Category Archives: Training

Wednesday Run


Seriously!  I wasn’t going particularly fast, so it wasn’t one of those runs, but at no point did I feel like quitting, I just felt fine.  It reminded me of a lot of the runs I had when I was marathon training.  I really needed the confidence boost!

We had about a dozen people from the running group showing up (which is the norm for winter night runs), and Kristy was nice enough to run my pace (remember when she actually used to run my pace?  Yeah, she got super speedy!  I’m so proud!).  Hugi tagged along with us as well, which was a treat — I haven’t seen her since my last day of work when I stopped by at her office to give her a goodbye hug.

Saturday, I’m scheduled for a ten miler in NYC!  Jen is coming to the city with me, and we’re staying at Tracy‘s place.  Even Lily is tagging along!  We’re headed that way on Friday, and staying through the weekend.  Tracy will be picking a good ten mile route for us to run on Saturday (I better remember the camera), and if all goes well, I should be right on track for a 11.5 miler next weekend, and (ACK!) my 5th half marathon the following weekend.  Tracy was super nice offering for us to stay at her place.  I only met her once, at the Chicago Marathon, but I guess you do some kind of bonding when you run 13 miles together through miserable weather.

I haven’t been to NYC in two years, since I first started dating Karl (doesn’t he look young?  This was only 2 years ago, I have aged him!).

I figured a short trip was in order before we move.  Karl will be visiting his best friend in Charleston, and since it was such a short trip (Friday night – Sunday), I figured it was not worth to spend the money to get a ticket for me as well.  Plus, let him have some bonding time.  Of course, later I realized it would be the perfect time to hop over to NYC, since the next few weekends will be super busy (we only have 7 weekends left until the move, and one will be spent in VA Beach for the half marathon, the other in Rio — not that I’m complaining).  Funny to think that I lived in that area so long, and not once ran there.  It was years before I became a runner!

I really am fearing that half marathon in VA Beach on the 20th, is the one I’m least trained for, thanks to the hip.

On brighter news, not to jinx myself, but the hip barely hurts today.  It’s the least it has hurt the day after a run, since it first flared up at the end of December.  It gives me hope!

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Filed under Mt. Vernon Trail Run, Training

Run on the C&O Canal!

I hadn’t been running on the C&O Canal for at least 2 months, and I really missed running longer distances here, since I had such a fun time running here in the summer for both my 20 milers (here and here).  Remember how gorgeous it was?  If you didn’t feel like clicking on those links, let me help you:

Nice, huh?

So can you understand why I thought it was the perfect place to knock out 8.5 miles?  (Specially considering I haven’t run that long since October!)

However, there’s such a thing as winter here, and even gorgeous sunny days don’t hide that fact…

Can you feel my disappointment?

Jen and Sarah (one of our new group members) joined me at Fletcher’s Boathouse to start our run.  It was a gorgeous day, and though I ran with long sleeves, I could have easily worn short sleeves and been fine.  The company was great, we were chitchatting the whole way, but boy, was I tired!  My legs felt like lead, and despite feeling like I was running sprints, my Garmin kept beeping warning me I couldn’t keep up a 12 min/mile pace. OUCH!

I can guarantee you that if it wasn’t for the great company, I would have given up and not even bothered with it.  But luckily, the two of them carried me through, despite the SUPER BORING views the C&O Canal was providing us.

No, really, super boring — the views never changed from this…  (and no, this was not taken at the same spot as the picture above.  Told you:  BORING).

We did knock our planned 8.5 miles at the end, and I even managed to finish the last 0.1 with a strong sprint.  (You read that right:  a tenth of a mile.  I miss the days when I could pull that off for my last mile!)

Have you ever taken a route you love only to be disappointed by it?  I wonder if I’ll even get to experience the C&O Canal in its full green glory, before we move…

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Filed under C&O Canal Trail, Pictures, Runs, Training

Saturday Run!

This weekend I got to run twice — yep TWICE!  It almost feels like I’m back to normal, if it wasn’t so hard to do what just months ago I considered a “short run.”

I met up with the group on Saturday at Roosevelt Island, and from there we did one of my favorite routes:  Rosslyn – Iwo Jima – Arlington Cemetery – Memorial Bridge – National Mall and back.  It starts uphill at first, it’s completely flat once you get to the National Mall, and then it’s downhill to the end (after tackling the famous Marine Corps Marathon finish line at the Iwo Jima hill…)

I wish I had thought to take a picture when we first started running — we had the biggest crowd yet (at least for an event that involved running, not beer).  Over 35 people showed up for the run!  We usually get anywhere from a dozen to two dozen people, so we were all excited by the amount of folks who showed up.  As usual, there were enough people for every pace, but people were really able to run with a large group this time!  Awesome!  If you live in the DC area and are looking for a running group, or just visiting, make sure to check us out: (Yes, I’m super creative and named my blog after my running group…)

So back to the run…  I not only failed to take a picture of the group, but failed to take a picture of the start on Roosevelt Island.  But, I did think of pulling the camera out for most of the 5 mile run…

We started going up to Rosslyn…

Passed the Arlington Cemetery…

Hopped on the Memorial Bridge…

Went next to the Lincoln Memorial and the reflecting pool (I got no pictures of it, since I just did this route last week).  Then we got to the 2.5 mile turn around point, and made our way back…

And crossed in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial before heading home…

Despite yet another gloomy day and my tired face, I was doing great throughout the whole run.  Maybe because I got to wear my favorite jacket?  Yep, that was one of my purchases during the Marine Corps Marathon, and it cost a fortune, but isn’t the back of it super cool?

When I got home, I even forced Karl to take a couple of stupid pictures in front of the mirror in our building’s hallway with me…



Filed under Pictures, Runs, Training

Picture Tour of a Run

As much as I’m ready to leave DC, and I am, I know I’m going to miss this city dearly.  Not only the amazing friends I’ve made during my 7 years here, also the great running buddies I’ve met (many which have become part of those amazing friends I just mentioned).  I also know that Manila, or even most cities we will live in our future, will not have the trail system that DC and Arlington offer.  I will have to learn how to be a sidewalk runner, and in some countries, even a *gasp* treadmill runner.

My friends can visit Manila (and I sure hope they will — hello, 3 bedroom apartment we’re living at?), but these trails?  It will be two years until we meet again.  (Can you believe that in two months I will have been in Manila for 4 days?)

I know the trails in DC so well now (with exception of the Custis trail — I’m a wimp and I stay away from hills!), and I know most monuments, because at some point or another, I have run by them.

And to think that 7 years ago I was going on a date and he suggested “well, we can just walk around the Mall?” and my reply was ” The mall?  It’s a beautiful day outside, why would we go to the mall?” and he explained how he was talking about the National Mall, not, you know, a shopping mall.  Ooops.  Now I’m one of the people that also just says “the Mall” — because, duh, that’s the only Mall worth mentioning around these parts!

Look how far I’ve come!

Which is why I’m going to try my best to start running with a camera — sometimes it will be like yesterday, I’ll bring my cellphone and take crappy pictures (believe me, it was a crappy day, so crappy pictures were fitting).  Others, I’ll suck it up and carry my normal camera with me.

Because when I leave DC, I want to have the memories of the many trails I’ve run.  And days like yesterday, that I didn’t feel like running, and truthfully I should have skipped it (two miles in the hip pain became unbearable and I walked the rest of the way home), I kept reminding myself that I only have one or two runs left in this route, if that much, and I better appreciate it while I can.  And I did, I so did, despite my frozen fingers.

So after I went to DC for yet another medical clearance appointment (and have to go back sometime next week for a chest x-ray), I ran home, and took pictures, tons of pictures.  So here you are, after way too much blabbing, a picture tour of my run from Foggy Bottom area in DC (no pictures of that, because I was still freezing then), to Columbia Pike in Arlington, a place where many Arlingtonians have no clue where it is located (even though I’m only a mile from the Pentagon and Pentagon Row), but where I proudly call home.  (Fun fact — Columbia Pike is name that because it was the first major road into DC — after the construction of the Pentagon, it no longer goes into DC, but starts there instead.)

And excuse the gloomy weather — DC though has the most horrible weather (cold and unpredictable in the winter, huge storms with hail in the spring, super hot and humid in the summer — it is a swamp after all), gloomy days are not what DC is known for.

And, for what is worth, this is also the most boring trail I run in.  It’s just the quick way home, though not what you would call “pretty.”  But there are some pretty sights on the way out of DC…

Arriving at the National Mall…


Approaching the Lincoln Memorial…

One of the many military helicopters that were flying by that day…

The Washington Monument — and a drained out (and fenced up!) reflecting pool…

Can you tell I wasn’t having the best of days?

Approaching the Memorial Bridge…

You can see the statues at the start of the bridge, and the arches over the Potomac River…

Leaving the Lincoln Memorial area…

The Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument…

Entering the Memorial Bridge…

I really love these statues!

You can see Rosslyn on the other side of the river.

And if you look really hard, you can see the 14 Street Bridge crossing over the Potomac…

But for me, the Memorial Bridge is by far the prettiest bridge in DC — even the details are beautiful!

See that thing right in the middle behind the trees?  (The Air Force Memorial) I’ll be half a mile from home when I get there!

Approaching the end of the Memorial Bridge.  If you go straight through, you reach the Arlington Cemetery (which I have yet to visit — sure, there are presidents buried there, but a cemetery is still a bit creepy).

Right after the Memorial Bridge — if I go left, I hop onto the scenic Mt Vernon Trail and run along the Potomac River, towards Crystal City, Old Town Alexandria, and of course, Mt Vernon.  On the right, I follow Washington Blvd trail, and end to the right of the Pentagon.  Home is on the right.

I can still see the Washington Monument behind the trees and across the river…

But this trail is BORING.

But we’re getting closer to home — look at the Air Force Memorial!

Almost at the end of the trail — that building right up ahead?  It’s this little thing called the Pentagon.

Told you!  The Pentagon and the Pentagon Memorial (from 9/11).  I haven’t been to either, but I’ve run next to both for ages now.

Up ahead?  Crystal City on your left, Pentagon City on your right.

Finally on Columbia Pike, and we’re getting closer to the Air Force Memorial…

And there it is!

Less than half a mile from home! (You can see my building on the left of the road)

And I’m home!!!

I’m hoping to do more of these picture tours, but it doesn’t help that it’s been dark when I take the Mt Vernon Trail on my Wednesday runs…


Filed under Pictures, Run Commute, Runs, Training