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Posts Tagged ‘here comes the sun – doo doo doo doo doo’

Nothing says “Welcome back to D.C.” quite like a layer of ice coating your car, biting wind, and freezing temperatures. Especially when you’ve spent the past five days in beautiful, sunny, 80 degree weather.

Last year around this time, the boyfriend went home to run a half-marathon with his family. He raved about it and, quite frankly, gloated about running outside in shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of January.

So this year I went with him, excited to check one more thing off my list.

I went into the race with low expectations. My primary goal was simply to add a new state to my race list, and my secondary goal was to not walk at all on the course. The last two half-marathons I’ve done have not gone well, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up here.

But it was fantastic.

I didn’t PR, by any means, but 1) I didn’t walk, and 2) I also hit my time goal! (Which I didn’t tell anyone about until after the fact…just in case.) The weather was beautiful, the course was flat, and running with the boyfriend, Hermanito, and their dad meant that I saw three familiar faces at the turnaround – all smiling.

This may not have been my best race ever, but it certainly got me back in the running groove, which is exactly what I needed.

 

2:15:55 - my 3rd best time out of 5 half-marathons. I'll take it!

Besides, only in LA would you see a spectator twirling flaming batons while cheering you on.

Priceless.

*All photo credits go to the boyfriend, except for the one of me running. Hermanito’s girlfriend took that and I love her for it considering I never get good running photos. I wonder if she’s available for my next race…

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Exactly one month from today, I will be completely done with my first semester of grad school. I will have turned in all papers, completed all presentations, and just finished my final final exam.

And then I will get on a plane and go far far away…to Puerto Rico!

A couple months ago the boyfriend mentioned that he had friends in San Juan who live right on the beach. Not just a block away, but step-out-the-back-door-and-you’re-on-sand on the beach. And for some crazy reason they want us to visit. They invited us. And who are we to say no to a week of sun, warmth, and relaxation in the middle of December?

So in one month, I’ll be on my way to this:

And maybe even attempting a little bit of this, if his friends are patient teachers:

All in all, this is my light at the end of a long and stressful school tunnel, and it will be my primary motivation over the next 30 days.

Can’t.Wait.

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Most people like to go away for Memorial Day weekend. They like to take advantage of the time off to go travel – go to the beach or what have you – but basically just get away from home for a bit.

I’ve done that. And it’s great. But this year I want nothing more than to just stay home – and possibly visit one of DC’s lovely (free!) pools to work on my tan.

You see, we’ve been on travel overload recently. We were out of town the first three weekends of May, and have only just now managed to have some down time. (Though, can you call watching 5.5 hours of LOST-related television “down time?” Even if we did it to ourselves…?)

June promises to be another busy month. I’m gone the first weekend, then it’s my birthday weekend (not complaining!), then a family wedding in Minnesota, and finally his birthday weekend (plus, my best friend is coming into town).

Given all that, I think you can see how a little sun, relaxation, and recharging of the batteries would be called for – while we have the time.

I’ve always loved keeping busy, but I think I’ve somehow over scheduled this summer, in an attempt to make up for it being my last “fun” one before grad school starts.

So we’ll see how it goes, but the more I think about what’s in store, the more sure I am that this stay-cation is vital.

Do you have any out-of-town plans for Memorial Day weekend? Or are you like me, planning on hiding out and recharging?

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My body doesn’t seem to agree with me that it’s better to stay home sick on rainy days as opposed to gorgeous ones like this. The sunshine through my window just feels like it’s mocking me.

But then again, I’m not completely surprised. My body and I disagree on a lot.

You may win for now, body, but if I have anything to say about it, this will come true (or, at least, be possible) by the end of the day:

I can't even take credit for finding this one on my own. My mom sent it to me the last time I was sick.

I mean, I do have dinner plans, so it’d be nice.

Let’s go, ginger ale, work your magic!

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This is not a running blog, nor was it ever intended to be. But running is such a big part of my life that I couldn’t leave it out if I tried. And now it’s an even bigger part, because this past Saturday was Marathon Day.

The day I’ve been blabbering about for the past week or so.

The day that I’d been trying to train for since November, and actually training for since February.

The day that made me realize just how much my body is capable of.

The distance is a little off because we ran through tunnels, and my official time was 4:58:57, but this is what I saw when I crossed the finish line.

I could tell you about every mile – how it felt, what obstacles were there, whether or not I felt prepared – but I won’t (unless you ask). That’s what running friends are for. We like to be “bored” with those little details. We like to analyze the rolling hills and where the terrain was best and worst. We like to note how our form changed with our energy level.

Around mile 12

Instead I’ll tell you that the crowd support, particularly throughout Dupont and Adams Morgan made all the difference. I thought that I knew it would, but it mattered so much more than I expected. I nearly cried when I saw Cla, and I was so excited to see BNB and HeeHa right before the big hill. From there on out, I saw a familiar face –  RB, Vandy, JVo, Greater, DVo – every mile or two, right up to mile 20.

That's the 15 mile grin, right there

And knowing that I was going to keep seeing my parents and MJ’s mom and aunt as they rushed around to various points of the course gave me something to look forward to. Every photo they took has me smiling because I was so incredibly grateful to have people there to support me.

Are we actually elite runners? Well...define elite...

And despite the aches and pains that I do feel (it’s true what they say – it is easier to walk down stairs backwards after a marathon), I had an amazing time.

Call me crazy, but I definitely want to do another one.

Marine Corps – I’m looking at you.

Thank you guys again for all your support and I promise, I’ll lay off the running (posts) for a bit.

At least until next week.

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One week from tomorrow I will be in the midst of running my first ever marathon. Or, depending on when you read this, I may have already collapsed over the finish line. But regardless, however you slice it, Saturday March 20th is Marathon Day.

I’ve run plenty of races in the past year and a half, and I’ve learned the value of crowd support. And never will it be so necessary as during these 26.2 long miles. I’ve already convinced my parents to come down and cheer, and we have a few truly insane devoted friends who have already agreed to leave the comfort of their beds that morning to watch us participate in this craziness.

But now, I have a proposition for you, should you live in the DC area. Come out and be a spectator! (Or, you know, run alongside us. That would be awesome.)

This course is 100% in the District. It covers Dupont, Adams Morgan, H Street, Capitol Hill, Nationals Park, and Anacostia.*

It does start at 7am (early, I know), but will last easily until 11am (probably even noon, for me). And the best part? Look how warm it’s supposed to be!

You’ll want to be outside anyway! Even if it coincides with nursing that hangover. Which could be counteracted with the coffee and bagels being offered at the Spectator Community Spirit Festivals!

Yes, I know this is a shameless plug and plea, but I can tell you from experience as both a runner and a spectator that the cheering can make all the difference.

Let me know if you think you’ll be able to make it out – OR if you know anyone else running.

Just one more week…

Happy Friday!

*Legalities (kind of): After a conversation with Heather, where we discussed begging asking people to come out and cheer, it was determined that we couldn’t actually ask anyone to cheer along the Anacostia route – even if it is during the tail end of the race when we need the motivation. Therefore, should you decide to spectate from there, consider this the official notice that I’m not asking you to go to that specific area, nor am I responsible if it’s too sketchy.

But still come out to the non-sketch places, please!

It has been brought to my attention that the above note could possibly be construed as offensive. If you were offended, I’m sorry. I meant no disrespect to any neighborhood – it was my poor attempt at a little humor.

But, then again, I am a WASP. I should know better than to try to be funny.

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I’m playing some catch-up after being out of the office on Friday, but there are just a few things I wanted to mention:

1) Thank you guys SO much for all of your well-wishes after my grad school post. If you’ve been reading for any amount of time (or know me at all), you know just how much I’d been stressing. Thanks again!

2) Specific to the DC area – it’s amazing how much the general mood has shifted since last week, now that we’ve had 3 beautiful, sunny days in a row! Thank you, Mother Nature, please don’t take it back.

3) I have had that McDonald’s commercial stuck in my head since Friday. You know the one.

Yes, I’m shamelessly trying to pass it off.

Happy sunny Monday!

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