Capitol Hill Classic 10K Race Recap

I went to bed Saturday night fearing Sunday morning’s weather.

10KraceweatherBut when I moseyed on over to the metro, it wasn’t too bad out!

I was a little nervous about getting to the race in time to pick-up my packet because my bffls running had already picked theirs up. I severely regretted my procrastination until…

I ran into this girl at the t-shirt table!

sweatyemilyThe other girls were quite jeal that I got to meet Sweaty Emily.

Luckily, they still let me take race pictures with them.

capitol10KgirlsWe spent the next half hour doing important pre-race things, like using the power of the raised arm to get our effing location

findinglocation1And we got ready to run.

capitolhillclassicMy race was pretty standard! I think I’m finally getting used to races. Perhaps knowing that my Garmin keeps track of pace helps.

garmin10As I keep learning about distance running, I’m having fun just running races. Just running the distance is still an accomplishment to me! Though I know it’s also my own fault for not pushing myself to be faster, so perhaps that time is coming soon.

The beginning and the end of the race had good scenery, through the pretty streets of Capitol Hill. Then the course took us toward the highway views near RFK stadium.

My favorite part of races is when the super crazy fast people are running back and you can see them and cheer them on! Some of those peeps run fast.

The low part of the race for me was slowly making the loop around RFK. It started to rain and running in the parking lot kind of sucked.

10Kmap1I didn’t think the one hill was too bad, but maybe that’s because I ran so slowly up it. 😉 My friends all had good races too – they are so speedy!

And then we snuck back to the t-shirt table.


What’s Next?

I finished my first half marathon. So what’s next?

A half marathon every month? A full?


Well, maybe a full down the road – eventually. I think I need a few more half marathons under my belt first! I do want to keep running races, but it’s also nice to have a little break.

It seems like going with the flow and doing whatever exercise I feel like doing that day/week might work better for me. I always stress about getting the exact workout in that my current training plan calls for, which kind of defeats the purpose of using exercise as a healthy outlet.

Since my cross-training wasn’t so stellar during my training for the Shamrock Half (how do you guys have time for cross-training AND get all of your runs done?!) I’m going focus on a variety of workouts for a little while.

I can’t deal with going straight into another intense training cycle right now.

Instead, I’m going to take fun classes at the gym that I’ve been wanting to take, like Yoga Anti-gravity Wings.

I’m not sure my body bends that way, but we’ll see!

With glorious spring weather around the corner, I’m going to hop on my new bike and be one of the annoying bikers on the trail near Tuna’s house.


My fam is thinking that I would be good at triathlons, though I’m not sure I want to get into them yet. They’re expensive and I know approximately zilch about them. However, I could probably be convinced to do one…maybe during the summer. [Vicki?]

For now, I’m signed up for a 10K in May [with Mal, Rose, Stephy, and others – yay!] 

We’ll be doing the Capitol Hill Classic, which I am excited for. A 10K seems like the perfect distance to run next.

I think this whole athletic event/race thing has officially turned into a hobby.

Looking Back: Shamrock Half Training Cycle/Race

Looking back at this training cycle and the Shamrock Half Marathon, it’s hard not to analyze every single little bit of running slash running things that occurred.

There were a lot of good things, bad things, and…random things surrounding the past few months of my life.

To train, I used Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Plan [Novice 2]. It followed a twelve week training schedule with adequate rest that slowly added a mile to each week’s long run.


whatididdo1Whoops. There’s a lot more rest days on there than are supposed to be!



  • I built up my mileage.

Pretty much every extra mile I ran during this training cycle was a new experience for me. This was my first real crack at distance running, and I had a lot to figure out. Moving forward with my mileage base makes me feel more confident that I can run farther than I ever thought I could.

  •  I got the basics down.

Now I know some of the little tidbits about running, like which gear to use and the difference between normal running discomfort and actual bad pain [like if a muscle is strained, etc].

  • Fuel. I understand the importance of fuel on – and off the trails.

guchompsDuring the Shamrock Half, I took 3 GU chomps around mile six or seven and 3 at about mile ten. Gels are an acquired taste that I’m still working on ;).

I get how important eating the right food is when you’re training, and how shitty you feel if you don’t.

  • I found the perfect shoes. 

lovebrooksAbout halfway through the training cycle, I realized that with longer mileage, I needed a bit more padding for my feet than I originally thought. I bought the Adrenaline GTS 13 from BROOKS and I am obsessed.

the bad1

  • Cross-training.

So, uhhhh if you look at the chart of “What I Should Have Done” above, you’ll see that every week had one cross training workout. Cross-training was virtually non-existent during my training for the Shamrock Half, except for the occasional yoga DVD. I don’t think I would understand how to work a spin bike anymore.

  • I’m slow.

longrun11miI like to run slowly. Or maybe I’m just convincing myself that I like to because I do run slowly. Anyway, I think I would like to get faster. Perhaps there shall be some speed work in my future.

  • Timing matters.

Timing as in time of year. Training in the winter kind of sucked. It was always too dark to run outside by myself, forcing me into a few too many treadmill runs. I think late spring or late fall might a good race season for next time.

  • Water.

I need a large-ish handheld water bottle stat. Long runs tend to be rough for me trying to grasp on to a teensy plastic water bottle. Maybe I’ll invest in one with an extra cool mesh storage pouch.


  • The need to run at my own pace.

Yes, it’s good to run with buddies that run at different speeds than you from time to time – but not when you have a pace you need to keep in a race! Now I know what I’m capable of, and I need to start running selfishly (whether that’s faster or slower than others!)

  • My running form needs some work.

That heel strike is making me cringe.

What are some lessons that you’ve learned from a training cycle or race? Good, bad, or random?

Shamrock Half Marathon Race Recap

Great life decision: taking a Benadryl on Saturday night.

I was ready to go when the alarm went off at 5:30am on Sunday morning. Mal, Rose, and I each downed a Clif bar and I had some coffee to get things going.

Saint Jenna woke up with us and drove us as far as she could down Shore Drive until they started blocking off streets for the race.

We bag dropped, porta-pottied, and split off to our separate corrals. I was in corral 9 with the rest of the Richmond crew. I was so glad I found Britt, Sam, and Andrew at the start because I was getting a little nervy!

preracephotoIt wasn’t that cold out, but I swear to you that the Garmin wind mph is lying.

weatherWhen the wind blew (especially at the start) it was frickin’ freezing. But no matter how cold/windy it felt, it didn’t rain – which was all I cared about! I don’t think I could have handled a repeat of the Tough Mudder.

The gun finally went off at 7:12am and our corral inched up to the starting line. Dummy me forgot to press the “Run” button on my Garmin for it to start [finding location] until the gun went off. That meant I was having a slight panic attack but luckily my Garmin listened to my cursing and found its location in less than two minutes. It literally found location as the announcer said, “Corral 9, in three, two, one…!”

**Side note to highlight my electronic prowess in relation to my Garmin. Mal informed me on the ride home that the Garmin 10 gives pace throughout the entire run if you press the down arrow. Now I can’t wait to try out this extra main feature of my running watch.**

The race started off down Shore Drive, which is basically parallel to the boardwalk and led us down a street lined with beach houses.

mapI ran the first four miles with Sam, which made them fly by! We started off a teensy bit fast (low elevens).

We split up around mile four, when the runners all ventured over to a tree-covered highway. This section was my favorite part of the course because it was pretty and serene, but let’s be honest – probably because it was the only section of the race that blocked out the wind completely.

At about mile six, I started to get tired.

shamrockhalf1I took 3 of my GU Chomps at mile six and a half.

We entered into Fort Story, the military base in Virginia Beach. This was my (and the rest of the group’s) least favorite section of the race. Once we turned a corner near the lighthouses, we were pounded with high winds from the ocean. Say hello to one of my slowest miles!

Even though the wind sucked, the elevation made up for it.

chartsThe course was so flat, which was glorious. No doubt the best thing about the route.

After a two-ish mile stretch, the course spit us back onto the beachy neighborhood down Atlantic Avenue. Cones narrowed the road to one lane, which was annoying because some people we running with strollers and blocking the way.

But it was really cool, because in the opposite direction, we got to see the elite marathoners starting off and running at the speed of light. It was crazy to see them pretty much sprinting knowing they were going to keep that up for twenty six more miles.

I tried to speed up a teensy bit in the last half a mile when we got to the boardwalk.

shamrockhalf6I started passing people for the first time in the race. 🙂

Even if I run as slow as shit during the race, I like kicking it up a notch and striding at the end…i.e., pretending I’m fast.

splitsRose and Mal cheered me through the finish line as my headphones blared some Miranda.


summarySee the 13.19 miles? It’s from me zig zagging around the street through people to snot rocket. #sorryi’mnotsorry

After the finish, I slowly stumbled through the vendor line giving us more and more free stuff. I haven’t been to too many races, but even I knew the swag from the race was good!

We got sweet medals, a fleece finisher blanket, a running hat, and draw-string bag – not to mention the above average tech race shirt.

I met up with the rest of the group and we wandered into the post-race party in a heated tent.

postrace1I had a shamrock cookie and a Gatorade (best Gatorade ever), and was even able to choke down two and a half beers, unlike the aftermath of the Tough Mudder.

shamrockhalfmalandroseI’m already spending all of my time scouring race search engines for more half marathons.

Are you sensing an addiction?

Pre Half Marathon Expo and Eats

We probably did more this weekend than I usually do in a month, so let me start at the beginning.

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:30am to head over to Mal and Rose’s apartment in Arlington.

They are both my BFFLs/college roomies from THREE YEARS ago even though it does not seem like that long ago! (I’m the one that always forces us to do a funny pic – don’t judge me).

We missed you, Allyson!

We missed you, Allyson!

We all wanted to leave early on Saturday just in case there was any traffic on the way to Virginia Beach. Luckily, there was zero traffic, and we zipped on down to the beach in no time.

Mal’s friend Jenna (who is a saint for letting us crash) let us stay at her house with her three-legged cat, Franco.

2013-03-16 16.48.25After we settled in, we headed over to Taste with the Richmond crew for lunch. It was a delish gourmet sandwich place that reminded us of Take It Away in C’ville.

taste1The rest of the afternoon was spent at the race expo. Thanks for posing for me, Rose!

conventioncenterIt was my first race expo, and it was pretty darn cool. There were tons of vendors with overwhelming amounts of running gear. It was running heaven for sure.

expo1I think everyone’s favorite thing at the expo was testing out The Stick.

sticking1I’m surprised we didn’t all walk out with one!

sticking3For our pre-race meal, we went to another one of Mal’s friends’ beach house for a potluck dinner, which I sneakily captured on film. It’s normal to constantly take pictures of food, right?

potluck1I tried to limit myself to only half the tray of crab dip, since supposedly you’re supposed to steer clear of dairy the night before a race.

potluck2I loaded up on pasta, garlic bread, and a little bit of salad. We were all fearing fiber that evening.

Pre-race potluck dinner = awesome.

potluck3potluck5And was even better because we got to go check out the beach!

beach1beach2All the runner girls for the weekend:


beach3I couldn’t let the night end without a funny one.

2013-03-16 19.28.36Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Shamrock Half Marathon Teaser

The Shamrock Half Marathon was a success.

shamrockhalf3Finishing Time: 2:36:31.

It didn’t rain, and I didn’t die. So all in all, it was a pretty good day.

I ran the entire time – which was my ultimate goal!

shamrockhalf2It was a great weekend in Virginia Beach – hanging with old friends and meeting new people. The overall experience of my first half marathon was definitely a positive one.

2013-03-17 13.04.46A full race report to come soon!


Vampire 5K

Guess what I signed up for?

The Vampire 5K. 

This is solely a fun run (no chip timing) which is exactly what I’ll need in April after I’m recovering from the Shamrock Half Marathon.

It basically looks like a silly and intense game of tag with some buddies! Kind of like The Color Run but with a point to it. Thanks to Ali for telling me about it!

I’m excited for our clan of vampires to kick ass.

Click here for the living social deal! It’s usually $60, but with this coupon the event is only $30.

Have you ever participated in something like the Vampire 5K? I know there are similar fun runs with zombies, etc. 

I Have Lots of Exciting Things to Tell You

1. Christmas was awesome.

I spent Christmastime surrounded by family and friends and it was perfect!

It also helped that Santa was overly generous to me – he must be excited that I started running this year or something. I almost felt a little guilty that I got so many sweet goodies. I’m sure they’ll all pop up on CNG at some point, but I’ll highlight a few of my favs because I am so excited to use them that I’m debating squeezing in runs this week at an ungodly hour.

So without further ado, some of my amazing gifts:

    • Foam Roller

And not just any foam roller, but a fancy foam roller from Trigger Point. Thanks, Mom!

I was so eager to start foam rolling that I immediately did on the floor in front of everyone on Christmas morning. Until a little birdie stole it from me!


I was completely blown away that my dad got me the Garmin Forerunner! I am dying to use it. Saturday long run, here I come. Slash I may just wear it at all times because I am in love.

For once I won’t have to study satellite images of the specific arrangement of foliage on to determine how far I need to run/ran.

2. I am officially signed up to race a new distance.

13.1When my friend Mal told me that she was going to run the Anthem Half Marathon in March and asked me if I wanted to run too, I didn’t hesitate to register!


I am slightly terrified but also really excited.

The Anthem Half is on the same day/course of the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach. You can see the beach from the course and it’s supposed to be really flat, which is absolutely necessary. I don’t want a repeat of the Tough Mudder where I sucked it up running-wise on the rolling hills of Crumland Farms.

The Shamrock Marathon weekend is so legit that there is even a race expo! I’m finally going to get to see all the cool booths and gear that real running bloggers talk about.

I never thought sprinter me would even want to run a half marathon – ever. But I do! I’m pumped to have a new race and new distance to train for that will really challenge me.

Did you get or give any cool running gear this Holiday season?

Tell me what race/event you’re signed up for next!

Rockville 10K Race Recap

I had a hard time falling asleep on Saturday night because as always, I was worried about waking up on time.

Luckily, I woke up right when my alarm went off 6:20 AM. I had two squares of my pumpkin bars with some Kona coffee and read some blogs while I ate. After a teensy bit of stretching, I headed out the door at 7:00 AM sharp.

The race was small enough to be super organized and big enough to make you feel semi important.

It was awesome that the start of the race was in a shopping center because a lot of the nearby businesses were open early and were setting up booths = bathrooms that were not porta potties.

I went into the warm coffee shop and had the genius idea to go in the men’s bathroom because typ, there was the usual long-ass line outside the women’s bathroom. I successfully used the men’s bathroom in the coffee shop three times that morning.  (Don’t worry, it was a one person bathroom.) Thanks, men! You’re the best.

I wandered out toward the start of the race with t-minus twenty minutes to go. When I looked over to my left, my mom was right there! Thanks for coming to the race, Mom! I had my own personal paparazzi for the morning.

Meanwhile, it was freezing out. It reminded me of swim team when I was little and the water on Saturday morning A-meets was so cold during warm-ups. It would only be bad for the split second that you jumped in, and once you got moving, it wasn’t too bad. I wanted to get moving.

Before I knew it, it was time to start.

The race was….uneventful! Uneventful was kind of perfect, actually. I started off forcing myself to chill the eff out with some slower music. It was necessary to be reminded that my goal wasn’t to go fast and try to be someone I’m not – but rather just be in the moment and trot along only for me.

Though it was a relief to know that in my slowness I was alongside couples in serious runner runner-gear who were just as slow as I was. It made me feel like I wasn’t that much of a tool for thinking I was cool runnin’ in my 10K.

I even ended up passing a few people along the way. Thank god I passed the girl running with a giant butterfly clip to hold up her hair and the lady running with an iridescent pashmina scarf draped around her neck.

My music played a big role in my steady pace. During the Purple Stride 5K I barely heard it, since I was slightly blackout from all the adrenaline of my first race.

The course wasn’t the most glamorous, as it  winded us through a business park, but the rolling hills advertised on the race website were actually legit painless rolling hills. And best of all: mile markers this time.

I got excited about halfway through when I saw the fast guys and the leaders sprint past me running in the opposite direction. They were so fast! It felt like I was observing the people I’ve been reading about and pretending I know.

I figured the next turnaround in the race loop must be coming up soon. I sped up a tiny bit and a few people started walking. Ok…where was this stupid turnaround?

A mile and a half later, I finally came to the turnaround and started getting tired [four and a half miles.] The only “I want to give up” moment came when the one and only actual hill of the race surfaced at mile five and a half. I used one of Janae’s theories on hill running to get up the damn thing: pump your arms faster – your legs have to to follow!

I probably had a little too much still left in the tank at the end but I’m still happy, since I met my #1 goal of this race.

I felt great after the race – tired and glad to stop running, but strong and proud of myself. I actually thought to myself during the run “slow and steady wins the race.”  Dorky…but true for me.

All of my rough splits taken from my cheap/stolen watch were gorgeously even.

I love it when breakfast feels well deserved. 🙂

Did you run a race this weekend? Tell me about it!