Thursday, November 30, 2006

I have been tagged...

I am avid reader of other blogs and apparently my habit got me tagged.

1. Explain what ended your last relationship? We grew up and apart...

2. When was the last time you shaved? I will take the 5th -- it's almost December!

3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.? Checking my e-mail.

4.What were you doing 15 minutes ago? Typing a project plan

5. Are you any good at math? I prefer spreadsheets and the calculator (but my mom's 10-key skills are better than mine.)

6. Your prom night? Scary hair-do. I only recently threw out the box with the jillion hair pins that kept it in place along with the quart of hairspray.

7. Do you have any famous ancestors? Not that I know of.

8. Have you had to take a loan out for school? Nope. My parents did...

9. Do you know the words to the song on your myspace profile? No my space profile.

10. Last thing received in the mail? Netflix discs.

11. How many different beverages have you had today? Three - a glass of milk, coffee and water

12. Do you ever leave messages on people’s answering machine? Why not?

13. Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?

14. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach? Sometimes.

15. What is out your back door? The deck which is littered with leaves and needs to be resealed.

16. Any plans for Friday night? Yes, but they involve home improvement.

17. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair? It gives me the wavy look.

18. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns? I don't think so.

19. Have you ever been to a planetarium? Probably? Some field trip?

20. Do you re-use towels after you shower? Yes.

21. Some things you are excited about? Running, knitting, baking when I get the chance

22. What is your favorite flavor of JELLO? Raspberry

23. Describe your keychain(s)? It's a cheap carabiner from Target

24. Where do you keep your change? In my wallet and in my car's center console (for parking).

25. What kind of winter coat do you own? Which one? I like coats for some reason. Currently I have one PETA would hate, a long brown wool one I bought in Italy, and pretty blue green one from last season.

26. What was the weather like on your graduation day? Sunny for high school and college.

27. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed? Depends

28. Did you read this far? If you did - TAG! You're it!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Releasing my inner Rocky or my inner Kenyan?!?

I closed out the fall running season by running the Philadelphia Half Marathon. The course began and ended at the Eakins Oval in front of the set of steps that Rocky Balboa made famous. Thankfully the course didn't involve any stair work.

My training partner was injured so I was on my own for this one. Nervous?!? A little... but better weather makes for better running, the course was reasonably flat and I knew I was ready. The first 5.5 miles of the course allowed for muliple chances for spectators to catch their runners and between mile 7 and 8 we ran through the Drexel University campus -- including up Fraternity and Sorority Row. Sigma Phi Episilon and Delta Zeta (my mom's sorority) were out in force on their side by side front porches drinking and whooping it up.

Around mile 1 I spotted was has to be the best sign for a runner ever - it read "Go [some runner's name] Go -- release your inner Kenyan!" My inner Kenyan must have been released as well -- I finished in 2:23:46 -- and more importantly I didn't feel like I was going to pass out!

Monday, October 30, 2006

The tortoise becomes a hare?!?

Ever since I ran the Army 10 miler I have been moderately enamored (ok slightly obesssed) with the idea of running a half marathon in Washington DC. It was truly amazing to run down Independence Ave at the 10 miler, run past the monuments that are so familiar and ok I admit it have friends and family come watch me run. But there was a small hurdle to overcome -- in order to participate in the second annual National Half Marathon I needed to qualify. I am known for being stubborn but I have to say I was hoping to only have to try once because the racing opportunities are thinning out as the weather gets colder. I am pleased to report at yesterday's Marine Marathon 10K time proved to be a winner!

To put this in perspective you only need to look back at my timed run in May. I was happy just to finish (at a 14 minute per mile pace). Yesterday I went out and ran 6.2 miles as if it were second nature. That must be some sort of minor miracle. (Or as Coach Rich said while we watched the Marine Corps Marathoners finish, some really good coaching - I am inclined to agree).

Friday, October 27, 2006

Count down to the big event

This weekend a little thing called the Marine Corps Marathon takes over your nation's capitol. Now I have the running fever but not the patience to run the approximately 6 hours it would take me to finish a marathon. But my fellow teammates have been training all season long for the big day and I thought I'd share their thoughts as the day approached.

Twas three sleepnights before the race
And throughout metropolitan D.C.,
Carb-loading marathoners dreamt apace
Of the fans semper fidelis they might see.
The season, training since May, had been long . . .
And their legs/knees/feet were oft sore.
But they planned to finish strong!
(The effects of pilates on their core?)
With determination on their faces,
They remembered their mission: a CURE!
As they tied and re-tied their laces,
Victory, one step at a time, was sure.

The weather forecast for run/walking was ideal --
The better to attract a supportive crowd.
These TNT athletes imagined the zeal
Of friends and family cheering, cowbelling loud.
The course offered numerous chances, it seemed
For enterprising spectators, travelers among them,
To shout, "Run strong!" and "GO TEAM!"
Spectator Information

So when, where, how to find (or text) Stro?
Averaging 12.5 minutes per mile . . .
Singlet purple, visor green (day-glo) . . .
Mostly, thanks to your support, by her smile

To read Daphne's take on all of this
It's Three Days Away

I will be running the 10K companion race and then will be on the course cheering people on. Run Strong and GO TEAM!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I'm back

After all of my training I thought it would be a shame to waste the newly developed muscles, endurance, etc. Here's what I have been doing since my last post:

  • Fair Lakes 8K -- 1 week after VA Beach - how motivated is that?!? Although I was greatly humbled by a significantly older gentleman who ran the last leg neck and neck with me. It turns out he is 74! The finish line commenter was calling out names as we approached the line. Even though he beat me by 2 seconds all I could think was I want to be that strong at 74!
  • Navy 5 Miler on September 24th -- Humbled by the young this time - a coworker's 10 year old beat me by 6 minutes!
  • The Army 10 Miler on October 8th -- an awesome run through DC and the monuments with a great crowd on Independence Avenue.
Next weekend I am running the Marine Corps Marathon 10K run and going out to support my awesome teammates from Team In Training. My other great news is that I will be running for TNT's spring season and will be a team captain.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A journey of a lot of miles...

... began with a single step and ridiculous amount of stubborn determination.

I rocked Virginia Beach (my finisher's medal even says so!). Final time of 2:58:26, which meant I averaged 13:36 per mile over the course distance. Yesterday was humid and sunny -- the ideal race conditions were present the day before (about 5 degrees cooler and what felt like half as much humidity). The excitement of the race and a faster than average runner in our little group meant we came out stronger than we meant to (my 5K splits were 12:18 per mile). I lost a lot of speed between mile 9 and 10 -- just after I saw my support crew and just before I saw my sailing friend Janessa, whose boyfriend's band was playing on the course. (One of the selling features of the Rock and Roll Half Marathon is live music on the course. I have to say what sold me was the "fast and flat" race course!)

As I was training for this event people said "will you do it again?" and "is there a marathon in your future?" My answers before race day were "I will tell you after race day" and "definitely not." My answers now "yes I would do a half marathon again... I have a couple of races in mind." I have about five witnesses to my statement of no more summer endurance events though! -- it was TOO HOT . Running a full marathon remains out of the question. I think 3 hours is long enough to run. I would run with Team in Training again in a heartbeat -- there were people there every step of the way when I thought what in the hell am I doing and I just want to stop running now. To the Maryland TNT staff member who walked alongside of me at mile 10 and gave me sport beans, the Northern New Jersey Coach who ran most of mile 12 beside me and to Coach Rich who took me into the finish, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was simply an amazing journey...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Approaching Race Day

On Sunday my 16 week journey from 0 miles per week to 12-15 miles per week will be tested in my first ever half-marathon. I have done the physical preparation -- every Saturday group run, Tuesday/Thursday solo and buddy runs as well as Wednesday cross-training (ok you all know that involved sailing and beer!). Now I just need to run so I can stop wondering "what will the race be like?" and does it really matter if this is a non-Gatorade race?!? (Because I can't see carrying little packets of Gatorade to mix while I run, the answer is no. I have my favorite energy source - Clif Bloks, so that's all that matters to me!)

So what have I learned in 16 weeks?

1. Running is fun... if you find your groove, awesome running partners and a good trail. Good trails = Capital Crescent, Custis Trail and the National Mall. Bad trails = Pierce Mill at Rock Creek Park.
2. Every future marathoner or half-marathoner needs an awesome group of runners and non-runners alike to encourage, cajole (recognize yourself?!?), and generally keep them honest.
3. Being speedy gets you to the finish line first, but the back of the pack has more fun.
4. Running is a worse cult than rowing, my former temple of pain
5. I couldn't have asked for a better training program than Team in Training. If you're thinking about joining them - to run a marathon, cycle 100 miles, or complete a triathalon - do it! It's a great cause to be associated with and a wonderful group of people.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I am strong...

... Ok I am not invincible, but Saturday's weather certainly made me feel that way. Mother Nature's birthday present to me was a beautiful, low humidity, 65 degree morning. I couldn't have asked for better weather to run 12 miles. (no that's not a typo!) I finished in under 3 hours and I felt good. Highlights include

  • The company of my running buddies singing Happy Birthday as we ran down the trail
  • My favorite trail (Capital Crescent Trail)
  • Realizing I am strong enough to run 12 miles
  • Finding Nikki, the wife of a former co-worker, working the water stop at mile 5.5 (isn't she lucky that the big sweaty hug she got wasn't as sweaty as it normally would be?)
The half-marathon is less than 3 weeks away and after Saturday I am sure I can finish...

Monday, August 07, 2006

A cure for the doldrums...

... can be found in beautiful, low humidity 70ish degree weather. I opened the front door on Saturday morning (at 0555!) and didn't feel like I was walking into an oven. This my friends is exciting. The 10 mile run two Saturdays ago was miserablely hot. Even though I was looking at 8 miles of hills, at least the weather was on my side.

In the end, the weather effect shaved 2 minutes per mile off my time. 8 miles in 104 minutes equals 13 minute miles. Whoo hoo! And at the end of my run, I felt good! I am sure this weather effect will be short-lived (the glass half-empty theory) and my 12 miles on the 12th will be like my 10 miles on 29th but for now the doldrums are over!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The doldrums

With multiple days of 100+ degree days (before the heat index!), you can't blame me for having a case of the blahs. It's not safe to run outdoors and the dreadmill, um I mean treadmill, has been a real treat. I swear I have completely reprioritized my home improvement list after my time on the treadmill in the basement. I have visions of a bright cheery workout room, with a nice plasma tv...

I am happy to report I did survive the 10 miles last Saturday. I discovered I really dislike running around Haines Point and that 10 miles in July takes me 2.5 hours. Oh well there is time for speed later. Saturday we conquer another piece of the Marine Corps Marathon Route -- I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Musings

I am behind on this and I know it. But gentle readers I must also point out no one submitted their favorite workout tunes. Enough said, we're even.

Last Saturday's run was eight miles -- done it once so I knew I could do it again. Only complaints - 90+ degrees and nasty humidity. The location was ok - Pierce Mill section of Rock Creek Park. It's Coach Rich's favorite which may have something to do with the fact that there seemed to be less bikers. I love the Capital Crescent Trail (maybe because it's where it all began on May 20th) but even at 0700 on a Saturday morning there are TONS of bikers. On the way home from the run I reflected that what gets me through the long runs is the joy of the back of the pack. I admit it, I envy the 8-10 minute mile group, but did you sing on your long run last Saturday? And not just any song but Buttercup. Take that you speedsters.

Tuesday was a treadmill day -- though Anne and Sarah say I get points for dedication. (I say I get penalized for laziness on Tuesday morning when the alarm went off at 0500 and I ignored it). Anne, Sarah and I are knitters and we decided to take a class at Stitch DC. (the best knitting store in the District). So at darn near 10 pm I was hitting the treadmill when I finally made it home from the Eastern Market station. I did add a few items to my workout mix on the i-pod to spice things up, but that doesn't mean y'all are off the hook!

Last night was probably the most challenging mid-week run ever. As Stro pointed out when we were done I faced (and conquered) several challenges in one 4 mile run and didn't really struggle until the last half mile. It was the usual 90 degree muggy weather (sadly I take that as a given) but since I had forgotten my water bottle and waist pack I had to carry my water. Coach Rich is right -- that really does throw off your gait. We had a luncheon at work and I have now figured out that even 5+ hours later enchiladas can really throw you off. Stro is a marathoner and her mileage mid-week has been increased to 4 miles so I had a new distance and route. Add to that we decided to run 5:1 and it's no wonder I was wrecked when I finished. And if all that wasn't enough the red line towards Glenmont required at 15 minute wait. Ugh.

Coach Rich has given us a preview of tomorrow's route. He split the distance -- marathoners are scheduled to run 12 miles and half-marathoners are scheduled to run 10 miles. He has an 11 mile route he likes so guess what - we're all running 11 miles. Fun times, I know you all secretly envy me.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sick of the Treadmill

Well it was bound to happen at some point in my training -- it would be so ridiculously hot that outdoor running would be mildly dangerous instead of just mildly masochistic. With a heat index of 105, Tuesday definitely qualified. (As if I needed any further incentive to run indoors the Navy declared Tuesday a black flag day -- all outdoor physical training was cancelled.)

But the flip side is the sheer mononity of it. Forty minutes seems like drudgery -- and it doesn't help I am stuck in a music rut on my i-pod. So my devoted readers bring on your favorite exercise songs ... the heat is breaking a little but I am sure there are a few more treadmill days in my future.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A little excitement on the trail

By now I have overcome the early rising on Saturday morning for group runs, but last night on the GW Parkway I looked through the smog near Arlington Cemetry and noticed I could barely see the Georgetown campus. This didn't add to my excitement for today's run - I had already run Thursday night and come back dripping head to toe. YUCK.

Today's run was only 6 miles on the Capital Crescent Trail - familiar distance in a familiar place -- not much excitement to look forward to. Now we're used to trail manners about bikers but police cars?!? Somewhere between mile 8.5 and 9, there was a police car. At first it seemed like they were there for the tree on the trail - until you realized the tree got on the trail when someone drove down the path and crashed down into the gulch on the side of the trail! I have my trusty Washington Post reader (aka my mother) on the case and I'll post an update when I find out more. What we do know is that after we turned around at Thompson's Boat House and headed back to Fletcher's one of the police cars was escorting the driver away in hand-cuffs. It was a pity the camera phone was in the car!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Good things (Not the kind that Martha makes)

If one is going to haul oneself out of bed at 0530 on a Saturday morning, there better be some spiffy gear to put on. For once I tried to go slow on the purchasing (had to prove to myself I'd make it more than 2 weeks) but lately I have been in acquisition mode - something about not wanting to do laundry 3 times a week to have clean running clothes I think.

The shoes - Asics GT 2110 - They are a motion control shoe (keeps my feet from rolling in, but also works for people who roll their feet out). My first pair was a lovely periwinkle and silver combination and I was very excited to discover them in a turquoise silver combo. (All the better to tell the two pairs apart, although a nameless killjoy pointed out a magic marker would have worked too!) As you can see from the link I can look forward to lime or orange shoes as well. Running shoes have this great side benefit (from the point of view of major shoe buyer) - you have built-in excuse to replace them as the cushioning is only good for 350-400 miles. How cool is that? No one can ever say "do you really NEED new running shoes?" Because as long as you keep running you can answer "YES, I do!"

The water bottle - I didn't have a choice on this purchase -- it's mandatory to carry water for TNT. I have however been through two different ones. I prefer my second one (pictured in the link) because the bottle is 6 oz. larger and it has a pocket for my keys. I accidently bought the one with a 4 oz bonus bottle for gel or gu... which is amusing because I can't stand the stuff.

I prefer to replenish electolytes with Gatorade though I have recently become a convert of sport beans and Clif Bloks. I love jelly beans and gummy type candy so these two are far preferable to the slimey sugariness that is gel or gu. For the uninitiated the best description I have heard of gel/gu is that is something like super thick, sweet buttercream frosting. (not the vegetable shortening grocery store kind, but the kind on wedding cakes). Um, sure that sounds appealing while you're sweating away runnning, right?

After years of working out in cotton t-shirts I was skeptical about the synthetics that claim to wick moisture. They I ran in my stylish Nike Dri-fit TNT shirt and I was hooked. The synthetics are lighter and stick to you less. I have sampled Nike, Brooks and Adias and my personal favorite is the Adidas. As evidence of my committment to keep running come fall, I just acquired this stylish long sleeve number.

There was no crafty goodness in my good things list - but I think it's more fun than Martha's good things.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

We're going the distance...

... and that repeat was in my head over and over as I slogged through eight, count 'em eight miles. No boys and girls this is not a typo. (although I had a moment where I was convinced it was because the half marathoners did eight miles today and full marathoners had a recovery week with six miles). Should you like to similarly torture yourself I have thoughtfully provided the means with the route below:

The Route

Highlights: Finally saw the new World War II Memorial. It's gorgeous but I am annoyed with the National Park Service that the lovely bathrooms weren't open! Lows: It was eight miles, enough said.

For all of you keeping score on my times the first six miles including a water break and potty stop (go Folklife Festival porta johns) clocked in at 75 minutes. Didn't restart the watch after mile six water stop.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Am I turning into a runner?

Let's see ... the warning signs of a new-found obsession are present: 1- I arranged my vacation around it last weekend, 2- I willingly get out of bed before 0700 on a Saturday and 3- just because it's the 4th of July, it's still a training day and thus I still willingly got out of bed before 0700.

Today's schedule called for a 3 mile run - tack on .2 for good measure and you have a 5K. I ran the 6th Annual Cure Autism Now 5k as my training run. I wasn't really interested in a PR (personal record) but I knew I could do it in 43 minutes or less, as my TNT pace run only took that long. I finished in 38.2 minutes, far exceeding my expectations and establishing a new benchmark for myself.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

What time is it?!?

We finally had to move our start time to 0700. About the time I wake up on weekdays I was in the car headed for 16th Street and my carpool buddies, thinking all the while "what am I doing?!?" Today's run was 6 miles for half-marathoners and 10 for full marathoners. 10 will come soon enough for moi, 6 was plenty. Today's venue was the Capital Crescent Trail which has pluses (lots of shade) and minuses (the normally fragant Potomac is even more so following our week of rain). From mile 8 marker we ran to Thompson's Boat House, grabbed some water and headed back. Back at mile 8 the marathoners kept going to mile 10 but I was done! 77 minutes -- which means at least temporarily I broke the 13 minute mile barrier (not by much!). And all before 0900 on a Saturday...

Thanks to all of my wonderful friends and family I am now $200 shy of my fundraising minimum. Yippee!

Monday, June 26, 2006

New York New York

My weekend away in New York was scheduled around the fact that Saturday's run was only 4 miles. That I figured I could run alone. But as I mentioned in my previous post, I actually got to run with TNT New York.

TNT NY gave me a greater appreciation for our tight-knit little group in DC. They have 400+ people registered for this season and three coaches. This may explain why they don't have pace groups set up -- it's just half-marathoners and beginner, intermediate and advanced marathoners. I never found the half-marathoners so I just set off on the appointed run - 5 miles from Riverside Park to Chelsea Piers and back.

The Route

After a high-five from TNT Coach Ramon at the turn-around point, some words of encouragement from marathoner Wanda, who runs in honor of her sister and a really LOUSY mile 5 I was done. (An hour and 9 minutes for those of you keeping track). A low behold just as I was missing TNT DC, bleep goes my cell phone with a text from Stro!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Over hill over dale...

... oh I don't remember. Something about dusty trails and caissons?

Last Saturday marked our first hill training day. Good skill to have, awesome training especially since some of my peers will be running the San Francisco Women's Marathon. I can honestly say I thought about that one for oh about 4 seconds. San Francisco used to exhaust me walking around on business trips - but to run 26.2 miles there?!? You have to be kidding.

At any rate I digress -- hill training = good. Repeat the mantra think bathing suit ready bottoms. But less than 1/4 mile into the route? We were out in Arlington, running on the Custis Trail - up and down the hills for 1 1/4 miles. All I can say is the conversation at the back of the pack was good because I felt the hills but I didn't want to give up.

Tuesday morning I had the bright idea to run early - beat the heat and all that. Something about sleep deprivation made me forget that my home route takes me down the hill, through part of the Maryland section of Rock Creek Trail and then into a Kensington neighborhood. Let me tell you Bexhill Rd. isn't flat. But I chugged up those hills, got to my two mile point and thought what in the heck I am doing?!? I finished less rather than was more a brisk walk back to my starting point. But hey it was 0530 - I haven't done that on a regular basis since Hopkins crew practices.

I am off to New York this weekend and lest you think I will be slacking I am happy to report 1- my first thought was where am I going to run? and 2- I have been spared running alone. TNT DC has connected me with TNT NY's marathon training program. We will be running in Riverside Park - look for a full report later.

If you'd like a look at another TNT blog check out Daphne Runs
Definitely a good read...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Patience is a virtue

From a very young age I remember being told that patience was a virtue -- and when I was being particularly frustrating that I seemed to have been born without it! Flash forward two decades and well, nothing's changed. Thursdays I run with my buddy Stro in Dupont Circle. Urban running is well, an exercise in patience -- you reach your stride and you have to wait for a damn crosswalk to go in your favor. Tonight as we neared the end of our run (3 miles in 43 minutes with a 4:1 run:walk ratio) I was doing the impatient thing. First I did the New York cross (cross the street because the light is your favor that way because you like the feeling that you kept moving -- the efficiency of this is highly questionable I know) but then I did something I have done in major world capitals (ok except Singapore) -- I jaywalked! BUSTED. The fine policemen of our nation's capital have been given a mandate to crack down on jaywalkers. Stro and I couldn't decide what pissed this fine officer off more -- my jaywalking or the fact that I was not carrying a photo identification. (I do wear my TNT emergency contact tag on my shoe). I talked my way out of it and escaped the $20 fine. But on the walk back to the metro I waited for every walk sign...

A reminder of why I am doing this...

This came in my weekly coaches email courtesy of our mission captain. It's a poignant reminder of why I chose to do this - for kids...

The Kati Fisher Story

One girl's selfless spirit inspired hundreds of people in her hometown and across the country.
Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 11-year-old Kati Fisher traveled from Massachusetts to San Diego with her father Rick in 2001 to watch thousands of Team In Training (TNT) athletes run the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. From that point on, and in an effort to find a cure for leukemia so that other people would not have to suffer from the disease, Kati set a goal to join TNT and run the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon when she was old enough. This year, Kati would have turned 16 and would have been ready to race, but tragically she lost her battle with leukemia in March 2004.
Kati's determination to help others inspired many people in her hometown and across the country to do the same. Today, Kati's father, Rick Fisher, kept his daughter's dream alive. Along with 75 TNT members from "Kati's Dream Team," Rick completed the race in a time of 4:31:53 wearing a special race-timing chip registered in Kati's name. By wearing the chip, Kati and her father crossed the finish line together and Kati is listed as an official finisher.
Kati never wanted any charity, she wanted a cure for Leukemia. In that spirit, Kati's Dream Team ran with her, not for her.
~Taken from the Rock N Roll Marathon Website

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Running the Mall

Today's run started at the Senate Parking lot, headed out to the Mall, down Constitution to 14th Street and back to the parking lot. Good news - at the water stop at the parking lot we were over half-way home so to speak. Bad news after the water and/or Gatorade it was back out to the Mall, to run the last 2 miles. I have never been so happy to see 7th Street in my life! It was not a good day for people needing bathroom breaks - they are setting up for the Folklife Festival on the Mall but all of the portables were locked! We joked that this may have accounted for a pretty quick pace on the part of some. I finished 5 miles in about 71 minutes...

I have finally acquired a watch with 2 interval timers so that I can run my recommended 3:1 ratio without needing to depend on someone else's watch. I happy to report that I managed to set it myself -- with one amusing mistake -- I didn't realize it would count down hours so my first attempted setting was 3 hours! I hit start to verify it was working and instantly saw my mistake!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

How Can your resist this face?!? & Buddy Runs Continued

When I decided to run the half marathon, my dear friend Wendy offered to take a picture of her daughter with a sign that said "Run Kate, Run!" Since part of the reason I am doing this is because of children, I couldn't pass up her offer. Sahara's dad Brent will be doing a century (100 miles) bike ride with TNT Portland. So Sahara's next shoot is likely to be pedal daddy, pedal!

Update on Saturday: It was the five miles and I did finish. I adjusted my run:walk ratio down to 3:1 and that seemed to work out well. Every Saturday I go and come home and say "that's the furthest I have ever run..." which is a cool feeling.

The weather goddess has been kind to us -- tonight was the kind of night that makes running a pleasure -- 70ish degrees and a great breeze. Oh and the scenery wasn't bad either. Sahra one the TNT team captains hosted a run on the National Mall. We run up the Mall, around the reflecting pool in front of the Capitol, down the other side of the Mall, around the Washington Monument and finished on the Mall. Truly a very DC thing to do. There were no run:walkers there tonight so I ran with less formalized walk breaks. Thursday night I have a chance to run at Iwo Jima... which is tempting. Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Behind on Blogging & Buddy Runs

Since I have a loyal fan base of at least two readers I shall attempt to make up for not posting last Saturday.

Coach Rich, bless his heart (I say that now but this was not what I was thinking at 0800 last Saturday), has temporarily put the half and full marathoners on the same training program. So I showed up thinking I would be running 3 miles and got to run 4 miles as an extra special bonus. Since my last 5K (for you non-math wizards that is 3.2 miles) was in 1999, I started over-thinking - 4 miles - I can't do that. ACK! Ah but yes I can due the miracle known as run-walk. My group did a 4:1 running to walking ratio and I have to tell you the first 2 miles didn't seem so bad. Mother Nature flipped the switch on summertime Saturday morning so the last mile was not exactly fun. But I did it. Now if I only I could stop being so cerebral about distance.

Tonight I did my first mid-week buddy run. Today's high temperature was 88 degrees and the thunder and lightning has been holding off all day. Truly ideal conditions to ponder a 3 mile jog and certainly grounds to talk one's self into running indoors on the nice cushy treadmill. Ah... but as Mom always pointed out when someone is there waiting for you to show up you show up, even when you really don't want to. The lovely and gracious Stro proven to be an excellent route planner and the rains held off until we were done running. We certainly weren't speed deamons but how can you be when you have to wait to cross the street and it feels like a zillion degrees outside.

Saturday's schedule says 5 miles for marathoners. If it turns out to be 4 for the half marathon group I will consider it a lucky bonus.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

First Group Run...

Today was the information clinic - exciting stuff like sports nutrition (essentially not habits I am practicing now), equipment (Dri-fit/Coolmax is king), and stretching (never enough of that). Then to the trail we went. The object was to run 3 miles for the purpose of timing us and putting us into pace groups. Two things about this were a little daunting: 1) my general tolerance is somewhere between 2 and 2.5 miles and 2) the timing! Ten years ago I could run 10 minute miles but today my goal was much more realistic - 45 minutes to complete the run (15 minute miles). I came out strong - probably a little too strong (old habits die hard). But I found my groove and more importantly someone with a realistic and steady cadence to pace myself on. 45 minutes later I was back at the start/finish line. Subtract two minutes for starting in the second group and voila 43 minutes. So first goal has been achieved!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Kickoff Breakfast Day!

Well I've either officially gone off the deep-end or I am just experiencing my quarter century crisis a few years late. Today I committed myself and my summer to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program.By Labor Day weekend I will have run more miles and fundraised more dollars than I have in my whole life.

Backing up for a second... several months ago I made a job switch and suddenly found that I had a lot of free time. I saw an ad for Team in Training and thought why not? (From my days as a rower I know that I am a glutton for punishment.) As the time got closer I reexamined why I wanted to do this and came to the INON conclusion (as in it's now or never). Plus Team in Training was a cause that resonated with me because the most common childhood disease is leukemia. So as much as I am doing this for myself, I am doing in hopes that no one I know ever experiences a child with leukemia.

As the summer progresses, watch my progress here. If you'd like to donate my webpage is listed below.