Sunday trail run report

Just a quick note to say thanks to all who joined in on Sunday’s long run, and especially to Dave F for organizing the grand adventure.   Despite the rain, nine stalwarts showed up at 7am for the run.  Four of us ran the entire ~18 mile route including 2 laps of Perimeter Trail, five others joined in for part of the run.  Stay tuned for more adventures with Dave F– coming soon is a long run adventure on paved and unpaved trails of the NW branch/NE branch/and Sligo trails.

Tuesday 9/29 track workout

This week’s suggested track workout (PGCC track 7pm): 

6-10 x 400 at 5K pace, with 200 m jogging recovery.

PGRC at College Park Cares 5K

Youth triumphed over experience in the College Park Cares 5K team competition, as team PGRC (average time 24:39) placed last of 3 teams, outpaced by the very speedy Terp Runners (average time 17:53) and Derwood Youth (average time 22:36).   Nevertheless, PGRCers fared well in the age-group competition with Elliott Hamilton and Chris Larsen placing 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 40-49M category, Cindy Cohen placing 1st in the 40-49F category, Kent McCullough placing 1st in the 50-59M category, Clare Imholtz placing 1st in the 60-69F category, and Jim Keat placing 1st in the 70+M category. 

PGRC results:  (full results at

Place Div/Tot  Num  Name                           S  Age  Zip         Gun T  
17     1/5    155  KENT MCCULLOUGH                M   52     20703    00:19:45
32     3/14   122  ELLIOTT HAMILTON               M   49     20782    00:21:38
37     4/14   989  CHRISTOPHER LARSEN             M   44     20740    00:22:36
50     5/17   158  CINDY COHEN                    F   41     20768    00:24:09
111   22/25   142  LINUS HAMILTON                 M   15     20782    00:28:49
112   13/14   159  ROBERT GRUMBINE                M   49     20768    00:28:52

129    1/3    156  CLARE IMHOLTZ                  F   62     20705    00:31:11

165    4/4    157  RODNEY GREEN                   M   60     20781    00:35:42

179    1/1    212  JIM KEAT                       M   77     20783    00:39:46

This week’s workouts

We hope you will join us for any of this week’s workouts (see full list at  Non-members are welcome at any of the weekly workouts– so come on out!  Add a comment to let others know which workouts you are attending and desired mileage and pace.

Tuesday track workout (7pm PGCC track)– Suggested workout is 800m repeats (yes again!).   Those in marathon training might try Yasso 800’s for one gauge of how your training is progressing.

Thursday hill workout (6pm Wells Ice Arena/College Park)– Jog with us over to Greenbelt National Park back entrance for a challenging and fun workout.  This is a good strength builder for beginners and experienced runners alike.

Tuesday/Thursday early mornings (Bowie 5:30 am)– Join the early birds of Bowie and get your morning started right.

Saturday run (8am Greenbelt Park)– An hour long run on road or trails through beautiful Greenbelt Park.  Bug spray advised if you are running trails.

Sunday long run (7am, Atlanta Bread Co.)– It’s called the “long” run but in fact some people run 5 miles, others 10 miles, and some more.  This week Dave F is leading a group for an 18 mile run including 10+ miles on dirt trails to prepare for the Potomac Heritage 50K.   With Dave’s entertaining stories, the miles will just fly by!  There will be shorter distance options as well.

Tuesday Sept 15- track workout

Starting this week, we will be meeting at the Prince Georges Community College Track, in Largo, MD, at 7pm.  Here’s the suggested workout:   4-6 x 800m at 5K pace with 400m jogging recovery.  Remember to warmup/cooldown by jogging slowly for at least a mile.   

I’d like to suggest that if you are coming to the track, please let others know (and perhaps state your 5K pace or intended workout) by adding a comment to this post.  Of course, you can just show up too.

10-miler training poll

If you were to train for a 10-miler in the first half of 2010, would you prefer to train for:
a) the RRCA Club Challenge (in Columbia; Feb. 28)
b) the GW Parkway Classic (in Alexandria; April 25)
c) neither, because THIS race is better: (please specify)


Painkillers and running…

…don’t mix!


NSAIDs Interfere with Proper Training

“Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), taken before or after exercise, interfere with the benefits of training for fitness and athletic competition because they delay healing of damaged muscles (British Journal of Sports Medicine, August 2009). You train for sports by taking a hard workout that damages muscles and makes them feel sore. You then take easy, less intense workouts for as long as it takes for the soreness to go away. Only then should you take intense workouts again. Swimmers take hard and easy workouts every day, but athletes in virtually all other sports allow at least 48 hours between intense workouts.

Biopsies done the day after a hard workout show bleeding into the muscle fibers and disruption of the Z-bands that hold muscle fibers together. Injured muscles release healing prostaglandins that cause collagen to be laid down in muscle fibers to make them larger and stronger. They also cause pain. NSAIDs block the training effect by blocking healing prostaglandins, thus delaying recovery and collagen production. They prevent bones, muscles, tendon and ligaments from thickening and becoming stronger.

Athletes taking NSAIDs during competition are at increased risk for bleeding into their kidneys, and for intestinal bacteria to enter their bloodstreams (Brain, Behavior and Immunity, November 2006). An estimated 60 percent of athletes competing in triathlons and other endurance events take NSAIDs because they think that it will block the pain of competition. NSAIDs have not been shown to block the pain and fatigue of competing in athletic events that require endurance.”

In the End, it’s Only the Beginning

It’s over.  And I’m not really sure how to feel about it.  I guess the proper emotion would be enthusiastically bummed.   I mean I’m very proud of myself for finishing the program.  Six months ago if you’d have told me I would be running let alone racing, I’d have told you to have your head examined.  So that in and of itself is huge for me. Although, on the one hand, I am looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday (for now),  there are things I’m going to miss.

When I came to Running Start, I had one goal and one goal only… fit into that dress.  The dress has been replaced with a  deeper desire to push my body far beyond what I perceive to be my limits, only to be able to raise the bar a little higher each time that goal is met.  Much more rewarding than the dress!   Okay, wait.  I’m lying. The truth is, I didn’t make weight to fit into that dress.  The diet portion of this program never quite caught on.  But I’m still working on it.  For now, let’s just go with the idea that the emotional and psychological benefits of running far outweigh the fabulousness of the dress, shall we?

But seriously, I really wanted to take my time and think about just what the Running Start program has meant to me, and so many others, over the past 4 months.  It’s really been transformational.  I believe we all started with a goal, a dream or a dress and in the end, I think we all found something much more.    I never imagined this program would become such a huge part of my life.

The running aside, I have met some really awesome people (Shout out to 3:1), who have been ultra supportive.  And I think that support and that genuine desire to see you succeed, has made all the difference.  I came to Runnng Start to lose a few pounds and in the end, I gained an entire family!

I still don’t love running.  I won’t say I’m quite there yet, BUT I am warming up to it more and more. I’m motivated by the challenge it presents to me every time I go for a run.  I’m motivated by many of my fellow beginner’s who despite age, injury and limitation continue to run with childlike exuberance and the simple belief that they can.  I’m  motivated by the idea that one day I’ll no longer be  “new to running” but a seasoned old head with stories to share.

I want to thank all of the folks who have been instrumental in setting me on the path to becoming a runner.  For without you, I might have ended up back on the couch a long time ago.

Special thanks to the fabulousness that is 3:1!! Have I told you just how much you rock? Thanks to Charles Outlaw and Arneda Terry for being the best pace coaches around.  Thanks to Deirdre, Joanne, Cass, Karen and all the other coaches who ran at a snails pace with me to make sure I finished.  Thanks for not leaving a sistah behind!

And thank you faithful blog readers for keeping me honest and forcing me to be introspective.  I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

And that’s it kids!   I look forward to seeing you all at  10k!

Happy Running!


P.S. That’s me on the right. ;o)

PGRC at Larry Noel 12K

A small but hardy contingent of PGRC runners showed up Saturday August 22 to run the Larry Noel 12k on the punishing back roads of the National Agricultural Research Center. Why? The Larry Noel fulfills one leg of the Maryland RRCA’s quadruped Grand Prix Series. Its very difficulty of course is another attraction in some perverse way. It’s a plain hardscrabble course. No bling!  On the plus side, DCRRC, which sponsors the race, made life a little easier this year by cutting the distance from 15k to 12k (just under 7.5 miles), and changing the starting time, which used to be 5 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, to a more humane 8 a.m. (But somehow they diabolically managed to retain every hill.) This year’s race occurred on a brutally humid morning after a night of heavy thunderstorms. Nonetheless, the shorter distance made this my most successful Larry Noel run ever, as well as guaranteeing a PR (1:24:03), as I’d never run a 12k before. I didn’t cramp up or throw up—a definite improvement over previous attempts—and I stayed fairly relaxed, dousing my competitive genes, and walking a bit here and there. Other women PGRCers adopted a similar strategy, including Chris Caravoulias (1:35) and walkers Lucy Younes and Laurie Fisher (1:48 for both).  On the men’s side, Dave Heintzelman finished in a nifty 59:57.

—Clare Imholtz

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