Mileage Total: 3,222 miles
Days of Running: 323 (42 days off)
Time Spent Running: ~19 days, 23 hours
Average Pace: 8:57 pace
Longest Run (Distance): 30 miles on December 9, 2017.
Longest Run (Time): 5:20:02 on December 9, 2017.
Most Memorable Training Runs
- July 29, 2017 -Long Run with The Dojos. Normally, I run alone but I did a few runs this year with a local running club composed of some very fast runners. During this run, I was struggling but one of the women stayed with me the entire way. It reminded me of what it felt like to be on a team.
- December 9, 2017 – 30 Miler in the Snow. Before this workout, 26.2 miles was the farthest I’d ever run so this was unknown territory. To make matters more challenging, there was a snow storm moving into the region. I spent five hours in the cold, rain, snow, and wind. I finished it, but was absolutely exhausted at the end.
- April 27th – Car on the Mount Vernon Trail. This day was memorable not so much for the training but for what I encountered during the run – a car on the trail! For several days afterwards, I couldn’t help thinking if I had been running just slightly faster, I might have been part of the accident.
Number of Races: 17 – three marathons, two half marathons, two 10 milers, three 10Ks, one 5 miler, one four miler, four 5Ks, and a relay. (My Race Reports)
Personal Records: None.
Most Memorable Races
1. 2017 New York City Marathon. I was overwhelmed with emotion at the end of this race. I trained so hard this summer – running through stiffing heat, rain storms, and a busy work schedule. I was a machine running that race! I wanted sub-3:30 so much that I couldn’t believe it was happening until I crossed the finish line.
3. 2017 Bourbon Chase. I really pushed myself during this relay, running for Runner 10 and 11. Between the physical exhaustion from running and the mental anxiety during the drive to my second set of legs, I think this race will stick with me for a while.
Hottest Run: 88 degrees on September 25th.
Coldest Run: 20 degrees on December 31st. The air temperature was also 20 degrees on December 29th, but the wind chill made it feel colder on this day.
Most Memorable Weather
1. October 8, 2017 – 2017 Army Ten Miler. It takes a lot for me to give up on a race but the heat and humidity on that day did me in. I heard so many ambulances that I really thought the race might be shut down.
2. December 9, 2017 – 30 Miler in the Snow. Perhaps it’s fitting that my longest training run featured rain, snow, and windy conditions.
3. September 2, 2017 – Marathon Pace Run in the Rain. This run was pure misery. It rained the entire time.
Clothing & Gear
Favorite New Products
- Nathan LightSpeed Pak Belt. The belt was big enough to hold my smartphone and sat comfortably against my hip during runs. I preferred it over an armband most of the time but it does move around a bit when I’m wearing tights.
- New Balance NYC Marathon Heat Hoodie. Even though I own too much running gear, I allowed myself this purchase at the expo and I’m glad I did. This top is fleecy on the inside but slightly slick on the outside to repel dampness in the air. It’s been great for fall and winter running.
- Lululemon TaTa Tamer III. I’ve been trying to find a replacement for my discontinued Under Armor bras. This bra fits well and is very stylish. It might be a contender.
Nutrition & Hydration
Favorite New Products
- Sword Caffeine Chews. I haven’t used caffeine very much in my training other than my morning cup of coffee. Some of the caffeine products I tried caused a spike in energy that I really didn’t like. But, I thought the boost from these tablets was much more subtle.
- SaltStick FastChews. I’ve been a salt tablet skeptic, as well. But, I was won over recently during my ultra-marathon training. Popping one or two of these chews throughout my long runs recently has kept me from crashing after 20 miles.
- Heka Energy Drink. Again, I haven’t been a big proponent of caffeine. But, I liked being able to adjust the amount of it I was getting through a powder.
- Roosevelt Island Improvements & Water Fountain. The new water fountain was a game changer. Frequently, I run the Custis and Mount Vernon trails for my long runs and now I don’t have to carry as much water because I know there’s an oasis between the fountain at Nelson Street on the Custis Trail and the one near National Airport.
- Four Mile Run Trail Detour. The local tracks are so crowded that I run my intervals on this trail. It was pretty inconvenient during my 2017 Boston Marathon training cycle when it was closed due to a larger restoration project. I was thrilled when it was re-opened.
- Water Fountain on the Custis Trail. The existing water fountain on the Custis Trail near Nelson Street was switched out for an all-weather fixture. For year-round runners like me, little things like this mean a lot.
Media & Motivation
Favorite Running Pictures
1. Arlington Memorial Bridge View with Yellow Flowers. The sky and water were both such a solid blue that the yellow from the flowers and white of the bridge really popped.
Favorite New Running Songs
- “Down the Road,” by C2C. This song was used in the course video for the Eugene Marathon and it became stuck in my head as I visualized executing a great race. It motivated me on race day and I still manage to find another gear when it comes on.
- “Feel This Moment,” by Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera. This song got me through the dog days of summer training for the New York City Marathon. I was exhausted from the heat but my legs found extra energy from the beat and lyrics.
- “Can’t Hold Us,” Macklemore and Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton. I rediscovered this song at the end of the year when I needed to keep my motivation up heading into ultra-marathon training.
Favorite Running-Related Media
- Breaking2 from National Geographic. For me, the best part of this documentary was that it humanized these elite runners. I really got a sense for who they were and what motivated them. Zersenay Tadese winning the first Olympic medal for Eritrea. Lelisa Desisa’s Boston Marathon victory on the heels of the bombing. And, Eliud Kipchoge! What a performance! He inspired so many athletes with his attempt at a sub-2 hour marathon. (The “Moonshot,” article by Alex Hutchinson gave interesting details on the science behind the attempt.)
- “Shalane Flanagan Solves N.Y. Marathon for American Women,” by The New York Times. After finishing the race myself, I was shocked to read that Shalane Flanagan had won the women’s race! She’s an incredible competitor but I don’t think there was a lot of publicity about her going into the race other than that she might retire after it. She clearly works hard and is passionate about running, so I was very happy to see her win.
- “Moonshot,” by The Runner’s World Show. Related to the Breaking2 project, I anticipated every update to the podcast host’s Boston Marathon qualifying attempt while he reported on the Breaking2 project.
- “One of the Coolest Races’: Pacers Running Store Owner Completes Solo Marathon, Keeps Streak Alive,” Washington Post. I followed the event during the day and at the end, found myself thinking of the ending to It’s A Wonderful Life. It warmed my heart this holiday season to see so many people rally to make this happen for their friend.
- Our Hundredth Anniversary Show (Super Fans),” Pace the Nation. I have been a loyal listener to this podcast since the early episodes. I was delighted to be on the “super fans” episode! The entire show is great, but if you’re interested in my segment, it starts at the 1:01:52 mark.