Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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I Heart the AlterG

Yesterday I had a session with my PT again. My achilles was feeling 98%, so he just did some quick release techniques on the tight part, and then set me up on the AlterG. His words? Get a good workout in. My only guideline was to not let it aggravate anything. Awesome!

I started off at a walk for two minutes, at 65% body weight, then ramped it up to 5.5mph then 6.4mph for the bulk of the workout – my hip flexor was really bugging me again, but the achilles and ankle felt great. My plan was the up the bodyweight 5% each mile, which I did for the first two, but after that I had a hard time getting up to 75% without discomfort/pain. It was around 3 miles that it finally stopped hurting, but was still noticeable. When the PT checked in shortly after, I told him this, and the older gentleman he was working on chimed in, “why on earth would you do three miles if it hurts??” “Because it doesn’t hurt now :-)”

For the remainder of the workout I bounced around from 70% to 78%, mostly hanging out closer to 70% though. It’s frustrating that the rest of me feels so good, yet the hip flexor, of all things, is holding me back.

When the older gentleman left, he asked my PT “how long is she gonna be on that thing??” PT looked at me, looked back at the guy, shrugged, smiled, and said slyly, “I dunno.” I like having a PT who’s a runner 🙂

I ended up getting a good 6.2 miles in – if I could’ve gotten my hands on a packet of Gu and a bottle of water I probably (stubbornly) would’ve gone another hour, but I was just getting too thirsty, tired, and hungry. If I had known I’d be allowed to be on the machine that long I’d’ve brought a granola bar or something!

I had hoped originally that yesterday would’ve been my last session, but with the hip acting up and not being able to comfortably run over 75% bodyweight I’m going to keep going for a few more sessions, if nothing else to get in some time on the AlterG. Since about a week before Army I’ve cut down on daily protein intake, in favor of pre-race carbs, but I think I’m going to start upping the protein content again to help the soft tissue damage heal a bit more. Here’s to hoping another light week will help get me back on the road again.


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Weekend Wrap-up

Why can’t I ever get the kind of injuries that respond to heat therapy? These ice packs are getting old quick! 0776

I got to play around on the AlterG a bit this week, my first time running since Baltimore. My achilles was achey, but what surprised me was the hip flexor – apparently I also pulled my psoas or illiopsoas, which is part of the hip flexor but feels like it’s up in the abs. It’s been bugging me when sitting up from a laying position but no other time, until I started running. omg. (Speaking of running, I’m watching Parts Unknown and am seriously jealous of the Massai guy running at the end)

It’s officially fall in my book – yesterday was the last day of the local farm market. With the musician playing, it almost felt like a scene out of Gilmore Girls. Although I didn’t go very often this year, mainly because of Saturday morning training runs, I always enjoy having the option. The locally grown produce truly is so much more flavorful than the mass-produced products at the grocery store. Some of the farms and vendors have their products available through the winter, so I’ll have to keep an eye out.

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My week of total rest is over. This morning I accompanied my mom to her second 5k! She ran the Race for the Cure with a friend of hers from her training group. It was a great morning for a race. It was bittersweet getting up early for a race and not be the one running, but I still had a great time. Her goal was to beat her previous PR from June, and she did! I am very proud of her for doing that.

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My mom, in the vest, and her training partner

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After the chilly race we went home and grabbed some breakfast before I headed out to meet my ex to walk our beast. We try to meet up for these walks weekly so I can see her – it’s the only time I see her anymore. It’s not much, but I miss her and I always look forward to these walks 🙂 It makes me sad to see how white her muzz is getting though 😦 Despite the chill in the air, the trail was surprisingly crowded today.

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I managed 3.5 miles with only minimal achilles discomfort. It’s such a tease – everything else has felt fine since Tuesday, but the achilles (and hip flexor) are just holding me back. I’m thinking this week will be light on impact (mainly AlterG and elliptical), but I need to keep my cardio and strength up – only four weeks until Philly!!


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Recovery week

I do love recovery week.

Monday I saw my PT and got Grastoned and a good, long massage on both lower legs, followed by some ice.

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And had a good carb-y, protein-y meal.

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Yesterday the full and half training groups met for our post-race celebration.

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And tonight I’m going to do a nice, easy workout on the elliptical.

What do you do the week following your big race?


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Race Report: Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon

I hadn’t originally planned on running Baltimore this year – I was going to focus on kicking ass in Army and calling it a day. Well, after hearing everyone in my training group talking about Baltimore, it’s clear that I am very susceptible to peer pressure. Six days after kicking asphalt at Army, I laced up again for Baltimore. This is the third time I’ve run the Baltimore Half and my sixth half marathon. I still can’t believe that – six. Wow.

Because of the Orioles’ success this year all of the races were moved an hour earlier. I was dreading this (I’ve made peace with 5:00am wakeup calls, but 4:00am?? Come on, now, that’s just obscene…) but it turned out to be a really great turn of events. I set my alarm for 3:45am and 4:00am, but naturally woke up at 1:50am. I laid in bed reading the news on my phone for a few minutes then had to decide – go back to sleep or get up? If I went back to sleep I’d probably be extra groggy when I woke up, but on the other hand it was 2:00am… So I got up around 2:30am, watched a bit of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and got myself together in a rather leisurely fashion. Thank goodness CNN has actual programming on early in the mornings – I really couldn’t do infomercials that morning. I took 15 minutes to foam roll, triple checked that I had everything I needed, and quietly crept out of the house as to not wake my parents.

I left at 4:30am and got down to the stadium and into a parking spot at 5:12am. If you’ve never seen Baltimore at this time of morning, I highly recommend it – it’s surprisingly gorgeous with all the lights lit up and few people moving about. Back on My Feet’s camp didn’t open until 5:30am, so I hung out in my (well heated) car until then. Last time I ran with BOMF I missed their circle up before the race and really wanted to see it this year – so being up so early really did have its benefits. The circle was really inspirational. Being at a marathon in and of itself is inspirational, but knowing what so many of these people have overcome to be there really takes it up another notch.

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Afterwards I gathered my things and went over to Charm City Run’s gathering site right by the marathon/relay/5k starting line. Every year they rent out one of the bars right behind Camden Yards as home base for the day – it’s the perfect location to gather everyone together from all of the training groups across the area. They had some traditional runner fare set out for us, but also had a buffet of gels, chomps, and bars to take or try (after the race, of course, if you don’t usually use those offered).

It was really great seeing all of the marathoners excited about their race. For some it was their first, for others their tenth, but the excitement (and anxiety) was almost indiscernible. A bit before 7:00am they all went and took their place in the chute and I staked a claim on prime viewing territory just beyond the starting line with some of my training partners.

The Hon and Blue

The Hon and Blue

Being from Baltimore, one of the great joys of home-town sporting events is hearing the deafening “O!!” when the National Anthem is sung – even more so this year with it resonating off of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I always tear up a bit when I hear the Anthem (yes, I’m one of them), but the O never fails to make me smile.

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At 7:00am the gun went off, there was confetti everywhere, and thousands on runners started off on their journey for the day. The 5k started at 7:20am, and then things got real. It was our turn.

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We returned to the (warm) bar to begin last minute preparations and decide what to take to the starting corral and on the course with us. This is always the worst part of any race for me – the waiting. For smaller races I’ve started arriving closer and closer to the start time so I don’t have to kill time, which just makes me anxious, but that isn’t really an option on BRF day. I had no real goal for Baltimore, so there was nothing to get anxious about. I just wanted to finish in the upright position under my own power. My legs weren’t 100% recovered from Army, so it would have been foolish to go in with a hard time goal. If I felt good I was going to try to aim for 2:30 (2:20 if I felt amazing), but that wasn’t the point of this – I just wanted to run in a great half marathon and have an awesome day.

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The first two miles Melissa, Neenee, and I ran together, holding a comfortable pace as we weaved in and out of the crowd. Unlike past years, Fayette Street wasn’t completely shut down to traffic making it a bit tight. I’m not sure why they made the change this year but I hope they don’t repeat it again. In the first mile you need all the room you can get to spread out.

The course took a slightly different path this year, turning down President and then across Baltimore Street rather than following Fayette up to Johns Hopkins Hospital. I always enjoyed running past Hopkins, but this new route cut about 50′ of elevation out, which I will never complain about. This course is hilly enough – any help we can get saving our energy for the big hills later is good in my book!

In the third mile, as we came down around Patterson Park I lost Melissa and Neenee but fell into a comfortable cruising pace. My achilles was fighting me a bit and I saw no point in pushing it this early in the race – I knew I’d have to call on it later.

One of the best things about Baltimore (and why I’m a sucker for it) is the crowd support. The city really does come out strong on race day. I think that was the biggest let down about Army – there just wasn’t the crowd support that I’m used to. In Baltimore, people in neighborhoods you’d never expect come out in droves to cheer for us, or at least stare and wonder what the hell we’re doing. The course follows basically the same route year after year and its great to see how the different neighborhoods morph over the years, especially the one that was nothing but boarded up houses the first time I ran this in 2009. It certainly hasn’t been revitalized like other parts of the city, but it has changed in the last five years.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Baltimore Half, it’s basically 11 miles of uphill. No joke. True, there are a few downhills, but they’re inverted molehills, not proper downhills. Somewhere around mile 5-ish I caught up with and passed Neenee. Taking advantage of the downhill I Gu-ed knowing I would need the extra fuel later. My mouth was so dry though that it took a good minute to get the entire pack down. At the relay exchange around mile 6 I took my first walk break. Right about this point I also started to question my desire to run a full marathon next year. If I’m feeling like this at mile 6, how am I going to make it another 20?? It’s funny how even a minute or two break can make such a huge difference. After that I pushed up the hills towards Lake Montebello.

Lake Montebello is the only flat point in the race – halfway just over over halfway through for the HM – and has a huge buffet of gels, bananas, and chips at the far side. Typically I stop at this point and grab a bag of Utz potato chips (mmmm salt….), but I just wanted to keep pushing through this time. I made sure to ham it up a bit for the photographers on the other side of the Lake (even though I still ended up looking like hell in most of the pictures), taking exaggerated strides, hoping I might actually get a picture with one foot off the ground for a change.

After Lake Montebello the course turns up 33rd Street. 33rd Street looks mostly flat but is actually uphill nearly the entire way.  This part of the course is like one big block party, so it’s easy to overlook the hills, but they can sneak up on you if you aren’t aware of them. I have finally learned this. The pain in my legs at this point got so bad I actually stopped to take two Advil, which I just happened to throw in my bag on my way out the door. I know they say you shouldn’t take Advil while running, but I also knew I wouldn’t have made it through without it because the pain was getting that bad. I followed it with a way-too-early Gu so I wouldn’t end up with stomach troubles on top of the leg troubles.

Mile 10 was just beyond this, right by the Johns Hopkins University campus. I needed mile 10. I had just run 10 miles last week. After 10 miles, it’s just a 5k. A mostly downhill 5k. The only hurdle remaining is the Howard Street Bridge. The last two times I’ve run Baltimore that bridge has been like a scene from the walking dead. It’s less than two miles from the finish and a number of the marathoners are stating to (or already have) hit the wall while the half marathoners are just running out of steam. The last two times I was substantially farther back in the pack than I was this year, but there were still a number of people falling off their pace on the bridge this year. I can honestly say my training this year paid off – I barely noticed the former-Mt. Everest this time. Don’t get me wrong – it certainly wasn’t a cake walk – but it didn’t feel like Mt. Everest. It felt like just another late-in-the-run hill. I had a ridiculous grin on my face the entire way up.

Just beyond the bridge is another hill – the last one before you turn down Eutaw Street to bring it home. Somewhere along the way I had passed Melissa because she caught up with me on this last hill. We ran together for a bit before I pulled off for one last short walk break. At this point you can see Camden Yards and I threw it into another gear. It’s literally all downhill until you hit the spine. Most of the runners were running on the right side of the cones which were lined up down the middle of the road, but I didn’t see any traffic on the left side or cops/volunteers telling me not to run there, so I made a bee line for the shade on the left side of the road. There was a nice chilly wind, but it wasn’t enough – the shade made a world of difference. My legs were screaming but the finish line was in sight. At this point the runners’ high totally kicked in. At this point, I could have kept going on forever. At this point, I totally knew that I will run the full next year and I will kick its ass.

As I got closer to the stadium, the crows got thicker and thicker and louder and louder. I so needed that. As I hit the spine, which is flat, I focused on the faces and signs in the crowd, pulling on their energy to keep moving as fast as I could. When I got through the other side of Camden Yards and the finish line was just .1 mile away, I gave it everything. My legs already hurt, so there was no point in giving in – they’re going to hurt whether I go fast or slow so I might as well go fast.

After I crossed the finish line, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at my Garmin.

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Holy crap! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d finish a half marathon in 2:18. I teared up and I jumped around in excitement, then very, very slowly made my way to get my blanket and medal. My legs were seizing up on me and I made my first-ever trip to the medical tent for some ice packs. I hung out there for a few minutes before waddling over, with my ice packs still attached, to the food tent. My day was totally made when I turned the corner and saw a table full of green bananas.

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There was a bit of a traffic jam trying to get out of the runners’ section, but I eventually got my dry bag and made it back to the BOMF camp to change. Just as I was about to head to the bathroom, I realized I had to go downstairs. I must’ve had that look on my face because someone at the bottom trying to come up called up, “you forgot about the stairs, too, huh?” 🙂

I fundraise with Back on My Feet because I truly believe in their mission, but I also partly do it for the nice race day bathrooms. No joke. Totally worth it. It’s amazing to have a clean, warm bathroom to clean up and change in – feeling clean and dry makes the rest of the day so much more enjoyable.

After spending some time with BOMF I went back to Charm City Run to trade war stories with the other runners. It seems like almost everyone had a good, if not great, day. The weather was perfect, the course was tough, and we were all in there right mindset for the challenge. The only remaining challenge? Getting my butt up on that bar stool. So much harder than I would have ever expected.

My wonderful coach, Katie, in the middle

My wonderful coach, Katie, in the middle

All said and done it was a really great day. I hope to never do the 2:00am thing again, but it was totally worth it. Never would I have thought that I could race, truly race, two long-distance races in one week. Never would I thought that I could run a sub-2:20 half.

I have a couple weeks to heal and get ready for my last challenge of the year, the Philadelphia Half Marathon. But first, I’m looking forward to taking this week off!


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Race Day Eve!!

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Tomorrow’s the big day! The Baltimore Half Marathon! This will be my 6th half and my third Baltimore half. I know the course well, I am well trained, and I’m totally prepared to make that bridge at mile 10 (aka Mt. Everest) my bitch!

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The best part about this race is the finish through Camden Yards! It’s the hardest flat quarter miler ever, but running through such a gorgeous stadium gives you a much needed kick. Unfortunately the Os didn’t make it to the World Series this year but I’m still amazingly proud of them. It has been such a turn-around from just four short years ago that no one could’ve seen coming.

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I just had my last carby meal and am planning on going up to bed by 8:00pm to get everything ready for tomorrow. Because of the Os making it to the ALCS all races were moved an hour earlier, which means (at least) a 4:00am wake up call for anyone running the marathon or wanting to see the marathon start. Ugh. Totally worth it though.

Wish me luck!!

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Race Report!! Army Ten Miler

Back story: This is the third time I’ve registered for the Army Ten Miler. I’ve had this race in my sights for five years. In 2010 I got in but had to DNS because three weeks of ridiculously intense MBA orientation totally derailed my training. Last year I was registered and on target with my training until I got put into the walking boot – there was no way I could have walked hobbled the race in my boot and still hit the time cutoffs. This year… this year nothing was getting in my way. 

Last weekend was amazing. The end.

Okay, really, it was great. I stayed in Bethesda, outside of the District, because hotels are way cheaper, but also because it’s an area that I know well and am happy in. It’s urban but suburban, all American but very global (big French influence there). And I had a one-bedroom suite with a kitchen all to myself. Heaven! I am very happy that my parents graciously let me move back home last year when life got a bit rough, but there’s just something about having your own space – even if just for four days.

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the lunch of champions – aka my travel-day guilty pleasure

Maybe it was because I was bummed out from not running and just happy to be at the expo, but last year’s expo seemed to be a lot better than this year’s. It was super empty (not necessarily a problem, that’s why I went so early) and I didn’t really have any intentions of buying anything, but there just wasn’t as much to look at nor a lot of free stuff. I did “splurge” and get myself a logo-ed glass from the event, but it promptly got dropped and smashed to bits by the valet guy at the hotel. Sad face. To make myself feel better I drove out to my favorite Japanese place in Rockville and got myself takeaway dinner. A big pile of rice counts are carbo-loading, right??

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I stayed up far later than I ought to’ve Friday night watching the O’s game then went to a job fair on Saturday morning down in Crystal City. The job fair wasn’t exactly a rousing success, but it did give me an opportunity to see the race area before hand, which always helps to calm my nerves before a big, new race. Afterwards I came home and made myself some fettuccine alfredo, watched the second O’s game, and foam rolled until I could foam roll no more. Saturday evening I enjoyed some apricot chicken with rice that I made earlier in the week and brought with me. Super yum. Yes, it really is all about the food.

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Saturday night I got everything ready – and quadruple checked everything – and set my alarm for 4:45am. The metro train left at 6:06am and I was paranoid about missing it, even though the station was only two blocks away. I know.

So naturally, I was wide awake at 3:30am. After checking the news, facebook, and twitter on my phone I admitted defeat and rolled out of bed at 4:10am. At least I could enjoy a leisurely morning? I was admittedly a bit apprehensive about going to a big race by myself – this would be the first time I’ve ever done that – but it turns out that’s something I’ll have to worry about some other time. My ex and I are on good terms and are trying very hard to be friends, and he came down and surprised me so I wouldn’t have to be alone on race day. It was nice to have someone to talk to who knows my race day routine and moods.

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It was a quick and easy ride to the Pentagon for the race. If you’re not familiar with DC, the Pentagon is on the other side of the river from DC and when you ride the yellow line to the Pentagon, the track goes over the water. It was so dark still when we popped out of the tunnel that I actually had to stop and focus to see that we were, in fact, above ground. Off to the east you could see the slightest hint that sunrise was approaching, but it was still pitch dark. Just a few minutes later, after arriving at the Pentagon, the sun decided to join the party.

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This was the first time I had ever been to the Pentagon so it was super awe-inspiring for the foreign policy/strategy nerd that I am. After taking in the location for a few, we walked over to the race staging area. I have never seen so many ports-pots in my life. Truly. It was like a runner’s dream come true. Every where you looked – porta-poties. Every corral had them. The non-secure area for the public had them. They had them lined up by the starting line. It was truly amazing. Kudos to whomever placed that order! Job well done.

As part of the morning ceremonies several men parachuted in.

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Those little dots are the parachuters

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Then I made my way over to my corral to begin the long wait. There were a few announcements, a prayer for the Army and the runners both here and abroad, and the National Anthem (I have never heard such silence during the Anthem – even the porta-pot line stopped) and before we knew it the wounded warriors and the first wave were off! There were 8 waves in total, 8 minutes in between each wave – and I was in wave 6. The soldiers escorting us did a great job of keeping everyone in order and keeping us moving. I didn’t get a really good warm up in, but at least I got something in. Before too much longer we were lining up at the start. I was three rows back – the farthest up I’ve ever been! And with the heart-stopping boom of the Howitzer, our race was under way!

The race starts on a highway and runs along the highway for the first mile, just near the corner of Arlington Cemetery. I was trying my best to run by feel rather than by Garmin, but I must admit I was surprised to see how quickly I was moving without even realizing it. My side stitches came back just around this point, but they weren’t nearly as painful as they were at the track on Tuesday.

The second mile was spent crossing the Potomac, running right towards the Lincoln Memorial, then we veered off towards Constitution for a bit before running up 21st St. past the State Department. Having worked in this area of DC it was bittersweet being back “home.” It made me smile to see my old haunts, but I wish I didn’t have to refer to them in the past tense. After running around State we made our way over to the Watergate Complex and down the Potomac towards the Kennedy Center. If you’ve never had the opportunity to run along the riverfront, I highly recommend it. It is surprisingly serene and the view is amazing no matter which direction you turn.

Up until this point the crowd support had been fairly modest, much less than I would have expected for a race of 30,000 and I felt like I was doing a lot of dodging and weaving of walkers and super-slow-motion runners. I thought the wave start wouldn’t helped thin that out a bit, but it just never ended.

Just as we came to the Washington Monument we hit the halfway point – and I did it in under 50 minutes!! Woohoo!! Once I hit five miles I stopped to take a Gu and get a good drink of water (and catch my breath). I truly had no idea just how fast I had been running. Luckily we had had some shade, but that was about to change. Running along Independence Ave we gained a lot more crowd support, but the majority of the road was in the sun at this point. Just after mile 7 we began the surprisingly long journey back to Virginia – I never knew the river was so damn wide!! It isn’t really, but the bridge was easily a mile and a half long. In the direct sun. With no breeze. And no crowd.

Somewhere around 7.5-7.75 mi my mind started telling me “it’s okay to walk.” I had to beat it into submission sooner rather than later before it got the best of me. I did take one short walk break, about a minute, half way across, but stubbornly pushed onward as hard as I could. As I was ascending the third hump of the bridge, I could finally see the exit point – which meant the race was almost over! I didn’t know exactly what the distance was, but I knew 9 miles wasn’t too far beyond that. We finally worked our way down the off ramp, enjoying what little shade there was and turned left back towards the Pentagon. I didn’t know these roads and was having a hard time playing the mental games you sometimes have to play in a hard race, but I kept telling my mind to shut up and commanded my legs to keep moving. There was one bridge (!!) to get over and then we were all but home free. Just after crossing that bridge I could begin to see familiar sights. Then a little bit further, I saw the black Army flags lining the home stretch. Yes! We’re really almost there!!

For the last half mile I battled my mind and my legs. My hip was getting tight and it took all my willpower to keep my feet moving. But I couldn’t stop. Not here. No matter how dizzy I was, no matter how tired I was, I wasn’t voluntarily stopping at 9.5 miles. If my body wasn’t to stop that badly, it’d have to take some drastic measures.

I remember passing the photographers and forcing a smile for one, but then saying to myself “fuck it – it takes energy to smile, energy which my legs need. I feel like crap, let me look like crap in the pictures.” Plus, the pictures are so horribly over-priced it’s not like I was going to be buying one anyway. Just a few more steps. As soon as the finish line was in sight I turned on the afterburners. Finally! I did it! I ran and finished the Army Ten Miler!!

Photo Oct 12, 1 42 39 PMThis was one of the first times I truly raced. I raced myself, I raced the voices in my head telling me to walk, I raced the person I used to be. And I beat all of them. Last year, before breaking my leg, my goal was going to be 2:00:00. My goal going into the race this year was 1:45:00. I smashed both of them and finished in 1:41:35!! It was my second fastest race ever.

There was a seemingly-endless death-march from the finish line to the finisher’s coins and food. Fortunately they had several water stops along the way (seriously) and an area for us to greet friends and family from across the barriers. I stopped to stretch out my super tight hip and get my feet up for a few before gathering a plethora of food. It was truly one of the best food tents I’ve seen – muffins and cookies and bananas and hummus kits and I’m sure a bunch of other stuff I’ve forgotten. People were given boxes to carry their food in there was so much of it.

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Aaron and I hung around for a while, taking in all the sights, and then began the long, slow walk back to the Pentagon metro station. Along the way we could see something glistening off in the distance. Everyone walking back seemed to notice it about the same time – the slow walk slowed even more and everyone was pointing up. As they got closer, I realized what it was – there was a flyover of WWII planes scheduled for Saturday which had been postponed due to poor weather. They flew in bomber formation over the Pentagon, which was a bit eery, but I’m so glad I got to see it.

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It took a while to get into the metro station, but once we got through a ghost train came and entered service just as it pulled onto the platform – perfect timing.

While I was showering Aaron ordered pizza for us – a wonderful treat after a hard-fought race. We watched the Ravens wallop the Buccs (even as a Raven’s fan that game was hard to watch), then he went home and I napped until my parents came down for dinner. We went to a wonderful tapas place, Jaleo. I highly recommend it in you’re in the DC area (they have several locations) – it’s one of my favorites. We had so many dishes and so much food, but didn’t leave feeling stuffed. And their hazelnut ice cream is to die for. I spent one more night at the hotel and then went home the next morning happy as a clam.

Yesterday I visited my PT to get my legs and hips worked on – because I have another race on Saturday!! Between his massage and the epsom salt bath yesterday, my legs feel about 97% today. Despite a bit of discomfort in my achilles, that makes me feel good about Saturday’s half. Today I went to get my bib, shirt, and packet and tomorrow I rest! *phew*


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Last Track Session Before Army!!

Mental Note: Eat more food.

I haven’t been eating much lately, but not necessarily due to a conscious choice – I just haven’t been hungry (unexpected late-in-the-game bonus – I’ve lost another 4 lbs.).

Tonight’s track workout was supposed to be relatively easy – :20 90% perceived effort, :40 comfortable but hard pace, repeat 20 times. Despite this, I felt like I was dragging the whole time. Legs just felt heavy, joints didn’t feel fluid, the whole shebang. And I got a really weird side-stitch under my right ribs. I never get side stitches, so that was totally out of left field.

I’m not sure what I’m missing nutritionally, but I clearly need to focus more on how I’m fueling myself this week. I’ve only got two more easy workouts before race day and really need to make them count.

What are your favorite race week meals/snacks??