That Time I Kicked As(Phalt)…Again

A little more than one year ago, I ran my first marathon. When I crossed that finish line, I was not immediately sure I wanted to do another full 26.2 mile race. And then less than a week later, I wrote a post clearly defining my intentions: “Yes, I’ll Have Another.”

Well, that another came rather quickly, and this past Sunday I ran my second marathon, again at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Continue reading

A Runner in the Rain: a RNR DC Recap

I think it’s pretty official now that I am a runner.

On Saturday, a couple of major things occurred that exemplify my official status as a runner. Whereas I once thought that the accumulation of miles and having a mild obsession with sneaker shopping was sufficient, this weekend’s experiences taught me that there is so much more to running than long distances and aesthetics.

My alarm went off at 5:45 am on the first morning of the weekend. Even before it forced me out of bed, I knew what I was waking up to as it had kept me up part of the night: rain. When I undid the sheets and layered on my clothes, I could hear the drizzle of the raindrops outside my window. As I left shortly after 6 am, I walked to the bus stop with an umbrella. Out of fear of becoming too wet and too cold prior to the start, that umbrella stayed with me until the official race clock started. But it didn’t really matter staying dry; I was soaked before I saw the first mile marker. Continue reading

No Expectations

Very rarely do things go according to plans. Like this winter’s training.

At the beginning of the year, I vowed that the coming months of running would be different from my sporadic bouts of running last winter. While I can say I have been pretty good at getting my miles in, they have definitely not been in the way I would have preferred.

For starters, mileage logged on the treadmill far surpasses the miles logged outside. I didn’t think this winter could tops last year, but I proved wrong. Several of our weekday workouts had to be cancelled due to ice and snow, leaving me to do speed and incline indoors. On days when it wasn’t cancelled, temperatures still hovered dangerously low; one of the few runs to go on as scheduled took place in the coldest conditions of (unofficial) Fleet Feet training history. Although I loathe the treadmill, my preference to retain feeling in my feet, fingers and nose convinced me that any evening workouts scheduled for sub-20 degree temperatures would be done indoors with a post-it note dictating my intervals (and subsequent looks from neighboring runners confused by my high speed sprints and constant adjustments to the incline).

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A Little Dose of Rejection

Rejection hurts. You can’t help but take it personally. It encourages all these negatives thoughts and doubts about what you might have done wrong and what you could have done better. Even yesterday when I experienced a rejection along with nearly 65,000 other people, it still stung.

I can’t even exactly call it rejection, yet the resonating effects are similar. Yesterday, I found out that I did not get accepted into the New York City Marathon. My first marathon entry of the year, New York represented the chance to run with 50,000 people through the city’s boroughs and along the Brooklyn Bridge. Reliving the days of college acceptances, when any email alert made me nervous, I spent yesterday wondering when I would hear confirmation of my acceptance. My finger seemed to live on the F5 button on my keyboard as I refreshed the New York Road Runners page to see if a change had been made in my account’s “Upcoming Races” box. Never can I remember a time when I was so anxious to see money charged to my credit card account. In spite of good news that 18 percent of lottery registrants would be selected, up from 12 percent in the previous year, my entry was not among the lucky percentage.

Like an ex boyfriend trying to explain “it’s not you, it’s me,” the New York Marathon email attempted to lessen the heartache of the rejection with apologetic language. “We’re very sorry, but you were not selected through our entry drawing.” I appreciate the apology, but it still hurts to be told you are being passed along. 

So with all rejections, you need to have a few days to be angry and reflective, and then it’s time to move on and remember the important lesson I wear on a charm bracelet around my wrist: “Everything happens for a reason.” While running the largest marathon in the U.S. remains on my running bucket list, it actually was not my top choice for my second marathon. The Chicago Marathon, set for mid-October, remains my number one pick. Since the NY lottery went live first, I entered my name into the ring, but perhaps my rejection is a sign of bigger and better things to come.

But even before notices about entry into Chicago are sent out, I still have the opportunity to run the Marine Corps Marathon for a second time. Though my preference is for new course in a new city, MCM has home field advantage since I can train on the course and have the benefit of a cheering squad already in the area ready to see me run past them.

Each of these marathons are among the biggest in the country, so they rely on lotteries to fill their running classes. As a result, there is no guarantee for participation (unless one commits to fundraising on behalf on a charity). Fortunately, even if my luck runs thin, I still have the chance to run nearby and beloved races, including the Baltimore and Richmond marathons.

In spite of the disappointment from not getting into New York, the waiting game reinforced my passion and commitment to running another marathon. Though I don’t know where that might be yet, I will run 26.2 miles somewhere in 2015.

Double Dipping

After I completed my marathon I wondered how I could top myself in running. How could I continue to challenge myself and push my limits when I had completed a 26.2 mile race? While the next level of insanity would be a 30- or a 50-miler, I know enough about my body and its limits to recognize that any distance greater than 26.2 miles is not on my bucket list.

So to keep myself motivated, I signed up for a different kind of experience, or should I say, two experiences. Yesterday morning, before most of the city even shifted under their covers, I stood in the shadow of the Washington Monument prepared to run the Pacers St. Patty’s 5k, and then the 10k, back to back. Continue reading


One night last week I laid in bed wide awake at 1 a.m. I had gone to bed nearly two hours before, yet I was not any more closer to falling asleep than I had been when I turned off the lights and slipped under the covers. But I knew what was keeping me awake.

My insides were yelling at me. My stomach felt empty and hallow. Despite eating dinner just a few hours prior to bed, I knew I wasn’t satisfied when my stomach continued to growl post-meal. Even so, I didn’t want to eat anything more, thinking I was tired enough that I could just fall asleep and wake up the next morning to refuel with breakfast. I was wrong.

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