May 2017 – Stats

Big jump from April.  Here are the stats for May:


Miles 110.32 miles
Total time 18 hr, 19 min, 30 sec
Average pace per mile 9 min, 58 sec per mile
Number or runs 13 runs
Average distance per run 8.48 miles per run
Average temperature, per run 59.84 deg F
Average temperature, time spent in temperature 59.43 deg F
Coldest temperature 50 deg F
Warmest temperature 70 deg F
Total elevation 2780 ft
Average elevation per run 213.84 ft per run
Longest run 13.15 miles
Shortest run 5.0 miles

Marathon training week 4 (of 12) – Race #4

This week’s theme:  “Late is better than never.”




I felt decent about this week, even though my MPW is still low.  I was off on my running schedule, but instead of skipping days, I decided to just shift the schedule forward.  So, when I missed a run, instead of skipping it, I slid the schedule up.  So I did my Wednesday and Thursday runs on Saturday and Sunday.  Not ideal, I know, but it’s way to try and keep up.


The only issue right now is a nagging leg pain that I’m having in my right hip.  It’s not bad, but I’m going to monitor it.  Hopefully it won’t derail further training.


As far as the running, three runs this week for 27 miles.  I’m planning a 17 mile long run tomorrow though, which was supposed to happen on Sunday.  Some pictures:






And DC:




So, 27.02 miles over three runs this week.






This upcoming week is fairly ambitious, north of 40 miles planned.  So that’s the goal, let’s see how it goes.  I’m traveling to SC this weekend, and I’m hoping I can keep it up.


TWIR (This Week In Running)


This was quite an action packed week.  Let’s see if I can recap it fairly quickly.  On Monday, I went back to an intense gym class to resume strength training.  It kicked my ass, but it was really good to get back in it.  Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty standard.  On Thursday, the plan was to go to a Nats game, but the weather cancelled that.  Friday through Sunday were very eventful.  It’s Memorial Day weekend, and Jess and I sure took advantage of it.  We spent Friday going around Georgetown with Mini and then grabbed pizza with friends at night.  On Saturday, we spent the day with some friends and their kids.  On Sunday, we celebrated Jess’s 35th birthday, with an afternoon at Navy Yard before coming back home with a nice evening in.
Whirlwind of an explanation.  But it was a fantastic week.  And I had two longish runs, 10 and 12 miles!

Race Report: The Capitol Hill Classic 10K

Finish time:  59:06

Placing:  1069 out of 1934 (overall)

667 out of 919 (male)

291 out of 373 (male division)


Even though at first glance the numbers don't bear out a memorable run, this was probably my favorite race I've yet to participate in because I ran with Mini.  I was debating back and forth the day before on whether I should run with her.  I've gone on a few short 5 mile runs with her before, and she's pretty content until near the end, where she goes from zero to sixty.  I was afraid that she would start getting uncomfortable or hungry near mile 4, and I'd have two miles of a screaming baby to finish off the race.  But I also realized that this would probably be the only stroller friendly race that I could run this year, so I should give it a shot, which I did.  And I was glad to do that.


Mini slept for most of the time, and when she wasn't sleeping, she was quietly observing the world around her.  It was a great feeling not just to run 6 miles with her, but to run a race with her.  Can't wait to continue doing this one over the years.




I was a little paranoid about getting there in time to do the same day packet pickup, find parking, get situated, etc.  The start was at 8:30 at Stanton Park.  Jess and I got there at 7:30 and waited in the car.  It felt a bit early at the time, but pretty soon parking started to fill up, so I'm glad that we did.  Jess fed mini at right around 8, and we headed over to the start line at around 8:15.  There were a few thousand people there.  The weather was perfect for running.  Mid 60's and cloudy with no humidity.  I did some stretches and took a few pictures before lining up in the back with the other stroller runners.




Miles 1-3

10:17 min/mile; 9:38; 9:20


The first three miles go around the US Supreme Court and down East Capitol to RFK Stadium.  It was pretty crowded in the beginning, and it was hard to get into a rhythm until about 1.5 miles in.  I was curious to see how difficult it would be to jockey for position with a stroller while running a race, and it was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be.  It's a lot more difficult to shoot through gaps and to find open spaces to pace on.  This may be just symptomatic of the beginning of this race (or any race), and also symptomatic of the 10K distance.  I imagine a less crowded half marathon  would give you plenty of time in the back half to hit your stride.  Regardless, I was just happy to get going with Mini, I wasn't too concerned about time.


Miles 4-6

9:32; 8:55; 8:48

After RFK you go along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.  It's a nice running path for sure, but definitely narrow.  I had resigned myself to not worry about passing people–after all if I was that concerned about time, I should do the race without a stroller.  I stayed with a few other people who were running with strollers, and was really impressed by one woman who was pushing a double at the same speed as me.


Once I got through mile 4, I was able to see some daylight, and picked up the pace.  There's a minor hill at 2nd Street NE, but Mini and I were able to handle that alright.  Once we got to mile 5.2, I told Mini that we're going to cruise a little faster for that last mile.


Miles 6-6.2



Not much to talk about here, just a sprint to the finish.  A friend who finished before me jumped in with me and ran the last 0.1.




After the race ended, I collected a bagel, banana and water bottle.  And snapped my first ever post-race selfie with Mini:




Jess and I went to Eastern Market with some friends for brunch, and hung out there for a bit before heading home.  Overall, it was a fantastic race, and I was super proud of Mini for sticking with me.



Marathon training week 3 (of 12) – Race #4

The theme for this week was:  “Run in the morning or not at all.”




I started this week out with an ambitious plan.  But life and baby quickly got in the way.  I was able to run two times, much less than I was expecting or planning for, but I see it as a temporary dip.  On Wednesday, Jess and I got up really early.  I did 8 miles with Mini on the Mall while Jess attended a November Project workout.  We had a doctor’s appointment that day, Mini’s 2 month vaccines, and I was working from home that morning so I could spare the long morning out.  It was a beautiful morning.


The next few days kind of just went by without any workouts.  Part of the reason is because my hip was feeling sore, but that’s really just an excuse.  The real reason is because I wasn’t able to get up early enough to make these runs.  My new doctrine is that if I do not run in the morning, I probably will not run that day.  It just isn’t fair to Jess and baby for me to come back home from work and then take another 2 hours to exercise.  I’d rather do that while everyone is still sleeping.


Also, I need to do more strength training.  I haven’t lifted weights in like 6 weeks or so, and I’m kind of feeling it.  My plan is to incorporate that back into my workouts this week.


So, after Wednesday, I did not run until Sunday, when I did a 10k, the Capitol Hill Classic 10k.  I ran it with Mini–it was her first race, and she was great!  Didn’t cry the whole time, and for a good third of it, she was just looking around the scenery with a lot of curiosity.  It was really great to be able to run with her.  And I’m pretty sure she crushed the infant age category.




So, overall this week, it was 14.51 miles over two runs.






The plan for this upcoming week calls for some good mileage.  48 miles are on the slate.  Let’s see how it goes!


TWIR (This Week In Running)


This week’s big event was Asha’s two month vaccines.  I think every new parent sees this event as a rite of passage, something to test your emotional fortitude.  Asha did fine during the appointment, but I think it as mom and dad who were more shaken up than anything.


On Thursday, I attended a work event at a new distillery in Baltimore.  On Friday, we grabbed pizza at Baked Joint with some friends.  Saturday was a fun day–Jess found this super nerdy event at Rock Creek Park which involved bird watching and also a talk on US Presidents.  The talk was interesting, for me at least, the bird watching not so much (mainly because we didn’t really see anything).  Pretty sure Mini snoozed through the whole thing, wondering why her parents are such geeks.




After the talk, we hung out with some new friends, and then just spent the evening indoors after an action packed afternoon.


On Sunday, I took Mini out for her first 10k!  She was such a trooper through it.  We kept a pace of 9:30, which wasn’t bad considering the stroller.  See the race report for more details, but this is such a good family race to run.  Afterwards, we got brunch with friends and took Mini home for some R&R.




So although the mileage was low this week, it was a pretty eventful and exciting several days.

Marathon training week 2 (of 12) – Race #4

The theme for this week was:  “It’s hard to try a 15 mile run with a new born baby.”




This week started off well.  I did the two medium distance runs early in the morning on Wednesday and Friday.  I’ve found that in order for me to run or workout in general, it either has to be early in the morning or during my lunch break.  It’s too difficult to get to the gym after work or take two hours to run and being away from being with Jess and Mini after working all day.  So for both of the medium runs, I was up at 4:30am and out to the Mall by 5am.  Even with the early morning rise, though, it’s been hard to finish the run, head home, get ready for work and then catch the train.  Often times I am up at 4:30 and not in at work until 8:30.


But it’s worth it.  After Mini was born, I resolved myself to a reality that early mornings would be a norm for my foreseeable future.  Regardless of when I go to sleep, I know that I’ll probably be up by 5am, and it’ll be a real treat to sleep til 6.  Running in the morning provides an ability to capture the optimism and potential of the day ahead.  You feel like you can accomplish anything when you’ve run ten miles before most people are even up.






I skipped my Saturday workout, which was supposed to be five miles.   I skipped it because I had moved my Tuesday, Thursday workouts to Wednesday, Friday and I didn’t want to do 5 miles after just running 10.  Man, that was a boring sentence to type.


So, on Sunday as part of a Mother’s Day present, I thought I’d take Mini along for my 15 mile planned run.  I figured it couldn’t go that bad.  It’d be about 3 hours door to door, and at that time in the morning, she’s usually pretty sleepy.  Also, she falls right asleep whenever we take her in the stroller, including on some previous runs, so I figured I’d be good.  And I was, for the first 6 miles or so.  Then she woke up and started screaming because, as anyone who’s not an idiot like me could tell you, newborns can do that and you gotta be ready for it.  I did come prepared though, changed her and gave her a bottle.  It was actually pretty cool.  I fed her on a bench near the Reflecting Pool on a beautiful spring morning in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial.


She calmed down after that, and then I put her in the jogger and we set out again.  Except, I actually got lost.  It’s kind of a boring story, but basically, I had to park in East Potomac Park b/c parking at West Potomac Park was closed due to a Bike Race.  My plan was to just run back to the car and not finish up the remainder of the 15, but I couldn’t figure out how to get back without crossing in front of the bike race.  The race as pretty crowded and it looked like I would have had to wait for a while to get through.  When I decided to find an alternate route, I ended up on Maine Ave in SW, not the scariest place in town, but also not the most sidewalk/running friendly.  That added about another mile or so.  Ultimately, I decided to backtrack and then just cross across the race path when the crowd thinned out.


So overall, I learned a few things:  1.  If I am serious about running, it has to be done in the morning.  It won’t happen at any other time in the day.  2.  Mini enjoys running, but don’t take her out for a run longer than 6 miles, at least not yet.  3.  Don’t miss the long runs.  Even if if you run a lot during the week, missing the long run makes it feel like you have a big gap in training.  4.  Running with Mini is the best way I could possibly imagine spending my time.


Some more pictures:




So overall it was a decent run week, could have been better, but not too bad.  27.21 miles this week over three runs (the last two were on the same day).






The goal is to run 43 miles over five runs.


TWIR (This Week In Running):


I had a lot of early mornings this week.  Most days I woke up at 4am, and I don’t think that I slept in longer than 6:30.  It’s been nice.  I’ve never been a morning person, but Mini’s schedule together with my running schedule is forcing that on me.  I hope to keep it up.


The big event this week was Mother’s Day.  It was our first Mother’s Day celebration and it was exciting.  We basically planned a weekend off for Jess.  On Saturday, I took Mini out while Jess got her hair done, and then I tried an arts and crafts gift with Mini that went spectacularly wrong.  The plan was to make a plaster mold of Mini’s feet and hands.  I went out and bought the supplies and looked up a video of a calm woman casually doing this with her kid.  When I tried it, it was pandemonium.  Mini hated it when I dipped her hand in the clay and then knocked the container across the table and floor and started swatting violently at my face with her clay soaked hand.  Definitely an unforgettable memory.


Mother’s Day was absolutely beautiful.  Mini and I went for a morning run so Jess could sleep in, and then we packed a picnic and enjoyed a beautiful day at Meridian Hill Park.



Marathon training week 1 (of 12) – Race #4 (4th marathon attempt)

I officially started my 12 week marathon training plan.  Regarding the post title, I’m calling this “Race 4” even though I previously tagged the Rehoboth Marathon attempt from last year with that name.  Of course, I wasn’t able to run that one because of a kidney stone, but I figure that it’ll be easier for searching and sorting later on to call this one Race 4.




I’m really going to make an effort to stick to every run that I have scheduled.  Not just every run, but the specific type of run (i.e., speed, lactate threshold, VO2 max, recovery run, marathon pace run, etc.).  I said that before but I wasn’t able to.  This time, unless something big comes up, I am going to make the run schedule a top priority.


I had some good runs this week.  Four runs total.  On Tuesday, I got up at around 5:30 and went down to the Mall for an 8 mile run plus speed work.  On Thursday, I aimed for a 9 mile run, but came up just a bit short.  The reason is because I pushed my run from the morning to the evening.  Running in the evening is hard under normal circumstances, but even more so when you have a 6 week old baby at home and an hour commute.  By the time I got home, it was already 6 oclock, and I had to ask Jess to keep watching Mini so I could run, even though she had been watching her all day.  So I ended up going for as much of a run as I could without putting too much of the work on Jess.


Which brings me to my next, and most important point.  Probably the most important point in the entire blog I have here.  I really couldn’t be doing any of this stuff without Jess’s support.  She happily flexes her schedule so that I can make time in mine to run.  And now with baby Asha, Jess has been nothing be amazing with helping me adapt my schedule to keep my exercise going.


On Saturday, I took my daughter out for her first run with me.  It was a bit drizzly, but not too bad.  We did five miles together.  I wanted to test out how the running stroller performed, and it was great.  My training plan calls for these recovery runs every Saturday, and I’m definitely going to take Mini out on them as much as possible.  It’s such a great way to spend time with her.


A picture:




Sunday was my first long run, 13 miles planned.  I was able to finish it, but it was tough.  I felt sluggish through most of it, but I was proud to finish it up.  I tried gels for the first time during training.  I took two of those every 45 minutes and also a salt tab in between.  It certainly made a difference; I’m not sure that I would have finished the distance had I not.


During the first mile of the run, I stumbled across a whole lot of people running the Hope for a Cure 5k.  I had no idea about this run, but it was absolutely packed and it looked like a fantastic event.  There must have been thousands of people walking the distance together.  It seemed like a great community event, and after digging more, it looks like they raised a lot of money to support treatment and cures for brain tumors.  Of course, given my mom’s history, this was great to see.  It was pretty inspiring, to see all the people marching on behalf of people they knew.  Many signs and shirts that said “walking for X.”  I stopped my run and just stood on the corner for about 15 minutes just to observe and take it in.





So, this week I did everything on the training plan, four runs for 34.36 miles






The goal per the training plan is to run around 40 miles next week.


TWIR (This Week In Running)


This week was marked mainly by Mini going thorugh her next “mental leap.”  Apparently there are ten developmental leaps that babies go through in their first 18 months or so.  It’s so crazy to see how much she changes from one leap to the other, and literally in the matter of a day.  On Thursday, she was very clearly different than she was on Wednesday.  More aware of her surroundings, interacting and following toys and objects that she was interested in, recognizing when mom and dad were nearby and when they were not, etc.  Right now, her big entertainment is this birdlike toy we have that has a face on it that she absolutely loves.  We dangle it over her and she loves swatting at it over and over again.  And she does this cute thing where she kicks her legs like she’s riding a bicycle when she gets excited.  She’s such a good baby.


Jess and I had a good week.  Had some friends over on Tuesday night to grill food on our rooftop.  That was a lot of fun, something that we’re going to try and incorporate into a weekly routine.  I started taking the train up to work, which has been a life saver in terms of my energy levels when I get home (not battling traffic makes a world of a difference).  On Friday, we did our weekly pizza night at Baked Joint.  That was a treat.  Nutritionally, I am looking to dramatically reduce the amount of sugar and carbs that I’m taking in.  I have a family history of diabetes, and I am trying to make sure I keep that stuff under control.  Anyway, pizza night was great because I’m dedicating that as my one meal off from it.  At least for now.  Over the weekend, we restarted watching House of Cards.  Also, went to brunch on Sunday to celebrate Jess finishing her National Boards Certification requirements!  On the way back, we stumbled across small little city park.




So, overall a great week.