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Back at it!

16 Feb

I spent the last month running inside on a treadmill at the local YMCA.  Definitely not my favorite way to get my exercise, but I really had no choice. My husband and I have been down for the count: hit hard by severe coughs since early January.  Multiple trips to the doctors haven’t been able to resolve anything…we’re just letting nature take its course.  Unfortunately, the slightest shot of cold air has us coughing/choking for air.

So until today, I’ve been hitting the gym and doing slow 5ks indoors.  Not fun, but each day I’ve been improving.

Despite the 30-degree weather, I finally bit the bullet and attempted an outdoor run.  It was slow going…but I only had to stop once for coughing.  I’ve never felt happier about a 2 mile run!

As you can see below, I use the Nike Running application on my iPhone to track my runs.  It’s a great alternative to a Garmin (especially if you already have an iPhone), and allows you to track pace, distance, time and route.  It’s good to be back and I am excited about gearing up for Nike’s Women’s Half Marathon in D.C.!

 

 

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Happy New Year!

1 Jan

2013 is finally here and I’m excited about another year full of wonderful runs and races!  Topping my to-do list is the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, to be held (for the first time ever) in  April, in Washington, D.C.  I’m also looking forward to a great series of Pacer’s Running races, including the Four Courts Four Miler and the Clarendon Day 10k.  Rounding out the race calendar is my favorite trail run: the Northface Endurance Challenge in June.  Still up in the air: another shot at beating my 5 hour time for the Marine Corps Marathon (missed it by 4 minutes last year).   Lots to do!

My family and I spent the day hiking in the beautiful Potomac Overlook Park.  It’s been a cold and overcast day, but I managed to crank out a 2.5 run following our hike.

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Best wishes to all my family, friends, running partners, and readers for a fabulous 2013!  Happy Running!

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Night Out!

28 Dec

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My husband treated me to a night out on the town for Christmas. Lucky for us, the Wardman Park has an awesome fitness center. We both cranked out a 5k, and now we’re off to dinner. Happy Running!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

24 Dec

We’re gearing up for Christmas in our house!  This means lots of events, family time…and tons of food.  Exercising during the holidays is always difficult, but we’re becoming experts in time management, fitting in runs whenever possible.

This morning my husband and I took turns:  he ran 6 miles  down to the U.S. Botanic Garden and I met him there with the kids.  We toured the beautiful holiday decorations, before I handed the kids off and ran back home.  I think he got the better end of the deal:  freezing rain on the run back!

Christmas Kids

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

Running in Boston + Nike Women’s Half!

16 Dec

I spent the last week at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government , taking part in their new Emerging Leaders program.  It was amazing, but fairly intense.  Each day started with a group breakfast, followed by lectures, activities, and lunch/dinner with classmates.  Needless to say, there was not much time left over for exercising.

But being a runner is like owning a portable gym.  I love the flexibility of being able to sneak a workout in, no matter the location or time of day.  I also love that it’s easy to connect with other runners and enjoy good company during a jog.

While in Boston, a classmate and I braved the sidewalks and bike trails of Boston (seriously braved…cyclists don’t announce their coming, as they do in D.C.) for a couple of great runs.

Here’s a shot of us in front of the famous John Harvard statue in Cambridge.  Students rub his foot for good luck on finals (note the shiny toe).

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The following day we took advantage of the warm (well, relatively warm) weather to run along the Charles River, past Boston University to MIT and back.   I had to represent my own alma mater out there…

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While in Boston, I also found out that our team got into the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, slated for April 28, 2013 in Washington, D.C.!   This is the inaugural year for the Nike race, and I’m so excited that the lottery worked out in our favor.  Let the serious training commence!  Happy Running!

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SOME Turkey Trot!

22 Nov

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Our team, the Rupert Rascals, came in 9th place for fundraising! Over 10k participants raised $400,000! Thanks to everyone who supported our team. We had a wonderful time!

Support the SOME Turkey Trot with the Rupert Rascals!

21 Nov

Thanksgiving is here and we’re once again running in the So Others Might Eat (SOME) Turkey Trot!  Here’s a shot of the family at last year’s race:

 

This year, we decided to form a fundraising team: the Rupert Rascals, to support the work of this amazing organization.  For those of you who are not familiar with SOME, please take a moment to read about the charity here.  This important group does wonderful things in Washington, D.C.: feeding, clothing, educating, and providing medical/dental care to some of our poorest neighbors.

The Rupert Rascals team has been raising money for over a month and I am happy to report that we have nearly $1300!  At last check, this is enough to put us in the TOP TEN fundraising teams!  We are thrilled to be able to support SOME, and the kids love to see the Rupert name on the fundraising marquis.  The competition ends tomorrow, so please  if you have few dollars to spare consider donating to SOME here.  The Rupert Rascals thank you!

Side note:  This is a blog about running, but I have to say:  SOME is one of my favorite local charities, and their annual Turkey Trot is just an example of the great community activities/fundraisers they sponsor.  Here’s a picture of my dad and younger daughter at the SOME Empty Bowls event.  Mark your calendars for 2013!

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Running with the family!

6 Nov

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We had a great time at the Acumen Race for a Cause. All of us are looking forward to our next family race: the SOME Turkey Trot 5k. Hope to see you out there!

Marathon Photo Fail

4 Nov

Last week, in the midst of waiting for my Marine Corps Marathon photos, I stumbled upon this article from the New York Times.  It’s a “must read” for any runner who’s ever experienced the horror of a post-race photo montage. Plus, it actually has some great tips for taking good shots, courtesy Run Like a Mother co-author, Dimity McDowell Davis.

Maybe I have a healthier-than-average self-image, but when I’m racing I feel like I’m tackling each mile like a pro.  I guess that’s why seeing a picture like this is such a blow to the ego:

 

In fairness, the photographer caught me with a mouth full of chewing gum (my marathon secret)…but still: yikes!

Apparently, I’m not the only one dealing with terrible action shots.  There are whole threads on running and triathlon websites dedicated to capturing the “worst of the worst” racing pictures.  Some of them are really hysterical.

After sorting through several dozen completely awful pictures, I finally found one that was semi-decent.  Now, all I have to do is crop out the photobomber in the bottom of the frame.

 

 

Marine Corps Marathon

29 Oct

I am so superstitious, and given my luck with injury/illness this year, I’ve not posted much on my training for the Marine Corps Marathon, fearing that I’d somehow “jinx” myself.   Well, the race was yesterday, and I’m thrilled to report that it was AMAZING:  a super event with my fastest marathon time yet.

First things first: I ran on the Niall Mellon Township Trust Team.  NMTT is Irish-based charitable organization that focuses on building homes for the poor throughout Africa.   This was the first year that NMTT pulled a team together for MCM, so only a small (but very committed) crew of runners participated.   Here’s a shot of us “carb loading” at Carmine’s in Chinatown on Saturday night.

I’d spent hours over the past week prepping supplies for the race, only to come home after our team dinner on Saturday to find my children had demolished my energy chews while the grandparents were babysitting.

Hope you enjoyed them, kids!  Now I understand why you were running wild all night!  Several other things that I (successfully) managed to pull together for the race: NorthFace arm warmers, Lucy Crops (get them now, they’re on sale), Lululemon tank, Saucony Kinvara 2s (also on sale) and Feetures! brand socks.

There was, understandably, lots of drama regarding the weather.  Race organizers and runners were all tracking Hurricane Sandy and frankly, I think we were preparing for the worst.  Lucky for everyone, the weather (aside from the wind on Hains Point) was perfect:  cool and overcast!

This is my second Marine Corps Marathon and again I was stuck by the complete professionalism and enthusiasm of  the hundreds of Marines working to support the event.   At every turn, support crews were ready to hand out water, Gatorade, vaseline, food, and encouragement.   Everything was done with smiles and trademark Marine humor:  at one refueling stop I asked for a cup of water…only to be told by a young Marine that only vodka was available.  The signs were also great this year.  My personal favorite was at milepost 1: Paul Ryan is already done!

Regarding the course: I was worried about the Lee Highway and Georgetown Reservoir hills (despite training hard for them), but was pleasantly surprised by my pace (just over 10 minute miles).  Hains Point and the Mall were also easier than I expected.

Unfortunately, the 14th Bridge seemed to go on forever, making the run around Crystal City nearly impossible to complete at pace.  I slowed considerably…though I give myself credit for not stopping at the Dunkin Donuts “munchkins” table (my husband had 3 cups of donut holes!!!).

I picked up speed and crushed mile 26, running the final hill with my last bit of energy.  I finished in 5:04, my fastest marathon yet…though sadly not swift enough to catch my husband (he finished in just under 5 hours).  I’ll be back again, MCM!  You guys put on a wonderful race!