Thursday, January 28, 2016

Local Hills for Hill Repeats

These are local hills in my neighborhoood. I put in a question on the Facebook page for Springfield chapter of Mom's Run This Town (MRTT) and these are the suggestion given to me by other local (mom) runners and MRTT members. I thought of sharing what was shared with me so that others may benefit.

"Lake Braddock Drive through the signal hill neighborhood is basically one giant hill. If you run Braddock to Mount Burnside Way, it's about 1 mile steady downhill, turn it around and it's a steady 1 mile uphill. If you just want half a mile, do just Lake Braddock or just do Mount Burnside, both are about 800m. Neither are super steep, but they are long!"
"Hillside is pretty long, but it basically one big hill.", "start at Moverly (sp?) and run Hillside up to the signal light on the intersection with Rolling

"Olley Lane would be a good candidate. I mean the Olley Lane between Twinbrook and Guinea off of Braddock road. "
"Greeley Blvd. From Old Keene Mill to Rolling Rd. is a long hill. "
"Kings Park West, East Lake Drive is a nasty long hill! Gainsborough Drive (by the lake) and Powell Road also have hills that qualify for this length."

Powell Road

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tips to running your first 50K- All there is to know

Click on each info, and you will be directed to the source link:
* Think quality over quantity
* Experienced runners alternate between slow long runs and short runs focused on speed. 
* Take breaks when you need it. "Don't be a slave to the schedule". 
* Take tapering seriously 
* If you can afford it get a coach 
* Race by feel not pace. Because you are running on varied terrain, work more on maintaining an "even perceived effort, also avoid "spiking your heart rate"
* Eat early and often. Forcing gel down your throat may not be fun, but there are huge benefits to getting the right food. 
* Keep it simple....when prepping a drop bag, no need to pack the universe.
* crucial that you've run a marathon or two before taking on a 50K (I did not follow this advice by the way. I ran a 50K before my first marathon)
* schedule a tempo-like run after your long runs. 
* Incorporate running hills and doing hill repeats into your routine 
* A trail 50K may take several hours longer than your marathon 
* Pace varies depending on terrain of each section 
* Be smart walk up hills and run the downs and the flats 
* Find something that works for you to prevent chafing 
* Fueling takes practice, make sure you work on this during your long runs. 
* In an ultra, most people don't run the whole time. 
* Give yourself at least 3 months to least
* sign up soon, that will be a huge motivator on its own 
* Practice running efficiently with as little wasted energy as possible 
* Get lots of sleep 2 night before your ultra
* Start the race slowly....slower than a marathon even
* If passed, let them pass
* Have a mantra 
remember this quote from Lance Armstrong: "Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."
* Eat about 100 calories per hour
* Know the course and the terrain - do your research 
* Occasionally train with partners who are a tad faster
* Maintain weekly tempo sessions for speed
* some training schedules vary between hard/easy weeks to offset the affect of maybe ramping up the miles to fast
* soon you will notice you are stronger and recover faster
* the mid-week, semi-long run can be dropped if weeks are too tough.....better to remain uninjured

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Envision Realty: Georgetown 10 Miler (2-Day Challenge)- All there is to know

Basic information about the race(s)

When is the race: Saturday, April 9, 2016 - Sunday, April 10, 2016

Where: C&O Canal Towpath Georgetown  3700 Water Street Washington, DC  20007

Price: $ 60 for each day or $90 for both days
Websites where you can get more info:, OR on Facebook 
Hosts: DC Running Club 
Out and back race

4TH Annual Georgetown 10 Miler.(started in 2013)  
* Race begins on the Capital Crescent Towpath upstairs across from Jacks Boathouse located at 3700 Water Street. The route is an out and back on the towpath so you finish where you start.
PARKING: There is parking on Water Street and several parking garages on Water Street.
BIB PICKUP: Bib Pickup will be at the race location each morning on April 9th and 10th beginning at 8:00am. The address is 3700 Water St NW Washington DC.
SWAG: Each participant will get a newly designed 2016 custom performance t-shirt and custom medal.  The 2-Day Challenge participants will get an additional custom medal.
Additional Info: We will have a bag check, water stations will be at the clearing at about the 2.25 mile mark and at the finish line.  Bathrooms will be at the start/finish line.  Post race brunch specials will be at a local waterfront restaurant TBD.  The course will be open for three hours. 
AWARDS: Awards will be given to the top three male and female each day.
Cancellations & Refund Policy
Registration fees are NON-REFUNDABLE, and you cannot transfer your bib to someone else 
* You can defer your registration for 1 calendar year.  
* The course is open for 3 hours 

Online Reviews and Reports on this race: 
* The race was is not closed to the public.
* A photographer and pics available for download for free 
* Expect a somewhat disorganized packet pickup
* They start runners off at different waves because the path is narrow. says the 'flat course will yield you fast times"


Build Your Best Body- entry 10

I took my Franken-sneakers out for my first run, a total of 4 hard non-stop miles and it did great. I even PR'ed for the mile and the 5k for this year.........I need to strengthen a few stitches on the sides, but otherwise, the sneakers worked out beautifully. 

A PR smile!!......I guess it helped that I ran a flat-ish course and did not have any street crossing to stop at or a dog to drag around. 

I made juice of course.....slowly running out of supplies. We have not driven anywhere since Friday due to the storm....maybe tomorrow I will get the nerve and drive to the veggie store 3 miles away.....but for now we have enough left for maybe one day's worth of juice. I make about 50 ounces of veggie/fruit juice daily and my hubby and I share it evenly. If I don't make it he will pick up the ask. 
Making curry chicken dinner with steamed rice, I can smell it simmering as I type.... Dinnertime in 15 minutes. 

Oh, and of wine to celebrate my PR......LOL. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Capon Valley 50K Run- everything there is to know.....

Official site is: 
Cost: $75-80
Location: Yellow Spring, WV
Date: May 7, 2016

Basic Event details and schedule

* The course is hilly, and very runnable. 4500′ elevation gain, 4400′ loss, according to another blogger.
* There are a number of stream crossings, and just a few rocky areas.
* Runner completion time limit is 8 1/2 hours. This is a great run for first time marathoners.
Friday, May 06, 2016
7-9pm Packets will be available for pickup
Saturday, May 07, 2016
7:00am Ruritan Park, River Road, Yellow Spring WV Run Starts
6:30am Run Briefing
5:30am Breakfast will be available for purchase & packets for pick up

Online Reviews and Blogs where this info came from: 
* Great pictures of the race: HERE  
What more do we know: 
* You can sleep in the back of your car, sleep in a camper, tents and air mattress or a hotel. Bring a propane grill to cook up some dinner 
* "A fairly low key and low fee event, it draws about 200 runners to run through some rugged trail systems and on some gravel and fire roads that weave up and down the Capon Valley"
* "This ultra is different then the other ultras I have run on the account that this ultra is directed and volunteered by a locals that are not ultra runners."
"this race has approximately 30 stream crossings"
"We stayed at the Courtyard so that the kids could enjoy the pool that evening and the next day.  We went to my favorite restaurant; Carrabba's Italian Grill."/"The only downside was the lack of modern bathroom facilities.  The only option were outhouse/privy-type potties.  "
* "This first section was a great mix of surfaces including backyards, creek crossings, trails and dirt roads covering shy of 4 miles before reaching the first aid station" and "Miles 4 through 10 were a roller coaster of terrain and emotions for me.  The hills were often and steep."
* You can stay at "Capon Springs and Farms (kinda like the Catskills in Dirty Dancing, check it out!) "
* "A very rural area without cell phone service or accurate GPS information"
* "Sleeping in a tent is actually my preferred pre-race rest... it's cheaper, you are close to the starting line, and it feels like an adventure. When all was said and done I probably clocked out for about 6 or 7 hours of decent sleep and woke up without an alarm around 6 AM"


The New Balance's MT1010 trail sneakers have been my sneakers for over 3 years now. They are seriously the best. Sadly, they discontinued my shoes and the new version has this weird addition on the toe that is too tough. I even went out and bought a new pair of the new generation ones and had to return them, the back of the sneaker was cutting into my heel and cut into my feet in one run. OUCH! I have run my 50K in these, I have run maybe about 4 out of my 6 marathons in these. 

           I know what you are thinking. "Shouldn't I get new sneakers after certain miles?". Yes and no. My running gait is fairly even and so all my sneakers wear out pretty evenly throughout the entire shoe. Also, having read tons on minimalist running books, magazines and blogs and being a proponent of it myself, I was aiming to make my evenly-wearing sneakers into a minimalist shoes...that is until it tore. Know that the New balance MT1010 is already a 4mm shoe, and becoming even lower and lower with time. My ankles, shins and legs have become used to having little to no support while running, thanks to my 'system' allowing me better traction on various surfaces thanks to the direct feedback on my feet with the ground. Therefore, I decided to repair my sneakers to give them extra life. This specific brand is famous for wearing and tearing at these specific spots (see pic above and below). The first pair this happened to I called the company and they sent me a new pair. I then bought two more pairs and now, it's no longer made/sold. There are a few pairs on Amazon for the less desired sizes such 5s, 6s and 11s.....but none in 8.5W. 

I decided to use a stretchy tech material, dental floss, thimble and thick needle with a hole big enough to thread the floss thorough. 

Okay, so I am not the best seamstress in the world but these shoes are like new. I saved $88 by returning my new sneakers that cut into my feet and will see how much more these pairs have in them. 

I know these look hilarious....but, I could not be happier.....I don't have to deal with pebbles getting into my shoes and I will continue to strengthen my legs, feet and ankles to less and less support....Call me crazy, but I can't wait to go running in my new-used sneakers. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Today I ran 4 miles and walked an additional 2.6 miles. 

Here are kids sledding in my neighborhood. In walking a few blocks this morning to go peel my son from this fun, fun place made me realize I could run in this!! yes!! All I needed was my Yak Trax. Not one fall, not one slip while running in these. So far in two days I've logged 8 miles in these,  and I've had them for 3 winters now, so they hold up fine. Want to feel invincible? buy one of these and run in them. 
            After 4 miles of running in the snow I got back home pumped! My daughter had wanted to go walking to the supermarket (1.3 miles away). We geared up, grabbing reflectors and a flashlight and walked. This was the gorgeous sunset we saw on the way there. We walked back in the dark. I am a huge believe in reflective wear and flashlights now...I am pretty sure my life has been made tons safer by just wearing them. My daughter thought the reflective vest looked like I was wearing a bra over my jacket. "Safety over fashion", I told her.
It was getting dark....but after my 4 miles, Mamacita and I walked to the market and back, a total of 2.6 miles. She was a real trooper. 

Got back home and made the family some Seared Lemon Shrimp. 

We had to make a triple batch of Amy's Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies, they go pretty fast. Here is the online link to the blog that has the recipe. Granted mine have a "rough" look to them, probably because I had to substitute some items seeing as I could not go out and get them in the storm. But the cookies are delicious. Thank you Amy's Heathy Baking Blog at 

Looks like the snowcation will continue.....

Friday, January 22, 2016

Build Your Best Body- entry 9

We are ready for the 'storm of the century'. Yes, That is guava you see....I have some great news...I'm 5.8 lbs down since I started my 'primarily plant-based eating plan. 

Went to Target and this was the bread aisle. I then went to Safeway supermarket and just had to laugh at their inflated fruit prices....Thank goodness for the new Korean supermarket in my town. I can buy $50 worth of veggies and fruits for only about $30. 

I ran 4.10 miles in the blizzard....proud to say I was the only runner out there. The fast growing snow did a number on my butt muscles...I had to literally kick forward with each new step to clear the snow before me for the last 2 miles. 

Thank you Yak Trax. Not one slip, not one fall....

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Build Your Best Body - entry 8

A big storm is approaching and we have school off again tomorrow....went to buy some essentials...LOL. No seriously.... as health conscious as I want to be, we all need some wine every once in a while.

          Nora told me she was not feeling too hot and was coughing a bit. She surprised me by asking me for a juice. So you see! she has been listening to me blab on about the benefits of juicing....She told me she did not want all the normal things I usually put in mine, instead, she wanted a simple carrot-apple juice. That's it....carrots and apples.

Here is her juice, it's probably about 14 ounces...she drank it all up after dinner.
Now time to make my juice for the night!!

Build Your Best Body -Entry 7

Ready for juicing this morning.....I see bock choi, ginger, apple, lemon, carrots.... 

I missed a few days of posting so from now on I am calling each post an "entry" and not list them as if they are consecutive days. 

Best thing that happened today was that  ran for 5 miles on a new route while Nora was at her gymnastics class. I was perfectly bundled for the run and it felt great. I even had a PR on the fastest mile for this year, or so my Garmin tells me.

This is how I pack mangoes to take to work with matter what it's not a pretty sight to see me eat a mango. 

Packing my lunch and snacks for work and after-school saves me from buying any emergency outside food.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Build Your Best Body- day 6

Did five non-stop running miles in the pouring rain last night with my dog, back home at 11:30pm completely drenched and feeling amazing. This one run was so painless, it got me thinking. Perhaps all the fruit and veggie juices from the past week have been helping my joints, or maybe the 4.5 lbs I have lost from my "primarily plant-based" eating has helped me feel less tired, OR......maybe, just maybe it's Zumba. I've always been dead set against cross-training, yet, I have the sneaky suspicion that doing Zumba once a week has helped my other less-used muscles give me more overall stability and strength. 

Today I took Nora to the Alexandria Animal shelter, about 15 minutes from my house. No, we are not looking for any new pets right now. We already have four pets, a parrot, 2 cats and a dog. But Nora loves to pet animals and so we go often, as often as we can I should say. Here is one of the fur babies we met. His name is Diego and he is a chihuahua/pom mix and he was just the sweetest. Loving animals is one reason I am doing this 'primarily-plant-based eating plan, so I only thought it appropriate to share one of the animals.

Tonight's juice has a handful of kale, another handful of dandelion, 10-13 carrots, 1 ginger chunk , 1 small beet, 2 apples, 1 lemon and 1 small bok choi bundle.

Here is little momma, again, helping me make my juice.

I bought myself new sneakers! Here is a very crappy quality picture of what they look like. 44mm toe to hell drop (like the one I run in) and just amazing.....Can't wait to run in it tomorrow.

The day has been dark, broody and blah....great weather for reading in bed!! yes!!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Build your best body- day 5

     I was lucky enough to have a special helper tonight. She is even helping me type this post. My sweet little momma, age 8, asked to help me cook today!!! We cut-up veggies to make several salads to last a few days. The salads had a nice mix of sliced carrots, a handful of sprouts, diced tomatoes, shredded kale, canned black beans, and spinach leaves. Nora helped rinse and separate the beans into the 3 salads. 
Now....let's just hope daddy does not go in there and eat all of our salads. 

           Here she is....learning how to use the juicer. She was being super careful. First we juiced the greens on HIGH and then all other veggies on the LOW(er) setting. Today's juice had a whole lemon, a piece of ginger, two apples (one red and one green), tons of medium carrots, a handful of kale, some dandelion, and a medium beet. Below are the veggies prior to juicing. 

Hey!! she even got to drink her own glass. She says, "It's sweet!".