Archive | March 2012

How to Have Fun in College

*Note: This is not a subject on which I am an expert. Also, my idea of fun is probably very different from most 19 year olds. So feel free to take all of this with a grain of salt.*

1. After finishing production of the newspaper at 2:05 a.m. (the earliest we’ve done this semester!), watching weirdo youtube videos in the office for 45 minutes. Like this one!

I’ve never watched the music video for the original version of this song, but this is fantastic. I love the line “No shirt no shoes and I still get service.” Sesame Street for the win!

2. Making cakes for two people’s birthdays tonight. I’m planning on strawberry shortcake for one and chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter cups in them for the other. YUM.

3. Going to two birthday parties in one night. Oh boy.

4. Going to Eastern Market and the D.C. National Kite Festival tomorrow morning.


I’ve never been to the kite festival, but kites are super cool and I’m excited. Eastern Market is one of my favorite places in D.C. There’s an awesome farmers market and all kind of cool crafts people (including a woman who makes purses out of old books!)

5. Going for a 5-mile run on the Capitol Crescent Trail when the cherry blossoms are out.

And even better, the water fountains have been turned back on! No more thirsty running for this girl!

6. Procrastinate finishing your 5 page English paper (which is due on Monday) for as long as possible.

What’s your idea of a fun weekend? Got any awesome plans?


Tuesday Blues Day

I’m a regular Dr. Seuss, aren’t I?

(BTW: Did you know Dr. Seuss’ real name was Theodore Geisel?)

So today has been kind of a blues-y day. And not in a Duke Ellington kind of way but in a, “I feel blue” kind of way. Those days happen. Arabic exams come back with sad low numbers in big red writing on the front. Runs go slowly, running buddies bail. Hip flexors hurt. Knees hurt. The tidal wave of homework crashes down and destroys any attempts at sleep/social life. Not that these things happened to me today or anything.

Since you probably don’t want to hear me complain, heres a brief update on my run for today: I headed out the door around 4:45 to BEAUTIFUL PERFECT running weather. Sunny, slight breeze, about 55 degrees. (There I go rhyming again).

My run was definitely more natural than Sundays, when I felt slow-pokey and stiff, though there were a lot of aches and twinges along the way. About 1/2 a mile in I rang in the unofficial start of the warm weather running season by swallowing my first bug of the year. (D.C. is basically built on a swamp. There will be more to come, sadly.) It took about a mile to warm up but soon I got my pace down under 10:00 min/miles, which felt good.

I have to say, this whole Garmin thing is super cool. I love being able to see my splits for each mile, because it reminds me “Oh yeah, I felt really good there” or “Yeah, that was where my knee started to ache.” Even so, I can definitely still feel lots of tightness leftover from the marathon that’ll need to be worked out. I guess I didn’t really realize what a toll that kind of race takes on your body. In spite of the achey-ness, this run definitely felt good and helped me clear a bit of the blues-y gunk out of my head. For the rest, I ate a few (or more than a few) squares of this stuff:

I love Green and Black. Especially their dark chocolate. Because what a run can’t heal, chocolate always can. Right?

How do you deal with a blues-y day? Do you like dark, milk or white chocolate best?

The Good, the Bad and the Crazy

THE GOOD: I went for my first real live run today! WITH MY FANCY NEW GARMIN!

Things just got real high tech in the world of college girl on the run. I went from painstakingly plotting out my runs at (it was nice working with ya!) to getting all the data I could possibly want about my run at the push of a couple of buttons.


I mean, those splits kind of speak for themselves (except not really, because I got kinda confused about the buttons and kept pressing new lap when I didn’t mean to. So just ignore splits 3 and 6). Less than 4 miles in 42 minutes is not my fastest running, so not really the way I’d want to inaugurate the watch that I hope will eventually make me a better and faster runner. But I think I didn’t really realize what a toll the marathon took on my body. Even though most of the aches and pains from the marathon have disappeared from my every day life, they popped right back up again after a mile or so of running. My rights hip hurts a bit and so does my left knee. I’ve been yoga-ing, icing, and all that jazz for most of the afternoon. I know that with time the tightness and soreness will go away, but the trouble is that I don’t really want to wait. That marathon lit some kind of fire under me, because I definitely want to be running now more than ever. I want to get faster and I want to run more miles per week and even though my body has slowed down a lot my brain is working at warp speed planning out how I’m going to make that happen.

THE CRAZY: Continuing in that vein, I can’t not have goals! I can’t not be training! I realized this today when I thought about the fact that I’ve been training for one race or another since last summer. I started prepping for my the Baltimore Half Marathon in August, and after that jumped straight into marathon training. But now I have nowhere to go. After the marathon, I had nothing planned. So now, in my downtime since the race, I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for the rest of the year and for the future in general. You know, because I’m crazy and need to plot out my entire life. (You should see the level of detail in my iCalendar. I’m obsessed with that thing.) So here they are:

1. Run a sub 24 minute 5K – This is a minute and 45 seconds off my current PR, but it’s also been almost a year since I’ve run a 5K and I know I’ve definitely gotten faster. Though I haven’t done any kind of real speed work since December, so… yeah. I have to work on that one. But I’ve got a watch and a track and no 20-mile runs to be saving energy for, so lets get to it! I am going to have about a month at home before I go abroad this summer, so I’m hoping to fit at least a couple of 5Ks in there.

2. Run a 10K. I’ve never done this before! Since 6 miles is about the length of my standard weekday run, and is probably one of my favorite distances to be running, I think I’m gonna like this one. I’m all signed up and ready to go for the NY Mini 10K in June and I’m pretty excited! It’ll also be my first race in Central Park. (It’s a trek from Brooklyn! Especially for races, which tend to start on the early side.)

3. Run a 1:45 half marathon before the end of the year. This would require another big PR on my part, since it’s about 9 minutes off my current time. But I think that I’ve gotten to the point in my running where I’m not just content to simply run. I want to be fast. The idea of speed work excites me and I think that with training and hard work, a 1:45 half marathon is definitely in the realm of possibility. At the very least a sub 1:50. Either way, I’m definitely planning on running some kind of half this fall. I just have to figure out which one. Any suggestions in the East Coast/Mid-Atlantic region? I’m up for pretty much anything!

4. Run the NYC marathon. This is not happening this year. Or even next year, unless by some miracle I luck out and win the lottery. But my mom recently signed herself and myself up for a NYRR family membership, and I think that next year I want to try and do the 9+1 program to get myself a guaranteed entry for NYC 2014. If I’m lucky, I’ll even get my mom to do it with me! When I pitched the idea to her today, she shot it down immediately. But I’m going to keep working on it. I grew up watching the NYC Marathon every year. It was always so exciting and exhilarating, standing along 4th avenue cheering on runners, looking out for people we knew. Even before I started running, I knew that one day I wanted to be in that crowd of runners, racing through my city that I love so much, hearing my friends and neighbors and fellow New Yorkers cheering for me and 40,000 others. To run that race, especially to run it with my mom, would be the best ever.

5. Qualify for (and run!) the Boston Marathon. This one’s gonna take a while, that’s for sure. But I know that one day I can make it happen.

Alright, I think that’s enough for now! Congratulations if you actually made it through this entire post. What were the good, bad and crazy parts of your day? What are your goals for the near (and distant!) future!   


It’s hard to believe that one week ago I was preparing to go to the expo, drinking water by the gallon and struggling to contain the bundle of nerves and excitement that threatened to explode every time I thought about the fact that I was about to run a marathon.

But it happened. I have photo evidence!

This week has mostly been about recovery. I haven’t run at all, though I have taken several long walks. I’ve stretched. I’ve iced. I’ve drunk a lot of water. I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate. That’s part of recovery too, right? Chocolate? Didn’t I read that somewhere in Runners World sometime? Well, maybe not. But I think chocolate should be a vital component of any life plan.

That said, I’ve been itching to lace up my adrenalines and get back on my feet this week, and it’s taken all my self restraint not to jump out of bed and head out for a run in the morning, especially since the weather has been gorgeous this week. 70 degrees and sunny every day! Honestly, crossing that finish line running was the last thing I ever wanted to do again. I was SO ready to be done. If you had told me it would be difficult to restrict myself to the week-long recovery period that my mom made me promise to abide by, I would have had trouble believing you. But here I am. I guess I’m crazy (in case the decision to run 26 miles wasn’t a tip-off). I’m turning into a crazy runner, like the guy in this video!

I’m running a marathon
by: faithfulsoles

That problem has been exacerbated by the this guy who was purchased on Sunday (by my Dad, who in case you couldn’t already tell from the fact that he followed me all around D.C. taking pictures of me during the race, is the best dad ever!)

I am now the proud owner of a Garmin 610! This definitely solidifies my crazy obsessive runner status.

I’m itching to test this guy out on a run, which is my plan for tomorrow morning. I’ve got an easy 4 mile route to the National Mall (its cherry blossom season!) all plotted out and ready to go. My first record stats on this watch definitely won’t be my fastest ones, but I’m so excited to try it that I can’t wait till I start doing speed work and long-distance runs.

It’s time to go to class, but have a great Friday everyone! I hope the weather where you are is as beautiful as it is here in DC!


It happened.

It’s taken a while for me to write this post, mostly because even three days later it still hasn’t really sunk in that I ran a marathon. People keep coming up to me and congratulating me (or asking whether I’m absolutely bonkers crazy) and I smile and shrug it off and tell them that anyone can run a marathon if they decide they want to because the idea that I actually did it sounds too insane. After all these months of training, it happened.

Anyway, here’s the recap.

5:30 a.m. After waking up approximately 1287933 times in the middle of the night convinced that it was morning and time to start getting ready, my alarm went off. I hopped out of bed, already a bundle of nerves and excitement, brushed my teeth, and then made a slice of toast with banana for breakfast. I don’t run well with food in my stomach, so I wanted to eat as early as possible to give myself time to digest. Then I got dress, double and triple checked my bag to make sure I had everything I needed (Cash? Check! Clif Shot blocks? Check! Body glide? Check! Bandaids? Check!).

6:15 a.m. I headed to the front gates of the university to meet a bunch of people from the running club who were also racing. We called a cab, waited about 30 minutes for the car to arrive (apparently all of Washington D.C. was taking cabs that morning) and clambered inside. We had an extremely talkative cab driver who, when he heard that I was planning on running 26 miles in the next 6 hours or so, said “What are you crazy? That sounds painful.” Um, YEAH! He then proceeded to talk our ears off for the duration of the 20 minute cab ride about the movie Prefontaine and how great it is. Duly noted.

7:10 a.m. I planned on meeting my Mom at the armory, where the race started, but when I got there I couldn’t find her. I allowed myself to freak out for approximately 5 minutes before I decided that I had better go to the bathroom and check my bag and hope to run into her later.

8:0? a.m. ~ Miles 0 – 4: After about 20 minutes of nervously jumping around in my corral (still no sight of mom!) I crossed the start line! 26.2 miles to go! I grinned ridiculously at the person next to me as we started running and said, “Isn’t this great!” She was wearing headphones, so I don’t think she heard me, but she smiled back. Five minutes later I heard someone yelling my name. It was my mom! I slowed down to run with her and we chatted our way through the first few miles.

Ouch. Heel strike.

Miles 4 – 8: After the initial excitement wore off, I started feeling really nervous about this race. It was only 8:40 a.m. and already it was SUPER hot (almost 70 degrees). After having trained in 30 degree weather, how was I going to run 26.2 miles in this? At mile 5 I saw two of my next-door neighbors and best friends at school, who pumped me up by shouting “You’re a beast!” at me as I ran by. Soon after that I spotted another one of my friends, B-, who I ran part of the Marine Corps Marathon with in October. She hopped in and ran up to Dupont Circle with us, which was another great confidence booster.

Miles 8 – 12.4: One third of the way through! At this point I just needed to zone out a bit and think about the monumental task to come. We saw my dad at mile 10.5, where he took this gem of a photo:

Thats me looking absolutely nuts with my hands in the air. Sarah! Get your head in the game!

As we approached miles 11 and 12 I tried to keep a steady 10 min/mile pace as all the half marathoners started to pass me. At mile 12.4 we suddenly split off and the crowd of runners thinned out a TON. Suddenly it dawned on me that this was it. I was running a marathon. I started tearing up (I’m WAY overly sentimental. I embrace it.)

Miles 12.4 – 16: I rode that high through to mile 14, where two of my best running buddies from school, K- and K-, met up with me. I was feeling good as we ran past Union Station for the second time and turned down towards the National Mall, but I was starting to worry about the heat. That and my shorts, which were giving me MAJOR chafing on my inner thighs. Sorry if that’s TMI, but we’re all runners here, right?

Miles 16 – 18: Oh boy. This is when the race got tough. Once we left the National Mall and turned down towards Southeast DC, the crowds all but disappeared. There was no one spectating, no one cheering, and no shade. Plus my thigh was beginning to bleed a little bit (I’ll spare you the photo). At the medical station at mile 18, I stopped and got vaseline for my legs. It burned for a little bit, but then the chafing went away entirely. Vaseline = miracle substance. This is also when I started walking through aid stations to ensure that I was drinking enough water. The goal was a cup of water and a cup of gatorade at every water stop. Plus another cup to pour over my head.

Miles 18 – 22: A little after that, we ran past a whole group of friends from school. In addition to a fantastic sign, they brought me pretzels and a bottle of water. I desperately needed a cheering session, so I stood with them for about a minute, shoving pretzels down my throat and drinking gulps of water. After about 60 seconds of that, I knew I needed to get moving again. We did a shortish out and back and then headed over the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Bridge into Anacostia.

Me and my running posse, K- and K-. I couldn’t have done it without them. That’s the bridge behind us. It’s no Brooklyn Bridge, that’s for sure!

After this point I started slowing down a LOT. My only thought was about how hot it was. I don’t think it ever got over 80 degrees, and I’ve run in worse, but the sun seemed relentless and there wasn’t much shade on this part of the course. At mile 21 we met up with another running buddy, N-, who wanted to run the last 5 miles with us.

Mile 22 – 23: This was hands down the hardest part of the race. It was a mile-long loop around a barren part of Anacostia. On our way out, we passed by a water station where people were handing out ice cubes and for the entire length of that loop I just kept thinking, “At the end there’ll be ice cubes. Just make it to the aid station. Just make it there.” I honestly hated what I was doing during that loop. I kept asking myself why I ever thought that a marathon would be a good idea. Three quarters of the way through the loop, I told N-, “I think I’m going to have to walk,” and she said, “Okay.” But even though part of my brain said, “walk,” the other half fought it. I promised myself that I wouldn’t walk till mile 23. That way, even if I did walk, I would have less than 5K left to go.

Mile 23 – 25: Well, mile 23 came and went and I didn’t walk. Slow as my legs were moving (it must have been 12 minute miles by this point) I kept running. Soon after my mood started to pick up. A girl in a pink shirt who was also racing came up and introduced herself. She said she was from Long Island, and I exclaimed that I was from Brooklyn. It was her first marathon too. We talked for a little while about how hard this was, and how we wished there were more water stations. I remember at one point I said something to her like, “I keep having to remind myself that being able to run this race is a privilege,” and a man running in front of us turned around and said, “You said it sister!”

Mile 25 – 26.2: I just wanted to be done! Oh my lord 1.2 miles has never felt so long. The last mile went back over a bridge over the Potomac and then up a smallish hill to RFK stadium. At the 26 mile marker my posse left me and I headed up the last .2 miles alone. As tired as I was, I forced myself to raise my arms in the air and smile at the finish line. I knew I would want that photo. Four hours and 45 minutes after crossing the start line, I had finished my first marathon.

Everything after that was a blur. I was definitely severely dehydrated by the end of the race, because at one point my vision started going spotty. All I wanted was salt. I grabbed a chocolate milk and a salty peanut bar thing that they were handing out at the finish line. Chocolate milk has never tasted so good. I met up with my parents and friends and sat down on the grass. Standing up when my dad wanted to take a photo was about the hardest thing ever. But this photo is fantastic. I could never have finished without these guys. We did it!

I’m a Marathoner!

It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I am excited and proud and happy, but also feeling extremely beaten up, mentally and physically. There is not a single part of my body that doesn’t hurt.

I’ll be back later with a longer post analyzing the whole thing, when I have pictures and don’t need to be studying for an International Trade midterm. Even though I’m in a bit of a daze right now, I’m still incredibly happy. I did it!


T minus 10 hours

I’ve attached my bib to my shirt…

and my D-tag timer to my shoes…

I’ve looked over my training log…

And I’m feeling ready to go.

See you on the other side of 26.2!



p.s. My friend posted this on my wall today and told me to pretend it was about running. I’M TOTALLY PUMPED!