Tag Archives: Mount Vernon Trail

Virginia Beach Training Week 10 – Getting Frost Bite from the Ice Bath

My running week got so much better after Monday’s dramatically bad run!  I feel much more confident about Virginia Beach. I can’t believe it’s in 3 weeks!

Week 10 Training:

Monday:  3.25 miles of hills that left me a little panicked.

Wednesday: 3.89 miles on the track that brought me back to reality. I can definitely run a half marathon in 3 weeks.

Warmed up with 800, ran 1600, recovered 400, then did 4 x 400 repeats with 200 rest, then 400 cool down.
warm up – .53 – 4:57 (9:23 pace)
1×1600 – 1.09 – 9:54 (9:05 pace)
recovery – .26 – 3:12 (12:10 pace)
4×400 – .27 – 2:25 (9:07 pace), .28 – 2:17 (8:18 pace), .27 – 2:09 (7:57 pace), .27 – 2:03 (7:38 pace!!)
cool down – .27 – 2:31 (9:20 pace)

Fun fact: According to my trusty Garmin, I beat my 5K PR on the track on Wednesday (walk breaks included)!  I swear I’m going to rock the 5K I’m signed up for in September.

Friday: I had a two mile shakeout run and the weather was perfect.  It was so nice to get outside and not get beat to death by oppressive humidity.  I was able to start at 9 am! I can’t even remember the last time I was able to go out for a run at 9 am and wasn’t dying from the heat.   I didn’t pay much attention to my watch and it turned out that I ran way too fast (10:30 pace) for a recovery run but at least I got it done.

Saturday: I pushed my long run up a day to make sure the nasty forecast for Sunday didn’t mess up my training.  I ended up getting out the door a little later than planned but I was still pretty excited for a nice 8 miler.   I was undecided about whether I should run back to Old Town or if I should head into DC and run around the monuments but I ended up deciding on Old Town because Metro seemed to be taking a big weekend nap and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on a single tracking train after a long run.

So I set off and the first two miles were nice and easy.  I love the Mount Vernon Trail. It’s so pretty and it’s so much less crowded on a Saturday morning.  There were a lot more runners out than cyclists, which was nice because I always worry about getting in the way of the really fast bikers.  I felt kind of sluggish and went for my honey stingers at mile 3.5 but my stomach was not feeling like eating would be a good decision.  I thought water would be a better choice and I’d go back for the chews at mile 5.5.

I think this face says it all...

Mile 5.5 was still a no go on the snack (see my face in the above picture… really, I was trying to smile there but yet I still look so pained haha).  My energy has pretty much vanished at this point but I figured it would be better to finish up the last few miles slowly than feel pukey.  It started raining lightly and that really helped me stay cool and happy. 8 miles were done by 9:30 and I was so relieved.

After taking the Metro home (and grossing people out with my crazy sweat for the 2nd time in as many weeks) I stopped and got some ice for an ice bath. I knew that the brick & cobblestone streets in Old Town killed my ankles and shins two weeks ago so this time I was ready.

That appears to be first degre frost bite on my calves and hamstrings.

I think I got a little overzealous with the ice because after 15 minutes it looked like I had first degree frostbite on my calves and hamstrings.  But my muscles felt pretty good on Sunday and feel great today so I think it was worth it.

I know I keep saying that I can’t believe it’s already almost half marathon time, but I really can’t  believe how fast time has been going.  Week 11 will be a lot of fun because I get to do my long run in Philly while I’m at Healthy Living Summit.  I am so pumped to get to explore a new city on a long run and beyond excited to meet everyone at HLS!



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Week 8 Training Recap – My Best Week Yet

Week 8 was a great training week for me.  I spent most of last week worried that I lost too much time being in Phoenix for work and having the worst cold for a week.  But this week, everything went so well that I’ve started to feel a lot more confident about Virginia Beach.

I needed to run 17 miles this week and I actually went over that (ok, it was only by half a mile) despite the crazy heat.  And despite the heat my pacing was faster than scheduled.  I’m feeling pretty baller just thinking about it!

On Monday, I did a “predict a pace” run around my neighborhood.  I ran 2 perfectly even miles but they were about :59/mile faster than I thought I was going.  It was nice to see that the speedwork I’ve been doing is paying off but I really do need to be more careful to run my recovery runs at a recovery pace.

Wednesday, Suze and I had a crazy good track workout. We ran 1200 repeats and they were mentally really tough but we still negative split the crap out of them.

Warmup 1 800 (.56) – 5:51 (10:25 pace)
Warmup 2 800 (.55) – 5:29 (10:03 pace)
1200 Repeat 1 (.81) – 8:11 (10:05 pace)  – 400 Walk
1200 Repeat 2 (.83) – 7:53 (9:32 pace) – 400 Walk
1200 Repeat 3 (.81) – 7:38 (9:25 pace) – 400 Walk
1200 Repeat 4 that I cut down to 800 because I totally ran out of gas (.53) – 4:40 (8:49 pace) – 400 Walk

I was completely thrilled with that workout, even thought I cut the last repeat short.  I put down more than 5 miles on the track and felt great the whole time.  Except for the parts when I wanted to puke because of the heat…You know, other than that!

Pre-track workout. The post workout picture was too scary to blog.

Friday, I had my longest long run to date and I rocked it.  I ran down the Mount Vernon trail from Crystal City to Old Town, Alexandria and then ran a few miles around there for a total of 8.11 miles.  Even though I left at 6:45 a.m. it was still brutally hot and humid out.  When I left it felt like 85 degrees and there was 90% humidity!  I took off pretty quickly and settled into a good pace by mile 3. The rolling hills in Crystal City felt much easier than I remembered.

Notice the serious lack of shade!

I stopped for my first snack at mile 3.5 – the heat & direct sunlight were draining my energy and I was really glad that I brought a big pack of Honey Stinger chews.  I had 4 chews and my energy was back half a mile later! I seriously love those things. I ate the rest of them at mile 6.  Delicious!

Best part of the run: Running through Oronoco Bay Park in Alexandria, which is where the finish line of the GW Parkway 10 Miler was.  I had such a hard race and it was nice to run through there feeling good and strong.

The brick and cobblestone sidewalks gave my ankles and calves a serious workout!

Worst parts of the run: Tie between the epic lack of shade and the brick and cobblestone sidewalks of Old Town.  It was so hot that I drank my entire CamelBak by mile 6.75! Thankfully, there was a nice little deli that I found in Old Town to stop and refill at mile 7.  They were really nice but had never seen a CamelBak before – the kid behind the counter actually shouted “Lady! You’re pouring all your water into your bag!!!!”  It was kind of hilarious.

Sweaty post 8 mile picture. Ignore the fact that my hand is still moving. I was excited!

I finished up strong, mile 8 one of my faster miles and headed to the King Street Metro to ride home.  I felt TERRIBLE getting on the Metro during rush hour in the stinky sweaty state that I was in.  I was completely drenched in sweat. My shorts were dripping a puddle on the ground.  Of course, I stopped a guy in a business suit and asked him to take my picture. He was nice and did and then went and stood on the opposite side of the platform haha. Thankfully, a lot of people must have taken Friday off because the Metro wasn’t too crowded and I had a seat to myself.

Tonight I’m doing a quick 2 miler once the sun goes down.  I can’t believe I just had my highest mileage week since April and felt so good the whole time.  Bring it on week 9!


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Goodbye March, I’m ready for April

I had big plans for March, including a lot of boot camp and running but the month didn’t quite go as planned.

The day after I made my “I’m so excited for boot camp!” announcement, one of my favorite coworkers unexpectedly passed away.  That threw a huge wrench in the first full week of March. I was beyond sad and we had a lot of office memorials/funeral matters to attend to.  I was just so heart broken and I still am but I’m dealing with it a lot better.  I did not end up starting boot camp that week but was pretty determined to get going the next week.  I ended up getting in one weekday run and ran my first Four Miler on the 12th, which was a blast.

In March, I hosted my first giveaway and it was awesome. I’m really hoping I can pull together another one in the coming month or two.  I have something in the works but it’s in the very early stages. Fingers crossed.

In the second week of March, I realized there was something funny going on with my heart.  I was cleared by my cardiologist to keep running but ended up pushing back boot camp again.  Spring weather made a brief appearance and  I did a long run on the beautiful Mount Vernon Trail.  It was tough but wonderful at the same time.

The day after my long run I came down with a bad cold.  I spent the whole week before the National Half Marathon Relay nursing it, resting, and trying to get better.  It almost worked. I ran my leg of the Relay at far less than 100% (and puked).  It may not have been the best run of my life but I was really proud of pushing through.

Finally, I figured out what was going on with my heart.  It wasn’t what I was expecting but it’s something that shouldn’t interfere with my life too much once I get it under control.

I came to the conclusion that starting boot camp so close to my 10 Miler might be a bad idea, so I’ve shelved it until mid-April.  I think it will be good preparation for Warrior Dash in May!

March feels like a bit of a fail for me, even though I know a lot of it was outside of my control.  It was actually my second highest mileage month ever. My IT band seems completely healed, so I know April will be full of great things.

Tonight, I’m starting the month off with the first run of the Crystal City 5K Friday series. I’m really excited to see how my 5K time progresses in the next 5 weeks.

Here’s hoping everyone has a great April.  Do you have any big race plans? Any fun life plans?


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Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

It was a gorgeous day in Arlington today,  55 degrees, sunny, breezy.  I was excited to head out for my longest run since January.


Please excuse my horrible posture!

I decided to head south on the Mount Vernon trail and run past National Airport along the water.  I ran down to Daingerfield Island, where all of the sailboats are docked.

03202011 MV Trail Daingerfield

Only 12 miles away from Mount Vernon, the start of the George Washington Parkway 10 Miler.

03202011 MV Trail Marina

Everything is so green as spring is spring-ing!

03202011 MV Trail

Mid-run photo shoot!

This run was tough.  I have been doing all of my weekly runs between Pentagon City and Crystal City, which is extremely flat.  Completely and totally pancake flat. The little rolling hills I came across zapped my energy so quickly.

Thankfully, it was a beautiful day and I was able to take things really slowly and enjoy my time outside.  I brought my Camelback Mini Mule (yes, I run with a kids’ sized hydration pack! It has the same 50 oz. water reservoir as the women’s pack but the fit is so light and it has pretty big pockets. I’m in love with it!) and some vanilla Gu to stay hydrated and energized.

I’m really happy that I got the miles in on such a nice day.  I’m thrilled that spring is here – aside from the fact that I sneezed about a thousand times today and used my blue shirt as a tissue more often than I’d like to admit.  I can’t wait for the National Half Marathon Relay next weekend. Bring it spring! I’m ready for you!


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