a full review later.  In short, it was my slowest half marathon ever but I had a great time.


So that was my week!  It was a lot of fun but I'm looking forward to having a couple weeks at home before I have to travel again.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Georgetown 10 Miler

Two weekends ago, I ran the Georgetown 10 miler.  This is an interesting race set up because they do the race on both Saturday and Sunday.  So you can sign up for the race either of those days or both days for a total of 20 miles in 2 days.  I chose the 1 day option on Saturday.  It was also the 5th anniversary for the race.

I signed up for the race without having much information on it.  I couldn't find a lot of information online.  I found some general information on the course (an out and back on the C&O Canal Tow Path) and I know from previous runs on that trail that it's crushed gravel and relatively flat.  I also saw that it was a pretty small race (119 people the day I ran according to the results). 

Race day selfie

I pretty much just signed up because the timing was right and I knew I would need an 11-ish mile training run between the RnR DC half and the Star Wars Half at Disney World.  And they had a 3 hour time limit for the 10 miles so I knew I would be ok with a training pace.

Pretty scenery for the warm up run as well

There was no packet pick up in advance, only race morning.  The race started at 9 am so that wasn't too bad.  The email sent out from the race a couple days before indicated that there was some street parking and also garages in the area.  I wanted to try for street parking so I went early.  I think I got there around 7:45 or so.  I waited in the car a bit and then did a 1 mile warm up run.


After that, I went and picked up my bib.  You only got the bib at the beginning and the shirt was handed out after the race.  There was no line when I got there for bib pick up.  From bib pick up to the race start, there was a steep stair case you had to climb.  I knew it was going to suck climbing back down the stairs after the race.  Once I got to the top, there was a nice little set up with a small tent for bag check and there was a DJ playing music.  There was plenty of room to warm up and it was a pretty relaxed starting area given the small numbers.

View across the river from the start line

And then we were off!  There's nothing much to really say about the race itself.  It was small but it was on a trail that wasn't closed.  It was a beautiful day so there were plenty of people out.  It was crowded at the start but spread out really quickly and since I was in the back, I never felt crowded.

Trail with the canal on the left and river on the right

There was a water stop around mile 2.5 and therefore at mile 7.5 on the way back.  By water stop, I mean one guy with some bottles of water or a jug he could use to pour water into your own water bottle.  I somehow missed him on the way out so didn't get a refill of my water bottle until the way back.  This did not go well for me since it heated up pretty quickly that morning, the sun was out in full force, and there was very little shade on the trail.  As you can see from my splits, I definitely faded as the race went on.  I wish it had started earlier then 9am, but April is a tricky month.  It could have been cold and then people would have complained if the race had started too early.


So I did not do too well at this race.  I think part of it was the water/heat issue and but the other part is I really just went out way too fast.  I'm not at the fitness level I was at last year and I can't try to race as if I was.  My pace should definitely be in the 13's at the beginning, not the 12's.


But I would definitely recommend this race for anyone looking for a small, low-key 10 miler in the Spring in the DC area.  Everyone was really kind and supportive, it was well organized, it's a beautiful trail with river or canal views for much of it.  The time limit was very generous so it was a good option for walkers as well.  There was a fun medal at the end, and a t-shirt (cotton, not tech).  I think it was around $60 so not too expensive either.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekly Review

We're back from Atlanta!  Had a great trip but the traveling definitely does take a lot of energy.  Here's a summary of the week.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - rest day plus 30 minute walk with a friend

Wednesday - fit star strength work out


Thursday - 40 minutes on the hotel treadmill


Friday - yoga class plus some pool time


Saturday - 6 miles on hotel treadmill


Sunday - rest day

So that's it for last week.  This week is another whirlwind week because I'm running the Disney Work Star Wars Dark Side half marathon on Sunday!  It'll be my last long race until the Fall.  I'll be sticking with 5ks and 10ks for the Summer.  But for this week, the plan is yoga on Monday, a short run Tuesday morning, 40 minutes on the elliptical Thursday, a short run on Friday.  Saturday will be pool time at the hotel and lots of walking at the expo and around Disney.

I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

 Weekly Wrap 51 Taste the Rainbow

Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekly Review

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  We had beautiful Spring weather that definitely made the weekend fly by.  The week was so/so with some rain and taking off from working out during the beginning of the week because of the blister on my foot.  But here are the details.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - rest day

Wednesday - rest day

Thursday - 35 minutes on the elliptical - the blister was still there but had stopped hurting so I gave the elliptical a try.


Friday - Strength training with a FitStar routine


Saturday - Georgetown 10 miler (full recap to come later this week) plus a beautiful backyard wedding for some friends


Sunday - Foam rolling and stretching since I was a bit sore from the 10 miler.  And some walking around the local town center to take advantage of the nice weather.

So that was it for last week! This week is going to be a travel week so I'm going to try to get in some early work outs during the week.  I'm meeting a friend for a run Tuesday.  Wednesday will be strength training.  Thursday will be an early flight but I think I should still be able to get in a run at the hotel gym Thursday afternoon.  Friday will be strength training and Saturday will be another run on the hotel gym.

I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

 Weekly Wrap 51 Taste the Rainbow

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Five - favorite drinks

Yay for Fridays! It means almost time for the weekend and also means that it's time for the Friday Five 2.0 link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness!  This week's theme is about drinks so I'm going to talk about 5 of my favorites.

Friday Five Linkup 2.0 

1.  Tea!  I love tea.  That includes chai lattes as well as loose leaf tea I brew at home myself and tea bags from the grocery store.  It's one of those things that I just always find comforting.

I loved this monthly tea box I got as a Christmas gift one year

2.  Margaritas, yum :)  I'm not even sure about why on this one but they always seem festive.

3. Smoothies - Summer's coming up and I'm looking forward to experimenting a bit with smoothies again.  My usual is just frozen fruit, half a banana, and almond milk.  I throw in a handful of spinach if I happen to have some around.

4.  Beer - I've never really been a beer person in the past but I've kind of gotten into tasting different craft beers in the past year or so.  I've found several that I really like.  But I've been horrible about remembering the names.  I've got to start writing down the names of the ones I like so I can find them again!

5. Nuun - since this is a running blog, I'll bring it back to running by saying that I hydrate with nuun while running.  I really like their citrus-y flavors and that it's pretty low in sugar.

 Even Shelby likes nuun!

 I hope everyone has a good weekend ahead of them with some fun drinks thrown in for good measure :)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Volunteering at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

I love volunteering at races!  It's a great way to see a different side of a race and get a bit of the inside scoop.  Last year, I just volunteered at local races put on by Montgomery County Road Runners and I was thinking of doing the same this year.  But I didn't get into the Cherry Blossom 10 miler through the lottery.  So I decided to go ahead and volunteer for the race instead because they have an added perk... volunteering means that I can get into next year's race without having to worry about the lottery! 

Pre-race communication was great.  They sent out multiple emails with very specific instructions.  You would think that all races would do this but I've definitely volunteered at races before where I show up race morning and no one has any idea who volunteers are supposed to talk to.  With this race, the communications were detailed enough that it had specific names of people that we should talk to that morning.  And they sent us a QR code on the phone that was scanned race morning to confirm that we were there which would ensure us our guaranteed entry for next year.  Oh, and they also held a volunteer appreciation event before the race though I wasn't able to go to it.  But still a nice touch.

Killed some time by checking out the cherry blossoms before the race

I had signed up for the finish line which had a start time of 7:45.  And the race started at 7:30.  Unfortunately, metro didn't start running until 7am and since I'm near the end of the line, I wasn't sure I'd make it in time if I took metro.  So I drove.  And I left super early because I knew parking would be scarce if I showed up late.  So I actually got there around 6:30.  Street parking was plentiful but it looked to be almost gone by 6:45 so I'm glad I got there early.

Easy to find my way around, I thought the race did a great job with signage

After taking my time wandering around, I made my way to the volunteer tent.  Wow, they had a heated tent for volunteers!  Swanky :)  There was also coffee and I think donuts but I had already eaten breakfast so I stayed away from the treat area.  It was still pretty early and they were overwhelmed at bag check (it was 7:30 and they still had a line of people trying to get their bags checked in) so they had me and another early finish line volunteer run over to bag check to help out.  This involved just taking the bags after volunteers had tagged them and putting them back into lines in numerical order.  It was all very efficient and we got everyone through by 7:45 or so.  We then went back to the volunteer tent where they were ready to put the finish line volunteers to work.

The finisher chute while waiting for runners to come through

We all walked over to the finish line area as a group and our job was just supposed to be lining up along the sides of the finisher chute and make sure that as runners came through, they kept walking so that there wasn't a back up in the chute.  But there were a ton of finish line volunteers.  And apparently not enough people at medals.  So someone came over and asked me and a couple other people to go over to medals to help out there.

There was time for a selfie before things got too busy

Sweet, I love handing out medals!  Except this was more of a security assignment and not handing out medals.  This race is one where runners have the option to pay a lower price and not get a medal.  So it was our job to check out the bibs of everyone heading into the medal area to make sure that only people who had pre-registered for the medal got in.  Most people were fine once it was explained but there were also plenty of people that wanted to complain about not getting a medal.  Well, you should remember that for when you register!  And complaining repeatedly to volunteers who are just doing what they're told is not really going to result in anything changing for you.

But anyway, like I said, most people were fine.  And it was just a trickle as first and not a lot of work.  But then at some point it turned into a horde of people and I was just looking at bibs as fast as I could.  I think I stopped even seeing people's faces and just saw their bibs.  Which is why I was so happy that Jennifer called out my name :)  It was great to meet her briefly in real life and not just through the computer.  I'm sure I looked like a bit of a maniac at that point as things were a bit crazy and I couldn't talk much, but it was nice to at least say hi and hear how her race went.

And that was it for the volunteering.  At one point I looked up from bibs and saw we didn't have a crowd any more.  It trickled down from there and when we were done, the guy in charge of the medals area gave us a nice little pep talk and thank you and we were sent on our way, even a little earlier than we were told we'd be done.  This was a really well organized volunteer event.  I would definitely recommend it.  And I learned that I should register for a medal when I register for the race.  Otherwise, I'm sure I'm going to be one of those people that doesn't remember at the finish and be a little disappointed at not getting a medal after running those 10 miles.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekly Review

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  It's back to the grind but I wanted to go ahead and get my weekly review up as well.  It was all short runs for me this week but I did manage to squeeze three of them in.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - Yoga With Adrienne - yoga for strength training

Wednesday - a short run after work


Thursday - 40 minutes at the gym


Friday - rest day

Saturday - rest day.  This one was unintentional as I meant to wake up early and go for a 6 mile run.  But it didn't happen and I couldn't leave it too late as we had plans downtown.  We went to see the the Ringling Brothers circus as they've announced they'll be closing soon.


Sunday - 3 miles.  I volunteered at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in the morning.  I'll post more about this later this week :)


But after volunteering, I went out in the afternoon to get my run in.  I was so sore from the volunteering and just being on my feet all morning that it ended up being pretty much mostly walking.  I also managed to get a blister on my foot and was almost in tears by the time I got back home after 3 miles.  Oh well, I knew that doing it in the afternoon after volunteering wasn't a good plan.


And that was it for last week.  I've got the Georgetown 10 Miler on tap for this Saturday.  It will be an interesting race as I haven't been able to find that much information about it.  It looks like it will be relatively small.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Five - fun things in 2017

It's Friday!  It's been another long week at work and I'm definitely happy to see the weekend.  Friday also means that it's time for the Friday Five 2.0 link up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness!  I'm going to talk about 5 things that I'm really looking forward to in 2017.

  Friday Five Linkup 2.0

1.  Cherry Blossom 10 Miler - No, I'm not running it this weekend.  But I am volunteering!  I'm looking forward to volunteering at this race since it's so iconic.  Plus, that means I get in for running it next year without having to go through the lottery.  I'm volunteering at the finish line but I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing yet.

2.  Turning 40 - This is the year I turn 40.  People have asked if I'm anxious about it but I really haven't felt anything like that.  My life is in a really good place right now and I'm hoping that will just keep going.  After all, 40 is just a number.  The actual weekend of my birthday is right around a work conference unfortunately but I think we'll still have time for a fancy dinner to celebrate.  And training for my first marathon will be my big celebration for this milestone birthday :)

3.  Philadelphia - We don't have capacity for a big Spring trip this year but we still wanted a little get away.  So we're going to be spending the 4th of July weekend exploring the City of Brotherly Love.  If anyone has any good tips on things to do, or see, or eat in Philadelphia, I'd love to hear it!  We'll probably add on some time at Hershey Park too.

Last year's Spring trip was to Iceland

4.  Half Marathon with my brother - I've talked my brother into doing his first half marathon in the Fall.  He lives in Columbus so we won't actually be training together but I look forward to some virtual training together.  And some other childhood friends of ours are joining us as well so it will be like a big reunion with 13.1 miles of running thrown in.

Me and my brother dressed up for a wedding

5.  Hawaii! And this is the reason we can't take a big Spring trip.  We're planning a big blowout trip in the Fall.  We're going to go to Disney Land so I can run the Avengers Half Marathon (and get my Coast to Coast as well as the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge medals) and then on to Maui for a week.  I'm really excited and looking forward to lots of relaxing beach time.

So those are five things I'm looking forward to in 2017.  It's going to be an exciting year and I hope that you guys all have a great year in front of you too :)  I'd love to hear what you're looking forward to.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Back to running!

I've been on a bit of blogging hiatus ever since I wrote about my experience at Rock and Roll DC.  I've also been on a running break.  I had decided to give my knee a bit of a rest before running again.  So I gave it a 2 week rest and had a couple runs this weekend that went well!

While on the running break, I just did a lot of yoga and rolling with the new stick I had bought at the expo.  I think those things definitely helped.  I noticed that my quad and IT band on the right side (the side where my knee locked up during the race) were a lot tighter than the left side.  The yoga and rolling started out painful but it was much better by the end of the two weeks so I think it definitely helped.

I also went up to New Jersey last weekend to visit family and it was nice to spend time with them as well as unplug while I was up there.  I didn't mean to unplug when the weekend started but I forgot the Ipad and my niece and nephew are teenagers now and I didn't want to set a bad example by being the aunt that was always on the phone!  They're teenagers so already heading that way anyway.

This nephew has a while before becoming a teenager at least :)

But here are the details on my return to running :)

Saturday - short test run that went well.  I had some twinges on the hills but nothing too bad.


Sunday - Long run on the C&O Canal Tow Path with friends.  We went up to the Monocacy Aqueduct area which is beautiful and less crowded since it's further from the city.  It was also nice since it's not paved, flatter, and a softer surface.  We saw lots of deer and even a heron (I think... it was a tall, graceful bird with long legs).  We also had some great conversation while running.  We definitely feel like we've all slowed down over the Winter as compared to last year so I definitely need to add speed work back in.


So that was it.  But I think things are better with the knee and I can get back to my regular routine.  And this 10 miles on Sunday means I should be ready for the Georgetown 10 miler (also on the C&O tow path) in a couple weeks!

We had a coupon for half off on Blue Apron so we're giving that a try this week.  Our first meal was yesterday, a freekeh and roasted chickpea salad with harissa glazed carrots and lemon labneh.


Hope everyone has had a great couple weeks!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Rock and Roll DC Half Marathon review

Well, as some of you may have seen on Instagram, I had my first DNF this past weekend.  I only got to around mile 9 of the RnR DC Half Marathon before dropping out.

But starting back at the expo... I had plans to go to the expo with a friend but we were running late so didn't get there until around 6:15pm and the expo closed at 7.  When we got there, the line to just enter the building was huge.  It went down the side of the building, out onto the sidewalk and around the corner.  But it moved fairly fast, even though it didn't feel like it due to the cold and wind.  We finally got in and there was very little wait to pick up our bibs and shirts.  We were also picking up bibs for some friends and we managed to get all four quickly.  We also managed to change corrals for a friend with no problem.  The expo was really well organized.  We looked around a bit and I bought a stick since those seem to work better for me than the foam roller.  But we pretty much rushed out of there since the expo was closing and we had a dinner reservation.


We met up with Ana and another friend at Rosa Mexicano.  It was a delicious meal with great company!  I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet up with Ana in person.  It's so funny how you can begin to feel like you know someone without even meeting in real life.

Stole this photo from Ana's instagram

Next, race morning!  The race started an hour later this year so it wasn't until 8:30.  We were back in corral 21 so we figured we would start around 9:15 or so.  And we were staying in a hotel close enough to walk to the start line.  But we still managed to run late and as we saw the street where the corrals were lined up, we saw the very last corral walking by!  So we had to run a bit to head up and find our corral.

Oh yeah, no photos because it was bitterly cold and windy.  I did not want to try to fool around with my phone to take photos.  It had died in the past from cold weather so I had tucked it in a sip lock bag for some extra insulation and then in a zippered pocket of my running jacket.

The cold was pretty much the main story of the race this year.  I think it was in the 20s at the start and felt like it was in the teens.  But I also never felt like I could really settle into the race.  In the sun, I would begin to feel too warm.  But then the wind would pick up again and I would feel cold all over again.  The race went ok, slow but I knew that was going to be the case, until the big hill at mile 6 or so.


My knee began to hurt, but I figured once I got past the hill it would get back to normal.  But instead, it just kept feeling gradually worse.  The knee kept getting stiffer and stiffer.  I played the mind trick where I keep telling myself to just go another mile and then re-evaluate how I feel.  That will usually get me through a race.  But this time, around mile 9, my knee seemed to stiffen up completely and I couldn't bend it much at all.  I tried to tell myself that I could just limp to the finish (the race has a very generous time limit).  I was pretty sure that I wasn't actually injured at that point but I worried that limping an extra 4 miles might end up causing more damage.  So I ended up deciding to drop out of the race at that point.


The good thing about a race in a city that I'm so familiar with is that I didn't have to wait around for the SAG bus or anything.  I walked a couple blocks off the course and used my phone to call for a Lyft back to the hotel.  I took some ibuprofen, changed into warm clothes and began icing my knee.


My friends finished the race and made it back to the hotel an hour or so later.  We got cleaned up and headed out to brunch.  I was still hobbling but it seemed a bit better.  Sadly, sitting at brunch made it stiff again and it was worse again when we tried to walk back to the hotel afterward.  So more ibuprofen and icing ensued to try to get the inflammation back down.


Later in the afternoon I also used the stick the massage out the quad and IT band.  It was definitely much worse on that side with the bad knee so I guess maybe that's what caused it?  I'm not sure but maybe it was a fluke thing because of the cold?  It continued resting it the rest of the day and it was ok.  We went to a movie that evening (Lion, and it was really good) but the same thing happened after sitting in the theater and my leg stiffened up to the point it was hard to bend it.

But thankfully, it seemed better Sunday.  There was still some popping when I bent that knee but much less pain.  And it seems back to normal today.

So this was a disappointing race for me given that it was my first DNF.  But at the end of the day, I think it was the right decision.  I'm not sure why that happened with my knee but I'm glad it doesn't really seem injured and that I didn't risk more damage by trying to hobble the last 4 miles to the finish line.  In spite of my disappointment, I still think this is a great race and would definitely recommend it!  It's on pre-sale for $50 until March 17th for anyone who wants to give it a try next year.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Five - Rock and Roll DC Half Marathon

It's finally Friday and that means it's almost race day!  It also means it's time for the Friday Five, 2.0. Many thanks to Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for this linkup!  So here are 5 things on my mind about the RnR DC Half Marathon tomorrow.

  Friday Five Linkup 2.0

1.  Weather - I think number one on everyone's mind is the weather!  It looks like it's going to be in the 20s and feel like it's in the teens at the start.  It will be up to the low 30s by the time we end.

2. Repeat race - This will be my third time doing this race.  Clearly I enjoy it :)  The weather was cold and rainy in 2015, and perfect running weather in 2016.  The first time I did this race, it was my second half marathon and ended up being a PR in spite of the rain.

Cold and rainy race in 2015

3.  Scenic course - One of the reasons I've done this race so many times is that I love the course.  It even makes up for the giant hill around mile 6.  I love that the first part of the race is around the monument and museums downtown and then it moves into the neighborhoods of the city.  Last year there was great crowd support in the neighborhood areas.  Fingers crossed that there are people out braving the cold this year as well.

4. Expo - I'm not going to get to the expo until later this evening.  It closes at 7 and I'll be getting there around 5:30 or 6.  That's the latest I've ever gotten to an expo so I hope it's not too crowded with people heading in after work.  But hey, maybe there will be some things on sale!

Expo fun at last year's expo

5. Food and friends - I'm looking forward to hanging out with friends!  We got a hotel room downtown again so we can walk to the race start in the morning.  That means we'll be sharing dinner out after the expo.  And I'm looking forward to meeting some blogger friends in person too :)  And we've also planned out a yummy post-race brunch too.  I'm sure we'll all be looking forward to it after so much time out in the cold.  Plus, a friend from California is in town so I'll be able to get some good catch up time with her Saturday evening.

So that's it for my weekend.  I hope everyone else has a good weekend too and for those of you running RnR DC tomorrow, have fun and stay warm!