Category Archives: MCM

MCM 10K & LGF (Super Oats) GIVEAWAY

There has been quite a bit of running going on here lately. What do we runners do? Eat to run. Today we do a little bit of both.

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It felt a little odd to be out of the marathon loop throughout the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) weekend, but I know this was a great step back for me. The first time I had anything to do with MCM was in 2009; as I rode the Metro and pinned on my 10K bib, I felt simultaneously in awe of and daunted by the fact that most of the runners around me were about to run an additional twenty  miles. I mean, WHAT? What would that even feel like? How nervous were they? Did they think I had it easy? Because I sure did.

And this year, after two back-to-back MCM finishes, I know how both sides feel. When I was trained and ready, I wouldn’t have traded a single thing to finish all 26.2 miles on those days. When I signed up for Sunday’s 10K option, it would have taken a LOT of convincing to go beyond the 6.2 miles I had on deck.

Every MCM race (10K & 26.2’s) has been a PR for me.
Those are big shoes to fill.

When we lined up on the mall and “only” had to run by the Capitol, over THE bridge (oh.that.bridge), quickly through Crystal City & right on the highway to Iwo Jima, I felt grateful for this 6.2 mile way to still be a part of this race. Happy to be in this city, on this {perfectly sunny} day, with (so many of) these runners and marines. As always, nicely done, MCM.

MCM13_Washington monumentMCM13_Capital Sunrise

GOOD MORNING, DC. You’re a beauty.

MCM13_Startingline10K
MCM13_shoesMCM13_Running

Kate & I lined up with the expected “40-49:xx” finish group, which felt a little too close to the very front. The only other option was sub 39:59, so, go with it? We did. We got started with a 7:20 min/mile and kept it right there. I raced in my Mizuno Wave-Sayonaras for the first time; my calves are still on fire but during the run these gals felt great.

We stayed together the whole race, joined by a familiar pacer at mile 4.5 who initially ran with us, until he ran just a few steps ahead. Chase you? Well alright, FINE. The last two miles were our fastest, with or without energy to thank him for it. “RUN UP THAT HILL!” Aye aye, Captain!

MCM13_Finishtime

In true MCM fashion, I have a new PR for the books (4-for-4!).

Marine Corps Marathon 10K – 2013
45:32 – avg. 7:19 min/mile

Overall: 191  of   7,605
AG (25-29F): 18  of   905
Division (F): 44  of   4,761

MCM13_10K finishers
MCM13_10K group1

Next year’s race is a lottery; I’ll be throwing all of my cards in for that one.

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Until then, it’s time to FUEL UP! With LOVE? Yes, of course.

My favorite foodie friends at LOVE GROWN FOODS are hosting a giveaway while announcing their newest LOVE fuel: Super Oats! These are a dream.

What makes the oats SUPER? They contain gluten-free oats, chia seeds, quinoa and amaranth. If you want to up the ante, go with the Nuts & Seeds option.

What makes the Love Grown Foods team Super?
As usual, they’re sharing the love with YOU, too:

SuperOatsGiveaway_dietitianontherun

FINE PRINT: Must live in the United States to participate.

Hot Oats and Super Oats are available in The Fresh Market, Kroger, City Market, King Soopers, QFC, Fred Meyer, Dillons, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts, and select regions of Whole Foods.

ENTER TO WIN: 2 bags of SUPER OATS (one of each flavor), 1 bag of Oat Clusters granola (flavor of your choice), and 4 Hot Oats Cups (1 of each flavor)!

…Follow the LOVE  @LoveGrownFoods on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter!

BONUS OPS:  #fueledbyLOVE | #SuperOats | #HotOats | #OatClusters | #LoveGrownFoods | #LOVEgiveaway

HOW: leave a comment with your LOVE flavor-of-choice, and/or a goal you’re working on this fall (running or otherwise)! (Open until Thursday 10/31.)

Winner will be announced FRIDAY, November 1.

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Congrats to all of the MCM 2013 finishers! You make it one of my favorite days in DC, every year.

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Filed under DC, food, Giveaway, MCM, race report, Races, running, things that make me Happy

Marine Corps Marathon: Run DC for Boston!

Well folks, it wasn’t raining on Sunday morning and the hurricane held off for us! We ended up with ideal running weather for most of the race (60* and overcast), completely lucked out. I wouldn’t change a thing about this day…

I set a lofty goal for this race, but wasn’t willing to let it go. If you want to take the island, burn the boats. I know all too well from coaching and personal experience that as soon as you give yourself an out, you’re 1) deciding that not even you believe your goal is possible and 2) setting yourself up to let it go.

Burn the boat – go for 3:30! If you don’t try, you’ll never really know.

MCM outfit   bib longMCM morning readyMCM gear   sign 2

It started with a 5 a.m. wake-up call, to make it on the Metro by 6. It takes at least 10-15 minutes just to get out of the station once you arrive at the Pentagon! Then you’re looking at a long walk to the bathrooms, bag-check and eventually the race start. Consider this your warm-up!

Lines weren’t too bad, and I arrived to my corral with about 15 minutes to spare. I found those Pacer balloons right away and headed over to join in the fun, taking everything in and the throw-away jacket off.

THE PLAN: Run with the 3:35 group for the first few miles (exactly how long? TBD). Break off to eventually settle into an 8 min/mile pace.

MCM banner _ Congrats Runners

Miles 1_3 elevation Miles 1-3: Our pacer warned of the initial uphill battle – we would take it relatively easy and then use the downhill to balance it out. Given the crowded start, you don’t have much of a choice! It takes a lot of weaving, watching the ground to avoid potholes and making sure these miles don’t spend too much energy.

My first clue that this race & I were on the same BQ-or-BUST page: it was easy to keep up – vs. last year when staying with the 3:35 group was requiring way too much initial effort. Early win!

I stayed right with the crew– those hills lending a helping-hand – and focused on effort. Keep it easy, keep it easy, keep it easy.

5K – 25:06 – 8:05 min/mile – Perfect.

Miles 4-6.2: Passing over the Key Bridge brought me to the first D sighting of the day – hello! He had his bright neon-green sign (recycled from last year, thanks to its effectiveness & familiarity) and a big smile. I loved it; he knew I was cruising nice & easy. I had passed the 3:35 group, and was one mile out from worrying how far behind me they were.

10K – 49:18 – 7:56 min/mile – Building a cushion.

As my feet stomped on the 10K mat, I knew updates were being sent and everything felt right. “Here I come, Boston…”

Miles 6_9 elevationMiles 6.2-9: Heading up Canal Road brings us to the first deserted stretch. Spectators are few and far between (understandably) and there’s a steep hill up ahead. I charged up conservatively – this won’t be last hill to tackle!

My coworker Jared was waiting right in the middle with his girlfriend – more familiar faces and a Hey-I-know-you! grin…

Mile 7 JBR tweet

The passing high-five was so hard it left my hand tingling – there was a lot of oomph behind that cheer! Keep powering up, up, up… Coming back down into Georgetown greeted me with D sighting #2.

Feeling good? Yep! Need anything? Nope!

For every mile there was a feeling of gratitude that I was here again, doing this race again, testing my limits again. There was a flashback of right here, last year, I felt ___, and a mental check-in with the here and now.

Mile 9 was crucial last year; I realized I was running a sub-3:35 in a 3:40-goal. I wondered what would happen.

your body hears everything your mind says

This year? I was running my sub-3:35 goal, landing every step with intention. My pace felt easy (for now), but I knew what every mile ahead looked like. Stay positive; focus on this mile and this effort. Save your energy and take all of this in…

15K – 1:14:05 – 7:56 min/mile – Spot ON.

Miles 10-12: The crowd is thick, loud and amazing! We’re essentially running through a tunnel. (Side-note: apparently Bart Yasso was at this spot, mixed in the crowd! Awesome.) We pass behind my favorite memorial, Lincoln (hey friend!) and right onto Ohio Drive. Running on a flat stretch along the water I saw D again, taking a few sips of water from his bottle (spoiled, yes). He warned me that the wind was picking up, and to draft or run with a group if I could*.

I saw a sign** that would push me around Hains Point and onto the mall:

Today is not that day

Photo source.

**Another sign we saw a few times: Paul Ryan would have Finished by now!Clever.

Miles 12-15: Distractions welcomed! Running around Hains Pt. will never be “fun”, but it’s flat and it gets 3-4 miles out of the way. There were a few cheer groups, a band or two and a lot of signs put into the ground every ~20 yards (by the Pacers group, I think?).

As soon as we made the turn around the top of the peninsula (now on the North side), it hit. *There’s the wind – hello! I held onto my hat for a few strides, overhearing someone say this would give us a tail-wind over the bridge. If that’s true, enduring it now is totally worth it. If not, thanks for the hopeful distraction!

20K – 1:39:17 – 7:59 min/mile – Sticking with it.

HALF – 1:44:45 – 7:59 min/mile

Hello again, D! He was parked at miles 15 & 17, right near the same corner. Yep, feeling good!

MCM running 2 Keep going no matter what

Miles 16-19: After a quick out-and-back on Independence Ave, we’re finally on the National Mall. It’s gorgeous, mostly flat and still packed with the best spectators. The wind is seemingly blocked as we loop around the front of the Capitol and I see D one last time before the bridge.

30K – 2:30:20 – 8:03 min/mile – Beat. The. Bridge.

My mind flashes back to painful running memories – if I do anything on this day, I will BEAT THE BRIDGE. Here we go…

MCM sign I will

Miles 20-22: Remember the ups and downs – remember how long this stretch feels…

A lot of people stop to walk here – last year that was my weakness, as it seemed so much better than running. This year it was my strength – keep running, you’re fine!

I saw D twice (one lane of the bridge is open = perfect for cycling spectators!) and he reminded me that everything was on pace. He said my Mom had been tracking & texting, and she was excited! I so happily took water & motivation from him.

When I made it to mile 22, and didn’t need to use the Water stop as incentive to get to the end / take a walk break? Huge win! Things were undoubtedly starting to hurt, but all systems were still going.

35K – 2:55:52 – 8:05 min/mile

MCM lululemon cheer stationMCM lululemon sign Kim Kardashian

Miles 22-23: Hola Crystal City, I’m back!

The best part of this stretch was knowing that the lululemon cheer station was here and ready to dance with us (and/or hop in to run a few yards)! It was a huge boost to see them – Hi Katie + pup! – and listen to their pumped-up voices.

Thank you, team lulu!

MCM running 1
Photo courtesy of fellow Run-Ambassador, Melani.

The bad part about this stretch was the new route – we had a few extra inclines and ramps thrown in, vs. the old out-and-back. On any other run, those elevation changes wouldn’t have made an impression. When you’re racing, and 23 miles in? They hurt.

I took my only water stop around mile 23, walking for a quick 20 seconds and thinking nothing has ever tasted better.

Miles 24-26: I reminded myself over and over and over that I was BQ-ing today. (I may or may not have repeated it in my head to the tune of “We will, we will Rock You!” by Queen.) This was it! We powered through gusts of wind – holding onto my hat again – and the extreme fatigue that sets in at this point. I knew my pace was slowing, but not enough to throw me off.

40K – 3:22:29 – 8:08 – Bring it home…

Somewhere in that last mile I saw Ivan & Elizabeth – it shocked and surprised me in the very best way (also saw them back at 17), and this picture tells me everything.

Did every muscle and joint hurt? YEP. Was I about to BQ? No doubt…

MCM running - ivan

26 – 26.2: My time was getting too close; I put absolutely everything I had left into that last stretch. My feet were killing me, my hips were screaming and my stomach was giving the unmistakable puke-threshold signal.

Ignore it all. Get to Boston – Get to Boston – GET TO BOSTON. The last 3 hours of 8 min/miles brought you to this. Don’t let it go!

MCM Finishing Clock Time

MCM finishers shootMCM logo   medal
MCM time   believe instagram
MCM post-race w D

Marine Corps Marathon – October 28, 2012

3:34:04 – 8:10 min/mile avg

Overall: 1416 / 23515
Gender: 230 / 9995
Age Group: 75 / 1865


I know that 3:30 is in there for me, I just didn’t quite get it this time. That’s my sign that the marathon won’t be shelved; I want to go after it again*.

I’m thrilled with the way I paced myself, held onto energy for the end and pushed through the seemingly unavoidable fatigue that comes from pounding the pavement for 26.2 miles. I can’t imagine anything I would have done differently during the race, and that’s all I wanted to run away with.

Here’s lookin’ at Boston, 2014! Mission accomplished.

*After Boston, which c’mon, we all know that one is just for fun & hills!

Thanks, again, for your endless support! It’s invaluable to have a community behind you with each goal tackled and accomplished, and I hope these pages continue to prove that.

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Filed under DC, Goals, learning, MCM, motivation, race report, Races, running, things that make me Happy

Here’s lookin’ at Boston…

…April, 2014!

Who knows if I’ll actually get in, but all that matters right now is that I know I ran this:

MCM shoes medal watch 6

It wasn’t the perfect day, or the time I initially had my sights on. But… it’s mine, and it was ultimately an outcome I wanted (get. to. Boston!). More to come soon, once my toes calm down and my hips aren’t screaming. Like, whoa.

Thank you for the congrats – for following along and supporting every mile. This community kicks ass!

MCM morning readyMCM outfit   bib long

MCM running 1
MCM post-race w D

Marine Corps Marathon – 3:34:04 – 2012

‘Til the recap…

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Filed under DC, marathon, MCM, race report, running, weekends

MCM Week: Race Prep, Gear & OMG

We’re down to four days, one easy run, one race expo plus a lot of meals, sleeping hours and obsessive-weather-checks to go! It is most definitely goal-race-week, as my stomach instantly feels butterflies at the mere mention of the marathon. I know that’s a good sign; I’m ready, but humble. I’ve done this before, but that doesn’t make it easy.

The Marine Corps Marathon {Official} Facebook page is keeping us posted with updates, motivational thoughts and the signs we’ll see as each mile ticks by…

MCMMCM Mile markers

Physical Prep: I was shocked pleasantly surprised by how well last year’s race went, so I thought why not look back and see what that race-week prep looked like (how is it that we can forget these things we’ve done so.many.times??):  3.1 miles, Yoga, 5 miles, Rest, 5 miles, Rest, RACE.

So far this week: 6 miles, 4 miles (with the lululemon Run Club), Rest…Yoga (Thursday), 5 miles (Friday), Rest, RACE.

Not quite the same, but not radically different. Stick with what works! Done.

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Gear Prep: The weather looks like…well…um, can we not go there yet? I have a few different options in mind. I have the literal marathon crops from lululemon, I have orange gear to match their Mile 23 Cheer Club and I have the rain gear that I’m not yet fully accepting that I’ll have to wear (which means it won’t rain – RIGHT?).

Run A marathon crops lululemonIMG_3331

purple-nike-pegasus-shoes

Either way, I know the staples that will be with me rain or shine: Nike Pegasus 28s, my Camelbak, a luluemon 50-Rep sports bra and comfy socks (plus an extra pair on D just in case. See: rain).

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O.M.G.: There’s a tropical storm coming. I don’t know if it will make it all the way up to DC, but the words tropical STORM are being repeated over and over by these crazy weather people! That’s all.

To distract myself, D & I are watching a lot of Hulu,  I’m spending time with friends (see: walk-date, yoga-date, Friday happy-hour date…) and I’m reading a lot of posts from last Fall that tell me why I’m doing this. There were quite a few points along this training cycle that led me to question whether or not the right motivation was behind this; rereading my own words has always been the most solid reminder that I’m in the right place.

I remembered the original goal I set, and the gusto behind the words I wrote. I remembered a lesson learned from Kate, and was reminded of a manifesto that never fails – DO IT NOW.

MCM postrace bundleMCM 2011 PR

The original goal this time around – 3:30.

The gusto:

That leaves a lot of work to be done between now and October 28, 2012….

Challenge, accepted!

Dear Challenge, I hope you’re ready for me & these legs.

We’re ready for you!

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Filed under DC, distractions, Goals, Lululemon, marathon, MCM, motivation, Races, running, running gear

Choosing 20 Miles over Zero

After a 20-miler-gone-wrong last Saturday, my decision making attitude thought it was all figured out. It’s just not there, whatever “it” is.  Or so I thought. So I was ready to admit, and accept, and move on with. No Marine Corps Marathon this year? Fine. Great. No big deal!

Who does that affect? No one but me.

That decision was all good during the post-run endorphin-less fatigue. I wanted to be done at 10 and I called it a day at 15. Choosing not to extend that in-the-moment exhaustion to 26.2 miles? Awesome. Relief!

The problem(s)? Well, those turned out to be way too easy to pinpoint. Sunday-Heather was much more rational, logical and reasonable than Get-this-run-over with-NOW-Saturday Heather. Hmm.

Choose to be sore

With a little more pep in my step, a little more sleep in the bank and a lot more reason in my brain, I realized that I’d never be okay with just not running. This training cycle has been an interesting one; I’ll save you the mental ups & downs (yep – these legs, muscles and feet are 100% okay). Either way, I always come back to knowing that not only do I want to do this, but also that I can.

I can choose to behave like I’m training for a marathon. I can choose to prep for each long run. I can choose how the day will go – for better or worse – and I can choose to run 20 miles, instead of none.

Today, before getting some work done in the morning, hopping on a conference call and then jetting out of DC and into New Mexico (hello, 5 hours of flight time!), I chose to give 20 miles another chance. 

It meant a 4:30 am wake up call (9:00 pm bedtime – fine by me!), some creative looping to rope in run-buddy Stacy for 5 miles on the Mall (hi, Sunrise Lincoln!), and some music to keep distractions and attention-to-exhaustion at bay.

sunrise reflecting pool

Aside from this being one of the hilliest routes I’ve created to date (which is sayin’ something, when you live in Northwest DC…), all went according to plan! I kept my pace nice n’ easy, chatted it up with Stacy and soaked in the sunrise to let those middle miles fly by and then looked up Wisconsin Avenue. I really don’t have a clue what my logic was thinking there, and holy whoa that was exhausting, but I made it.

9.27 20miler elevation
We call this one “illogical”.

I chose to keep this MCM thing going, pass my own test and let the miles get their checked box! Happiness, all around.

Sweaty run gear

Yet another 80* day = sweatastic run-gear, well used and abused.

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What are you choosing to do this week/end? What’s holding you back, or pushing you forward?

7 weeks down and 5 to go – I’m lookin’ at you, MCM!

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Filed under marathon, MCM, running, running hills, training