Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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When Everything Clicks

Today’s run was AWESOME.

As awful as last weekend’s run was, as horrible as the asthma attack was on Tuesday – this was that awesome and then some. Well, except for that early wakeup call thing. That wasn’t so awesome (nor was the infomercial I suffered through until the local news came on at 5:00am).

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Last night’s blue moon was still hanging around this morning – which was extra spectacular when the sun rose opposite of it.

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We were at the super hilly reservoir, which as much as we all like to bitch about it, is really quite ideal for training for the Baltimore Marathon. No better way to train for a hilly race than to run on hills courses! 🙂

After last week’s near-bonk, I made sure to pay extra close attention to how I ate this week and reevaluated my fueling plan for the long run. So basically I spent all day yesterday shoving any and all carbs into my face.

Despite the five blisters I picked up in DC on Thursday, I laced up my third pair of new shoes (Asics Gel Kayanos), filled my hydration pack to the brim, and off we went! Jennie was still a bit stiff from her training this week and I was more than happy to keep a slower pace so we could get through this run in one piece. Around mile 3 we saw a bald eagle soaring over the reservoir – so pretty 🙂  The hills are coming more and more easily, though they’re not easy just yet.

The new shoes felt really great, except for my left forefoot. I get this odd pain there, something I’ve been dealing with for as long as I can remember. It was noticeable on the uphills, but not on the downhills. I’m going in for a running evaluation this week, so I’m interested in picking their brains as to why this is.

Because of the length of our run, we did two passes of the reservoir. On the second pass, I switched out my shoes and put my old Brooks PureCadences on – instantaneous relief for my forefoot. Not so great for the achilles… but I’ve got to pick my battles.

We took the second set of hills in stride, making sure to hydrate early and often, and keeping up with our fueling strategy. Towards the end of the run, I actually started to feel hungry – which is why I brought along a Honey Stinger to try out! They’re not half bad – but they are a bit dry, which made getting it down more entertaining than I really ought to have been… Once that was down, we tackled the last hill pass. Bad choice. Problem a) my stomach isn’t used to solid food on the run. Problem b) when you run hard, your stomach gets last dibs on blood. After the first hill I had to walk for a quick bit to let things calm down, but then was fine for the rest of the run.

I didn’t want to jinx it by saying it out loud, but I felt amazingly good during the run. So much so that I added a little extra distance to my 16 miler – and did 16.25 miles! My longest run yet!! *happy dance*

IMG_1362I remember – not that long ago – when I struggled to hit 16 miles in a week. Talk about progress.

find your strong

So now I rest, have a good lunch, and take a nice long nap. I’m calling today a success. 😀

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Midweek Recap

So it’s been a fun week 🙂

Sunday they announced what the finishers’ medals will look like at Baltimore this year

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Monday night our moonflowers bloomed – they only bloom after dark and last only one day, but they’re totally worth it.

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Tuesday I went back to The Hill with my group, but had an asthma attack during the warm up (damn you, recently cut field) and missed all but the last 20 minutes – at least I got to walk up the hill a few times. Honestly, my walk wasn’t all that much slower than most people’s run, the hill is just that brutal).

And I got to see a field of sunflowers 🙂

IMG_1341Yesterday my GMBA classmates and I had a little mini reunion – almost exactly 5 years to the date from when we all first met at orientation 🙂 The best part? I got to see my friend Annie, who has been living and working in Nigeria, for the first time in two years. 🙂

11218754_10106024734700229_1578607887126787706_n 11781890_10106023033833779_7516250121748814150_nAnd today I got to down to DC for a friend’s Ambassadorial nomination hearing. How cool is that??


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The last weekend in July…

I swear the summer just started… how is the end of July already?? ☀️ I’m not ready for this.

Thursday night I took a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires out for a test run around the track. Despite not being sure about them while standing (they hit my ankle bone), they felt surprisingly good. I did 3×1600 in them, one at a warm up pace, one at a speedy pace, and one at an easy pace and they felt good in all three conditions. Seeing as they passed the first test, I decided to hold on to them for Saturday’s long run.

Yesterday we set out for 14 miles – my third time at this distance. I loaded up my hydration vest with 3 16.9 oz bottles of water and three Gus (I always like to have at least one extra on hand) and off we went. The run felt pretty good through the first couple of miles. The hill work is clearly paying off because the hills on the course weren’t so bad. We stopped at mile 5 to Gu and watch a few rabbits chase each other through a yard, and then crossed the main road that divides our zip code. We weaved our way through some neighborhoods, and then decided to wing it a bit – the route sheet had us going back up the road we take out from the store, something none of us wanted to do. As we came upon an elementary school, I noticed that my vest was getting light (and the group water tanks were getting low) so we ran around the school looking for a water fountain; we found two, but both were turned off. Luckily my running partners are more well prepared than I – we stopped at a convenience store for water. Lesson learned – always carry cash or a credit card.

Just before we stopped, around mile 9, I had commented on how great the run felt. Apparently the universe wanted nothing to do with that. As the clock approached 10:00am, the sun was getting noticeably hotter and shade was becoming more and more scarce. Almost the entire last 4 miles were in the direct sun; we hopped between shady spots as often as possible, but that only helped so much. I didn’t fall apart, but I didn’t feel good. I had a hard time finishing, but we all cheered each other on and did our best.

I followed my usual fueling plan before and during the run, but I just felt so drained – and unusually hungry after the run. I’m sure the sun had something to do with it, but it wasn’t all that hot or humid out. I’m going to try a few fueling strategy this upcoming week (16 miles!) – I picked up some Honey Stingers and I’m also going to pack some stroopwafles (which I hear the guys on the Tour de France love for fuel on the go) and see if they help out any. Carbs the day before also need to be upped. Either way, after I cleaned up and chatted with some group members, I made a beeline for Dunkin Donuts and did some damage to a turkey cheddar bacon flatbread. Healthy? Not so much. But it’s got carbs and protein and is super yum.

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Unfortunately I also found out that my Garmin had broken 😦 The band half popped off.

IMG_1290I’ve been told that Garmin’s customer support is pretty good, so I’m going to call them first thing tomorrow morning.

I had planned on going to a picnic yesterday afternoon, but I got home so late and was just so zonked that I fell asleep and didn’t even make it into the shower until after 2:00pm…

This morning I woke up earlyish (okay not really but I sleep like a log after these long runs) and took my mom out to my favorite hill! She’s running a race in mid-September that ends on a pretty sizable uphill. I had her run .75 mi on flat trail, then 3 repeats up the hill. She did a whole lot better than I expected! That’s a tough hill! And it was her first time on a real hill.

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I should’ve been meaner, though – she made fun of my compression socks 😦

IMG_1294I think she’s just jealous.

How was your weekend? 
Has this summer absolutely flown by for you, too?? 


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Long Run Saturday!

Good morning, sunshine!

Good morning, sunshine!

As if Tuesday’s hill workout wasn’t enough torture, we hit up the reservoir for 14 hilly miles this morning. I love running at the reservoir and was super excited about this – my legs even stopped hurting just in time!

I even rewarded my legs with a squishy new pair of shoes this morning 🙂

Christmas continues

Christmas continues

It wasn’t the easiest run, but it wasn’t as hard as I was expecting. My legs felt heavy but I was able to power through all of the hills (and there were a lot of them!). I’m really enjoying the feeling of strong quads.

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“You want to run through here? That’s nice.”

Immediately after the run I drove back to the store, where they had PTs available for us this morning. My achilles and ankle have been bugging me for a while, even though they’ve been feeling better lately thanks to my mom’s massages, and I just started getting some pressure in my left tibia again this week, so I definitely wanted to make sure I got to see them. They’re concerned with the achilles and ankle because it’s been so persistent and are worried about the pressure in my tibia. I may head back to PT – if nothing else, for the ability to use the AlterG. I am going to be a good girl and take it easy this upcoming week. I’ve already run 57 miles this month 😮 Any rest at this point will only pay off in the long run, not harm me. Last year I had a similar issue with some pressure in my tibia and I took a week or so off, which lead to the discomfort going away. I’m hoping some rest will do the same this year. Wish me luck…


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About Last Night’s (Killer) Hills…

When I got the email outlining this week’s workouts (something I always look forward to – I’m such a nerd), I was in for a bit of a surprise. Hills. Lots of hills. Not just a hill workout, but a hill workout AND a long run on a very hill course. Oy.

Runner Resting with Hands on Knees --- Image by © Bernd Vogel/Corbis

Runner Resting with Hands on Knees — Image by © Bernd Vogel/Corbis

Not gonna lie – I kinda started to come up with reasons why I should skip Tuesday’s hill workout. My achilles hurts. My ankle’s been bugging me. My achilles feels good. My legs feel good. I got vertigo last year. It’s going to be hot.

But you know what sucks more than this hill? Running hills alone.

You know what’s awesome? Killing hills together!

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See that little while speck at the top of the hill? Yeah, that’s not the top of the hill – that’s like the halfway point.

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*Sarah Palin voice* I can see Pennsylvania from the top! (not really, but almost… kinda)

Last year I had a horrible time with this hill and it made my already grumpy leg ache even more. This year? Piece of cake! Well, no, not really. More like a piece of liver. But still – it was a hell of a lot less torturous than last year! I had no vertigo, just a little bit of an asthma attack (the heat and humidity were atrocious), and made it all the way to the top 6 times 🙂 It only workout to be about 1.9 miles total, but holy moley was it a hard 1.9 miles! Even going downhill was a challenge – my feet kept slipping around inside my shoes, making it hard to feel like I had a good footing with each step.

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This hill is so bad ass that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis used to come up here to run sprints up it for his workouts. Of course, he did it carrying logs (show off). This hill may not help us win a Super Bowl ring, but it will sure making those hills in October seem that much easier (plus we’ll all have killer calves and asses 😉 )

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I may just have to come back up and tackle this one again on my own sometime. 😉

My calves and glutes are definitely feeling this workout today. I’m looking forward to a nice, easy workout tonight with a whole lot of core and upper body work – need to get these legs good and recovered to power up that dam hill on Saturday!


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Hill Run

You know what’s amazing?

It was warm enough on tonight’s run for me to be accosted by gnats!! *cues the choir of angels* I never thought I’d be so happy to see gnats. Seriously.

🌷🌷 Spring really is here!! 🌷🌷

I skipped my half group’s hill run on Tuesday because of my achey achilles, but decided to join my mom’s 10k group tonight as they were doing the exact same workout. My achilles gave me some attitude on the first hill run, but it started playing (mostly) nice after that.

Screenshot 2015-04-02 23.00.51I’m quite pleased with my performance tonight 🙂 It’s not much, but it felt good.

And when I got back to the store, I got to see this:

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After last weekend’s race, I looked back through my training log and aside from too many runs being derailed due to snow and ice, I think my biggest problem is that too many of my cross training sessions and mid-week runs are only about 1 hour/5-6 miles. I’ve gotten too comfortable at that mid-distance. I’m planning on adding at least one cross training session or mid-week run of about 8 miles in order to get myself in a better position for Brooklyn. I don’t want to feel at Brooklyn the way I felt on Saturday. I don’t want to feel anywhere the way I felt on Saturday ever again.

This Saturday I’m planning on (finally!) joining my spring half marathon group for the first time! I’m thinking an easy 5-7 mile run, depending on how my achilles feels when I wake up. I’m a bit nervous about a new group – because that means I need to find new running partners – but I’m really looking forward to it!


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Hilly 8 Miler

I apologize for the abnormally short post – I’m super exhausted. It’s been a long day and I’ve had more nights of poor sleep this week than I’ve had in a while.

Being so-not-a-morning person, early training runs are difficult for me, especially in the winter, but sunrises like this morning’s make it all worth it 🙂

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crappy picture, gorgeous sunrise

Today was long run day and we hit up our favorite hilly route around the reservoir. Although there were a number of groups there, it felt unusually empty.

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J, a girl who was also in the fall training group with me, and I planned on 8 miles, tackling the biggest hills first. I successfully crested all three of the major hills without stopping – something I am very proud of 🙂 It just occurred to me the other week that Dreaded Druid Hills is only 4 months away and I’ve been slacking on my hill training, so this made me very happy.

We saw some people fly fishing in the water below the dam and a number of people birdwatching along the road. We were pleasantly surprised to see a bald eagle perched in one of the trees on our return trip! I had no idea we had bald eagles around here and this was only the second time I’ve ever seen one.

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The hills aggravated my achilles so I’ve been alternating ice and heat all evening. I have another run, much shorter though, with another training group tomorrow morning, so I’m doing whatever I can to get it ready for that.

The only down side to running with two groups? No more sleeping in on the weekends. With that, I’m off to watch some tv and hit the hay early. Have a good weekend, everyone!