Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


Leave a comment

Choosing your first marathon

So you’ve decided to run a marathon, huh? Awesome! First hard decision – done!

Second hard decision – which marathon???

to finish a marathon

There are so many marathons in this country, let alone other countries, in any given year that it can seem incredibly daunting to pick just one!

Admittedly, I’m not expert on this subject, but as I look towards choosing my first marathon, here are the criteria that I am weighing:

1) Crowd Support. This one’s huge for me. I’ve learned through countless races large and small that I NEED crowd support in order to get through long mileage. This was most evident to me this fall when comparing my experiences are Army and Baltimore. I loved the start/finish atmosphere of Army, but the lack of crowd out on the course was excruciating for me. There’s a wonderful little marathon nearby that runs on a mostly-flat trail, but there are maybe 5 spectators outside of the start/finish area; unfortunately, that knocks it out of contention for my first.

2) Ease of access/transit. Also huge. I am not a morning person – I am not going to get up at 2:00am (voluntarily…) to drive two hours to get to a marathon. I need one where I can stay nearby and which has easy parking or public transit options. Because of possible international travel at the end of 2015, I also need to consider…

3) Cost of getting to and from the race. Would I LOVE to do a fantastic destination race, a la the London or Sydney Marathon? Absolutely! And I am all for combining a race and vacation, but costs to add up. Hotel? Airfare? Parking? Eating out? $$$ Like I said, this is particularly pressing because of a possible international trip shortly after marathon season, but regardless it’s something that really does need to factor in to the calculus.

4) Course. Love hills? Hate Hills? Do your hips ache at the thought of running 26.2 long, flat miles? Very personal choice, but extremely important. I love hills, but I don’t want to run a super-hilly first marathon (I want to have a good experience, after all). But I also know flat courses at the beach can be boring as sin.

5) Location. Running a marathon in the south during the winter sounds awesome until you remember that you’ll be training in colder-than-cold winter weather. For me it’s important to find a race where the climate will be similar enough to what I’m training in or can reasonable adapt to. I’d rather runner a race in a colder climate than my training than a warmer climate, but only because I know my body adapts easier to cold than heat and humidity. I’m going to be out there for 5-6 hours, so I know that no matter what time the race starts, I’ll likely be running during the hottest part of the day – definitely not something you want to leave out of the equation! Hopefully you’ve played around with this and had some trial-and-error experiences with shorter races and know in what conditions you run your best.

6) Race Amenities. You want me to fork over how much for a race? I expect a little something in return. Good porta-potty availabilities, good quality swag, frequent water/medical stops on course, top-notch medical team, well-organized start line, easy post-race runners’ village (major points are lost if I hear about runners having to stand around for long times to get their blankets, medals, and/or food and drink). Speaking of…

7) Cost of Race Entry. Yeah, it’s a marathon, it’s going to be expensive. But there’s expensive and there’s EXPENSIVE (like NYC and Disney expensive). We all have a threshold of what we consider reasonable – know it and own it. And yes, it’s relatively subjective based on the previous criteria.

8) Friend/Family/Run Group Support. For some people, this is way up on the list. For me though, no amount of friend/family support can bolster up a hot, humid race on a flat road with no shade and no crowd support.

I think I’ve narrowed down my list, mostly constricted by overall cost this year, but I’m still weighing the options. I have time to figure it out, but I also need to get moving on this decision because before you know it spring will be here. I’m planning on putting my name in the hat for NYC, but I know that the odds are not in my favor and need a back-up plan or two.

What criteria did you use when choosing your first marathon? Did I leave anything important off of the list?? 


1 Comment

Race Recap: YMCA Turkey Trot (and Thanksgiving)

Although I decided to sit out the Philly Half this past Sunday, this week wasn’t a total loss running-wise. Last week I was given the opportunity to run in the YMCA’s annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot on a complementary entry from a local chapter of Rotary International, one of the race’s sponsors, and I jumped as soon as I heard about it.

I haven’t run a Turkey Trot since 2008, when I ran at one of the YMCA’s other locations. Unlike that one, which began in a parking lot, this one began and ended at the Y, which has a really nice facility – meaning we got to wait around inside rather than outside. My dad is a Rotary member and was manning their table, so we got there super early, making the warm, indoor facilities all that much more appreciated!

I wasn’t terribly impressed with the last Turkey Trot I did (which is why I hadn’t come back since), but this one was so much better – nice, warm facilities, food and drink before and after the race, a great course, and just a really good atmosphere. There were about 2,500 participants, roughly 1,300 of which were in the timed race. Having been out of commission for the last 5 weeks I had no goals going into this – I just wanted to have a good time and not re-injure myself. I started uncharacteristically close to the beginning, mainly out of an attempt to avoid strollers and little kids.

20141127_083429

The first mile was flat-to-downhill and a number of people whizzed past me while I just ran my own race. Of course, I was passing many of them, walking or whining that they were tired (mostly kids, but surprisingly not exclusively…), by the time we hit 1/4 mile. The downhill portion was one of the steeper downhills I’ve run and was covered in wet leaves, so I focused on keeping my footing, which helped the mile fly by. I didn’t know it at the time, but I maintained a 9:43 pace for the first mile.

The second mile was a long, slow uphill. I knew I wasn’t going to be as strong on it as I would’ve been a month or two ago, but I pushed through it, knocking off more and more participants. I did have to stop and walk for less than a .1 mile at one point because my lungs were beginning to hurt (they haven’t had time to acclimate to the cold, dry air), but other than that I ran the whole race. I lost approximately 25-30 seconds by walking, finishing mile 2 in 10:35. Mile three was rolling hills to a slight downhill finish.

Just about a 1/4 mile before the end I got a sharp side stitch, but there was no way I was going to walk then. I rounded the corner and was shocked to see the finish clock: NEW PR!! Not too shabby for having been injured and not running for over a month. My official time was 31:27.6. 🙂

20141127_090619

After the race I got myself half a bagel with cream cheese and some water and hung around for the awards ceremony before making our way home.

Photo Nov 27, 9 30 47 AM Photo Nov 27, 9 36 37 AM

Because they had been calling for up to 4-8″ of wet, heavy snow on Wednesday afternoon/evening, my mom and I cooked the turkey (based on this recipe) and roasted potatoes on Wednesday. We didn’t want a repeat of the turkey power-outtage incident from a few years ago! (We had the bird in the oven when the power went out. When it didn’t come back on we loaded the turkey, in it’s roasting pan, into the back of my car and drove it 40 minutes to my friend’s apartment downtown, only to find out after almost 2 hours of cooking that her oven wasn’t getting hot enough to actually cook it. We then reloaded the bird back into my car and went home after getting word that our power had returned). Luckily, the forecast was off and we only got about 2″ of snow, most of which melted as it laid on the ground. We had some crab dip and brie for appetizers, then reheated the turkey and potatoes and cooked everything else.

IMG_8163 2

IMG_8165

It was just me and my parents, so it was a very low-key, but very good, dinner.

It seems like nearly everyone ran a turkey trot yesterday – so how did yours go? How was your Thanksgiving?
I hope everyone had an enjoyable, happy Thanksgiving!! 


Leave a comment

Race Day Eve!!

IMG_7639.PNG
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!

IMG_7645.JPG
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.

IMG_7632.JPG

IMG_7626.JPG

IMG_7629.JPG

IMG_7630.JPG
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!!

IMG_7641.PNG


3 Comments

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.

Photo Oct 10, 12 25 52 PM

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??

Photo Oct 10, 6 09 45 PM (1)

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.

Photo Oct 09, 5 11 00 PM         Photo Oct 11, 1 35 39 PM

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.

Photo Oct 12, 6 04 59 AM Photo Oct 12, 6 05 28 AM

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.

Photo Oct 12, 7 01 02 AM

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.

Photo Oct 12, 7 12 26 AM

Those little dots are the parachuters

Photo Oct 12, 7 18 38 AM

Photo Oct 12, 7 13 38 AM

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.

Photo Oct 12, 10 27 18 AM

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.

Photo Oct 12, 11 16 08 AM Photo Oct 12, 11 16 36 AM Photo Oct 12, 11 16 46 AM

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*


2 Comments

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.

Photo Sep 28, 6 45 06 AM

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

Photo Sep 28, 11 12 57 AM

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.

Photo Sep 28, 8 01 19 AM

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.


5 Comments

Too Hot to Trot 10k – Race Report!

I was supposed to work out tonight but honestly, I just don’t feel like it. Usually it’s best just to push through and work out anyway, but I know it’s just going to lead to frustration tonight. Sometimes you just have to count your losses and move on.

However, I refuse to be totally useless tonight, so I will at least update my blog 🙂 

I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures – I’m no longer taking my phone with me on races and accompanied long runs as it’s just added weight on my wrist. 

Yesterday was the Too Hot to Trot 10k race, a low-key race held by the local Road Runners club. As it’s always held in mid-August in the mid-Atlantic, the name is usually pretty apt, but yesterday was anything but too hot to trot! It was quite chilly – 59, actually. My first goal going into this race was to not aggravate my hip or leg. Second was to PR in some capacity. Third was sub-1:07:00.

The day didn’t start out well. Even though my mom was super kind and let me sleep in their room, the quiet room in the house, I slept horribly because the neighbor’s kids had a party in which several high schoolers insisted on yelling in the street about how much beer they still had to drink, in the way that only pathetic drunks do. Classy, folks, real classy.  

Then I woke up with a stomach that refused to play nice. Eventually though I got myself out the door and my stomach settled down once I got some power bar chews in me. Registration was held the morning of the race and cost a whopping $2! If only all races could be that cheap.

I’m still not used to going to races by myself – my ex went with me to every single one until we separated – but I ran in to some people I knew, so it made me feel much more comfortable.

The race, which is an out and back, is held on the local rail trail, about a ¼ mile walk along a country road from the registration site. The walk was a nice warm up, although it didn’t really warm me up much. Shortly after I got there we lined up, had a quick schpeal from the race director, and we were off! I pity the biker coming north on the trail towards that tidal wave of runners….

I started out slow, knowing that my legs were still a bit cold, but settled into a comfortable pace about 1/4 mile out once the crowd had dispersed a bit and pretty much held with the same group of people near me most of the way. I am trying to get out of the habit of looking at my Garmin while running, but snuck and peak and was quite happy with the pace I was holding – low 10s.

Mile 1 came in just over 10:00, and feeling pretty confident, I went into cruise mode to take advantage of the slight downhill. Mile 2 came around and – whoa! – 9:49! “Uh oh, don’t get overly confident now, this is a 10k, not a 5k.” I slowly passed a 10 year old who was certainly holding his own.

Before I knew it we were at the big open bridge, which meant the turnaround was just up ahead. I snuck a look at my Garmin and pushed ahead, trying to see if I could break a 30:00 5k. I passed another woman just as the turn around came into view. Apparently the woman now in front of me had the same idea, because I could hear her yell out “argh!” just as my Garmin ticked over the 30:00 – and the turnaround was still a couple yards away. I made it to the turn around in 30:30 – a damn impressive PR for me, nonetheless!

Knowing the second half was slightly uphill, I expected my times to slow a few seconds, but allowed myself to think about my dream PR – 1:02:xx. Pushing back up towards the big open bridge I ran along side, and then slowly passed, a woman who had to be in her 70s – I hope I still move that fast when I’m her age! – and settled in behind a woman in a pink tank. Mile 4 was a bit slower, but the woman in the pink tank and I got back into a rhythm for mile 5. I almost passed her at one point, running along side her, but I think she just used that as fodder to push harder, so I fell back a few steps behind her. I hit 5 miles in 48:47, an “official” race PR by nearly 12 minutes, and 5 minutes faster than anything I have done in training this season.

The last mile was here and we both kept the tempo going, getting slightly but noticeably quicker as the finish line got closer. By 5.5 miles she had picked up the pace just a bit more than I could and stayed about 30 feet ahead of me.

At 6 miles I checked my Garmin one last time and pushed the pace into uncomfortable territory – the unheard of goal was sitting there, teasing me. 60 minutes.

I coaxed my legs into upping the cadence just a bit, but at 6.1 my hip pulled rank and I had to pull the pack back briefly. As I came around the bend though, I could hear the finish line and began pushing again – and then I saw the finish line. The clock was just coming up to 1 hour. But I was just a bit too far away. I took a deep breath and gave it all I got, telling my hip to shut up for just a few more seconds on the condition that it could yell at me all it wanted to later. As I crossed the line, I looked up to the official clock on the side of the trail and smiled.

1:00:30.

I have no idea how I did it. I would have been ecstatic with 1:06:xx. But 1 hour?!? Wow. Just wow. I still don’t think that has sunk in yet. 

It was just last week that I had my first long run miles in sub-10:00 territory, and today I managed a race pace of 9:45. Unreal.

After the race I had a quick snack and caught up with one of my half marathon training partners and met some of his friends and then caught up with an old friend of mine from high school, who was there with her toddler, still in her jammies, in the running stroller.

I saw some people on the side and thought they were smoking, which kinda peeved me a bit – but then I realized, they weren’t smoking. They were steaming! It was so cold, and they were so hot from running, that they were steaming sitting there.

We all hung around for the awards and then called it a day – it was just getting too chilly to hang around much longer. 

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better morning.

Although the amazingly delicious Lebanese dinner my mom and I had downtown last night was an equally perfect way to end the day 😉


4 Comments

So I did a little thinking…

After careful consideration and lots of advice from family, friends, and the amazing online running community (and, let’s face it, a smidgeon of peer pressure from my running group), I’ve decided to run the Baltimore Half again this year!

I really do think my legs can handle it this year, I just have to be extra vigilant in my training – I’m looking at you, Blerch.

But rather than just running the half (ha, right?) I’ve decided to give it extra meaning. This year I am running the Baltimore Half Marathon in honor of Back on My Feet. I fundraced with them back in 2012 and had a great experience – plus I truly do believe in their mission and work. It’s easy to get annoyed by the homeless people asking for money on the streets or think that they’re just lazy, but let’s face it – many of these people were are just like us. We all have setbacks, sometimes we bounce back from them and sometimes we don’t; sometimes they pile up and seem impossible to overcome. Some of these people never had  the support mechanisms in place to build them up while others have lost sight of that; regardless, the people who come to Back on My Feet want to change themselves and I believe that we should all support those who want to better themselves.

Please consider helping me in my mission to raise $1,800 for Back on My Feet by October – this is what it costs for them to not only clothe the resident members and get them running, but helps pay for housing, education, and job training. This isn’t a free handout – the residential members are expected to show up, be accountable, and maintain a positive attitude. More importantly, though, it’s a means to self-esteem and self-worth, and that’s invaluable.