gait: Cville training week 10

PEAK WEEK! AHHH! I didn’t end up running as many miles as my plan called for, but I did run more than the last few weeks so… it counts!

Monday: 5 miles, 4 easy with a fast 1 mile finish. I ran on the treadmill. All the lovely weather of last week is gone and I just wanted to get it done. We have three treadmills in my apartment gym. I was running on the right one and another girl on the left one. During my run three people came in to use the middle one and couldn’t get it to work and left. SO of course this was bothering me. It looked like it should work! So when I got done I flipped the on/off switch. nope. I got on and tugged on the safety rope… yep. Someone had tied the safety rope so tightly around the handle that it was constantly telling the machine to stop.

Tuesday: Yoga, an hour flow class.

Wednesday: 3 miles, planned on 5, felt awful the whole time and then it started raining.

Thursday: 3.75 miles, I ran during lunch, down to the National Mall. I stopped by the tidal basin to check on the cherry blossoms. There were a few trees blooming, but nothing spectacular going on. My legs were tired. I don’t know why.


Friday: Rest day, cause my legs were tired.

Saturday: 13 miles. I got up early to run so I could avoid the rain. The first half of my run was a bit choppy and I had trouble getting in gear. I ran down to the National Mall first to loop around the Capitol and check on the blossoms again. Thursday in my office’s locker room a fellow runner recommended running behind the Smithsonian castle and checking out the magnolia trees, so I took her advice and she was right, it was pretty. But it was such a cold morning I couldn’t fully enjoy any beauty. Then I headed to the Tidal basin, there were a few more blooms and a random stranger told me I was wearing the wrong running shoes and needed to wear Brooks. Thanks random guy who knows nothing about my feet or running! I carried water with me for the first time this training cycle, which lead me to needing to stop at the Lincoln bathrooms. Then I headed up rock creek and without having to stop at lights I got a good rhythm going and actually achieved a negative split on my run, which doesn’t usually happen.


Sunday: Rest day!

Total miles: 25

gait: Spring Backyard Burn Trail Race: Laurel Hill

After agreeing to run part of my sister’s 100k this summer with her I decided I might want to do a trail race beforehand. I looked around the DC area and found the Spring Backyard Burn series. As I’m training for the Charlottesville Half Marathon I consulted Crafty Runner on when I should do the race. We decided that a ten mile trail race on the weekend of my eleven mile long run would work.


With no real trail running┬áto prepare, real meaning dirt and hills not a nice paved path through the woods, I signed up for 10 miles through the woods. Laurel Hill is in Lorton, VA which was about a half hour drive from my apartment, but luckily the race had a relatively late start time of 9 am. I drove right to the start and didn’t have to wait at all to pick up my bib. I headed back to the car to stay warm for a bit. They had some indoor bathrooms that I tried out before lining up to start at 8:50 to hear the race instructions.

My goal for the race was just to take it easy and finish. As soon as the horn went off I forgot the “take it easy” and just remembered the race director saying “after the first mile there is single track so line up where you want to be before you get there”. I wasn’t sure where that was so I pushed it a bit and well the first mile was mostly paved and all down hill.


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The woods portion of the race was my favorite, there were a lot of switch backs and some tiny rolling hills. The grassy portion was my least favorite. The trail in this portion was narrow and deep and only one foot wide. My ankles and knees didn’t like running this portion. Near mile five (and 9 the course was two loops) there was a sign saying “don’t run over snakes” Uh? I would definitely run away or jump over any snakes, running over snakes is not a problem for me.

The second loop seemed to go much faster even though it was much slower. The second time through the woods I caught my foot on a rock and fell. I caught myself pretty quickly, but two girls passed me while I was down and I lost some energy. Looking at my paces below, I’m pretty sure this was mile 8.

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When I saw the 1 mile to go sign I got a burst of energy until I saw the huge hill to the finish. Everyone else was walking up the hill so I joined in for awhile. Once at the top and back on pavement I got some speed back and finished strong-ish. The course was confusing as it looks below, but well marked and I never questioned which way to go.

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I ate two slices of pepperoni pizza afterwards (big advantage of trail races) and sat around to watch the awards ceremony (the winners got pint glasses!) as long as I could without returning my car late. There were some fast ladies (and men). Although I had a big positive split, I’m happy with my overall average pace. I was done for the rest of the day and spent some quality time with my couch. Lesson’s learned include starting slower, train on some trails, and maybe eat something if I’m running that long.

Have you ran a trail race? What are your tips?

gait: Cville training week 9

Monday: 5 miles. It is finally warmer around DC now and I was able to sneak this run in outside before it got too dark.

Tuesday: 0 miles. Race recovery?

Wednesday: 4 miles. Running around the neighborhood. IN SHORTS AND A TANK TOP!

Thursday: 1 mile and weights.

Friday: 0 miles. Unintended rest day. This wasn’t my week.


Saturday: 12 miles. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon was running through town on Saturday morning. I planned to run on the C&O canal towpath to avoid running into the race. However by the time I got out the door at 9:30 and got over to where my route crossed the race’s course there were only the very last runners going by. It was interesting seeing the end of the race. I felt for the people walking at mile 6 with over half of the race to go, with the sag wagon right behind them and the street sweepers not far behind them.

The C&O towpath was a great run. You are kind of in the wilderness, but can still hear the traffic, which is disappointing. The crushed gravel is a good run, but you have to watch out for a few bigger rocks and some washed out areas. I did an out and back, which I didn’t mind about going back the same way, but I didn’t notice there was a pretty good wind until I turned around and it hit me. Luckily the wind was only bad for the first mile back towards home.

The 12 miles didn’t feel too bad, but then I walked another two miles to eat and then another mile to a festival and then stood and walked the rest of the day… my legs were tired.

Sunday: Rest day!

Total miles: 22

make: knit cap

Last winter I rotated between two hats that both would slip down over my eyes and cover my whole face. So when hat weather rolled around again this year I was looking for something new. I have a rather big head so I didn’t want to buy something without trying it on and then I thought about my big stash of yarn and my knitting skills I hadn’t used in awhile and decided to make my new hat.

I tend to use free patterns and began my search where I always do at Lion Brand Yarn. I found a cabled knit pattern to try that fit with the yarn and needles I had on hand. I don’t have a lot of cabling experience, but once I pulled out a notebook and pen to track which stitch I was on, the hat went together pretty quickly. I finished it over one weekend.

So I’m not one to test my gauge. I know! I just figure things usually turn out right, so I must have the perfect stitch (insert sarcasm). I think it came out correctly, I just think my big head is getting in the way. It tends to slip up a little and expose my ears a bit once I’ve had it on for awhile.

Overall I think it came out great. I asked Brian if he liked my hat so many times he wouldn’t talk about it anymore. Best of all is it matches my favorite scarf that I bought in Amsterdam.


gait: Cville training week 8

Monday: rest day since I did my long run on Sunday

Tuesday: 3.8 mile interval workout. Flew to Seattle Tuesday and was looking to do some run exploring. Seattle weather has other plans, rain and high winds made it hard to walk so I decided to run inside the hotel.

Wednesday: 3 easy miles. I knew the time difference in Seattle would help me wake up earlier, but it didn’t help the sun come up any earlier. I still managed to fit in three miles before sitting in meetings from 8 to 5:30. I ran from my hotel to the space needle and on the paths around the space needle and Key arena. Seattle has a lot of interesting architecture, new and old. There were lots of fun signs and sites to look at and I wished I had more time.


Thursday: all day airplane ride rest.

Friday: 4 miles. Three easy with a faster final mile. I bought trail shoes in preparation for this weekend’s trail race and to prepare to run in Colorado this summer. I hadn’t had a chance to try them out, but didn’t want to wear them for the first time in a race so I wore them on the treadmill. They felt great so I think I’m good to go.

Saturday: rest day to prepare for the race Sunday.

Sunday: 9.79 miles at the Backyard Burn Spring Series Laurel Hill race in Lorton, VA. It was rough, I started too fast. I’ll write a full post on the race once they post the official times.


Total Miles: 21 miles, I missed one day of running and cut two runs shorter than my training plan called for, but I still did a long run and a workout run so with all of my traveling this week I still call it a success.

gait: Cville training week 7

Monday: 4 easy miles on the treadmill. 

Tuesday: I was still feeling tired from my long run on Saturday or I convinced myself I was, so I just did an hour of yoga and pushed my speed work out to Wednesday. 

Wednesday: 7 miles on the treadmill. The first two were warm up then I increased my pace for four miles. I increased the speed every two minutes until I was at a 7:40 pace then did a mile cool down. 

Thursday: 3.5 easy miles on the treadmill. Thursday was originally a cross training day, but since I just did yoga on Tuesday I did a few miles. I also did some weights (arms) and core work. 

Friday: unplanned rest day. Brian and I had to head out of town last minute so I didn’t get a run in on Friday. 

Saturday: unplanned rest day. I decided to swap my Saturday run with my Sunday rest day. 

Sunday: 9 miles around beautiful Addison, Texas. I found some nice walking paths through some neighborhoods that weren’t very long, but I was able to patch together enough miles. 

Total miles: 23.5 miles


gait: Cville training week 6

Monday: 4 miles on the treadmill. 3 at an easy pace, with a little speed on the final mile. Today is President’s Day! And more snow, but a little bit warmer. I watched a cross country skier go by while running on the treadmill today.


Tuesday: 7 miles, 1 mile warm up then 5 miles of 3 minutes faster/2 minutes slower then 1 mile cool-down. Again on the treadmill, we had a three hour delay due to icy roads and sidewalks so I was able to do the workout in the morning, which was awesome. I don’t think I could do 7 miles on a winter weeknight.

I also did an hour of flow yoga with my coworkers.

Wednesday: 3 easy miles around the Capitol Building at lunch time.


Thursday: Soulcycle. I like free classes and cross promotional classes. So awhile back I saw Soulcycle and Target were doing free classes I signed up to go, but then the snow storm came and they were postponed. For my trouble, Soulcycle let me take another class for free at one of their DC studios. I did a lunchtime class at the Mount Vernon studio. They keep their studio pretty warm and we were going pretty hard the whole time, although my heart rate stayed in the aerobic zone almost the whole time. The class was a good workout, but I could only hear about 30% of what the instructor was saying so I just watched other people to see what I should be doing.

Friday: 4 miles. Three easy miles followed by one a little bit faster on the treadmill.

Saturday: 9 miles. The weather was beautiful on Saturday, which meant everyone was on the rock creek trail. I ran one of my usual routes backwards to increase the elevation gain and really felt the hills compared to the eight mile run I did the week before on the treadmill. But hopefully hills now means an easier race come April.

Sunday: Total rest day. I needed it.

Total miles: 27 miles, 1 hour of yoga, 1 hour of spin

make: customize your drink bottles

I washed the labels off these wine bottles months ago. I’ve been wanting to try glass etching and thought these would be good to practice on. Well I haven’t got around to that, but hopefully you’ll see a post about etching in the future!

In the mean time I hosted a Galentine’s Day party and wanted to create a cute beverage area and we all know plastic juice bottles are not cute. I reached for some masking tape and pink marker to make cute labels when Brian suggested I use the chalk markers. They easily write on glass, but also can be easily washed off. After a few hours and lots of prepared drinks there was a little smudge on one of the bottles, but in general they held up well.

I was also overthinking pouring the juice in to the bottles. I figured I’d need a funnel, but decided to wing it and barely wasted a drip.


gait: Cville training week 5

This week the training has started to actually feel like training. My midweek runs increased over three miles and the weather isn’t cooperating.

Monday: 3.3 miles, The plan called for 3 miles at an easy pace and one mile at a faster pace. My stomach was not cooperating and when I got to the faster pace I had to stop.

Tuesday: 6 miles, 2 warm up, 3 with increasing speed (peak pace of 8:30 for the middle mile) and 1 mile cool down. I got dressed to head outside for a midday run (working from home today) and then I looked out to see snow/rain mix coming down. So I chickened out and put on shorts and a tank top and went down to the treadmill. Which wasn’t so bad.

Wednesday: 3 easy miles on the treadmill. My headphones died after mile one but had a surprisingly large amount of energy to finish the run. Then I did one round of the Crafty Runner’s arm workout.

Thursday: Schedule called for cross training… but I didn’t really. A little stretching in the morning is all I achieved.

Friday: 3 miles around the neighborhood. It was pretty cold, but I knew it would be worse on Saturday so I decided to brave it so I don’t have all of my runs on the treadmill.

Saturday: 8 miles bright and early on the treadmill. It was in the single digits and we had some snow overnight.


Sunday: Rest day but we did get a few miles in walking around the city.