Possibly The Best New Piece Of Running Gear, EVER!

My friend Erin just added the most amazing piece of equipment to her running gear collection, a selfie stick…  Yes, I said it, a selfie stick… complete with a Bluetooth remote control.

Photo courtesy of Erin

For months, our MRTT group and I have been posting group-run selfies that Erin is kind enough to take.  I let her think that her arms were longer than mine, so I wouldn’t be the person in front.  It’s scary up there, people!  Noses are bigger, wrinkles are more prominent, and sometimes half of your face falls off!

Photo courtesy of Erin

On our Thursday run, I mentioned that I saw a picture on Instagram that looked like it had been taken with a selfie stick because the camera wasn’t right in front of the photographer’s face.  Erin went home and ordered this one from Amazon for less than $10; and then posted to our Facebook page that it was on it’s way!  The girls were all atwitter!

Bright and early Saturday morning we met for our first group run with Erin’s fabulous new piece of equipment.  And of course, I had to document the historic moment that Erin took her first MRTT selfie with her new stick.

And here’s the beautiful finished product!  Isn’t it wonderful to see Erin’s entire beautiful face?

Photo courtesy of Erin

After our run, when all of the runners got back to the parking lot, Erin took our first ever group selfie.  I’m sure it won’t be the last!

Photo courtesy of Erin

We were so excited about the selfie stick that we jumped for joy!


  • Questions:
  • Did you even know that such a thing as a selfie stick existed?
  • Who raced this weekend?

Where I Stand On My 2014 Goals

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!

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 Goals and we were encouraged to catch our readers up on where we stand on our goals for this year…


 On New Year’s Day I published my 2014 Running Resolutions, and listed eight running goals, but then only six weeks later, I second guessed myself and wrote Being Realistic When Setting Goals.  Since this is Friday Five, I’ll address the first five goals and let you know where I stand on meeting them.

1.  More trail runs and races – Check!

Back in April, Bill and I ran the EX2Adventures Spring Backyard Burn Ten Mile Trail Run at Fountainhead Park.  It was on a pretty technical course and I loved it, and I hope to run more of their trail races next spring.  In May I ran in Great Falls Park, and in June I ran at Hungry Mother State Park, both technical trails.  In July I ran on the C&O Canal, a much easier trail, but still a true trail.

2.  Run a sub two-hour half marathon – Check!

In March I ran the Inaugural Loudoun Half Marathon with hopes of running it strong, but with no particular goal for that race since my sights were set on the Hokie Half Marathon in October.  Not only did I run a sub two-hour race, but I set a PR of 1:54:34 (8:45 pace).  Keep in mind that the half marathon was not a distance that I raced very often back when I was younger and faster so it was easier for me to set a PR.

3.  Run a sub 24-minute 5K – Check!

I was delighted in June when I ran the Fit Foodie 5K in 23:49 (7:40 pace) and won my age group.  A month later I cut 1:30 off of my Firecraker 5K time from last year’s race, but wasn’t able to break 24 minutes on that course.

4.  Create greater variety in running venues – Check!

This goal was meant to be for training runs, not races.  I have a tendency to love routine, and therefore; spend most of my time training on the W&OD Trail.  This year, in addition to running in Great Falls Park and Hungry Mother State Park, I ventured off of the W&OD and ran on the C&O Canal at Point of Rocks in Maryland.  I could improve upon this goal by traveling a little more for my training runs, but at least it’s a start!

5.  More blogger meet-up runs – Check!

I have been great with this particular goal, and hope to have several more meet-ups before the year is over.  In fact, I will have a post dedicated to blogger meet-ups at the end of the year.  To date, I’ve run with Becky, Julie, Courtney, Sue, Allison, Anne, Kim, Dora, Logan, Meagan, Amy, Erika, Cynthia, Lauren, and Katie.


If I were to talk about meeting goals 6, 7, and 8, my results wouldn’t be so impressive.  I guess I should be happy that it’s Friday Five, and not Friday Eight!

  • Questions:
  • Did you set 2014 goals?
  • Where do you stand on your goals?
  • Do you like routine or adventure?

Mourning The Loss Of The Marathon

I ran my last marathon on November 12, 2011.  At the time, I didn’t realize that my marathon career was pretty much over…

I know that I could run another marathon, but seriously, how many do I need to run?  I have 40 under my belt and shouldn’t I just be happy with that?  I am… sort of.

My goal is to run forever.  I could train for another marathon, but what if I were to get a career ending injury in the process since it’s the longer runs that aggravate my spine?  What if I could no longer go out for an easy run just for the fun of it?  What if…  I just err on caution?

I’ve come to realize that it’s not the marathon I miss; it’s the training…

I miss planning to make a point-to-point long-run go off without a hitch.

I miss meeting my friends in the dark so we can be driven by a non-running friend to the far western end of the W&OD Trail and dropped off.

I miss gathering together with excitement before the start of a 22-mile point-to-point run; and if we’re lucky, admiring a beautiful sunrise as we start our run.

I miss the uninterrupted hours spent with my Cruiser friends, and the shenanigans we used to pull off.

I miss dropping off drinks and fuel at points along the trail for us to refill from when we ran by.

I miss the joy of running for hours without a time limit.

I miss the silliness and inside jokes we created on every long run together.

I miss the freedom of being on the trail for several hours, and having no idea what else is going on in the world at that moment.

I miss seeing other running groups that we could predict would be on the trail at a certain time and place; watching for them, saying hello, yet never knowing their names.

I miss the well deserved nap later in the day after a great long training run.

I miss being able to eat anything I wanted for the rest of the day, even though I was usually too exhausted to be very hungry.

I miss the bragging rights of saying that I went on a 22-mile training run like it was no big deal.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m grateful for every 10 or 12-mile run that I go on these days, but they’re just not the same as the 20 or 22-miler where you leave everything behind, and it’s just you against the trail.

Yes, it’s the training that I miss…


  • Questions:
  • What’s your longest training run ever?
  • Do you like racing or training runs better?
  • What race are you currently training for?

What Goes In, Must Come Out

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 nutrition and fuel while training…


Generally speaking, I eat pretty healthy…  Compared to the average American, I eat extremely healthy; but compared to my healthy living blogger peers, I’m much less impressive.  Heck, I’ve never even tasted overnight refrigerator oats, I don’t always buy organic, I’m known to drink the occasional soda, and I’ve only recently fallen in love with kale.

Today I’ll leave the day-to-day nutrition to the experts, and I’ll talk about pre-run and race-day fuel; what works for me, and what I need to avoid.

For anyone that’s been hanging out with me for a while, either on the running trails or by reading my blog, you know that I have a thing about porta potties.  In my opinion there can never be too many, and running around the curve on a trail, and seeing a porta potty ahead is a beautiful thing.

What does this have to do with fueling for a run?  Everything!

It has taken years, but I have finally figured out what I need to eat (and not eat) the day before a big race in order to perform at my best.  For me, performing my best means not having to stop to go to the bathroom along the way. And that starts with a “successful” trip to the bathroom at home before I head out the door for my run.

True story:  I was running strong, feeling like a million bucks, enjoying perfect racing weather, and on track to run a 3:30 at the Baltimore Marathon, when it hit.  There were no porta potties or bushes to be found as I did the “please don’t poop, please don’t poop, please don’t poop” walk-of-almost-shame past row house after row house.  Finally I found a place to go, but by then I had lost so many minutes that I ended up barely breaking four hours.

Situations like that have made me analyze my diet to death!

  • The Day Before:
  • I’ve learned that I can’t eat any fatty foods  the day before a race.  For me, fatty foods choose  to make a reappearance along the race course, and usually when there’s no porta potty in sight.
  • For years we had pasta the night before a long run or race, but I’ve realized that I’m much more likely to have good race (i.e. bathroom) results if I eat salmon instead of spaghetti.
  • High fiber foods work great for me.  I usually have a large salad with baby spinach as the base with dinner the night before my race or long run.
  • Race/Long-Run Morning:
  • I start drinking lots of water as soon as I get up to get things moving.
  • A banana with a small amount of peanut butter or almond butter is my favorite pre-run morning fuel.
  • After years of using GU, I have recently switched over to Honey Stingers and find that they work better at keeping my bathroom emergencies to a minimum.
  • I drink water while out on the trail, and if I’m running a longer race, I don’t take the sports drink offered unless I have tried it before and know that it will not upset my stomach.


Please keep in mind that this is what works for me.  I know that most experts say to stay away from high fiber foods for the last few days before a big race, but if I did that there would be no bathroom visit that morning, and I’d be stopping every few miles once the jostling began.

Now watch…  Because I posted this, I probably just jinxed myself and I’ll have to duck into the woods during tomorrow morning’s hill repeats!

  • Questions:
  • What are your pre-race fuel secrets?
  • Has a “bathroom situation” ever cost you a goal time at a race?
  • What is your favorite post-race treat?  ~ chocolate milk

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

Another Good Week… If You Like To Run

Last week was another good week for running, and since everyone seemed to enjoy last week’s workout recap, I’m going to make it a weekly event!

I almost always rest from cardio on Mondays, but try to get a good weight lifting session and core workout completed on my non-cardio day.  After about 30 years of consistently lifting three days a week, I’ve been a little burned out the last six weeks and weight training has been hit-or-miss.  Of course this happens right before I will be wearing a sleeveless dress to my son’s wedding!  I need to start polishing these guns of mine.  Perhaps I’ll drop and do a bunch of push-ups before walking down the aisle.

I digress…  I managed to get a really good workout in on Monday, and I’d like to think that I’m back on course.

After two weeks of running hills on Tuesdays, I think it’s safe to say that we love to hate hill repeats!  I arrived about 20 minutes early so I could get a mile warm-up and two hill repeats completed before the other ladies arrived.

Currently, each repeat is only .15 mile with an elevation change of 50 feet.  Once everyone is able to complete ten repeats, we plan to run the full hill which will be .3 mile long with a 100-foot elevation change.  I did a total of 12 repeats this past week, so I would like to take on the entire hill soon.


From the chart below, you can see that I ran two repeats, and then ran back to the parking lot to meet my friends.  I ran a total of eight miles with an average pace of 9:51.


After my run, I came home and rolled out my hip that’s been bothering me a little.  I think the new challenges of running hill are aggravating it slightly, but hopefully that will go away soon.  In the meantime, ice and rolling seem to be doing the trick!


As soon as I finished rolling out, my first client arrived and we ran/walked three miles.  We run about half of the time, yet our average pace is 16:39.  We don’t run that slowly (maybe an 11:00 pace), it’s just that we walk incredibly slowly.  Seeing this reminds me that I need to challenge her to walk faster during her recovery.

After my mid-day solo run on Wednesday, I came home to a well deserved chocolate milk.  My pace wasn’t too bad for being alone, and I’m sure the slightly cooler temps and much lower humidity helped tremendously!  I run faster when trying to keep up with my MRTT buddies, and was happy with this time considering I had no one to push me.


Obviously I stopped a few times for pictures.  These petunias flock the entrance to my neighborhood, and the pond in the collage above is one of several ponds that I run by when I stay within my community.


I took this screen shot of Thursday’s forecast on Wednesday night before I went to bed.  Thursday morning it was 55° at the airport, but I forgot to take a shot.


Needless to say, with the cooler temps we had a fantastic run on Thursday.  Four of us ran together, but Dora and I decided to tack on an additional mile, and somehow we forgot to take our group selfie before we went our separate ways.


I’m sure the people using the picnic tables later in the day appreciate that we use the table for stretching, but it’s the perfect height for my tight hamstrings!


As soon as I got home from my run, my client arrived for our three-mile run/walk session.  We stay within my neighborhood and enjoy the beautiful trails behind my house.  We alternated running, walking, and strength training with rubber tubing and I was almost cold when we stopped for her to do lunges, etc.


Bill took Thursday and Friday off to refinish our front doors and garage doors.  They are beautiful wood as you can see, but only stay that way because he refinishes them twice a year.

Before I headed outside to work, I lifted weights for an hour and stretched.  The weather was still absolutely perfect, so I enjoyed a beautiful day of gardening while Bill sanded and then varnished the doors.

The two puff-ball boxwoods on each side of our house had gotten totally out of shape this past year so I decided to work on them.  Bill started out with the electric hedgers, and then I took over.  They need a deep pruning, including cutting out dead wood deep inside the puff-balls.  They don’t look so good now, but I guarantee they will look fantastic in a month or two!


After a hard day’s work, and a few miscommunications, we met our friends (two hours late) for happy hour at a “new to us bar,” Bar Louie.  We both got the Pom Peche martini and it was quite good.  It’s a delicious combination of peach vodka, pomegranate syrup, mango purée, orange juice, and Sprite.  This is a horrible picture, but it gives you an idea of what it looks like.


Our MRTT group had a great turnout on Saturday morning for our long run.  We had a couple of new faces which is always fun.  Bill even joined us and took this picture so we didn’t have to gather in for a selfie.


One of those new-to-our-chapter runners was Beth.  She’s a chapter leader of a nearby group, but decided to run with us today for a change of scenery.  She’s used to the W&OD Trail, but not the portions we usually run on.  About six of us were running together in a tight little pack and someone mentioned my blog by name.  Beth said, “That’s DebRuns? I follow her on Instagram!” After lots of hooping and hollering by me, she told me her handle and I remembered that I had just started following her, too.  We decided a photo op was in order!


While we were stopped for this picture, we got into a little bit of trouble.  Keep in mind that we had all been up since at least 5:30 AM, so it seemed like it was late in the morning to us (it was probably 8 AM).  An elderly lady came out of one of the apartments next to the trail and asked us to keep it down.   There were about five of us at that point, so I imagine we might have been a little loud with our laughing and general fun time.  Like I always say, “It’s a party on the trail!”

After our turnaround, we ran into Vamshi and Amit well into their ten-mile run.  We stopped to chat before continuing to finish our 12-miler.  I ran a total of about 12.5 miles at an average pace of 9:49.


I finished off another strong week of running with a recovery walk on Sunday.  The weather was still beautiful even though the humidity is starting to creep back in.  By Tuesday we are forecasted to get back to our summer norm of hazy, hot, and humid.


I walked four miles with an average pace of 15:12.



  • Questions:
  • How’s the weather been where you live?
  • Who raced this weekend?
  • What’s on your agenda for this week?

Friday Five: Friday Favorites

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!


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.

The goal of the linkup is to introduce bloggers and readers to other blogs, so if you choose to linkup, check out the other bloggers participating.  Also, please pop over to Courtney’s, Cynthia’s, and Mar’s blogs to see what their thoughts are on this week’s Friday Five; and to see which other bloggers are joining in on the fun!



This week’s theme is Friday Favorites

1.  My number one favorite thing this Friday has to be the incredible weather we have been experiencing these last few days.  Even more amazing than the lower temperatures is the low humidity!  Blue skies, puffy white clouds… it’s just something we’re not used to in July!



2.  I bought these amazing Road Runner Sports High Five Pocket Shorts to wear in the Firecracker 5K.  I bought them because they were blue, but love them because of many great features.  They have two zippered pockets in the front, a Velcro pocket in the back and two inside pockets.  The wick-away fabric, reflective markings, and five-inch inseam are just another reason these shorts have quickly become my favorite pair!

3.  This week I added the free PicStitch app to my phone and it’s quickly becoming a favorite.  It’s easy to use and adds a fun dimension to social medial posts by allowing users to put several photos together in collage form.

4.  And speaking of available iPhone apps for using with social media, I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you (especially my Instagram followers) that I love FitSnapp.  It allows users to add information about workouts to their pictures.

5.  And finally I’m loving all of the fresh fruits and veggies that summer brings and the entrée salads that I’ve been making lately.  It’s tough to choose a favorite, but I think my shrimp, roasted red peppers, red onions, avocados, and pine nuts on a bed of baby spinach salad is my current favorite.


  • Questions:
  • What’s your Friday favorite?
  • Have you tried PicStitch or FitSnap?
  • Have you been positively effected by the brief summer cool-down?

Ragnar/Pacers Mini-Relay Recap

Today’s post was written by my fun and crazy Moms RUN This Town friend, Erin.  She and Amanda ran in the Ragnar/Pacers Mini-Relay (sponsored by Brooks Running) on Saturday evening and I’m seriously regretting not letting them talk me into joining them!  Without further ado, here’s Erin’s recap…

A few weeks ago, Pacers (a DC based running store) sent out a Facebook message offering a mini-relay. They were looking for teams to run three legs in and around Arlington, Virginia. Amanda, my co-leader for our chapter of Moms RUN This Town (MRTT), posted to our group’s Facebook page and I volunteered to join her on the adventure.

As the theme for the event was Halloween in July, we decided to dress up as “Super Moms” and had a ball creating our costumes with custom iron on decals, red Sparkle Athletic skirts, and silver Active Headbands.



A race like this is 100% out of my comfort zone, for two reasons. First, I am a morning runner and typically FINISH my longest run by 9am at the latest. Second, I am 100% type A and the idea of a “fun” relay without a lot of structure stressed me out just a little.

Amanda and I left at 3:15 and headed into Arlington for the start at Pacer’s Clarendon store. Along the way we made sure to hydrate because the car thermometer was in the high 80’s. Upon arrival at 4, we got an excellent parking spot a block away and made our way over to the start. The Ragnar team was still setting up registration so we cooled off inside, hydrated and, of course, posed for a picture in our Super Mom costumes.


We were one of the first teams to officially register and proceeded to check out the course maps. Ragnar is known for being a FUN experience and the route names were true to form. The organizers even posted them on Map My Run for folks to follow along.






At registration, we met up with several other MRTT ladies from the Vienna/Oakton and Arlington/Alexandria chapters who joined us for some photo fun.



We all hung out for just a bit more as the Ragnar team prepared for starts at 5, 5:30 and 6 – with the “rule” that we all had to be back by 8:00pm. Amanda headed out first, as she was planning on ALL THREE LEGS to get her 16 mile training run in for her fall marathon. I was going to do 2 legs to get my 10 miles in for fall half training.

Without much fanfare, the organizers made sure everyone had course maps, reminded us to obey traffic guidelines and set the first wave out into Arlington.


While Amanda ran, I hung out in the store and checked out my fellow relay runners’ team costumes.




After about 45 minutes, Amanda came back to collect me for legs 2 & 3.


We filled up her water and checked our maps as we headed toward the Key Bridge and into Georgetown.


It was HOT and instead of shooting for a time, we decided to just have fun and enjoy the experience. The trail wasn’t marked and all we had were our paper maps so we did our best to navigate. On our journey we found a splash pad for a quick cool down.


And a bridal party headed into their reception.


We got some crazy looks in our costumes as folks began to head out for evening drinks and dinner in Georgetown. Along the route we would pass other relay racers coming and going, noticeable by our orange slap bands. EVERY PERSON cheered us on and we did the same.

As we made the return trip to Clarendon UP the hills of Rosslyn, Amanda told me to go ahead to finish leg 2 and start leg 3.   I didn’t take too many pictures from my final leg and a half because I was SO TIRED. The heat and time of day were really wearing on me, but I was determined to follow my route. I headed back to the Pacer’s store and got a water refill (along with lots of cheers by those who had finished and were having a beer!) before heading off to the Custis Trail. I didn’t finish the whole route, but listened to my body and cut it short by about a mile.

I returned to the party amidst cheers from my new relay friends. I downed two huge tumblers of water, changed into my flip flops and enjoyed the party. There were lots of fun give-aways from the Ragnar and Brooks folks. I scored a shirt, water bottle, and beer cozy.



Amanda had kept going and finished her own loop totaling 14 miles in that crazy heat!

After her return and rehydration, we hopped into the car and headed back to the ex-burbs exhausted!

All in all – it was a great experience. My quads are still sore, as promised by route 2, but I am so glad to have gotten out there.

  • Questions:
  • Have you ever done a race out of your comfort zone?
  • How do you beat the heat for summer running?
  • Would you try a Ragnar Relay?

May I Borrow You For Ten Seconds?

Last summer, I connected with Laura from Write The Happy Ending after learning that she was training to run the Thunder Road Half Marathon blindfolded to honor her sister Taylor, and to bring attention to Batten Disease, the fatal rare disease that afflicts her sister.

I was so touched by Taylor’s story that in August, on Taylor’s 15th birthday, I went on a run for Taylor to help her celebrate, and then wrote about what I saw and heard along the way.  Later in the fall, Taylor’s sister Laura wrote a guest post for Deb Runs after she ran the Thunder Road Half Marathon in Charlotte, North Carolina; and yes, she ran the entire race blindfolded as planned.

Now Laura is hoping to spread the word about Batten disease and other rare diseases by getting her story on the cover of Runner’s World Magazine. This was brought to my attention last week when I received the following tweet:

I clicked on the link, and voted and it only took me a few seconds.  Now I’m asking you to help Laura Edwards spread the word by voting for her.


“Our story has a chance to be on the cover of Runner’s World magazine.
This kind of exposure would be amazing for our fight to save millions
suffering from rare diseases.”
- Laura Edwards


To give you a little more background information, here is Laura’s entry to Runner’s World…


I’ve been running for most of my life and played competitive soccer through college, but I didn’t start entering races regularly until watching my little sister, Taylor, battling a fatal brain disease that causes blindness, run her first 5K at age 10 in 2008. Running gave Taylor a chance to be a “normal” kid, and I love it for that. At the finish line that day, I made a silent promise to run for Taylor as long as possible, both to honor her incredible courage and to raise awareness of Batten disease, the illness that will take her life.


In November 2013, I returned to the event where Taylor ran her first 5K. To honor the fifth anniversary of her brave 3.1-mile run, I wore a blindfold bearing the phrase “4Taylor,” which I’ve inked on my arm for all of my races. With a guide, I ran the half marathon blindfolded in under two hours. I ran portions of the race “untethered,” and my team and I raised money and gained national exposure for Taylor’s Tale, the non-profit organization I co-founded in Taylor’s honor. My next challenge is to run a race in all 50 states for Taylor.


Aside from the fitness benefit, running is a great way to relieve stress, and I do some of my best thinking on the run. Most of all, it helps me feel close to my little sister, who can no longer run because of her disease. During my blindfolded half marathon, I ran untethered several times, and I never felt closer to Taylor than during those stretches. I imagined her next to me, healthy, her legs in sync with mine, her voice dancing on the wind, her eyes drinking in the earth.


Please vote EVERY DAY between now and August 15.  Laura and Taylor are in the top 10 right now, but they won’t win without your support.

Feel free to tweet, share on Facebook, or any other way you wish.  Also, please use #RWCoverContest and #RareDisease when sharing.  Thanks so much!


  • Questions:
  • Are you a Runner’s World reader? ~ I have been forever!
  • Will you please vote to help Laura get her story on the cover of Runner’s World?
  • Do you know anyone fighting a rare disease (rare diseases affect one in 10 Americans!)?

Group Runs Are My New Norm

Joining my local MRTT chapter was one of the best things for my running. Of course as with all things, you get out of it, what you put into it.  I happen to be fortunate enough to be part of a very active and fun chapter.  It’s very easy to want to meet these ladies regularly for runs, and we’ve created different types of runs for different days of the week. Usually I meet them three days a week, but this past week I ran with them four days.

I don’t usually do weekly recaps, but thought I would this week since I had such a variety of runs and took lots of pictures along the way!  Perhaps this is something that I’ll start doing regularly.

I ran 5.75 easy miles with my BRF at an 11:18 pace.  Sundays are usually my recovery runs from my Saturday long runs, so I always run them at conversation pace.  Conversation pace for my BRF’s and I means we work our masseter muscles more than our glutes, quads, hamstrings, and gastrocs!

I lifted weights, rested from running, and in general recovered from the holiday weekend!

I met my MRTT friends for hill repeats at 6 AM.  I ran a total of ten repeats practicing running strong uphill and gliding down.  After the repeats, a few of us tacked on some additional miles and I finished at 7.25 miles with an average pace of 9:43.  I got home and couldn’t stand that I’d stopped running at 7.25 miles so I hopped out of my car and continued running to get to 8 miles.

Hill repeats replaced my tempo run this past week, but since I have three hilly, longer races coming up in August, September, and October, I need to add hills into my training.  My plan is to add my tempo runs back into my schedule on Thursdays in another week once my body has had a couple of weeks to adjust to the new demand of hill repeats.


I lifted weights early Wednesday morning, and then my schedule didn’t allow me to run until the middle of the day.  I ran 5.63 miles alone at a 10:10 pace under extremely hot and humid conditions.  I needed to go to the bank, so I decided to run there.  On my way home I ran past our church and took this quick picture of the gorgeous sky.

Immediately upon arriving home, and with the sun still out, I heard a loud clap of thunder and it started raining.  I never saw a rainbow, but it sure missed a great chance to make an appearance!


I met my MRTT friends again at 6 AM and this time for a fast W&OD Trail five-miler.  We ran 5 miles at an 8:51 pace.  We didn’t do a tempo run, but kept a steady fast pace.  With the humidity, I can’t say that I missed my tempo run!


Oh yeah, that DC humidity has decided to make a huge comeback (it is July after all), and after the run were were soaked!


I got back to my SUV to see that I’d been flipped.  It’s an MRTT thing where we flip upside down any Moms RUN This Town magnets we see on other cars.  I’m sure if I tried this I would get arrested for attempted theft, but I suppose it’s safe when done in a running trail parking lot!


I had an MRTT destination run scheduled with a couple of my chapter friends and those of another local chapter.  We were scheduled to meet at the C&O Canal at Point of Rocks in Maryland.  Directions got messed up and the other chapter thought that it was going to be a two-hour drive instead of one, so they cancelled.


After a quick panic, I got the correct directions and was there in 25 minutes.  It was a gorgeous morning, albeit a little humid, and we ran 10 miles at a 9:41 pace.


The train tracks that run parallel to the trail were very active with five trains going by during our run.  We just happened to be in a clearing and I snapped this picture of Dora and Beth as the train approached.


We took a little break for fuel and water just before our turnaround point and walked down off the trail to check out this beautiful aqueduct.


Just before we continued on our run, I snapped this cute picture of my two running buddies!


Dora grabbed my camera and captured a picture of Beth and me as we ran along in front of her.  The trail was gravel and almost completely shaded.  It was wonderful!


On our return trip, I hiked through the mud to take a picture of the train tunnel, and kept an eye peeled for snakes and poison ivy.


About a mile before we finished, we stopped again at a park so I could get a picture of the Potomac River.  Not too far down stream of this smooth as glass portion of the river, are the rapids of Great Falls.


Back near the parking lot, a glance toward the river shows the bridge from Virginia to Maryland, and what I’ll be crossing to go back home.


But first, I’ll have to cross this surprisingly narrow bridge to get out of the parking lot!


On Saturday morning, Bill and I joined another MRTT friend, Kathy, and her husband for ten miles of her 16-miler.  Since all runs have to have a name, I called this the Couples Run!  I ran my 10 miles at a 9:26 pace, and I suspect that Kathy kept that pace steady for her entire run.  Amazing!


We ran on the W&OD Trail and were back in the sun a lot more than Friday’s run.  It wasn’t terribly hot, but it was horribly humid (99%).


I left Kathy when she had about three more miles to go and she was running strong.  She will be running her first marathon this fall!


After our run, Bill and I came home for well deserved nap.  I used to be the queen of naps when I regularly ran twenty miles on Saturday mornings, but since I quite running marathons, I don’t need them any longer.  After two ten-milers in a row, my body was desperately in need of some rest!

This morning Bill and I took a four-mile recovery walk.  We got up and headed straight out for our walk without eating breakfast.  It was my hardest workout of the week!


  • Questions:
  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Is it humid where you live?  Please remind me of what it’s like not to live in a soggy climate!
  • Who raced this weekend?



Friday Five: Fitness Snapshots

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!


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.

One of the rules is for the bloggers choosing to participate to visit the other blogs on the linkup.  The goal of the linkup is to introduce bloggers and readers to other blogs.

Please pop over to Courtney’s, Cynthia’s, and Mar’s blogs to see what their thoughts are on this week’s Friday Five; and to see which other bloggers are joining in on the fun!




This week’s theme is Fitness Snapshots

1.  My fitness snapshot starts with my clock.  To truly take a look into the life of an athlete, you have to realize the sense of self-discipline that is involved, and that often means getting up very early.  My clock is more likely to be set at 5 AM than 3:30, but yes, I have gotten up this early for a race or to complete a workout before a busy day.


2.  A quick look at the equipment in my home gym, and you’ll see many fitness snapshots.  I try to lift weights three times a week for general strength and to compliment my running.  With a well appointed gym just steps away, there are no excuses!


3.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that most Tuesday and Thursday mornings I post a FitSnap picture of our workout.  Sometimes it’s a selfie of our running group, sometimes it’s a picture of the running trail, and yesterday it just happened to be of my leg.  Putting it out there with my distance and time is a true fitness snapshot.


4.  One of my favorite fitness snapshots was captured by my client’s daughter moments after my client and I crossed the finish line of her very first 5K.  This picture says everything, and words can’t express how happy I was at that moment.

5.  Perhaps the most beautiful fitness snapshot is that of our future athletes, running for fun, running for the pure exhilaration of feeling free and pretending they’re flying.



  • Questions:
  • What’s your fitness snapshot?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?

Letting Your Children Soar

I wasn’t the mother that put a mirror under my baby’s nose to make sure he was breathing.  In fact, I was a very relaxed new mom and I’m not sure why, but I think it had to do with faith.


I had faith that the good Lord above was looking over my family; and my job was to do my best to keep my children safe and thank Him daily for entrusting those two cuties into my hands.

I suppose I have a pretty relaxed outlook on life.  My dad and I always said that my mom worries enough for the whole family, so why should we waste our time worrying.  And then I married a worrier, so I got another pass.

It’s probably a good thing that I got that pass, because I’m the mom of two boys, and boys tend to be risk takers.  They climb, jump, wrestle, punch, roughhouse… you name it, and they do it!  Worrying about all those shenanigans would drive a person insane!

The first big boo-boo happened when Daniel rode a neighbor’s little horse-on-wheels down their driveway, flipped it over, and skidded on his face.  A few kisses and band-aides later and he was as good as new.  No need to worry about that little mishap!


Next came sports, and a golden opportunity for the boys to get beaned in the head with a baseball or bat, destroy a knee sliding in soccer, break a neck skateboarding, or dislocate a shoulder while wrestling.  I tended to be the mom screaming for my kid to run faster, not be careful!

The only serious sports injury that I can remember was when one of my sons stepped on another cross-country team member with his spikes, and sent him to the emergency room for stitches.  I guess the only thing to worry about there was getting sued, but it was an accident; so, no worries.

Driving opened a whole new can of worms for this non-worrier, and two times I must admit that I did worry.  The first time was when my oldest son got into the car with an older friend behind the wheel and they drove off.  It was surreal, and I was on pins and needles until they returned safely.

The second time I truly worried was when both sons drove off together in a 4,000-pound mass of steel with one of them behind the wheel.  They survived, and soon we weren’t thinking twice about letting them ride off together on their adventures.


When our sons headed off to college, we had to trust that we had taught them to be self sufficient members of society who would, for the most part, make good decisions, and come home for that first Thanksgiving break alive.  Not only did they survive, but they both graduated from college, and both did so intact!


And everything about raising sons, rolling with the punches, staying a self-professed non-worrier, was truly tested on Saturday when they left for part-two of Joseph’s bachelor’s party.  They went skydiving…

Yes, both of my babies boarded a perfectly good airplane, and then chose to jump out of it!

You know… just step right out of a flying plane at 11,000 feet and free fall for about 45 seconds before the chute opened up, and guided them safely to the ground.




I didn’t worry about Joseph and Daniel on Saturday; and you know why?  I was too jealous to worry!

  • Questions:
  • Are you a worrier?
  • What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
  • Have you, or would you go skydiving?

Must Be Monday…

Notice anything different about the look of my blog?

I’m considering myself lucky, very lucky…  This morning I updated my theme and this is what I got.  It’s never a good thing to see those two words, “Fatal error.”


Fortunately, I always backup my website before updating anything.  A quick Goggle search showed that other users of the Evolve theme had the same thing happen when they updated.  Many people said that they went back to the old version of Evolve and restored their website using it again, but I haven’t figure that out.  In the meantime, I’m using a different theme and giving myself a huge pat on the back that I was even able to figure that out!

My plan for today was to talk about what a great weekend we had, not to bore you with geek talk!

Back to the weekend, Friday morning started with our race and a break in the weather.  Saturday morning’s weather just got better!  It was cool, crisp and perfect when we headed out on Saturday morning for our group run.


We only had four MRTT ladies meet for our run, but considering it was a holiday weekend, that wasn’t surprising!


We ran four miles together and when we returned to the parking lot, Beth and I were pleasantly surprised to find our Cruiser friend Jerome ready to start his run.  At best, we had hoped to meet him on the trail somewhere during our run, so it was a huge bonus to be able to run with him for a few miles.


Just as Beth and I were finishing up our run (13 miles for Beth, 10 for me), we bumped into another Cruiser friend Joe!  Obviously, the W&OD Trail is a very social place for us!


Bill ran a little bit later in the morning, so I had the house to myself for most of Saturday morning.  I worked on my Firecracker 5K recap, and once Bill got home we had a few hours before Joseph and his groomsmen stopped by the house after a morning of golf.  They were on their way to part two of their three-part bachelor party.  Here they are ready to head out to their final destination, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. I’ll tell you about part-two, and most definitely the best part of their day, tomorrow!


Sunday morning I was pleasantly surprised that my BRF Susan was in town, so we ran for about 6 miles.  I chilled, caught up on some stuff, cleaned out a closet, and then Bill and I made these amazing shrimp for dinner!


It was a near perfect weekend, and the weather was a huge contributing factor!  Thanks, Mother Nature for cooperating!


  • Questions:
  • How was your weather this weekend?
  • Did you celebrate quietly or with lots of friends and family?
  • What’s your biggest fear?

2014 Firecracker 5K Recap

On Thursday I picked up my race packet for the Firecracker 5K in Reston Town Center.  Packet pick-up was at Potomac River Running and I got in and out in a breeze!


Since last year’s shirt was a little tight, I ordered a medium this year and it fits perfectly.  The color is a dark slate even though it looks black here. I addition to the shirt, we got a cute little race pin which seems to be a signature feature of =PRR= races.

Race morning we woke up to rain from the outer bands of Hurricane Arthur that had skirted our area overnight.  By 7 AM it was heading north, leaving in it’s wake absolutely gorgeous weather!  The temperature was about 68° when we left our house, and even though it got warmer when the sun came out, the humidity seemed to drop a little as the morning progressed.

Bill and I met my local chapter MRTT friends at 7:25 for a group picture before we headed out for a short warm-up run.


And this is how excited we were that we got to go on an easy run together before we each ran our own race!


Bill joined us for our ten-minute run along part of the race course before we headd back to Fountain Square for our next engagement… another photo.


At 7:45 we joined other MRTT ladies for a multi-chapter photo!  It’s so cool having such a good MRTT showing at local races!


My new running friend Anne who blogs over at Mom and Dad Track Stars and I had been trying to find each other for about 15 minutes when we finally found each other at the starting line.  Erin read both Anne’s and my blogs before she met us, so we were kind enough to let her get a celeb picture with us.


I worked my way up toward the front of the sea of runners, but once again probably didn’t move quite far enough because when the race started I had to weave my way around runners for about a quarter mile.  I don’t want to get in front of runners that I will slow down, but I really do need to have more confidence in my pace and know that I belong even closer to the front in a 5K.


Approximately 2,200 runners showed up for this 5th annual race, and this picture shows participants stretching all of the way back to where the street meets the sidewalk heading into Fountain Square.


The cutest little drone was flying over our heads taking pictures before the start of the race.  After a beautiful rendition of The National Anthem and presentation of the colors by the Herndon High School ROTC, we were off!


As I mentioned, I jockeyed around other slower runners for at least my first quarter mile, and continued to pass far more runners than passed me.  By the time I pulled over to snap a quick picture of the water stop and volunteers, the crowds were thinning and I felt very comfortable.  This particular spot is at the beginning of a sweet downhill stretch that I enjoyed very much!


About a half mile after the water stop, I heard a female say my name as she passed me, and it was Mary.  Soon after, Kathy passed me, but I was able to keep her in my sights (but never catch her) for the rest of the race.

While I was getting passed by two of my running besties, the overall winner was crossing the finish line!  It was a fast course and Deme Dereje finished in 14:35 with an average pace of 4:42!


Shortly afterward, Etaferahu Temesgen was the first women to cross the finish line with a time of 16:25 (5:18 pace).


I finished in 24:19 (7:50 pace) which put me in 3rd place out of 46 in my age group (84th out of 1,212 females).   Even though I was 30 seconds slower than at the Fit Foodie 5K two weeks ago, I was very happy with my time because I shaved 1:39 off of last year’s Firecracker 5K time!


Bill came in right behind me at 24:50.


After I caught my breath, I walked around and captured a few pictures of the race festivities.


The USO had a large presence giving out little flags and stickers, collecting donations to “stuff the bus” with non-perishable food items, and accepting donations.  Potomac River Running made a donation to the USO Metro on behalf of the branch of the military with the most runners registered for the race.  At the awards ceremony they announced that the Army had won the “Battle of the Branches.”


There was a large board for writing words of thanks to our military stationed overseas.



Back at our post-race designated meeting place, we goofed off a little before we each left to go celebrate Independence Day with our families.  I have been running with these ladies since January and they are why my 5K time dropped 1:39 since last year… These ladies are fast and I push myself like I haven’t in years when I run with them.  Their times were:

  • Mary – 22:56
  • Beth – 23:47
  • Kathy  – 23:52
  • Dora – 24:15
  • Erin – 26:12 (shaved 2:30 off of December time on this same course)


To add to the festivities, a band was playing on stage throughout the post-race activities.


Post-race refreshments included bananas…


Cookies, bagels, and plenty of water…


While walking around after the race we ran into Lana from Miles’ group!  We hadn’t seen her in years and it was great to briefly catch up with her!


Next we headed down the street to watch the children’s fun run.  It was a riot watching these little runners express themselves as we adult runners would love to do!  If they fell down, they cried; if they got tired, they walked without concern; and one little fellow even wore his red cape!  I overheard a dad telling his little girl that if she didn’t run, she wouldn’t get her medal that she badly wanted; and isn’t that why many of us race… to get the shiny bauble at the end!


We stuck around for the awards ceremony so I could get my third place prize.  It was a great cap to the end of a very fun morning.


Third place prize was a $15 gift certificate to Potomac River Running Store.  I know I will put that baby to good use!  All runners received a “Support The Troops” wrist band from the USO Metro after they crossed the finish line.


We celebrated the end of a perfect day with a margarita; on a patriotic napkin, of course!


If you live in the DC area, and are looking for a fun way to start your 4th of July with a bang, consider running this great race next year!  Potomac River Running doesn’t disappoint!


  • Questions:
  • Who raced today?
  • What did you do to celebrate Independence Day?
  • Did you get to see fireworks?

Friday Five: The Fourth of July

Two weeks ago I enjoy participating in the Friday Five linkup so much that I’ve decided to join in on the fun again!  DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run! are the clever bloggers behind the linkup.


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.

One of the rules is for the bloggers choosing to participate to visit the other blogs on the linkup.  The goal of the linkup is to introduce bloggers and readers to other blogs.

Please pop over to Courtney’s, Cynthia’s, and Mar’s blogs to see what their thoughts are on this week’s Friday Five; and to see which other bloggers are joining in on the fun!




This week’s theme is Fourth of July, and I’m going to share with you how I’ve celebrated the Fourth of July over the years…


1.  When I was little, running was actually a huge part of my Fourth of July celebration!  My parents hosted a big family picnic every year and my brother, cousins, and I spent the evening running races around my parents’ house.  Those backyard picnics also introduced me to my first foot-long hot dog!  My Papaw brought them , and we had to use two sticks to roast them over the fire.  I’m not sure who was more excited about them, Papaw or me.  There’s a picture of a seven year-old Deb eating one of those giant dogs, but it’s on a slide at my mom’s house.  One of these days I’ll have to scan it…

2.  I saw my first live large fireworks display when I was about twelve years old.  My uncle and aunt took me with them to my uncle’s company picnic.  He worked for a large company that put on a large fireworks display every year.  We had a big blanket spread out and my cousins and I just lay back and enjoyed the show!

3.  Bill and I spent our first Fourth of July together as a married couple snuggled together in jeans and long sleeves and jackets under a blanket on a cold summer night in Utah.  We carried blankets out of our apartment onto the front lawn of our apartment at Utah State University (grad school) and watched the fireworks from the comfort of our blanket fort.  We probably even had hot chocolate!

4.  When our sons were young we started the tradition of celebrating the Fourth of July at Lansdowne Resort.  They hosted big family barbecues the Saturday evening before Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day and we attended them all.  Joseph and Daniel had a blast with their friends while we enjoyed the adult company of their friends’ parents.  There were always plenty of fun activities for the kids and one year they won first place in the golf cart decorating contest!

5.  Just last year, Bill and I started a new Fourth of July tradition when we ran in a local race, the Firecracker 5K honoring our local military members and their families.  We are signed up to run it again this year, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off our nation’s birthday!


Happy Fourth of July to you and your family!
And may God bless our beautiful nation!


  • Questions:
  • What’s your favorite childhood Fourth of July memory?
  • Do you have any Fourth of July family traditions that you still keep?
  • What are your plans for today?

Running the Trails At Hungry Mother State Park

Saturday morning I drove to Marion to meet Meagan for a trail run at Hungry Mother State Park. Bill and I ran there a couple of times in October and loved it so much that we decided to run the half marathon scheduled for this spring.  The only problem was that the race was moved to another Virginia park this year.

I’m sure you think Hungry Mother is a very interesting name for a park.  The name actually comes from a sad story, if true.  From the Virginia.gov I Love Virginia State Parks website:

The Legend of Hungry Mother

Legend has it that when the Native Americans destroyed several settlements on the New River south of the park, Molly Marley and her small child were among the survivors taken to the raiders’ base north of the park. They eventually escaped, wandering through the wilderness eating berries. Molly finally collapsed, and her child wandered down a creek until the child found help. The only words the child could utter were “Hungry Mother.” The search party arrived at the foot of the mountain where Molly collapsed to find the child’s mother dead. Today that mountain is Molly’s Knob, and the stream is Hungry Mother Creek.

Since I was going to be in the area, Meagan and I arranged for our own trail run and decided to meet at 8 AM.  It was a foggy morning in the higher elevations as I drove to Marion and passed my first sign, but by the time we were ready to start our run, most of the fog had burned off and we had pretty clear views.


Meagan and I met on the south side of the lake below the spillway, parked our cars, paid for our parking , and got ready to run.  Our first stop was to look at the sign to see where we would be running.  Meagan and her husband had recently run at the park, so she was familiar with the main trail that runs around the lake.


Bill and I had only run a small portion of the lake trail and had instead focused on running up to the Molly’s Knob summit.  It’s a little confusing and easy to miss finding Molly’s Knob Trail.  I remembered that we had to run up an asphalt road for a short distance before connecting to the dirt trail.  Using the map we got a good idea of where we would need to turn to find the trail.


First Meagan and I took off on the Lake Trail Loop, a six-mile loop around Hungry Mother Lake.


Once we got into the thick of the woods we ran past beautiful mountain laurel in full bloom.


About a quarter way around the lake we found the asphalt portion and road that leads to Molly’s Knob Trail.  From that point it’s a 1.9-mile climb to the summit.


Along our way we ran across something that looked like a piece of dynamite, so of course we stopped to investigate instead of running for our lives!  It ended up being a portion of a stick wrapped in camouflage duct tape.


We ran/hiked the early portion of Molly’s Knob Trail, but once we got to the final .4 miles to the summit, we stopped running and hiked.  I don’t think Meagan believed me when I saw light beyond the trees and told her that the summit was near!

Meagan and I showed up for our run wearing the exact same purple Costco running tank!  Add our black running shorts (similar, but not identical), and we were twins.  It was great!  We didn’t see a lot of other people, but I wonder what those that we saw though!


Several times on our ascent I had to stop, take my shoes off, and pull my socks back up.  I love my Feetures, but even they slipped down past my heels.  In their defense, I think they stayed up longer than any of my other socks ever have when climbing a hill that steep.  I think putting lotion on my dry feet is the problem.  Meagan suggested putting a little baby powder in my socks to see if that would help.  I’m definitely going to try that before my next steep uphill run.  On descents or flat running, I never have a problem.

My Asics GEL-Scouts Trail running shoes did great!  It was after our October trail runs that Bill and I decided to buy trail shoes and we haven’t regretted it.


We had a steady 1.9-mile descent off the mountain, and I was quite surprised that my quads weren’t really sore the following day.


We stopped for a view of the lake before we got back down to the Lake Trail Loop.


Meagan snapped this running picture of me crossing one of the cool bridges near the picnic area of the park, and I took a similar picture of her.  It was a great photo-opp location and some bikers teased us about it!


Once we ran past the back side of the swimming area, we turned following the trail back toward the spillway where we started.  We had a good view of the beach area of the park before it opened for the day.


As we turned south, the trail was tucked between the lake and Route 16, and we ran past some families fishing along this stretch of the trail.  By this point Meagan and I were very hot and schemed about taking our shoes off and dipping our toes in the cool lake water.


Luckily for us, we were out in the sun (what little there was) for only a few minutes before heading back into the cooler tree-shaded area.


Eventually the cinder trail turned back to dirt as it continued to run parallel to the lake.


As we ran along, we looked to our left and up, and saw Molly’s Knob where we had just been running!


Back on the south side of the lake, we passed the spillway as we finished up our run.


About 100 yards from our finish I stopped for my final trail picture.  These daisies were too pretty to pass up!


Since Meagan was using her Garmin, she got an elevation chart of our run.  Looking at this, it’s not hard to pick out Molly’s Knob!


Next up on Meagan’s and my must-run-together list?  Pandapas Pond near Blacksburg!


  • Questions:
  • Have you ever heard of Hungry Mother State Park?
  • Where’s your favorite running trail?
  • What are your Independence Day plans?

A Trip To The Country

Last Wednesday I drove to my mom’s house to visit for several days. I had a beautiful sunny drive through the Shenandoah and Roanoke valleys, and today I’m making the return journey back home.

Mom’s Internet was down while I was there, so I could only get online when I drove into town and used my iPhone as a hotspot. I don’t have AT&T coverage at her house, so I was really living unplugged. Unfortunately, I had planned to catch up on a lot of things that I couldn’t.   Even worse, I didn’t have any good books with me so I ended up watching a Yard Crasher marathon during my spare time.

The country roads were calling for me to come run on them and of course I obliged. The roads are narrow sometimes causing me to jump in the ditch when a vehicle drives by, but I only saw three cars total while out on my runs.



On one of my runs, I heard a fox barking up in the woods near my mom’s house. Coyotes have moved into the area in the last ten years and I really would love to hear them howling, but never have. All I know is that I don’t want to run into either a fox or a coyote when I go on one of my very early still-dark-when-I-leave-the-house runs!


I returned from one of my runs to find a bucket of wild raspberries next to Mom’s back door. Her neighbor had picked them in one of the fields on their farm and dropped them off.


We put the wild raspberries to good use in Greek yogurt parfaits for dessert!


On Saturday morning I met Meagan for a trail run at Hungry Mother State Park. I’ll share pictures and a little recap of our run together tomorrow, but I just can’t wait until then to show you what Agnes, Cecilia, Reba, Beatrice, Lady, and Dolores sent to Mom and me by Meagan! We had scrambled eggs yesterday for breakfast and the eggs were so good! Thank you again, Meagan and girls!


I’m about four hours into my six hour drive and stopped at Panera Bread for lunch and for a break from the tractor trailer traffic.  I don’t want to complain since I’m making such good time, but traffic has been heavy and fast… like 80 MPH; and I’m frazzled.


I’ll be home soon and looking forward to seeing Bill and the boys, and prepping for a fun Independence Day weekend!


  • Questions:
  • Do you ever have to run along busy roads?
  • Have you ever picked wild raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc?
  • Have you ever had fresh-from-the-chicken eggs? ~ When I was little, both sets of grandparents had chickens on their farms.

Love DC Chefs Experience

When running a 5K, I’m running hard and food isn’t the first thing on my mind when I finish. If you remember, I hung around the finish line of The Fit Foodie 5K taking pictures and cheering in my friends, which gave me a chance to cool down and work up an appetite.


A big part of The Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend was the Love DC Chefs Experience held immediately after the race. Tents were set up side-by-side filled with gourmet food like no other race I’ve ever experienced. Portions were small so we could try a little bit of everything.

We started at the tent closest to the race finish and worked our way down the street. The first tent just happened to be Naked and that worked out great for this thirsty runner!


The next tent was the tent of Chef Ris Lacoste Ris serving little watermelon skewers.


It’s a good thing I grabbed a quick picture before he placed the tray on the table because once he set it down, the skewers disappeared at the blink of an eye. They looked so refreshing, but since I don’t like watermelon I passed.  I know, it’s un-American not to like watermelon…


I sneaked a quick picture of the prep of these delicious looking salads, but the lines were so long Erin and I continued along our way to the next booth.


As I moved down the row of tents, I made my way to the side of most to take pictures; but as I look back at the pictures, I realize that I ate very little food. Chef RJ Cooper’s gazpacho looked great, but I passed as I continued along my way.


Chef Katsuya Fukusshima Daikaya was also serving a different type of gazpacho with a topping. If you remember, he served those amazing pimento cheese sandwiches at the VIP cocktail party on Friday night.


The yogurt in these parfaits was the creamiest, most delicious I’ve ever eaten, and I really wanted to get my yogurt and immediately go to the back of the line to get more! I could have done that all day!


Don’t ask why I thought it would be a great idea to take of picture of our shoes and yogurt! Since this is the only good picture I have of the yogurt parfait, I’m using it!


Bastille Restaurant & Bar served chilled zucchini Greek yogurt soup. Again long lines equaled I didn’t try it…


As we moved past the food tents we came upon this monstrosity. Can you imagine driving down the interstate and getting passed by a giant potato?


Of course our day wouldn’t have been complete without a picture in front of The Famous Idaho Potato!


We made a right turn and realized that the finisher’ village was in front of us. We’d kind of forgotten all about that with all of the food and fun we’d already had!


Our first stop was at the post-race food tent.  Yep, more food!  The name of the event is Fit Foodie after all!  The front of the tent had free stuff like Cooking Light magazines, hand wipes, etc.


The back of the tent had post-race food.  The first item was a little tiny Chipotle beef burrito on a corn tortilla.  I didn’t eat anything else after that because I really wasn’t hungry.


Unfortunately, Erin and I had to leave so we didn’t got into the beer garden for these shenanigans with the other ambassadors.  Yes, that’s Lauren balancing on two hands while balancing wine on her knee, side, and head.  Amazing!

L to R: Amy, Sue, Lauren, and Courtney source


As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t able to go back on Sunday for the Power Systems  Obstacle Course Boot Camp and Celebrity Chef Brunch.  My friends that attended it said that it was great!

Overall it was a fabulous weekend and I look forward to participating again next year.  I met some amazing ladies and I hope that we have an opportunity to meet again soon!


  • Questions:
  • What’s your favorite post-race food?
  • Who’s racing this weekend?

Fit Foodie 5K Race Recap

I woke up Saturday morning hearing the pitter-patter of rain on the skylights in our bedroom.  I got dressed, drank plenty of water, ate a banana with some peanut butter on it, and packed my car with my racing essentials.  My friend Erin met me at our house and we took off in the rain to run The Fit Foodie 5K.


I had picked up our race numbers and shirts the night before at packet pickup, so we didn’t have to worry about standing in the long line in the rain on race morning.


Parking was a breeze since there was plenty of room in the parking garage, and as soon as we walked the short distance to Strawberry Park, we set out to find the porta potties.  Shockingly, there were no lines!  The difference between porta potty lines at 5K’s and longer races still blows my mind.

Erin was very happy that there was no porta potty line


Erin and I headed back to Strawberry Park and found shelter under the overhang of the Matchbox restaurant where we were having an MRTT multi-chapter meet-up before the race.  Sue is a fellow MRTT sister, but runs with a different chapter.  Our meet-up location put us in the perfect spot for the 8:30 group stretch.


Yoga warm-ups started with Kristin McGee in the rain at 8:30.  We were standing behind her “on the stage” so I’m sure everyone got a good laugh out of my yoga form!


Kristin’s yoga stretch was followed by a cardio warm-up which took place when I usually like to go out and do a one mile easy run for my warm-up.  I bounced around a little bit and called it a warm-up!


Before heading over to the start of the race, we decided to take a quick #tweetyourfeet picture.   While taking the picture, Sue’s head suddenly popped onto the screen as she photobombed the picture.  Apparently, she’s well known for this particular stunt!


We asked Erin to take a group picture before we headed over to the start of the race.  During the course of the day, I promoted Erin from friend to media director of Deb Runs!  I think she did a very good job of keeping me focused and making sure I got all of the necessary pictures; and taking pictures when needed!

L to R: Sue, Erika, Lauren, Courtney, Cynthia, and Deb

It stopped raining just before we left our little protective overhang and the rain continued to stay away throughout the race.  While we were walking to the starting line, Amy caught up with us, so we had Erin take another pre-race ambassador picture, minus Lauren who was out warming up.

L to R: Amy, Deb, Sue, Erika, Courtney, and Cynthia

The ambassadors were asked to meet next to the race announcer ten minutes before the start of the race so we could be introduced, but that didn’t really happen.  He thanked the ambassadors and went on with his announcements.  We quickly jumped into the sea of runners ready to start the race.  Since there were no pace signs we made a random guess as to where we should be… big mistake.  We should have seeded ourselves closer to the front.

Looking toward the starting line


Due to the large number of runners (over 1,100) the race organizers decided to start the race in waves which was a very good idea, but there were no signs for the start of each wave.  The first wave took off and we moved closer to the starting line.  We were in the second wave and we started about a minute and a half later.

Looking at the runners behind us

The second our wave started, we were jockeying for a spot to run as the street narrowed down past the tents set up for the post-race Love DC Chefs Experience.  At points we were running so slowly that it reminded me of the start of a marathon with 25,000 runners.

I immediately decided that I wouldn’t be racing this 5K, so I relaxed and decided to make the best of it.  But then a few hundred yards down the course, the street widened and we were able to pick up our pace.

Many 5K’s have inexperienced runners who don’t realize that if they plan to walk they shouldn’t be at the very front near the starting line.  It’s not their fault really, it’s just a lack of experience; and I passed many walkers from the previous wave during my first mile.


About 3/4 miles into the race we ran through the parking garage and everyone’s Garmins and  RunKeeper apps lost satellite…  Since I was still convinced that I wasn’t racing, I did a few sprint photo fartleks and turned around to take pictures of the other runners.  I wasn’t the least bit concerned about conserving my energy.  This was just going to be a fun run!


As you can see from the course map at the top of the page, we had a few out-and-backs which made it fun to see my friends along the course.  At around the one mile mark, the guy in the blue shirt (right side of photo) said I looked fast and asked me at what pace I usually raced.  I told him I was hoping for an 8:00 minute/mile pace, and somehow saying that out loud motivated me to push it.  I grabbed a water and then kicked it into high gear!


Shortly after the water stop I saw Erin and stopped long enough to take her picture.  There were no photographers along the course and I knew she would love to have a picture.


There were police officers on the course, but I didn’t notice any sentries (I could have missed them).  At one of the turnarounds it would have been helpful if we had been told to stay to the left while meeting runners coming our way because when we went straight a little while later as runners coming toward us made a left turn, we ran into each other.

Another time, just before I took this picture, I almost ran straight instead of making a left turn to head home.  There was a policeman there and I think he might have been blocking the arrow pointing left.  Runners way behind me in a much later wave were coming down the hill and turning left and as I came in the opposite direction, I almost followed them. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed people running up the hill, so I asked the office which way to go.  Missing that turn would have been disastrous to my overall time!


I continued to push myself pretty hard, but could never catch the guy in the blue shirt.  He got a little ahead of me when I stopped for water and then again to take Erin’s picture, but I kept him in my sights and used him to push me the rest of the race.  I tried to find him after we finished to thank him, but I couldn’t.

Immediately after crossing the finish line I found Lauren who had totally kicked butt and won her age group.  She’s been running less than a year, and I’m so impressed with how crazy fast she is!

I looked for water, but couldn’t find any so I went back to the finish line to take pictures of my friends as they finished.  First across the line was Erin.  Keep in mind as you look at the clock on the left that none of us started in the first wave, and most of my friends were in the third wave or later so it was very hard to keep track of our times until we checked the official results.


Next I saw Cynthia heading toward us…


And then Courtney setting a PR!


Followed by Amy!


I was distracted and both Erika and Sue finished without me seeing them cross the finish line.

Erika and Cynthia

Soon after we finished we bumped into Kim, another ambassador whom we hadn’t seen yet during the weekend…

Amy and Kim

At some point I went over to the results tent and looked up my time.  WHAT???  I finished in 23:49 (7:40 pace) and won my age group!  The combination of the wave start and losing satellite in the garage totally threw me off so I had no idea what my official time was.  If you remember one of my 2014 running goals was to run a sub 24:00 5K this year, so now I can cross that off my list.

I waited and waited for the awards ceremony, but as I mentioned earlier, I had other plans and had to leave the Mosaic District by 11 AM.  Lauren was kind enough to send a picture of her medal for me to use until mine comes in the mail (thanks, Lauren!).

For an inaugural race I felt that The Fit Foodie went very well.  The positives far outweigh the negatives and I’m sure that the feedback from the runners and ambassadors will help make the 2015 event even better.  I had one of my most fun racing weekends ever and hope that I can be a part of this great event again next year!

If you live in Austin, TX (September 12-14) or San Diego, CA (November 14-16), I highly recommend you run this fun race!  If you do, let me know what you think!


  • Quicken:
  • Do many of the 5K races you run have water stops? ~ For me it’s always a pleasant surprise to see one!
  • Did any of my local readers run in this race?
  • What are your vacation plans for this summer?

Light Up The Night VIP Cocktail Party

My super busy weekend started around 4:45 on Friday afternoon when I left home for the first of the The Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend events.  I allowed a little extra time because I was expecting to get caught in Friday afternoon commuter traffic, but I was pleasantly surprised that I got to the Mosaic District in Fairfax with little trouble.

My phone was exploding with tweets from my fellow ambassadors as I approached the parking garage.  We were all arriving at about the same time and were more than ready to meet each other and start a weekend of fun!

I wanted to arrive by 5:30 so I wouldn’t be driving during the #FitFoodieTweetUp, but as soon as I got there, I heard that they had canceled it.  Instead they were asking questions and giving out prizes to the people hanging out at packet pick-up.

Celebrity yoga instructor, Kristin McGee

I quickly and easily picked up my race bib and shirt at New Balance, and turned around just as Sue of This Mama Runs For Cupcakes was arriving!  We took our packets back to our cars, found Lauren of Run Salt Run along the way, and rushed off to find Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC.


Just after we stopped in Swirl and Sip for a wine tasting, Erika of MCM Mama Runs found us and we gathered for the first of many group pictures of the weekend!

L to R: Lauren, Courtney, Erika, Deb, and Sue

Our little group of five ambassadors headed down the street to the Light Up The Night VIP Cocktail Party.  We arrived a little early and hung out getting to know each other better while waiting for Cynthia of You Signed Up for What?! to join us.


Once inside, you’ve never seen so much picture taking, tweeting, instagramming, and facebooking.  We had a job to do, and we wanted to do it quickly so we could enjoy the rest of the night!

Each guest got two raffle tickets and could choose which item to try to win.  Items ranged from beauty products, to kitchen items, to fitness equipment…


The BOSU, foam roller, yoga mat, and assorted fitness equipment seemed to be a hot item with lots of tickets in the jar as the night went on.


Our DJ seemed both surprised and pleased that I wanted to take a picture of him.  Did you notice that his sound system has MARATHON written on the back of it?  How appropriate for a running event!


We worked up a thirst taking so many pictures, so we all stopped for a drink.  We had a choice of three different cocktails, wine, or beer.  I tried an interesting cocktail, but only took a few sips because I had to drive home and had a race the next day.


Of course having Cynthia join the group called for another ambassador photo!

L to R: Sue, Deb, Lauren, Courtney, Cynthia, and Erika


The food was fancy and delicious.  I made sure to thank these ladies from Sartori Cheese for the delicious package they sent to each of the ambassadors last week.


They also hit a home run with the lemon and basil/blueberry waters!  With a race the next morning, I turned to it early and often during the course of the evening.


Chef Katsuya Fukushima Daikaya treated us to a totally new twist on the pimento cheese sandwich.  He placed huge pimentos covered in cheese sauce on buns.  They were very tasty!


This chef served a cucumber and watermelon finger foods.


These chefs from Cuisine Solutions served a salad in a jar.  The concept was great, but I wasn’t a fan.  In all fairness, I am not a fan of roast beef, especially served rare.  All of my friends loved it, but a couple mentioned that there was a little more dressing than they would have preferred.


I think it’s kind of funny that I’m showing a close-up of the only dish I didn’t like, but like I said, I love the concept.  There’s a layer of vinaigrette dressing, then a layer of seasoned roast beef topped with arugula.  When you’re ready to eat it, you simply shake the jar and enjoy!


Here’s my dinner minus the finger foods I noshed on…


The various chefs and celebrity trainers got together for a picture.  Patrick Goudeau, the boot camp instructor, is in the “You Can’t Be Serious” shirt,  and Kristin McGee, the yoga instructor, is in the striped dress in the middle.


Once Amy of Twingles Mom arrived, we were able to take our own celebrity ambassador picture!


Prior to arriving at the Fit Foodie Friday events, I’d only met Sue and Courtney briefly before a race back in March and had reconnected with Amy at a race expo last summer (we worked together at a gym about 16 years ago).  I left with six new friends that I would love to hang out with again whenever the opportunity arises!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for my race day recap!


  • Questions:
  • What would be your favorite food from the ones served?
  • One of the questions during packet pick-up (that replaced the tweet-up was, “How old was the oldest person to complete a marathon?”  What’s your answer?
  • Do you read the blogs of any of the other ambassadors?  If not, check them out!

When A Rule Follower Plays Hooky

I have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time!  Here’s what was on my agenda:

  • Friday:
  • Fit Foodie packet pick-up
  • Fit Foodie Tweet-Up
  • Light Up The Night VIP Cocktail Party
  • Saturday:
  • Fit Foodie 5K
  • Love DC Chefs Experience
  • Julie’s bridal shower
  • Julie’s bachelorette party
  • Sunday:
  • Power Systems Obstacle Course Bootcamp
  • Fit Foodie Brunch

It started Friday evening in the Mosaic District in Fairfax with packet pick-up followed by the cocktail party where I got to hang out with the other ambassadors.  Saturday morning my friend Erin and I drove back to Fairfax in the steady rain for the Fit Foodie 5K and post-race foodie experience (more on that in a later recap).

After waiting forever for the awards ceremony, we gave up and tore out of the Mosaic District to race home so I could get ready to go to Julie’s bridal shower.  It really would be in poor taste for the future mother-in-law to show up late, or even worse, without having showered after a race!

On our way home, Erin and I talked about how the rain caused our MRTT chapter’s Welcome Run to get rescheduled to today, and how we would love to go… I casually asked Erin if she would be upset if we missed Sunday’s Fit Foodie yoga/boot camp, and brunch, and she said, “You mean like playing hooky?”  She said it would be fine with her and we fist bumped right there on the beltway.  In that moment, I felt the weight just lift off of my shoulders!

I’ve always been the type to follow rules, and since I’d over-committed and said I would go to all of the events, even though it wasn’t required, I felt obligated.  Luckily, lightening didn’t strike me this morning while I ran with my MRTT friends!

Back to yesterday…  The bridesmaids did a great job putting on Julie’s shower, everyone had a great time, and Julie (and Joseph) got a lot of really nice gifts.


After the bridal shower, the MOB and MOG (me) got to chaperone party with the bachelorette and her friends!  Yep, Janet and I are cool like that!


I drove the Cruiser Mobile with half of the guests and decided that the best way to stay young is to hang out with these ladies!


I managed to stay young until 11 PM, that is!  I had been up since 5:30 AM and was exhausted, and since I was meeting my MRTT buddies, I had to get up early again this morning.  After I got home, I stayed up talking wedding stuff with Bill, finally got to bed at 12:30, slept for five hours, and got up to run again!

Erin, Megan, and I had decided to meet early and get a quick three miles in before we met the rest of the crew for another three.  On our way back to the meet-up we ran into our Tuesday/Thursday morning running buddies Dora and Mary!


Mary snapped this picture of us.  It says so many things, but the question it begs to ask is, “Who’s having the most fun?”


Back at the parking lot we took the ultimate selfie with the self-timer on my little Canon PowerShot!  These ladies are truly awesome, and I enjoy every single run with them!  It was great meeting the new members this morning and I hope future runs will bring us together again soon.


I also got to hang out with Katie from Healthy Heddleston before the run.  We’ve followed each other on Twitter and Instagram for quite a while, but hadn’t gotten a chance to meet in person.  If you don’t already follow her, check her out.  So far I’ve had quite a few blogger meet-ups, so I’m definitely meeting my 2014 goal!

On a side note, can you tell that Amanda, one of our chapter leaders, ran Ragnar and got a sunburn two weekends ago?  Don’t worry, she immediately confessed her sunburn sin to me, and I scolded her.

I stopped to take pictures of runners coming toward us right after we turned around, but I had to run too hard to catch up with my group, so I decided to wait until I finished and catch the other runners coming in.  I missed the group in front of us (obviously) and right behind us, but I think I got a picture of everyone else finishing!








MRTT Runner of the Week award has to go to Misty for coming out with her boot and walking while pushing her twins in the double jogger!


After we all finished, we had post-run refreshments of bananas, muffins, chocolate milk, and water; and drawings for cool prizes.  Thank you, Amanda and Elizabeth, for putting on such a fun event!


Everyone enjoyed the post-race fun, and these little legs and feet were happy to get out of the jogging stroller and run around in the dust!


As soon as I got home from the welcome run I grabbed a bowl of cereal and fruit and headed out to run another four miles with my BRF’s Susan and Shawn, ’cause that’s how I roll!


So with ten unconventional miles under my feet this morning, they were very happy to spend the rest of the day resting!


I need to go back to work tomorrow so I can rest after this busy, crazy, fun weekend!

Hopefully, I can get a recap of the cocktail party and race up on my blog tomorrow or Tuesday.  Prepare yourself for a lot of pictures!


  • Questions:
  • Who belongs to an MRTT group?
  • Who raced this weekend?
  • Are you a rule follower, or do you like to bend the rules?

And Other Thoughts FIT to Discuss

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