#CUCB2018 Training Update: 40(ish) Days & Counting


So this week was kinda meh. We’re about 40 days away from the Cherry Blossom 10 miler so there’s still plenty of time to prepare but I really wish I felt like I were progressing more at this time. I still struggle through runs, especially on my own. That being said, I mostly stuck to my training plan this week, though I should definitely have tried to squeeze in that fourth run. Here is what my week looked like:

  • Monday: After Sunday’s long run, I simply did not have an 8-9K run in me so I went back to the 3 miles group at Pacers’ and ran 5.1 km. The group went to Churchkey afterwards for beers.
  • Tuesday: Cyclebar
  • Wednesday: the weather was gorgeous! Also I successfully registered for the 17.75K race on March 24th so I celebrated by going for a run outside. In a tank top. In February! I ran 5.2 km then went to Cyclebar NoMa that evening. Valerie’s Wednesday class is called Wine Down Wednesday and we usually have wine afterwards. I biked all the miles then drank all the wine, then went to Wunder Garten and had a beer, then went home and had a can of Supreme Core Ginger Beard Man cider. It was really good… but the point I’m trying to make here is that I had quite a few drinks… more on that later.
  • Thursday: rest day.
  • Friday: working out is definitely more fun with friends so I was stoked that Christina of Just the Bottle, who is also training for the Cherry Blossom 10 mile run, joined me at Cyclebar NoMa for Haley’s Happiest of Hours class. This is my favourite class. I love letting go of all the stress from the week on the bike, then having a glass of wine and relaxing at home. Did I say glass of wine? I meant glasses 😉 Again, more on that later…
  • Saturday: Have you heard of Daybreaker? It’s an early morning dance movement that takes place in 22 cities around the world and features a  yoga class or other fitness experience, followed by a two hour dance party… all before work!  I’d been wanting to try it for a while but struggled to make it work during the week. So when they finally offered a weekend edition of the event I jumped at the opportunity! Also, it had an “under the sea” theme and I really wanted an excuse to wear my mermaid leggings again! I have the coordination of a camel so the Soka Tribe Dance fitness experience wasn’t my favourite but hey, I tried something new and got out of my comfort zone a bit. It was kinda afterwards to just party while drinking kombucha instead of booze but I feel like I was one avocado toast short of peak millennial and I was definitely ready to go after about half an hour of the dance party.
  • Sunday: this week is technically a recovery week so I wasn’t supposed to run more than 6-8 kilometers, however I felt I hadn’t really run enough so I opted to aim for a little more and ran 9 kilometers, just like last week. It rained again which was annoying. It seems to *only* rain on Sunday mornings and I’m over it. On the plus side, if it rains on race day, I will definitely be prepared for it! 

All in all it wasn’t a bad week but I also wouldn’t call it a good week either. I barely ran 20 km and only made it out three times. Overall, I feel like I ate and drank too much and it negatively affected my training and energy level. With that in mind, I’m going to try and be a lot more mindful about what goes into my body this week, sleep more and also increase the number of kilometers I run. Next weekend will be interesting since I have my first race of the year and will be skipping my usual long run training group as a result. Anyone else running the St. Pat’s Day Run on March 4th?

Are you training for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler? Share your journey and see others on the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler’s Link Up page.

 

I Made a Plan & (Actually) Stuck with It!

You know what feels good? Being back on track with my Cherry Blossom Ten Mile run training and actually feeling like I *am* making some progress. I tried a couple of new things this week, including actually sticking to the training schedule I had set up for myself 😉 I also survived my first Cyclebar/run in one day combo. It wasn’t so bad… until the next day. I ran by myself (the 20 degree spring-like temperatures on Thursday were definitely a motivating factor to get out there!) and I paced myself differently during my long run. All in all, it worked out really well for me so I’m hoping to do more of the same this week. Here’s a little more detail about week 4 of training for the Cherry Blossom race:

  • Monday: I *finally* moved up to the Pacers’ 14th street run club 5 miles group… and it was painful. I know they always say that all paces are welcome in a running group, but if you can’t keep up you’re basically left behind to run by yourself, which is exactly what happened to me. Feels pretty weak. Luckily, my friend Robert stayed behind with me and helped keep me motivated enough to at least complete the run. Let’s hope it goes better this week! 
  • Tuesday: for Mardi Gras, I did both a morning Cyclebar class (merci for the King’s Cake Neesh!) AND a run with Pacers. I downgraded to the 3 miles though, my legs were definitely tired!
  • Wednesday: I love Valerie’s class at Cyclebar NoMa and it was the perfect workout before stuffing myself silly with raclette for Vaslentine’s Day afterwards!
  • Thursday: What a difference a few months make! Given 20 degree temperatures, 3 months ago me would have been all “oooh, perfect weather for rosé on the roof!” but today me couldn’t wait to get out for a run. In a tank top. In February! Even if it was a short one to the mall and back I’m glad I did it. I still struggle to run on my own, outside of the motivating group structure.  But it’ll never get easier if I don’t push myself to do them once in a while.
  • Friday: Rest Day! My legs really needed a break 😉
  • Saturday: I couldn’t resist the Pitbul vs Kanye class at Cyclebar NoMa!
  • Sunday: I know an important component of running is your mental strength and I still have a lot of work to do there… so while I had planned to do my long run with Summit to Soul, I decided, especially after Monday’s run, that I wanted to be surrounded with people at my level. I already don’t feel great physically running 10 to 12 kilometers, I don’t need to feel emotionally defeated on top of it because I’m not as fast or strong as everyone else. I had had a good week so far and I wanted to keep feeling good… So I joined my Potomac River Running Training group. There, I don’t feel like the weakest link. There’s a comfort to training with people at my level. Some are true beginners. Others, like Sarah Beth (read her recap here… she ran the full 10 miles last Sunday!), are more experienced. I’m somewhere in the middle… definitely not a beginner anymore (yeah!) but not quite at the intermediate level yet.  But I don’t feel alone in my struggles with this group. For the second week in a row, I found this smaller group of 5-6 runners that were right around my pace. Some were ahead of me. Some were behind me. And for 11 kilometers, there was something really comforting about that. I tried something a little different as well. Typically, I’m really bad at pacing myself. I’ll try to go too fast for a bit, get tired and have to walk a little then repeat that cycle. This week, I found this girl (I don’t know her name because I’m a terrible person!) who seemed to be really good about pacing herself at 7/km pace (I typically had been running around 6:15-6:50) and decided to follow her. Kinda in a creepy way, like when a car is sticking a little too close to you… but it worked really well for me. I ran the whole 11 kilometers with only maybe one or two stops (including one to take this selfie with the Washington Monument!). I definitely will have to try this again (the pacing, not the creepy following!) 

So it was a really good week for me. I ran close to 30 kilometers… which is almost what I ran in the whole month of January… this is my plan for this week, on pretty new stationary from Target’s dollar bin!

I’ll be focusing on improving/increasing my solo runs and trying Daybreaker for the first time (dancing counts as cross training right?) I’ll let you know how it goes! And since I mentioned Summit to Soul in my post…did you catch its fabulous owner Kim talk sustainable athleisure wear on WUSA 9’s Great Day Washington? Here’s a link if you missed it. And of course, here’s the link to all the other Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run training posts! 

 

 

DC en rose: Cherry Blossoms Season in DC

I don’t typically gush up over a few pink petals like this, but I’ve been pretty swept up in the citywide cherry blossoms celebration this year. I blame my eagerness to switch from red wine to rosé at the end of a long winter 😉 Usually, I find the whole festival annoying: local restaurants and bars stretch their menus to add cherries to everything (need I mention the cherry trees in DC don’t actually produce cherries?), tourists take over the streets with their selfie sticks and, worst of all, my sinuses go nuts from the pollen influx. But this year, I’m got really into it and I just can’t get enough pink. I too have caught cherry blossoms fever! Here is some of what I enjoyed this year:

1. WALKING AROUND THE TIDAL BASIN

Cherry blossoms are fickle delicate little flowers, and the weather doesn’t always cooperate with the timing of the festival. The first year I ran the cherry blossoms 10 miler, my friend Caitlin came down from New York eager to run surrounded by pink flowers. Instead, it rained two days before the race and all the blossoms were washed away. This year, we were so lucky that peak bloom fell not only on a weekend (and on the weekend of the parade and the 10 miler at that) but that it also happened to be a beautiful sunny and warm weekend. Don’t believe me? Check out some of my pics! I got up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and Sunday to try and beat the crowds around the Tidal Basin (keyword: tried!) and it certainly was worth every minutes of lost sleep.

IMG_6366 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial  during Sakura IMG_6493

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. SIP INTO SPRING

Bars and restaurants throughout Washington offered special flights, tastings and/or parings of seasonal wines through RAMW‘s Spring Wine Fling. You can read more about that here.

3. SPEAKING OF WINE: IT’S FINALLY ROSE REASON

just in time for spring, The Red Hen‘s co-owner and Beverage Director Sebastian Zutant released Dahlia, a pink wine produced in partnership with Virginia Wineworks in Charlottesville. Dahlia is a very decent rosé and it was the first I drank this season so it will have a special place in my heart this year!

IMG_5970

 

 

4. DOG TAG BAKERY’S KYOTO CHERRY ROSE GREEN TEACLAIR & OLIVIA MACARON’S ROSE MACARON

I love pastries. I love rose. That’s all there is to it. The teaclair could have been a little more flavourful, it was a little too subtle for my taste, but it looked SO pretty!

IMG_6171_2

IMG_5699

5. ODYSSEY’S CHERRY BLOSSOMS CRUISE

The trees had yet to bloom when we set sail from South West D.C. but it was great discovering the city I live in from a completely different angle. The boat cruised down past the national stadium all the way to the Kennedy Center, which is beautiful at night, and the Georgetown Waterfront. The cruise reminded me a little of Paris’ bateaux mouches minus all the commentaries, plus a lovely dinner and some bubbles.

IMG_6106

Odyssey Cruise offers a variety of experiences throughout the year, including bottomless mimosa brunch cruises, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day cruises, full moon dinners and a July 4th fireworks special cruise. You can find more information on their website. I’ll just say that while I loved the night-time cruise, I think I’d love to do a day-time one in the future so I can take pictures and really see the sights.

Did you enjoy cherry blossom season this year? Anything in particular?