Race Recap: Clarendon Day 5k

Time for another overdue race recap! In September I ran the Clarendon Day 5k. You may remember last year I did the double at this race running both the 5k and the ensuing 10k. I have to say, I was pretty relieved this year when I was walking back up the hill after the 5k that I only had to cheer on the 10k runners and not join them this time!

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I love this course right in the middle of my old neighborhood. I’ve spent many early mornings running up the Wilson Boulevard hill, so I was really looking forward to getting to run down it for this race.

There were a lot of other Oiselle runners coming out for the race and for brunch after so it was great to see that crew as well and meet some of the newer flock members! I ran into a few before the race started and then hopped into the starting area.

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(I stole this photo from Courtney – check out her blog at eatprayrundc.com!)

The first mile is fast and all downhill from Clarendon to Rosslyn. The second mile continues the downhill out onto route 110 straightaway towards the Pentagon before reaching the turnaround point. The final mile goes from flat to a slight uphill to the finish. After barreling downhill for the first two miles this hill seems way tougher than it should be!

I crossed the line in 24:08 for a 7:46 pace. A bit slower than last year, but a bit faster than my run at the Dulles Day 5k the week before!

I met up with some of my Oiselle teammates after the race as we walked back up the hill to cheer those doing both on at the start of the 10k. I changed out of my sweaty clothes and enjoyed a hot chocolate before we headed to brunch at Lyon Hall. Such a fun morning!

 

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

I got off to a slow start this week, but finished strong. It was another week of all easy, base-building runs as next week officially starts my marathon training!

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: Rest Day.

Tuesday: Unplanned rest day. After too little sleep Monday night, I decided a couple extra hours would do me better than a workout.

Wednesday: 40-minute treadmill run at the gym after work followed by a core workout.

Thursday: I hit the gym after work again for a 50-minute treadmill run and some core work.

Friday:  It was back to the gym after work on Friday night to kick off the weekend. I got in 30 minutes on the treadmill while watching the first half of the Syracuse game and a quick full-body workout during halftime.

Saturday: It was a beautiful, but chilly, morning for a 40-minute run along the W&OD Trail. It is amazing how having the right gear on can make a run in cold temps so much more enjoyable though! I also got in some core work later that night.

Sunday: I got in a quick and easy 35-minute run along the W&OD this morning before packing up and driving to Syracuse for Thanksgiving week! It was a bit warmer out than yesterday, which I did not realize and totally overdressed. Good thing it was a quick run!

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Wedding Recap: The Rehearsal

The whole day of the rehearsal was so surreal for me. It was hard to believe that the wedding weekend was finally here!

By Friday of wedding week Ian and I had finished up most of the things on our to-do list. Ian took the last few things for me and I had a pretty relaxing and enjoying day leading up to the wedding. My Mom, my bridesmaids and I got manicures and pedicures. They took extra good care of me when they found out I was the bride and it was probably the best manicure I have ever had.

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After manis and pedis, I headed back to my parent’s house with a few of my bridesmaids and hung out until it was time to head to the rehearsal. My friend Sarah did my hair. I have never mastered anything more than using the flat iron, so I let her take over and put in a bunch of loose curls!

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Mom & I on the way up to the rehearsal!

 

All of a sudden it was past time to go and we were rushing to the Church as Ian texted wondering where we were! The ceremony was held at Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville, NY where I grew up. It holds a special place in my heart as I went to the neighboring elementary school there. There were many events held up at the Church for us over the years from Kindergarten and Sixth Grade graduations to mine and my brother’s high school graduation parties in the reception hall.

Ian and I rocking our custom chuck taylors at the rehearsal

Ian and I rocking our custom chuck taylors at the rehearsal

Ian and I quickly met with the priest, Father Chris, when we got there. Father Chris was absolutely great. He was our age, very personable and had a great sense of humor. We met with him a couple months before the wedding and he seemed to take a genuine interest in getting to know us and making our ceremony a very personal experience for us. I really appreciated it.

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We did a whole run-through so we would know when to sit and stand and where to walk. Naturally we still managed to mess a few things up the next day, but I don’t think too many people could tell!

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We wrapped up in less than an hour. This made things really start to feel real! After the rehearsal we were off to our Tailgate Party! More on that later.

Race Recap: USATF Old Town One Mile Road Race

Last weekend, the US National 12k came to Old Town Alexandria for its second year bringing a slew of elite runners. Molly Huddle defended her title in the women’s race winning in 38:08 and Brian Shrader surprised everyone winning the men’s race in 34:11. The race gives everyday runners a chance to toe the line with elites and is a really cool experience. Last year I volunteered in the elite check in area and ran their bags to them as they finished. Oh yea, I also got to meet Deena Kastor as I cheered on runners at the finish.

usrrc6This year I decided I would participate on the running side. Being only one week after I got back from my honeymoon though, I knew I wouldn’t be up for a 12k that I would be proud of. Along with the 12k though, there was also a 1-mile road race option and a kid’s race. I figured even being slightly out of shape, I could push through the 1-miler. The 12k ran first so the 9:30 start time for the 1-mile race was also appealing!

Ian and I got to the race early so I would have plenty of time to get a warm-up in. I work in Old Town, so we parked near my office and walked to the start from there. I think our walk was as long as the race! As we neared the start though, I started to notice anyone else that had the same bib on as me looked to be under 10 years old. Panic set in as I was pretty sure I had signed up for a kid’s race. I refused to take my coat off and show my bib until I saw other adults – and not just ones racing with their kids. This definitely cut into my warm-up time, but oh well, I wasn’t in any shape to set a PR that day anyways, and it made for some good laughs. Thankfully more people my age did show up, so I wasn’t alone in getting shown up by a bunch of kids!

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That guy with the giant mascot head behind me – Woody Wilson – would go on to beat me. It was a touch demoralizing!

It was one of the first really chilly weekends here in DC, so I opted for my winter hat. I wore my Oiselle flyte longsleeve under my singlet along with stride shorts and high compression socks. I definitely overestimated how warm out I thought it would be though as I never took my warm-up pants off and ran the race in them. It it were the 12k I probably would have been OK in the shorts, but there was just not enough time in the 1-mile to warm up!

Ian headed down to about the quarter mile mark. It was a straight and flat out and back, so he was able to easily catch me going both ways. I know when he’s wearing a hoodie that it’s definitely cold out!

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I took off fast and paid dearly for it on the second half. I really didn’t think I could lose that much time in such a short race, but I did! I ran the first quarter at a sub-6 pace and was already slowing drastically before I reached the turnaround.

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For the last quarter mile I just kept telling myself to put one foot in front of the other and not slow down too much. According to my watch, which I didn’t stop until I cleared both finish line mats, I finished in 7:18. That’s about a minute off my PR in the mile, but I thought it was respectable for my week and a half back to running after a few weeks mostly off.

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My official results say I finished in 7:25. I don’t know why, but this really upset me. I know it’s only 7 seconds, but I know I finished faster than that. They have a set of pictures you can see on their site from the time you finished and I’m not in any of them. I would like to believe that is because something went wrong with the timing and I actually crossed the line 7 seconds faster!

Regardless, I do love the adrenaline of shorter races like this and would love to find another one soon. I liked my track one-miler better, but I was also in much better shape for that one so I could be a bit biased!

How about you? Have you done a 1-miler before? Was it on the road or on the track?

Race Recap: Dulles Day 5k On The Runway

Last year I heard about a new race coming to DC – the Dulles Day 10k and 5k. It took place right on the runway – so cool! I was out of town for the race weekend though, so I wouldn’t get to do it. This past September, however, I would not miss out!

My biggest regret is that I was not in better shape for this race. It is the ultimate flat PR course. It still turned out to be a cool experience though.

Ian was out of town for the weekend, so I rented a car to make the early trip out to Dulles Airport on Saturday morning. The earliest public transportation could get me there was well after the race would have finished so that wasn’t an option. In a tiny Chevy Spark that was mine for the weekend, I made my way out to Dulles bright and early. Well, actually it was still dark.

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I needed to pick my packet up day-of so I got there an hour early thinking that would be plenty of time. It wasn’t. Parking for the race was at the Steven Udvar-Hazy Center – the companion museum to DC’s National Air & Space Museum. We got to cut through the museum to make our way to packet pick-up and the race start. I can’t believe I have never been out here before and now totally understand why everyone says it is so much better than the museum on the Mall.

The packet pick-up line wound around in circles making it a bit disorganized and hard to find the end. Once I got my place in line it slowly chugged a long as I watched the time click down towards the start. I finally got my bib and then turned to see a line for the bag drop. I finally made my way to the front of that as they announced 3 minutes until the 5k start.

I bolted off towards the start line and had to work my way up from the back of the field. I got about midway through when the race began. We made our way out onto the runway – talk about a flat course. There was one plane out along the way for us to run by before we shot down a straightaway. We made a slight turn and came back down the other side passing the start line and finishing back behind the Udvar-Hazy Center.

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The weather was perfect – a touch of chill in the air. I wore my Oiselle arm warmers for most of the race before pushing them down for the last mile along with shorts. Still, I felt slow and flat-footed. I wasn’t in shape and it showed in my time as I crossed the line in 26:12. That’s slower than my PR marathon pace!

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I did pick it up for the final mile, but wish that I’d had more to give. I did love the race though and will definitely go back next year if I’m in town. For you speedsters, the winners of the 10k get a pair of round-trip tickets from United and the top male and female 5k runners each get one round-trip ticket with United. Not a bad prize at all!!

What unique races have you done?

 

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

It was a fun week getting back into daily workouts after a few weeks off for my honeymoon. While my runs were slow, I didn’t lose nearly as much fitness as I would have expected over my little hiatus. That was probably helped by the fact that we were walking between 5 and 10 miles most days as we trekked all over Europe!

Anyways, here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: Thanks to continued jetlag I had no problem getting up at 5:30 and heading to the gym before work. 45-minute treadmill run. Upper body workout and core workout.

Tuesday: Another early morning at the gym for a 45-minute treadmill run, legs workout and core workout.

Wednesday: Rest day.

Thursday: I worked through my lunch today so I could take off running at about 4:15 and catch the last bit of daylight. I put in about 50 chilly minutes along the Mt. Vernon Trail.

Friday:  I got in a great 50-minute run today, again along the Mt. Vernon Trail, as I raced against the setting sun! Such a great way to start the weekend.

Saturday: Rest day.

Sunday: One mile road race in Old Town Alexandria – more to come on this, but my unofficial finish time was 7:18.

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Running Goals

I do my best, most consistent training when I have concrete goal races and times, so I put my credit card down and registered for my next big race. Putting it in writing makes it more real for me and keeps me accountable, so here goes…

I’m giving a BQ attempt another go this spring. I signed up for the B&A Trail Marathon on March 29 in Annapolis, Maryland. My goal is sub 3:32. I want to give myself a good cushion so that I don’t just qualify, but can actually register to run Boston in 2016 as well. My current PR is 3:37.

Putting a goal like that out there is a bit scary since I’ve failed before, but I am more determined that ever to make it happen. I came just more than two minutes shy at the Niagara Marathon before a humbling race at the Marine Corps Marathon after an injury-riddled training season.

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That was a hard blow to take and I took a long marathon break after that race, which involved a lot of sporadic training. Now it’s time to get over and get after it.

I’m going to follow the Hanson’s Plan for the first time. I’ve long been intrigued by this plan and am excited to see how it works out for me. It involves a lot of running on tired legs with six days a week of running. Long runs top out around 16 miles, but the plan is designed to make those 16 milers feel more like the last 16 of a marathon than the first. Most days will be at an easy, conversational pace with weekly track and tempo workouts as well.

The plan is 18 weeks with week one starting on a Thursday, so my training will officially kick off on Thanksgiving! Who couldn’t be thankful for that?! More turkey for me!