Run DC

This speech is my recital, I think it’s very vital
To rock (a rhyme), that’s right (on time)
It’s Tricky is the title, here we go

For the first time since moving to Austin, Ev and I visited the old hood (a.k.a. the Wizzle Dizzle Washington, DC). We met up with lots of old friends, old restaurants, and old running routes.

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We stayed in a pretty sweet spot at 20th & Penn NW, central to basically everything. Fittingly, our entire itinerary was based around where we were going to eat: fresh seafood, pizza, custom hot chocolate, burgers, milk shakes, beer. It was irresponsible, but it was delicious.

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Moving On Up

This here blog has been getting cozy at its current address for nearly a year now and is thinking of upgrading to someplace a little less on the west side* running-only.  Why you ask?  Well that will all be answered in more detail in an upcoming post.  The long and the short of it is that I’m hoping to break into the triathlon scene, and so I’d like to have a more balanced blog presence.

I’m also thinking of dropping the “” and buying the website address.  I know what you’re thinking.. “But Mike! Don’t bother! Your blog is already my homepage, so it doesn’t matter!”

Believe it or not, there are still a few people on the Internet who do not check my blog before anything else.  Anyway, I’d like to get your feedback on what my new website should be.  Some of the facts to consider are:

  1. It should relate to a broader activity base, rather than focusing solely on, say, running;
      (For example, and are out)
  2. It should be somewhat witty, but still stand on its own if someone has no sense of humor doesn’t get it;
  3. I’m fairly good at running, so-so at biking, and terrible at swimming.

Here are a few options to vote on, or feel free to add your suggestions in the comments!  (Please add suggestions in the comments, I’m stumped for other ideas!)

*We’re movin’ on up, To the East Side, To a deluxe apartment, In the sky, etc etc.

Slow Down!

Still no race on the calendar, but that hasn’t stopped me from hitting the pavement.  I’ve been getting out there 3 – 4 2-3 times a week, bright- dark-and-early (stupid Spring Forward).  I’ve been heading out on my regular 7.68 mile (yes, exactly 7.68, so says my GPS) route most mornings and take on the rest of the day per usual.  However, something comes over me on the weekends that is both awesome and unrecommended.  “What can be both awesome and unrecommended?” you ask.  Drugs! Grand Theft! Unprotected Chess! Country Music!* Teletubbies! I’ll give you a moment to get all the inappropriate comments out of your system.

Anyway,  the awesome / unrecommended item I am referring to is, on the weekends, I seem to run like people are chasing me.  What I mean is, I run nearly as fast as I can for as long as I can.  Case in point, this last weekend, for no reason, I started off a little too quick (8:00 min/mile) and only got faster.  Why?  Because it is awesome.  I even sought revenge upon my archetypal (GRE word) nemesis whom you may remember from my Power Suit post, and flew by a girl in a 2009 Boston Marathon shirt.  (Ev pointed out she was probably 2/3 of the way through a 22-mile run, but I still passed her!)  Makes me feel like I’m racing every week, in which case I am the winner!  (and loser, I suppose).  “It’s not recommended to run so hard too often.  You should slow down”.  Yea, that’s what you say if you’re a Teletubby you hate fun.

Perhaps it’s because I’m awake for a few hours instead of a few minutes before running, or just the change to warmer weather (thank you again, Global Warming, for raising Earth’s temperature so quickly**).  So for now, I’ll take pleasure in these long, fast runs, and continue to challenge myself as if I’m racing each weekend.  Rationality be damned!  I will not slow down!

Last Saturday’s Run

Distance: 12.34 miles
Time: 1:36:57
Pace: 7:51 min/mile
Average HR: 161 bpm

*Country music is neither awesome nor recommended.

**Some uninformed types might call this “the seasons changing from Winter to Spring”.  Ahh, ignorance, such a beautiful thing.  Suck it, Al Gore***.

***Thank you for inventing the Internet.

It’s a No-Go

Well, I’d first like to say thanks to my only reader, who voted 17 times all 17 of you who voted in my poll about running the National Half Marathon. It really means a lot that you would find 17 different computers to vote from. That’s dedication. Thanks for taking a moment to cast your single vote in something so unimportant.

Anyway, through laziness, procrastination, and downright vigorous disinterest, it appears that the registration deadline has come and gone. Yes, it is true. As of 11:59pm on Pi Day (3/14 for the mathematically impaired), my participation in the race had evaporated into thin air like perspiration during a half marathon.


p style=”text-align:left;”>So, for the 18% of you who voted for me to “Save My Money”, today is your day to shine. You win by default, but a win is a win. (Kind of like

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this story from October where first place was disqualified for using a water bottle handed to her by a friend in the crowd, and 2nd place also being disqualified for listening to an iPod. So for those 18%, you are like third place!) As it were, I’ll continue my disorganized running schedule until a race presents itself. Hasta la pasta.

The Power Suit

I’ve had a wonky sleep schedule this week. Actually, the schedule has been fine, but my body hasn’t really been sticking to it. The past 3 nights I was lucky enough to see the clock at 3:31am, 3:15am, and 1:52am. Not ideal, and it left me more tired than usual. Well this morning I got my rear in gear, despite sleeping lightly, and trekked out for a gloomy 7 miles.

I threw on my power suit: Chicago Marathon finisher’s shirt and Marine Corps Marathon hat for that extra “I’m better than you” feeling and headed out the door. The legs felt surprisingly strong considering some nagging tightness in both calves throughout the week. Cruising along and exuding awesomeness through my attire, I felt pretty high and mighty. Until…

POP! My bubble was burst.


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towards me was a girl wearing an unmistakable yellow Boston Marathon shirt. For the uninitiated, the Boston Marathon is the only race you need to qualify for by running another race within their qualifying times. Fast qualifying times. Like times that I don’t think I’ll be hitting… ever.

And just like that, my “power suit” was nothing but any old shirt and hat.

Distance: 7.00 miles
Time: 57:54
Pace: 8:16 min/mile
Average HR: 158 bpm

An (Un)Important Decision

This will be brief. As I’ve mentioned (and mentioned (and mentioned)), I’m considering running the National Half Marathon on March 20th. Currently, the one factor holding me back is cost. Here’s the breakdown:

No Travel $93 Registration
Finisher’s Medal $93 Registration
Great Sense of Accomplishment $93 Registration
Meet Up with Old Friend Wake Up Early on a Saturday

And there you have it. A pretty unimportant decision to be made, and

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an over-the-top analysis of something that you couldn’t care less about.

So please vote! And leave comments if you’re feeling generous 🙂


p style=”text-align:center;”>

Spring Has Sprung!

Ah, the wash of sunshine pouring over you after 3+ months of layers and confinement. Few things are as underrated as sunshine to those who bask in its warmth year-round. Granted, as a transplant from South Florida, I, too, took sunshine as an undeniable constant for a time. As my northward migration has taken me through Nashville, and now DC, I have undone that expectation to wake up to the warmth of that lovable ball of burning gas.

Well, this past weekend, not two days after my last rambling about the cold weather, did we get a taste of a heatwave! I know, I know, particularly as a native Floridian, 55* and sunny is no heatwave. But when the temperature nearly doubles from the days prior, it is no less an event

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than an unseasonably snowy seasonal snowstorm. It was glorious, and it really made me appreciate the beautiful weather after having been without for several months.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if I had a choice, it would be 55* and sunny every time I laced up my shoes. Screw “appreciating it more”. That’s just what you say when you’re a have-not. Give me the warmth and leave the cold to the Canadians. There are other bloggers out there that I follow who fall on each end of the spectrum, specifically in Michigan and Hawaii. I’d guess that Frayed Laces wouldn’t give up Hawaii for anything, while Nitmos could live without the Michigan winter (with respect to training). In fact, I imagine if you asked 100 endurance runners / triathletes, 99 of them would take the amazing year-round weather (and that 1 leftover guy is a liar).


p style=”text-align:left;”>Anyway, this past Sunday featured an outstanding long run that was to be a kind of pre-test for the National Half Marathon coming up. It went really well, and actually made my decision to sign up for the race harder. I was hoping I’d fall apart and use that as an excuse not to do National. Instead, I hit a 7:31 pace for 11.5 miles, not far from the goal race pace. Ugh, jerk. So now I’m left wondering if I can take the results of that awesome run and shift them 2 weeks onto race day, or if I should just forget it anyway. I’ll put up a poll in my next post for you, my lone reader, and see what you think.

The Lull after a Marathon

Miami was my eighth (count ’em, 8 ) marathon. After (almost) all of them I take about a week off and then hop right back into it. This time is different, with no race on the calendar. It’s rare for Mikey here to not have at least a few races on the horizon. It provides motivation to train and just something to look forward to; a change of pace, no pun intended. However, with a few “real-life” unknowns in the near future, I have restrained myself from registering for any races. Since Miami, I took 2 weeks off from running completely. I barely even ran to get across an intersection, let alone log any miles during that time. And you know what? It was nice. Real nice. Sleeping in, not worrying about when I’ll get out for 2+ hours to run, and just straight up relaxing. Because let’s face it.. I relax like I run. I relax hard.


p>Anyway, it’s been a weird month and change since the marathon. The National Half Marathon is on March 20th here in the District, so I’ve been eying (apparently not spelled “eyeing”)

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it. Alas, the registration fee is a bit steep at this point in the

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game. Including tax, we’re talking almost ninety-three Washingtons. For the fans of the Civil War, that’s almost nineteen Lincolns or nearly two Grants (I suspect if the South had won, Bob E. Lee would be on the Fifty, wouldn’t he? Go North, ftw!). I’ll have more to follow regarding the National Half. But at least, you, as my only reader, know what I have been up to. So, thank you for your continued readership and maybe someday it will double! A boy can dream…

March is Spring …pause… NOT

The title of this post is a subtle Borat reference.  If you haven’t seen Borat, well, don’t worry about the title.  Also, I think you should update your Netflix queue now.  Basically, I mean that it is March, so where’s the Spring-like weather?  My run today was 34 feels like 27 degrees.  Fahrenheit.

Now, I understand that we can’t actually say “Spring has sprung” until March 20, known as the Vernal Equinox (thanks to Wikipedia for knowing things like that so I don’t have to, kind of like my own personal external hard drive), but the fact that it is March 5th and my water bottle can still freeze is a bit unnerving.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the cold.  I just think the cold has it’s time, and that time is known as December, January, and February.  I expect, nay, demand that the cold cease and desist at once to allow flowers to bloom and running tights to be put away.  Alas, this is unlikely in the next few days because there are still pockets of icy snow on the ground from that Ice Age 2.o we experienced a month ago.

So, Old Man Winter, scoot yourself northward, and know that I will be heading out each morning wishing for global warming to get here sooner*.

The Details

Regular 7.5 Mile Run:

Distance: 7.65 miles
Time: 59:50
Pace: 7:49 min/mile
Average HR: 162 bpm

*And by global warming I mean Spring.

Gypsy! Give me your tears! If you will not give them to me, I will take them from you!  (another Borat reference)

First Date, Part 2

Picking up where Part 1 left off, the other concern I had with a new running compatriot would be pace.  I mean, who knows how fast someone named “Ben” would run?  Is a Ben faster than a Mike?  Where does that compare to a Colin, or even, say, a Derrick??  Oh boy, what had I gotten myself into?  At least his name wasn’t Mebrahtom.  Mebs are fast.

What? Ok, so we met up at the water fountain and started up some treacherous hills.  As one astute reader noted (Colin), the pace of yesterday’s snow-filled hill run wasn’t exactly slow.  And that’s what I want to talk about.  While we were battling up hills and dodging abominable snowmen, I talked about how I just finished the Miami Marathon, which was my 8th.  He mentioned he was targeting a marathon in his hometown in NY in September, and said there was a $100 prize.  ???  I asked Ben if he had run any marathons and he mentioned just one.  When he was 17… I’m thinking, “wow, are you going to say how you fell apart?”  Not so much.  I asked his time in his one marathon, when he was 17 years old.. 2:38.  What!?

That’s almost an hour faster than my fastest!  He is confident he’ll win the marathon in September.  I then realized something that hadn’t crossed my mind.  Ben is faster than Mike.  He explained that he was a member of his D-1 track team for the last 2 years, and ran a 4:08 minute mile.  He wanted to meet up to run because he finds he goes out way too fast.  Like, his first mile of a typical training run is in the ballpark of 5:20 min / mile.  Wow, so as it turned out, running with me would be like walking in a tar-filled sandpit.  So I not-so-jokingly said that we could get together when I’m doing tempo runs and he has recovery runs.  Ouch, my pride, it hurts.

So, we’ll see how long this running relationship lasts.  It may come down to a “it’s not you, it’s me” and him running away from commitment slower people like me.  It’s definitely worth meeting up a few more times, but I think that we’re looking for different things from a running relationship.