Running For Life

NO MORE Marathon Training


April 2010

Day 10; 183 days to race day!

Hello all my little happy feet out there. 

I’m pretty stoked about my entry today.  I’ve decided to start asking fellow runners to be featured on my blog talking about how they got started running and what they do to train for events and what not….My first featured runner is my friend, Kristen!  Kristen happens to be training for the Endurance Challenge 50k due to take place this June in DC.    

Everyone, please welcome Kristen.  Here’s a cool picture of her running a half marathon out in Washington state. 


Lynda:  Good morning Kristin and thank you for taking the time to be here.  So I thought I’d get started by asking you to tell everyone how long you’ve been running.

Kristen: Well let’s see….I ran my first race, at the encouragement of my Uncle John.  The race was our annual July 4th 15k and I was 12 years old.  I placed first in my age group and have been running ever since.  Also, I ran track and cross-country up through college and started running longer distances in my early 30’s. 

Lynda:  That’s so nice.  I love hearing how people got inspired to run especially when it’s someone very close to you who does the inspiring – I hope one day one of my kids will attribute me as their inspiration for running.  So tell me Kristen, what is Gawd’s name made you decide to run a 50k?

Kristen: Hmmm, good question.  I guess there were several things leading up to my decision – I ran a marathon in 2006, completed an Olympic distance triathlon last September, I figured this would be a great challenge and something completely different than I’ve ever done before.

Lynda:  Since you started training for the 50K, what has been your greatest challenge?

Kristen:  My greatest challenge in training for this race has been the back to back runs on the weekends.  Running 20+ miles on a Saturday and then getting up on Sunday and running another 10 really taxes your mind and body.   Being on your feet that long is exhausting.  

Lynda:  Dag, that sounds grueling!  I have no idea how you do it.   Have there been any big surprises while training for this event?

Kristen:  I guess my biggest surprise is that I am actually doing it and enjoying it.  It’s one thing to talk about it and another to go out and do it.  I have fallen in love with trail running.  There is nothing quite like being out in the middle of nowhere running by yourself for 5+ hours.  It’s a great way to start the weekend.  And the benefit is that the trails are so much easier on your body than running on pavement.  I have had far fewer injuries and/or pain training for this race and it’s the most I’ve run in my entire life.

Lynda:  YIKES!  The most you’re ever run in your life???  So how do you stay motivated?   I know when I get toward the end of my training I get soooo lazy and tired of doing those long runs!

Kristen:  My main motivator is finishing the race.  But I would say that staying fit and young is another big motivator.  I’m the type of person that needs an end goal to stay focused.  What better way to do that than to set a new goal for yourself?

Lynda: That is awesome.  So, I’ve got to ask you…while you’re out there doing all those long runs, what do you do to pass the time?   I know a lot of us (I have to include myself in this group) like to use an iPod while training – those long runs can be unbearable and I myself need something to help me get through it.  But, there seems to be a major controversy about the use of MP3 and/or iPods amongst runners.  Are you Pro or Con such devices?

Kristen:  I am probably in the minority, but I am completely AGAINST training with an iPod.  I like to get lost in my own head when I’m running and I find that the iPod is a total distraction.  There is nothing like enjoying the peace and quiet of the outdoors when you’re trail running… not to mention it’s my mental therapy and the ultimate stress reliever.   Running is as much of a mental game as it is physical.

Lynda:  Good for you man.  I guess you’re waaaaay more cerebral than I am.  I’m like a little kid on a long car ride…”are we there yet.”  So obviously you’re an outdoor runner.   Are there any specific trails you enjoy more than others?

Kristen:  So far my favorite two trails are the Cabin John Stream Trail and Bull/Run Occoquan Trail. 

Lynda:  Cool, I’ve got to check them out.  I’ve always been afraid of hurting myself with trail running but you say it’s been injury free for you so I think I’ll check it out! 

Okay, so one final question – will you do another 50K?

Kristen: At this point I would say that I would definitely complete another 50K.  However, talk to me after the race J

Wow!  That’s awesome Kristen.  I’m so impressed.  Again, I wish you luck and make sure to share some photos with us after the race. 

Thank you so much for sharing your story!  I love to hear about how people train and how they push themselves to reach their goals.  Maybe one day I’ll muster up the courage to do a 50k…but for now, I better stay focused on October 31st

If anyone else would like to share their story, send me the info!!!  Like I said, I love to hear people’s personal running stories.  Until next time PEACE my brothahs and sistahs!  And remember, keep on running!!


Day 9; 184 days to race day!

Greetings my little nuggets!  How are you today?  I’m doing well thank you very much.  Today was a banner day for me.  I actually got up early and went running before work.  I didn’t make it into the city like I normally do when I run in the mornings (believe it or not it’s safer to run in the city than in my neighborhood), so I had to do my usually “at home” route.  Not a big fan of running in my neighborhood…not only is the area kinda ghetto, it’s just not that interesting but I brought my camera along with me to show you some of the sights anyway…

Here is a picture of the bridge on Franconia Road crossing over the Metro tracks.  The reason why I added this photo is that this bridge has always kinda cracked me up.  If you look closely, you will notice that there is only a protective fence covering the bridge half way.  I was curious as to why it stopped at mid-point on the bridge so I started asking around.  I found out that the bridge crosses over the Springfield and Alexandria city limit lines.  The fence is on the Springfield side.  It appears that Alexandria does not find it important to protect pedestrians from falling off the bridge, plunging to their death on to the Metro tracks.  Or, perhaps the mental and/or physical  well-being of the residents of Alexandria is such that there is no danger of anyone jumping off, falling off or being thrown off said or any bridge for that matter.  Who could know?  Either way, it’s kind of a cool shot with the sun coming up over the trees don’t ya think?

Now this shot is just dag nasty.  This is a photo of a bus shelter (on the Alexandria side of Franconia Road by the way) in which someone decided they couldn’t hold it any longer so they just copped a squat on the bench and pooped on the ground.  What the heck???  Really??   I don’t know what to say about that..other than, now you know why I try to drive into the city to run in the mornings. 

Here’s a photo of me…pretty sweet.  Look how tall I am and check out how long my legs are.  And, just in case you were interested in purchasing any real estate in my hood, there’s Janice Buckley’s number for ya.  She works for Long and Foster you know.  There’s some free advertising for you Jancice…don’t say I never did anything for you.

Before I close for today, I’d like to poll all you  fellow runners out there to find out what your favorite road races are.  I have a certain few that I do ever year because I know they are fun and usually have  a good turn out, but I’m looking to expand my horizons.  If you have a list of favorites let me know so I can add them to my list.  In my next entry I’ll add yours to mine and we’ll have  a complete list of featured races!  Awesome.  On that note, I bid you all a wonderful day!  Peace, and remember…keep on running!

Day 7; 186 days to race day!

Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me round
I feel numb – born with a weak heart
I guess I must be having fun
The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It’s ok I know nothing’s wrong . . nothing

Hola mi amigos!  What a beautiful day for a run.  The sun was shining, the temperature is still nice and cool – couldn’t have ordered up a more perfect day.   As I was running tonight, I was listening to the Talking Heads.  Side note, I loves me some David Byrne and I particularly love that the majority of his songs had nothing to do with love or loving someone or whatever.  I find love songs to be trite and corny so when David Byrne attempted to write a love song with “This Must Be the Place,” I totally got it…but the beauty of the whole thing is that this can be used for expressing love for just about anything…not just about another person.  When I listen to this song, I feel almost hypnotized by the trance-like sounds of the music and then if you listen to the words they are just a bunch of random phases that he strung together to describe some sort of deep emotion that he was feeling about someone in his life at the time.   I bet at this point you’re probably thinking, “Lynda, do you have a point??”  Yeah, I wish I did…but sadly, no.  I just really enjoy that song.  As I was listening to it, I was sorta creating a  little story line in my head using the people around me to tell the story.  I was watching this couple stopping in front of the Lincoln Memorial taking a picture…the girl was posed up on one of the pillars by the stairs while the dude was stepping back trying to capture a shot that got both the beauty of the girl he was with and the history represented in the memorial behind her.   They were so into each other…. like totally in the moment – they didn’t even notice me running toward them…I tried to be polite and not interrupt by running behind the guy…didn’t want to become immortalized in some stranger’s photo album – “Oh yeah, that’s the dumb @#$CH who jacked up our  Kodak moment. ”  I was thinking how cute they were together – they kinda brought the words of the song to life for me. 

Okay, so back to the running part.  I was having kind of  a difficult legs were KILLING me from the race on Sunday.  I made the mistake of not running on Monday so my legs were really tight.  I felt like I was dragg’n lead pipes along with me.  It’s so funny how your body reacts isn’t it?   I mean the slightest change in speed or distance and you have to wait a day or two for your body to catch up…well, I guess when you’re young you don’t but at my age you do. 

I kinda messed up my running schedule this week .  Since I skipped Monday and ran on Tuesday, my alternate days are off.  I won’t run again till Thursday and then not again till the weekend.  I need to get myself disciplined!!!  I’m waaay too cavalier about my training.  In May, I’m starting DCFIT.  It’s a local training program that is designed to help anyone, beginner or expert train for a marathon or 1/2 marathon…or just to have fun.  I hope that by joining this group I’ll be a little more motivated to stick to the plan. 

Okay so one last thing.  I’ve been trying to get reciprocal links on this blog to get more traffic to the site.  I’ve requested that my blog get listed on this website called  I have them listed as you can see (look to the right) as one of my links.  This is an awesome site.  They have the cutest running skirts EVER..they even have a Mini Mouse one.  I have a black one that I get compliments all the time because of the two little runners on the front of the skirt.  The company was founded by these identical twins (I guess that’s the two little runners on the skirt..duh)…the site has tons of photos of them and tells how the business was started.  I get all choked up when women are successful in small business ventures – I wish you continued success ladies!  And to prove how cool these women are, they listed my blog on their blog page!  WHOO HOO !!  Can I get an up top for  If you’re female and a runner, you have to grab one of these skirts! 

Well, it’s time for me to fly….try to stay inspired and keep on running!!!

Day Six; 187 days to race day!

Greetings and salutations runners!  Miss me?  The weekend was kinda crazy with the race and all, I just didn’t have time to update the blog.  Speaking of the race, I had a great time yesterday at the Pikes Peak 10K.  Got some great photos that I’ll share with you in a sec.  It was so cool to have Willie and Bella there with me.  I love it when my kids run with me!  On Thanksgiving day a couple of years ago we all ran the race for hunger.  It’s a great race sponsored by So Others May Eat; a local organization whose mission is to address the hunger issue in the Metro area.  Check out the website if you get a chance.  We raised just under a 1,000 dollars that year.  We ran as a team, The McRivappski’s.  It was a blast!!!  It was Katie, Jason, Willie, Lizzy and I.  Prolly one of my most favorite races ever!

On to yesterday’s race.  I woke up yesterday morning around 5:30 AM and went down to let Randal (my ugly fat pug) out and to see what the weather was like.  Man was it cold and rainy.  Perfect running weather for me but no so much for Miss Bells.  I was wondering if it was a good idea to have her run but we decided to bring her with us and let her choose whether or not she wanted to run when the time came.  That proved to be the right course of action. 

I was a little worried about not getting there on time.  The race was scheduled to start at 7:50 and we were sitting in the car at 7:12 waiting to leave the house with a 32 mile drive ahead of us.  I’m not sure why but I always get a little jacked up before a race.  I mean it’s not like I’m gonna win or even have a chance at it.  I guess I just have this fear that I’m gonna be the last one across the finish line.  That would be horrible!!!

Here we are arriving at the starting line.  As you can see, I’m at the back of the pack.  My pace time is between 10 – 12 minute miles so I’m all the way back with the walkers and whatnot.  I don’t really mind it at all.   It’s a lot more relaxed than in the middle of that pack and if you feel good and want to push for a better time, you can start pushing through the crowd at like mile marker 2.  Most races do the wave start these days so they clock your time based on when you cross the start line not on when the race starts.  It’s much better that way!

Here’s Willie on the starting line of his first 10K.  Say hi Willie.  “Um Hi.”  That’s Willie.  A man of very few words.  Willie doesn’t like to get up earlier than 2 PM on weekends so he’s not 100% in this picture but he had fun.  He dug eat’n all the munchables after the race.  I think he’d be willing to do this race again based solely on the food that was available at the post race celebration.  “If it’s free , than it’s for me,  and I’ll take three.”

The race was pretty quiet this year.  There were the same number of runners as usual but the number of spectators was down due to the weather I’m sure. 

Here is a group of cheerleaders.  I think they were from the NASA Credit Union.  Don’t they look enthused to be standing out in the rain?!  I’m just kidding; it was great that anyone was out there to cheer on the runners.  It really does help break up the monotony of the run.  Here’s to all of you that have ever been out to support any race!!  I know it must be a drag but it means a lot to those who are running.  I especially want to give a  shout out to my loving husband James who weathers these races under any condition.  Hollah James!

Here’s a cool picture.  I call it “Empty Cups”  (baaahhaaaaa; I slay me).  This is at the water station at like mile 4 I think.  It kinda looks sad doesn’t it?  Like the forgotten Christmas trees the day after Christmas. Don’t worry all you hippies out there…we weren’t littering.  They encourage you to throw them on the ground rather than killing each other trying to move over to find a trash can.  The volunteers come by later to sweep them up.  By the time I make it to the water station, there aren’t that many folks around me so I have plenty of room to make it over to the trash can.  But, sometimes I admit, I do throw them on the ground trying to be all “badass” like I can’t spare that second it takes to walk it over to the trash…it would just kill my split time.

Here’s my little runner in full stride in the final stretch of the fun run.  She’s quite the runner for 6.  It won’t be long till she’s passing me by.  I mean seriously, look at that form.

Here we are post race.  Notice the bling on Bella?  She got a medal for crossing the finish line.  What a major award that is!   Willie said I shouldn’t put this photo up because the hat makes me look goofy but you know what, I don’t give a currrrr. 

Well, today is another training day.  It’s gonna hurt to run but I just got keep on keep’n on!  Peace out my peps!  Remember to stay motivated and “just do it!”

Day Three; 190 days to race day

Hey all.  I’m feeling kinda crappy tonight.  It’s 9:58 PM on day 3 of my “official” training and I have missed a training run.  In my defense, I had a hella day.  Today was take-your-sons-and-daughters-to-work day.  Sounds fun right?  I’m sure is was and I’m sure I’ll look back on the day fondly when I’m like 60 but for now, let’s just say…I’m glad to be done with it.  Don’t get me wrong…love my kids and was very happy to be able to bring them to work with me. It was nice to provide them with a glimpse of what I do and where I am all day long, but I got roped into chaperoning the 5 – 7 year olds all morning.  Yes, they are cute but having twelve of them to watch over for several hours was a little more than I was ready for today.  For some reason I woke up at 4:30 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep.  For a brief moment, I thought about just getting out of bed and going running you know, just to get it behind me but I just could not commit.  I only had like 4 hours of sleep (tried to stay up to see the end of the OTT vs. Penns game) and the thought of dragging myself out of bed and running in my hood at 5:00 AM just didn’t seem to get it for me.  In hind sight, that’s what I prolly should have done but I was optimistic that I could get a run in after the sons and daughters day. 

So at days’ end, I’m sitting in my bed watching the post game commentary about the disappointing CAPS game tonight feeling tired and bummed that I was a load today….BUT on the bright side, I did make it to Rockville today to register for the Pikes Peak 10K.   It’s a local race that will be run this Sunday.  AND, as an added bonus, Willie and Bella (my son and one of my three daughters) are running it with me!!!  I’m so excited.  This is a great run.  The set up is kinda strange.  You start at the Shady Grove Metro station and run down Rockville Pike until you get to White Flint Mall.  When you’re done, you have to take the Metro back to Shady Grove to get your car.  It’s a great run..flat, fast, and there are a lot of spectators pushing you to the finish line.  It’s the oddest thing running down Rockville Pike.  For those you all who know the area, you might know what I’m talking about.  This road is one of the busiest roads in the entire Metro area and when they block off  the whole road just for a bunch of weekend warrior runners it just kinda messes with you chi or something.  I’m so used to sitting in my car in hella traffic getting all pissed off at dumbass drivers when I’m on this road it’s just so bizarre to be running on it. It gives you an entirely different perspective of the whole road.  You notice buildings and businesses you never do while you’re sitting there focused on the tool in front of you who just made you miss the light for the third time in a row.  But, you know, I guess that’s one of the cool things about running.  When you run on a road, your point of view is so entirely different from when you’re driving in a car on the same exact road.  You become so much more intimate with your surroundings.  You notice every little dip in the road and dead animal pasted to the tarmac.  It’s like you become part of the whole thing rather then just a passenger in a car whose only use for the road it to get you from point A to point B.  When you run, the road itself is so much more…it becomes a part of your whole experience.  I don’t know..I think I’m getting too loopy from my lack of sleep.  I sound waaaay too Zen for my comfort.  I guess that means it’s time for me to call it a night.  I need to get a good night sleep so I can get in the training run tomorrow and still be able to run the race on Sunday.  That actually brings up one final point…I’d love to hear from anyone out there about how sleep affects your runs.  I have noticed that after bad night’s sleep I suffer from the effects on runs for days after my discontented slumber.  Is there anything that you do to help with this kinda situation.  It’s no big deal now in the beginning of the training but toward the end when you have to run 20 – 23 miles, it does have a huge impact. 

Peace my brothers and sisters!

Day Two; 191 days to race day.

Happy Thursday!  I really need make sure I add these entries right after my runs.  After I ran last night ,I was in a fantastic mood – I guess it’s the endorphins or whatever.  Anyway after an hour and a half commute into work today, my mood is not quite the same but I’m gonna try to get back some of that enthusiasm I had last night when I finished. 

So, I took my camera with me on my run last night.  I was hoping to capture a few shots to show you all some of the great things I get so see along my way.  I really did have a fantastic run.  The weather was perfect – 60 degrees and rainy;  awesome temperature to run in and the rain kept all the tourists in their hotels.  I really don’t like tourists.  I know they are a necessary evil for this town but damn if they are not horrible.  I only hope that when I travel with my family that we are more courteous of the folks who live in the town we are visiting than the clowns that come to visit DC.  But anyway I digress…my run was awesome.  I had no problems with my knee , no issues with breathing and aside from the rain puddle here and there I couldn’t have asked for a better run. 

Check it.  This is my path!  Arent you jealous?  It’s so beautiful this time of year.  Normally it’s teaming with tourists with their stupid kids but last night I pretty much had the path to myself.  Can any of you tell where this is? If you know the area you should be able to recognize it pretty easily. 

Right after the duel blizzard of 2010, I ran down this way after work.  It was breath-taking.  It was about 4:30 PM and the sun was setting.  The snow-covered the ground looked so pristine.  This is the kinda thing that keeps me running.

Here are a couple of little friends I met along the way.  They too were enjoying the absence of the tourists and not being chased down by some 10-year-old fat kid with a popsicle in their hand.  When I first walked up to them to get a better shot , they started to run away from me…I guess they mistook me for that kid with the popsicle, but when they saw I was just trying to get a picture of them, they came right back and decided to pose for me.  Aren’t they too cute?  I bet they’re boyfriend and girlfriend.

This is at mile 1.3 on my run.  Does anyone know what this is?  It truly is awe-inspiring.  If you know what it is, you know what I’m talking about.  Don’t worry you folks who don’t know, I promise I’ll tell ya what this is at a latter date.  I just like the idea of playing where’s Waldo with these photos.  It’s kinda fun.  I had taken a photo of my shoe on the side-walk here.  I thought it would be funny to add as sort like “see I am here” but I decided against it.  One, because I was too lazy and impatient to add another picture (they take forever to send and upload from my phone) and two, because my leg looked so fat I didn’t want to share it. 

Okay, so this is my last photo.  I took this one just as the little voice from my Nike iPod thingy said in my ear, “300 meters to go.”  That iPod thingy is the bomb by the way.  It even gives you encouraging messages from Lance Armstrong when you’ve gone further than you have before…he comes on and says “congratulations, you’ve just completed your longest run.”  Makes you feel good inside that Lance is there to keep you motivated. 

Speaking of motivation, I’d like to ask you all to make suggestions for playlists.  Mine are starting to get a little stale..there are only so many times you can listen to Hall and Oates singing, ‘You’re a Bitch Girl.”  Right after I got my iPod I used to play to that song all the time.  I’d be running and singing it to myself…convincing myself that I was just the sort of girl Darrel and John would be singing about…but now, like after hearing it 1,000 times I really don’t care what kind of girl they think I am. 

Well, I’ve taken up enough of your time today.  Peace out!  And may you always be inspired to run….or whatever it is you like to do.

Day One; 192 days to race day!

Officially, today is not Day One of my training.  It’s just Day One of this blog which for all intents and purposes will be day one of my training.   I registered on 7 April for the MCM and much to my surprise I got in.  For those of you who don’t know, the MCM is what is known as the “people’s marathon.”  Part of being the “people’s marathon” is there is no qualifying time that you must have in order to register.  Any schlub can register, you just have to be fast with a keyboard and have your credit card ready.   So, I’m in.  Whoo hoo.  Like I said to my husband, “Yay, I got in…wait a minute, I got in.”  So, now I’ve got to train.  I’ve been running at least one day a week over the past several months but I know sometime soon I’ve got to kick-start this thing.  I’m scheduled to run today…I try to run on MWF and a long run on the weekend.  But, it’s all cold outside and I’m tired….ugh…I know excuses excuses.   I just need to get out there.  I am a little concerned about my knee, the past couple of times I’ve run I have felt this dull pain on the right side of my right knee.  I think i jinxed myself when I kept telling everyone “oh I’ve NEVER had any knee injuries.”  I’m gonna do a short run today to see how it feels.  If it’s still hurting, I guess I better start looking into what I need to do to make this all better.

And just a little side note, I’m probably on the bridge in this photo.  It was taken during the 2004 MCM.  If you read my “About” page, I talk about when I ran the marathon and actually finished it.  It was in 2004.

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