21 Responses

  1. Laurie, Krischelle, and I ran VHTRC’s Women’s Trail Half Marathon last Saturday. It was hot, humid, and hilly. I finished in reasonably good shape- other than the blisters on my heels- I felt pretty good. The Mountain Dew served along the course kept me going, especially since I didn’t get my morning coffee. It was quite a tough day for many of the women– asthma attacks, bee stings, nausea, and muscle cramping among the numerous ailments I witnessed. Since I was not in good racing shape for the distance and since it was so humid, I took it easy and did lots of walking, took my time at the aid stations, etc. Alas, I ran 46 minutes slower than I ran the same race 2 years ago. But I did get to enjoy the scenery more this time.


    See the race results at —

  2. So a couple of us actually did the Larry Noel 15k. Kirk, of course, was brilliant as always, taking 2nd in his age group (I think). Tailing back at the end was yours truly, who succeeded in beating the time limit of 2 hours for this tough course, along with Clair who took her age group and Chris C. who finished the race as well. I did see a couple of other PGRC singlets out there, but I can’t quite recall who else was out there. DCRRC did a nice job this year!

  3. VHTRC’s Women’s Trail Half Marathon was especially brutal for me. It was my first trail race and I cleverly forgot to bring my fuel belt with me. I was on the verge of dehydration, got one of those bee stings Cindy mentioned, and walked a lot of the way (not as voluntarily as Cindy). I took 15 minutes longer than I did at Riley’s Rumble last year, though this was vastly more pleasant than Riley’s thanks to all the shade and the beautiful woods – not that I don’t enjoy running past all those cows in MD. 🙂

  4. Ran the Somerset Classic 8k to benefit Somerset Elementary School in Chevy Chase, MD on Sunday the 21st! Not entirely sure why Somerset Elementary School needs benefiting (being an absolutely gorgeous new building and in Chevy Chase and all) but I certainly appreciated the run through the rolling hills of Friendship Heights and the support from the community along the way. I did my best to represent for PGRC amidst all of the Montgomery County-ers, and finished surprisingly well overall (17th woman, I think; about 600 people ran the race) but was sad to see that while all the other age groupings spanned a standard 4-5 years, I fell into the suspiciously broad 20-39 year-old-women category, and was thereby denied any chance of leaving with a gift certificate to “Cafe Deluxe” (a popular sponsor, apparently). Which is probably for the best, as I shouldn’t be doing any deluxe eating anyway between now and my 1/2 marathon in October. . .?

    So–in conclusion–a positive experience overall. . .but for a truly glorious benefit-the-local-elementary-school race, check out University Park’s Azaela Classic in the spring! (Live bands along the course. . .free smoothies at the finish. . .does it get any better than that?)

  5. We did it! (Hal and Me)

    First, thank you to everyone who allowed me to impose Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon training upon them the past several Thursdays at the track—I wouldn’t have been nearly as diligent without so many great training partners! ☺

    We had a glorious day for the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) ½ Marathon this past Sunday; despite rain on the day of the race the two previous years, the weather cooperated this time around (thank goodness) with 55 degrees and sunshine at the start. The course itself was HARD—13.1 miles of “rolling” hills reminiscent of the demon peaks and valleys of the Club Challenge 10-miler! The worst of it was the 2-mile climb into and through the Franklin Park Zoo (miles 6 & 7). But as averaged-paced people such as myself started up the hill to the Zoo, we got to cheer on the elite runners on their way out of the Zoo, and that provided some (small) distraction. The entire course winds through Boston’s “Emerald Necklace,” a series of parks and green spaces designed by Frederick Law Olmsted; had the race itself not already taken my breath away (literally) the scenery would have!

    Miles 11 and 12 were quite possibly the “longest” I’ve ever run. (By mile 13 you can actually see the finish, which is somewhat cruel, but the thought of actually finishing helps to reel you in.) I was pretty convinced I wasn’t going to make my goal time, but I was wrong—I did Hal proud. Having trained at 8:30 mile pace, I averaged 8:28 miles, with an overall time of 1:51:06 (a personal best by default, as it was my first ½ marathon). Here’s where that placed me:

    Overall Place: 1266 / 3706
    Place in Gender: 455 / 2051
    Place in 30-34 Age Division: 159 / 718

    It was quite a thrill to hear my name and hometown announced when I (finally) crossed the line; it was rather amusing as well. Though elite runners often come from relatively far away to compete in the Boston ½ Marathon (NYC, Kenya), most of the other runners are local/New Englanders. “University Park, Maryland” clearly threw the announcer for a loop. SO—next time we’ll have to field a team so that we can put PG County on the BAA’s radar!

    Between now and then, however, I plan to see what Hal has to say about training for the National Marathon. . .

    Monica ☺

  6. Now I know to be warned when a race conveniently fails to show an elevation map for the course.
    Ran (jogged slowly is more accurate…) the annual Oracle Run in Arizona on Oct 25. This was a 10k but elevation ranged from 4500-5000 feet and there was certainly no shortage of hills! All of this at 80+F….
    Anyway, was very happy to see the finish line at 64:27 and finished 114/187 overall 6/11 division.

  7. 2/16/2009 dawned bright and beautiful, if chilly, so I decided to go over to the Greenbelt Youth Center and do late registration for DCRRC’s Washington’s Birthday Marathon. I thought that since I had to run long that day, anyways, I’d might as well get a medal for it! There, Denise and I found a group of roughly 200 multiple-marathoners and ultra-runners. A dozen or so ’07 and ’08 Boston jackets were on display by their proud owners amongst the runners. The atmosphere was friendly and DCRRC seemed to do well with race administration for this non-chipped event.

    The course involved running from Greenbelt to Beaver Dam Road via Research Road at the back of the neighborhood. Reaching Beaver Dam, we did an approx 7-mile loop around the research station fields 3 times, returning to the starting point via Research Road. Returning this way required ascending roughly 200 feet over .5 to .75 mile distance at mile 24.5. I have to admit that I walked the last half of the incline.

    There were 10 or so water stations with water and Gatorade. They were well staffed and well-run.

    All-in-all, it was a chilly, challenging, run in a pretty, rural, secluded, setting. The race is can be a good training “long run”, though this is certainly not a route to do for a PR. That said, an older Asian gentleman ahead of me ran his first Boston qualifying time on that route and day.

    Same day registration was $40. You get a medal and a technical long sleeve logo’ed shirt. Registration is substantially cheaper for earlier registrants.

  8. Hey all. I ran the GW Parkway Classic 10-miler on Sunday, April 26th. To be honest, I didn’t think I was ready for it. Training was difficult due to a busy schedule and sketchy weather (I’m not yet to the point where I will run during inclimate weather). Add to that expected high temperatures and me not sleeping well the night before. But, I am happy to report that I finished the race in 1:53:56. I beat my Army 10-miler time by about 2.5 minutes. I couldn’t believe it! I think the main difference was I ran a Galloway most of the time (run 7 min, walk 30 sec). I was also helped by a friend who met me at mile 7.5 and ran me in. She kept me motivated and pushed me at the end.

    In the end, it was a very fun race and although it was warm, there was no humidity and most of the course was shaded. I will definitely run this race again. My next “big” race will be the Army 10-miler. My goal is to run it in 1:50. We shall see…


  9. Cass–Nice going at the 10-miler!


  10. Boomie, Deon and I ran the Parks Half Marathon on Sunday. They finished in around 2:30 and I finished in 2:40:06. I decided to do a 4:1 run:walk to ensure I’d make it through. I did well through most of the run but started to struggle around mile 11. This could be because I had never run more than 10 miles before. Then there were these two, evil, back-to-back hills around the 11 mile mark that I think were just unnecessary. LOL. I walked a lot more during miles 12 and 13. But, as usual, when I knew I was about a half mile away I went for it and finished strong. My goal was to finish before the little sweeper truck came and booted me off the course. I accomplished that! I think with more training, I could improve my time by 5 minutes or more.

    But that is where the good news ends. I wore a running skirt and the shorts underneath dug into my thighs and caused chafing. Both of my thighs are pretty raw. I’m hoping it heals soon. My legs are only slightly sore from the actual run. So my war story concludes with me having a severe chafing injury. :-/

  11. By the way, it was my first half. :o)

  12. Congratulations Cass! Oh, chafing is the worst– I never used to have issues with it, but now Body Glide is my best buddy.

  13. Thanks Cindy. It is starting to heal. It was ugly for a couple days.

  14. Completed my 2nd Army Ten Miler this morning. What a beautiful day for a race!! Cool temps, no humidity, lots of support, and more motivation than a girl could ask for! If any of you haven’t run it, I highly recommend it…seeing the wounded soldiers running and memorial t-shirts on the backs of runners certainly puts things in perspective and keeps you moving!

    Although the race is very crowded (I think over 20,000 actually ran it this year), it was very well run by the army (no shortages of water, gatorade, or “hoorahs”). I have to say that I have never felt better while running than I did this morning. It shows….I took a full ten minutes off my time from last year and managed a 10:53 pace (I was hoping for under 11:00, but didn’t think I could sustain it for the entire 10 miles). I also distinctly remember hating running the 14th street bridge last year, but found it quite easy this year…and that’s saying something as the bridge spans the last mile of the race. There’s nothing like passing the guys that are walking the hills! ha So, it seems that my training really paid off this year. Thanks to everyone for helping me with hill and speed work!

    Only one down side to the race…my right knee is really sore on the outside right. Feels like it did during the 1/2 marathon last spring only I didn’t notice it until I finished the race and began walking. It’s not the shoes…they’re new. Will rest up for a few days and see how it recovers. Still, it hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm for the day!!

    • Amanda– Congratulations on a great race and taking 10 minutes off your time! I hope your knee recovers quickly. Perhaps some regular strength training/stretching would keep the injury from recurring in the future.

  15. I also ran the Army 10-miler yesterday. My time wasn’t great this year, finishing in about 2:02. I got about four hours of sleep the night before so I wasn’t very rested. I started the race out running with my friend who was running her first race since having knee surgery last year. We eventually separated around mile 7. I tried to make up some time but by that point it was too difficult. So, I’ll just mark this one off as “I finished it.” This fall is devoted to speed work so I can have a better showing next time around.

    Overall, I enjoyed the day. The weather was perfect and 3 of my friends also ran the race. I’m disappointed in my time but instead of being discouraged by it, I will use it as motivation to get back to where I was a few months ago.

    • Way to finish Cass!! Sounds like you had a day similar to my GW Parkway race. Still…it was a beautiful day to run AND you completed the entire thing! Hoorah!

    • Nice job Cass– thanks for sharing your report. Great to see your positive attitude– often I too am disappointed with my finish times — training seldom works as quickly as we would like but eventually it does pay off–but there are many good things to appreciate as you said — nice weather, running with friends, and just being able to run. Keep up the good work.

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