Tag Archives: Crystal Run 5K Fridays

Happy 1 Year Running Anniversary to Me!

Happy 1 year running anniversary to me!

There's no point in celebrating an anniversary if there's not cake involved.

This week has been so busy at work. I’m really sorry to have just completely vanished from the blogging and twitter world.  I was so busy that I completely missed my 1 year running anniversary!  Thanks to technology, I can share the embarrassing details:

I may be slow now, but I was really slow then!

Yep. That was Week 1, Day 1 of Couch to 5K.  I decided I wanted to run but knew I couldn’t do it on my own and that program was a life saver.  I made a lot of mistakes, like running ever single run on a treadmill, but the guide times were crucial because I never really played sports or ran before.

I remember thinking I’d run my goal race (Clarendon Day 5K on 9/25) and maybe a few more but I’d never aspire to run more than 3 miles. Only crazy people would want to run for longer than that! I did the 9/11 5K as practice – I had a horrible cold and was totally miserable – and was TERRIFIED to run Clarendon Day.  I ended up having a really good time though. I was thrilled with my time of 33:54. I figured I’d run a 10K sometime in the spring… maybe another 5K.

But then Suze talked me into the Rockville 10K in November and I had fun doing that, even though I’m pretty sure I got through the race on adrenaline alone.  Prior to the race I’d only run more than 3 miles twice – once I ran 4 and once I ran just over 5.  We did the 10K with a 4:1 run/walk ratio and came in at around 1:09.  I’ve only run 2 10K’s and this is actually my PR.

After this I was hooked on running but had no idea what I was doing training wise.  I ran the Jingle All the Way 10K – it was crowded, freezing and pouring – in December.  I started training for the GW Parkway 10 Miler in January. I tried to do every run as fast as I could and not surprisingly I ended up with some IT band problems in February.

Coming back from the IT band problems led me to discover some heart/thyroid issues I didn’t know about.  I didn’t get an awful lot of quality training in before the 10 Miler but I finished it and I’m proud of it.

I ran a series of 5K’s in my neighborhood in April and knocked my 5K PR down by nearly 90 seconds.  My goal of taking it to sub-30 in 2011 is still possible – hopefully at this year’s Clarendon Day (yes, I’m going to use that super big downhill to accomplish my goal – I’m crafty like that!).

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

Also accomplished in my first year of running: running as part of a relay team for the National Half Marathon, completing the Warrior Dash, running my first trail race as part of a marathon team at the North Face Endurance Challenge and starting to run with a group/coach so I can get to my half marathon goal without getting hurt.

I can’t believe that I’m a month into training for my first half marathon.  I can’t believe I got the guts to train with a group and I REALLY can’t believe the workouts I’ve pulled off in the short period of time I’ve been working with them.  It’s been an amazing confidence builder and I’ve met some awesome people.

So here’s to my first year running. I can’t wait to see what year two brings!!



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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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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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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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Crystal Run 5K Friday Week 3 Recap: Not Too Proud To Walk

I have been a bad, bad blogger.

I’ve definitely been a bad blogger lately.  I didn’t do a single bit of exercise between the 10 Miler and last night’s 5K and I definitely needed the break.  This hasn’t left me with much to talk about on the blog.  I figure it’s better to talk when I have something to say 😉

Quick health update: Another reason I’m a terrible blogger is that I forgot to mention in my 10 Miler post that I was absolutely cleared by a cardiologist to run that race.  I also promised that if I started to feel faint I would walk, which I did – a lot.  It was definitely a scary experience but I was not putting myself in a near death experience to finish that race.  I’m still taking the heart medicine for another few weeks so I’ll be running more cautiously and making sure I don’t have any more blood pressure issues.  I started the thyroid medicine that I’ll basically be taking forever and that should stop my heart from going nuts and should generally make my life much happier.  Apparently, the form of hyperthyroid that I have is an autoimmune disorder and it’s also been weakening my muscles.  It’s a good thing I blew off the boot camp in March because now that I’m getting my body under control that will be so useful!!

5K recap: So last night the BF, Suze & I headed over for the 3rd Crystal City 5K. I went to this race with no plan other than to try to finish as close to exactly 3.1 miles as possible and to not have any chest pain.  I aim really high LOL.  I felt fine during the first mile and Suze and I clocked it in around 9:58 (and I crossed the 1 mile marked just as my Garmin was beeping! Double win!). Go us! But just like during the 10 Miler, right after the first mile I started to feel my heart doing something funny so I moved move to the side and decided to walk until I felt better. I took a walk for about 3 or 4 minutes and felt better so I took up running again for a few. I took one more walk break for a minute and then ran all the way past the mile 2 marker (which also coincided perfectly with my Garmin!) and all the way past the turn around until I felt like walking again.  I took about 2 minutes walking and then ran the rest of the way back.  I finished Mile 2 in 12:28 and Mile 3 in 11:20 and the last little .13 at an 8:46 pace!  I finished somewhere in the 34 minute range, which was really surprising because I ran the whole time last week and finished at 33. With all of that walking I only added an extra minute. I guess when I was running I was really moving!

The most exciting part: I only ran an extra .03 last night! Such a huge improvement from the extra .14 I ran the first week!

I have an awesome finish line pic, but I can’t seem to download it right now.  I’ll post it as soon as I can get it.  I’m hoping I’m able to run more next week but if not no big deal – I’ll try to get that perfect 3.1 in distance! 🙂

I know a lot of you had great races this weekend – Congrats to Suze, Beth, Lauren, Tina, & Lee (if you’ve raced and I didn’t link to you I’m sorry, I’m just going off the top of my head here!) on their PR’s! And best of luck to Dorothy at Boston on Monday!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!


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Crystal Run 5K Friday: Week 2 –The Rain Storm

Last night was the second week of the Crystal Run 5K Friday series.  I was dreading it a little, it was cold and rainy for most of the day.  If I wasn’t heading over and running with Tiffany I probably would have skipped out and stayed in my nice warm apartment.  She felt the same way, so I knew we were going to have to work pretty hard to motivate each other in the yucky rain.

We made it to the race with about 5 minutes to spare before the race start.  We lined up in the middle of the pack and before we knew it we were starting!

Since I didn’t know the status of the GW Parkway Classic on Sunday, I decided to take it pretty easy and try to run the shortest course distance.  That didn’t seem to work out for me, because the first mile and part of the second had a lot of puddles to dodge (if I was coordinated to dodge them… I stepped in a LOT of puddles!).

Other than the puddles, the first two miles of the race were pretty uneventful.  At the last turn around it started POURING (it was raining so hard it needs capital letters).  I was worried my contacts were going to pop out of my eyes.  I’m sure I was a sight, running up Crystal Drive with my eyes half closed so I didn’t lose them.

Tiffany and I stuck together the whole race (even when I had a side stitch and told her to leave me because I was going to die – I was feeling slightly dramatic) and finished at exactly the same time: 33:49 (10:32/mile pace).

Random fact from last week’s race that I forgot to mention: A guy who crossed the finish line about 10 people ahead of me totally tripped and fell face first.  I was completely paranoid this whole race about tripping in wet shoes/sliding on the timing mats at the end of the race.  I’m mentioning this because I found a few pictures of me crossing the finish line, courtesy of the timing company (not the official race photographers), and I am staring at the ground and it’s pretty hilarious.  Pictures below:


Tiffany looking normal.  Me staring at my feet.


Seriously, I’m not going to trip here!

So I crossed the finish line uneventfully.  Another successful race!

Split Time Distance Avg Pace
1 00:10:31 1.00 10:31
2 00:10:58 1.00 10:58
3 00:10:37 1.00 10:37
4 00:01:49 0.18 09:58
Summary 00:33:49 3.19 10:32
I’m totally happy with the pacing here but disappointed that I can’t seem to get much closer to running the course distance.  I still have 3 more weeks to accomplish it. I can’t wait to give it another try next week – hopefully in nicer weather!
Update to my last post re: the GW Parkway Classic: We’re running!!
Good luck and congrats to everyone racing this weekend!


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