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

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Feeling 22, Ready for 26.2

DSC_0005Yesterday as I was sifting through one of my notebooks during an office meeting, I found a list of my goals for 2014. Crafted at the start of the new year, I made a list of things I wanted to achieve and get in a habit of doing. In the midst of trying to cook three times a week (fail), read two books a month (some months were a fail), and heading to California (I made it kind of close), I wrote “Fall Marathon.”

And here I am, four days out from checking off that item.

At 22, I’m going to run a marathon. Continue reading

Two. Zero.

I did it.

I crossed the threshold.

For the first time ever, I saw a two in the tens digit of my miles on my GPS watch. And it felt amazing.

There was plenty of anxiety building up to this run. While I had managed my 18-miler after a week in Vegas and no running, the looming 20 felt different: it signaled a point in my training that said if you can do 20, then you can run a marathon.

I have heard that 18 miles is when marathon runners start to hit the wall; mile 20 is when the wall begins to tumble down. At that point, only 6 miles remain before completion of a full marathon. Only 6 miles. If you can run 20, then those last remaining miles (apparently) are nothing.

So Saturday became the ultimate test: how would my legs handle three hours of nonstop running? The answer, amazingly well!

As I ran with two other women in my training group, we kept talking about how we had ten miles to go, and then only ten miles back. Only, only, only. We paced the first ten miles on the Capital Crescent Trail slightly above a 9 min/mile pace, then on the ten back, we revved up the pace and managed to average miles under nine minutes. Even with the infamous Calvert Hill to tackle in the final mile, we never slowed down. We kept moving and powered upwards, taking only a beat to stop at the peak before a green light signaled us to keep running across the street.

Everything was in our favor on Saturday. The sun, not yet up when we began the trek, opened itself through the clouds and shimmered through the trees of the trail we paced along. A rain shower from the evening prior left fallen leaves wet and scattered along the path. Though they didn’t crunch under our sneakers, their presence signified fall‘s official status. There was sweat, of course, but the cool air and the autumn breeze made it a picture perfect (cliche) day, made even better by what was achieved all before 1030 AM.
 In less than three hours we had completed 20 miles. The accomplishment another example of how you can surprise yourself with your strength and power. Here I am, a woman with a running career (if you can even call it that) less than two years old, and I have four half marathons and a 20-mile PDR under my belt, and in less than three weeks I will be running the streets, hills and sights of D.C. and Virginia en route to finish my first marathon.

On Saturday, I completed 20 miles; the next time I see a number that high on my watch will be October 26. I can barely contain the excitement.

Running Naked

Okay, so the title is a little misleading. I have never run naked, but ask runners and I bet they will tell you they wish they could run in their birthday suit during D.C’s hottest months.

D.C. in the summer is hot. Not just 95-degrees-and-sunny hot, but 95-degrees-and-oppressive-dew-points-that-make-you-think-you-transported-to-the-surface-of-the-sun hot.

This past summer has been no exception. After being bitten by the running bug, lacing up my sneakers has made me one of “those people” who actually enjoy sweating en route to the monuments or along the Rock Creek Parkway. Continue reading

Running on Not Quite Empty

How is it Monday already? Surely this weekend should have lasted longer than my three-day cleanse!

Alas, guess it is back to work today. Fortunately for me, my three days of juicing did not put a damper on my Saturday and Sunday; on the contrary, it was the busy weekend and there were no unfortunate side effects of the multiple days without real meals. IMG_1473

Like all Saturdays from now and until October 25, it started with a 6:20 AM alarm signaling me to get up, into my running clothes and out the door to Fleet Feet for the 7 AM SLR. This week’s 8-mile route had us running from the store down to the Lincoln Memorial and back. Despite having very limited fuel in me, I decided to run with the big guns yesterday, the sub 8 minute-mile pace group. At least for the beginning. I kept pace with them for about the first two miles, but by the time I had reached Lincoln, my pace had dropped to about 8:20/mi and there the boys were nowhere in sight (clearly, this has been a week of less than the best decisions) . Continue reading