MCM ’14 Training Weeks 8 & 9 – Lots of Long Runs!

Hello again!  Sorry for my lapse in posting last week.  I made my way back home from San Diego, regathered my kiddos, and mentally dealt with the fact that it was my last few weeks of summer.  Today I officially started back at work, which will actually make training a bit easier.  That may seem counterintuitive, but during the week I was able to very predictably get to the gym immediately after work.  I knew it was coming and I did it every day.  During the summer when I had all day to do it, it was much easier to let it slip.  But, I digress.  Let’s back up to the last time I posted, which was August 10th.  I was taking the day off to prepare for my long run and avoid running in some very inhospitable weather.

Monday August 11th – still in San Diego, I headed out for a 14 miler.  It would be the longest I have run since I ran the Marine Corps Marathon back in 2011.  I procrastinated quite a bit, and by the time I hit the road it was already afternoon.

IMG_0552San Diego makes for some beautiful runs, and I took advantage of the harbor area.  I was able to run the length of the harbor area to the airport and back.  It started out as a lovely run and felt great until about mile 11.  I ran out of water and was feeling the result of running out in the heat of the afternoon.  As I admit to in a previous post, Pepsi is really my one true vice.  I decided to stop at a vending machine (which graciously took credit cards) to let myself have a sugar kick to finish out those last three miles, only to have my spirit ruthlessly crushed when pepsi was sold out.  Lucky for me, Seaport Village, a very tourist centered shopping area was on my run.  So right around mile 12 I hit a snack stand and took a little sit, with a lovely view, to enjoy my ice cold pepsi.

My lovely view from soda drinking stop.

My lovely view from soda drinking stop.

If you've never enjoyed a mid-run soda, you are probably a better runner than I am.

If you’ve never enjoyed a mid-run soda, you are probably a better runner than I am.

I managed to carry on through the last two miles, but I was STARVING.  It was nearly 2pm and all I had eaten so far that day was a rice cake and some shot bloks during the run.  I do not endorse or encourage this kind of behavior.  I went immediately to a local mini-mart where I bought the following amazing collection of foodstuffs:  1 nesquik chocolate milk, 1 pepsi, 1 large red powerade, 1 kingsized package peanut butter m&ms, 1 package of bologna, 1 cup o noodles.  This, my friends, is why you should never go to the store hungry.  Or being absolutely beaten down by a run.  I spent most of the rest of the day recovering, and it wasn’t until later that day when I went out for dinner that I realized the terrible thing I had done to myself.


This is NOT a good look for anyone.

This is NOT a good look for anyone.


The sun is real, my friends.  It is not your friend, and the midday sun doesn’t care about you.  Don’t do this.


I managed to not run at all from Tuesday until the following Sunday, the 17th.  Let me repeat again, this is not advised.  Most marathon training plans will tell you consistency is key.  Unfortunately, consistency is not always my biggest strength.  Thankfully for me, our Metro Run & Walk training coach Bruce has a wonderful attitude – when I showed up at 7:30 on Sunday morning for my 15 miler and admitted I hadn’t run since Monday he smiled and said, “Good!  You’ve got fresh legs!”  I should add that Bruce knows me well enough to know that I don’t always have the good sense to follow training to a T.  With the help of the lovely folks in our training group, my 15 was just delightful.  I consider myself very lucky to get to spend those long miles in the company of other people that also think torturing themselves with hours on end of running to no destination is a good idea.  

Monday I hit up a yoga class at my gym for some cross training and to work out those 15 miles, and Tuesday was sacrificed to the cub scouts.  Wednesday I went out for a lovely five miler in my neighborhood and realized how much I have missed running at home.  I live in the Kingstowne area and the Franconia Road/Buelah/Manchester Lakes/Van Dorn loop has become one of my favorite routes for shorter runs.  There’s something nice about the familiarity of the buildings and neighborhoods, where you can tell exactly how much further you have just be paying attention to your nearby landmarks.

Saturday the 23rd I went out for a three mile run at my half marathon pace.  Part of my training plan has me running short to medium length runs the day before a long run in order to make me run on tired legs.  My three miles went great, despite the pouring rain, and it was actually only about 25 seconds slower than my 5k PR, which has me very excited for my next 5k in September.

Sunday the 24th I met up with our store training program for a 16 mile long run.  The exciting thing about marathon training now is that every time I have a long run I’m excited as it is the longest I’ve run since Marine Corps in 2011.  I had felt like I lost so much in running over the last few years, and to feel myself getting it back is wonderful.  Our 16 miler took us from Gravelly point to the C&O canal, on to Rock Creek Park (where we took a new to us trail and accidentally did some rock climbing), and then back down along the water to the 14th Street bridge.  The weather was wonderfully cooperative, and I am happy to report that I woke up today (Monday) able to walk quite comfortably!

This upcoming week will be a lower mileage week as I head down to Virginia Beach for the Rock & Roll Half Marathon.  I still haven’t settled on a goal.  I feel no need to try to set a half marathon PR in the summer heat, so I think somewhere around 2:00-2:10 would be just lovely.  What I am thrilled about is this will be the first month this year where I manage to hit 100 miles!

Week nine has marked the halfway point in training – which is hard to believe and very exciting!  Great things are ahead!  Until next week, take care and run well!

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MCM ’14 Training Week 7 – Training & Traveling Again!

Welcome to week seven!  When I last posted it was Tuesday and I was in the IMG_0494
air headed to my newest destination.  It looks like this.  Anyone know where?  I now find myself in “America’s Finest City,” San Diego.  I actually grew up just south of San Diego and am headed back for my grandmother’s 90th birthday.  I was pretty excited to trade in the humidity for some ocean views for a week!  After a very early wake up and a pretty long flight, I found myself back on the ground in my old hometown.  After getting settled in I decided I had to head out for my run or else there was no way it was happening.  Luckily for me I am staying near San Diego’s Balboa Park, so I headed out for four miles through the park.



IMG_0498On the left – after crossing the bridge headed into the park.  Below – the Prado Theatre.IMG_0508

It was a lovely way to stretch my legs after sitting on a plane for so long – but I will admit it didn’t feel great.  I was pretty happy to get back to the house and be done.  

Wednesday 8/5 – My plan called for seven miles, and I decided I would take full advantage of the location and try out my seven miles on the beach.  When it comes to footwear I run in a lot of different shoes.  Currently in rotation I have Nike Pegasus, Brooks Glycerins, Altra Torrins, Adidas Bostons, and Saucony Mirages.  As you can see I have zero preference on brand and am all over the place on height and cushioning.  I am a fan of the idea that running in different kinds of shoes is good for your foot and leg muscles – my zero drop shoes certainly feel different than my big cushy glycerins with their nine millimeter heel drop.  Even though I have quite the array of options, I decided that given the opportunity to run at the beach, barefoot was the way to go.  So off I went!


Here I am in front of the Hotel Del Coronado

I decided to run in Coronado, which turned out to be not a great idea.  I parked my car near a naval post, which gave me only one direction I could head out in.  Only a mile and a half into my run, I hit a fence warning me I was about to enter military property and I needed to turn back.  The idea of running the same stretch of sand multiple times (there were lots of tourists and beach goers to weave through) sounded terrible, so I decided to cut it at three when I returned to my car, and change my seven mile run to tomorrow instead.  I also had a two hour drive to Riverside County ahead of me, so I figured it wasn’t the worst idea.

Thursday 8/6 – Today I set off to make up my seven miles.  I found myself in Hemet, CA – which is about 20 degrees hotter than San Diego and with some pretty terrible air quality.  After some internet research I learned that California’s largest reservoir – Diamond Valley Lake – was only a twenty minute drive from where I was staying at my grandma’s house.  It turned out to be a lovely place to run seven miles.  I had to be a bit cautious of the local wildlife, which was a novelty given my typical runs through Springfield or on the W&OD.  Here are some pictures of the experience:



Some beautiful views, and unfortunate smog.


Here you can see the winding dirt road that moved along the reservoir.

The run was beautiful, but HOT and in direct sunlight the entire time.  Now it is time for you all to learn of my recovery drink of choice.  Well, to be honest, FIRST choice would be chocolate milk.  I adore chocolate milk as a post run drink, but it is not always easy to come by quickly.  However – my unorthodox second choice is……


Pepsi!  As you can see – I’m a little red and a lot sweaty and salty.  That pepsi made my day (it was actually sold in a small shop at the reservoir parking lot, and I was very excited about it.

Friday was my rest day, and it was lovely.

Saturday 8/9 – Today I needed to run seven at my race pace.  My current goaIMG_0546l is somewhere around 4:15 for the marathon, so my race pace runs are done at a 9:30 pace.  I was in a bit more of a hurry today than I was for my seven miles on Thursday, so the lake was out of the question.  I prefer to do any kind of pace run on trails or even the treadmill so that I can avoid the inevitable slow downs of crosswalks and streetlights, but it simply wasn’t possible today.  I ran my seven miles on the streets of San Jacinto and Hemet, California.  It was pretty brutal.  Hot, dirty, and direct sunlight the entire time.  There are lots of dairy farms in the area and given the central valley location – there is no breeze and tons of dust.  I didn’t take any mid-run pictures, but an example of what this kind of run does to me can be seen on the right.

That brings us to this morning – Sunday the 10th.  Today my scheduled run was 14 miles, but I’m actually going to switch it to tomorrow.  It is already pushing 90 here in the central valley, and I didn’t plan well enough (I have nothing to take along with my as a nutritional and no body glide – my thighs were unhappy after the seven yesterday!!).  I’m headed back down to San Diego today where I’ll be able to find a running store to grab some glide and some nutritionals and then go for a run about 20 degrees cooler.  I’m both excited and nervous about those 14 miles – it will be the first time since Marine Corps in 2011 that I’ll have run more than 13.1!

See you next week!

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MCM ’14 Training Week 6 – 1/3 Down!

This week marks week six of the 18 week training season for Marine Corps!  Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, today I am coming to you from 35,000 feet in the sky somewhere above Indiana.  Clearly, I do not know how to stay in one place (or remember to post promptly on Sundays).   Next week you’ll get to see the picture of running from my current travel destination, but I’ll leave you in suspense for now.

When we last left each other, it was Tuesday morning the 29th of July and I had just finished giving excuses as to why I did so poorly on getting all my runs in that week (and just general inconsistency).  Well my guilt got the best of me that morning, as I loaded my seven year old son into the car and hit my gym for some long, lonely treadmill miles.  I decided that I absolutely had to make up the missed long run, as between racing and traveling I felt like I had been really slacking on these important runs.  It wasn’t until I had signed my little one into the day care and made it to the treadmill that I realized the very big mistake I had made – my headphones were not with me.

I buckled down and somehow managed to run twelve miles.  Twelve very quiet, very alone, very little to look at miles.  I actually found myself spending most of those miles reading the closed captions on the big TVs that were showing sports center.  I can say with some certainty that I know more about what is going on currently in the NFL and the training camps than most people.  And that is not terribly interesting information!  But I made it through and felt better about it.

My feeling better about getting back for long miles didn’t last long – as for the next three days I just didn’t find the time to run.  Finally on Saturday night I went out for just a three miler once the kids were in bed, and given it had been a particularly frustrating day (anyone with seven and ten years olds probably can feel my pain), by the turn around point I wasn’t quite ready to come home yet.  I went an extra mile and a half and went to bed feeling pretty good.

Sunday it was up bright and early to join up with the Metro Run & Walk training group for my long run.  These folks have been some of my favorite people over the last three years.  The morning typically starts with everyone declaring what their mileage intention had been, and folks kind of grouping up with people that have a similar distance to travel.  Here is a shot of the lovely folks that I spent my Sunday morning with (I feel like you must be sick of seeing pictures of me by now):



There were two of us there with a plan of nine miles, one with a plan of ten, two others with a plan of 15, one with 12, and one with 4.  We fell into our mileage groups and off we went.  Today we started off at Gravelly Point and headed towards the city.  It is amazing how much better long distances feel when you’ve got others to distract you!  We took a few meanders through Georgetown, along the Potomac River, and a slightly tourist loop around the Tidal Basin where I got to see the FDR Memorial for the first time (if you’ve never been – it is absolutely beautiful!).  Us nine milers decided we may as well tack one more on so the ten miler didn’t need to do any of her miles alone, and it was perfectly delightful.


So, six weeks into training I think I would give myself a C+ on training.  I’ve missed a lot more of my planned training runs than I would have liked, but so far I’m able to knock out the long runs with no issue or injury, and my speed has increased quite a bit from last year.  Tune in next week to find out about the incredibly painful cross training method I discovered and see my newest running location!

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MCM ’14 – Week 5 – Where Schedules Collide

Hi friends!  Welcome to week five of 18!  This was finally my week to get it back together now that I am home and have normal life happening again.  Well, I’m sure anyone with kids and a job or two can tell you – normal life is almost never normal.  But, away we go….

Sunday 7/20 – I spent today recovering from my epic victory at the Rockville Twilight (see week four for more information on that!).  Spent most of my day at Metro Run & Walk helping others with their own running goals and getting mentally prepared to head back to work on Monday (for a training – I don’t want anyone to tell me teachers don’t work over the summer!).

Monday 7/21 – I knew today would be a hard one to get a run in – but I was determined to make it happen.  I had a training about an hour away from home that would run from 8:30-2:00, and then I needed to be at the running store for a shift from 3:00-8:00.  I knew there was no way I would feel up to running after work in the evening, and given it was my first morning of needing to wake up to an alarm clock in quite a while, I wasn’t feeling confident I would get my body moving in time to run before heading to my class.  So, I packed my running gear, and during our one hour lunch break set out to run three miles before scarfing down my lunch.  

The territory was a bit unfamiliar – I don’t know that I’ve ever actually been in Herndon before, but I set out from the school where my class was, debit card in my pocket to grab some water on the way back.  The nearest gas station was about a mile from the school, so I figured I’d grab a drink on the way back.  It was pretty warm and I was feeling pretty ragged – not to mention I was wearing shorts with no pockets so I was holding my phone and debit card in my hand as I run.  The run was unremarkable, except for the last mile where I had the joy of experiencing running with a cellphone/debit card in one hand and a quart of water in the other.  I am sure I was a pretty funny sight for any car that happened to pass, but I had achieved my goal.  I managed to get in my three miles AND eat lunch (albeit inhaled in a span of ten minutes).

Tuesday 7/22 – Tonight I met up with the Metro Run & Walk distance training group.  These are the best people I know and were the reason for my success when I ran Marine Corps in 2011.  Tuesday nights are the track work outs – and tonight was a doozy!  We ran 400 repeats, but after each 400 we hit the bleachers at Lee High School.  While the work out was  hard, the company couldn’t be beat.  Here’s Brian and I actually still smiling after our work out.

No pain, no gain.  Right?  Right.  IMG_0322

Wednesday 7/23 – My kids have been away this week, and I figured tonight I would go run my six miles after getting out of class.  However, the heat and the humidity were intensely oppressive, so instead I headed off to the gym.  Running six miles on a treadmill isn’t terribly lively, but it will get the job done.  There’s a certain kind of zen to the treadmill.  It is so intensely boring with so little to look at, and as you are able to pay far less attention given you know there won’t be any cars coming, it really let’s you slip away mentally.  At least, this is what I keep telling myself so as to not go crazy while running on the treadmill.

The rest of the week – well, I can give you a lot of excuses.  On Thursday I planned to run after my class and before picking my kids back up, but then I ended up getting the kids early, heading to a cub scout event, and then picking my parents up from the airport.  Should have squeezed in three miles at lunch, but alas – poor planning.  On Friday I should have run six miles, but instead I spent the morning frantically packing the kids and I for a quick trip to West Virginia, and then I was in the car, driving to West Virginia.  Saturday was a rest day by design – which I spent petting ring tailed lemurs and a red panda.  Sunday included driving four hours round trip to drop one kid off at camp, and then heading directly to a wedding shower held in my honor by co-workers.  Sunday is the only day I feel quite guilty about.  It should have been 12 miles.  I know very well that life happens and missing a run here and there due to life is quite alright.  I hardly even sweat missing anything five miles or under.  But those big runs count.

Now it is Tuesday already and I’m looking at almost a week since my last run (cross training was yesterday and involved lots of hills with my seven year old at the zoo).  I’m about to load the little one in the car and head to the gym (when you can’t leave the kiddos home alone and you know that running in the evening isn’t ideal for you – sometimes it is the only thing to do).  I haven’t decided what I’ll do yet.  Run the assigned three miles?  See how much of that 12 mile long run I can squeeze in during the two hours he is allowed to stay in child care?  Split the difference and run seven?  I guess my legs will have to tell me once I’m moving.  We’ll have to find out next week!!

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MCM ’14 – Training Week 4 – Back Home & Racing!

So sorry for the late post!  Last week found me returning from vacation and coming back to reality.  While I will certainly miss the sights of macaws, iguanas, and the ocean while I run, I am excited to get back into regular life and having a more predictable schedule.  As I believe I mentioned in a previous post, I race every month.  These races are of various distances and help me stay motivated and try out different courses and speeds.  This week my post will focus on a race report from my experience at the Rockville Twilighter 8k on Saturday night.

IMG_0311This was a new race for me, and a distance I have only raced three times before.  My previous had been set in 2011, after the last time I ran the Marine Corps Marathon.  My time then had been 44:18, so my goal this time was 43:00.  I am not fast enough to be competitive, but I am always trying to beat my last PR! This particular race starts at 8:45 PM and includes free glow sticks.  I hadn’t managed to do my traveling laundry yet, so I ended up getting to run this race in a skirt that I bought to run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler.

Saturday night was much cooler than typical for July, but that doesn’t mean it was cool!  Last year this race was cancelled due to persistent lightning storms, and while we didn’t have any storms to contend with, it was trying to rain off and on.  The race started off with a family fun walk, followed by the 8k race.  It was dark by the time the starting gun went off, and we were off.  For those of you, like me, who have never run this course before, let me give you a word of warning.  IT IS HILLY!  Not that any particular hill is terribly long or terribly steep or brutal, but the course is definitely rolling!  Most of the course goes through neighborhoods in Rockville and it was really lovely to see folks sitting out on their porches and in their yards to cheer on the runners.  Several kind souls even hooked their sprinklers up to sit on their cars and spray into the roads.  These sprinklers may or may not have saved me.


It was a lovely race.  I had set my garmin set at an 8:30 pace to give myself a little wiggle room.  I have not become an experienced enough runner to really have a great personal sense of pace, so having a watch that beeps at me if I am going too fast or too slow is a huge help.  I was having an easy enough time keeping pace, but the hills kept slowing me down.  Shortly after the four mile marker I tried to turn up the speed, but the combination of speed and hunger (we hadn’t had dinner before the race!) kept me pretty steady instead of speedy.  The race still went well and I finished with a new PR of 42:05!!

Darcars Rockville Rotary Twilight Runfest 2014 - Photo by Ken Trombatore



Now I’ve got a break from racing until the Virginia Beach Half Marathon at the end of August.  For now, I’m firmly back into focusing on being ready for Marine Corps and can’t wait to get some more long runs in.  In the meantime – if anyone out there has any questions, please leave it in the comments and I’ll answer them in my post on Sunday!

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MCM Training Week 3 – Let’s Talk Cross Training!!

 Hi readers!  This week we’re going to talk about cross training.  Why?  Well……because I didn’t run.

That’s right.  I did not run.  Not one single mile.  This is not a great marathon training strategy and if we were closer to the race, or I didn’t have solid faith in the base I have built over the last several months I would probably be in some kind of panic over losing a week of training.  Our bodies, however, don’t just immediately crash and burn.  Anyone that has trained for a race knows that things happen.  We get sick, we get injured, our families come to town.  No matter how dedicated we are there are times when life or circumstance make us take pause – either for purposes of mental or physical health.  For me, this last week was a mix of both.

Cross training is an important part of marathon training.  Rest days are important as well.  When you are pushing your body to its limit, it needs a day off.  Bodies being worked hard need time to recover, and muscles occasionally need a change of pace.  People do a lot of different things for cross training.  When I’m at home I have a Zumba class I go to every week.  I also occasionally drop in on yoga or pilaties classes, and now that it is summer I also love swimming.  Here in Costa Rica I was looking for something a bit more, adventurous.  And boy did I find it!

When we last spoke it was Sunday morning and I was musing about whether or not I was going to set off in the blistering jungle heat to run eight miles.  The result of this waffling was I did not run nine miles.  Instead we headed to the beach for some good old fashioned boogie boarding.

Costa Rica 2014 090As you can see, I terrified local children and parents with my haphazard boogie boarding skills.  But it was lots of fun! 

On Monday we headed the opposite direction to one of Costa Rica’s beautiful national parks for one of my other favorite cross training activities – hiking!  I know of folks who even use walking as cross training, so I think a trek through a very hot jungle certainly counts as some decent cross training!  Given that we are in Costa Rica we had some beautiful friends come to watch us hike:

10454346_517764934469_1681168640703821060_o 10498476_517740917599_5428672804399996573_o

The bird on the top is a crested caracara, and the monkey on the bottom is a white faced capuchin.  Now, hiking in Virginia may not give you the same kind of wildlife viewing – but I would highly suggest hitting the Billy Goat Trail or even Old Rag sometime this summer if you have occasion to.  They are both amazing hikes with beautiful views, and certainly make for good cross training!

While boogie boarding was fun, I felt like if I was really going to claim it was good cross training, I was going to have to do something a bit more intense.  Enter surf school!

10270828_517754824729_175430075136890256_nTortuga Surf School in Jaco, Costa Rica came highly recommend from trip advisor, so three of us decided we’d try it out.  If you have never had the pleasure of surfing, let me tell you – it is much more of a full body work out than one would imagine!  The first day started off doing drills on the shore.  Learning how to pop up properly to ride over the waves you don’t want to catch, how to get yourself up on your feet quickly once you’ve paddled hard enough to catch your wave, and how to properly squat down low enough to keep your balance long enough to ride your wave.  Then we hit the water to learn how to catch the small breakers. After two hours we were totally beat and we called it a day.

10547742_517776596099_1697934073018489902_oThe second day of surf school they had us paddle waaaay out and start catching swells to ride in.  This was significantly harder, and any time you missed a wave you had quite a long paddle back out.  This was an incredible full body work out, and after only two hours of this more intense surfing, we were about reading to throw up, as illustrated by the picture to the right.  I was more exhausted than I can remember being and absolutely every body part hurt.  Talk about a good work out!!  I did manage to ride a wave or two pretty well.10553753_517776196899_5215732611541202112_o

I took the day between surf school lessons and the day after surf school off.  During this last week I had my best childhood friend come down and hang out with us here, and my brother and his wife have also joined us.  Today (Sunday) is our last full day here in Costa Rica so we went for one last hike in Manuel Antonio National Park and found this lovely friend – Costa Rica Addie Upload 098


Today will be my last post from Costa Rica.  Tomorrow we will fly back home, and I imagine my training posts will be much more consistent!  This upcoming Saturday I will be racing at the Rockville Twilighter 8k.  I have set a goal for myself of 43 minutes – which would be a PR for me (I just realized we’ve never talked much about pace – I’m sure we’ll get into it more later).  If any of you are planning on being there and happen to spot me – please come say hi!  I’d love to know someone out there is reading my ramblings about running!  Until next week – run well!




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MCM Week 2 – Running Far From Home

*My apologies for the lack of pictures this week.  My internet here is arguing with my computer*


This is my second post from my home away from home in Costa Rica.  Running in rural Costa Rica continues to be both amazing and incredibly challenging.  It isn’t that the weather is so radically different than the weather at home – it’t hot and humid – but there is something about this near-equator sun that makes the heat just stick to your bones.  It doesn’t help that after a hot run you can’t walk into an air conditioned house and feel instant relief.  My most common mode of cooling off is to rip off the running clothes and jump into the pool.


More serious than the physical challenges of running in Costa Rica are the mental challenges.  We know that a lot of running is a mental game we play with ourself.  Up until this last Friday I have been running alone on unfamiliar roads with unfamiliar sights.  When I’m at home training I have my routes – certain neighborhood loops (from my house around Kingstowne and back is a perfect four miles), certain trails, where I have traveled so many miles and they are so predictable that I feel like I’m at home.  There is none of that predictability here.  That isn’t to say that I’ve gotten to know the roads.  I know when I will pass the small community school, how many tiny tiendas I run passed until I get to where the crocodile tour boats launch, but there is a sense of being out of place that creates a sense of loneliness.

  Continue reading

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MCM Training Week 1: Not QUITE According to Plan!

Today I will be long winded and inundate you with pictures.  You’ve been warned. This last week was my official first week of marathon training.  Kind of.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I have several races that I am training for.  The first race coming up will be the Rockville Twilighter 8k in July.  The training plan I have been following for that race actually had me at a higher weekly mileage rate than the first week of my marathon training plan, so I thought I would stick with that.  Things didn’t go quite as planned.

On Sunday everything went perfectly according to plan.  I needed to run three miles and get in a strength work out.  Given that I wanted to be at the gym for my strength workout, I decided to just do my three on the treadmill.  Thanks to the cinema room at my gym, I had the pleasure of running my three miles while watching Waynes World 2.  I don’t recommend it.  The next step of the gym proved to be a terrible idea.  Sean is the gentleman I’m planning on marrying this Fall, and he happens to be a former crossfitter.  I thought, just for fun, I’d let him lead me through some of the strength exercises he does when he goes to the gym.  I learned to do deadlifts, did some skin-the-cats on the rings, and did some shoulder presses and walking lunges.  None if it sounds too intense, but given that I am not someone that tends to lift heavy things, I learned my lesson.

Monday morning I woke up and could barely move!  I hobbled out of bed and off to work.  While I was hurting (and hurting bad), I grabbed my gym clothes so that after work I could do my 45 minute tempo run.  At 11am, I had an experience that most parents can commiserate with.  The phone rang and I was informed my daughter was laying in the clinic with a fever of 102.  It’s amazing how one simple act can obliterate all plans for a day.  My day became a rush of finding someone to take her home and getting an afternoon doctor’s appointment.  Did I mention that on Thursday we would be leaving the country for almost three weeks?  Yup.  Instead of running on Monday, my day turned into driving all over the place to see doctors and get prescriptions filled. Thus began my four days of forced rest.  Between a kid with strep, finishing up the school year (I teach 3rd grade), and trying to figure out how to pack for the three of us for three weeks in rural Costa Rica, I neglected running.  While I’m not terribly proud of that, I wanted to make no mistake of being honest about it here.  Could I have gotten up at 5am to run?  Absolutely.  But dealing with kids and life became my priority.  And by Thursday we were on an airplane, headed to Costa Rica. Continue reading

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Journey to Marine Corps Marathon 2014

Hi!  I'm Addie!

Hi! I’m Addie!


Hello everyone!  I’m Addie.  I am a 30 year old mom of two, elementary school teacher, part time running store ninja, and I’m getting married this October!  Oh, I’m also training for the Marine Corps Marathon!  Sound like fun??  Yeah, I didn’t think so either, but here we go!


That’s right, 18 weeks from today I will be taking on the Marine Corps Marathon.  I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a seasoned or veteran runner.  The first time I ever ran more than the required one mile for PE was in the Spring of 2010 when I helped coach a kids running club.  I ran my first 5k with a group of kids from a very disadvantaged area.  It took me just a hair over 37 minutes and I desperately wanted to walk.  Training for that 5k was exhausting, hard, and no fun.  Once I finished that 5k, however, I felt such a sense of accomplishment!

I finished!  It took 2:24, and I swore I'd never do it again.

I finished! It took 2:24, and I swore I’d never do it again.

That Fall we started up our kids running club again, and one of my co-coaches was diagnosed with lymphoma.  It was a terrible shock and I felt lost and out of control of the situation.  Only a few days after the news came through, I heard about Team in Training and registered to run the Shamrock Virginia Beach Half Marathon and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

I trained throughout the Winter, and in March of 2011 I completed my first half marathon.  It wasn’t fast or pretty, but I finished.  By mile nine I was DONE.  I will admit to you now that my “training” consisted of running my weekly long run, and nothing else.  I don’t recommend it.  I felt good knowing I had accomplished something, but didn’t feel the need to do it again.  Just a few weeks after completing the half, I started working part time at Metro Run & Walk, and one condition of employment at the time was participating on the store team for the Marine Corps Marathon.  As terrifying as this sounded, I agreed and started training with our wonderful training group.

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Running Through Injuries… A Few Thoughts

Mark Russell is one of the owners of Metro Run and Walk and is an avid walker and runner.

Mark Russell is one of the owners of Metro Run and Walk and is an avid walker and runner.

I’ve been running for 30 years, and one thing that experience has given me is an appreciation for the complexity of any decision to either continue training through an injury or to just shut down for a while.   Professional medical judgment is essential when you have a real problem, but what about that suspected ‘run-of-the-mill’ ache or pain that is pretty typical of the repetitive motion of running and walking we all love?  Ignoring important signals and charging through a training plan while injured can really set you back.

For me, the six big questions to answer are…

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