Hello and happy Monday! I got in my first run of the new year yesterday – a freezing cold and rainy ~13-ish miler with my friends Kathleen and Rachel.
On Saturday night, the forecast for Sunday morning was looking bleak – high 30s and freezing rain. Yikes. I texted Kathleen to make sure we were still a go, and we were. Good thing I have running friends crazy enough to keep run dates, no matter the weather.
The girls and I met up in the Roosevelt Island parking area on the GW Parkway trail at 9 a.m. I ran down from my place to meet them and add on a little extra mileage.
Brrrr! We were all bundled up.
We decided to do 10 miles and set off up towards the Key Bridge to cross over to Georgetown. The ramp up to Rosslyn was a complete sheet of ice! Here’s Kathleen working on her ice surfing skills.
Once we passed the ramp, the sidewalks and trails actually weren’t bad – a few spots of slushy snow and ice but nothing crazy. We did have a lovely cold rain coming down on us for the first half of the run, though.
The girls and I headed along the water towards the monuments, chatting away.
We had the city more or less to ourselves – it was SO empty out!
We ran down along the mall, past the Capitol, and into the neighborhoods behind it.
We looped back out and ran over the 14th street bridge, hopping back down onto the Mt. Vernon Trail on the VA side.
By this point it had stopped raining and was actually quite pretty out, in a mysterious, quiet, wintery sort of way. I love that running gets me outside on days I’d normally hole up indoors. Such a mood booster!
The girls and I hit a little over 10 miles when we got back to the parking lot – perfect! Kathleen offered me a ride up the hill of death back to my place but I decided I should probably go ahead and tackle it, so up I went. I was proud of myself for running up the whole mile long hill by myself – and with no walking breaks!
My watch is a bit off because I didn’t have it on for my 1 mile+ run down to the trail, and then I accidentally turned it off for at least a half mile stretch down on the mall, so I’m estimating I did between 12.5 and 13 miles total. Great run – so glad we stuck with our plans, despite the weather! Running in the cold is actually quite refreshing once you get warmed up.
So – you guys may be wondering why I’m doing such long runs and adding on extra mileage, huh? Well – I have some exciting news:
I’m officially training for my second full marathon this spring!!
As you guys know, I just did my first full marathon – the Richmond Marathon – in November… after saying for years that I’d “never” run a full marathon. I had a great experience and was thinking of doing another full marathon in the fall and focusing on half marathons and speed in the meantime this spring. But then… a few weeks ago I received an email inviting me to run the ASICS LA Marathon as part of a blogger team, with our expenses paid for. The only problem? The race was SOON. As in March 9. Wow. Was I really ready to do this all over again, and so soon?!
I debated for about week, trying to decide what to do. I had been really excited to focus on shorter distances and speed this spring. But at the same time, I really enjoyed the challenge of longer training runs, and it was an amazing opportunity.
In the end, I decided it was time to go big or go home. I can focus on shorter distances and speed anytime. I shouldn’t turn down such an incredible offer!
One of the really cool things about the opportunity is that our virtual training coach for the adventure is Andrew Kastor, who is a very accomplished runner and also married to Olympic Marathon medalist Deena Kastor (who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Beach to Beacon 10k). He sent us some general plans to follow, and I’m going to do a combination of his recommendations and what I know works for me. Here’s the overall plan:
- 3 days a week of running (2 shorter-ish runs with some speed/hills, 1 super long slower run)
- 1 day of yoga
- 1 day of swimming (day after my long run – feels so good)
- 1 day of higher intensity strength – e.g. boot camps, kickboxing, or CrossFit
- 1 rest day
So, here we go again: Los Angeles Marathon. March 9. Let’s do this!! I’m excited for this new challenge, and to share my training with all of you again. Your advice and encouragement are always so helpful – thank you for supporting me!
p.s. Speaking of advice, I could use some! The other big hesitation I had about doing the LA Marathon is that it’s the weekend before the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon here in DC, which I was planning to do and is one of my absolute favorites in the area because the half is such a cool route (through all sorts of fun neighborhoods, GREAT crowd support, etc. – here’s last year’s recap). Is it TOTALLY insane to still do the half marathon the weekend after LA, and just run it slowly/for fun instead of racing it? Thoughts?!