Saturday, February 26, 2011
Monday was a different story. I woke up the morning of my day off from work and felt, well, like CRAP.
Like everyone, I HATE getting sick. I rested all day with all things necessary to cure my illness:
a bunch of meds
giant sorority sized cup of water
movie Step Up(dont judge)
favorite comfy socks (thanks Aunt Jane!)
I have been sick now for a 4 days...but feeling a lot better today, and as weird as it sounds, all I want to do is work out and go running. I'm starting to realize that in order to get back to running, I really do need the rest. I have been googling all day trying to find an article saying "if you are sick a run will cure you!" but what im finding is that if you are truly sick...you need REST. So fine. I am now RESTING.
Thanks to nurse Erin for taking care of me:)
Can't wait to get back out there! 10 miles is just a little over ONE MONTH away!!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
"You are speaking no doubt of the fabled 'third wind.'"
"I'm not sure. I haven't read Runner's World lately so I don't know what they are calling it this month."
-John L. Parker, Jr. from Once A Runner
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Of course he smoked just about every runner there.
Monday, February 21, 2011
This past weekend Kate, Chelsea and I took to the National Mall for our weekly run. Kristen was busy taking her adorable niece and nephew to the circus, and we hesitantly allowed her to do so, but only because she promised to bring us back snow cones.
Kate and Chelsea had six miles on their agenda while I had nine to do. We started at the Capitol and worked our way down the Mall and across the Memorial Bridge. I tacked on a few more miles along the Mount Vernon Trail before turning back and we all finished up at the Capitol. There's really nothing like running around the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and all of those in between. Every time I do it I feel happy. This weekend's run wasn't easy, though. It was tough and windy, but we got it done. Kate and Chelsea both surpassed the greatest distance they have ever run (at a pretty fast pace I might add!)- so we decided to celebrate with some brunch. Some brunch and some...
It is my personal belief that no brunch is complete without a bottomless cocktail option. Kate and Chelsea both opted for mimosas while I settled on my favorite alcoholic beverage accepted during breakfast hours: the bloody mary. We ate, drank and talked about our run and our work. I am very lucky to work with people who I consider wonderful friends. I'm going to choose to say no more about this brunch, but allow you to determine for yourselves how it went. I'll give one hint: we're really fun.
At some point during yesterday's run and eventful brunch, I decided that it was about time I get some new shoes. I always have trouble retiring a pair when I think about where they've taken me. These particular shoes have run me through DC, VA, NH, MA, UT, and CA. But every great pair has its limit, and these guys have dodged their very last DC tourist.
So I purchased a new pair today. And well, I'm having misgivings. In the past I've given a respectable (depending on who you are) amount of thought to the appearance of my running shoes. You've gotta like them to feel good in them, and you've gotta feel good in them to run (far) in them. But this time, I told myself I was a "real" runner and it didn't matter what color they were. Well. They're pink. And as much as I try to tell myself that "real" runners can wear pink shoes - I am just not buying it. I want my baby blues back. It could be a very long season... what do you think of the pink?
Thursday, February 17, 2011
6,000 Runners Fail to Discover Cure for Breast Cancer
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I have lived in D.C. for almost eight years. Four years was spent in college, while the other time has been spent in the "working world." During that almost eight years, I've seen a lot of changes in the District. The exit of one presidential administration and the ushering in of another; the demise of Adams Morgan (aka AdMo) and the rise of U Street, H Street, Eighth Street, and lest we forget Gallery Place/China Town (though few Chinese restaurants remain).
There are, however, some mainstays that do not seem to shift with the different administrations, ever changing restaurant/bar scene, or annual summer influx of interns that descend on the District. These reliable testaments to my beloved city can be found in such places as the Tenley Town Guapo's, a bustling Eastern Market on a Saturday morning, and the Capital Crescent Trail.
In the spring of 2006, Beth and I decided to train for the Marine Corps Marathon. I was a junior in college at the time and saw this as a reasonable endeavor. Little did I know that training for the marathon would hold more memories than the actual race, I would find a life-long friend along the trail, and years later I would return to our favorite training path with that same friend and fall into the same running rhythm without skipping a beat.
The Capital Crescent Trail is a trail that was built upon the abandoned railbed of the 11-mile Georgetown Branch of the B&O Railroad. The trail stretches from Silver Spring Md., to Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and follows the Potomac River once you hit D.C. It's nestled amongst trees and offers a refuge from the constant bustling of the city.
Each week Beth and I charted different training courses, but more often that not we found ourselves on the Capital Crescent Trail, sometimes starting in Bethesda, sometimes starting south and working our way north. It became familiar and then it simply became a ritual - we fell into a rhythm running up and down that trail.
During the months of training, Beth and I got to know more about one another. We relied on each other for those early morning phone calls, and our mutual encouragement spurred us and challenged us to do better, run faster, and ultimately finish.
Beth and I ran and completed the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 29, 2006. To this day, it remains one of my proudest accomplishments. We continued to run together in college and when we were roommates after school, but we rarely found ourselves on the Capital Crescent Trail.
When I signed up for the Cherry Blossom Race as part of "team Beave" I was excited to meet new running friends and hit the trail with one of my favorite running buddies. Last weekend we found ourselves on familiar territory, the Capital Crescent Trail. It was a brisk morning, but the sun was out - a beautiful day for a run.
What I know now that I didn't know in 2006 is that the actual race is just one small portion of why I love to run. For me, it's about hitting the pavement with one of my best friends, laughing at ourselves as we dance to our favorite songs while simultaneously running, and finding solace on a quiet morning on the Capital Crescent Trail in this beautiful city that I'm fortunate to call my home.
Whether you run by yourself or with a friend, long distances or short, familiar paths or new ones, chart your own course and remember what brings you back to the trail each week.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
So when Chelsea suggested we run it, I laughed. When I realized she was serious I went along with it, thinking surely this would blow over in no time. I mean, hadn't we just run a 5k and hadn't I specifically sworn off any race that exceeded my 3.1 mile limit? Fast forward 1 week to a work cubicle packed with Elizabeth, Kate, Chelsea and yours truly discussing the pros and cons of a 10-mile commitment. The cons - too many to count; the pros - we'd be known as "Team Beave" from here on out. SOLD! (That and the fact that I was convinced we were safe from the lottery drawing). With reluctance, I handed over my credit card and Elizabeth signed me up for the race. Did I mention that I was a mere week away from a planned trip to Barbados? I was in such high spirits you could have asked me to do just about anything and I would have said yes. Clearly.
As you know, a few weeks later our fate was sealed and my mind reeled. Getting right to the matter of the heart, I was terrified. I'm a newbie in the running arena and I've had my fair share of challenges and self-doubt. More importantly, I actually don't love running. I do it because it's quick, easy, and the camaraderie is worth the pain. For me, 3 miles was a comfortable goal but 10? Who in their right mind wants to run 10 miles? Not this girl.
So training began and I was on board. 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles... Okay I thought, I can do this. And then came the dreaded 4 mile run. In all my months of running 4 miles has been my wall - I was exhausted after 3 so why even bother with 4? 3 miles is respectable, any thing more is showing off. I was convinced I didn't have it in me and when I failed my friends would finally understand my protests, take pity on me, and kindly let me off the hook.
On 4 mile day, Elizabeth and I headed out to the Crescent Trail in Georgetown; an awesome shaded trail that runs along the Potomac river. It was a warm(ish) day and I was excited to trade in my treadmill for trees. E gave me my running instructions and I headed out, wary about the 4 miles that lay ahead of me. I found my pace and settled in, determined to face my demon.
I thought about a lot on that run. I thought about how far I've come in the past year when a 1 mile run was cause for celebration. I thought about my team, Chelsea, Kate and E. One year ago these women were colleagues. Now thanks to our adventures in running, they are some of my closest friends. I thought about all my cheerleaders: coworkers, friends and family. The support I've received has been unbelievably overwhelming. Somewhere between miles 2 and 3 it occurred to me that apparently, I was the only one who thought I couldn't run this race.
Wouldn't you know, in the midst of all this thinking, mile 3 came and went - just like that... and I greeted mile 4 with a smile on my face. The reality of this run was undeniable, this race has become so much more than just a race and the coercion I once fought so hard against has become a welcomed friend. The race gods are certainly smiling down on me now - pleased that they have turned a spectator into a runner.
Here's to miles 5, 6, 7 ,8 ,9 and 10 - I look forward to meeting you.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Ah, there we are. Or, there's me, Kristen in her cool shades, and the terrifying, looming silhouette of Elizabeth's jaunty white cap - all of us ready for a leisurely, 3-mile run on our rest week.
(And don't we just look happy to have made it there? We may have had some bridge trouble that led to an impromptu trip to Virginia, but everyone survived, marveling all the while about what life must have been like for the cavemen before there was GPS.)
According to the Font-of-all-Knowledge, aka Wikipedia:
"Hains Point is located at the southern tip of East Potomac Park, between the main branch of the Potomac River and the Washington Channel in southwest Washington, D.C. The land on which the park is located is sometimes described as a peninsula, but is actually an island: the Washington Channel connects with the Tidal Basin north of the park and the Jefferson Memorial. The island is artificial: it was built up from Potomac dredging material from 1880 to 1892."
And yet! There was no evidence of dredging of any kind on that pleasant, almost-spring day. Hains Point is actually part of the official course for the 10-miler, and according to Elizabeth, it's the hardest part. Unlike the rest of the course, which is apparently full of cheering spectators and monumental grandeur, Hains Point is apparently rather boring and prone to problematic windiness.
Happily, I found that in my experience this man-made island of dredge is quite lovely, with a marina, playground, cherry trees, and a golf course for scenery. And really, if nothing else at least it's flat! Three miles done, and if that's the worst of it, I feel that I can hardly complain.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Greetings from sunny LA!!
My name is Chelsea and I'm the fourth member of this running crew. I was able to get out of the DC-area blizzard last week and visit sunny LA, where my best friend Brea lives. Let me just say that I think she chose the better of the two places to live post college...her mid-70's, sunny, palm-tree land vs. my 40+ inches of snow, sleet, ice and overall-freezingness-until-at-least-March land.
With early sunsets and bitter cold, our team hasn't been able to run outside after work, so I've been forced to run on the treadmill - which i dread. It was SO nice to get out to California and run outside in leggings and a tshirt..and on the BEACH! Brea is training for a 1/2 marathon in September in Disneyland (WAHOO GO BREA GO!), so we happened to be right at the running mileage the weekend i visited: 4.25 miles. (YIKES)
At this point I had completed two 4-mile runs: one in Roanoke, VA (it was the land of hills and the hardest run I've ever experienced), and one on the national mall (from Abe to the Capitol Building and back on New Years Eve). Now, a full month later, i was very nervous about this run, even though the sun and the beach were involved.
We ran down the marina towards the beach, on the beach, and then back though the neighborhood. From the picture you can see it was gorgeous! it was a struggle for me as I was dealing with knee issues after the first mile, but Brea told me i could do it...and then i did! 4.25 for me and 4.4 for Brea!
It is so nice to have my best bud training for a race so now I have another person I can rely on to push me to my goal.
Speaking of those who are there to push me... Last year at this point I could not run the reflecting pool on the national mall (.75 miles) without getting tired and stopping, and now I'm at 4.25 miles and climbing! Thanks to Coach E, Kristen, and Kate, I have been able to reach my goals and push myself further than I ever have. So to my fantastic team: THANK YOU!
Monday, February 7, 2011
You're going to rock this race Kristen! Check out Kristen's route below...