My 50 miler training

While many club members will be sweating on the Springburst 8K hills of Greenbelt Park on April 10, I’ll be running my first 50 miler, the Bull Run Run.  

It’s been in some ways a long process to get to the point where I could complete a 50 miler, but also a quick ramp up.  The background- I never would have considered running 50 miles when I first started running in the mid 1990s, and didn’t even know such races existed.  Before I became a runner, some of my backpacking friends were talking about running a marathon, and that their training program started them at 3 miles.  So, I thought to myself, I wonder if I can run 3 miles?  I went to the track and didn’t even make it one lap.  But I did start running after that, not marathons, but a few miles here and there and a few 5Ks and 10Ks.  But no more thoughts about marathons until 2001, when I ran MCM, spurred on by a friend who had it on her bucket list (she finished the marathon with little training but to my knowledge has never run a step again).  It wasn’t until I joined a PGRC in 2003, though, that I became a regular runner, not high mileage, but I began running a few times a week year-round.  Now I’ve run 10+ marathons and 50Ks.  My first 50K was last May and I enjoyed it much more than any of my road marathons and so I started checking out other trail ultra races. 

The quick ramp up part of the story is that I didn’t decide to run the 50 miler until January and was partly hoping I wouldn’t get selected in the lottery for the race.  I was doing long runs already since I was training for the National Marathon, coaching with our PGRC winter training group, which gave me the added motivation I needed to train in the cold, wind, and snow.  The fear of the 50 miler also inspired me to add some new dimensions to my training.  

Here’s what I’ve been doing to train.  I upped my mileage from about 20 miles week to about 35-40 miles per week, and over 50 miles in my highest mileage week.  Not very high mileage by many standards, and certainly less than fellow Bull Run ultrarunner, Dave F.  To increase the length of long runs, I added a few miles before or after the marathon training program long runs and sometimes ran 10 miles the day before or the day after the long run.  I also included regular speedwork – mostly short and fast repeats of 30 seconds– 2 minutes.  Tempo runs would have been a good addition but I find them really tough to do on my own, although I did raced a few 5-10 milers at a hard level of effort.  Those of you who run with me on Thursdays know I also did some uphill and downhill training.  Since the course is a hilly trail race, I knew I needed to toughen up my legs for the downhills, so in addition to running, I trained with weights 2-3 times per week, general strength building as well as squats, leg press, and hamstring curls.  And a new thing I added was treadmill training –I hate running on the treadmill and will run outside in cold, hot, rain, and snow before running on the dreadmill—but I found it worked really well for practicing walking at a fast pace at an incline.  

I ran 2 marathons in March, an easy-paced trail marathon and a fast-paced road marathon.  My confidence was boosted by running the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon and feeling pretty good throughout, but still running another 20+ miles after the marathon was hard to fathom.  After a good hard effort at National, in which I felt very depleted right after the race, but was able to run 9 miles the next day (thanks Gary and Dave for running with me), I felt a little more confident.  This was the first time my muscles weren’t very sore after a marathon; after every other marathon I was walking funny the next day and had to take elevators because stairs were just too painful.  Now I feel like I might actually be able to finish 50 miles in the time allotted for the race (13 hours). I’ll let you know how it goes.

Wish me luck!


PGRC feedback? Post here

Hi everyone,

Please feel free to offer your suggestions here on ways we can improve the club. I request that a) you keep it civil and b) remember that we are all runners and, I would hope, friends (or soon-to-be friends). Please play nice.

Thanks, in advance, for your thoughts.

Register now for Springburst 8k — hurry for discount!

Help us make this the best Springburst yet! We’re trying to beat our attendance record and we’re about halfway there so far…

Register through Saturday to receive a discounted price for our annual rite of spring — and second race in the RRCA Grand Prix Race Series! (You can earn some really cool swag from the Maryland RRCA if you participate in the series. Tip: Stick with it and you are likely to win something — lots of people quit!)

Sign up for Springburst here:

Want to VOLUNTEER at Springburst? E-mail and please include your shirt size. (And if you already volunteered, please e-mail us your preferred shirt size if you haven’t told us yet!)


A group of PGRC members traveled to Virginia Beach for a beautiful weekend of fun, sun, and an awesome run! PGRC times are listed below. A complete list of results can be found at: My apologies if I’ve missed anyone. Let me know and I will be sure to add you. Congratulations to all of the Shamrock finishers!

Marathon Finisher

1549 JULIA SNYDER 4:20:11


Half-Marathon Finishers

9836 KENTRINA (Lanette) ANDERSON 2:03:25

10912 CORRIE PETTIGREW 2:28:04

10911 WANDA SIMS 2:31:48

10861 CASSANDRA LOGAN 2:33:08

11062 MELISSA GARRISON 2:37:47

11011 KIANNA BANKS 2:40:30

11275 TRACI SAVOY 2:44:47

11615 BYRON JOHNSON 2:44:47

11554 OMONIYI (Omni) ADEKANMBI 2:44:52

11167 KIM OSSI VAN BRECHT 2:50:24

11018 TRACEY HAM 2:58:29

Cicada Crunch 5K May 22

5k Run  & Fun Walk

May 22, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.

Town Park

Cheverly, Maryland

The hills in Cheverly make this 5k run one of the most challenging in the area.  Runners from all over the region, and even out of state, come to take part in this rewarding run.

Our race this year is dedicated to Friends of Lower Beaverdam. Their activities support improvements to our local tributary into the Anacostia Watershed.


5k Run $25 (Prince George’s Running Club members receive $5 off run registration)

Fun Walk $20

Please register for the 5k run or Fun Walk online to help us with event planning.  Online registration will close May 20.

You can also register for the run or walk on the day of the event (May 22) starting at 8:00 a.m. in town hall. 

PGRC at National Marathon/Half Marathon

The PGRC volunteers at aid station 19 and course marshals were fantastic.  And the marathon training group members did great- some of them completing their first marathon (congrats Luline, Rasha, and Deirdre).   Congratulations also to the PGRC half marathon finishers.  PGRC times are listed below; complete results at – let me know if I missed anyone and I’ll add you to the results.

Marathon finishers

Gwen Parker 3:59:51

Cindy Cohen 4:06:07

Kirk Gordon 5:16:01

Deon Merene 5:35:57

Deirdre Francis 5:35:58

Rasha Khaffagi 5:43:49

Luline Almonacy 5:45:52

Half Marathon finishers

Elaine Bond 2:00:35

Megan Foran 2:00:45

Krystle Robinson 2:18:33

Sharlene Deskins 2:20:16

Sophia Trevant 2:22:27

Amanda Hartmann 2:25:41

Clare Imholtz 2:41:18

Sign up now for the Running Start Women’s Program

Registration for the Running Start Women’s Program is now open on Sign up and let your friends know, too. Program registration is limited to 75 women*!

*Not a woman and want to participate in Running Start? A co-ed program will run June 26-August 28! And if you’re up for a 10K, that program will run May 8-July 31. Details to come soon on!

Handicap 3/6/2010 race results

Handicap Race, 3/6/2010

Note—This is the order of finish and net times for each runner. 

In order to get actual times, you need to add in your handicap time based on your age and gender.

The handicap chart can be found at

1 McCullough, Kent                 Seabrook, MD 53                    17:31.32

2 Holtz, Tim                             College Park, MD 55               18:22.54

3 Fisher, Laurie                        University Park, MD 58            19:34.55

4 Gordon, Kirk                        Mitchellville, MD 54                 20:08.08

5 Vause, Dave                          Bowie, MD 54                         20:12.09

6 Carson, Jason                        Mitchellville, MD 25                 20:13.23

7 Larsen, Christopher               College Park, MD 44               22:29.23

8 Anderson, Lanette                 Unknown, NA 41                     23:33.82

9 Paradee, Gary                       College Park, MD 25               23:35.39

10 Fromel, Virginia                   New Carrollton, MD 58           24:07.48

11 Vause, Denise                     Bowie, MD 51                         24:50.48

12 Gordon, Sharyn                   Mitchellville, MD 51                 27:17.73

13 Clark, Patricia                     Mitchellville, MD 39                 27:51.48

14 Broderick, Joe                     Greenbelt, MD 72                    29:20.57

15 Proctor, Don                       Glen Burnie, MD 73                 30:54.27

16 Younes, Lucy                      University Park, MD 55            31:31.68

17 Lehr, Eugene                       College Park, MD 71               32:11.69

18 Lynk Smith, Lisa                  Bowie, MD 44                         39:02.94

19 Mackey, Stephanie              Kettering, MD 32                     43:02.20

20 Watson, Genea                    Bladensburg, MD 0                  51:07.78

21 Rose , Michelle                    Kettering, MD 33                     51:48.20

PGRC in the news

A reporter from the Prince Georges Sentinel braved a cold, snowy run with us a week after Snowmageddon.  We made her run to get the story, and she did a great job of running and interviewing!  Here’s the article.

New Google Maps function

Hi guys — this might be of interest to some of you. Google Maps has just added trail systems to their mapping abilities (listed as “biking” but we can easily share the trails). There are instructions and more info on the Google Blog:

Also, while you’re here, what are your favorite routes to run? I’d like to get a list of regularly run routes together with directions and distances — like the “Home Depot run,” which was about 10 miles — so we can post on the blog and You can respond below or e-mail me directly.


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