1000 Miles in 2014! (And counting….)

Last nights run put me over the 1000 mile mark for miles ran in 2014! Woo hoo!  It’s no secret…I like to run. Like…A LOT!  I used to go to my office early every morning to park and run before starting my work day.  I started to get a lot of comments and questions from co-workers, most I’m sure thought I was insane…then one day someone asked me, “How many miles do you run a year?”  I shrugged, “I don’t know, a few hundred I guess…?” But it did make me wonder….like a lot of other runners I LOVE numbers and this innocent question turned into another number that I wanted to keep track of….

After finishing my 1000 mile run! ;-)

After finishing my 1000 mile run! 😉

So I started tracking my mileage in 2013, using a simple day planner. (I ran 1268.6 miles in 2013). While I all ready running (and racing) on a pretty regular basis, something about keeping my mileage log and being able to add those little notches to my running belt made me feel good, and raised my running motivation through the roof! My goal for 2014 is 1200 miles, and I am getting there….ONE. MILE. at a time.

1to1000

 

So to put 1000 miles into perspective (Because I do think it’s OK to be proud and give yourself a little pat on the back for your accomplishments!)…I did a little research and found some random/fun facts about 1000 miles:

  • Driving 1000 miles takes approximately 15-20 hours. (It took me a LOT longer to run it!)
  • Less than Jake would walk 500 miles, twice, to be the man who walked 1000 miles…to fall down at your door. *Insert horrible singing here*
  • Less than Jake is not the only singer who talks about walking 1000 miles in a song….there is also Vanessa Carlton’s song “A Thousand Miles” and Tyga’s song “Far Away”.
  • Running 1000 miles is like running across Maryland about 4 times East to West or 10 times North to South.
  • 1000 miles is about 1/3 the distance of the United States from Coast to Coast.
  • 1000 miles is the approximate distance between several major US cities (Check out map I found below! Each colored line=1000 miles)

1000milesacrossUS

 

I know there are some runners who think 1000 miles in a year is crazy, and other runners that cover that same distance in less than two months.  Everyone has different levels of fitness/endurance, different goals, and different accomplishments.  No matter how many miles you’ve ran so far this year, you should be totally proud of yourself!  Plus….there are still 3 months left in the year!!  Oh, and in case you were wondering WHY I am trying to run 1200 miles in 2014? One of my all time running heroes (and this awesome GIF) pretty much sum it up…..

running forest gump

 

“I just felt like running.” Best. Quote. Ever!! Did you know that some movie geeks actually did an analysis of Forrest Gump’s cross country run, including a map of his route totaling an estimated 15,000 miles in about 3.5 years!?! I’ll admit it, I thought this was pretty cool! Sure, I know Forrest Gump isn’t a REAL person, but still…pretty damn impressive!! It may take a little more (OK, a LOT more!) than 3.5 years, but I’ll get to 15,000 miles eventually! (Shoot….there I go again with those numbers again! 😉 )

Forrest's Cross Country Run Route Map!

Forrest’s Cross Country Run Route Map!

Do you log all of your miles? Does it help you stay motivated? How many more miles do you want to run in 2014….?

 

 

D.C. Ragnar 2014 and Weekly Training Recap

This weekend I ran the D.C. Ragnar for the 5th time! This is a race that I know I am going to run every. single. year. until the day I die or can’t run any more (which will likely be the same day 😉 )  My first Ragnar in 2010 was a defining race for me; one that awakened my inner “crazy runner chick”, turning me from a casual 3-5 mile a day runner to a confident, marathon loving, “beast moding”, long distance runner!  Because seriously, after surviving 2 days crammed in a smelly van competing in a 200 mile relay…it feels like ANYTHING is possible! 😉

whoisragnar

This year I ran with a fabulous new group of gals, and our token white boy (aka Stud Driver!), on a team named “Offical Pace Van” #donotpass!  While we were totally unsuccessful in “tricking” the other teams into following behind us ;-), we had one crazy fun time! I’d share all the juicy details, but official Ragnar rule….”What happens at Ragnar, Stays at Ragnar!” 😉  I will say, you get to know 5 other people VERY well by spending 30+ hours in a van together! Hehe  The Ragnar is a super fun, well organized, well supported race, with lots of fantastic volunteers!  These race series has events all over the country, and it’s a totally insane/fun concept….it’s a race, hippie-fest, road trip, and party rolled into one!

This particular Ragnar starts in Cumberland, Maryland and ends in the National Harbor, D.C.  The hills one the first 1/3 of this course are super challenging; well suited for “billy goats”, “mules”, and bad ass runners that are on the constant quest for new/more insane challenges!  You can get together 12 of your best friends (or make it more interesting by joining a team of strangers! You’ll be BFFs or hate each other by the end of the race…either way, I promise it will be and adventure!) or be double crazy by putting together an ultra team, meaning half the runners and double the miles! (Oh, please someone do this with me next year!!!)  I also just found out about the option to put together a “six pack”, where you only have to find half a team and Ragnar the team you up with another “six pack”.  I wish I would have known about this option before, because it’s sometimes difficult to find 12 crazy or 6 double crazy people to put together a team for this race!

Each team divides their runners into two vans, each runner is assigned three legs (of varying distances), and there are 35 exchange points along the course.  The first 6 runners in van 1 complete their legs and hand off to van 2 at one of the “major exchange” points where there are food tents, sleeping areas, massages, showers, and other fun activities.  One van is “chillaxing” while the other van completes their legs, and you trade off again.  You might get a chance to take a power nap at one of the major exchanges or in the van, but for the most part, there is NO sleeping during the Ragnar! And you Run, Rest, Repeat several times, until you finally reach the finish line! This means running at least one leg in the middle of the night, wearing a head lamp and other reflective safety gear!  And no, this is not your typical race! The course is not blocked off, you will be running up some insane hills, over bridges, under highways, past cow fields, and so on!  The vans “leap frog” their runners and cheer them along throughout the race.  It’s a very fun and supportive environment!  And it tends to get pretty crazy in the van as the race goes on!

You down with OPV?!? ;-)

You down with OPV?!? 😉

When you finally do make it to the finish line it’s such a sense of accomplishment! You and your team just ran 200 freaking miles, across the entire freaking state! How crazy is that? And I LOVE the functional Ragnar bling! The race medals double as a beer bottle opener!! Sweet! (I actually use my other medals to open beers, the work very well!) The finish line party is a blast too, with free pizza and beers for the teams, music, and tables to relax at overlooking the harbor! Like I said before, I WILL be back next year (hopefully as an ultra team) and every year after that! 🙂  If you are interested in running a Ragnar in your area, check out their web-site:

https://www.ragnarrelay.com/

ragnar-relay-series1


I knew I was going to be running high mileage during the Ragnar, so I took it easy for the rest of the week.  I was runner 12 on my team, running 24 total miles (I had a little extra sneaky mileage on my final leg due to the finish line being moved) and one other 6 mile run during the week.

Total Weekly Mileage: 30 miles

Total 2014 Mileage: 966.45

My goal this week is to break 1000 miles for the year! Time to stop playing around…I got this! 😉


Anyone else do D.C. Ragnar this weekend? What was your race experience?  

Birthday celebrations and getting my mojo back! :-)

Finally winding down after a very busy and very eventful week! Back in Maryland, back to work, back on schedule, and getting back into my normal routine….and it felt absolutely amazing!! Feeling energized, happy, and motivated….definitely starting to get my mojo back!!

I got some great runs AND some great swims (mixing it up just a tiny bit) in…I’m loving the time I spend in the pool just as much as I enjoy my time “pounding the pavement” in my neon yellow Kinvaras.  My swimming form/technique/breathing is slowly coming back to me, and I’m really feeling like a fish back in the water! The swimming has been benefiting my running too…it’s been breaking up the monotony and helping me overcome my recent burn out, (surprisingly) making breathing feel so much easier during my runs, and my core is feeling stronger every day! It definitely requires more effort, time, and planning to get my swims in versus just walking out my front door (or hopping on my treadmill) to get a run in.  Despite that, I really want to make an effort to continue swimming 2-3 days every week….the benefits seem to be worth all that hassle!

swim

I went on a long(ish) run today….one of my favorite routes up to the park where Danny and I had our first date (Yes, our first date was a run…followed by yummy dinner and red wine!), a couple of times around the park, then back to my house.  My breathing felt easy/controlled, my legs felt strong, and I was even able to pick up the pace a bit the last couple of miles (around 7:50 mile pace).  The plan was 7 miles, but as I got closer to my house I thought to myself, “If I stop at 7….that will be 29 miles for the week, that’s a silly number and it’s WAY TOO close to 30…if I don’t go an extra mile, I’m going to feel like I just quit…at 29 miles…why?! That just seems sooo lazy… Nope, no way…can’t do it…..” So I ran right by my house and kept going for just over one more mile…and honestly felt like I could have kept running for another hour! Today’s run was the first run where I’ve felt like that since the middle of June and it was just the confidence boost I needed! I feel like the old “Running Betty” is back! Woo hoo! 🙂

runnerocd

In non-training/exercise related news…yesterday was my daughter’s 9th birthday! We had a mini girls road trip down to Luray, VA to celebrate! We had a blast exploring the Luray Caverns, mining for gems, climbing on a ropes course, and visiting a wild animal rescue “zoo”.  🙂 We partied like “rock stars” (because rock stars hike through caves, pet llamas, and stay up late eating stuffed crust pizza and watching t.v. shows about mermaids….right?) to celebrate the beginning of my Princess’s last year in her single digits!! (Yikes!!) 😉

Girls just wanna have fun!

Girls just wanna have fun!


Weekly Run Down:

  • Monday: Run 6+Push-ups and Kettlebell workout
  • Tuesday: Run 6 miles+1600 meter Swim
  • Wednesday: Push-ups
  • Thursday: Run 6 miles+1800 meter swim
  • Friday: Run 4 miles + Push-ups
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 8.25 mile run

Total Weekly Miles: 30.25

Total 2014 Miles: 936.45


 

 

I hope you all had a fabulous week too! 🙂 What is your favorite form of cross training? How does it help your running? 

 

 

Back to School!

I’ve been back home in MD for a little over a week and I am happily settling back into my normal routine.  I’ve unpacked, caught up on laundry, and decluttered.  I took a few days off work to catch up on life and to spend time with my daughter who just started 3rd grade!! We went back to school shopping…talk about a diva! She definitely has strong opinions on what she wants to wear and is all into accessorizing this year! We got her some cute, new, mini “grown up” clothes from Kohl’s and stocked up on accessories (necklaces, earrings, and scarves) at Claire’s…her 9th birthday is literally right around the corner (September 6th)! Not to sound like MY mother, but OMG, where does the time go?!?!  We plan on spending the weekend hiking and exploring caverns in Luray, VA! Yay! I’m so excited about  our little road trip!! 🙂

By the way, are you all enjoying all of the adorable back to school pictures as much as I am?? I hope so, because here is another one of my favorite gal (So I may be a LITTLE bit biased 😉 )

Check out the fashionista's bling! ;-)

Check out the fashionista’s bling! 😉

Of course, we got her signed up for way too many activities this school year! She’s registered for another year of gymnastics (her favorite), swimming lessons, girls on the run, and guitar lessons.  I decided to sign up for guitar lessons too because I’ve always wanted to learn….and if I’m going to be taking her every week, I figured I might as well give it a shot! Oh, and I’m super, geeky excited about the guitar lessons!  All of these after school activities means sticking to a routine is CRUCIAL, and I’ll be getting up waaayyyy before the crack of dawn for morning work-outs! So far so good, I all ready got in two 6 mile runs, a one mile swim at the Y, and a kettlebell workout in this week! 🙂 I’m feeling fantastic!!

back-to-school-twitter

 

How is the beginning of the school year going for all the other parents and teachers out there?! How will it change your work-out routine? Do you find it more or less difficult to work-out during the school year versus the summer? 

Running Betty 

 

Regaining control of my life AND my blog

Hello everyone! I’m back!!! (For real, for real this time!!) This summer was a disaster as far as training and blogging are concerned.  I neglected both seriously and now I am analyzing all of the “fall out” effects of the neglect.  To begin with, my waist is feeling a little more rotund and squishy than I would like.  I am a girl who LOVES to eat, so I rely on high mileage and other high intensity workouts to keep my “girlish figure”….and I pack on the pounds quickly when I neglect my work-outs!  (I hate envy you naturally svelte women!! ;-)) But what is even worse than that is what has happened to my blog while I’ve been gone…..

Surprisingly, despite my VERY infrequent posting over the summer, my blog traffic has remained about the same.  (Granted, I don’t have the most popular blog, I’m talking less than 20 visitors per day) Out of curiosity, I looked at the search terms that have been bringing weirdos  people to my site.  Apparently my running blog has metamorphosed into some sort of foot fetish blog in my absence! Here are some of the search terms:

  1. “Splint brace fetish”
  2. “Running shoe fetish”
  3. “Random runners foot fetish”
  4. “Foot after running fetish”
  5. “My foot fetish keeps me from dating”

I’m pretty sure these search terms are related to a blog a posted several months ago, as a joke about runner’s feet.  Not that I’m judging….this just was NOT the intent of this blog or my blog in general! In fact, it clearly states in this article that people with foot fetishes should NOT date runners! Haha  Time to regain control of my training, my blog (I want my top search term to be, “Bad Ass Running Bettys!!”), and my life!

Before I get into my normal weekly run-down/work out summary….here is a random picture of me in front of a castle.  Yes, Germany was awesome….LOVED the food, wine, and beer a little bit too much but I guess it is what it is…. 😉 I feel fortunate and blessed to have traveled to so many cool places over the summer, but I’m ready to be a homebody for a while and get back into a normal routine.

Me Under a Castle

 


 

My work-out summaries for ALL of August

Total Miles Ran in Germany: 22.5 miles

Summary of Last Weeks Workouts:

  • Monday-Run 6 miles on Treadmill
  • Tuesday-Run 4 miles at park, push-ups
  • Wednesday- Run 6 miles
  • Thursday-Rest
  • Friday- Swim 800 meters, 45 min. spin class, 3.1 mile run
  • Saturday- Rest (Kinda….4 hours of back to back trampoline park birthday parties with Ilana)
  • Sunday- Run 4.6 miles

Weekly Mileage: 23.7 miles

Total 2014 Miles: 906.2 miles

Wine and Food Consumed: Lots!!!!

Weight Gained: 10 lbs (Yikes!!!)

One of the major reasons I started this blog is to keep myself accountable and motivate myself by tracking my progress.  That was fun for the first half of the year, when I was training hard and kicking butt….not as fun (but even more important) when training isn’t going as well.  It’s eye opening, and a nice kick in the ass, seeing that the month of August my total mileage was approximately equal to my average weekly mileage during marathon training.  Summers are when I usually log my highest mileage, but I let work overwhelm me and totally feel apart on my training.  I took some time off last week to organize my house and regroup.  I had to defer my Wineglass Marathon to 2015.  For the months of September and October I am going to focus on rebuilding my base mileage, cross training (I’m loving the pool time!), and losing the 10 lbs I gained over the summer to get back to my marathon training weight.  I plan to find an early spring marathon (leaning towards Shamrock in Va Beach…That was my first marathon and a nice flat course) and start training sometime in November.

Youcandoit

 


XOXO~Running Betty

Happy running and good luck to everyone on their upcoming fall races! It’s right around the corner! 🙂