Running Diary: A Rainy Week

Oops! Somehow a whole week went by and I didn’t even realize. We had a lot of rain this week, which thwarted some of the scheduling for running. Despite some workweek exhaustion and the crappy weather, it turned into a pretty great week of training and I am looking forward to kicking off our training plan!

Monday – August 23

25 min Full Body + Glute Strength / 10 min Foam Roll / 8 min Yoga

Classic non-running, strength training day. Nothing special to report here!

Tuesday – August 24

5 mile Track Run / 18 min Yoga

This was so fun. Erica and I had planned to attend a running store’s track practice, but the track was closed! We ended up driving into DC to use a track and it was pretty exciting to do a very different workout than normal. We started with a 1 mile warm up, then moved into progressively faster: 1200, 800, 400, kept the pace for another 400, and then slowed down for 800, 1200, with another mile as a cool down.

Running fast is hard and I commend those who do it all the time.

Wednesday – August 25

20 min Foam Roll / 20 min Core / 10 min Stretch

Ah yes, this was supposed to be a running day but turned into an easy strength day. I typically go to the office on Wednesdays, which can be really tiring. I also had my first class meeting for the fall semester and it was amazing. It really changes the vibe of the class when everyone is excited to be there.

hung this lil pinata in my office

Thursday – August 26

4 mile Run / 8 min Plantar Fascia Recovery / 15 min Arms & Shoulders + Glute Strength / 10 min Foam Roll / 17 min Stretch

I was on a roll this day. It feels good to get the plantar fascia rehab done and it’s always a bonus when a run feels pretty good.

Friday – August 27

10 min Foam Roll / 20 min Yoga

Sweet, sweet recovery.

Saturday – August 28

5 mile Run / 7 min Plantar Fascia Recovery / 20 min Yoga

We were supposed to do this mileage on Friday, but there was rain in the forecast so we skipped it. Instead we slept in on Saturday and then headed to the towpath for this mileage! It was so humid. So humid. It was an out and back, but when I turned around it felt like I couldn’t breathe because I no longer had a breeze in my face. Absolutely brutal. Nonetheless I survived the run and then Patrick and I went kayaking!

We parked at a boathouse on the path for our run, so it was only natural to get ice cream and to rent a tandem kayak after. I have been wanting to kayak on the Potomac since we moved here, but had never gotten around to it. Kudos to Patrick for suggesting it, especially since all the water-sports stuff starts to close after Labor Day!

Sunday – August 29

16 mile Trail Run / 20 min Restorative Yoga

Wooohoo, this was the best long run I’ve had in a very very very long time! We went to Prince William Forest Park (a classic) and had a great time. Erica and I almost kept the mileage to 13, but I am glad we did all 16. I even helped wrangle an eastern copperhead off the trail. This run made me feel good about starting our training plan. It was a confidence booster for sure.

Have a great week and an even better Labor Day weekend!

Running Diary: Much Needed Break

Hello! I am two weeks behind on another training update. I don’t even have a legitimate reason, I just never got around to it. My final year of grad school starts this week and I am looking forward to my classes for the semester. It’s a three year program because it was part-time and it feels like time has flown by. At the same time, starting my MSW in August 2019 feels like it was ages ago. Sometimes I forget I am even pursuing a degree and it feels more like a very intense, sometimes stressful, evening hobby.

Anyway, you’ll notice in these two weeks of training that it was time for a legitimate rest week. I’ve been feeling pretty good on my weekday runs, though struggling with motivation, and then feeling like absolute trash on weekend long runs. I decided I needed a week of super minor mileage. Erica and I are going to follow a (very) intense training plan for our race in March and we’re not starting until September. I can’t decide if I want to keep it easy until then or maintain where I am now. We’ll see. Patrick and I have a very exciting, travel and fun-packed autumn coming up and I am stoked!

Please get vaccinated, wear your mask (even if there’s no mandate where you are or if you’re vaccinated), wash your hands, and drink lots of water. 😉

Monday – August 9

20 min Full Body Strength / 22 min Yoga / 10 min Foam Roll

If I am not taking a rest day but it’s a day off of a running, I like to do a decent amount of strength training. The day before this had been our long run at Rock Creek Park and I had felt pretty good, so this workout wasn’t too hard. It also had 5 minutes of burpees at the end which was SOMETHING.

Went to REI to restock our running nutrition after the weekend’s long run. Can you tell what we like? P.S. Erica and I actually prefer different brands of stroopwafels. I go for Honey Stingers and she likes the GU brand.

Tuesday – August 10

10 min Foam Roll / 3 mile Run / 15 min Strength / 8 min Plantar Fascia Recovery / 20 min Yoga

This week was so so unusually hot. All of our runs either happened early or much later in the day than normal to avoid the hottest and most humid parts of the day.

Patrick made noodles for dinner and got to try out his Sith chopsticks.

Wednesday – August 11

30 min Yoga

Bliss. I think I’ve mentioned it before but Yoga with Adriene has this amazing 30 min Runner’s Yoga and I am obsessed. It is the perfect stretch. I was pretty tired this day and thought I was going to fall asleep in a lizard pose.

Thursday – August 12

4 + 4 mile Run / 20 min Foam Roll / 20 min Arms & Shoulders Strength / 7 min Yoga

Another day of trying to not melt. The mileage layout of this week was very different than what I actually did. I can’t remember why I ended up squishing it all together, but it was a mistake. All in all I ran 8 miles this day: 4 before work and 4 during lunch. Not ideal, but pretty good practice for running on tired, slightly stiff legs.

It’s pretty nice to run before the world is really out and about.

Friday – August 13

6 mile Run / 10 min Foam Roll / 10 min Stretch

Another before work run! This run felt amazing. It wasn’t too hot or humid, my playlist was perfect, and it was so peaceful out on my route. However, the high would not last… See tomorrow’s run.

Saturday – August 14

16 mile Trail Run

Yikes, honey. You’ll notice that 30 of the 33 miles this week were 3 days in a row and that was a mistake. Patrick and I went to a nearby trail in Maryland, which we had to do as an out and back. I think cumulative fatigue, poor pre-run nutrition, and general anxiety about the run made this run so hard. I probably could’ve crawled faster. Any incline felt impossible and I think I may have bonked. It was rough, but we covered the distance and I survived. The trail was actually pretty nice!

Sunday – August 15

11 min Plantar Fascia Recovery / 16 min Yoga

Sweet, sweet recovery. I can’t even imagine if I had tried to run this day. Patrick and I went out to Leesburg, VA and hit up an outlet mall and then walked around the Old Town area of Leesburg. We had lunch and waltzed around on the W&OD trail out there. It was nice!

Lunch at Delirium Brewing.

Monday – August 16

10 min Foam Roll / 50 min Strength / 16 min Yoga

This strength training was actually three different Peloton classes and they all felt great. I was worried about how I would feel from the long run on Saturday, but no issues. It was also my first time really focusing on lower body strength in a while. I’ve neglected it because I don’t want my legs to feel too sore, but I think it’s time to rope it back in again. This was also the start of my recovery week which really just meant very little running!

Tuesday – August 17

3 mile Run / 16 min Stretch

A sweaty, afternoon run. Of course! Trying to keep it super easy though.

Wednesday – August 18

2 mile Run / 10 min Core Strength / 20 min Foam Roll / 10 min Plantar Fascia Recovery / 6 min Yoga

This run was fun. Erica had made an earl gray tea cake, so we got these easy miles in by running to her apartment to pick a hunk of the loaf up! The Arlington County Fair is right behind our house and opened this day, so we also got to see it get going.

Thursday – August 19

30 min Full Body Strength / 10 min Stretch

Powered by funnel cake. Patrick and I went to the Fair ourselves! We walked around, had some (mediocre) fair food for dinner and got a funnel cake!

Friday – August 20

3 mile Run / 5 min Glute Strength / 20 min Foam Roll / 15 min Stretch

After a very rainy morning the sun came up, the temps stayed low(ish), and the humidity was reigned in a bit. I made a funky route that ended a bit of a ways from our house so that we could walk back. It felt so nice to not be drenched in sweat!

Saturday – August 21

3.6 mile Hike / 30 min Chest & Back + Core Strength / 10 min Plantar Fascia Recovery / 30 min Runner’s Yoga

Patrick and I are slowly but surely attempting to complete the Virginia State Park Trail Quest. Basically you just go to all the state parks and hike and log it. In return you get a cool enamel pin for certain benchmarks and then a little certificate ceremony once you’ve finished them all!

We headed out to Leesylvania State Park. It wasn’t far at all, but it is on the water so it’s primarily a boating park. We did hike around a bit and get a tour of the visitor center from a sweet volunteer.

We went to a mall afterwards since Patrick is in need of some new running shorts and it was a nightmare. So crowded. Such few masks. We got out of there as quickly as we could.

Sunday – August 22

8 mile Trail Run / 19 min Yoga

Yay, a down week trail run! It feels so nice to know your distance is shorter. We headed to Patapsco Valley State Park in Maryland for the first time and it was AMAZING. The trailhead we went to is also 8 minutes from my office… I could not believe that park was in central MD. Fun fact: it’s where the Blair Witch Project was filmed. There were lots of runners and mountain bikers, the trails weren’t too technical and sometimes quite smooth, and it wasn’t too hot! So humid, as always though. Some of the trails on our route seemed to no longer exist which caused minor confusion, but we figured it out. Always helps when you have cell signal!

We headed to Historic Ellicott City afterwards to explore. Lunch was mediocre, but the town was neat. Felt sort of like a little mountain town.

Now I feel ready for another week of higher load! I needed a break and last week felt just right. The only caveat is that I didn’t sleep very well, which I think may have been from lack of running? Who knows. Things are looking up though!


Running Diary: PTO, baby!

Hello and happy Monday! I am slowly catching up on work today as I took Thursday and Friday off last week. It was so nice to leisurely do things around the house, run errands, and be a little bit of a tourist. My brain needed the reset.

Our beautiful cooler temperatures are gone here in Arlington and back is the hot, muggy weather. 😦 The urge to pretend like it’s fall is tempered by the weather and the fact that school doesn’t even start here until after Labor Day! After our long run yesterday I wanted nothing more than to whip out my fall decorations and get started on the house, but I resisted. The days are already getting shorter, which is weird, so before we know it all these updates are going to be about running in the dark! Until then, here’s this week’s training:

Monday – August 2

20 min Yoga / 10 min Foam Roll

A much needed rest day after the long run out in George Washington National Forest. I think I had originally planned to run this day, but knew that would not go over well for me at all.

Tuesday – August 3

5 mile Run / 20 min Core Strength / 10 min Plantar Fascia Recovery / 10 min Stretch

This was a day of beautiful weather! Running feels so much easier when it’s breezy and cool out. I think Erica and I ran this one together and I enjoyed it. I also forced myself to do my plantar fascia prehab and I am proud of that. If you have a Peloton account, I did this core strength with Andy Speer and I really love it. It feels really functional and I like not being on my back doing crunches the whole time.

We also had a family dinner out on the porch. It was quite nice. We made this pasta and it was pretty good!

Erica was there but she wouldn’t let me photograph her.

Wednesday – August 4

4 mile Speed Run / 20 min Chest & Back Strength / 20 min Foam Roll / 16 min Yoga

Normally when I want to do speedwork I queue up a Peloton outdoor run, but this run was different. It was nice out and I had recently discovered Billie Eilish’s new song Happier Than Ever. Listen to it and you can imagine how it kept my pace up pretty well!

Thursday – August 5

5 min Core Strength / 6 mile Run / 10 min Yoga

Day off of work! Patrick had to go in, so I spent the day walking to Trader Joe’s, sitting outside reading, and relaxing as much as possible. I knew we had 6 miles on the docket, but I wasn’t feeling inspired to run around the house and none of the trails that length nearby are great. We decided to change up the scenery and headed into DC to run around the National Mall instead.

It was so fun to see the monuments as the sun started to set and see people out and about! DC has a mask mandate for indoors, but people were still frolicking and enjoying themselves on the lawn by the Washington Monument.

The Washington Monument
The Lincoln Memorial

Friday – August 6

20 min Foam Roll / 10 min Stretch

Another rest day… sort of. We went back into DC on the Metro to go to the Natural History Museum. We ended up walking to lunch too before we took the Metro back into Virginia to go shopping! Walking around the museum and the mall was exhausting and my feet hurt quite a bit when we got home.

Lunch at Roti

Not to mention, I had just about no success finding work clothes. Everything is either the ultra trendy Gen Z fashion (which isn’t exactly workplace appropriate most of the time) or very casual, probably because of the work from home world we live in.

Saturday – August 7

2 mile Run / 12 min Plantar Fascia Recovery / 30 min Strength / 21 min Yoga Stretch

Yes, you are reading that right: I did my plantar fascia prehab twice this week! Last week I mentioned that I wanted to do it 2-3 times a week and I met that goal. Now I just need to keep it up. I think the trick is to just do it right after I have finished running or working out to keep up the momentum.

The 2 mile run felt amazing. It was raining a tiny bit, I listened to a podcast about space hurricanes, and I felt like I was gliding. Love it.

Sunday – August 8

15 mile Trail Run / 30 min Runner’s Yoga

Oh boy, this was a long one! We decided to stay close to home and headed to Rock Creek Park (in DC) for this long run. That park is huge and fantastic, but the trails aren’t super well marked and it’s easy to get confused. Patrick ran on his own and Erica and I ran together. We were very very sweaty and ran out of water around mile 12, which wasn’t ideal. We also saw two snakes! From my research I think we saw either a ribbonsnake or an Eastern Garter Snake and a Black Rat Snake. They wanted nothing to do with us. Erica pointed out that it’s hard to believe we saw no snakes in the wilderness of West Virginia but saw two in DC.

The trails at Rock Creek aren’t super technical, but there are plenty of roots and it is much hillier than you’d expect. It was also fun to see other runners and hikers. The road that runs through the area seems to be closed to cars in the summer, so there were lots of cyclists as well.

My long runs have felt so difficult lately, so yesterday was refreshing! All I wanted was to jump in a pool afterwards, but we lounged around for the rest of the day instead.

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Running Diary: A Long One!

Hello, I’m back! I totally neglected this last week and so I have two weeks worth of training to share. Training has been challenging lately, but I am grateful for the opportunity to do it. July felt so long, but I also cannot believe it’s August. I am sitting on our screened in porch enjoying the oddly cool weather. I still have citronella candles going and had to spray myself with a light layer of bug spray, but it’s worth it.

I have said repeatedly that I am not trying to rush to summer’s end as I want to appreciate each season more, but… the breeze and lack of sweat is pretty fabulous. I drank my coffee out here earlier and I was in heaven. Anyway, onto the training!

Lately I feel like I can just not recover. Even with rest days, my long runs have been feeling so much harder than they should. My runs during the week tend to feel pretty good, so I’m not sure what’s breaking down in the long run equation. Cumulative fatigue? Maybe. The heat/humidity? Not sure. I’m hoping to get to the bottom of it soon.

Monday – July 19

35 min Strength / 10 min Stretch / 10 min Foam Roll

This day was a big one. It was the day of my big work event that I had been stressing about for weeks. All in all it went pretty well and I was so glad when it was over! I needed to work off nervous energy and lifting some weights did the trick.

Scenes from mission control of my work event

Tuesday – July 20

3 mile Run / 10 min Foam Roll / 17 min Yoga

Easy mileage. My brain was so foggy coming out of my work event; I felt fatigued from head to toe. I wasn’t trying to do anything too ambitious with my training until I started feeling better.

Wednesday – July 21

4 mile Hilly Run / 10 min Foam Roll / 15 min Yoga

This run was a feat of mental grit. I wanted nothing more than to turn around after one mile, but loaded up some good music and kept it easy. Of course, once I finished I was so glad that I had persevered. My mind and body felt better and I was pleased with how it went!

Thursday – July 22

3 mile Speed Run / 30 min Strength / 20 min Yoga

Another great run! When I want to incorporate speed I normally throw in a Peloton Outdoor Run. They tend to be pretty entertaining and push me to do faster bursts than I’d be able to do by myself. I also discovered Peloton’s Slow Yoga classes, which I love. They have a little more effort to them then the typical yin style yoga I like to do, but ultimately feel really nice.

Friday – July 23

22 min Foam Roll / 20 min Strength / 20 min Slow Yoga

An easy day. This whole week was meant to be a cutback week, though I do try to maintain strength training. I also neglected lower body strength training for a loooong time (because I was running so much!) but I am trying to gently reintroduce it.

I also went to a real life social event with a friend! I learned that Baltimore actually seems pretty awesome. The Science Center was hosting an adult-only event themed around Jurassic Park. We played Jenga with velociraptor claws.

Saturday – July 24

33 mile Bike Ride / 16 min Yoga

Oh my god, this ride. It was in rural Maryland and was beautiful! We stopped at McDonald’s for french fries and a chocolate chip cookie. Things got a little rocky when the route was a few miles longer than I thought it’d be and it started downpouring on us. Fortunately we were already on the C&O towpath, so there weren’t any safety concerns but we were muddy and gross by the time we got back to the car. Patrick normally brings towels to throw in the trunk, but somehow we didn’t have ANY. Good times.

Sunday – July 25

10 mile Trail Run / 16 min Stretch

I titled this run “Struggle bus never pulled over to let me off” on Strava. We went to Manassas Battlefield, a route that I intentionally chose for being an easy trail. The first mile or two I felt great, amazing, was going to be the best run ever. Somewhere around mile 6, things started falling apart. My legs felt heavy, nutrition felt crappy, and it turned into a slog.

I got the miles in and the trail was beautiful (as always), but boy it was tough. I think I said “I’m going to live right here” a few times on the trail. We also finally went into the visitor center, which was pretty neat. Erica came over for dinner this night and we had excellent grilled chicken, mediterranean quinoa salad, and peach cobbler for dessert. I’m hungry just writing about it.

Monday – July 26

10 min Foam Roll / 20 min Yoga

Good ole fashioned rest day. I always stretch and foam roll on rest days because it feels so nice. I also did both of these recovery items earlier in the day which left my evening wide open! Sometimes I rush my evenings, which I don’t love. There’s nothing quite like casually sipping Sleepytime tea on the couch.

I also went down a rabbit hole learning about what a Mobius Strip is. Highly recommend.

Tuesday – July 27

4 mile Hilly Run / 10 min Strength / 10 min Foam Roll / 10 min Stretch

Two hill repeats on the Courthouse Rd climb was enough for me. I didn’t feel too hot until about halfway through my second repeat. I wasn’t even really sweating too much until then! My pace was pretty even and my breathing was good. I love hill training because 1) I can see it paying off when doing ascents, but potentially even more exciting is that 2) I can see the downhill portion paying off as well! It really helps to protect the knees and IT band, so I am thrilled.

Wednesday – July 28

10 min Foam Roll / 5 mile Run / 10 min Strength / 7 min Plantar Fascia Recovery / 20 min Yoga

I was dead on my feet for this run. I kept saying I was going to move the miles to Friday, but I also really didn’t want to have to run on Friday. I told Patrick to be prepared to go slow and slow we went. At some point my legs woke up and felt okay, but my brain (and the rest of my body) still felt pretty sleepy. When we got back from the run I used the momentum I had left to get some strength work in. I felt pretty good after all was said and done and probably slept like a rock.

Thursday – July 29

5 mile Run / 30 min Strength / 20 min Yoga / 10 min Foam Roll

A rainy run! It’s always fun when that happens. Erica and I ran together while Patrick ran on his own. We weren’t sure if it would begin to truly storm, so we ran a 3 mile loop and then a smaller 2 mile loop to stay closer to home. Patrick lamented how humid it got after the rain stopped, but I didn’t notice. There was gentle, cool breeze that felt amazing and the clouds kept the sun from beating down on us.

Friday – July 30

30 min Strength / 7 min Planter Fascia Recovery / 22 min Yoga

This was a full body strength, so it was part of my effort to do more lower body training! Again, I used the momentum from doing the Peloton to get my plantar fascia recovery done. I am committing here to doing that at least twice a week (but I’d really like to aim for three times a week). It’s not hard, but it’s just challenging enough that you sweat too much for doing it after a shower.

Saturday – July 31

10 min Strength / 16 mile Bike Ride / 10 min Foam Roll / 8 min Yoga

The strength came before the bike ride as a way to active the core and glutes. We had planned to do more riding, but the path we were on got pretty busy which is a little annoying. I was also enjoying the casual riding, so we turned around once we got to Alexandria. We stopped at a hut/shack? called Weenie Beanie that we first passed on a run a few months ago. I got a cheesesteak and Patrick got a hamburger. This place is “known” for its hot dogs, so we both pondered why neither of us chose that after the fact.

We ate on a park bench before finishing our ride home, which included a pretty large hill! Powered by cheesesteak.

Sunday – August 1

14 mile Trail Run / 15 min Stretch

Holy crap. This run. My god.

3,000+ ft of elevation in this run, but don’t be fooled. All the elevation gain was contained to maybe 3-4 of the miles. I felt so terrible. More terrible than I should’ve, which was a little frustrating, but it was hard hard course. Thank god for trekking poles.

It was so brutal. The route was an edited version of a 50k course Patrick did back in March in George Washington National Forest. We did one of the ascents twice. 24.5% grade for half a mile. It was like climbing. The second go around I really thought I would not be able to take another step. BRUTAL.

We somehow did not see a bear, despite it looking and feeling like prime bear country! We did see some… characters out on the fire road but that’s another story for another time. Once we made it back to the car I sat on the ground to eat my sandwich and was glad to not be moving anymore.

I will do that route again sometime, if anything just for redemption.

I hope you have a fabulous week full of plenty of sleep, water, delicious food, and fun movement! We are planning to go bikecamping this week, so I am excited for that!