Tuesday, April 27, 2010


FINALLY ran my first 10-miler since the last race! My time wasn't as good, just under 10 minute miles, but I didn't have anyone to chase down or the flow of runners to inspire me. I got all the way from Oak St. in Falls Church to Colombia Pike in Arlington. I also couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. I ran it with a couple Clif energy shots and finished up with another packet of the yummy Jelly Belly beans. The Clif goo shots aren't as bad as Gu gel for some reason. I'm a little sore and had to take a quick cat nap upon my return home, but I'm happy I finally got the run in and that I can still actually run 10 miles, which is a good thing since I'm going to have to run 13...

On my last 1.5 miles, I ran into a car on the W & OD trail. Now, this car was literally ON the path. To be clear: driving on the bike path taking up both lanes. Now this section of the path is contained by fences and a wall bordering Rt-66. HOW or WHY this car thought it could drive on the path is beyond me. Granted, it is paved...but it is barely wide enough for a small sedan. I have no clue how this vehicle got onto the path either. When I came across it, the old driver had gotten out of the car to remove the cone that was separating the two bike lanes at the entrance of the path from the street. Needless to say the cone is screwed down into the tar so it wasn't going anywhere. Not sure how he was going to reverse through the curves all the way back to where he began. Sucks to be him.

Going to go eat some salt & vinegar chips before bed as my reward for successfully running my 10 miles.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Getting on Track Again

Two weeks away from the half-marathon and just finished up about a week's long vacation from running. Oi vey. I finally went on a successful run this afternoon (although only 6 miles) in the rain. I'm typically a not running-in-the-elements type of person, but the light spring rain was surprisingly refreshing. I'm glad that I managed to keep my time around 9:40 per mile on this casual run, especially since my last attempt at an 8-miler last Thursday was a disaster for some reason. I went out on the W & OD trail with the intent to run an easy 8, but that easy 8 turned into a mediocre 5.5 and a 2.5 mile walk. I was low-energy and my legs were very crampy. I think it might have been due to the lack of potassium in my diet that whole week. I tried the Jelly Belly energy jelly beans for the first time, which were 100% better tasting than the Gu gel. Icky Gu gel.

Tomorrow will be my first attempt at a 10-miler since the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler a few weeks ago. I get off work early afternoon (but will be working again later at night) so I will have the time to hit the W & OD. I'll be trying the Clif gel if I remember to bring it with me tomorrow. I really hope that I can run the full 10. I'll make sure to eat a decent breakfast, grab a banana, stay hydrated, get some sleep, and eat some carbs for lunch.

Saturday I'm participating in the DC Challenge Urban Scavenger Race. I don't think it really qualifies as an actual run-race since we will be stopping a lot and are allowed to take public transportation so I'm not counting that day as a training day at all. It will still be a blast though!

Maybe for once I'll actual run all the distances I have planned on the days I plan on running them. This week is go go go before the half. Next week I'll be winding it down a bit, taking it slow...minus one 10-miler that I hope to be able to do early in the week. I will at least be running the half with a friend to keep me motivated. However I never train with a partner, so I hope running together goes well!! I need to be able to pace myself throughout the race.

Hitting the hay now and dreaming of hitting the pavement...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What Turned Out To Be A Half-Marathon Walk

I've been in New Haven, CT (well, technically Hamden) for the past few days.  I didn't think I'd get much running or exercising in on the trip, even though I was hopeful.  Yesterday my friend and I were planning on going for a little hike but ended up just walking to the school she teaches at.  The school is 6.5 miles away...and for some reason when I agreed to this I forgot to add the mileage for the way back!  So we literally ended up walking a half-marathon.  It took us about 5 hours with a coffee break and stopping to relax in her classroom for 30 minutes to eat pretzels and skim through her 5th graders' books.  Given the fact that I run on a pretty regular basis at pretty decent distances, by the end of our walk I was unbelievably SORE and famished.  It was fun though and I'm glad we went on this little adventure.  New Haven has some pretty cute houses.  On our walk back we passed by several runners enjoying the flatness of the city.  There is definitely a pretty decent stretch for a flat and scenic run.  Given I come from the land of steep hills, switchbacks, and subtle inclines I am pretty envious.  

Later today we're heading to Boston, just a few days late of the Boston Marathon.  Maybe I'll walk some of the distances the runners ran...at incredible speeds.  

Anyways, it's off to Boston for the day then hitting the rails (7.5 hour train ride) tomorrow to get back to home sweet home.  

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day Two: No Running Report

So here I am at my lunch hour, sitting indoors on this gorgeous day...only blocks away from the trail I like to frequent for my long runs. Unfortunately I only get to think about gazing towards the trail since I have an interior office with no windows, so gazing forlornly at where I not only want to be, but SHOULD be, is not an option. Oh well, thus is the life of a 9-5er.

This week I've only run 14 miles after the 10-miler, but since I'm headed to PA/CT/Boston on Saturday I don't think I'll have much time for running. I think I'll be optimistic and at least plan on a run while I'm visiting my friend, but knowing my painful sense of direction and despise for runs on treadmills lasting longer than 3 miles, I'm pretty sure it's mostly wishful thinking.

I'm currently planning my life out week-by-week according to the marathon training schedule I found. Right now I'm down to week 11, with the longest run being 13 miles. I have no idea how I am supposed to more than double that within 11 weeks! I also think I'll have no life while I painfully and excruciatingly train...so maybe it's a good thing I have no job prospects after July 9th...

My co-worker just stopped by and gave me an amazing idea! To calculate the distance I've run since I started. Embarrassingly, I am able to do this because I've been keeping track of my runs and times since day one, which was August 16th, 2009. So as of today, April 16, 2010...I've run a total of 530.6 miles to be exact.

Now I'm off to eat some pizza. I guess I've got to work on that runner's diet thing too......

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not Quite Day One

So while I was on my run this afternoon I thought that keeping a blog of my running exploits would be self-reflective and perhaps slightly interesting. Maybe I'll even blog about things that don't pertain to running as well. Needless to say, this blog has been started a little late since I really started running back in mid-August.

As a self-proclaimed hater of running, I find it quite amusing to end up being a runner. I've always worked out, but at the gym, and never on a treadmill. In August I could barely run a mile on the treadmill without dying at the end. I think I've come far considering that humbling and embarrassing fact.

These days I run a 6-mile route around my neighborhood. If I want to challenge myself, I'll hit the W & O Trail for an 8-mile struggle. Speed has never been important to me, just to be out there hitting the pavement on a pretty regular basis. Therefore, my casual runs have averaged around 10 min/mile. Considering my neighborhood is chock-full of hills and inclines I don't mind that too much.

I just completed the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, which is the longest distance I have run thus far. I've run a couple 5Ks, an 8K, and a few 10Ks (which have now become easy races), but the 10-miler was a first. I was more impressed with the fact that I could drag my lazy ass out of bed at 6am off of minimal sleep and actually get dressed. The race itself was enjoyable and only a little bit of a struggle during miles 7-9 when we hit Haines Point where it was utterly silent. It's a beautiful stretch but painfully quiet and long. I had no idea how much crowds cheering helped. In the end I was happy with my time, averaging a 9:23 min/mile at 1:33:47.

Next up is the Pacer's Half-Marathon in Clarendon. I'm a little nervous since I'll be out of town the next two weekends when it's key long-distance run time. This week I managed to just fit in an 8-mile run before heading on my little vacation. I tried Gu for the first time and it really is gooey. I kind of had to fight back my gag reflex. Maybe I'll get used to it or I'll have to resort back to the candy versions. I've got the jelly beans to try and the Cliff version of goo.

I also looked up a marathon-training schedule this afternoon and had a minor panic attack about running in the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I can't imagine ever being able to run 26.2, but then again I could never picture myself running 6 miles. Although 26.2 is A LOT FARTHER than 6 miles. Hopefully 8 becomes the new 6 and 10 the new 8 in the next few weeks...