For Me, This Fall Will Bring…

It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!

FridayFiveLinkup
Each week Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar either suggest a theme for that week’s Friday Five Linkup, or leave it up to individual bloggers to come up with their own Free Friday theme.  This week’s theme is Fall Preview

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For me, this fall will bring:

1.  Pilgrimages to Blacksburg for most of the Virginia Tech Hokies home football games, and tailgating with our old college friends…

HokieTailgateHugeGroup
2.  Running my very first Ragnar, and second Hokie Half Marathon with my friend Meagan

HokieHalfMeaganDeb
3.  Foggy mornings, cool crisp days, and leaf covered trails to run on…

HungryMotherFallLakeTrailLoop
4. Another birthday, and another year wiser…

EleventhBirthday
 

5.  The first anniversary of losing my beloved dad

DadAtRobsRehearsalDinner

 

  • Questions:
  • Which is your favorite season?
  • What will your fall bring?
  • Who’s racing this weekend?

DC Ragnar Is Getting Real

If you remember back in early April, I announced that I was putting together a DC Ragnar Relay team.  Last week, after several social media blitzes, I filled the last spot on team Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay.  Lame name, I know…

 

My friend Chuck agreed to help me out as co-captain if I formed a team.  Last night he and I attended the Team Captain Meeting at Road Runner Sports in Falls Church.

RagnarCaptainsMeeting
It’s a really large store and it was packed with Ragnar captains, both seated and peeping around clothing fixtures out of view of my camera.  We learned that there will be 375 teams at this event.  That’s a lot of runners and vans!

RagnarRelayCaptainsMeetingCrowd

Race directors Ameena (Cape Cod) and Tian (DC) went over eight pages of rules, regulations, and what we should expect.

DCRagnarRelayRaceDirector

The two biggest things that I took from the meeting were:

  1. Every team member should read the Ragnar Bible before the race.
  2. There’s an ice cream store that sells the world’s best milk shakes at exchange 18.  The only problem is that we’re projected to arrive at exchange 18 at 12:53 AM.

Seriously, the meeting was very helpful, and got me totally pumped for the race!  Things are suddenly getting very real!

I’m taking my foot on a trial run tomorrow morning…  Wish me luck that it cooperates and that I can get back into my training.  It’s been a boring week with no running!

 

  • Questions:
  • Have you run in a relay race?
  • If so, what’s your biggest piece of advice for my team?
  • Any advice for decorating our van to make up for our lame name?

A Setback In Training Plans (August 18 – 24)

Last week’s training took an unexpected turn.  Hopefully, I’ll be back on the running trail sooner rather than later, because this girl’s got some important races coming up!

Monday
The day after my Leesburg 20K, I took my usual day off from running, but ran/walked 2.5 miles with one of my clients and her daughter.  We kept a13:12 average pace, and other than my legs feeling more fatigued than usual, I felt fine.

Later in the afternoon I lifted weights with my upper body, but let my legs have another rest day.

Tuesday
On Tuesday morning, I met my MRTT friends for an 8-mile run including 12 hill repeats.  My average pace was 9:46 which was about 15 seconds per mile slower than my usual run on that course.  My legs definitely begged for me to take it a little easier, so I did.

Overall I felt great and I was so happy to run 8 miles for Taylor on her 16th birthday.  I would have loved to run one mile for each of her years, but had to settle for .5.

HillWorkoutFeetAlone

Tuesday afternoon I had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my arm resulting in 10 stitches.  On Friday I got word that all margins are clear, so it’s just a matter of not lifting anything with that arm so I don’t pop the stitches.

Wednesday
I usually walk, cross-train, or run on Wednesdays, but I’ve been feeling a little off lately (I think it’s allergies), so I chose to rest from any cardio workouts.

I did a leg strength training workout and lifted with only the right side of my upper body.  I’m left dominate, and my left side is much stronger than my right side.  What better time than the next two weeks to do unilateral workouts using my right side only!  I was extremely careful not to lift any weights with my left arm, and was actually quite sore the next day!

Thursday
I met my girlfriends at 5:30 on Thursday morning for 5 miles, mostly in the dark.  I came prepared with a headlamp and sunglasses; and we felt great running at an 8:48 pace!  About 100 yards from the finish, I felt a sharp pain in my left forefoot.  It went away almost as quickly as it came, and I didn’t really think about it again that day.

FootInjuryPostRunSelfie

Friday
On Friday, I was mildly aware of my foot, but it was so minor that I included my beloved lunges in my strength workout.  Again I focused on unilateral upper body lifts on my right side only.  I also incorporated a few core exercises that didn’t require me to put any pressure on my left arm.

Saturday
I got up bright-and-early on Saturday morning just like all other Saturdays, got dressed, had a banana, and packed my stuff to go on a 12-mile run with Bill, Beth, and some other Cruiser and MRTT friends.  The longer I stood, the more my foot hurt.  I tried running a few times across the kitchen floor, and decided it would be really stupid to go on my run, especially a 12-mile run.  I drove over to the trail with Bill, dropped him off, said hi to my friends, took their picture (cause that’s what I do), and drove home.  Once home I went back to bed and took a two hour nap.  Is it a nap when you’re climbing back in bed at 7:20 AM?  When I got back up, I iced my foot and followed up several more times during the day.

FootOnIce

Sunday
My foot felt great when I got up on Sunday morning!  I slipped on my Sperry’s and headed to DC to watch the Nats play.  My foot started hurting toward the end of the day, possibly because I did quite a bit of walking, or possibly because of my less supportive shoes…  I iced it again when I got home, considered popping an Advil, but decided to wait and see how my foot felt on Monday before going that route.

Stay tuned…

Total weekly workouts:
Running – 13.14 miles
Run/walk – 2.5 miles
Walking – 0 miles
Lifting – 2.5 hours

 

  • Questions:
  • How is your training for your fall races coming along?
  • What was your last minor/significant injury?
  • Do you pop Advil frequently, or try to avoid it at all costs?

 

Rally Pigeon To The Rescue!

Let me tell you the story of Rally Pigeon… but first I’ll start my story earlier in the day when we visited The Bullpen, because most good stories start with a margarita!

NationalsGameTheBullpen

Our good friends Beth and Tom invited us to join them for a Nationals game where the Nats were taking on the Giants in the third game of their series.

NationalsGameBethDeb

We arrived under absolutely perfect weather conditions (mid-70′s, low humidity) plenty early to have time to visit The Bullpen, grab a few drinks, and play some cornhole.

NationalsGameCornHole
NationalsGameBillCornHole
After downing a few drinks and wrapping up cornhole with a losing score of 0-1, it was time to head over to Nats Park…

NationalsGameNatsPark

And grab a bite to eat…  Don’t judge me; I will always eat a hotdog when I’m at a ballpark!

NationalsGameHotDog

We caught the national anthem, but not from our seats…

NationalsGameNationalAnthem

Beth and I made it over to our seats (we had seats separate from Bill and Tom), and I got to see Natties shortstop, and my secret crush, Ian Desmond hit a home run (not at this at bat, but later in the game)…

NationalsGameIanDesmond

A couple sitting next to Bill and Tom offered to trade seats with Beth and me so we could all sit together, so at the end of the fourth inning we were reunited.  We moved to our new seats in plenty of time to catch the presidents race.

NationalsGamePresidentsRace

Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt were neck-and-neck until TJ edged Teddy out at the finish line despite Teddy’s best efforts.  Teddy: Call me!  I can make you a faster runner!

NationalsGamePresidentsRaceCloseUp

Sometime during the sixth inning, and with the Nats down 6-2, a pigeon landed on the field just behind second base.  We soon learned that it wasn’t just any pigeon, it was Rally Pigeon!

NatsRallyPigeonPoster

And a close up…

NationalsGameRallyPigeonOnFieldPoster
Rally Pigeon got the Nats’ rally started, and we came from being behind 6-2 at the top of sixth, to winning the game 14-6. He hung out for most of the rest of the game, and didn’t leave until he was sure we’d secured a win.

NationalsGameWin

Rally Pigeon even got a mention by Jayson Werth after the game!


Before we left the ballpark, Rally Pigeon joined us for a post-game group picture!

NationalsGameGroupPostGameWithRallyPigeon
Shortly after the game, Rally Pigeon set up at least two different Twitter accounts to confuse us.  You can follow all of his latest shenanigans, travels, and game assists at @RealRallyPigeon:

NationalsGameRealRallyPigeon

Rally Pigeon photo courtesy of @RealRallyPigeon

 

And you can follow Rally Pigeon at @NatsRallyPigeon:

NationalsGameRallyPigeon

Rally Pigeon photo courtesy of @NatsRallyPigeon

 

I like to think Rally Pigeon is like Santa Claus; you have to believe…

 

  • Questions:
  • Are you a baseball fan? ~ If the Nats are playing, our TV is on and we are watching!
  • MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, or NCAA?
  • What did you do for fun this past weekend?

Listening To My Body

Sometimes adhering to your own advice can be the most difficult…

Anyone that has trained with me has heard me say, “Listen to your body.”  That’s easy advice to give, but not always easy to follow.

Let’s back it up to Thursday when I had a great, steady run with my MRTT girls.  We ran 5.14 miles at an 8:48 pace, and I felt strong.  About 100 yards from the finish I heard/felt a pop in my left forefoot.  I grimaced and don’t even know if Erin or Beth noticed.  I finished the run without any more pain.

The rest of Thursday and yesterday, I was slightly aware of my foot, but didn’t really think anything of it since I didn’t have a run scheduled. I passed on an opportunity to do a big multi-chapter group run several miles away at a vineyard this morning since my allergies (I think) have been bothering me and I’ve been feeling a little off.  Instead, I opted to meet a few of my Cruiser/MRTT friends nearby, and hoped to run 10-12 miles with them.

Last night I prepared my stuff as usual for my Saturday morning group run, got up, got ready, and just before we left our house Bill and I questioned whether or not it was a good idea for me to run. I took a few strides through our kitchen, and decided not to run.  I went with Bill to our meet-up spot to say hi to our friends, and drove home.

RanWithoutMe
Here’s where the best, and probably most important, part of my training came in.  When I got back home, I went back to bed and slept for two hours!  I’m the type that pops up out of bed when I wake up, and I’m up for the day.  I don’t like lying in bed unless I’m sleeping, so for me to go back to bed means my body craved it.

I woke up and iced my foot, and plan to ice it several times a day until my next run, and see how it feels.  I’ll skip running tomorrow, and wait until my next scheduled run on Tuesday to resume training.

FootOnIce
I have a really strong base, and my running/training has been going really well.  I’m not going to sweat it, because taking a few days off and letting my foot heal is most important as my next two big races come up.  In the long run, my Ragnar Relay and the Hokie Half Marathon results will thank me!

  • Questions:
  • What was your last injury?
  • How quickly did it heal?
  • Once you wake up, do you like to hop out of bed or lounge in bed for a while?

Five Things I Love About Being An Older Runner

It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!

FridayFiveLinkup
Each week Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar either suggest a theme for that week’s Friday Five Linkup, or leave it up to individual bloggers to come up with their own Free Friday theme.  This week’s theme is Five Things I Love About ___________________…

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Thanks to a conversation I had with one of my MRTT running besties, Erin, yesterday morning, I immediately decided to write about the Five Things I Love About Being An Older Runner.

 

1.  I’ve met so many amazing runners over the years that every race is like attending a runner’s reunion.

2.  I’m not expected to PR at every race, but when I do, it’s magical!

3.  I have years of running and life experiences to share with my running friends, whether they want to hear them or not.

4.  Since I’m over 50, I don’t give a crap about what others think, and if I need to stop behind a bush, spit, or blow a snot-rocket, I will!

5.  Every year I’m getting a little bit closer to being that adorable little-old-lady waddling over the finish line, and winning her age group because she’s the only one in it.

 

  • Questions:
  • What do you look forward to as you get older?
  • What are your fun plans for the weekend? ~ I’m going to see the Nats play on Sunday!
  • Who’s racing this weekend?

The Couple That Runs Together…

I’m linking up again this month with Amanda at The Lady Okie and Becka at Sunshine To The Square Inch for their Runner’s Tell All monthly linkup.  Be sure to pop over to their blogs to see what they have to say on today’s topic, and to see who else is linking up.

This month, Amanda and Becka’s cue was to write about Training:  Favorite Person To Train With / Training Routine / Tips…

 

 

When I saw the prompt “Favorite Person To Train With,” I was quite excited because I’ve never really talked about my running history with my hubby, other then mentioning him in races or recent runs we’ve done together.   And of course, acknowledging him in this little blurb on the My Team tab on my blog:

My husband Bill started running my longer training runs with me to keep me company and before he knew it, he was up to 16 miles. One day I saw a new marathon in our area and decided to sign up for it. He was at work when I called to see if he wanted me to sign him up. He answered his phone, said something like, “Sure that sounds good” and hung up. When he got home that evening he asked exactly what he’d committed himself to! Four months later, we ran Marathon in the Parks together and he was hooked!  Today he’s got about 20 marathons, 11 half marathons, and lots of shorter races under his belt.

MarathonInTheParks2001Bill

2001 Marathon In The Parks

We have an interesting history as a couple.  Back when we were first married, we were totally incompatible; when running, that is.  I preferred to go out and run three to five miles at a slow and steady pace, and Bill preferred to run short and fast whenever I talked him into running with me.  He was on a church league basketball team, and played lots of tennis; so he didn’t need to run to keep fit.  What he needed for his two sports was the ability to run short distances at a very quick pace.

Our infrequent runs always resulted in me complaining that he was running too fast, and Bill complaining that I was running too slowly.  After those first couple of years of marriage, we quit trying to run together – until I started running marathons.

I’m not sure if it was Bill seeing how much fun I was having running marathons, how much time I was getting to spend with my friend Miles out on the running trails, or if he worried about me going out for some of my long runs alone, but Bill started running with me occasionally.  Our sons were now old enough for us to leave them alone for an hour or two while we went out on our runs together making big laps in our neighborhood.  In the spring of 2000, Bill made it up to 16 miles with me; and guess what, we were having a ball together!

Running together gave us time alone, time to talk without little ears overhearing our conversations, and time to do something that we both enjoyed immensely!  Yes, Bill had surprisingly fallen in love with the sport of running; with my sport.  He was running so well and having so much fun, that I made that now infamous phone call to him at work to see if he wanted me to register him for the new marathon that I’d just read about.

Since his first marathon, we have run thousands of miles together…  Many of those miles were just the two of us, many were with the Cruisers, and many were with Miles.  We logged those miles both in training runs and at races.  We are a team, and we were the original Cruisers.

DebBillBaltimoreFinish

2005 Baltimore Marathon

These days our vacation activities tend to revolve around what time and where we’re going on our run.  Bill has been known to scout out a good running trail or route for us before we leave.  He can get downright grumpy if he gets too busy at work to get his runs in.  And that’s why you’ll find us running almost every day while on vacation  – because we have time to run together, and being together is so fun and so important.

BeachBillSunriseRun
BeachBillDuneRun

Yes, you’ve seen me posting lots of running pictures of the Cruisers, my MRTT friends, and my BRF, but my favorite person to train with would have to be my hubby!

Bill2002DCMarathon

2002 Washington DC Marathon

 

Bill2009NationalMarathon

2009 National Marathon

 

BillRichmondMarathonStart

2011 Richmond Marathon

 

  • Questions:
  • Who’s your favorite training partner?
  • What common interests/activities do you have in common with your loved ones?
  • Runners:  Would you rather run with other people or alone?

 

Previous Runner’s Tell All Linkups: My Running Story In 250 Words, Favorite Running Gear And Products, My Proudest Running Moment, and What Goes In, Must Come Out.

The Rehearsal Dinner, Our Best Anniversary Ever!

On August 1, 1981 I married my best friend and the love of my life.  On August 1, 2014 my groom of 33 years and I threw a huge party.  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary – even though the party wasn’t for us.  The party was a rehearsal dinner for our oldest son Joseph and his fiancé Julie.

RehearsalDinnerBillDeb

Immediately after the wedding rehearsal at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Bill and I welcomed our guests to Il Fornaio in Reston Town Center .

IlFornaioPlate

Il Fornaio’s private dining room was the perfect intimate setting for the wedding party to mingle and get to know each other, the parents, and grandparents of the happy couple.

IlFornaioPrivateDiningRoomWineCellar

Photo courtesy of Il Fornaio

 

Bill first ate at Il Fornaio in San Francisco back in the 90′s when he was on a business trip in California.  Since it doesn’t seem at all like a chain restaurant (there are 19 locations), Bill was quite surprised when I told him a few years ago that I’d had lunch with friends at Il Fornaio in Reston.

Their website describes their food as the “most authentic Italian experience outside of Italy,” and having thoroughly enjoyed my dining experiences in Rome and Florence, their food comes the closest to that delicious food of any Italian restaurants I’ve tried in the DC area.

Once guests arrived, they were able to mingle with their friends, and make new friends while enjoying wine and beer.

IlFornaioBar

And munching on antipasti of calamari, Italian meats, and cheeses.

IlFornaioApp

In order to come up with the perfect dinner menu combination, Bill and I did what any good parents would do, and made several trips to Il Fornaio to try out different dishes to serve at the rehearsal dinner.  We started our little exercise back in January when we dined with Julie’s parents, and later when we invited Daniel, Joseph, and Julie to join us.  Our trips paid off, and Bill and I were able to narrow down the menu selection for our guests.

RehearsalDinnerMenu

After about 30 minutes of visiting with our guests, it was time for us to sit down for dinner.   Being the parents of the bride and groom, we got the best seats in the house!

RehearsalDinnerHeadTable

And from the looks of the plates of the guests of honor, I think our homework paid off, and our menu selections were spot on!

IlFornaioJulieJoseph

One last picture of our family of four about 20 hours before we became a family of five!

IlFornaioJoeBillDebDan

And of course I had to get a picture of Julie with her college roommates, and fellow running bloggers Becky and Kelly!

IlFornaioBeckyJulieKelly

As a gift to Joseph and Julie, the parents, and grandparents, Bill made a video, The Story of Joseph and Julie.  It was filled with photos and videos of both of them from birth to present.  It was so fun to watch, and will be a keepsake forever!

Before showing the video, Bill thanked everyone for attending, gave a short little speech, and toasted Joseph and Julie.  Next, Becky and a few other friends toasted the happy couple.

IlFornaioBeckySpeech

And since it was our anniversary, Daniel, Joseph, and Julie surprised Bill and me with an anniversary cake, and some very sweet words!  It totally caught us off guard, and made me cry…  Happy tears, of course!

RehearsalDinnerBillDebSurprisedCake

IlFornaioAnniversaryCake

I seriously doubt we’ll be able to top this celebration for our 34th wedding anniversary!

 

  • Questions:
  • Married people, where did you have your rehearsal dinner? ~ Bill and I chose to have a BBQ at my parent’s home.
  • Have you ever eaten at one of the 19 Il Fornaio restaurants?  They are located in Virginia, Colorado, California, Nevada, and Washington.
  • What would you have chosen from the dinner menu?  What’s your favorite type of food? ~ I had the salmon, and it was outstanding!

From Running On, Sand To Flying On Asphalt (August 11-17)

With the exception of Tuesday’s run, training went well last week leading up to my first big race of the fall racing season.  When I got off of the sand and onto asphalt again, I felt like I was flying!

Monday
Since we were still at the beach and didn’t want to drive into town, Bill and I ran 6 miles during low tide on the beach heading north from our house. Low tide was around 1:30 PM so we headed out around 12:30.  The weather was still quite good, and a decent breeze kept us pretty comfortable.  We completed our run at a 9:45 average pace.

BeachRunBill

Tuesday
We drove home from dinner and taking sunset pictures over the Sound in the dark on Monday evening during high tide, and had to hug the dunes to keep from driving in the water.  I was more than a little freaked out!  We decided to get up and take a walk during high tide on Tuesday morning just to see how the tide compared to the night before during the super moon.  We walked for 2 miles at a leisurely pace – I’m talking letting your dog stop to sniff a hydrant every ten steps sort of pace… HighTideHittingShelf

We walked at a leisurely pace until I got hit by a wave, that is!  I had crouched down and taken the above photo, and stayed down to catch the next wave that would hopefully slap up over the little sand shelf.  Well, it came in bigger than I expected and slapped me on the side of the head!  Instead of getting a great picture of the wave, I jerked upright and took the following picture!  HaHa!  My pace picked up big time as I stomped back home to get the sand off of my face and out of my hair!

SkyPicWhenHitByWave

Later in the afternoon Bill and I ran 6 miles on beach during low tide.  A front was moving in and bringing forceful winds from the south with it.  My run was miserable as I ran directly into the wind at an average 12:39 pace.  Heading back home and with the wind to my back, I maintained a 10:07 pace.  Two ambulances went screaming by, and I wondered if they were coming to get me since I looked like I was ready to collapse!

AmbulanceOnBeach

Wednesday
We drove home on Wednesday which meant a morning of vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing the bathrooms and kitchen, cleaning out the refrigerator, and loading up the car.  After a week of near perfect weather with low humidity, Bill braved the increasing temperature and sweltering humidity while putting the hurricane shutter back on the house.  He looked like he’d run a marathon when he came back inside!

Thursday
No one from my MRTT group was around on Thursday morning, so I slept in a little and got up too late for my usual 6 mile tempo run.  I ran 4 miles (9:36 pace) alone on trails behind house before my first client showed up.

An hour later I ran/walked 3 miles with my client at a 12:52 pace.  I was super excited to see her improve on her time so much in just a few weeks.  She is doing so well, and it makes me so happy to see her try so hard!

At noon, I had some spare time so I headed back out to run 2 miles at a 9:05 pace.  Even though I’m not worried about being prepared for Ragnar, it makes me feel better to get a few two-a-days in.  Who am I kidding?  I couldn’t stand that I hadn’t run 6 miles earlier as planned, so I had to get those 2 miles in!

Friday
Since we were racing on Sunday, I wanted to take Saturday off and decided to run on Friday, my usual rest day.  When I sent the Cruiser email out saying that I wouldn’t be out on Saturday morning for the group run, Jerome replied that he was heading out on Friday for a mid-day run.  We met at a local park and ran 8 miles an 8:33 pace.  It sure didn’t hurt that it was 74° at noon!  As Jerome put it, “It would be a runner’s sin not to run on such a gorgeous day!”
We were so excited at getting a week-day run in together that we attempted a jump picture using my self-timer function on my camera.  Looks like I need to go back and reread a certain post I wrote!

Saturday
On Saturday I didn’t set my alarm so I could sleep in and rest before my big race on Sunday, but I woke up at 7 AM and got up anyway.  I pretty much relaxed most of the day, except for going to the running store to pick up my race packet, and shopping for groceries.  For dinner I broiled salmon, made a salad, and roasted homemade sweet potato fries (my friend Mary turned me on to them as a pre-race dinner staple).  I was in bed by 9 PM, and started reading Bart Yasso’s My Life On The Run to get myself psyched!

I didn’t sleep very well, had weird dreams, woke up with an upset stomach; and realized that it was just a case of pre-race jitters.  I’d trained hard for this race, and had my expectations set high even though I hadn’t verbalized them with anyone.

Sunday
Bill and I got up bright and early on Sunday morning and drove to Leesburg for the Leesburg 20K, and I nailed it!  I felt challenged, but comfortable running a 1:45:30 (8:30 pace), and won my age group.

Leesburg20KDebbieFinishLine

I have to say I’m very pleased with where I stand right now for the fall.  DC Ragnar is up next in mid-September, and my fall goal race is the Hokie Half Marathon in mid-October.

Total weekly workouts:
Running – 38.4 miles
Run/walk – 3 miles
Walking – 2 miles
Lifting – 1 hour

 

  • Questions:
  • Runners, do you have a fall race that you are targeting as your focal race?
  • If so, how is your training coming along?
  • Who raced this weekend?

2014 Leesburg 20K Race Recap

I hope you like lots of pictures, because today’s 2014 Leesburg 20K recap is chock-full of them!  Proceeds from today’s race benefited the YMCA of Loudoun County’s youth programs, and it’s always nice to run a race that benefits something I find important.  I ran this race back in 2004, and I can’t believe that I haven’t run it since.  I think the fear of our August heat and humidity has kept me me from signing up!

The weather forecast this year; however, was pretty good considering it’s mid-August.  A 7:30 AM race start got us going in 68°, but it heated up quickly to around 80° by the time we finished.  Still, for mid-August, I’m not complaining!  Much of the race was run on the W&OD Trail, a trail that I train on regularly.  We were in shade much of the time and that certainly helped keep us comfortable.  Despite feeling pretty comfortable, I was drenched with sweat when I finished.

Yesterday’s packet pick-up went easy, breezy at the Leesburg Potomac River Running Store.  While there we picked up fuel for Bill, and a new shirt for me (it’s the green one I’m wearing at the race, and I now consider my lucky shirt).  I love everything about the race shirt!  It fits me perfectly, it’s white, it’s got great colors on the logo, and it’s got a cow and barn on the front.  This former farm girl is stoked!

Leesburg20KShirtBibPin

If you remember from previous race recaps, all =PR= Race Series races give away a little pin that goes along with the race theme.  This year’s pin is a cow’s head, a Holstein in fact.

Leesburg20KCowPinCloseup
As I mentioned on Friday, I was really excited to run today’s race because I was meeting up with so many friends.  My run and races truly are parties on the trail!  I’m a lucky girl!

At 7 AM I had plans with Courtney, Julie, Jenny, and Kathryn to have a little blogger meet-up before heading over to meet my MRTT buddies at 7:15 on the other side of Tuscarora Mill.

What none of us planned on was traffic…  It was quite slow getting into the parking garage, and by the time Bill and I got to the top of the garage, most of the spaces were taken; and there were still long lines of traffic trying to get in.

Courtney and Julie were still stuck in that traffic when we snapped this quick picture with Kathryn and Jenny before Erin and I took off for our next photo opp.  And yes, Kathryn and Jenny are as sweet and nice in person as they look in the picture!

Leesburg20KErinKathrynJennyDeb

L to R: Erin, Kathryn, Jenny, and Deb

The problem with having so many friends you want to see before the race is finding time to make it to the porta potties before the race starts.  I rushed to the porta potties only to find the lines extremely long, and took off for plan B.  Unfortunately, other local runners remembered that there was a porta potty just down the street on the trail, too, so by the time I got there, there was a short line.  While in line, I met a girl named Jenny (not the one pictured above) and chatted a while; and little did I know what a speedy girl she is!  More on this Jenny later…

Just as I got back to our designated multi-chapter MRTT group picture spot, they were finishing up.  Erin saw me run up, and called our chapter back together.  I was shocked to see Sue there, so I grabbed her and had her join our chapter picture.  Sue had just finished running three miles and she was going to run another three miles after the race so she could get her 18-mile training run in for the day.  What a rock star!

Leesburg20KMRTTGirls

After our picture, we headed over to the race start.  I positioned myself up close to the front since I planned to race this one!  Erin and I got a pre-race selfie before we went our separate ways.

Leesburg20KStartLineSelfie

Early in the race I saw Dora and her husband Michael just in front of me, so I did my one-and-only sprint-photo-fartlek to pass them and snap this picture.  Since I was racing, I decided that I couldn’t afford to use up any excess energy, and any additional pictures would have to be taken on the run, and so what if they were blurry!

Leesburg20KDoraMichael

And speaking of blurry photos, I couldn’t resist capturing this.  Sometimes it’s okay for guys to run without shirts, sometimes it’s not.  Believe me, this time it was okay!

Leesburg20KRedWhiteBlueShorts
This is without a doubt my favorite spot on the 44.5-mile long trail, and I decided to take a photo on the run so you could see how fast I was running.  HaHa!  Seriously, I was not about to stop on an uphill section, and have to start up again.

Leesburg20KClarksGapBridge

My friend Jerome paced me at about an 8:45 average pace for the first six miles until he stopped to stretch.  We ran eight miles together on Friday at about an 8:30 pace and I felt great, so I trusted him today.  Once on my own, I kept my pace at pretty much an 8:30, until late in the race when I picked it up.

As you can see from the course elevation, it was a great race for reverse splits, and that’s exactly what I planned, and executed!

Leesburg20KElevationChart

The course was an out-and-back, so we were able to see the lead runners heading back toward us which is always very cool.  I love watching for the front runners and encouraging them.  It’s like having front row tickets at a ball game!  We were also able to watch for friends, and give them high fives as they ran by.  At my position in the pack we were a little spread out, but it looked like sections were pretty crowded.  All-in-all, it didn’t seem too bad, and the non-racers using the trail that morning didn’t seem too bothered by the 969 of us racing the 20K (there were 449 5K finishers).

As always, =PR= had photographers at the finish line, and one snapped this fun finish line photo of me.  If you remember, their photos are available free for download, which is a huge race perk.

Leesburg20KDebbieFinishLine

Photo courtesy of Potomac River Running

I crossed the finish line in 1:45:30 (8:30 pace) and was immediately handed a finisher’s medal and bottle of water.

Leesburg20KFinishersMedal

After we finished, I chatted with these two ladies, Bonnie and Angelika, and thanked them for pacing me for the last four miles.  The three of us jockeyed back and forth, until Bonnie pulled ahead with a half mile to go, and finished about a half a minute in front of us.  Having these two ladies in my sights kept me focused and challenged.

Leesburg20KBonnieAngelikaDeb

L to R: Bonnie, Angelika, and Deb

I worked my way back to the finish line to watch for my friends to come in, and soon saw Erin and snapped this picture.  I love that I caught her with both feet off the ground!

Leesburg20KErinFinish

I was happy to finally find Courtney and Julie after the race (we did see each other along the course), and have time to catch up.  They told me that because they had gotten caught in the parking garage traffic mess, they had started the race late.  The great thing about chip timing is that you still get your true race time.

Leesburg20KDoraCourtneyJulieDeb

L to R: Dora, Courtney, Julie, and Deb

After a girls photo, we decided to let the guys join us.

Leesburg20KJeromeMichaelBillwithGirls

L to R: Jerome, Michael, Dora, Courtney, Julie, Deb, and Bill

Remember my bathroom buddy Jenny?  Well, she just happened to be the second place women’s finisher with a time of 1:25:57 (6:56 pace)!  I told you she was speedy!

Leesburg20KJennyDeb

As always, there was plenty of food, but I had worked so hard that I had no appetite for about three hours after the race.  I did grab more water and a banana for later.

Leesburg20KFood

In addition to water, they had fruit juices, Gatorade, and sodas. I heard several people mention how the soda hit the spot after their hard run.

Leesburg20KDrinks

I chased this guy for about the first five miles and eventually passed him.  What does that make me?  A super badass?  I think so!  Anyway, I saw him in the food line and secretely snapped this picture.  What would I have done if he had turned around and caught me?  Yikes!

Leesburg20KBadAss

While roaming around looking for friends during the post-race festivities, I found my Cruiser buddies Murali, Vamshi, and Ravi, and got a chance to catch up with them.

RaviVamshiDebMurali

Next we found Anne and realized that we had five of our DC Ragnar Relay team members together!  My next race will be Ragnar in mid-September, and I can’t wait!

Leesburg20KRagnarTeam

Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay team members L to R: Anne, Ravi, Murali, Deb, and Bill

We heard an announcement that the 20K awards ceremony was about to start, and headed over to see if I’d placed.  Courtney and Julie were sweet enough to tag along and hang out with us!  They are so fun, and I wish we lived closer together so we could run together every week!

Leesburg20KCourtneyJulie

And guess what? I won my age group!  I was pretty stoked and felt like a little kid on Christmas morning when I received my prize.

Leesburg20KDebFirstPlaceAgeGroup

Age group first place prizes were a cowbell and a $25 gift certificate to Potomac River Running Store!  Yes, please; and thank you!

Leesburg20K1stPlaceAgeGroupAwards

Overall it was a fantastic race; and any day that brings together so many of my running friends is a great day for me!

  • Questions:
  • A 20K is not a very common distance for a race, have you ever run one?
  • Shirtless guys at a race:  Never, or only if they’re easy on the eyes?
  • Who raced this weekend?

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I’m going to keep it to five…  And what better way to dump a lot of pictures on you that I took while on vacation, but didn’t use!

I have eclectic reading interests.

BeachBooks
Bill’s beach trip dessert contributions

WholeFoodsChocolateBars

What a good wet boy

DogOnBeachWithFrisbee

Seaweed and surf at sunrise

SeaweedAndSurf

Our Fuze cell tower boosters

FuzeCellTowers

Post-run dip in the ocean

BillWalkingSurf

Post-run old fashioned camera selfie

DebBillSurfSelfie

Bill’s amazing super moon photo

SuperMoonAsShot

Sun rays and the sea

OceanMorningSunRays

It’ll do in a pinch

PeachDaiquiriInAPouch

Their whinnying woke us up (at 4:30 AM)

HorsesNextToEscaladeAtNight

I’m shamelessly pimping myself out

DebRunsDotComInSand

Until we return next summer…

OBX2014

 

  • Questions:
  • What types of books do you like to read?
  • What are your weekend plans?
  • Who’s racing?

The Five Groups Of Friends I’ve Made On The Running Trails

It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!

FridayFiveLinkup
Each week Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar either suggest a theme for that week’s Friday Five Linkup, or leave it up to individual bloggers to come up with their own Free Friday theme.  This week’s theme is Free Friday

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 Hmmmm…….  So what should I talk about?

Well, actually, I was inspired by a random tweet I just sent.

RunningFriendsTweet

So for today’s Friday Favorites I will talk about my five different, yet equally important, sets of running friends I’ve made on the running trails!

1.  First off, there’s Miles…  Miles was not only my very first serious running friend, but he has been my running mentor, my coach, and my inspiration.  We met at a gym where I worked and he was a member.  I always made sure to be around when he came in to workout, and I still vividly remember the day he told me that he had qualified for Boston.  I was in runner’s love!

A few years later, I told him that I wanted to run a marathon and he nagged encouraged me until I joined him and his guy friends for noon-time Tuesday track intervals.  He sent tons of running information my way, helped me develop my race plan, told me what to eat before my race, and coached me to a BQ.

Miles and I have run many training miles and races together over the last 17 years, and we still try to get together at least once a year for a reunion run. MilesPancakeRunMilesShirts

2.  Second on my list of long-time running friends would be my BRF Susan.  We met because we both moved into the same newly developed community at about the same time.  I’d see her on the trails running with three other ladies, but I was always too intimidated to ask to join them…  They were training for a marathon, and I was just running for fitness.

Eventually I trained for, and ran my first marathon; and while chatting with these ladies one day, they invited me to join them.  I fit right in with their pace, and for years there were five of us that met at 6 AM every weekday to run before we got our young children up for school.  The years have passed, friends have moved away, but Susan and I still try to run together at least once a week.  Not only is she my BRF, but she’s a BFF, too!

2013TurkeyTrotDebBRFSusan

3.  Next I met the Cruisers, who have become my peeps!  I feel like they are my identity in the running community because I can be found running endless miles with them on the W&OD Trail on Saturday mornings, and it’s been like that for years.  I first met most of them when I was their coach in a marathon training program I put on for a local gym.

Most of my marathon recaps will include the name of at least one Cruiser, and all of my glorious point-to-point training runs were with this amazing group of friends.

CruisersWODTrailStoneBridge

4.  I would be remiss not to mention my newest running friends, my MRTT girls and constant Instagram subjects.  I met these fabulous ladies in January, and when you meet someone two to three times per week in the cold and dark, you bond quickly!

What I love about this group of almost 300 local moms, is the variety of running levels and how everyone can find a compatible running buddy within our chapter.  There happen to be about six of us around my pace that have gotten very close as we’ve met regularly to train for the same races.  I will always be grateful to my Cruiser friend Amanda who introduced me to this new group of running friends.

Firecracker5KMRTTFriends

5.  And newest to the list are my blogging buddies who I only get to meet at certain races, and spend a few minutes with before the gun fires.  I still look forward to every chance meet-up, and we usually have a twitter thread going for a few days before the race deciding where and what time to meet.

On Sunday, I will be meeting Courtney, Julie, and Jenny at the Leesburg 20K, and I can’t wait!  And of course, being the running social butterfly that I am, I’m hoping to meet lots of other local runners at upcoming races.  So if you see that I’m training for a race that you plan to run, let me know, and we’ll organize a meet-up!

RestonTenMilerBloggers

Not even an honorable mention…  Although we’ve run many miles and races together, I can’t list my hubby here because we didn’t meet through running.  We met when I threw a snowball at his dorm window when I was a freshman at Virginia Tech, but that’s a story for another day!

 

  • Questions:
  • Where’s the most unusual place you’ve met new friends?
  • Married people:  How did you meet your spouse?
  • Who’s racing this weekend?

Weekly Running Recap With A Little Sand Thrown In

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s time for another weekly running recap, but being on vacation has all of my days running together!

Last week’s runs included time on asphalt, concrete, sand, and a boardwalk.  My legs would have loved for all of my runs to be on the boardwalk, but a girl’s gotta run on whatever surface is available, and that’s exactly what I did.

Monday
Early Monday morning, I went on a 2.64 run/walk on the trails behind my house with my client.  We averaged a 13:34 pace, and I’m thrilled that she’s consistently maintaining her new faster pace.

SummerTrail

After I finished with my morning clients, I lifted weights and then walked alone for 4 miles.  Little did I know that I wouldn’t be doing either again that week.

Tuesday
By 5:30 on Tuesday morning, my MRTT buds and I were warming up for what would be an 8-mile run including 12 hill repeats.  My overall pace for the workout was 9:38, which is pretty normal for me for that workout.  We had six runners show up for the hill workout, but only three of us did the extra mileage before and after.

HillRepeatsBethDebErinLegs

Wednesday
Bill and I got up bright and early on Wednesday to drive to the beach, so the extent of my working out was dragging my bags to our SUV and then schlepping them up to the beach house once we arrived.  Bill got a really good workout taking the hurricane shutters off the house, though.

Thursday
We ran on the beach during low tide on Thursday for our 6.5 mile run.  After about a 1.5-mile warm-up, I decided to run the middle segment at tempo pace.   My overall pace was 8:41 because we had a pretty easy pace for our warm-up and cool-down.

RunningShoesInSurf

Friday
On Friday, we ran 12 miles at a 9:34 pace down in Corolla and points south.  Long runs on the sand can be very boring and taxing on the legs, so we opted to drive down for a 7 AM run.  Also, low tide wasn’t until about 12:30, so we were able to avoid the hot mid-day sun with an early morning run.

LongRunDebPirate

Saturday
Saturday’s run took us back to Corolla to run on the paved surfaces and an opportunity to pick up a few groceries before we headed home.  We ran 6.2 miles at a 9:43 pace, and had some fun taking running pictures of each other while we on the Currituck Banks Reserve boardwalk.  This picture was courtesy of a friendly biker.

CorollaRunBillDeb

Sunday
Bill decided to take Sunday off and let his foot heal a little more, so I went out for a 6-mile recovery run at an easy 10:52 pace.  I ran mid-day during low tide, but the weather was delightful, so I couldn’t complain.

SundaySoloRun

Total weekly workouts:
Running – 38.7 miles
Run/walk – 2.64 miles
Walking – 4 miles
Lifting – 1 hour

I didn’t get but one walk in last week, but since I was on vacation, it was okay!  I’m really not worried about my training for Ragnar.  I’m pretty sure that if Ragnar were next weekend, I’d be fine.  Famous last words…

 

  • Questions:
  • What would be your preferred running surface?  Asphalt, concrete, sand, or boardwalk? ~ Boardwalk for me!
  • Are you bored with my beach run recaps yet?
  • Who raced this weekend?

A Running Tour Of Corolla

Despite saying that we didn’t want to drive into town any more often than necessary, we drove back down to Corolla yesterday so Bill could run on an even surface rather than the uneven sand.  If you remember, he hurt his foot on our deck just a few days ago, and yesterday it was still pretty sore.

Again, we parked at the Currituck Lighthouse parking lot where there’s ample parking and public restrooms.  We headed north first and turned around at the cattleguard just like on Friday’s long run.  Believe it or not, this is all that keeps the horses from leaving the 4-wheel-drive section of the beach!

CorollaRunCattleGuard

While taking a picture of the cattleguard, a friendly guy biking with his family stopped and offered to take our picture.

CorollaRunBillDeb

As we headed back south, we turned into Currituck Banks Reserve and ran out the boardwalk to the Sound.  The boardwalk is about half a mile long and feels so good on the legs!

CorollaRunCurrituckBanksBoardwalk

The trip out to the estuary is worth it for the view.

CorollaRunCurrituckBanksReserveEstuary

And there’s even plenty of seating for anyone needing to have a place to rest before making the return trip to their cars.

CorollaRunCurrituckBanksReserveBillReading

On our way back, we decided to have some fun with my iPhone and take pictures of us running with different cool angles.

CorollaRunBillRunningBoardwalk

We took turns holding the phone low to the ground and taking bursts of pictures with the hopes of getting a fun and different shot.

CorollaRunCurrituckBanksBillRunning

There’s something about taking a picture of someone running around a corner that makes them look much more badass!

CorollaRunDebRunningBoardWalk

We were being a little cautious because the pine needles were a little slippery.  I guess we weren’t being to badass after all!

CorollaRunCurrituckBanksDebCornering

And, my favorite shot of the day!

CorollaRunCurrituckBanksDebFlying

After we finished playing around in the reserve, we headed back to Route 12 and ran down toward the Currituck Lighthouse and the Whalehead Club, a roaring 20′s mansion and hunting lodge.

CorollaRunCorollaLightHouse

While running we realized that we’ve never gone inside to tour the club house, so we’ll have to take of that some rainy day.  I’m sure it would be a fascinating tour!

CorollaRunWhaleHeadClub

The clubhouse sets along the banks of Currituck Sound.  With ample grassy areas to play on, water activities to watch, and a lighthouse to climb, it’s a great place to take the family for a picnic.

CorollaRunCurrituckSoundFromWhaleHead
So there you have it… our running tour of Corolla!  If you’re in the area, I highly recommend taking your time to check out these beautiful spots.

  • Questions:
  • Where was your favorite walking or running tour?
  • Have you ever gone stand-up paddleboarding? ~ It’s on my list of things to try!

Running Along Route 12, Without Getting Killed

Fitting our long run in while on vacation at the beach is never a problem.  Deciding just where to run it is…

Yesterday we decided to try running along Route 12 so we would have a consistent running surface, and a change in scenery.  Running along the shore at low tide is beautiful, but the scenery doesn’t really change and it gets boring after a few miles.

We drove to Corolla, and parked at the Currituck Lighthouse parking lot.  As soon as we got there we saw this sign.  A 5K every Wednesday morning – how cool is that?  Registration is $38 for adults; unfortunately, we drove down last Wednesday and are heading home early this Wednesday, so we won’t be down here to run it.  I have to remember this for next summer!

BeachLongRun5KSign

Anyway, back to our long run!  We headed north for 1.5 miles to the cattleguard and turned around there.  The cattleguard keeps the horses in the 4-wheel drive section of the beach, and it’s always amazed me that they don’t try jumping across it.

Heading back south we could see the lighthouse in the distance, and our 3-mile mark.

BeachLongRunBoardwalkLighthouse

I stopped to snap a few pictures along the way when I saw something particularly interesting.  In keeping with the wild horse theme from the 16th century Spanish ship wrecks where horses swam to the shores of the Outer Banks, there are horse statues all along Corolla, each painted and/or decorated differently.  This one is painted to look like the sea horizon.

BeachLongRunSeaPaintedHorse

And I assume this one is supposed to be Pegasus, only painted blue…

BeachLongRunWingedHorse

And this bronze horse is rearing up in dominance…

CorollaRunBronzeHorse

The great thing about running where you know your way around is knowing where the porta-potties are!  This one is hidden in the alley behind Winks.  They used to have a guest restroom, but now it’s for employees and they send their shoppers out back!

BeachLongRunPortaPottyAlly

As we got into “town,” I snapped a picture of Bill running along Route 12.  Here it’s not too bad as long as we were really careful watching for cars to turn in and out of the shopping centers.

BeachLongRunBillRunningInTown

The mile markers were handy, but didn’t correspond with our starting point, so we stuck with tracking our run on RunKeeper.

BeachLongRunMileMarker10

We ran facing traffic and once we got south of Corolla, traffic got much heavier.  We stayed as close to the outer side of the pedestrian lane as possible, but at times I was nervous I was going to trip on something that would send me flying into traffic.  I can be quite klutzy without even trying!

BeachLongRunRt12RunningLane

The Outer Banks are pretty narrow at this point and here we were running very close to Currituck Sound.  I snapped this picture of the Sound right as a biker rode by.

BeachLongRunBikerCurrituckSound

Heading south we were in the shade much of the time which was great considering the sun had come out and it was getting pretty warm.  Once we got to 4.5 miles south of our car, we turned around to finish our 12-mile run, mostly in the sun at this point.

BeachLongRunPineGroveSun

Back up in Corolla, we stopped in front of Wings so I could hang with the pirate.

BeachLongRunDebAndPirate

And then we stopped at Ace Hardward for me to refill my water bottles, and then channel my inner Edith Ann and sit in the big chair!

BeachLongRunDebBigChair

We finished our run in 1:54:06 (9:30 pace), stretched, and then hopped in the car to drive over to visit Julie’s aunts, cousins, and sister who were also vacationing near by.

They greeted us with a bevy of delicious post-run treats.  I chose the blueberry crumb cake and it was the best I’ve ever had!  It hit the spot, which really surprised me because usually, I don’t want sweets right after a long, hard run.

BeachLongRunPostRunCarbs

Back at the beach house, Bill took his shoes off and showed me his foot.  This happened through a band-aid and two pairs of socks…

BloodyFoot12MileRun

On Thursday afternoon, Bill ripped a chunk of skin off of the bottom of his foot on that nail sticking up on the left.  I told him to suck it up and come run with me!

DeckNail

You can thank me for not posting a picture of his foot!

 

  • Questions:
  • What do you like to do on vacation?
  • What is your best vacation memory EVER?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?

Running On The Outer Banks

If you follow me on Instagram, you’re well aware that Bill and I drove down to the Outer Banks on Wednesday.  Bill’s parents built the beach house in 1987, and we now own it with his siblings.

BeachHouseThenNowDated
We left our home early in the morning and arrived in Duck around 1 PM.  Our first stop was at the Coastal Cantina where we decided to treat ourselves to a margarita with lunch.  Don’t laugh, but this just might have been a first for me!

Bill ordered fish tacos and I got a grilled chicken salad.  Both were very good, but not nearly as good as the frozen margaritas.  They were perhaps the best I’ve ever had!  I’m the queen of margaritas, so that’s saying a lot!

CoastalCantinaMargaritas

The weather was perfect, and we had no choice but to sit outside.  Seriously, there wasn’t any indoor seating, but we didn’t complain because the weather was perfect and it sure didn’t hurt to have a view like this of Currituck Sound!

CurrituckSound

After a leisurely lunch, we headed north to Corolla and stopped at Harris Teeter to stock up on groceries before heading on to the beach house.  As you can see in the first picture, our beach house is on the 4-wheel drive section of OBX, and we don’t like to drive into town any more than we have to.

The breeze was coming in off of the ocean when we arrived which was great because that usually means that it’s a little cooler and less humid.  Our first order of business is taking down the hurricane shutters and getting the air conditioning turned on to cool off the house.  The breeze was amazing, and we were able to open the windows and cool the house down the old fashioned way!  That doesn’t happen very often in August here on the Outer Banks.

BeachAmericanFlag

Our dinners usually consist of some sort of seafood, a veggie, and a salad.  Wednesday night was a salad, shrimp, and asparagus.

ShrimpAsparagusDinner

Low tide on Thursday was 10:30 AM, so we headed out around 11 for our run.  Running on the Outer Banks can be tricky, especially if you live on the 4-wheel drive section of the beach.  We either have to run at low tide, run in deep sand during high tide, or drive into town to run along the roads.

I forgot to bring any of my sun visors, so I had to borrow one of Bill’s hats.  It looked and felt terrible because it didn’t have a ponytail hole!

DebInBillsHat

We hadn’t even gotten off of our deck when we saw the horses meandering toward our neighbor’s house.  We stopped and took a picture before heading on our way.

HorsesOnTheDune

We set out for a 6-mile run, but then decided to run to the fence 3.5 miles south of our house with the plan to run a round-trip run of 7 miles.

BillRunningAlongBeach

On the way back we decided to stop running at 6.5 miles, and do a cool-down walk for the last half mile.  It was the longest half mile of my life!  Once back in front of our house, Bill took his shoes and socks off and walked in the cool surf.  I chose to just sit and chill.

FeetAndSurf

After our run we checked out our neighbors’ little beach vehicle.  They use it to tote their beach umbrellas, chairs, drinks, etc. back and forth from their house to the beach.  They are retired and spend most of their summer down here, so they put it to good use!

Toms4WheelBuggy

And there you have it; the first of hopefully several great runs while vacationing on the Outer Banks!

  • Questions:
  • What’s on your agenda for the week?
  • What your favorite food and drink while at the beach?
  • Have you ever tried running on the sand?

Five Favorite Race Memories

It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!

FridayFiveLinkup
Each week Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar either suggest a theme for that week’s Friday Five Linkup, or leave it up to individual bloggers to come up with their own Free Friday theme.  This week’s theme is Five Race Memories

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Listing these five memories didn’t take much thinking, and I rolled these out in a matter of minutes because they are without a doubt my top and favorite race memories.

1.  It goes without saying that my first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, is my favorite memory.  I had very specific goals for that race, and I met them.  My number one goal was to finish, and my number two goal was to qualify for Boston.  I completed both goals in the pouring rain that day, and I was thrilled!

DebMCM1997

2.  My second favorite race memory was my marathon PR at Steamtown.  Two years after my first marathon, I ran a 3:29:04 and haven’t been able to beat that time.  I was so overcome with emotion when I met my sub-3:30 goal that I cried.  And then I called Bill and my Dad.  I also finished third in the masters division that day.

DebSteamtownFinish

3.  My 2010 Boston Marathon is my third favorite race memory.  The Cruisers had a road trip to Boston and even got upgraded to the Presidential suite at the Hyatt.  It was a amazing weekend that I will never forget!

Deb2010BostonFinish

4.  The JFK 50-Mile Ultramarathon ranks as my fourth favorite race memory.  Running for 10:50 straight is something you’ll never forget.  I ran with my best racing friend and mentor Miles, and enjoyed the benefits of an amazing crew.  Without them, I couldn’t have done it!

JFK50MilesDeb

5.  Without a doubt, Bill’s first marathon in 2000 at Marathon In The Parks ranks high as one of my favorite race memories.  That day we added a whole new level of fun to our marriage.  I can’t even begin to guess the thousands of of miles we’ve run together since that day!

MarathonInTheParks2001Bill

 

  • Questions:
  • If you’re a runner, what are your favorite running memories?
  • What fun things are on your weekend agenda?
  • Who’s racing this weekend?

Living Healthy At The Beach

Bill and I are heading to the beach as I type, so I thought that today would be a good day to talk about surviving vacations while maintaining a little bit of a healthy lifestyle! I wrote this last year, so long-time-readers, this is a rerun; or as I prefer to say, “It’s a gently used blog post.”

When on vacation, we usually have more time to focus on our health than when we’re living in the rat-race of daily life, yet it’s human nature to do just the opposite. Here are some tips to keep you on track…

B

Be health conscious – Have some fun meals and by all means indulge in the local cuisine; however, one beignet per day when visiting New Orleans is plenty!  Think about your exercise routine.  You might not be able to fit in your regular workouts, but perhaps you can make up for it by walking instead of taking a cab.  When we were in Italy, we didn’t run a single day, but we walked everywhere and at the end of each day we were exhausted.  Also, stay sun-smart and use sunscreen at all times!

E

Eat healthy – Bill and I tend to eat even healthier at the beach.  We have more time to shop for and cook healthy meals, and rarely take shortcuts just to get a quick meal on the table.  When I’m at the beach and in the heat, I want light meals… fresh fruits, salads, roasted veggies, and seafood.  Make a list before you go to the grocery store and stick to it.  If you’re eating your meals out, plan one or two special dinners, and then order healthy meals the other days.

A

Activate your body – I’m so lucky that I’m married to someone that loves running as much as I do.  Bill is more than willing to get up to run at sunrise so we can enjoy the beauty of the morning together.  If you’re not a runner, go for hikes, try stand-up paddleboarding, go for a swim, or sign-up for a walking tour of the city you’re visiting.

C

Challenge yourself – I like to have a rough mental outline of what I’m going to do each day.  Don’t get me wrong!  I spend a lot of time lying on the sofa reading books (skin cancer = I don’t spend a lot of time on the beach).  We usually plan which days we’re going to run and at what time, what type of run we’re doing, etc.  Last year we drew lines in the sand and did 400-meter sprint repeats two days, on another day we went for a longer than usual run.  I have an extra set of dumbbells at the beach house so I can challenge myself to lift weights at least three times while there.  If you’re visiting one of our beautiful national parks, go for a challenging hike.  Climb the stairs at the Washington Monument (actually I don’t think that’s allowed anymore, but you get the idea).

Hydrate regularly – It’s easy to get so busy that you forget to drink enough water.  Drink plenty of water all day long so you can drink margaritas all night long occasionally.  Seriously, if you’re going to be drinking alcohol (especially in the heat and sun), be sure to drink adequate amounts of water to counter the dehydration effects of alcohol.  When going on hikes or walking tours of cities, carry water bottles with you.

When on vacation have fun, but have a plan!  Practice moderation so you don’t go overboard and sabotage your healthy lifestyle in one short week.  For many people it’s extremely difficult to get back on track once they’re home.  You’ve worked too hard to get where you are to let this happen to you!

  • Questions:
  • What are your vacation survival tips?
  • What is the coolest exercise related thing that you’ve done on vacation?
  • Where did you go on your last vacation?

Running Up To A Very Important Weekend (July 28 – August 3)

I had a solid running week until I got to Saturday, and as planned, I took Saturday and Sunday off for a very special reason.  Funny thing is, I ran on my own wedding day.  I don’t remember how far I ran, but I definitely remember going for an early morning run!

Monday
I started off the week with a nice little 1.77 mile run/walk with my client and her 13-year old daughter.   We averaged a 14 minute pace, and I continue to be pleased with their progress.  After 1.77 miles we headed inside for some strength training and core work.

Later in the day, I walked 4 miles and came home and lifted weights.  I had less than a week to get my arms buff for the wedding and every workout counted!

Tuesday
We’ve tweaked our Tuesday morning hill repeats to include a two mile warm-up so we now meet at 5:30 AM.  For me, that means getting up at 4:30 so it’s a really good thing that I’m a morning person.  Once my feet hit the floor, I am wide awake and ready to conquer the world!

430AM

We had to use our headlamps for the first time since early spring, and I was so bummed.  It’s amazing how much darker it is when I leave my house to meet the girls, even on our 6 AM runs.

Headlamp

Part of what I love about getting up so early is helping to bring up the sun.

SunriseDuringHillWorkout

After our two-mile warm-up, I ran 13 hill repeats.  I finished off my workout by running around the neighborhood to finish up at 8 miles.  It took me 1:14:57 (9:22 pace) for my morning workout.

13HillWorkoutElevationChart
Later in  the day I went on a 2-mile walk to the big blue mailbox since I’d missed the mailman.  I walked at at 16:09 pace, but considering my morning workout, I was proud of myself for not driving!

Wednesday
I was too tired to run on Wednesday, so I went on a  4-mile walk at a 15:09 pace.  I’m kind of starting to dig these walks, and love that if I’m tired, I walk, and don’t feel guilty for not running!

While at the wellness center training clients, I stayed late and lifted over there.  It’s nice to have a change in scenery every now and then!

Thursday
On the fly, I decided to run my three middle miles at tempo pace on Thursday, and then continue running until I hit 6.2 miles.  I wanted to double check my 10K pace for my Ragnar Relay profile and it seemed like as good of a day as any to do it.  I ran the 10K in 50:24 (8:07 pace).  My Ragnar profile says 9:30.  I’m still debating on whether or not to change it since one of our runners is coming back from an injury, and he’s not sure if he can keep his projected pace.

Since we didn’t have the infamous selfie stick with us, I decided to get creative with our shot.  Or did we buy a drone…

SkyHighMRTTSelfie
And because our shoes were so fun, we did this shoe selfie!

4LegSelfie

After my workout with my MRTT peeps, I rushed home to run/walk with my client and her daughter.  We walked 2 miles at a 13:24 pace.  She’s improving so much, and wants to join our MRTT group so she can get some extra runs in.  Can I just say how happy that makes me?

Friday
After some very early mornings and a busy weekend ahead, Bill and I decided to sleep in a little on Friday and didn’t start our run until about 8 AM.  I had planned to run about 10-12 miles, but cut it to 7 miles due to the late start.

Mom had arrived in town on Thursday and I didn’t want to be gone too long.  Also, Joseph and Daniel were taking Friday off work and spent the night, so we had a houseful of fun and happiness to get back to!

Since Friday was our 33rd wedding anniversary, Bill and I snapped a picture of our legs and called it our Anniversary Run for my Instagram post.  I finished my 7-mile run in 1:05:29 (9:21 pace), and Bill ran 3 more miles before calling it quits.

AnniversaryRunLegSelfie

As soon as I got home I lifted weights, and then finished up stuff we needed to do for the rehearsal dinner that we were hosting in Reston Town Center at Il Fornaio.

Saturday
I work up early and did some prep work for Sunday morning’s family brunch and then started getting ready for the wedding.  the groomsmen were arriving at 11 AM, and I wanted to be ready by the time they got here (I didn’t quite make it).

No workout was necessary because I knew I’d be dancing all night long!  I knew it was going to be a fun night when the dance floor filled up between the salad and main course!

WeddingDancingWithJoseph

Sunday
Bill and I hosted a brunch on Sunday morning for both of our families before they started heading back out of town.  It has been a long time since both families got together and we really had a nice time!

Total weekly workouts:
Running – 21.2 miles
Run/walk – 3.77 miles
Walking – 10 miles
Lifting – 3 hours

I hope to post short little recaps of the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner; and then the wedding and reception sometime later this week.  I’m waiting to post wedding pictures until I get a few better ones.  Stay tuned!

  • Questions:
  • Do you like to dance?
  • What’s your favorite cake/icing flavor?
  • Who raced this past weekend?

 

 

 

What’s New? I’m Glad You Asked!

It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!

FridayFiveLinkup
Each week Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar either suggest a theme for that week’s Friday Five Linkup, or leave it up to individual bloggers to come up with their own Free Friday theme.  This week’s theme is What’s New?! and we were encouraged to catch our readers up on where we stand on our goals for this year…

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 I was pretty pumped to see this week’s prompt because I have a lot of new stuff to share!

1.  For starters today is the first day that I can say that I’ve been married to my best friend and the love of my life for 33 years!  It seems like just yesterday that we said, I do.”  Happy anniversary, Babe!

WeddingPartyBrideGroomx

2.  Tonight we are hosting the rehearsal dinner for our oldest son Joseph and his fiancé Julie at Il Fornaio, our favorite Italian restaurant; and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary!  I’m looking forward to a relaxing evening with friends, and our new extended family while we enjoy good food and great wine!

ZisolaWine
3.  Both of our families are in town for the weekend, and I can’t wait to see and catch up with everyone!  My mom arrived on Thursday and we’re already having so much fun!

FamilyIsEverything
 

4.  We will be gaining the daughter we always wanted tomorrow!  Julie has been a part of our family for the last three years, but tomorrow it will be official when she and Joseph wed!

JulieJosephWestEggArch

Photo courtesy of Bill

5.  We’re going to the beach later next week, and I can’t wait!  I have been looking forward to getting away with Bill all summer!

BeachStallionRun

  • Questions:
  • What’s new with you?
  • Are you married?  If so, how long have you been married?
  • What are your weekend plans?