Sunday, April 6, 2014

Crystal City 5K Fridays

Friday after work I met Megan at the commuter lot and we headed towards DC to run the Crystal City 5K.  Every Friday in April the local running store puts on a 5K run in Crystal City.  This was the first Crystal City 5K that I have done.  We parked and then started to look for some running club people.  We found Meagan, Sherry, Brad and Jen pretty quickly.  We didn't have long to wait until the race started.  We started and I was chatting with Brad a bit.  He hasn't been to run club in months and this was his first run back from calf issues.  As I was talking to him I saw the guy I love to stalk.  I don't normally stalk guys but this guy is just too cute not to stalk.  I see him at a lot of local 5K and 10K races.



This pic is from a few years ago. (I told you I stalk him!) How cute is he!  He usually wears read shorts and a red tank..so I call him Red Man.

Well I was talking to Brad and saw Red Man and told him about my love for him.  I want to be over 70 and still be running and winning my age group.  Brad joked about Red Man beating him in the 5K and I took off after him.  I didn't want to lose him in the crowd.

It was a nice night for a run.  I was worried that it was going to rain/thunderstom earlier in the day but it held off and was perfect for running.  As we were coming back I noticed that Red Man had just passed me.  (yes I get passed by 70 year old men! )  I knew there was a photographer just up ahead.  How cool would it be to get a picture with Red Man!!  Yeah those are the thoughts I have when I have stalked a man for the last couple of years.  I won't show up at your work or stalk you at your dry cleaners but when the opportunity for a photo together presents itself I will jump on it!  So I decided that I would keep pace with Red Man for a pic.  He went faster so did I.  He fell back a few steps I slowed down slightly.  I don't think he knew what evil I was up to, which was probably better for him that way.  We got to the photographer and snap snap.  I can't wait to see the pics! I hope he got both of us in the picture!  Yes I have problems, I accept that I just can't help myself! :)

Red Man finished just ahead of me.  I was fine with that.  All I wanted was a picture with my favorite runner anyway. :)  My night was complete!

We all met up afterwards at our run club sign and chatted.  We got some pictures and then headed to a local bar to collect our free beer for running the race.  Such a fun night!


Who wouldn't want a picture with super heroes?


Unknowingly we wore the same shirt to run in. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Celebrations do not require me to run!

So I have been one big ball of lazy since my half marathon two weeks ago.  It doesn't help that we had snow...again.  I am tired of cold.  I don't want to run out in snow or cold rain!  So I haven't!

Tuesday was run club..with rain or was it snow or sleet??  The weather has been so crazy I can't keep track of what happens on what day!  Well anyway, wee headed to run club.  I was going to dress to maybe run, but I realized that I had no intention of running so why not put some jeans on..embrace the lazy! And that is just what I did.

Tuesday was Matt's birthday. Matt is a vegetarian so to celebrate Megan made some yummy vegan cookies.


One was Matt's favorite snicker-doodles and the other was a vanilla no-bake.  Both were very yummy!!

(if you are Andy you put the two cookies together and you are very happy)


Happy birthday Matt

Got to love run club celebrations!  Even if we didn't run.

This week it should be in the 70's, even though it was raining/snowing today.  Virginia should not see snow the second to last day of March!  Needless to say I did not move off of the couch much this weekend.  This is the week that my lazy stops.  Weather should be nice for running and that is just what I plan on doing.

This week is we are celebrating Sandy's birthday along with Jen's 100th run!  I'm in charge of birthday cookies.  Hope everyone enjoys them.

The celebrating continues!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five Things Friday

1.  I am actually looking forward to a run.  Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful!  I hear it could get into the 70's.  Yeah you HAVE to run on days like that!


2.  Not sure what is going on..I am feeling kinda blah right now.  I hope it is just allergies and not sickness because please see 1.

3.  If I am getting sick or fighting sickness (please see 2.) that could explain why I have been in bed by 9:30 most nights and tired all week.  I am not sure about that though...right now I am chalking it up to lack of sunlight.  I always find winter is the hardest season because of the lack of sunlight and being indoors so much.


4.  It only took me 30 minutes to walk my mom through the steps to reset her password for the apps store over the phone.  First she was convinced that they wanted her password to charge her for app updates.  Then she realized she didn't have a clue of the password.  She did finally get it changed.  She is now fully updated and happy with all of  her apps.

5.  Today while I was walking Riley around the neighborhood I saw one of my neighbors out in the side yard walking her rabbit on a leash.  Yep a rabbit on a leash.  Not only did I have to take a second look, but Riley stopped and just stared.  I don't think he knew what he was looking at either.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I know I said one and done but...

I know I said I would never run another full marathon after last year's Marine Corps Marathon.  But after thinking about it, I thought maybe I could try it one more time.  I thought why not put my name into the lottery.  I now know what to expect.  I know what 26.2 feels like.  I know what the training involves.  I also know I had a month of PR's in October because of MCM training.  I was running more weekly miles than I normally run.  I also know I was a bit disappointed in the amount of walking for the last 6 miles.  I know I can do it better than last year.  At least I hope I can do it better than last year.  You never know what race day will hold, but I would like to think I can improve a bit..or a lot.  So I thought about it.  I proved I could do it last year, now I would like to see if I can do it a bit better than last year.



I also would like a better MCM memory.  I would like the experience of a Marine putting a medal around my neck.  Not last year's memory of trying not to cry as they told me they ran out of medals and then placed a 10K medal around my neck.


I remember being so scared of running a full marathon.  Will I be able to do it?  Will my knee hold up?  Mentally can I hold up?  And I came through and finished.  So I proved I could run a full.   I don't know if I have ever felt more emotions than I did crossing that finish line.  I put my name into the lottery to see if I could come back and tackle 26.2 and see what I can do with it the second time around.  I figured if I put my name in and didn't get in, it wasn't meant to be. I would be fine with that.  But what if the universe thinks I should try it again too? 

So I know I said I was one and done, but a girl can change her mind.  I'm going back to see what I can do the second time around.  The universe thinks I should try it again.  I got in to the Marine Corps Marathon!  Who knows maybe I will fall in love with the distance or maybe I will say two and done.  We will see.  


Sunday, March 16, 2014

rock n roll USA

Well yesterday I ran my first half of the year, Rock n' Roll USA.  It was perfect running weather for a half.  Overcast and 50's.  As the guy in front of me at the portapotties said before the race "This is PR weather."  Wish I could have, but it wasn't my day.

On the way to the metro at 5:30 in the morning 95N was down to one lane for road work!  What?!  Are you freakin' kidding me?  And the amount of cars on the road on a Saturday at 5:30 was crazy.  I was convinced that 75% were also heading to the race.  I finally got to the metro a bit after I originally thought I would but no big deal.  I then ended up waiting for what felt like forever for a very crowded metro train.  Finally we were on our way to the start.  I met a lady that lives very close to where I teach.  We had a great chat and I wished her luck on her race as we left the metro.  I quickly headed over to bag check.  Last year bag check was a mess.  School buses and runners checking bags do not mix.  This year it was UPS managing our bags.  I am pleased to say it went much better than last year, both checking and picking up my bags.

I had on cut off shamrock socks on my arms along with my horrible hot chocolate wind breaker that I have been trying to get rid of at a race for the last few years.  Well this wasn't the year to drop it off..I ended up checking it because the weather was not that cold.  I figured the socks on my arm will work until we start running.  Those socks didn't even make it to mile one, but they did help keep me warming waiting in my corral.

I then headed over to the long portapotty lines. I figured I had time because I was not in the elite corrals so it would be some time before my group made it to the start line.  I loved my portapotty line.  I was chatting to the girl behind me about races and the people in front were huge tri people.  They were talking about all of the places that they have ran Ironman's.  Love it!  I am secretly in awe of Ironman people.  They also were talking about all of the pro Ironman people they have seen and met.  Very interesting conversation to listen in on while waiting to use the bathroom.

I headed over to the start and had a bit more time to wait. We took off and I was having problems with my ipod.  I could get it to play four or five songs and then it would crap out on me.  Really?!  Ugh.  I thought when it did that last week I just didn't charge it enough, but I am going with it is time to purchase a new ipod shuffle.  I got it to play once more and then I gave up.  I didn't want to mess with it every five songs.  So I was now on to running and listening to all of the conversations happening around me.

I knew this was going to be a hard race.  I was feeling so tired.  Which shouldn't be the case because I felt like I got more sleep than normal Friday night.  Oh well.  Nothing to do when you are four miles into a run.  I just had to wish for the best and that meant that I was hoping not to hate life for most of the race.

We finally hit the horrible hill up Rock Creek Park.  Last year I remember having such a great run that this hill didn't really suck to bad.  This year it sucked big time!  I actually think that they made the hill BIGGER!  I'm convinced that it doubled in steepness and length!  :)  I made it up the hill and just kept plugging along one mile at a time.  I new I wasn't having a PR race.  I was trying to use the down hills to get back some time that I was losing on the uphills.

There were some great signs.  One girl had a sign that simply had the word Penis on it..not quite sure what was up with that one..but it did make me laugh a bit.  I also missed the damn juggler!  How could that be?  I feel like I always see him when we run the same race!

I enjoyed a shot of beer at a homemade aid station.  I figured if I am hating life I should embrace what the course has to offer.  Too bad I didn't stay on the other side of the course though..a few houses down they were offering margaritas...I would have enjoyed that a bit more. :)  During one section some college students were yelling out stuff to try and keep us moving and trying to give us reasons to keep running.  They started with "Run for the Children!" Then another "Run for Brunch"  And then they decided to put them together, "Run for the children so they can have brunch!"  Don't know why that just made me laugh.

My ten miles really was not that far off from my normal 10 mile time..maybe 4 minutes slower.  But then I just started walking more.  I tried to tell myself that it was just a runclub run away.  But my legs didn't really care.  I think they were just done.  I was done.  Those last three miles featured a lot of walking!  I mean a lot!  I finished.  It was a bit tough but I crossed the finish line.


I then ran into some half fanatics.  We chatted a bit and talked about upcoming races.  They were very nice.  Two of the girls were heading down to VA Beach to run the Shamrock half the next day. 

I then called Megan to see if we were all up for meeting for brunch.  Megan and Jen were working a water stop at a 4 mile race.  Looks like everyone was up for food.  I headed over to the metro to meet them.  The metro was packed.  Trying to get into the metro was crazy.


We stood around for awhile.  Then finally we moved a bit.  I finally made it on a train and a very nice guy offered me his seat.  So nice.  I was debating on just sitting on the floor, but figured that wouldn't be good if it was a packed train.  I told him that I loved him and kindly took his seat.  :)  Ah thank you stranger!

I basically changed on the train once it was less crowded and I had a seat to myself.  Socks and shoes off, compression sleeves and flip flops on.  Sweaty shirt off and dry hoodie on.  Face wipes to take off the salt from my face.  I was starting to feel a bit human again.

I made it to brunch.  French toast, eggs and bacon.  Yum!!

I think my main problem with this half marathon was that I did not run enough prior to race day.  Stupid winter!  My next half marathon is Pittsburgh half in May.  I have plenty of time to keep up my miles and have a great Pittsburgh race!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

St. Patty's Day 8K and a new PR

Today was the St. Patty's Day 8K in DC.  It was also spring forward.  I thought I would get to sleep in a bit. Turns out I was wrong.  I woke up and dressed.  This time I did not forget anything at home.  Garmin..check, music..check...metro card..check.

I headed over on the metro.  As soon as I got out of the metro I couldn't believe how cold it was.  Weather.com said it was 47 but with the wind it was more like 35.  Yikes!  I was going to check my jacket but I thought it might be better to hold on to it.  I found Jen shortly after I got there.


I got to wear my sparkle skirt that I won last year!  It is perfect for a St. Patty's run!  We then ran into Megan and Sandy.  We also ran into Woodrow Wilson!  I love a great costume!  So of course we had to take our picture with him!


We all headed over to our places.  It seemed like forever until they started the race. 



As we were standing around waiting to run I was getting colder and colder.  So glad I still had my jacket!  I also had some cut off St. Patty's socks as arm warmers.  So if I needed to I could take off my jacket and tie it around my waist.  Turned out that is what I ended up doing.  My jacket barely made it to mile 1.  I felt pretty good for the first few miles.  My energy started to dwindle pretty quickly though.  I guess cereal for dinner is not proper race fuel.  Note to self for next weekend's half marathon.  As I approached mile 4 I overhead a woman tell her friend that we are really far from the start.  But it is ok, they have walked that far before..umm I think we have less than a mile to go.  Yeah I couldn't figure out how she figured out that we were really far from the start.  I guess her far and my far are two different things.

I finished and went to find everyone.  Jeff joined us!  We haven't seen Jeff is awhile.  So it was nice seeing him.  We then decided that we would head over to The Shake shack since we all got a free shake for running this race. Who could turn down a shake??  Not this girl!



We followed some runners over to The Shake Shack and were very sad.  Not only were we freezing from the wind.  But The Shake Shack wasn't going to open for another 20 minutes!  We decided that we would head over to Dunkin' Donuts and try to warm up.  Best hot chocolate ever!  We then headed back to the Shake Shack and a line out the door!  We were all hoping that people were going to give up on the shake and it would just be us.  

We finally made it inside and I got a yummy burger and shake..black and white of course.  Yum!  We were lucky to find a table to sit down and eat.  A great way to end a great race!

I got home to find out that I PR'd too!  I knocked off almost 5 minutes off of my last 8K.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Reston 10 miler and That Damn Juggler!


Yesterday I ran the Reston 10 miler with Megan and Sandy.  It was a run that I really thought that was not going to happen.  Or maybe it was a run that was just one big mess.  I got my stuff ready the night before.  I took a shower so I could sleep in a bit and not have to worry about much.  Well I guess I didn't worry about much.  As I was driving to Megan's I realized I forgot my music.  Oh well that is not that big of a deal.  When I got to Megan's and was about to hop in her car I suddenly realized what else I forgot...my bib!  In all of my races that I have ran I have never forgotten my bib- ever.   Well I can't say that anymore.

We were off and we missed the exit for the race and then almost turned onto the wrong exit at the next one..yeah it wasn't looking like this was going to be a great race for me.  We got to the race and there was no parking at the high school so I jumped out of the car to find a bib while Megan went off to find parking.  Ugh..was this really how the day was going to go?  I headed into the high school thinking that the packet pick up would be there.  Nope.  I did find super long bathroom lines though.  Great!  Doesn't look like I will be able to use the bathroom before the race either.  I made my way down to the track to see about a bib.  Luckily the high school student was able to hook me up with a new bib after I filled out some paperwork.  Yes!  

Both of my bibs!

I then started running towards the start.  No time for the portapotty.  So I am running thinking I hate running before a race.  I don't want to be running to the race and then run a race!  But no way around it.  I ran into Sandy and she was nice enough to put my sunglasses in her car.  I normally would just run with my hand held water bottle, but I also took my phone so that I could find Megan.  So my hands were going to be  full as I ran.  I look down at my Garmin and shocker! It is frozen!  Yep that is the way my day is going.  Oh well.  Lets see how this race goes.  Not sure it could go much worse.   We found Megan and we were standing chatting when I saw HIM.  That damn juggler was at the race too!

Well of course the Damn Juggler would be here!  Why wouldn't he?  

Before the race Megan mentioned that there are probably no portapotties on course.  She ran the course a few months ago with the same group that was running this race.  Great!  I need to use the bathroom, the lines are long and there are no portapotties!  She did mention that there was a lovely 7-eleven around mile 3.  I filed that information under good to know and then we were off.  

The race was pretty hilly.  I haven't really been running much more than 4 miles so I didn't really know how today was going to go.  Based solely off of everything that happened prior to the race I would not be shocked if I was hating life during this race.  As we were running I had a great conversation about hatred for a certain Hot Chocolate Race.  It is amazing that the race was over two years ago, but when you see someone wearing that damn jacket a bunch of strangers start complaining about how horrible that freaking race was.  After chatting about how we all hated the Hot Chocolate Race I went off looking for somewhere to use the bathroom.  There were trees but not very thick.  Not stopping there.  I saw some sort of nature place, I checked to see if there was a bathroom..nope.  Soon I came up to the 7-eleven.  I saw a women head off course and I was right behind her.  The 7-eleven worker was super nice.  She unlocked the bathroom for both of us.  Bless you!  There was no way I as going to be able to run another 7 miles when I was dancing while waiting for the person in front of me.

The bathroom was not really out of order. 

While in the 7-eleven bathroom it was the perfect time to take off my long sleeve shirt under my short sleeved shirt.  It started in the upper thirties and later in the day it was supposed to hit the 60's!  Then Monday we are getting winter storm Titan and temps will be in the 20's.  Talk about crazy weather...anyway back to the race.  I was sweating like crazy so perfect time to take off the long sleeve.  Ah..so much better.  Now I didn't have to keep thinking about bathrooms and how hot I was.  It took maybe five minutes to head off course and boy was it worth it!  

As I said it was pretty hilly.  I did pretty good at running up the hills considering how much I hate hills.  I did walk some up the hills but I usually would run at least some.  I was feeling pretty good with my running.  

Mile 6 was a great mile!  I wish my Garmin was working because I would love to know my pace.  It was one of those miles that you just felt like you were flying!  Now the next mile not so much, but that is ok, every mile can not feel like you have sprouted wings!

I headed into the last mile thinking that I was feeling pretty good considering that I didn't really train.  I am so glad I ran this race because in a few weeks I have my first half marathon of 2014.  I headed towards the finish on the track.  I was thinking that we were going run the track, but no the finish was not that far from the track entrance.  I did a pretty good job of sprinting the last few.  Looking at my time if I didn't stop for the bathroom I would have PR'd!  What?!  But it was so hilly!  Yeah I woulds say it turned into a pretty good race!

I found Megan laying on the track stretching or sleeping..I am not sure which.  We also found Sandy.  We got some pictures and then headed out for some breakfast.




Next up:  A St. Patty's 8K next weekend.