Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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Winter’s winding down…

I can’t believe winter training is over already! Despite the cold and the blizzard it went by so quickly…

Tonight was our final workout and it was a perfect night for it. We got to celebrate the great races and PRs of those who ran at Rock ‘n Roll DC this past weekend (Jennie slashed 3 minutes off of hers!) and got to see the sunset from the track for the first time since the fall.

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Tonight we did 400s at 15 sec faster than HM pace and 800s alternating between HM race pace and 15 sec faster than race pace – and my 800s averaged 8:59 🙂 Even though my HM goal pace is only 10:00… whoops! It felt surprisingly good to push even though I was expecting a bit of an easier evening. Rebecca pushed me and I’m glad she did. You don’t get better by staying in your comfort zone 🙂

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I am so over winter.

The end of February means the end of brutally cold long runs, right? Right?? *sigh* a girl can dream…

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Saturday was long run day here in Baltimore 🙂 We met downtown and, in between bone-chilling wind gusts, were treated to gorgeous views of the frozen Inner Harbor. This is only the second time that I’ve seen this much of the harbor freeze (last year being the first time).

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Much of the Promenade was bone dry for us, but in more than a few locations our long run turned into an obstacle run as not all venues had cleared the snow away sufficiently (I’m talking to you, Pier Five Hotel and Bond Street Warf) or at all (that marina down by Aliceana and Boston).

Because of all the walking tip-toeing we had to do over these icy patches, we decided to take a more direct route home, avoiding many of these icy bits and instead continuing our run all the way down to Under Armour before heading back. Post-run Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate has never tasted so good.

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It was painfully cold, but it was a 11.1 mile run. I ran with J, one of my usual running partners this winter, as well as two other women and we just really had a great time being out there. This was the first time one of the women had run this long and she easily smashed it. Because I missed my long run outdoors last week I planned on taking this one a bit slower than usual and that strategy paid off – I had no achilles discomfort during the run or for the rest of the weekend.

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(The mileage doesn’t add up because I paused my Garmin to take a photo in the second mile and forgot to restart it until it threatened to go into power-save mode 5 minutes and .45 mi later 😣)

With the end of February that means that my first half of the year is just 4 weeks away and I couldn’t be more pleased with where my training stands right now. I don’t want to jinx it just yet, as I still have two more long runs (12.5 and 14, I hope) left, but I really think things are lining up for a great spring racing season 🙂

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That’s particularly impressive given this horrible winter we’ve been having. My 5k training group has cancelled nearly every training session due to weather or brutal cold (which worked out well for me while I was away on vacation!) and my half group has cancelled more than a few sessions as we hit the height of our mileage. I’ve been doing my best to get in quality indoor miles and keep my strength training up, but also make the most of any and all outdoor miles without doing too much.

Do you have any early spring races coming up? How has this winter affected your training? Are you feeling confident going into the spring racing season? 

Anyone get into NYC?? 


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Cold Night at the Track

I truly never thought I’d be excited about or calling 30 degrees warm, but it was a good night to be at the track.

We did 3×1200 repeats at tempo pace. Based on last year’s race results, that should be somewhere around a 10:00 min mile.

Well, it was supposed to be at tempo pace. Apparently I still suck at pacing.

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The difference in the net time per repeat and the pace was because I started out in lane 6, then moved to lane 3-4, and ended in lane 2.

It was probably a bit harder than I should have been doing – I could feel my mouth getting thick with lactic acid and had to walk at least a portion of each recovery lap – but overall it felt surprisingly good. It didn’t feel like an 8:20 pace. I don’t think I could’ve kept it up for 2-3 miles nonstop, but it’s nice to feel like I’m heading in the right direction. Maybe that sub-30:00 5k is in my future after all…

My knees felt surprisingly good considering how awful they look. I took an extra day of rest yesterday because they were still achey and stiff, which seems to have been a good call. My achilles was still tight but didn’t give me any trouble on the run (wish I could say the same about afterwards, however).

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On the bright side – we’re in the home stretch to spring! No, not because of some grumpy rodent – because daylight saving time starts in just over a month!! We spring forward here in the States on March 8th!! *happy dance* Although I’m really rooting for the warmth of spring, I’ll happily accept more daylight hours as a consolation prize.


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Outdoor Long Run!

It’s been a few weeks, but I FINALLY got a full-length long run in outside! It was a brutally cold 18 degrees and super windy along the water but totally worth it.

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All of Charm City Run’s groups met at the downtown location this morning. As much as I dislike running downtown (it’s so far away and the brick aggravates my achilles), it’s always so great to see so many runners along the waterfront.

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This week was a cutback week for us, but I was on a mission – I needed to get 9.37 miles in today in order to get my first 100+ mile month ever.

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I started off more or less by myself but picked up with some marathoners from the Annapolis store. Once I warmed up enough to not notice the cold (as much), it was a really nice day for a run. My pace was pretty comfortable and mostly in the lower 10s/upper 9s, even though it didn’t feel that fast.

I turned around in Canton when the Annapolis ladies stopped to gel up. In my 5th mile, the Promenade changed from brick to wood planks, like a boardwalk. Well, one of those planks was bowed up – and dammit if my toe didn’t catch it. I tried to stop the fall, but my legs were too cold for me to pull them high enough and yep, I ate it. Hard. When I stopped sliding forward, I hopped up, made sure my Nike Flash jacket wasn’t totally destroyed (which, surprisingly, barely had a mark on it!), dusted myself off, and kept going. The only thing I felt at the time were the scratches on my hand, which had sweat pouring in to them.

Down for less than 20 seconds and didn't even pause the Garmin!

Down for less than 20 seconds and didn’t even pause the Garmin!

The return trip was a bit lonely, as I turned around after the half marathoners but before the full marathoners, but there were so many other runners out there so I was never truly alone.

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My achilles were definitely a bit angry with me for doing such a long run on the brick, but I felt really great right up until the last mile. This was totally unexpected because I haven’t been on the road much lately.

When I got back to the store I immediately changed into some dry clothes and was able to survey the damage from my fall. My knees and hip are scuffed and bruised – I swear I can watch the bruise grow – but thankfully my clothes came out unscathed. Whaddaya know, running really can screw up your knees 😛

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The other great thing about these big group runs? Free brekkie when we get back 🙂 Bagels are good, but free, 10-mile bagels are awesome.


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Winter Weather Blues

I finally made peace with the cold. I have lots of warm layers to bundle up in when it’s cold, vaseline for my face, mittens large enough for a small animal to live in… But this snow/sleet/ice nonsense is for the birds!

Last weekend I was supposed to run 8 miles, which worked out perfectly because the RR club had an 8 mile race planned for Sunday! So rather than running with my training group on Saturday, I planned to run on Sunday. I got up, got dressed, rolled out, and headed out at 7:45am. I stopped in town at 8:00am to use the restroom before heading to the start area (there are no bathrooms there and I do not squat in bushes) and just happened to check my phone – to find out that the race had been cancelled, along with tons of warnings to stay home because of ice.

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Ice? What ice? It wasn’t even raining where I was. Well, if you saw the news last weekend, you know what ice. I turned around and headed home (barely hit any ice but it was apparently a nightmare everywhere else – glad I stopped and checked my phone or else I would’ve been stranded like so many people were). No long run for me.

Tuesday I got out for a great track session, but because I had tweaked my achilles a bit at last week’s track session, I took it easy and just did the minimum workout. Either way, it was a great workout – each of my 800s was below an 8:30 pace!! Holy moley! And I thought I had held back my pace, too…

Today I decided to go out for an easy run because *dun dun dunnn* more snow is coming in tonight! One of my mom’s coworkers said the trail was fine, but he must’ve been there before Wednesday afternoon’s snow moved in because the trail was anything but fine! *sadface* I made it .2 mi before I decided it was just going to be a slushy, slippery, frustrating act in futility.

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THANKFULLY, though, my Yaktrax came today!! Not in time to get my run in, but I can’t wait to try them out on Sunday! We’re supposed to get some snow and ice overnight (in fact, it just started snowing), so I’m probably not going to make it to my group run tomorrow morning. At this point, it’s just easier to plan on a Sunday run. I’ve been wanting to get a pair for a while because once it snows, the trail tends to stay snowy/icy until spring, but have been dragging my feet. Well, I have two half marathon coming up and I’m not going to be unprepared because of my own stubbornness.

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I am so ridiculously excited to try them out! I’m hoping these work well on the packed slush/snow on the trail.

If you noticed, I mentioned above that I have TWO half marathons coming up. Yep! I got into the Brooklyn Half Marathon!! It sold out in less than 8 hours this year, so I’m super glad I got in. Registering via NYRR was super easy – I’d definitely consider doing more of their races if I lived closer (and if train tickets weren’t so expensive).

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I’ve never (knowingly) been to Brooklyn before, so I’m really looking forward to not only racing in a new location, but seeing a whole new place! The race ends on the boardwalk at Coney Island, so I’m really hoping for good weather so I can check out Coney Island after the race.

And in other good news – I booked my trip to Florida!! Ahh, warm, sunny Florida 😎 Being the total nerd that I am, I have already mapped out runs and created route sheets for my stay… and I promise, I won’t complain about the heat or humidity.

How is winter treating you this year?? 

Are you getting all of your runs in? 

What are you doing to make winter running more bearable/feasible? 


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Twas the Week Before Christmas…

And my house turned into an infirmary.

Sunday night/Monday morning my mom started getting sick. Uh oh. I haven’t really gotten sick since I had my nose surgery a couple years ago and was hoping to keep it that way. But no luck. Luckily I didn’t get as sick as her (she was literally in bed for 4 days straight), but it still kinda sucked.

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the pups took good care of my mom while she was sick

Monday night I forced myself to do a light workout which actually helped me to feel better. My coaches kept me in line.

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That look from her means I’ve stopped for too long. No more dillydallying, woman! (He’s just hoping I get down on the ground so he can clean all the salty goodness off of my face)

Tuesday I was feeling worse but it was my first track session with my new group! And it rained. Ugh. It was in the upper 30s/low 40s, but a surprisingly large group of people showed up. This run was fueled by Claritin D and Advil, which apparently made me darn fast. We ran 6x400s and I was running each 400 25-40 seconds faster than I did this summer. Holy moly! Maybe my last quarter mile at Celtic last weekend wasn’t a total fluke… Afterwards our group and the full marathon training group met up for drinks, food, and camaraderie at a bar around the corner.

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I was going to workout Wednesday and Thursday, but felt super crummy, so I just took the rest of the week off to get healthy again. This winter is all about building a solid base, not driving myself into the ground before the season even comes around.

Saturday my group met downtown for our long run. I love and hate running downtown. It’s flat, tends to be pretty windy (which super sucks in the winter) and the brick is hard on my legs. But the view is pretty nice and it’s always nice to get a change of scenery. It was an ugly sweater run, but I don’t own an ugly sweater – so I painted my nails festively and had a Santa hat instead. I was going to try to do something with tinsel and bells, but Target failed me.

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5:00am wakeup calls for Saturday long runs are rough no matter what time of the year, but they’re extra awful in the winter. During the summer the sun typically rises shortly after I get up, my parents and dogs are up and about in the house, people are on the roads, the birds are chirping – you know, signs of life. During the winter? It was literally me and the creepy blow up Santa on the neighbor’s portico. No bueno.

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On the bright side, though, the moon was absolutely gorgeous on the drive downtown. Just before the sun came up you could see the entire moon, even though only a sliver of it was lit up.

I ended up running 5 nice, easy miles with two women in my group, averaging about 11 minute miles.

After the long run I did a little bit of damage at Charm City Run (hey, it’s Christmas), grabbed a donut from Dunkin Donuts, and got a Christmas gift for the Beast at the doggie boutique next door, before heading home to shower, change, and head back down to the city to meet a friend for high tea at Gertrudes at the Baltimore Museum of Art. It was surprisingly fun and un-stuffy! We were there chatting for several hours (the wait-staff seemed like they were trying to nudge us out so they could turn the table over for dinner), then I headed off to a party for a bit. I was so exhausted from the long day that I didn’t stay too terribly long.

I had planned on going to bed embarrassingly early when I got home but someone on the street was having a party and the windows in my room are so thin that I knew they’d wake me up when they all left, so I plopped down in the living room with my parents to watch the never-ending Thursday Night Football game on Saturday Night (as if I wasn’t having a hard enough time remember what day it was this week…). I had no stake in the game but it was surprisingly good.

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This morning I slept in a bit and then met Aaron and Beast at the trail for a quick 3.5-4 mile walk. The trail was surprisingly crowded for a chilly Sunday, but we got to see some people running in festive garb – one guy passed us wearing a Santa hat and a lei of big Christmas lights 🙂

icicles!

icicles!

Then I came home to see the awful Ravens “game” (I’ve never been more embarrassed to be a Ravens fan). There were surly a few bad calls, but it was 95% on the team. Now I’m watching the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Finals (watching skating on TV always reminds me of just how much I miss skating…) and drooling over the smell of roasting veggies that’s filling the house.

that's not hot chocolate. that game called for something a *bit* stronger...

that’s not hot chocolate. that game called for something a *bit* stronger…

How was your week(end)? Any great holiday plans coming up??