Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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Alter G

Over the last year I’ve spoken quite a bit about the AlterG treadmill, which I have used in physical therapy. Well guess what Runner’s World just wrote an article on??

http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/running-on-air-with-the-alter-g?cid=socVID_20140930_32571116

This really is one of the coolest devices out there. It allows you to get back into training and rehab sooner than you’d be able to with regular walking or running and is great for helping to stave off small injuries by reducing your impact load while allowing you to keep up your mileage and cardio training. If I had $40k to drop, I’d totally have one in my basement.

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Race Report! NCR Half Marathon

Half Marathon #5 is FINALLY in the books! It only took a year and a half, but I finally did it.

When I did Baltimore in 2012 I was nervous as I liked up at the start, but yesterday was the first time I’ve ever been nervous the night before a race. I’m not sure why – I wasn’t planning on racing this. The only thing I can think of is because I had agreed to pace someone else. I was also a bit nervous that my achilles wouldn’t make it through the entire distance.

I was so anxious about this race that I got there even before the race director was there to set up the registration table! That’s okay though, because I got to see a gorgeous sunrise.

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Registration was at an old burned down school and started a quarter mile down the road.

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It was very cold this morning, so cold that I wish I had had throw away gloves. I was supposed to be on a Skype call with my girlfriends from Hopkins, who are spread out around the world, but I wasn’t able to get enough cell signal to connect to the call – kind of a crummy way to start the day.

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Being a low-key race, we all gathered right at 8:00am for a quick overview of the course from the race directors and then we were off! The way the race was structured, it was basically a 5k out, then we turned around and did a 10k, followed by one more 5k to finish up the day.

The woman that I was pacing uses a run-walk method of 5 minutes running, 1 minute walking, which was certainly new to me. Her goals for the race were a) to finish, and b) to not finish last. I told her if we ended up being the last people in that she would finish in front of me so she wouldn’t be last.

We kept a comfortable pace on the first 3.3 miles out. After the turn around, I convinced her to push the pace a bit, taking advantage of the slight down-hill grade. She was really strong through the first 8 miles but started to slow down a bit on 9. I remember my first half and how mentally challenging it was so I tried to build her up as much as I could and keep her moving – it’s always so much easier to keep moving, even at a slow pace, than it is to start moving again after stopping.

On the final 3.1 miles back she really needed to dig deep to find the extra gumption to push through the discomfort. It took a lot of cajoling, but she did it! We finished just about 2:39:00 – nearly 20 minutes better than my PR in 2012.

I’m really glad I did the race today. Aside from helping someone else to achieve their goal of finishing her first half marathon, I was able to get my scheduled mileage in for the weekend (first time all month!) and know that I can easily do the mileage I have coming up with Army. I also now know that my achilles is strong enough for this. With all the disappointments I’ve had this month, I really needed this. And it was also nice to hear from her that I had an annoying level of energy and optimism in the later miles 🙂 That really kinda made my day.


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I do love free things

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Aside from winning a free entry to the Philadelphia Half Marathon, one of the best things about it is it’s the only race I’ve done that has half marathon pacers!!

The ClifBar Pacers Team sent out this wonderful little care package which I can’t wait to try out! I just might have to give their recovery drink a shot after my half on Sunday 🙂


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Impromptu half marathon!

I know, I haven’t been very good at posting lately. :-[

Last Tuesday was a great speed workout that combined the track, hills, and the road. I felt absolutely amazing during and after and couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Last Wednesday we had a “mentor session” with the group in which our coach goes over what to do in the month before race day and answer questions and concerns people might have about these last few long, long runs as well as the taper process and what goes on on race day. Afterwards a few of us went out for an easy run in the neighborhood. From the first step my achilles was complaining. I thought it just needed some time to warm up, but with every step it yelled at me. Nothing seriously painful, just nagging. Thursday morning I couldn’t walk normally. Friday I went in to PT and got Grastoned.

Feeling somewhat better, I taped up the achilles and went to my long run, knowing full well it wouldn’t be great and I wouldn’t be running 12 miles. I got in a good, if not labored 6 miles. It’s funny – I felt awful (overall) and like I was seriously dragging, but I still averaged an 11:00 pace, with two miles under a 10:08 pace. I also tried out my new Nathan Hydration Pack. Why did I not get one sooner?!? I absolutely loved it! It was a bit heavy, with three bottles worth of water strapped to me, but the pack was amazing.

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My Achilles was still bugging me a bit when I went to PT on Monday, so he did some some active release on both legs – which felt absolutely horrible! Oh my gosh… I know it’ll make a huge difference later, but it is so painful when you’re going through it. He cleared me to run a low-key half marathon this weekend, under the condition I stop if things start hurting too much. I’ve been tossing around the idea of this half for a while because our group is “officially” meeting downtown and I just don’t want to drive down there or run down there. I’m scheduled for 12-14 miles, so 13.1 is right where I need to be! And for $2, even if I have to duck out and DNF, it’s still totally worth it.

The best part? One of the women I train with asked me to pace her!! It’s going to be her first half marathon. Selfishly, it works out really great for me because she runs about 1:00 – 1:30 per mile slower than I do which will force me to keep a slow pace and not push myself unnecessarily. But above all, I’m just so honored she asked me to pace her and help get her to the finish! 🙂 I never thought I’d be the kind of runner that others might look up to or respect. I’m super psyched for this weekend!

treasure every mile


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Exciting News!

I just found out today that I won an entry to the Philadelphia Marathon!! 😀

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I’m super excited to run this race and can’t wait! I had planned on doing Philly as my first full marathon, but am more than happy to preview the first half this year 🙂 The entry was courtesy of Philly Marathon sponsor Gore-Tex in their #RoadtoPhilly contest.

Today was a super busy day for me. I got up at 5:00am to make it downtown for a great speaker series my b-school hosts, called Leaders + Legends. Today’s speaker was Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with CNN over the last 6 years, but he was a great speaker and very conversational and open during the Q&A session.

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Afterwards I had some time to kill before PT, so I wandered around the harbor to take in the sights of the tall ships which are in town for the Star Spangled Spectacular. This weekend is the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner, which was written right here in Baltimore!

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The 9/11 Memorial outside of the World Trade Center, Baltimore

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While I was at PT I could see the Blue Angels practicing and was super excited when, as I was getting back to my car, one of the security guards let me know about a great spot nearby with a great view of the entire harbor. I’m so glad he said something because the view was fantastic! We had a great view of them flying the entire length of the harbor, from Martin’s all the way up to Fort McHenry and they often flew right overhead doing their maneuvers.

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I wish I could claim this photo as my own, but I definitely cannot.

I wish I could claim this photo as my own, but I definitely cannot. One of the great photographers for the event took this. 

And on my way out of the city, I was reminded at just how pretty Baltimore can be at times, even with abysmal traffic.

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What happens when you miss your long run?

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Yep, pretty much.

Under the advisement of my PT I sat out today’s 11 miler and honestly, I couldn’t have picked a better day to sleep in in the bone chilling air conditioning. I woke up at 8:00am, checked weatherbug and saw that it was 79 degrees with a dew point of 79 (and sunny), rolled back over, and pulled the sheets up over my head and smiled.

He thinks it’s just a stress reaction, but there’s no need to make it worse. And while I sit here under the umbrella on my deck, enjoying the muggy, sunny remnants of summer, enjoying my third donut (don’t judge), I look forward to next weekend’s rejuvenated long run.

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Two steps forward, one step back

I’ve been on mandated rest since Tuesday. I’ve been getting an odd pressure sensation in my tibia which is reminiscent of the feeling I had when my stress fracture was healing last year. Not too concerned, because it doesn’t hurt when I push or tap the bone, but still annoyed. The PT will evaluate it tomorrow and I might get to do some mileage on the Alter-G (yay!!). This weekend’s long run is in limbo until he delivers his verdict.

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How I feel after there days of not working out.