New York Strong: It’s Marathon Week!

IT'S RACE WEEK!!!!!!! Photo Credit: QuickMeme.com
IT’S RACE WEEK!!!!!!! Photo Credit: QuickMeme.com

It’s here. Race week. In the words of Janice…

By this time next week, I’ll have run the New York City Marathon. I’ll have a second World Marathon Majors medal hanging on my wall. I can’t believe it is THIS WEEKEND. Continue reading “New York Strong: It’s Marathon Week!”

Running and Reading: October 24 – 30, 2016

Two years ago, I posted a weekly reader of posts around the blogosphere and in the news that I thought were particularly interesting to me. Some of it had to do with running; some of it was just life in general. I have missed doing that because I read a lot of really cool articles, or at least I save them on Facebook or pin them to Pinterest enough to feel like I shouldn’t keep them all to myself.

So, it’s back! Every Thursday, I’ll start posting some of the things I am reading each week. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it!

Photo Credit: HungryRunner.com
Photo Credit: HungryRunner.com

1) It’s Marine Corps Marathon week here in our nation’s capital! Be sure you have everything you need to know about start times and course changes or check out Run Washington’s spectator guide if you plan to watch. My tip: Let Mile 12 really soak in and make sure to have your camera selfie-ready when you get medaled by a Marine. Continue reading “Running and Reading: October 24 – 30, 2016”

The Non-Runner’s Guide to Celebrating With Someone Who Runs

Fall racing season is well underway, if not at least halfway over by now, so, whether you are an avid runner or not, the chances that you know someone who has run a race this year might be pretty high. Recently, a colleague of mine asked me for some advice on what to get for her roommate who had just finished her first marathon. Naturally, her roommate had trained very long and hard, and my colleague wanted to do something special for her, having witnessed firsthand the grueling schedule and emotions that come with marathon-training. Giving a gift to someone who finished a race was something that hadn’t totally occurred to me, and I didn’t quite know how to answer her. Celebrating a marathon finish was never really something I did or expected from the people in my life. Nor was it, to be honest, something I celebrated when other people ran races. Continue reading “The Non-Runner’s Guide to Celebrating With Someone Who Runs”

Three Weeks to the New York City Marathon

This song has been in my head nonstop lately. Photo Credit: Huffington Post
This song has been in my head nonstop lately. Photo Credit: Huffington Post

In less than three weeks, I will have run my 9th marathon and probably one of the greatest road races on planet Earth. As I write this, I have completed over 350 miles of training just in the last 16 weeks. I have spent over $3,000 in physical therapy insurance claims to fix some funky hip issue that refuses to quit. I have earned a 10K personal record, ran with 11 other women from the timberline of Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon, and I ran two half-marathons within 24 hours of each other. I’ve missed out on social events in the name of sleeping and training. I’ve weathered heartache and the stress of trying to be a responsible adult, choosing to run when I don’t think I can or even want to do it. I continue to doubt and overcome, dream and disbelieve, rest and grow weary, try and try again. I’m ready for this race to move me, inspire me, and be something I look back on as a great day to have been alive.

But I’m also totally nervous about how to prepare for this race. Logistically speaking. Continue reading “Three Weeks to the New York City Marathon”

How to Build a Home Gym In Your Studio Apartment

When you’re single, over 30, and live in a major metropolis, you find that you never completely leave that awkward phase of having to explain to friends and family in the Midwest why you’ve been here so long and haven’t bought property yet. It’s hard to do that without number-dropping: “Well, for a space about the size I am living in and for the neighborhood I’m in, a condo would be about [insert that voice used in Charlie Brown commercials when an adult speaks] million dollars.” The million dollars part is typically all they hear, even if you prefixed it with “quarter of” or “half a.” Or even if you euphemize it with “hundred thousand dollars,” they still somehow hear millions. Truth be told, I think it’s crazy to buy property here in DC when you can get a literal mansion and farm in Nebraska for the price of a 1-bedroom condo in Arlington, Virginia. And since I don’t know when or if I will leave DC, the dream of home ownership seems pretty far away for me.

One thing I know, if I ever do own my own home, is that I want a home gym. I envision having a place where I can set up a treadmill (as much as I hate them but they seem to be a reasonable compromise for when you have kids which I assume will be the reason I do venture into home ownership), a weight stand, my library of Jillian Michaels DVDs, and a few key must-haves, like a Bosu ball. Things that I can have because space is not an issue. The walls will be wallpapered with my race bibs, medal racks, some race posters, and my favorite race photos. There might even be a filtered water cooler and a ficus in the corner just for a touch of posh. Continue reading “How to Build a Home Gym In Your Studio Apartment”

7 Reasons Why Stand-Up Paddle-Boarding is Good For Runners

How I Discovered Stand-Up Paddle-Boarding

In July 2015, I had just moved to a new studio apartment in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. However, the one thing missing from my adorable little home was a pool. Unlike the apartment I had just moved from, my new home lacked this crucial amenity for surviving DC summers. The first weekend in my new home, during which I would otherwise be spending the 95-degree day laying out by the pool with snacks and a book, I felt a little stuck without a place to go. I don’t like to waste gorgeous summer days cooped up indoors, but it was too hot to do anything that didn’t involve water. I don’t remember how I heard about the boathouse in DC, and I don’t quite remember what compelled me to look into checking it out. Somehow, I ended up on the website of the Key Bridge Boathouse and I discovered that they offered something I had always wanted to try: stand-up paddle-boarding. It had been on my bucket list for the longest time, preferably to learn in a place like Tahiti or Hawaii. But I decided that I couldn’t wait for Hawaii or Tahiti to come along: the time to try it was now. Continue reading “7 Reasons Why Stand-Up Paddle-Boarding is Good For Runners”

How I Prepared for Hood to Coast

My last blog entry was probably one of the most brutally honest pieces I have written in awhile, and I’m so grateful that I had the guts to just say what I freaking needed to say: that running has burned me out tremendously on emotional, physical, and mental levels. Actually, no: injury has burned me out emotionally and physically. The amount of work required to come back from being benched is substantial. First of all, you don’t know where to start. Then you have to fight voices in your head that tell you you are a fool for even trying. You doubt whether you should keep trying because you’re not happy anymore. There’s guilt for letting yourself get hurt and constantly wondering how it happened. Plus, you know, medical bills suck. But I sort of had to self-soothe for the last month or so because I’m running the Hood to Coast Relay race this weekend, and I needed to pull it together fast because there are 11 people counting on me to pull my weight.

The Hood to Coast Relay is “the mother of all relays.” It’s 200-ish miles over 32 hours, starting at the Timberline Lodge 6,000 feet up Mount Hood to the coast of Oregon at Seaside Beach. I am part of a team of 12 total women running that distance with my share being 16.6 miles split into 3 “legs.” I have NO IDEA what to expect, except that there will be a lot of fun and probably not much sleep. And likely a lot of binge-eating. Definitely some drinking and swearing. Continue reading “How I Prepared for Hood to Coast”

Race Recap: Race 13.1 Roanoke Half-Marathon

Ever climb up almost 4,000 feet after running 13.1 miles?

After pacing the Coastal Delaware Half-Marathon in April (for which I did not write a review because it didn’t seem fair since I did not run as a paying customer), I decided that I wanted at least one more half-marathon for the spring. I’ve been focusing on building strength and keeping mileage under 20 miles each week, so I needed a way to test whether I was strong enough to start marathon-training. I know I am, but I needed to prove that I am. Coming back from an injury is a major mental mind block and it’s really hard to push past it when you’re finally able to return to running. Even though I had run numerous times and quite successfully, I needed something to show that I was back. Continue reading “Race Recap: Race 13.1 Roanoke Half-Marathon”

My “Happy Place” Playlist

Last summer, when I told my colleague that I was going to the beach, the look on her face was one of shock. “But it’s so far away!” she lamented. DC is about 3 hours away from the coast, which to a native San Diegan might as well be a transatlantic flight to Portugal. For me, a Nebraska native, 3 hours was almost too good to be true. Growing up landlocked, any trip to the shore felt like I was on vacation because that’s the only time I got to see it. And now I can take weekend trips and even day trips to the beach anytime I need it. I love that my happy place is within reach and that I can take off and just go when I want to. All I need is a tank of gas.

Two years ago, when I was living in Nebraska, I spent a summer missing the beach. The best thing I had at my disposal was a pool with a pool chair– not complaining, but something about hearing waves crash and sizzle against the shore puts me in my best state of mind. Calm, present, content. So, I put together a playlist called “My Happy Place” with songs that remind me of sunny days with toes in the sand, a beer in my hand, and frolicking in the salty surf with the feeling of sun on my skin. Some of these tunes are chill and relaxing but still have a peppy island vibe, some are all-out beach party hits. Ahh, I can practically smell the funnel cakes and malt vinegar now. Continue reading “My “Happy Place” Playlist”