Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2

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Life is short but sweet for certain

Today I found out that a former teacher of mine has cancer and only weeks to live. We all have lots of teachers throughout our lives (and someone who has as many degrees as I do has even more), but I consider myself lucky to have had someone like him who made such an impression on my life.

James “Pax” Paxton was my high school band teacher for four years. But he was so much more than that to me and so many of my classmates. He knew how to work with high schoolers better than anyone I know, he knew how to earn our respect, how to joke with us, and how to push us to work our hardest, for whatever we wanted.

He took hundreds, if not thousands, of us to Europe for three weeks during the summer with American Music Abroad – I was lucky enough to go twice. Those of us who were fortunate enough to go on AMA really got to know him and his wife on a completely different level. They were teachers and leaders but they were also friends. His students would do anything for him. For whom else would high schoolers get up even earlier than normal before early morning summer band camp to decorate the road leading to school for his 50th birthday?

He taught us leadership, he taught us life skills, and occasionally he taught us music, too. He taught me how to come out of my shell. A girl who was so shy that her 6th grade science teacher once asked her mother if she knew how to speak, I am so much more confident as an adult because of Pax. My leadership style has largely been influenced by his leadership style.

At 65, his card has been drawn far too early, but his influence has been huge. A facebook group of his former students was started this afternoon and already has over 500 members. I hope the doctors are wrong. I hope his weeks turn into months and years, but whether he goes tomorrow or in ten years, his legacy will live on. He’s one of the great people of the world.


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17 degree windchills are entirely too damn cold for running. And let me tell you, Under Armour’s ColdGear isn’t nearly windproof enough for windchills like this. They need EffingColdGear – for when it’s just too effing cold. I have no idea how people in colder climates do this all winter long. I don’t know that I could live in a place that doesn’t have four distinct seasons like we do here, but I’m getting closer and closer to wanting to find out.

The highlight of the day, however, was that we got to run in the snow! 🙂 We’ve been getting lake-effect snow on and off all day. Yes, in the DC metro area.

20130217-173512.jpg(You can’t see it, but there’s snow in that picture. Just take my word for it.)

My super awesome husband (who, might I add, is not actually racing this year) came out with me for what was supposed to be a 5 mile run, but turned out to be a 2.5 mile run. After the first lap I couldn’t feel my thighs anymore and they had nothing left in them, so we called it a day. There’s always next weekend, right?

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Is it spring yet?

These little teases of spring are so nice yet so mean! Today it was 55 and sunny, so I got out for a nice 3 mile run – and even got a little sunburned! – and I’m glad I did because it’s now 36 and threatening to snow tonight and tomorrow. I’m glad I was able to get out, but come on Mother Nature! Can’t we all just play nice?

I went to a new spot today, mainly because it’s 45 minutes closer than my usual spot and much hillier than the trail. Plus, it’s asphalt, which I think will help get my knees ready for the punishment of 13.1 miles on the road better than the crushed stone did. My knees definitely felt it today, but overall I feel really good. I think I’ll rotate between both in order to preserve my knees a bit but still get in plenty of time on the asphalt and the hills.



PB and Awesome

My training plan for the Maryland Half starts tomorrow, and the timing couldn’t be better. Although Mother Nature currently has the upper hand and all of my training thus far this year has been indoors, I have had some great workouts and set some new personal bests. Tonight I did mile repeats for a total of 6.4 miles – two of them setting new personal bests! I got an 11:00 minute mile and a 10:28 mile – lightning speed for me! Now, if Punxsutawney Phil is right and spring really is coming soon, let’s see how that translates out on the road…

Oh, and since tomorrow is the Super Bowl and my Ravens are playing…. GO RAVENS!!!


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Another race added to the list!

While it’s been too brutally cold the actually go outside to run I’ve been doing most of my training indoors – and figuring out which races I want to do. I know I’ve said that I had the list figured out, but if you actually believe that then you don’t actually know me. At all. Today I added the Sole of the City 10k to my spring line-up (thanks to a generous donation by my mother to cover the entry fee – thank you momma 🙂 ).

Over the years I’ve run ten 5ks, three 5 milers, and 4 half marathons, but I’ve never done a 10k, so it’ll be a great new experience. It’s in mid-April and runs along the Inner Harbor and starts and ends right by Under Armour HQ. Based on past years the weather should be nice – warm and just before the great May cool-down we seem to have gotten the last five years or so. Ahh, warm weather… gives me something to day dream about while I watch the thermometer plummet…

Oh, and the best part? The premium! An Under Armour jacket for the ladies (that alone pretty much covers the cost of admission), and an UA quarter zip for the gents. Gotta admit, it’s nice not to have another t-shirt to add to the pile. And really, you can’t go wrong with Under Armour.