Outer Banks Race Weekend

Friday:

After work I set out for the Outer Banks, the GPS said it would be about a 5 1/2 hour drive down.  Along the way I decided to stop when I saw a sign for Wawa and get a sandwich.  Much to my disappointment as soon as I exited the highway the sign for Wawa said 3 miles, rather misleading from the highway sign, but I still went refueled and had a sandwich.

Water tower just off the exit!
Water tower just off the exit!

When I finally made it to the Outer Banks it was dark, but much to my surprise my hotel was right on the beach!  (I didn’t notice when I booked the hotel)  After I changed I walked down to the water, it was ice-cold!  I didn’t go in any deeper than my ankles, there were still a few people trying to eek out the last little bit of light as they were surfing.

Cowabunga Dude!
Cowabunga Dude!
Last of the light!
Last of the light!

I came back to the room and text my friend who is also running the Outer Banks Marathon this weekend.  He and his wife are doing their first marathon.  We made plans to meet for dinner at a place nearby called Chili Peppers.  For dinner there were seven of us, he and his wife had brought along four friends who were doing the half marathon.  It was great to meet everyone, the conversation was light as I got to know everyone.  One of Jim’s friends mentioned they were thinking about starting a blog, and I recommended doing it!  Of course we talked about mine and then how I become a vegetarian.  Jim’s wife and a few of her friends said they were going try being vegetarians for 30 days, they were inspired!  Woot Woot!  I told them they have to keep me in the loop.

Lots of business had signs up welcoming runners! First one I saw when I entered Kitty Hawk.
Lots of business had signs up welcoming runners! First one I saw when I entered Kitty Hawk.

After dinner, I went back to the hotel to watch some television.  There wasn’t much on, I watched a show on Discovery called Pacific Warriors.  It was about ‘local’ Hawaiian fisherman.  It was hard not to laugh.  I lived in Hawaii for four years, the people on the show were no way locals.  They didn’t talk like the locals and had problems getting the native dialect (pidgin) correct.  I could be wrong but I very much doubt these people actually grew up in Hawaii.  After a good laugh I went to bed.

Saturday:

I slept in, all the way to 0900 hrs.  That is actually pretty late for me.  When I woke up I had a few banana chips and went for a shake out run.  I ran about two miles, trying to keep a slower pace.  I want to start the race really slow around a 9 min pace.  I know I have said that before but I really mean it.  It was already warm and humid outside.  I am hoping the weather forecast is right and the cold front comes through or it is going to be a long race.

Cool wind turbine.
Cool wind turbine.

After the run I walked down to the beach for a little while and there were quite a few people surfing and doing stand up paddleboarding.  I took a shower and made my way over to the running expo.  The parking lots were small and I had to drive around to find parking but the expo itself was pretty nice.  They had lots of vendors and a nice swag bag.  I walked around the expo for a while before deciding it was time for lunch.  A Harris Teeter was only a mile away so I made my way there to get some lunch and sunscreen.  I’m not sure if it is going to be sunny tomorrow, but I figure I should probably get some just to be safe.

Maryland Harris Teeter's need this section!
Maryland Harris Teeter’s need this section!

I had pizza and some desert and then took it easy.  I decided to take a nap, hey you can never have too much rest before a marathon 😉  While I was napping I thought I heard a knock at the door, before I could answer the door was opening.  It was someone trying to check in.  Apparently, the hotel does not have good record keeping.  The people apologized and went to sort out the issue, I did notice it was raining pretty hard.  Hopefully that will cool things off.

Surprisingly I’m not nervous or worried about this race like was for Baltimore.  I don’t know why.  I have a plan for this race and hopefully everything comes together and I can break the 4-hour mark.

Around 1800 hrs. I went over to where Jim and his friends were staying.  Some of his friends had made a runner’s dream dinner, Ziti!  Time to carbo-load.  I had gone to Harris Teeter and bought coconut cake for dessert.  Dinner was excellent, on top of the Ziti in pasta was OBX made with noodles (Forgot to take a photo).  After eating we watched the movie Inside Out, normally I am not one for animated movies, but it was pretty good!  When the movie was over we all wished each other good luck and I headed back to the hotel.  I arrived and my room key did not work, I went to have it rekeyed and told the desk staff about my unexpected visitors earlier.  She said she would let the manager know.  I watched some television, set me alarms and went to sleep.

Sunday:

Very windy, these waves were between 6-8 ft.
Very windy, these waves were between 6-8 ft.

0400 hrs. I woke up to have a small breakfast and went back to sleep for a little while.  0530 hrs. time to get up and prepare for the race before leaving around 0630 hrs.  I drove to where the parking lot was near the start line and took a quick shuttle ride to the start line.  Before getting on the shuttle I ran into Jim and his wife and we rode over together.  The start line had plenty of porta-potties so the line the use the bathroom was not long at all.  The race started right on time 0720 hrs. and we were off!  I will have a full race recap later this week, let’s just say things did not go according to planned and it was a painful race.  After the race I took the shuttle back to the parking lot, hopped in my truck and went back to the hotel to shower.  My body has never hurt so much after a race.  I didn’t feel like eating anything so after showering I hit the road to get home.  I stopped once to refuel and grab a little something to eat.  I still didn’t feel like eating but knew I had to.  I finally made it home around 1930 hrs.  I unpacked, put my laundry in the wash and went over my best friends to watch Sunday Night Football.  After the game, I came home and fell asleep almost immediately.

The race didn’t go as planned and it wasn’t a PR, I will detail that more in my recap, but looking back I don’t think it was a good idea for me to run two marathons within a 3 week period.  Especially after my 365 day running streak.  My race season is officially over, it is time to rest and let my body repair itself.

How was your weekend?  What recovery tips do you have?

-Veggie Fueled Runner

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365 Days Later

I wanted to end my running streak where it began, Central Park in NYC.  Last year on October 25th my friend, Lizzie, and I went to NYC and ran in Central Park while we were there she didn’t know at the time but I was starting a run streak.  Heck at that point I wasn’t sure I was going to; 365 days seemed like such a long time.  The next morning at breakfast I told Lizzie about my idea of a run streak and that I was becoming a vegetarian.  I’m not really sure what she thought, but I do remember her telling me that is was great that I was becoming a vegetarian but I needed to eat healthy as well.  Advice I followed over the last year.

Penn Station in Baltimore
Penn Station in Baltimore

On Friday I woke up early before work and ran, I wouldn’t have time later.  Lizzie and I were taking the train to NYC and had dinner reservations at 2200 hrs.  The train ride to NYC was pretty quick and painless, last year we took the bus and that was rather interesting.  Once we arrived we walked to our hotel, changed, and walked to dinner.  We had made reservation 3 months ago and had been looking forward to dinner for quite some time.  If you ever find yourself in NYC and want an absolutely amazing meal make reservations at Per Se!  Trust me it is worth it!  We actually had to take one of the dessert courses with us because we were so full.  I can even put into words how amazing the food was!

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Saturday morning Lizzie went to meet one of her friends and I decided to go for a run in Central Park.  Our hotel was only 2 blocks away.  I wanted to try and get a longer run in since I had been taking it easy most of the week.  On Day 364 I managed to logged 12 miles; I looped Central Park and then did an out and back path.  There were so many people in the Park, bikers, runners, walkers, horse carriages, there was even a race going on.  I really enjoyed the run even though it was a bit chilly.  After the run we met a friend of mine for lunch, rested up a bit, had a dinner at supposedly the best falafel cart in NYC according to Yelp!  We aren’t so sure about that but it got the job done.  After dinner we made our way to Times Square to see An American in Paris and enjoy wine from a sippy cup!  Definitely  a highlight!  The show was fantastic.  Again I would recommend seeing it if you have not and are in NYC.

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Sunday had arrived, this was day 365.  There were plenty of times I thought it wouldn’t get here but it had.  It was gloomy out and a light rain was falling in the city, but it was time to run and weather couldn’t stop us.  We left the hotel and started to walk towards Central Park, Lizzie said to me ‘Are we going to walk or run?’  With that we starting running towards the Park.  We ran out and back and stopped to take a selfie, just as we had done 365 days ago.

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It felt good to complete the streak.  I’ve never done anything for 365 days straight before, at least nothing that required me to go out of my way to do it.  In total I estimate during that time I ran approximately 1355 miles, with lots of them coming during marathon training.  I’m glad I completed the streak, but as Lizzie pointed out to me a year is an arbitrary number, so very true.  Why not make it two years?  I’m not, but what made me choose a year?  I suppose I thought it would be a good measure of time and give me something to do everyday.  Some people have said it was inspiring, I didn’t do it to inspire anyone but I’m glad I did.  I do hope that I have motivated someone, somewhere to run, or embrace a healthier lifestyle.  In the last few weeks of the streak I began looking forward to stopping and resting my legs.  I thought about some things when it comes to a streak and keeping it going.  One person who inspired me and has a streak she doesn’t keep track of (at least I don’t think she does, anymore) is my Mom.  Twenty years ago she gave up smoking, I still remember the day she quit.  We were at the park fishing and it started raining, my Mom, Dad, and I started running for the car.  Before we made it we stopped at a pavilion to catch our breath and that is when my Mom quit smoking.  She took out her cigarettes and threw them in the trashcan.  She was pretty winded and finally realized smoking was destroying her lungs and her health.  She hasn’t smoked since.  I’m really glad she quit that day.  I know my Mom is going to read this so ‘Keep up the streak Mom, you’ve got 19 years on me!’

Not the actual trash can
Not the actual trash can

Looking back on the streak it was challenging at times, but helped me stay on track and maintain a balance in my life.  I am sure I will write more about what the streak has meant to me in the future, when I’m ready to share some things.  In the meantime I am looking forward to letting my legs rest.  If you are wondering did I stop, no, I ran on Day 366.  It is Tuesday evening about 2145 hrs; as I begin to write my blog for Thinking Out Loud it feels odd that I haven’t ran today.  As I showered tonight I actually thought about running after getting out of the shower, and I’m thinking about running now, but it is late and I am much to tired.  Just a few days ago that wouldn’t have stopped me, but today is finally a rest day!

2014, yikes!
2014, yikes I had gained way to much weight!

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I’m not going to stop running or training, I decided to try and break 4 hours in the marathon again!  I’m running the Outer Banks Marathon on November 8th.  Between now and then I will be training, but with a few more rest days.

Stay tuned!

Have you added a race to your season?

-Veggie Fueled Runner

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–Running 3:16–

Charles St. 12 (PR)

The alarm was set for 0400 hrs. when I woke up and looked at the clock it was 0345 hrs. I thought about going back to sleep for 15 mins, but decided I would rather get up now and eat than wait to hear my annoying alarm clock go off.  I got up made a shake, drank it, and went back to sleep for another hour.  I’ve been getting up early before long races and eating something, I think it helps to get something in my stomach and eating earlier gives it time to settle.

0515 hrs.  I woke just before my alarm went off, I had a nightmare that I slept through my alarm and missed the race completely, thankfully it was only a dream.  I got up got dressed, packed some clothes for after the race, and I was out the door to meet Elizabeth.  We were going to ride to the race together since it was a point to point from Towson to Power Plant Live in downtown Baltimore.  We arrived at the start line and immediately got in line for the bathrooms, let’s be honest that is pretty much what everyone does because you are going to have to go if you have hydrated properly.  After we used the bathrooms, we warmed up a little and did a 5 min run near the start line.  We ran into one of our friends Laura, we briefly chatted and made out way to the start line.  I decided to use the bathroom one more time, and made it back to the start line just before the race started.  I saw two of our other running friends Sarah and Lauren.  I talked to them and they were planning on starting at a faster pace then I wanted to, so was Elizabeth.  I wanted to use this run to simulate, the best I could, what I wanted to do in the marathon.

Start Line
Start Line

We were all at the front of the starting line around the 1:35 pace group, when the race started.  Sarah, Lauren, and Elizabeth took off and I hung back and slowed down that first mile.  My first mile was 8:17, still a bit faster than I wanted to be and it was uphill.  I wanted to start around an 8:30 pace.  The Charles St. 12 is an overall negative downhill race, the key word being ‘overall’, it is actually a pretty hilly course.  Just after the first mile there was a water station, which I though was great this early in the race.  The second mile was mostly downhill, and I ran it in 7:51.  I remember thinking without a plan this race could get out of control quickly because of all the changes in elevation.  I made a conscious effort to slow down a bit; I was feeling strong but I didn’t want to burn out and not have anything left for the end of the race.

At the end of mile 2 there was another water stop; I thought to myself this is great if there is a water stop approximately every mile.  That was not the case.  Mile 3 I slowed to 8:30 on a pretty steep climb and then my pace evened out around 8:15 a mile. Miles 3, 4, and 5 came and went without a water stop.  I was getting pretty thirsty and even some other runners around me began to comment on the ‘now’ poor placement of the first two water stops, they were to close together.  Finally around mile 6 there was a water and Gatorade stop.  Just after the stop I heard someone from behind call my name, it was my friend Pat.  I was surprised to see him, he had told me he wasn’t running the race, we ran together for a few miles and talked politics.  He decided to slow his pace just a little but I was feeling strong so I pushed on.  Normally, I would have hung back but I wanted to make sure I could keep the pace and feel good at the end.  Now my pace was just below 8:10 a mile and I was still feeling strong.

Pat and I at the finish!
Pat and I at the finish!

The water stops picked again in frequency and were much better placed for the remainder of the race.  In mile 8 my right shoe came untied twice which really annoyed me.  I finally tucked in my laces, which I should have done earlier.  After each time I stopped to tie them I sprinted back to where I was, I had noticed which runners were behind me.  So while I didn’t lose any time I didn’t make up any either.  At mile 9 there was a water stop at the bottom of a steep hill which followed a steep ascent, near the Washington Monument.  I think it was poor placement of the water stop but that late in the race I’ll take water whenever I can get it.

With only 3 miles to go I though about really starting to push the pace, but I was also feeling like I could use a bathroom break so I decided to keep the pace the same and not pick it up to much.  The rest of the course was downhill, from mile 10 I was pretty familiar with the terrain, since it was in downtown and I run a lot there.  I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a final climb in Federal Hill, some of those streets can be pretty steep.  We ran through Fed Hill mid way through mile 10 and thankfully there were not any hills.  All of mile 11 was along the promenade of the Inner Harbor which made for a great finish, after the final water stop at the mileage marker I decided to pick up the pace.  Just before the finish line my Garmin 220 beeped, I looked down I had run a 7:44 mile, the fastest one of the race.  I sprinted the remaining few hundred meters and crossed the finish line at 1:38:16 an 8:11 pace!  That was PR!  It was  PR by default because I had never run that distance but I had also never run that long at that pace so it was a great feeling.

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After quickly grabbing my medal, I saw Sarah and Elizabeth waiting for me, but I made my way to the bushes.  I though I was going to vomit after my sprint.  I didn’t and Elizabeth came over, and said ‘Let’s go get our beers!’.  That’s the whole reason to run right, free beers at the end!  We stood around and chatted for a little while and then decided to make our way back home, I was meeting Sarah and FKBT for brunch, Elizabeth had to work.  We walked back and stopped at Lululemon, because well you just have to stop in when you walk by.  I bought some boxers because I had forgotten to pack some; I used this as an excuse to finally buy the one thing I had been holding out on buying.  I’m so glad I bought them they are super comfortable, no surprise there.  But I digress.

We will run for free beer!!!
We will run for free beer!!!

I went back to Sarah’s apartment, showered and changed, our friend Theo, came back with us too and we went to brunch at Warehouse 518.  Tim’s (FKBT) friend Aiden is the head waiter there and he took care of us!  I have met him a few times and he is a pretty fun person and made sure to take care of Sarah and I since we just finished the 12 miler.  It was great to catch up with Tim, I haven’t seen him much since he moved and it had been quite some time since Theo, Tim and I hung out together.  Brunch was delicious!  If you are in the Mt. Vernon area I recommend Warehouse 518!

You have to put back the depleted carbs after a race!
You have to put back the depleted carbs after a race!

Overall it was a great day with friends and we all PR’d, so we were all happy!  It was a good way to judge where we are all at in our marathon training, though I think we all agreed we would have liked to run that extra 1.1 miles to see if we could have PR’d at the half distance.  The Charles St. 12 is a race I will consider doing again next year.

3 PR finishers!!!
3 PR finishers!!!

Did you race this weekend?  How did it go?

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Solid Background

Week 12 (8/31-9-6)

Week 11 ended on a bit of a rough note with the long run, but overall it went pretty well.  I was happy with the week and felt I made the most out of it.  I’m looking forward to the lower mileage week this week and the Charles St. 12 on Saturday.

Monday:  4 Miles (Pace 8:21)

Last week it was rather cool for the last week of August, in Baltimore the heat can return in an instant!  The heat and humidity came back today.  It was in the low 90’s with 70% humidity, so I waited until later in the evening to run.  I hydrated throughout the day and was feeling better after yesterday’s long run.  I started my run feeling good and then just like yesterday around mile 2, I felt like a ton of bricks hit me.  I felt wiped out.  I pushed through and finished my run.  I chalked it up to not having enough water throughout the day, even though I thought I had.  Glad to get this one behind me.

Tuesday:  2.25 Miles (Pace 7:58)

It is looking like the heat will not subside until the weekend, which will be better nice since I have a race this weekend.  I was suppose to go 6 miles today, but I waited till later and didn’t have the time.  I was meeting a friend to move lacrosse goals which turned out to be harder than one might think.  Anyway, I digress.  I figured since I wasn’t running 6 miles I would run a bit of a faster pace.  I got my miles in around the neighborhood and felt pretty good today.  I think I am rehydrated!

Wednesday:  5 Miles (Pace 8:00)

This evening I ran with my friend Cat and her brother.  She wanted to do a tempo run and I was fine with that, I’m suppose to do speed work tomorrow but I figured I could just swap days.  We ran around Canton and Fells Point, we started out pretty slow around a 8:30 pace, we chatted and caught up on what everyone had been up to, then John (Cat’s brother) really picked it up.  We quickly dropped to a 7 min mile and averaged 7:30 for the next 3.  The conversation dropped to a minimum during those 3 miles, the last mile we slowed down and cooled down.  It was still muggy but it felt good to get a tempo/speed work in.  I decided at the end of the run I wasn’t going to do intervals tomorrow.

Thursday:  3.3 Miles (Pace 8:14)

Since I wasn’t doing intervals I figured I would still do the mileage I would have running intervals.  I looped around my neighborhood and had a strong run.  It was negative splits which I am always happy with.

Friday: 1 Mile (Pace 8:24)

Tomorrow is race day!  I made sure on my short run tonight to deliberately run a bit slower.  After my run I made some pasta for dinner, which I had also had for lunch and dinner on Thursday.  Carbo-loading!

Saturday:  12 Miles (Pace 8:09)

See Charles St. 12

Sunday:  3.1 Miles (Pace 8:09)

This morning I was little sore from the race, my feet and quads mostly.  I hobbled around a bit and then got ready for the day.  I was meeting a friend from high school; we were going scuba diving in in a quarry in Westminster.  We drove up spent about an hour maybe a little more in the water, had lunch and then came back.  I showered and sat on the couch for a little while to rest and I started to dose off, I texted some friends and asked if the wanted to go see a movie, they said yes.  That gave me the motivation to get up and run before going out.  My first mile was pretty slow, I think swimming loosened my legs up some but I was still tight.  Close to the end of the first mile it felt like my legs released and my stride was back to normal.  I didn’t want to push it to much I wanted to use this run to stretch out.  My next mile was smooth and 40 seconds faster, my 3rd mile felt just as good and was 20 seconds faster.  I didn’t mean to run negative splits today but I was really happy that I did and even more surprised I was able to do it at my race pace just a day later.  In my mind I’m hoping that means the training is paying off!

Total Miles:  30.65

-Veggie Fueled Runner

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Goodbye City Sports-Harbor East

I had thought about writing this for Thinking Out Loud last week, but I wasn’t ready.  I thought about starting to write it earlier this week but I wasn’t ready.  Now there is no time left, so it is time to write about City Sports Harbor East closing their doors.  It is a bit sad to write about, I just ran with them for the last time before they close on Aug 23rd.  For my running friends who read this I am sure they will tell you though I put up a tough facade, I’m the ‘sappy’ one of the group…you may agree after reading 😉

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In Feb of 2013 I was going through a rough patch and running was a way to take my mind off things, I still think running is a great form of therapy.  I had run with several groups around the city but couldn’t seem to find one where I felt like it fit in.  Then one cold evening in February I tried City Sports in Harbor East.  That Wednesday night it was just Tim (the run coordinator), Theo, and myself.  We quickly struck up a conversation during the run and even though they knew each other pretty well, they made me feel included.  After the run Tim asked me if I wanted to go to Whole Foods with them and get a smoothie, I said sure then quickly realized I didn’t have my wallet.  Tim said not to worry about it, he would cover me and I could pay him back next week.  I still don’t think I’ve paid him back.  I continued going to City Sports on Wednesdays; Tim, Theo, and I became good friends and we started running together quite often and hanging out.  As the weather warmed up more people started coming to run club, it was great to meet new people.

 

City Sports Run Club growing!
City Sports Run Club growing!

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In late July or early August of 2013, the perfect storm seemed to happen though none of us knew it until afterwards.  The new residents and fellows came to Hopkins and other hospitals in the area and many were runners who started coming to City Sports Run Club.  Many of us quickly struck up a friendship when we all figured out we were training for the Baltimore Marathon.  We started running together more frequently than just Wednesday evenings and then we started doing more things together.  There were eight of us who became really great friends.  We became, as we called ourselves, the core of City Sports Run Club: Tim, Theo, Lizzie, Cat, Stefany, Rich, Camila, and myself.

Theo, Tim, Stefany, Camila, Cat, Me
Theo, Tim, Stefany, Camila, Cat, Me

 

Patapsco State Park Saturday Morning Run Theo, Tim, Rich, Camila, Kristen, Me, Cat
Patapsco State Park Saturday Morning Run
Theo, Tim, Rich, Camila, Kristen, Me, Cat

I can remember when and how I met each one of them.  We didn’t just meet and gel instantly, but it happened pretty quickly.  Over the next year we got to know each other pretty well and we weren’t in each others lives just because of running.  There are so many stories I wish I could share, but some times special things like what we had are better left in our memories.  My individual friendships with each of the other seven means so much to me and was/is unique in it’s own way.  I used ‘was’ not because we aren’t friends any more, but some have moved away because of work.  We don’t talk or see each other multiple times a week, but we still text, email, and chat from time to time.  Some of us do still run together.

Run to Remember 5k, then we ran another 12 miles Tim, Firefighter, Me, Theo, Richard, Camila
Run to Remember 5k, then we ran another 12 miles
Tim, Firefighter, Me, Theo, Rich, Camila

It was a perfect storm because I don’t think you could ever replicate how we all came together for that year.  As I said most of us ran the Baltimore Marathon that year, I had my worst finish ever (let’s just leave it at that).  I wasn’t prepared to run a marathon, but that didn’t matter, that night we had a Marathon Party at my house and it was one of the best times I’ve had with friends.  That was the first of many gatherings at my house, we would watch football games here, had a holiday party, a spring party, birthday parties, and my graduation from grad school party.  We would pretty much come up with any reason to have a party and bonfire at my house.

Marathon Party 2013 Theo, Me, Lizzie, Cat, Camila, Tim
Marathon Party 2013
Theo, Me, Lizzie, Cat, Camila, Tim

My friendships with the core eight took me all over and opened up my mind to things I had never thought about.  I traveled to Africa on a missions trip with Camila, went to Mexico for Cat’s wedding, ran a bunch of races with everyone, and Lizzie even opened my mind to vegetarianism; though she didn’t deliberately try to.  I wanted to see what it was like and couldn’t be happier with my dietary decision.

Zoo Zoom 25 degrees! Stefany, Rich, Laura, Cat, Me
Zoo Zoom 25 degrees!
Stefany, Rich, Laura, Cat, Me

 

Richard, Cat, Me, Darrell The City Sports Run Crew
Richard, Cat, Me, Darrell

Through the winter in addition to traveling and having random parties we continued to run together every Wednesday at City Sports.  Regardless of the weather we would all show up because we knew the other seven were going to be there.  We ran in the frigid cold and even in the ice, I’d say we enjoyed it on some level because we were doing it together.  After every run we would normally go to a local restaurant or bar and make plans for later in the week or catch up on what everyone had been up to. Great times!

Pretty sure it was like 8 degrees this night!
Pretty sure it was 8 degrees this night!
Teavolve after a run! Theo, Me, Stefany, Darrell
Teavolve after a run!
Theo, Me, Stefany, Darrell

As the summer of 2014 approached we knew things would be coming to an end.  Rotations at Hopkins and the other hospitals were ending and some of the Core Eight had taken jobs in other cities.  Tim had given up his position as run coordinator because he had gotten another job and didn’t have time, plus his focus was elsewhere.  Camila was the first to move, a few weeks later Rich left.  People’s schedules became more hectic and it was harder to get people together after that.

Random Saturday Run Lizzie, Theo, Stefany, Me, Cat
Random Saturday Run
Lizzie, Theo, Stefany, Me, Cat

I still see some of the Core Eight on a semi-regular basis, some more than others.  I look back and cherish that year we had together.  I left a lot out of our story, because some of it is private and personal to us.  We know what we had and we know that we will have that forever in our hearts and minds.

Saturday in the rain and 40 degrees Cat, Lizzie, Me, Phil, Camila
Saturday in the rain and 40 degrees
Cat, Lizzie, Me, Phil, Camila

Two weeks ago City Sports announced they were closing for good, due to their lease expiring and they would not be relocating in Baltimore.  Tonight (Aug 19) was the final Wednesday City Sports Run Club, it was a bit sad to walk in and see the store practically empty.  I thought about how many times I had been there on Wednesday evenings to run.  It was a small group tonight, but some familiar faces were there.  As I ran, I thought about that what City Sports Run Club had done for me since I had discovered it and all the great friends it has brought into my life.  These friends have changed my life forever, and without City Sports Run Club I would have never know them.  Tonight was a farewell to City Sports Run Club but also a fond walk down memory lane.

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My advice to you, if you’re fast, if you’re slow, it doesn’t matter find a local run club and give it a try.  You never know who you are going to meet!  Who knows you could be part of a perfect storm.

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Thank you City Sports Run Club Harbor East!

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Re-cooping after the long run.

 

Week 6 (7/20-7/26)

Traveling for two weeks really threw off my training plan, especially when I was hanging out with my friends.  This week I really want to focus on staying on track and maybe throwing in a few extra miles.

Don’t forget to register for my giveaway on July 30th!

Monday:  5 Miles (Pace 8:59)

One thing that was nice about being out of Baltimore the past two weeks was the lower humidity.  Today the humidity was up near 45% and the temp climbed to 93 degrees.  The weather report said the heat index was between 103-105.  In the interest of my health and wellness, I decided to focus on hydrating throughout the day and run in the evening after the sun started to go down.  I convinced one of my running friends to join me and she convinced her brother to come as well.  I say convinced because I think she was leaning towards running on the treadmill rather than outside.  We met at her house ran down to the promenade on Boston St. through Fells Point and back.  The air was thick and the sweat was pouring off of us.  Our pace was a bit slower than we normally run, but we got the miles in.  Sometimes you need to adjust for the weather and make sure you are safe when you run!

Tuesday:  7 Miles (Pace 8:11)

My plan today was to run with Tin Roof Runners, they usually run between 3-5 miles, but  I needed to run a bit further to stay on track with my training plan.  Though I did add a few extra miles yesterday.  I decided to take an Uber to run club and get out early and run a few miles before running with the group.  I had the Uber drop me off in Highlandtown about 2 miles away and I ran to Tin Roof in Power Plant Live.  It was a good warm up before running with the group.  The weather was humid as usual and I think that kept people from coming out to run club, but a few people showed.  We ran a loop through Fells Point, Canton, Patterson Park, and back to Power Plant Live.  It was a good run and nice to be running in my hometown after 2 weeks away!

Wednesday:  5 Miles (8:04)

I decided to bike to run club tonight, it is about 6 miles each way, a nice warm up before hitting the streets.  I added a few more miles today, even though it is still early in my training and it probably won’t matter, I feel like I need to make up the miles I missed last week.  I ran with City Sports Run Club tonight!  That is where I started running about 2.5 years ago; a TomTom rep was there and raffeling off a TomTom Runner Cardio.  To enter the raffle you had to demo the watch.  The rep who I have known for a while now, joked that I could wear my Garmin 220 on one arm and then TomTom on the other.  I opted to just run with the TomTom.  It was a little bit bigger, and only had one button on the wristband, it also had a heart rate monitor built in.  Overall I liked the Runner Cardio, but I’ll stick with my Garmin.  Had I won the watch I may have been swayed!  One of the reps I didn’t know also ran with us, he only ran a 1/4 mile with us and then stopped.  We ran around the city through the Harbor, Locust Point, Fed Hill, and back.  After the  run, when we got back to the store he informed us he had a heart attack about 3 weeks ago.  I was amazing he was even able to run that much, the body is an amazing thing!

Thursday:  1 Mile (8:16)

Due to some other committments I had to run in the late afternoon today, probably the hottest part of the day, though it wasn’t as hot as it has been the last few days.  I was sore from earlier in the week and hitting the links earlier in the week.  I decided to switch my tempo run today and do it Friday with November Project.  I got my new shoes in the mail, and decided a short run would be a good start to breaking them in.  I ordered Brooks Glycerin 12’s Ombre collection.  I’ve ran in Brooks for the last 2 years, same shoe, same color, either orange or the ombre (blue/orange).  When I find something I like I stick with it!  After adjusting the laces the way I like I took a loop around the neighborhood and kept the run streak alive!

2 Years of Running Shoes; when I find something I like I stick with it!
2 Years of Running Shoes; when I find something I like I stick with it!
New Glycerin 12 Ombres
New Glycerin 12 Ombres

Friday:  4.7 Miles (Pace 8:09)

Well I didn’t get to run with Sarah and FKBT when I was in Providence so I figured I would go to November Project this week and run with Sarah and hear about her half marathon.  I decided to work in some cross training again and rode my bike to NP, it was about 4 miles each way.  This week I was suppose to do 5 X 800 intervals, but I decided that hills would be just as good.  The training plan does say you can swap workouts if the race course is hilly and Baltimore is a hilly course, especially the second half.  NP always runs hills on Friday and it just so happens the hill they run is about 800 meters, so it worked out perfectly.  I still tried to sprint when I could but the hill is a 5% incline and by the 3rd one I was feeling it.  On the second ascent I could see a person walking dogs near the top of the hill but I didn’t see a leash so I assumed they were off leash.  You know what they say about assuming.  As I turned the corner at the top of the hill I felt something pull hard across my stomach, it was one of those retractable leashes.  I’m not sure who I pulled more the dog or the owner.  He immediately started apologizing.  I decided not to respond at all, because what I would have said would not have been nice.  I pushed the leash over my head and went on my way.  The 5th hill I was struggling but I still gave it my all, when I finished I was thinking about trying to run that little extra to get to 5 miles but my legs were spent and I still needed to ride my bike home.  You can always count on a good workout with November Project!

Saturday:  7 Miles (Pace 8:14)

Seven Miles on tired legs, tired from the hills the day before and just in general tired.  Today marked 9 months of my run streak, I’ve ran everyday for 9 months, it is even a little hard for me to believe.  When I started out I wasn’t sure how long I could keep the streak up, so far I’m really happy with how it is going!  These 7 miles were suppose to be at race pace, but I just wanted to get them in; when I started I wasn’t even sure I if I had 7 miles in my legs today.  Furthermore 8:14 might be my race pace, though I’m hoping it will be slightly faster, only time will tell.  I ran the peninsula around my house, the evening air was warm but tolerable.  I had a negative split on each half and I picked up the pace the last 2 miles, the last mile was actually my fastest at 7:56, which made me happy.  I felt much better after I got the miles in, funny how it always works out that way.  I’m not looking forward to the 10 miles tomorrow.  I see now why the training plan has the day of rest between hills and the next two days of running…oops.

Sunday:  10 Miles (Pace 8:54)

I tried something I’ve never done on a training run before; a point to point run.  I decided to run in the city, so I took an Uber to the Korean War Memorial and went from there, not really knowing where I would end up.  I decided to run along the waterfront for a while, when I got to the harbor I ran up Pratt St.  From there I looped both stadiums and headed towards Ft. McHenry, I made another detour ran around a park, not really sure of the name and then looped the Under Armor factory and that made 10 miles.  I was pretty happy with my pace, I was trying to run slower which is sometimes hard for me when I run by myself.  I was trying to focus on just logging the miles instead of the speed.  Yesterday I was dreading running, today I enjoyed each mile and the scenery.  It got me thinking does it matter where you run?  I think it does, I enjoy running more in the city than I do my own neighborhood.  I think it is because of the people, scenery, and other runners in the city.  Another week of training in the books!

Total Miles:  39.7

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Crazy hair after running!
Crazy hair after running!

Week 5 (7/13-7/19)

I felt great about Week 4 and the miles I got in, I thought they were quality and though I moved the days around a bit, I was able to get in all my miles plus some.  So far I am really happy with the training plan and the variation in schedule that it has.

Monday: 3.1 Miles (Pace 8:11)

Another travel day, off to Providence.  I wasn’t sure what the plan was for the evening, it was between dinner with friends or co-workers an no one could decide what to do.  Knowing that a decision wouldn’t be made till late I figured it was best to run before I got on the plane.  I hadn’t packed but I’ve moved half way around the world and packed in 2 hours so I knew I had enough time to run around the neighborhood.  The weather was already warming up at 1000 hrs. when I ran and like a typical Baltimore day the humidity was high.  I was happy to only have to run 3 miles today, I was a bit tired from Week 4 even though it felt good, plus I had run less than 12 hours before.  After the 3 miles I packed for the week and I was off to the airport!

Tuesday: 3 Miles (Pace 8:37)

Seven miles was not in the cards today. I had been in meetings from 0800 to 2000 hrs. I was worn out after 12 hours of meetings.  I had thought about trying to get in 7 miles but my stomach was a bit full after having dinner, plus I didn’t start running until close to 2045.  I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get in 7 miles and knew I would have to make it up Wednesday.  It was an enjoyable run along the canal in Providence and it reminded me of running in Baltimore, just a bit cleaner and less crowded.  Normally WaterFire is only held every other Saturday in the summer, but for some reason they had a special showing tonight and they were starting just as a finished my run.  I showered quickly and then went over to walk around the river and listen to music before calling it a night.  Three miles and WaterFire was a good way to end a long day!

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Fire Path
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Fire Basin

 

Spirit of WaterFire?
Spirit of WaterFire?

Wednesday: 7 Miles (Pace 8:32)

Well I had to do 7 miles today since I didn’t yesterday.  Our meetings ended earlier, at 1730, but when we went outside the sky looked ominous.  I checked the radar and clearly a storm was moving in from the south.  I wanted to run before dinner but I didn’t want to get soaked.  A few of my co-workers wanted to get dinner so I decided to go, thinking that after dinner the rain would have passed.  It is restaurant week in Providence so we went to the Capital Grill.  I ordered brussels sprouts (my favorite) and mashed potatoes.  Pretty much the only things I could eat on the menu.  I was less than impressed, the brussels sprouts weren’t seasoned very well and were soft instead of crunchy, the mashed potatoes were okay.  All through dinner I kept looking out the window but the rain never came.  It was still overcast when we finished dinner around 2000 hours, but it didn’t look like it was going to rain.  I quickly changed and hit the pavement.  In the nearly six years I’ve been coming to Providence I have never ran the hill that leads up to Brown University, it looks like a beast!  I decided today would be the day. About a mile into my run mother nature had it in for me and the sky opened up, it started raining pretty hard.  I rounded the corner and stared up the hill towards Brown.  I glanced down at my Garmin 220, I wanted to know how long the hill was, in my mind it was miles long. Surprisingly it was only .2 of a mile but the elevation climb was 111 ft. with an average incline of 13-16%.  Once I was at the top I was relieved and winded, but I had made it.  I looped the University property twice and ran back down the hill.  Going down was almost as hard, I needed to lean way back and slow my pace.  Not only because of how steep the hill was but because of the rain. I was happy to get back down without falling.  I looped around the canal and back towards the hotel, finally in mile 6 the rain let up but the wind picked up.  Mother Nature made sure she made me pay for not running the 7 miles on Tuesday.  Even though I was soaked it was a good run and my legs felt great!

Thursday:  1.1 Mile (Pace 8:08)

After running in the rain last night I wanted to give my legs a rest before doing a tempo run and let me shoes dry out, but today was a travel day from Providence, back to Baltimore, then on to Deep Creek Lake.  I was going from a work trip to a weekend with my friends.  Time was not going to allow me to rest my legs before a run, nor did I have time for a tempo run.  I hit the snooze once and reset my alarm once before I woke up.  I had to be ready for meetings at 0745, I finally walked out of the hotel lobby at 0700 to run.  The morning air was unusually cool even for Providence.  I did a quick mile around the city and it was off to meetings.  I figured I would try to make miles up later this week, but I also felt a cold coming on.

Friday:  1.1 Mile (Pace 8:11)

After a plane ride, shuttle trip, and a cab ride I arrived in Deep Creek at 0030 hrs.  My friends had arrived earlier in the day, I spent some time catching up with them and went to bed around 0300.  The next morning, we went white water rafting at Wisp Ski Resort.  It was a blast!  The plan was to get lunch and go out on the lake next.  My friends had towed a pontoon boat from home.  So much for making up some miles, my week was really getting derailed by other activites.  The area around the cabin where we were staying was a bit hilly but not hilly enough to make up for low mileage.  The run streak stayed alive!

Saturday:  4 Miles (Pace 10:36)

Long run was the plan today but by now you have probably guessed the training plan was out the window this week.  Today we planned to play disc golf and went out on the lake again.  Right after breakfast my best friend asked me if I wanted to run.  I figured it would be better to get the run in before the day really started.  We ran a slower pace than I normally do but it was good to run with him and chat about the last couple of weeks since I have been traveling.

Sunday:  1 Mile (Pace 7:58)

Today we had to pack up, load the boat, and drove back to Baltimore which is about a 3.5 hour drive.  On the way we made a 2-hour pit stop at the casino and ate lunch.  We got back to Baltimore around 1830 hrs, we still needed to put the boat back in the water, tie it up, and drop everyone off.  After a long day of traveling and not feeling the best the past few days (I think I have a slight cold) I didn’t feel up to a long run, it was a quick mile around the neighborhood.

Total Miles:  20.3

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Attending WaterFire after my run!
Attending WaterFire after my run!