Half Marathon Thursday + Outdoor Adventures

Hello from the air on the way to Los Angeles for the CrossFit Games, which I’ll be attending as media on behalf of Reebok! I’m so excited – I’ll be back on Monday to share a recap, but until then, you can see some of the highlights on my Instagram (so obsessed lately!), Twitter, and Facebook pages!

So, you know what’s awesome about marathon training? You do things like run a half marathon on a random Thursday morning, and then feel totally bada$$ for the rest of the day. I see why training for these things is so addictive! (Although… ask me again how I feel about training when I start getting up to 20 milers… ;) )


It was GORGEOUS weather for a run in DC yesterday morning. It felt like September, not July! My friend Kathleen and I met up on the National mall at 7 a.m. and set off, enjoying the cool breeze and the views.


What a difference 20 degrees makes for running!


Like last week, we ran down the mall and around the Tidal Basin, with some beautiful views of the Jefferson Memorial.


And the Washington Monument!


Kathleen in action:


From there, we decided to run down Hains Point! It was really nice down there in the early morning – lots of runners and cyclists and no cars. Very peaceful! Easy way to add some mileage without stoplights, too.



We headed back around the Tidal Basin after Hains Point…


Loved this view of the paddleboats all lined up with the memorial in the background:


And from there, we ran down along the water and up Rock Creek trail! We actually were planning to do 11 miles per my marathon training plan, but we got so distracted chatting that we ended up overshooting the turnaround point. By the time we got back down towards the mall, we had already hit 11 and still had about 2 miles to go! Oops.


We debated walking, but we both had to get started with work and we were feeling good, so we decided: why not keep running? So we did!


Since I knew we were going to be close to 13 miles, it obviously made sense to do an extra 0.1 just so we could say we’d run a half marathon that day. ;) Cool! 13.1 is still my PDR (personal distance record) for running – I’m excited to get up into higher mileage because everything will be a new PDR for me!


Still haven’t gotten around to gluing my Garmin watch back together… the hair tie works for now!

The cooler weather really helped with our pace, too. Our average pace was 9:11 minute/miles, and we overall did negative splits, too.


  • Mile 1: 9:07
  • Mile 2: 9:17
  • Mile 3: 9:08
  • Mile 4: 9:29
  • Mile 5: 9:18
  • Mile 6: 9:19
  • Mile 7: 9:12
  • Mile 8: 9:11
  • Mile 9: 9:13
  • Mile 10: 9:11
  • Mile 11: 9:08
  • Mile 12: 9:06
  • Mile 13: 9:03
  • 0.1 nubbin pace: 6:58 –> sprint to the finish! :)

What a great run! As usual, I had an espresso Hammer gel during the run (some of it around mile 4 and the rest around mile 9), and after the run I pounded some chocolate milk. Best post-long run fuel ever – the perfect mix of carbs and protein (and deliciousness, obviously)! After showering I had a normal breakfast.


It was nice to knock out my long run for the week early – now I can enjoy a shorter run in Los Angeles and not worry about getting in anything too long. Perfect! Since I’ll be traveling a lot this summer, I’ll be doing most of my long runs on Thursdays to free up my weekends.

I’m sad to share that my original marathon training buddy Karen is officially injured! :( We’re both so bummed, but it’s important for her to rest up and get better. She has to take about 4 to 6 weeks off running so no marathon for her, sadly. But we’re looking forward to lots of walking and yoga dates in the meantime! I think I mayyy have Kathleen on board to run the marathon with me instead, though… we’ll see. She’s done all my long training runs with me so far just for fun, so it would make sense! Fingers crossed she decides to take the plunge. :) It would be her first full marathon, too!

Since the weather has been so nice this week, I enjoyed two other fun outdoor workouts – I returned to the free Dupont Circle Lululemon yoga on Wednesday night with my friend Chrissy (it’s every Wednesday from 6 to 7 during summer):


And then last night I had an adventure with Heather – kayaking! We had plans to hang out after work and when the weather ended up being so amazing, we decided an evening kayaking trip would be the perfect way to catch up, get in a little arm workout, and also enjoy the sunshine. It was wonderful!

kayaking on the potomac

key bridge

Heather and I rented a double kayak for an hour from Key Bridge Boathouse. At only $20, it ended up being cheaper than going to a workout class together, and we had way better views, too. :)

key bridge boathouse

Thanks for the fun night, girl! :)

kayaking potomac river

kayaking washington dc 2

Time to get some serious work done before landing in L.A. – hooray for in-flight internet! Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


  1. 1

    Don’t lose hope! I took 4 weeks off during my marathon training and was still able to finish! Unless she hadn’t paid the race fee yet, if she doesn’t have any money down, then I understand not completing the training.

    • 2

      Sadly the doc told her 4 to 6 weeks minimum, and I think it would be too much to jump back in with the mileage at that point. We’re just hoping she’ll be back in full force for fall shorter runs! :)

  2. 3

    It must be awesome to have the D.C. views while running! Good job in hitting the 13.1 mark!

  3. 4

    This weather really does make allll the difference with running. It’s amazing to run in 70 degrees that actually feels like 70 degrees! :)

  4. 5

    This weather has made an incredible difference on my runs and my mood, ha. I like it so much better!

    Kayaking is such a good upper body workout! I’m in whitewater kayak lessons (so closed-top kayaks) and it’s killer on my arms, back and core!

  5. 7

    Your running partner has nice taste in shoes! I have the same Asics running shoes myself.
    I wish we would cool down over here in the Northwest. We’ve been hitting the lower 100’s (12 days so far and still counting) or upper 90’s for quite a while now. 20 degrees cooler sounds refreshing, Lucky you!

    Have fun this weekend!

  6. 9

    You’re going to have a blast @ the CF Games with Tina — have fun in Cali!

  7. 10

    If I’m ever in DC during nice weather, we’re going kayaking- looks awesome, and hopefully flat enough to avoid seasickness! :)

  8. 12

    I have been loving this cooler morning weather. I hope it stays this way.

  9. 13

    Well done on the run! A half marathon is epic! I’m building up to it :) Can’t wait to hear about the games!

  10. 14

    too funny, I did the exact run Thursday evening. I am so glad the weather is soo nice. Hopefully (but unlikely) it will stay this way :)

  11. 15

    Your pics are so beautiful! I love the scenery! Running in cooler weather definitely makes it so much easier!

    Have a great trip!

  12. 16

    That water looks gorgeous. I can’t wait till I’m back in the DC area in a week. I’ll definitely have to check out that lululemon yoga session. Safe travels!

  13. 17

    Kayaking looks like so much fun, but I’ve never tried it.

    Have a fun weekend on your trip!

  14. 18

    What an awesome day! Congrats on the long run, seriously envy that distance!

  15. 19

    Hi Anne!
    When you go running around the National Mall and go to the free yoga classes at Dupont Circle, do you take the metro?

  16. 21

    I think I’d love to run 13 miles if I got to look at that the entire time! So beautiful. Kayaking is so much fun, right!? Best workout ever for your arms, plus it’s so much fun.

  17. 22

    I’ve been enjoying the amazing weather we had in the past week as well! (I’m in the DC suburbs).
    Haha, love the kayak pics. Cute toenails!

  18. 23

    I am soooo ready for the cooler temps to make it down to Florida! I am melting after the first mile at 7am.

  19. 24

    I’m training for my first marathon, too, and it feels so weird to run a casual half marathon basically every other week! I’ve only gotten up to 14 miles so far, but it was my longest run ever– getting over that 13-mile hump feels like such a big deal to me!

  20. 26

    What a fabulous run and added adventures you had. When I was in DC for my son’s 5th grade class trip in May, I wanted to run there so bad. No time though. Must return and run/race there sometime. Atlanta is not as runner friendly as DC. But agree the drop in these summer temps have been a real treat for us runners. Don’t worry about those longer runs, you will be surprised on how the miles add up. You are in great shape, so don’t be fearful in the long runs. My fall marathon is Oct 27 so I’m training too. Question though, I know chocolate milk is great for recovery after a long run, but would you suggest whole milk or not? I keep seeing more and more info favoring whole milk. I moved my family up from skim to 2% but now thinking maybe whole milk is better. Not sure?

    • 27

      I’ve been doing 2% on a day to day basis for coffee/lattes and such, and I buy the 2% chocolate milk just because that’s the single serving option that my local store that I go to after runs sells. I’d say do whatever you want! Whole milk is only 4% fat so it’s not much of a difference – especially after a long run. :)

  21. 28

    I am training for my first marathon this fall too! I noticed you are wearing a hydration vest. What kind do you use and would you recommend it? I have a hand held for long runs, but I am thinking that for the 20-milers, I’m going to need something that holds a little more water.

    Thanks so much!

    • 29

      I’m wearing the new CamelBak Marathoner Vest, which they sent me to test out. I liked it but I had some chafing on my back since I was wearing a racer tank, so next time I would wear a tech tee. I normally wear my old Hydrobak, which I love except it doesn’t have as much pocket space for fuel/phone/etc.

  22. 30

    Hey Anne, I came across your blog via your Lentil and Sweet Potato curry recipe on Pinterest then got reading all about your running (and spent rather a lot of time on your blog!). I am going to be adopting a variation of your 2nd half marathon training program for my first half on 5 October ( Yep, I’m Down Under (which I read is a place you love :-) I only started running early last year and whilst I wouldn’t say I love it yet, it’s a whole lot easier than it used to be and I’m enjoying watching my average min/km time slowly come down the more I run. I love that you did a half on a Thursday morning and felt bada$$ the rest of the day! I’m just looking forward to completing my first half, as so far my farthest distance is 14km, so I am working my way towards bigger distances! Thanks for a great blog, fabulous looking recipes and awesome running tips and race recaps – I have added you to my Feedly so I look forward to keeping up with you. Cheers, Niki


  1. […] weeks ago, when my friend Kathleen and I did a 13.1 mile training run, it was all sunshine and roses. We had great weather and fresh legs on our sides, and what was supposed to be an 11 mile run […]

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