Showing posts from 2012

We Rocked Ragnar!

I just participated in my first relay, the Ragnar Washington DC!  I'd been interested in doing a Ragnar ever since I first heard about it.  The Ragnar is a 200 mile, 12 person relay that runs over the course of two days and one night.  Each person runs three separate legs of the relay and also helps support the other runners on the team.  What a unique and fun experience it was!

Our team captain Charli asked me to join the team a couple months ago, and I jumped on the chance. I wasn't sure when I'd have the opportunity to do a Ragnar, since I knew I didn't have the time to organize it myself.  I met Charli, her husband Coco and friend Stacey at the Delaware Marathon Maniac dinner in May, so I knew they'd be a good group to run with.  I helped recruit my friends Matt and Megan, both members of the Shirlington Running Club.  Everyone else was a stranger, but really, we couldn't have asked for a better team.  I was in Van 1 with Charli, Stacey, Matt, Kare…

I Won an Age Group Award!

I won 3rd Place in my age group at Parker's Marathon in West Virginia!  Does it matter that this race had only 121 finishers?  Does it matter that my age group only had 3?  Not to me!  I'm hanging that 3rd place medal on my bling rack with pride!  It's a good thing I delayed my post about this race for nearly two weeks...because I only received my age group medal in the mail last night.  I was very surprised, because I was quite slow compared to my recent marathon times.  For some reason I was very, very tired, and my calf was bothering me where I'd had a stress fracture last year.  I did a lot of walking in the second half of the race, but of course, I finished!
 I wasn't originally planning to run Parker's Marathon, but after looking at my race calendar, I saw that I could add a couple more states by January, thereby advancing to 7 stars in Marathon Maniacs.  Parker's was not too far from home by car, and I needed West Virginia, so I decided to do it. …

Rockin' 'n' Rollin' in Providence!

Only one week after my nasty knee skinning during a training trail run, I headed to Providence, Rhode Island to run the Rock 'n' Roll Providence Half Marathon.  This was a warm-up of sorts, as my jump back into full marathons starts next weekend in West Virginia.  Before the Providence race, my most recent big race was Grandma's Marathon in June.  I spent the interim months working on improving my speed and doing some strength training on a more or less (umm...well, mostly less) consistent basis.  But it paid off!  I set a new PR in Providence and bested my June half marathon PR by almost 3 minutes!

My weekend started out with a Friday evening flight to Hartford, Connecticut to hook up with my childhood friend Sherri and her friend (well, now MY friend too) Joan.  We drove to Providence on Saturday and had much fun posing for silly photos at the expo.

The WaterFire Festival was taking place in Providence during our visit.  Lucky us!  After a good brew pub dinner, we …

Happy Trails...or All About My First Trail Mishap

Am I an official trail runner now that I have battle scars?  I hope so.  Tell me I didn't bloody my bloody knees in vain.  If you don't like the sight of blood, it's probably too late.  You can already see my beautiful knees in all their gory glory below.

What happened, you ask?  Well, I'd never done any trail running until this spring.  I entered a couple races that had portions of the course on unpaved trails.  The end of the Flying Pirate Half Marathon was like that.  Not only was there a dirt trail, but there was a muddy, puddly, messy trail and it was pouring rain.  And guess what?  I loved that portion of the course.  Then I ran the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon and quite a bit of that course was on gravel.  And not just flat gravel, but rolling hill gravel, and a long gravel driveway that led to a water and wine stop.  Who wouldn't love that?  On that hilly, gravelly course I PR'd.  I decided that I wanted to do some more runs on trails and even bo…

I'm back on the blogging wagon!

I got busy, I got distracted, I realized I couldn't keep up with everything I was doing this past spring, so I let my blog slip.  But I'm back.  I still have so many races to catch up on, and many new ones scheduled for this fall and winter.  So, this is just a quick note to let everyone know what I've been up to since my last blog post in...gulp...April.  Wow!  It really has been a while!  I plan to add more details about some of these races as I go, so here are just some highlights.

My last race report was the April 7th Hollywood Half Marathon.  Then I went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to run the Flying Pirate Challenge: a 5K on Saturday, and a half marathon on Sunday.  But that wasn't enough.  I also teamed up with Marathon Maniac #5182 Scot Barco as "Team Sand-Bar" to run the Storm the Beach 5K, an obstacle course on the beach.  Running in sand is hard without obstacles, and even harder with them, but it was fun.

I closed out April by running for t…

The Asylum

I have a home in an asylum.  Well, two homes really.  Am I crazy?  You decide: I am a Double Agent, a member of both the Marathon Maniacs and the Half Fanatics.  Our club is called The Asylum because you really do need to be a little crazy to belong.  But why wouldn't I want to join The Asylum?  It's become a community of runners to me.  I meet new members at different races, make friends, share couches when traveling to races, and keep in touch between races through Facebook.
What's this all about, you ask?  These clubs are comprised of thousands of members who have run, and most likely continue to run, multiple races in short periods of time. Marathon Maniacs is for people who run full marathons (26.2 miles), and the Half Fanatics are characterized by running half marathons (13.1 miles).  I am Maniac #4436 and currently only at the Bronze or one star level.  I earned that rank by running 2 marathons in a 16 day period.  I did this back in 2006 and didn't even know abo…

My, my RUN of Fame

It was my first trip to Hollywood and I was up at the crack of dawn on Saturday, April 7, 2012.No, I wasn’t returning from a club or a late-night party.I was getting ready to run the inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon!  This race was a class act, as you can see from the sparkly, bling-y medal. I decided months ago to run this race even though it meant traveling cross-country and searching for airfare on a holiday (Easter) weekend.  Yes, I was drawn by the medal, the glitz, the opportunity to run through a town I'd never visited.  But even more, I could tell early on that this event was special.  Race director Ken Nwadike Jr. and his wife Sabrina and their team planned every detail, added many special touches, and maintained great communication with the runners in the months, weeks, days, even hours leading up to the race.  And the race benefitted Covenant House California, a charity near and dear to their hearts.  
I flew from DC to LAX, but spent my first night in SoCal wi…

Race Nutrition - What Works for Me

I belong to several Facebook running groups and one of the recurring themes is: what do you eat and drink during a race?  The answers are as varied as the shapes and sizes of runners in a typical race.  It's a darn good thing there are choices, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  My best advice to new distance runners is to try various products in various amounts on your training runs close to home.  When you find out what works for you, stick with it.  So, what do I eat and drink during a race?  I thought you'd never ask.

First of all, I maintain a daily regimen of high-quality supplements.  My brand of choice is Isotonix, distributed by a great company called (I'd be happy to tell you a little more if you're interested).  The powdered supplements get mixed with water and are highly absorbable.  I take the Multivitamin + Iron, Calcium Plus, Vitamin D, Activated B Complex, and OPC-3 (an antioxidant blend) daily.  I find that I am more energized and…

Blossoms, Blossoms, Where are the Blossoms?

The Washington DC cherry blossoms, that is.  Well, they bloomed early this year due to wacky weather patterns and and a pre-mature Spring.  So what was left for the annual Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run on April 1, 2012 were fun crowds, beautiful sights, and pretty trees, but no major blossoms to speak of.
This was my third time running the coveted Cherry Blossom.  My first two were in 2005 and 2006 when you had to get online FAST to register before sell-out.  Nowadays, there is a lottery, and I lucked out by winning a spot. The weather for the 2012 race was pretty optimal for running: cool temperatures and overcast skies.  That meant that with the right clothes, I was perfectly dressed for the weather.  No sun meant it didn't get too hot and I didn't get sunburned.   This year's Cherry Blossom was different than the ones I ran a few years back.  For one, the course was better.  Instead of running up and down Rock Creek Parkway, the course is more focused on the Tidal Basin ar…