Category Archives: Training

DC Capital Striders Volunteer at Alexandria Running Festival – May 2011

The DC Capital Striders Running Group volunteered at the Alexandria Running Festival Sunday May 29, 2011.  Race results are located here – Half Marathon; 5K.

We look forward to helping in 2012!


Trail Running at Difficult Run – Great Falls, Virginia

A few years ago, I was asked by a personal friend of mine, Elyse B., if I would help her train a group of runners for the North Face Endurance Challenge 2009.   I was delighted she asked because I knew not only would I be able help train a group of runners, but it would also give me the opportunity to learn more about the wonderful trail system nearby known as Great Falls Park.

We met with this group of runners each Wednesday evening at Difficult Run and Saturday mornings either in Great Falls Park or Algonkian Park, where the endurance challenge is held each year.  For those that aren’t aware, this is a trail run series sponsored by North Face, that is held across two days each year, usually a weekend in June.  On Saturday, runners have an option of a 50 miler, a 50 kilometer, a marathon, or marathon relay (4 person team).  On Sunday, runners have an option of a half marathon, a 10 kilometer, or 5 kilometer option.  We were training 10 kilometer to 50 mile runners over a period of approximately 6 months, more time for the longer distance runners.

I had the opportunity to meet a great crew of running friends including Tom M, James B, Jeff A, Tom H, Laurie A., Kevin R, Jay D, Matt Z, and several others.   Some of these individuals had never run an endurance race before and now, only two years later, they are running 20 plus mile runs each weekend for joy.  They amaze me and encourage me to be a better runner.

DC Capital Striders has partnered with North Face to bring these runs back again.  Each Wednesday evening, we run at Difficult Run starting at 6 pm.  Runs are open to all runners regardless of pace or ability level.  Each week, we will share the course, run together, and make sure each runner returns back to the Difficult Run Parking lot safely.   Weekend runs will soon be organized as well for those who wish to get in more training (above 10 miles).

Picture attached is from our Wednesday night run – join us each week and absorb the wonder and beauty of trail running!

Tip of the day:  If you haven’t been trail running, you don’t know what you are missing. Come join us and find out what a great experience this can be.  Sign up at:




A Sunday Brick

A few years ago if someone asked me if I wanted to do a brick, I’d say, “huh”?   I would think I know WHAT a brick is, but never knew you could actually do one.   For those of you that still aren’t following, a “brick” or more formally known as a “brick workout” is a workout designed for triathletes that could describe a variety of events, but for the purposes of triathlon prep it is defined as a swim, bike, or run workout immediately following a base workout. For example, a 20k bike after a 1600m swim would be a brick workout. Same thing for a 10k run after a 20k bike or a 5k run followed by a 600m swim.   I have been doing brick workouts now in preparation for a few triathlons coming up this season.  This morning was such an occasion.

The place – Glen Echo Park off MacArthur Boulevard.  If you don’t know about this place, its a very popular starting point for many triathletes in the Washington DC metro area due to its large parking lot and proximity to many long roads popular to bikers including MacArthur Boulevard, River Road, Canal Street, all of which I, along with my other training partners saw on this day.

On this day, we rode 40 miles followed by a 20 minute timed run.  The ride was great!  Rolling hills, fast pace.  We finished in just over 2 hours and 20 minutes, with approximately 15 minutes of stops.  James, one of my fellow riders, was having problems with his front derailler.  For those that don’t know what this is, this is a mechanism that allows the chain to go from the bottom chain ring to the top and back down when needed.  On this day, it was needed.  After fiddling with it for a few minutes and even looking on the smart phone for an easy website for quick fixes, we decided to roll along and James would stay in either his top or bottom chain ring changing it manually when required.   This of course naturally slowed him down, but he was a trooper and finished the ride successfully, even after taking a wrong turn a few miles from our finish.

The run went alright.  I completed approximately 2 1/3 miles in 20 minutes, for about a 9:30 minute per mile pace.  I don’t mind this pace, its rather comfortable, however my left hamstring doesn’t like it.  More rehab needed using foam rollers, trigger point therapy, massages, yoga and stretching.     We shall see how the triathlon in a few weeks works out, Greensboro Christmas in July.

Now, its breakfast time!

Tip(s) of the day:  If you want to ride from Glen Echo Park on a weekend, I suggest getting there early.  The parking lot fills up very quickly and many cars had to park on the grassy area (which the park police didn’t like very much).  Also, I suggest a basic bike maintenance class, which I have taken before but guess I didn’t retain the how to fix the front derailler part.

North Face Endurance Challenge and WeeklyTraining Runs

A few weeks ago (June 4 and 5) I, along with several DC Capital Striders friends and runners, had the opportunity to attend and participate in the North Face Endurance Challenge.  Several friends were running various distance events from 10K all the way up to the 50 miler.   This is one of my favorite weekends of the year!  

DC Capital Striders Running group secured a sponsorship with North Face recently and had the opportunity to have a tent at the race site for the weekend.    Members running included Chris G.; Jeff A.; James B,; Tom H., Tom M.; Theresa A.; Jeff A. and friends Autumn C and Adriana A.   Even though I wasn’t participating as a runner this weekend, the endorphins were flowing watching friends compete and accomplish such wonderful running feats.

Many local running favorites finished in the top three for the 50 mile race including Matt Woods, Jordan Mcdougal, and Michael Wardian.   Also featured on race weekend was ultramarathon favorite and North Face sponsored athlete Dean Karnazes.    I had the opportunity to meet him and also speak with the executive director of his foundation, Karno Kids.   DC Capital Striders may organize a spring race for Karno Kids with its mission to encourage, motivate, inspire youth to get outside and become physically active and to restore & preserve the environment for their use and enjoyment.

Join DC Capital Striders for weekly trail runs open to all runners at Great Falls park (Difficult Run) each Wednesday evening and on Saturday mornings at various locations around Washington DC.   Our hope to is organize a huge team for next year’s race – 2012! 

For more information, visit:  

Tip of the day:  Whether you are participating in an event as a runner, a friend, a motivator or a volunteer – you can still enjoy the experience.

Saturday Morning Training Run

This morning I woke up and thought I’d take it easy and give  my left hamstring a break.   I then turned on the tube and saw the movie “Prefontaine” on Showtime Extreme at 6 am.   Of course my eyes were peeled to the screen and seconds later I felt the itch.

Luckily, DC Capital Striders has a Saturday morning run minutes from my home.  I hop out of bed, grab my favorite running gear, and made the quick trip to Mcdonald’s to fuel up on oatmeal, which surprisingly is pretty darn good.  I then headed to the W & OD Trail in Vienna, VA near the caboose to meet up with Erica W and John L.    My garmin was ready to go, heart monitor attached, some orange flavored Gu brand chomps in my pocket and my Ipod shuffle on hand.

Today’s run consisted of 7 1/2 miles at an average pace of 9 1/2 minutes per mile.  I am signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall running for one of my favorite charites, High Cloud Foundation.

Tip of the day:  Make sure your Ipod has power before you roll out the door.  Mine died within the first few minutes of my run leaving me motivated to the sounds of birds chirping and Zip wheels passing me on the trail while hearing “on your left”.  On this day, I wasn’t saying, “on your left”, I was hearing it.

Stay tuned to this blog for updates on training for distance runs, various endurance events, and tips and tricks on being a better endurance athlete, and opportunites to serve and participate in various local fitness/endurance events.