The Best Laid Plans

I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that it’s already taper time in my training cycle. Wait, no 20-milers? No 5 a.m. weekday runs? No busted toenails?

Half-marathon training is a wonderland, and I love it.

Focusing on a half this spring instead of full marathon was definitely a smart move for me. Not only is my foot/ankle problem history, but the rest of me is better off. Remember my grand plan for half-marathon training this spring? Let’s check in on how I’ve done.

Running

We’ll start with the most important part: the actual running! My miles were strong throughout the training cycle. I didn’t have any injuries or major sickness, so I was able to keep with my schedule and log more quality miles than in past training.

I ran on hilly trails at least once a week and finally made friends with that dumb oval that used to taunt me in high school. Turns out the adrenaline high from track workouts is pretty addicting.

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Strength-training

As planned, I did BodyPump twice a week almost every week the past few months. Amazingly, I can’t actually see any of my muscle progress, but it’s got to be in there somewhere, right?

Despite my BodyPump commitment, I majorly slacked on my core work. I’m getting back on track in the abs arena now; just please don’t make me plank for longer than, oh, a second.

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Cross-training

I was definitely a little over-ambitious in the cross-training department when I laid out my spring schedule. The weekly spinning and swimming I had planned lasted only the first month or so, but I did manage to make it to bootcamp most Saturdays. #Winning. (This may or may not have been highly correlated to the Lovejoy Bakers trips that happened after bootcamp.)

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And now?

I have a little more than a week before the Nike Women’s Half in D.C., and the Portland Rock ‘n’ Roll Half is a few weeks later. The hard work is done. Now I just have to enjoy the taper, trust my training on the course, and hopefully enjoy celebratory beers after a new PR.

What goal races are you chasing this season?
Ever stepped back from long distance to focus on shorter goals?
Are you running Nike this year?

Spotlight 2.0

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I promised to do another Spotlight post after the popularity of my first one in back in January, so here we go! As a reminder, the point of spotlighting is to step away from blogging’s slightly, well, narcissistic leanings and focus on the awesome feats of others.

1. Portland

Yep, I’m tipping my hat to the whole city. All you readers already know how much I love the active community in Portland, so I won’t continue gushing in this post. I’ll let somebody else do it. : ) Men’s Fitness ranked Portland as its Fittest City for 2014, thanks in part to the city’s abundant outdoor recreation opportunities. Reporter Peter Koch visited (and even joined in with our Portland Running Company group run one evening) to find out what makes Portlanders’ heartrates tick. Fun article; give it a read.

2. The Washington Post’s To Your Health

I’ve always been a little bummed that the Post doesn’t offer more health/fitness content, so I was thrilled to learn that reporter and editor Lenny Bernstein is heading up a new blog to fill that void. To Your Health is delivering daily stories about fitness and general wellness. In Lenny’s own words:

What you’ll find here: The latest news and research on physical and mental health, nutrition, fitness and other subjects. Expert advice. Inspiration, mostly in the form of what others are doing to keep themselves healthy. Gentle nagging about healthful habits. A bit of humor, when possible (laughter may be, after all, the second-best medicine, behind physical exercise). Some surprises. Empathy, at how difficult it is sip from the fire hose of information available today and keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.

What you won’t find: Health policy. Health politics (or as little as I can get away with at The Post). Lectures. Anything that bores you (I hope). – washingtonpost.com, 3/17

3. What Moves You?

What Moves You? is a documentary project focused on what drives runners to do what we do. The filmmakers did a bunch of filming in Portland (including gorgeous drone shots of the St. Johns Bridge during the Portland Marathon in October). Now they’re shooting around the world, and will release the film in 2015. Check out this beautiful teaser:

What Moves You? A film for runners by runners from What Moves You? on Vimeo.

The Wildwood Trail in a Day

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Wrapped in blankets and sipping coffee this morning, Dave and I feel a million miles from the weekend’s monster adventure. Well — 30.2 miles, to be precise. That’s the distance we covered in our epic trail run/hike along the entire Wildwood Trail.

The Wildwood Trail is the curvy spine of Forest Park in Portland, Ore., snaking through ridges and valleys for more than 30 miles. I began running on sections of the trail last fall and quickly fell in love with the trees, the views and the relative solitude just steps from the city. I’m not sure when I first had the idea to do the whole trail in a day, but once Dave agreed to cover the distance with me, I couldn’t wait.

And so, Saturday, we made good on my daydreams. We woke up around 6, strapped on our backpacks filled with water, food and other supplies, and hopped in a cab. The northernmost point of the Wildwood Trail (technically the end of the trail) is about a 20-minute drive through industrial Northwest Portland on U.S. 30 and left on Newberry Road, just before the bridge to Sauvie Island. The trailhead is nothing special — just a few roadside parking spots and a simple wooden sign indicating the start of the trail. We started walking.

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The first 10 miles were swift and scenic. This section of Forest Park was completely new to me, so I savored each step. Apparently some of the offshoot trails in this area (including Firelane 15) have spectacular mountain views, so I’ll have to come back to investigate. Our favorite bit of scenery here on Saturday was this petrified-looking frog.

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After the first 10, we booked it to the 15-mile marker, excited to reach our halfway point and inhale our lunch. Like good trail runners(/hikers), we supplemented our peanut butter sandwiches with pretzels and gummy bears. I can’t remember much from the next five miles (I must have been on a gummy bear-induced sugar high), but I do recall crossing into more familiar territory like Saltzman Road and the brutal Firelane 1.

After the 20-mile mark, we started our final countdown. Nine more miles. Eight more miles. This would have been a lot more satisfying had these not been by far the most challenging miles of the trek. The climb to Pittock Mansion is always painful no matter how many times I run it. And just when you think you’ve reached a downhill respite after Pittock, the trail ticks upward again. Here’s the elevation chart from the whole 30 miles:
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Oof.

Ultimately, we managed — pushed along by the promise of pizza and by the changing scenery as the wilderness of Forest Park turns to the well-worn acres of Washington Park. But mostly the pizza. And also beer.

The finish, near the zoo, was a bit anti-climactic, as we couldn’t actually find the “0″ mile marker. I’m not sure if there is one, but we found another sign indicating the start of the Wildwood Trail, so we took our celebratory pictures, called it a day and walked to the Max (light rail) nearby.
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To be clear, we did not run the whole 30 miles. We took a laid-back approach to the distance, switching between running and walking whenever we felt like it, aiming only to finish in an easy 10 hours. I think our final time was about 9.5 hours, including many stops and a detour to enjoy the perfect views at Pittock Mansion. The goal of covering the Wildwood Trail in a day was driven by a desire to explore more of the park, so we didn’t want to cheat ourselves by speeding through the miles. Also, duh, I am not at all ready to run continuously for 30 miles on hilly trails.

Wanna do Wildwood yourself? Things to remember:

  • There are very few bathrooms and water stops along the trail, especially the northern 20 miles. Carry toilet paper and plenty of water. My Osprey backpack with a water reservoir was perfect for the job.
  • Parts of Forest Park are remote enough to feel a bit spooky. Tell folks where you’re going, carry your phone, be smart, etc.
  • Don’t go off-trail (except for aforementioned bathroom needs). Forest Park has a delicate ecosystem, and stomping around off the trail can contribute to erosion, spreading of invasive species, habitat destruction of threatened species and other problems. Be respectful.

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Overall, our time spent on the Wildwood Trail was yet another day of Oregon magic. If any readers around Portland are thinking of giving it a shot, definitely let me know if you have questions.

Have you run/hiked any awesome trails where you live?
Gummy bears as fuel: yea or nay?

“Never outrun your joy of running”

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I hit the trails solo yesterday and stumbled onto something like magic.

With my Sunday running partner sidelined by a bum ankle, I scoped out some new trails and set out for seven miles on my own in Forest Park. I started at the Thurman trailhead and covered about three miles on the all-too-familiar Leif Erikson Drive, a rocky trail/road where I spent much of my last marathon training cycle. My route would then take me up Firelane 1, across part of the Wildwood Trail and back toward the start on Wild Cherry. Of course, I hadn’t bothered to look at the elevation profile and was in for a brutal climb on Firelane 1, one of those straight-up paths I can’t imagine any emergency vehicle ever ascending. But the spirit-breaking hill was worth it for the impossibly lovely trail-running terrain that followed.

Unlike its unforgiving uphill switchbacks en route to Pittock Mansion, the Wildwood Trail segment I ran on Sunday was like a gently rolling wave pool — enough variation to keep things interesting but smooth enough to relax, breathe easily and enjoy the lush of forest in every direction. This is the section to run if you want to get into a groove and log some steady miles.

On the new-to-me Wild Cherry trail, the magic of the run had set in. My legs felt strong, the scenery was fresh, and the mud was glorious.

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Oh, did I mention I was wearing my brand new trail shoes? Yep, my Saucony Kinvara TRs had an appropriately filthy debut.

Anyway, the run was already perfect when I stumbled upon the plaque pictured above that made a point about running so beautiful that I’m still thinking about it.

“Running has given me the courage to start, the determination to keep trying, and the childlike spirit to have fun along the way. Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running.” – Julie Isphording, distance runner

So thank you, trails, for always bringing me that joy.

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How have you rediscovered the joy of running?
What’s your favorite running quote?

Grand Plan

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My second half-marathon: the 2012 Mini Marathon. Here we are rounding the massive track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It occurs to me that in my recent blog-swooning over stunning runviews, BodyPump and other miscellany, I’ve neglected to keep you readers posted on what I’m actually working toward this year. So, if you’re into that sort of thing, here’s a quick rundown of my racing and training plans for the spring.

Goal races

Nike Women’s Half Marathon (DC), April 27
Portland Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (PDX), May 18

That’s right, no full marathon this spring. After last fall’s injury mess, I’m still pretty nervous about putting major miles on my pesky foot again. Instead I’m chasing a half-marathon PR and incorporating more cross-training and trail running.

A PR shouldn’t be difficult. I’ve only run two half-marathons ever, and those were two years ago, when I was significantly slower. Since then, I’ve run marathons with pace times faster than my old half PR, so I’d say this one’s in the bag. On the other hand, I’ve lost a lot of speed since drastically cutting my miles a few months ago, so I’ll still have to work for it.

Attack plan

As noted in last week’s post, I’m investing more time in consistent strength-training and cross-training lately. Instead of a haphazard schedule of random spin sessions, free yoga classes and whatever else crosses my radar, I’ve settled into a nice cross-training routine:

  • Mondays: easy lap swimming workout followed by BodyPump
  • Wednesdays: BodyPump
  • Fridays: spin class
  • Saturdays: bootcamp

And as for the running, I’m keeping it simple with a steady buildup back to 13.1. But for the first time ever, I’ll include consistent speed work and trail running. I’m working around an odd schedule this spring, so I shifted my long runs to Mondays. Awesomely, I have someone to run with for almost all of my training.

  • Wednesdays: tempo run through SW Portland with Tyler
  • Thursdays: easy run with Portland Running Company
  • Fridays: track workout with Molly
  • Sundays: trail run with Hong
  • Mondays: long run

And that’s that. It’s made for a fun training cycle so far. We’ll see how it pays off in April.

Have you ever incorporated trail running into your training plan?
Are you planning on doing a Nike or Rock ‘n’ Roll race this year?
Do you want to run with me on Mondays? : )

Giving in to the Big-Box Gym

Boutique fitness is expensive. After years of stretching my budget by scanning Groupon discounts, tracking deals on social media and meticulously cataloguing free class offerings in D.C. and now Portland, I’ve finally committed to a big-box gym.

24-Hour Fitness is exactly what I expected: big, impersonal, inconsistent in instruction quality. BUT, it’s also: cheap, convenient and versatile. I’m sold. Most importantly, it has introduced me to my new favorite Big Fitness class: BodyPump.

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Before BodyPump. Because I feel like a creep taking pictures during class.

My first Pump experience was a disaster. I walked in three minutes before the start without realizing I needed a bit more time to snag a spot and set up the piles of equipment I’d need for barbell-centered weight-lifting class. In my frenzy to get situated, I grabbed weights that were much too heavy, struggled with them throughout the class and was sore for five days. Five days! Five weeks later, I’m practically a pro. The class is exactly what I needed to focus my strength-training workouts. (Left to my own devices, I would do a few reps with a five-pound dumbbell and call it a day.) Interested in trying out BodyPump at your big-box gym? Do this:

  1. Show up early. Very early. If your gym is anything like mine, it’s full of BodyPumpers who stake out the group fitness room 25 minutes early to claim a prime spot (in the front, if you’re one of those people; in the back, if you’re like me).
  2. Be a lightweight. Seriously, get the lightest weights for your first class or two. BodyPump is a music-driven class, with all movements precisely coordinated with the beat. That means it moves pretty quickly. You’re better off becoming comfortable with the movements while using light weights and building from there.
  3. Relax. Rest when you need to. Just like running, weightlifting ability is something you have to work for. Can’t handle 16 reps at the end of the tricep track? Skip every other one, and try to do more next time.  After a month or so, you’ll be golden.
  4. Sample instructors. All fitness instructors are not created equally. I find that to be especially evident at big-box gyms. Some are experts; others are phoning it in. Try as many instructors as you can so you can work out with the best.

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Another major mega-gym perk: access to the pool. Swimming laps is possibly the most tedious exercise in the world, but it always leaves me feeling refreshed and gives me an excuse to sit in the hot tub. If you go:

  1. Plan ahead. If you attempt to swim multiple laps with no variation, your mind will go so numb that you will cease to see the point of coming up for air. Research some simple pool workouts. Swim fast. Swim slow. Practice breathing. Do drills. Keep it interesting.
  2. Use pool equipment. Building on the previous tip, don’t hesitate to use the gear at your pool. Usually you will find a rack of kickboards and floatie things called pull bouys. These are great for isolating elements of your stroke — kickboards to work on your legs; pull bouys to work on your arms.
  3. Don’t make waves. Figuratively speaking. Learn basic pool etiquette so you don’t ruin someone else’s workout. Are you slow? Use the slow lane. Are you sharing a lane? Know the swimming pattern. If there are more than two swimmers in a lane, you will automatically “circle” swim, meaning everyone will swim up one side and down the other, counterclockwise. If there are only two of you, you may ask the other swimming to “split” the lane, meaning each swimmer sticks to his own side of the lane.

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Finally, my big-box commitment means I no longer pay an arm and a leg for spin class. I love indoor cycling and love that it’s become such a sensation in D.C. and elsewhere. But with my recent foray into grad school life, I can’t justify $20/class right now. If you go:

  1. Sample, sample. Again, there are many crummy spin instructors in the world. If you go to a class, and an instructor has you just “push it” or “keep going” for an entire song, spin elsewhere. Your instructor should know every beat of the music and should have perfect cues, having you change up your effort throughout a track. That’s the point of spin class. If you want to do a steady-state effort for an hour, you don’t need a instructor for that.
  2. Stay late. This is a big advantage gyms have over specialty spin studios. Unless classes are scheduled back to back, you have the liberty to stay on the bike and continue your workout after class is over. Didn’t get in the speedwork you wanted? Stay later and do sprints. Need to log some more miles? Have at it. It’s your gym.

I’m in Portland through May, so you’d better believe I’ll be getting the most out of my $40/month membership. But back in D.C., my big neighborhood gym charges a whopping $100/month. Worth it? Better question: Who wants to open an affordable gym in Capitol Hill? I’ll be your first member.

Pittock Mansion

Second in a series featuring gorgeous, knock-out-before-breakfast hikes around Portland. The first post featured Council Crest in SW.

I’ve always said my favorite thing about Portland is the abundance of vistas. Turn a corner and BAM, postcard-worthy scenery. Sometimes it’s a cityscape, sometimes a mountain view — usually with a bridge or two thrown in for good measure. My go-to spot for catching breathtaking views of the city: Pittock Mansion, because, hello:

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Pittock Mansion

What you’ll see: An east-facing view of downtown Portland and the Willamette River. Plus hills, buttes and, on a clear day, Mount Hood towering beyond it all. Equally beautiful but more obstructed is the north-facing view of Mount St. Helens and the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, with Mount Rainier peaking from the background. You’ll see all that from the grounds of Pittock Mansion, perched in the West Hills just north of Burnside.

Why you should go: In addition to the sweeping views, Pittock Mansion itself is a great little piece of Portland’s history. The house was built by Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock in the early 1900s and is open for tours. Bonus: Tours of the mansion are free until Feb. 10! More info here.

How to get there: The hike to Pittock along the Wildwood Trail is almost as good as the destination. You can start on Wildwood wherever you want, but this is my favorite route:

  1.  Start at the Lower Macleay Trailhead at NW Upshur and 30th. The trailhead happens to be in walking distance of my apartment, but you can also take Trimet bus #15 and get off at NW Thurman and 29th. Limited parking is available, too.
  2. Follow the Lower Macleay trail south into Forest Park. The path is paved for a quarter-mile or so and gradually becomes more technical as it follows Balch Creek, an ecologically sensitive trout spawning area. (Note: Pretty must all of Forest Park is a restoration area, so you should not go off the trail or have an unleashed dog.)
  3. In less than a mile, the trail will join the Wildwood Trail at the Stone House, a now-abandoned WPA project. Continue south on the Wildwood Trail.
  4. Cross Cornell Road and continue upward on the Wildwood Trail. You could also veer off on the Upper Macleay Trail here, and it leads to the same destination.
  5. Ascend Wildwood’s switchbacks until you reach a parking lot. There, you’ll head left and find those knockout views on the other side of the mansion.

Roundtrip, the hike is a bit short of 5 miles and includes an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet. Remember that going up will definitely take longer than going down. But the effort is worth it. My Hood to Coast teammate Hong and I run up the Wildwood Trail most weekends and can’t resist taking pictures every single time. A couple to whet your appetite:

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Happy vista-hunting.

 

Snowshoe racing: Because, why not?

As I sped down the snow-covered face of Mount Hood on Sunday with snowshoes strapped to my feet, I was once again reminded that spontaneity yields awesome results.

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I first learned about the X-Dog White River Snowshoe 4K and 8K after Dave and I snowshoed around the Timberline Lodge slopes earlier this winter. I tried to rally a few friends to brave the event with me but had no takers and promptly forgot about it. That is, until last Thursday, when a message from a Portland Running Company pal appeared in my inbox inviting me to Sunday’s race. The stars aligned, I rearranged my schedule, and on Sunday morning, I was gleefully pinning a bib to my shirt and clumsily maneuvering in my rented snowshoes.

Readers, let me tell you: Snowshoe running is hard. Imagine tying tennis rackets to your feet and running through something like quicksand, and you’ve got the idea. The ~2.5-mile race started with a gradual, brutal climb that had me panting within 10 steps. I quickly realized that I could speedwalk an ascent faster than I could run it, so I powered through the remaining uphill portion and wondered if anyone was really enjoying the race.

But halfway through, we turned a corner (literally) and entered a dreamworld. The rest of the race was a winding singletrack through towering evergreens and a ton of snow. We were heading downhill by then, so running became easy and super-fun.

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I finished in 33:18 and 13th overall. Because the field was so small (77 in the 4K), I actually won my age group and was 4th among women! New racing strategy: Increase odds of success by competing only in obscure events. Kidding : ). But it’s definitely cool to know I’ve got this snowshoe running thing down.

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I’m already on the lookout for snowshoe events on the East Coast for next year.

Other notes:
-My Spotlight post last week was so popular, I’ll definitely do another. Holler if you have recommendations!
-Thanks so much to Refinery29 for featuring me on this list of D.C. fitness bloggers! As much as I love Portland, they know where my roots are.
-Are you on Instagram? Do you follow me? No? Get on it!

Have you ever snowshoed? Any tips?
When has spontaneity payed off for you?

Spotlight

This post is the first in what might be a series (track record on following through on series is admittedly not so good) of spotlighting the awesome feats of others in the running/fitness community. Yeah, vanity blogging is fun, but spreading kickass inspiration is better. Here we go.

1. November Project Indy

I had the pleasure last month of checking out DC’s November Project, doing burpees and sprints in the snow. I love the boisterous attitude and inclusive mission of the grassroots fitness movement, so I was ecstatic when I learned that my hometown of Indianapolis has launched its own group. Not sure I have many Indy readers (Hi, Mom!), but if so, please go check out the November Project every Wednesday morning at 6:30 at Butler University’s bell tower for a free and rowdy workout. And follow the group on Twitter for updates. #justshowup

2. Green Microgym

Portlanders, want to multi-task your sweat sessions and good deeds? Log some miles on the equipment at Green Microgym (Alberta & Sellwood) and generate electricity while you do it. I checked out the Alberta location last month with fellow fitness lovers Funky Fitness PDX, Kimberly Novosel and others to offer some input on what I look for in an indoor cycling class. The Green Microgym has designed a top-notch program that you can try for free this month! Go here for details.

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Kimberly, Katrina from Funky Fitness PDX and Adam of Green Microgym discuss the style and substance of a good spin class.

3. Headed Toward Half

Whether you’re training for a half-marathon, considering fundraising for a race or curious about Team in Training, my pal Lauren Dillard’s blog is a good read. Headed Toward Half chronicles Lauren’s experience upping her mileage while training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington, D.C., and raising money for leukemia and lymphoma. Peruse her blog here.

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4. Samantha’s Brewed Awakening

OK, so Samantha’s Brewed Awakening has little to do with fitness and lots to do with another love of mine: coffee. BUT, I did meet Samantha briefly following a November Project workout in D.C., so I say it counts. On her blog, Samantha highlights coffeeshops she encounters around the District and during her travels elsewhere. She’s more into coffeeshop culture than coffee snobbery, and her cafe reviews are entertaining and informative for anyone caffeinating in D.C. Follow her coffee buzz here.

And a quick update from my world: I just joined 24-Hour Fitness! As much as I love boutique studios, my wallet doesn’t, so I took advantage of 24′s cheapo membership in Portland. I’ve already tried spin, BodyPump, CX and BodyCombat there, and I’m digging all the variety so far. More on all of that soon!

Kingman Island & foiled plans

Capitol views.

Capitol views.

When I scheduled a luxurious two weeks of off time in Washington, D.C., I envisioned carefree days catching up with friends, decorating the new condo with Dave and sweating my way through a slew of favorite D.C. workouts. Well, the plan was only halfway successful.

Though I got in some scenic miles last week, I caught a nasty cold bug that has left me operating at half-capacity since Saturday. Oof. Here’s a quick break from my tea-fueled Twin Peaks marathon to highlight all the high-quality sweat produced before the wheels came off.

Swamp running
Dave just bought a new condo in the eastern part of D.C.’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Since I’ll be living there when I return to my D.C. life in June, I was eager to scope out the nearby running routes. It’s not too far from my old apartment, so I had a general idea, but was hoping the closer proximity to Kingman Island would be a trail running treasure. Verdict: not so much.

Kingman Island is an oft-forgotten little sliver of land in the Anacostia River near RFK Stadium. I’ve visited for an annual bluegrass festival the past few years and remembered seeing a small hiking trail on the adjacent Heritage Island. During a quick run last week, I found the trail to be short (about a quarter-mile), swampy from recent rain and so deserted that I worried a little about happening upon a dead body (some history fueling that fear). I’m sure I’ll run there again: it’ll be a nice way to add variety to shorter runs around the neighborhood. But I’ll probably opt to run on dry days with a partner (ya know, to help with the dead body handling).

In all seriousness, though, Living Classrooms and volunteers are working hard to restore the natural wildlife habitat on Kingman and Heritage islands, and they’re doing a great job so far. If you live in D.C., and you haven’t checked it out, try the bluegrass festival in April (info on the website linked above).

No dead bodies here!

No dead bodies here!

Fort Marcy
On New Year’s Day, Dave and I set out to get some fresh air on the Potomac Heritage Trail starting at the Roosevelt Island trailhead. Apparently everyone else in the metro area had the same idea, though, and we couldn’t find parking. So, we continued up the GW Parkway until we hit Fort Marcy, where we checked out a different section of the PH Trail, and I almost bit it multiple times. Past time to invest in some trail shoes!

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One of the few times I wasn’t falling down during my New Year’s Day run.

Solitude on the Potomac Heritage Trail near Chain Bridge.

Solitude on the Potomac Heritage Trail near Chain Bridge.

November Project
I’d been looking forward to trying out D.C.’s outpost of the November Project since reading about it last year. So I braved a pre-6 a.m. wake-up and some bitter cold to go do burpees and sprints around Thomas Circle last Friday. True to the stories I had heard, there were lots of hugs and lots of f*ck yeahs. Hoping to join the raucous group again tomorrow if my health turns upward.

Photo by Chris Cantergiani (@canofspaghetti)

Photo by Chris Cantergiani (@canofspaghetti)

Frozen trails
By far the chilliest and prettiest adventure of the week was my run with the Montgomery County Road Runners Club on trails along Seneca Creek, the same spot where I ran my first trail race in April. Thanks to my pal Chris for getting Dave and me out in the 2-degree weather. The snow-covered trail was stunning, and I couldn’t believe how many devoted MoCo runners showed up to eagerly cover way more distance than I did.

Frosty morning running through the polar vortex.

Frosty morning running through the polar vortex.

And now I’ve settled into my sickly sedentary lifestyle with a cold that has wiped me out. I did manage a lunchtime spin workout at ZenGo the other day and promptly collapsed for hours on my couch. Speaking of which, time to get back to my important Twin Peaks routine. Gotta find out who killed Laura Palmer.