gait: training to pace

I bet you’ve been wondering what I was training for now. Sorry to keep you waiting. The truth is I don’t have a race on the calendar, but I have been training. My sister Kristen the Crafty Runner is running the Never Summer 100K in Colorado and has invited me to tag along. While I won’t be running 64.2 miles through 14,000ft of vertical gain and descent, I have agreed to help pace her for the final 14 miles of the race. These final miles will not only be on a trail in the Never Summer Mountains on the Northern border of the Rocky Mountain National Park and the Medicine Bow Mountains, but also most likely in the dark.

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Here is what I’ve been doing to prepare:

Running a weekly long run on the trails of DC– Discovering some new trails have been fun. Predicting how long it will take me to run the new trails has been challenging. The trails range from wide and very runnable to rocky and rooty and from well marked to questionable. But overall DC has some great trails in the middle of the city. Certain areas of the trail are pretty empty while other areas near parking lots have a lot more people. This morning I was cautioned that there was a naked man running ahead… luckily I never found him.

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Running hills– Running hill repeats and some running incline on the treadmill.

Running with a water backpack- I’ll have to carry my own supplies so I bought a Nathan’s  water backpack and have been running with it to practice. Its less annoying than I expected and there are so many pockets! Quick tip on eliminating sloshing- hold the water bag upside down and suck out all the excess air!

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Running around my apartment with a headlamp on- I’m not about to try trail running in DC by myself in the dark, so I haven’t found a good way to practice running in the dark. But the headlamp seemed pretty comfortable to wear so thats a good start.

Running in humidity- We don’t have a lot of altitude in DC. Often my minimum elevation for a run is zero. But I heard that running in humidity is actually a good proxy for running at altitude and DC has a lot of humidity.  I’m not sure how much science is behind this, but I’m rolling with it.

Running trail races- Twice I’ve travelled outside DC to do a trail race. The first was 10 miles and the second a 10K. While these shorter races will be a lot different from an Ultra, they gave me a little insight on sharing a trail with others and race atmosphere.

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Cross training- I’ve been doing some weights and just took my first FlyWheel class.

Talking while running or not talking- What I’ve read on pacing is that they might want you to talk to them or may want you to be quiet. So during my weekly group run I’ve been trying to read what others want… haha just kidding on this one. I’m not sure how to prepare for this.

Have you ever paced someone or ran a mountain trail race? What else should I be preparing for?

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take: cherry blossoms

Its my fifth Spring in DC and I still can’t get enough of the cherry blossoms and all of the other spring flowers and  trees in DC. I took these pictures at sunset last Wednesday and although they were quick and with my iPhone they really capture how pretty they can be.

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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.

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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.

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Sunday: Rest day!

Total miles: 25

make: DC screen print

Inspired by the KC heart shirts so many fans wear to the Royals games (go Royals!) I decided to try a DC heart for my next shirt print project. I am going to a baby shower for a coworker friend who is expecting twin boys. I figured they needed DC heart shirts too.

Following the same process as the make shirt I printed out a heart and the letters D C, traced the design on freezer paper, ironed the design on the shirts, and used a foam pouncers to apply the paint. The red went on a little spotty so I did two layers.

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I couldn’t let the babies have all the fun, so I made one for me too. The grey shirt took a bit more paint and the shirt is stretchier than the other one I did, but I think it turned out great just the same.

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take: trying out a new lens

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In preparation for our trip to Europe in a few weeks I purchased a new lens for my Canon DSLR camera. I just had the kit lens and wanted to get something with a little more zoom. I ended up buying a 55-250mm used from a nice local camera shop in Dupont. Yesterday Brian and I walked down to the mall to try out the zoom. We ended the day at the Nationals-Rockies game so I had another great opportunity to try out the zoom. I was impressed! We were standing above center field and I could practically call pitches.

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