Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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Running in the Rain

It’s funny how something so simple can completely change your day.

Yesterday was a shitty day, for a whole host of reasons. I’ll spare the details (they’re really not all that interesting), but it ended wonderfully.

To try and console myself midday, I turned to a shit ton of sugar. Hey, sugar = carbs, right? Just go with it. At least it was fuel for my track session.

judgmental bitch.

judgmental bitch.

I got to the track extra early – the traffic gods were on my side – said hello to everyone (it’s one of the few times the HM and FM groups have been at the same place at the same time this summer), but mostly kept to myself and waited for our session to get underway. It was sunny and hot, but not humid, when I got there. Not too shabby for the first week of August.

Our workout was simple: 2 miles at HM pace, 5 min of recovery, and 2 miles at 10k pace. I ran the first two or so laps with a guy who has been battling injury, which worked out surprisingly well because it kept me from going out too quick. He fell off after the second or third lap, and I ran the rest of the workout by myself. Usually I prefer to run track workouts with someone, but this was the perfect workout and the perfect night to just run by myself and get lost in the zone.

My target for the HM segment was 10:15 pace, and a 9:45 pace for the 10k segment. And dammit if I wasn’t on target! With negative splits, to boot! *happy dance*

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I was feeling damn good at the end of the session, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Throughout the workout, the clouds moved in, providing us a rare bit of shade on an otherwise scorching track. Just as I was finishing up my cool down, I felt a few little drops of rain. Not surprising – they were calling for scattered showers. I walked out from the track to start my easy jog back, and a few more drops came down; then a few giant, cold drops plunked down on my head. Another 20 seconds – the deluge. It was like being at Brooklyn all over again.

For about 7 minutes it poured so hard I had a hard time keeping my eyes open, but I couldn’t help but smile the entire jog back to the car 🙂 The rain came down so hard that the road began flooding – a perfect excuse to aim my brand new shoes for each and every puddle 🙂

It’s amazing how something as simple as an awesome workout, running in the rain, and splashing in puddles can completely turn around an otherwise craptacular day 🙂

Mother Nature was quite accommodating, though – the rain stopped just as I got back to my car.

running in the rain


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Weekend Wrap up

It’s been a pretty low-key week training-wise for me. I managed to get in about 25 miles, but most of it was indoors due to weather. Typically I crosstrain on Mondays and Wednesdays, doing about an hour of cardio but really focusing on strength training. Our track session Tuesday night was cancelled due to 4 inch wide (yep) hail and a tornado warning. Although I still contend that potential tornado breathing down our necks could’ve motivated us all to our fastest time trials ever 😉 Thursday’s run ended up being moved indoors because of more storms. I need to get better at getting up super early on Thursdays to get some miles in before work (I’m the only person in the office on Thursday mornings, which makes it even more difficult to get the miles in and get showered before we open). Thursdays are so crucial to my training yet somehow always get the short end of the stick.

Saturday was my second long run with my group – we set out for 10 miles on a flat trail. A few weeks ago I ran on this trail, which I really do love, by myself for a much shorter run and it had never felt longer or more torturous; it’s amazing what a difference a few good training partners can make! It seemed to take no time at all this week. It was raining a bit, but the tree canopy mostly protected us from the worst of the rain. We set off at a nice, easy pace, just after 7:00am, and before I knew it we were at the turn around! I nearly forgot about my gel at mile 5 until one of the other people I was running with said they were taking theirs. I know I can do 8 miles without gel, but I’m not sure about 10, so it’s a good thing he said something! It must’ve rained harder than I realized because the trail was much muddier on the return trip than on the outbound trip.

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The best thing about rainy, sweaty runs? The insides of wet socks make surprisingly good rags for wiping the mud off of your legs… Kinda gross, but it worked! 😉

Sunday was the 40th annual Baltimore Women’s Classic. I’ve run it several times in the past (here, here, and here), but decided against it this year as the 5k just doesn’t fit in with my marathon training schedule. In hindsight, my legs felt good enough that I probably could’ve run, but I don’t see any benefit (but more than a few risks) in truly racing a 5k at this point. So instead I played sherpa for my mom and a friend of my parents. 🙂

The morning air was pleasantly chilly and it was overcast before the race, but the sun ended up coming out just in time for the start. Having run this race in some miserable weather, I know just how much of a difference sun vs. clouds can make.

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If I had been thinking (you know, something that’s just not on the menu when I wake up at 5:00am two weekend-days in a row), I should’ve brought my DSLR camera, but the iPhone was the best I could do on sleepy brain cells.

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Just after the race started, my dad and I planed ourselves down at the finish line area. It’s so amazing to see the first finishers of the race. I wish that I could know what that feels like just once (hell, I’d even take running their pace for 100m!). The top 20 women ran the gamut of age and size, but they – and all of the finishers – were awesome. It was hot standing there cheering, so I can only imaging how hot it must’ve been out on the course.

My parents’ friend came in just under 31 minutes and won her age group! Did I mention she just had a pacemaker installed, a double mastectomy, and chemo 6 weeks ago? Seriously – what’s your excuse?

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My mom beat her 5k PR by 19 seconds and set a new personal course record by over 3 minutes! Woohoo!! *happy dance*

IMG_0949Later on Sunday, after a good, long nap, my dad and I went to check out a condo for me. I had been hoping to move this summer (I’ve been living with my parents for the last two years), but it’s looking less and less likely. All winter and spring there were gobs of really great condos on the market; now that I’m ready to plunk down some cash for a place, they’ve all taken their balls and decided to play somewhere else. The condo we looked at was the ideal layout and neighborhood, but the location of it wasn’t great (right next to a pool and a main road). It was the second time I looked at this unit, knowing it probably wasn’t going to be right for me because of the location, but I was hoping something would’ve won me over. Instead, we just found more dings against it. *sigh* Back to square one.

I still have one question mark of a race lingering on my summer calendar – the Dreaded Druid Hills. I know I really want to run it, but I’m trying to figure out where it fits in with training. I know we’ll be taking a cutback week the following week (for the Charles St. 12 Miler), which leads me to believe we’ll have a big long run the week of the DDH. Training for a longer race is really forcing me to reevaluate all of my usual races! But I think that’s a good problem to have 😉

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Disappointing Long Run

Sometimes, no matter how jazzed you are about a run, the floor just falls out. Today was one of those days.

I had planned to run 14 miles today, which would’ve made it my longest run ever. When I got to the store to meet the group, no one planned on going over 5 or 6 miles (most people are running their target half marathon today or next week, and there’s a big 5k tomorrow). I checked in with the marathon group, and the few of them that showed up were only going 10-12 miles, which would be close enough, so I set off with a group of them. Well, their pace was about 9:45-10:00, which is just a bit too fast for me for a long run, and I faded pretty quickly, especially on the hills. Not terribly surprising considering how little outdoor running I’ve done in recent weeks…

Fortunately, I did manage to get in close to 7 miles, despite the cold, bone-chilling rain. It was 42, but my legs were just as red after the run as they are after an 18 degree run. I can’t be too upset, because I did get some mileage in, but it really was a disappointing day. Hopefully the next two weeks will be more enjoyable and successful.

hardcore rainy run


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Hilly Rainy Run

you get wet

And get wet we did… Tonight was a rainy hill run kind of night. It wasn’t too bad, though, because it was 50 degrees out. Woohoo!

Our group looked like a roving Christmas light display, glowing and blinking as we weaved through the neighborhood in all of our neon, reflective glory.

We weren’t out there long – only did about 3.2 miles – but it was fun none the less. Well, until I stepped in a deep puddle on the way home. Whatev. We all get bragging rights for running hills in the dark, when it’s raining, the day before Christmas. 🙂


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Spring has sprung!

Happy Spring!

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One of the best and worst parts of running in the spring is running in the rain! If it’s hot out, it can feel fantastic; if it’s cold out, it can be miles and miles of torture. Although it certainly doesn’t feel like spring around here, check out these simple tips for running in the rain! April showers are just around the corner… 🙂