Weekend {Running} Happenings Around the District (8/15-8/17)

Snip20140813_20Photo Credit: November Project

NOVEMBER PROJECT’S BETTER THAN BED TIME

What: “Mass mob running the streets of DC and running to an undisclosed location to cheers and show the world how strong the #NP17 community is.”

Date: 8/17

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: Jefferson Memorial

Description: “NOAH’S ARK: They Came In 2′s. You can interpret this how you like. Examples include dressing like someone else (twins), dressing as an animal with a partner, etc. GO BIG. The photos will be epic. (more details here)”

LEESBURG 20K/5K

Date: 8/27

Time: 7:30 (20K); 7:45 (5K)

Location: Market Station at 203 Harrison Street SE in downtown Leesburg, Virginia.

Price $50 (20K); $40 (5K)

Description from the Race Website: “Join us on Sunday, August 17, 2014 for the 26th Running of the NOVA Plastic Surgery Leesburg 20K/5K presented by Harris Teeter! Run through scenic, historical Leesburg – Enjoy a rare opportunity to run a longer race during August – 7:30 AM (20k), 7:45 AM (5k), and 7:50 AM (kids’ fun run) start times will help beat the heat! See where your summer training has brought your 5k time — or, test your fitness and stamina in the 20k! This duo event is a great opportunity to race or simply use as a training run as you prepare for a 10 miler or half or full marathon.”

More Information

GROUP RUNS

Name/Location: DC Road Runners, Iwo Jima Memorial (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 8/16 at 7 a.m.
Distance: 13 miles

Name/Location: DC Capital Striders, Lincoln Park
Date/Time: 8/16 at 9 a.m.
Distance: 6-7 Miles (varies)

Name/Location: DC Capital Striders, Dupont Circle
Date/Time: 8/16 at 8 a.m.
Distance: 10-20 Miles

Name/Location: DC Front Runners, 23rd and P Street NW (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 8/16 at 9 a.m.
Distance: 3, 4, or 6 Mile Fun Run

Name/Location: Washington Running Club, 3300 Block of M Street NW
Date/Time: 8/17 at 7 a.m.
Distance: (varies)

Name/Location: DC Front Runners, 23rd and P Street NW (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 8/17 at 9 a.m. (Start time may vary due to weather or race conflicts. To confirm, e-mail info@dcfrontrunners.org)
Distance: 10+ Miles

Note: Some of these groups may encourage/require club membership prior to group runs. I strongly recommend checking out the club’s website prior to showing up.

Articles of Note:

Hundreds of Miles Against Hunger (RunWashington)

2015 Boston Marathon Will Likely Have Field of 30,000

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Weekend {Running} Happenings Around the District (8/8-8/10)

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FREE Yoga Clinic For Runners

Location: =PR= Arlington
4501 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington,VA 22203
Date/Time: 8/10 at 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

=PR= Arlington is hosting a FREE yoga clinic for long distance runners that will focus on opening those hips and hamstrings. It doesn’t start till 10 a.m. on Sunday so there’s plenty of time to get your long run in before!

From =PR=:

Recover from your long run this weekend with a special YOGA FOR RUNNERS class at =PR= Arlington. Join your fellow long distance runners for a 60 minute relaxing flow that will focus on building balance and stability, and opening up hips and hamstrings. Those areas ideal for strengthening to go the distance. Bring a mat and bring questions! Flow will be led by allstar yogini, Alexis Tressler.

More Information

Frederick Women’s Distance Festival 5k Run/Walk

Location

Frederic, MD

Date

8/9/14

Time

8 a.m.

Distance

5k

Entry Fee

$25 for same day registration

More Information

Group Runs

Name/Location: Run with a Ranger, Washington Monument
Date/Time: 8/9 at 8 a.m.
Distance: 3-4 Miles

Name/Location: DC Road Runners, Iwo Jima Memorial (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 8/9 at 7 a.m.
Distance: 14 miles

Name/Location: DC Capital Striders, Lincoln Park
Date/Time: 8/9 at 9 a.m.
Distance: 6-7 Miles (varies)

Name/Location: DC Capital Striders, Dupont Circle
Date/Time: 8/9 at 8 a.m.
Distance: 6-16 Miles

Name/Location: DC Front Runners, 23rd and P Street NW (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 8/9 at 9 a.m.
Distance: 3, 4, or 6 Mile Fun Run

Name/Location: Washington Running Club, 3300 Block of M Street NW
Date/Time: 8/10 at 7 a.m.
Distance: (varies)

Name/Location: DC Front Runners, 23rd and P Street NW (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 8/10 at 9 a.m. (Start time may vary due to weather or race conflicts. To confirm, e-mail info@dcfrontrunners.org)
Distance: 10+ Miles

Note: Some of these groups may encourage/require club membership prior to group runs. I strongly recommend checking out the club’s website prior to showing up.

Articles of Note:

Half Marathon I covered last weekend: http://www.runwashington.com/2014/08/04/hundreds-rumble-rileys/

Sophie Greene compares hydration systems: http://www.activelifedc.com/running/the-ultimate-hydration-system-comparison/114112

Meb was in the District and dined at the White House this week: http://www.runnersworld.com/elite-runners/meb-has-dinner-at-the-white-house

Photo by Flickr user RelaxingMusic. License.

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Product Review: Kyjen 2530 Hands Free Hipster Leash

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Meet Raven. Since adopting her earlier this year from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, Raven has come out of her shell in so many ways. Whether it’s climbing up trees going after squirrels or “graciously” hopping up on the bed every night to demand her belly rubs, this pup has many things to smile about.

But her fear of the world sometimes gets in the way of enjoying life outside.

Prior to Lucky Dog, poor little Roo was kept in her crate 20+ hours a day as a small puppy. So while most dogs that age have the opportunity to get used to the world, Raven was only familiar with being inside of her crate. That unfamiliarity with the world is one of the reasons she’s so anxious outside.

It was clear from the beginning that she needed medicine to treat her anxiety. But after several months on anti-anxiety medicine, she wasn’t showing any improvement outside. That’s when she saw a “doggy therapist.” There were several ways to ease her anxiety but the number one recommendation was exercise. I couldn’t have been happier to hear those words. 

However, running with not only an anxious dog but also a two-year old energetic lab was very challenging. Trying to hang on to the leash as she dragged me through the city streets was weakening my shoulder and eventually put me in the doctor’s office. I had to take an entire week off earlier this summer because it got to the point where I couldn’t even move my arm. The doctor said if I kept doing what I was doing, surgery could be in my near future. 

The other option was running her without a leash. But that wasn’t actually an option. While I’m not going to judge others that do this, running Raven without a leash would be too risky. Because Raven is so scared of the world, she jets out in the street sometimes or runs in the other direction if she seems something coming towards her. Even if I only took her leash off on the trails, Rock Creek Park is too close to city streets and there would be no catching her if she didn’t stick by my side.

For several weeks, I felt like I was out of options. She had all this energy but no way to release any of it because my shoulder was too weak to hang on to her. But just when I thought I didn’t have any other options, I saw someone running their dog with a handsfree leash.  

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I immediately looked online for a similar looking leash and came across the Kyjen 2530 Hands Free Hipster Leash. It was clear that the waste band was the perfect solution to my problem. By connecting the leash to my waist, I could use my core to keep her close to me and give my shoulder a break. I ordered it online and received it in the mail in two days.

Product Details

Price: $19.99 (Amazon)

Dimensions: 4 x 7 x 2 inches ; 7.2 ounces

Pockets and Features: Two pockets with reverse coil zippers for carrying essentials; Attached mesh pouch collapses and stores inside its own pocket; Dual D-rings for right side and left side leash attachment; Woven leash with dual clips included.

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My Honest Review

Within the first few minutes I took Raven out for a run with the leash I thought this was finally the solution. She could still pull me but my core was strong enough to keep her by my side. And after the first few runs, I  found that running her through Rock Creek Park does more to calm her down than the heavy dose of anti-anxiety medicine she’s on.

I love the pockets that I can fit my bags or treats in and having the ability to take the leash on and off the waistband is ideal for getting her to and from Rock Creek Park (I drive there so we don’t have to go through the scary city streets).

But while a handsfree leash is the solution to finally being able to take Raven on runs, I’m not convinced this exact product is the solution. Even though it says “no slip” on the description, I’m constantly trying to keep it from riding up my waist. The pockets are also starting to fall apart after only a month of using it. And I’m not that small and the adjustable straps aren’t actually small enough for my waist (that may be why it rides up so much).

I’d also caution anyone looking into any handsfree leash for someone running with a strong dog. It does take quite a bit of effort to keep her by my side and every now and then when she really pulls me, if I wasn’t really careful, I could probably be knocked over.

I’d love if a fellow dog owner/runner could recommend a handsfree leash that doesn’t fall apart within the first month and actually fits me. Because after a month of running Raven a few times a week, she’s making dramatic improvements. She’s more content with being outside with the world. She doesn’t have as much pent up energy. And the only time I ever see her that happy outside, especially when she gets to take a dip in Rock Creek, is when she gets to tag along with me for runs.

Snip20140805_18(It’s so dang hot out here, Mom!)

I’m going to stick with this product for now until it completely falls apart but the last thing I want to happen is a poorly made handsfree leash to get in the way of this adorable pup’s happiness.

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Weekend {Running} Happenings Around the District (8/1-8/3)

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Photo by Flickr user Andrew Magill. License.

8/01-8/03: Tax Holiday in Virginia

Okay so I may be cheating here a little because Virginia is technically outside of the District but just a short run across the river, Virginia will exempt taxes on qualifying clothing and footwear.

From the Virginia Department of Taxation:

During this three-day period, purchases of qualifying school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and purchases of qualifying clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax.

Here’s a map of specialty running stores in Virginia:

Riley’s Rumble Half Marathon

More Information

Not afraid to admit it, MCRRC is hosting one brutal half marathon this Sunday.

From their website:

Riley’s Rumble is the evil half that your mother warned you about. Don’t be seduced by the lush bucolic countryside of rural Montgomery County. This race will challenge the best runners. If you want the 3 H’s (hills, heat, and humidity), this is the race for you. It is a good workout if you’re preparing for a fall marathon but Riley’s is not a good idea for your first half marathon. As an alternative, consider volunteering for Riley’s and then running Parks Half Marathon (our ‘better half’) which takes place in early autumn when the weather is usually significantly cooler.

Location

Boyds, MD

Date

8/03/14

Time

7 a.m.

Distance

13.1 Miles

Entry Fee

Free for MCRCC Members | $21.40 for Non-MCRRC Members

Group Runs

Name/Location: DC Road Runners, Iwo Jima Memorial (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 8/2 at 7 a.m.
Distance: 18 miles

Name/Location: DC Capital Striders, Lincoln Park
Date/Time: 8/2 at 9 a.m.
Distance: 6-7 Miles (varies)

Name/Location: DC Capital Striders, Dupont Circle
Date/Time: 8/2 at 8 a.m.
Distance: 17 Miles

Name/Location: DC Front Runners, 23rd and P Street NW (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 8/2 at 9 a.m.
Distance: 3, 4, or 6 Mile Fun Run

Name/Location: Washington Running Club, 3300 Block of M Street NW
Date/Time: 8/3 at 7 a.m.
Distance: (varies)

Name/Location: DC Front Runners, 23rd and P Street NW (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 8/3 at 9 a.m. (Start time may vary due to weather or race conflicts. To confirm, e-mail info@dcfrontrunners.org)
Distance: 10+ Miles

Name/Location: Virginia Happy Trails, Peirce Mill (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 8/3/14 at 8 a.m.
Distance: 7 Miles


Note: Some of these groups may encourage/require club membership prior to group runs. I strongly recommend checking out the club’s website prior to showing up.

Noteworthy Articles

The Nats coaching staff go for runs before games: http://curlyw.mlblogs.com/2014/07/17/running-men-a-nationals-coaching-staff-routine/

The Onion takes a stab at how tired our legs are: http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-study-finds-running-for-20-minutes-each-day-co,36584/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=LinkPreview:1:Default

Study shows you only have to run five minutes a day to reap the benefits: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/30/running-just-5-minutes-a-day-has-long-lasting-benefits/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

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Weekend {Running} Happenings Around the District (7/25-7/27)

Author’s Note: This is the first post of a new series that will launch on Fridays called, “Weekend {Running} Happenings Around the District.” I’ll include one or two upcoming weekend races, several group runs and special running-related events around the Washington, D.C. area.

=PR= D.C. Store Grand Opening (7/25-7/27)
919 F Street, Northwest

20004 Washington, DC
More Information

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Potomac River Running is a family-owned, locally based running specialty store with nine locations in the D.C. metropolitan area. Their first store opened in the spring of 2003 in Loudoun County with the goal of sharing their passion for an active lifestyle with the community. In addition to selling footwear with a free video gate analysis, apparel and acessories, the store hosts numerous races, training programs and group runs throughout the area.

Earlier this summer, they closed their Cleveland Park location then immediately opened a new store just a few steps away from Gallery Place or Metro Center (where what used to be a cowgirl creamery). Starting Friday, they’ll have gift card giveaways, shoe and apparel raffles, demos and free happy hour! =PR= gift cards (between $5 and $25) will be given out each day to the first 20 people when the store opens each day; the first 20 people at 2pm each day; and the first 10 people at the beginning of happy hour.

Kelli from Potomac River Running’s marketing team actually gave me a tour of the new store a few weeks ago. The new location still has the same family-owned feel to it but with a new and improved look. 2052 steps exactly from the Washington Monument (several posters line the walls of the store informing the costumers how many steps it takes to various landmarks around  the District), I couldn’t think of a better spot for group runs to take off. To top it all off,  the store even sells these exclusive #rundc t-shirts!

Pacers Crystal City 5K (7/26)
More Information

There’s still time to register for Pacers Crystal City 5k that takes place this Saturday evening!

From the Pacers website: “Join Pacers and the Crystal City BID for the area’s favorite summer twilight race! The Twilighter’s flat and fast course, competitive team prize structure and incredible post race party make it the hottest 5K in town!”

Location

Crystal City, Arlington

Time

8:30 P.M.

Distance

5K

Entry Fee

$40 5K | $20 5K High School Student

Group Runs (7/26-7/27)

Name/Location: DC Road Runners, Iwo Jima Memorial (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 7/26 at  7 a.m.
Distance: 16 miles

Name/Location: DC Capital Striders, Lincoln Park
te/Time: 7/26 at 8 a.m.
Distance: 12 Miles

Name/Location: DC Capital Striders, Lincoln Park
Date/Time: 7/26 at 9 a.m.
Distance: 6-7 Miles (varies)

Name/Location: DC Front Runners, 23rd and P Street NW (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 7/26 at 9 a.m.
Distance: 3, 4, or 6 Mile Fun Run

Name/Location: Washington Running Club, 3300 Block of M Street NW
Date/Time: 7/27 at 7 a.m.
Distance: (varies)

Name/Location: City Sports, Georgetown (registration encouraged)
Date/Time: 7/27 at 9 a.m.
Distance: 6 Miles

Name/Location: DC Front Runners, 23rd and P Street NW (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 7/27 at 9 a.m. (Start time may vary due to weather or race conflicts. To confirm, e-mail info@dcfrontrunners.org)
Distance: 10+ Miles

Name/Location: Virginia Happy Trails, Roosevelt Island (membership encouraged)
Date/Time: 7/27 at 8 a.m.Distance: 8.25 miles


Note: Some of these groups may encourage/require club membership prior to group runs. I strongly recommend checking out the club’s website prior to showing up.

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Vacation Running

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Vacations are different for runners—especially in the middle marathon training. Trying to fit in a long run or speed workout may be next to impossible but skipping out on these necessary building blocks of your training plan could cost you down the road.

In March, I visited Portland, Oregon and wanted to knock out some decent mileage while I was out there. I looked at a few maps before I left and had the expectation of running through the park for at least a few hours.

On my second day out there, I woke up at the crack of dawn and plugged in “Forest Park” on my GPS. Once I saw that I was only a few blocks away, I found a parking spot and began running toward where Google Maps had said where the park was.

For the next 20 minutes, I ran around looking like a chicken with its head cut off. I couldn’t find the trailhead for the life of me. I finally found a local there who pointed me in the right direction but when I finally arrived, I didn’t have any particular trail planned and ended up popping back out into neighborhood streets 30 minutes later. At the point, I was frustrated and called it a day.

With this trip in mind, I decided to plan out my running schedule ahead of time a few days before I left for California.

Fortunately around the same time I was planning my running schedule for my trip, Amanda Hicks of AmandaRuns.com found out I was headed out to California and recommended the Dipsea trail. And to my benefit, she blogged about her Double Dipsea experience when she took a trip out there last year. After getting a few pro-tips from her and reading the step-by-step guide she posted, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

I arrived at the start of the trail around 8 a.m. and was pleasantly surprised with the cool temperatures that filled the morning air. The first few miles were packed with three flights of stairs as tall as a fifty-story building and up some windy hills. Thanks to the DCA November Project, I have some stair experience and was able to run up most of them but by the last flight, I was drenched in sweat and chugged down half of my water bottle already.

After the stairs, I weaved in and out of quiet trails until I hit Muir Woods. I topped off my water and continued on my way. After another mile of a pretty tough climb, I opened my water bottle pouch to eat a gel and noticed my credit card was missing. I realized my credit card must have fallen out of the pouch while I kept taking my phone out for pictures. I retraced my steps and after a few minutes, I saw my credit car lying on the side of the trail staring at me. Luckily, I can say that was the only hiccup during the entire run.

A few minutes later, I reached the highest point and made my way across the trail in and out of clouds. For at least 20 minutes I could only hear the sound of my feet hitting the dirt. The air up there was nothing like I had ever experienced: clean, quiet and cloudy.  My entire body relaxed on the unknown trail and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

After gliding through the clouds for about 20 minutes, I reached a forest-like part of the trail and made a steep climb down hills and stairs for another few miles. Finally, after I’d been running for 90 minutes, the trail opened up and I could see Stinson Beach. Once I made it to the town, I grabbed some Gatorade and slurped down water from a fountain then ran back the way I came.

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If I hadn’t planned ahead or taken a step-by-step guide with me on this trial, I probably would have turned around after the third flight of stairs. Actually, I’m not even sure if I would have found the stairs. But by planning ahead, I don’t think I could have gotten lost out there even if I tried. This “double Dipsea” run more than made up for all the other times I unsuccessfully ran in a different part of the country.

So for future trips, I decided to make a checklist of items I’ll need to cross off before running in a new place:

–Research ALL Your Options: Though I planned ahead on my Dipsea trail adventures, I realized day three of my vacation that I hadn’t done much research on other trails in the area. So I stuck with mostly neighborhoods the rest of the days only to find out on my last day that there was this beautiful trail nearby that I could have run on several times. Oh well. Next time.

 –Load Map/Step-by-Step List on Phone Ahead of Time: Having this information will avoid future situations like the one I had in Portland.

 –Bring Money (cash AND credit card): If I didn’t have money with me, I’m not sure I would’ve made it the entire way back on Dipsea. I bought several gels and Gatorade at the beach and that really came in handy the last few miles on the way back.

 –Lower Your Expectations: If it’s not reasonable to get a 20-mile long run or a speed workout in on a trip, then it’s not reasonable to set that expectation. Be realistic about your time and options on the trip. This may also allow you to sneak in that long run or speed workout right before you leave.

–Have a Back-Up Plan: If something falls through on the trip or if the internet gives you false information, have a back-up plan. The worst (or best) thing that can happen is you won’t end up using it!

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