Monthly Archives: April 2011

April Wrap Up

April was a fun month, even though it was kind of chilly and really rainy!

I can't wait to see the May flowers after all this rain!

April was a fun month.  It started off with a huge 5K PR at a local race series that runs through my neighborhood.  It was a lot of fun and I was really excited.

I started taking heart medicine to fix the heart problems I’ve been having over the last few months.  It’s been great for my health but very hard for my body to adapt to exercising on the new medicine. I’m starting to notice it getting easier and I’m looking forward to seeing that continue.

I volunteered at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and ran the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Miler.  The 10 miler was so hard for me but I was really proud to finish.  I know I can only get better at running longer distance!

So many bananas!

Done done done!!!


I started going to boot camp in mid-April.  The workouts are tough and leave me really sore.  I’m not super in love with the teacher but it’s only a one month class.  I know that strength training will help me running so I am trying to learn to embrace it.

I ran 3 more 5K’s in the Crystal Run 5K Friday series, 2 of which were in the rain!

Yay, I finally got over my fear of tripping over the timing mat and took a good finish line pic!

You know you've run a PR when your finish pics all show you staring down your Garmin!

I set another PR at the 4th 5K.  Two PR’s in one month! Pretty impressive! I’m already planning to blow it to pieces this fall after my half marathon training.  I can’t wait.  Hear me now, I will break 30 minutes in a 5K this year!! 🙂
I also had a great month on the blog! My traffic continues to go up every month and while the number is still tiny it’s nice to see that there are a few people who find these stories interesting!  And in April, I wrote my most viewed post When Can You Call Yourself a Runner and was blown away by how awesome runners are.
April’s been great but now I’m ready for May.  I can’t believe how quickly this year is going!! Towards the end of May, I’ll start training for my half marathon – Virginia Beach in the beginning of September.  I am so excited!
I hope everyone had a great April and hope your May is even better.  Do you have any big plans for May?
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Achoo!

I was doing pretty well this allergy season, I’ve experienced fewer allergy symptoms than usual.  And then Wednesday afternoon rolled around.  I started to get a weird sinus headache/migraine thing and it didn’t go away until about 5 a.m. this morning.

Sneezy cat understands my pain...

So I haven’t really exercised much this week.  I went to boot camp on Monday and got eaten up by mosquitoes (already. How did this happen?!), took a pass on Tuesday’s class, planned to do a Jillian Michaels DVD on Wednesday night but felt too sick.  Here I am today, hoping to run the last Crystal City 5K but I don’t know if that’s going to happen since I’m still really queasy.  I really wanted to set another PR but I am pretty certain that’s not going to happen so I’m not sure if I want to go out there to walk the course. I must be feeling pretty bad to be thinking I’d rather stay home. I was starting to get upset about it this afternoon but then I remembered I’m not training for anything right now so this is a pretty good time to feel like crap. There are going to be a lot of other chances to break 5K PRs.  🙂

Good luck to everyone running races this weekend – especially Beth & Amy who are on their way to rock the Eugene Marathon.

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(not really) Wordless Wednesday: Natalie Dee Style

Its call fun and games til you lose the key. And I have no keys...

Somewhere in between getting out of the elevator and the basement my keys vanished without a trace. Efffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff.

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Crystal City 5K Week 4/Jelly Bean Virtual Race Recap

Friday night, I ran the fourth Crystal City 5K, which was also my Jelly Bean Virtual Race!

The weather was less than ideal for the end of April, in the low 40’s and lots of cold rain.  I headed out with a North Face windbreaker over my tights & tee but by the time I got to the start, I was hot.  Probably because I wanted to get to the start as quickly as possible so I pretty much ran from home.  I checked my coat and a change of clothes and found Beth, who was doing a test run on her knee before she runs a marathon next weekend.  It was so much fun to run with her because she’s normally so much faster than me.  Thanks for running with me, Beth! 🙂

We took off, dodging puddles, and made it through the first mile in 9:50.  We were chatting and having a good time so I was surprised to see how quickly the first mile went for me.  The great part was that my heart felt great at the one mile mark, which is where I’ve been running into trouble.  I was still chatting and was feeling great.

I don’t remember much of mile 2. I remember I was feeling good, but for some reason my 2nd mile is always so much slower than 1 & 3.  I guess I was feeling good because I dropped my pace down to 10:38. 🙂

Mile 3 is where my heart started to beat too fast.  It wasn’t hurting but I started wheezing pretty hard (sorry for making you listen to that, Beth!), which I know is from my heart beating too fast to provide enough oxygen for the rest of me.  Nothing hurt though so I figured finishing up and getting out of the rain would be a better option than slowing down and walking.  I finished up mile 3 in 10:10.  Then Beth picked our target to pass in the last .2 before the finish (because of course I can’t run the actual course distance here) and we took off.  Race done in 32:27 (10:08 pace), a 9 second PR from Week 1!!

You know you've run a PR when your finish pics all show you staring down your Garmin!

I’m so excited to finish up next week. I’m really hoping to knock my time down into the 31 minute range.  It will all really depend on how the heart is feeling (though I have every reason to be optimistic that it’s feeling better each day) and if I can push myself it keep my mile 1 pace during mile 2. Oh, and to stop running the extra tenth of a mile.

I hope everyone had a great weekend full of lots of quality running.  Happy Easter!

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Thanks and Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!  I quickly wanted to say hello and thank you to everyone who commented on my When Can You Call Yourself a Runner post from earlier this week.  It was my highest traffic post by a lot – my blog had more traffic on Monday/Tuesday than it did the entire week before.

From L-R: Sunday-Thursday. Tuesday was my highest traffic day of all time! Please ignore my awful cropping skills, I cut the bottoms off the columns…and pretty much all relevant info. Sigh.

There were a ton of great, well thought out and respectful comments.  I’m really appreciative of everyone who took the time to write out their opinions.

This morning, I missed boot camp because I forgot to set my alarm.  It turned to be a good thing since it’s 40 degrees and raining today. Why is Mother Nature so cruel on Earth Day?! I was hoping to get in some exercise before work but was just running too late.  Thankfully I have a chance to make up for it by running the Crystal City 5K tonight, even though it’s still raining and cold. Since I know my finish pic tonight will be horrible, I’ll leave you all with my super hot awesome picture from last week:

Yay, I finally got over my fear of tripping over the timing mat and took a good finish line pic!

Yes, I really just used the words “super hot awesome” to describe myself in that picture.  I love it.

I hope everyone running tonight stays dry! Have a great weekend 🙂

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Wordless Wednesday: Natalie Dee Style

I will blog about things. Tomorrow.

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When Can You Call Yourself A Runner?

I’ve been running for less than a year.  I’m not fast but I love it. I’ve ran for fun and I’ve paid for races. I’ve completed training programs, subscribed to Runner’s World, participate in #runchat and #fitblog, and bought expensive running gear.  I talk about running with my family, my boyfriend and friends who don’t run. But am I a runner?  According to some, no.

As a whole, I think the running community is an extremely supportive and inviting place.  It’s been really strange to see a wave of negativity about who “true runners” are pop up in the last few weeks.  The first time I ever read a comment that people who take walk breaks are not real runners was when Kelly Gneiting ran the LA Marathon and set the Guinness World Record as the heaviest man to finish. I was appalled to see comments like these:

“A marathon is a race. 26.2 miles is a distance. You can’t call this bit of lumbering around Los Angeles a marathon any more than you can call a walk across the street and back a 100 meter dash.”

“Marathon times exceeding 5 hours should not be counted at all.”

There were people popping out of the woodwork dropping serious negativity all over this guy’s accomplishment.  It was definitely a sensationalized news story, but it upset me.  Why should his time matter?  He completed the race.  Kelly Gneiting wasn’t even the last place finisher. He ran about 1/3 of the race and he should be able to call himself a runner if he wants.  Jeff Galloway doesn’t seem to mind walk breaks and he’s an Olympian so why are readers of the LA times so angsty?

I put the negativity out of my mind until this weekend.  Many people saw a post over at Frayed Laces (a grad student, amateur triathlete, and a runner who ran Boston a few years ago) this weekend in which she bemoaned the existence of casual runners – or as she referred to them “chicken nugget runners”. Apparently, FL heard a piece on NPR about a TNT group training for the Nashville Country Music Marathon whose reward after running was chicken nuggets and this upset her.  She’s deleted the post, and her equally offensive follow up but it was still in my Google Reader so I can quote her accurately (screen shot here, here)

“what I want to scream out is “I train 20 hours a week! I push myself in training to the point of puking! You’re doing this once to cross something off your life goal list, and I train harder-harder-harder to get faster each year! I eat, sleep, breathe this sport!”So, are there too many marathon runners? No, there aren’t.  There are too many “chicken nuggets at the end!” marathon runners and not enough “eat, sleep, breathe” runners”

There were a lot of people who respectfully disagreed with her and pointed out that her time is the same regardless of other people’s times and reasons for running.  More surprisingly there were a lot of people who replied with comments that bashed casual runners (one comment that stands out in my memory was from a guy who said he didn’t understand why someone with a 3:30 marathon PR would be proud of their time since it was nearly 90 minutes above the world record. He said he’d be so embarrassed he wouldn’t tell anyone he ran if he was ever that slow).  While everyone didn’t share the same opinion, I was fascinated by people’s emotions on the topic.  It seemed like there was a decent contingent of runners who have strong opinions on whether casual and slower than Boston caliber runners should be walking around saying they’re a runner.  After her follow up post, more people commented in the form of disagreement than agreement and she ended up deleting both posts

I was kind of disturbed about this (I unfollowed FL on twitter and unlinked her blog from my blogroll) but I almost put this out of my mind until today, when Heather from Running with Sass had a 3 month old marathon recap’s comments spammed.  Some guy was thoroughly offended that she said she “ran” the Disney Marathon when she stopped to take pictures with the characters.

” I get a little mad when people say they’ve run a marathon and it took them over 6 hours. That’s not running a marathon. That is completing a marathon. Two COMPLETELY different things.”

Readers of Heather’s blog were obviously supportive and came to her defense but the guy came back and commented 3 more times arguing that there was no way she should be calling herself a runner.

So here’s my question: What do you think makes a runner?  Honestly, I’m really curious to hear opinions on this.  I’ll start the discussion with my opinion – if you identify yourself as a runner then you’re a runner.  If you leave for a workout with the intention of running, you plan for running, you try to run then who am I to judge the level of your workout?  I may not be fast but I am a runner. I think running is an individual sport, like golfing.  For example, my dad belongs to a golf course and plays regularly. He’s terrible but he has fun. He taught my brother to golf.  He owns clubs.  He’s a golfer. He’s not professional and he never says he is, but he’s certainly a golfer.

Please don’t hold back in the comments. If you disagree with me, please (respectfully) tell me why. 

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