Monthly Archives: November 2009

Video: MCM ’09 post-race Interview With Me, Chapped Lips and All

So I’m not completely sure why I’m sharing this, because it’s going to cause me more embarassment than anything else, but I’m proud of my boy and I’m grateful for him coming to all my races and supporting me.  Even though we have moved on from the field, there’s still a journalist in both of us – me with this blog, Pete with his camera.

For the record, I had no idea the camera was rolling.  As I’ve mentioned before, seconds after crossing a finish line I enter a complete runners daze.  I barely remember anything.  I finally caught up with Pete after wandering around the finish area and he turned the camera on the second he saw me.  I guess I’m lucky he didn’t use all of what he had of me in this package.  Enjoy

If you want to see more of Pete’s news clips check out his blog: It’s a work in progress, but there’s some great footage including Sen. Kennedy moments after he endorsed Obama for the presidency. We climbed on the rooftop of the garage at AU and out onto a ledge but it was well worth it as the raw footage will show.



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Riding v. Running: Part 1

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the parallels between riding and running, and they may seem like two completly different sports – and they are – but I’m begining to notice similarities: horse shows and race, the importance of inner stregnth and physical stregnth.  So I’m thinking this might make a good series.  Todays topic: Equitation on the flat classes v. race traffic.


Not in a show ring. Just hacking around with Charlie

For those of you not necessarily familiar with the equestrian world, I’ll try to make it simple: Growing up we generally competed in equitation and hunter.  So in equitation you are judged on you, as a rider, and how well put together your horse is – horse should be in a frame, your body should remain poised, ect.  Look pretty.  In hunter classes your horse is the one that must look beautiful – nice gait, relaxed neck, ect.  In jumping classes you take your horse over a set of…that’s right, jumps.  In a flat class, or under saddle, you join usually everyone else in your class (unless the classes are huge and then you get broken up).  Walk, trot, canter, turn on the haunches, sitting trot…you get the idea.  I used to love this.  Not to brag too much, but I always walked out of the ring with a top ribbon.  I have the perfect body/style in equitation, and all of my horses excelled too.  Hunter classes not so much.  I’ll leave that to the rest of Breakaway to win.


I’ve always had horses with good temperaments in the ring; even Wally, my ex-racehorse.  He needed to kick his back leg out before we walked into a ring and then he was on.  Some girls had to worry about their ponies or horses acting up.  I never did.  A flat class always became a puzzle for me.  The goal was to pass in front of the judge as many times as you could.  Staying on the rail was never a good strategy.  Instead lots of circles need to be made.  Passing on the inside.  Make sure you stay away from that mare with her ears pinned back.  Lengthen your stride here.  But always collect and look poised when passing the judge.  Love it!


starting line at Pittsburgh

I first noticed this in Pittsburgh, and then I realized the correlation at the MCM.  The first two miles of a road race are a lot like a flat class.  There are obviously no horses and judges, but there’s a lot of dodging around people, planning how to pass the two joggers up ahead, lengthening or shortening your stride so that you can jump up on to the sidewalk.  Be careful of that walk-runner, who will suddenly start walking after running briskly for 3 minutes.  That’s your stubborn pony who’s decided enough is enough.  Then there’s always that runner – just making a slightly better pace than you – who becomes your competition.  As the race goes on the crowds on the roads begin to thin out and you settle into more of a steady pace.  But the first two miles will always resemble a flat ring for me.  I’m sure I’m the only one who sees the resemblance between the two but that’s fine with me.  Anything that takes me back to my horse show days.


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My Birthday Eve Group Run


Partial Capital Crescent Trail Map

So last night I finally got around to doing something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile: join a group run.  I’ve never run with anyone before, except for Pete a little and also Fox but that doesn’t count, so I really didn’t know how I was going to like it.  And even though my legs are finally feeling better (one of the reasons I’ve waited so long to give this a try) there was definitely a little fear that something might give out and I’d have to drop out mid-run.  I’ll admit that I was also a little apprehensive about walking into a new social situation like that.

Twice a week the group meets up in Chevy Chase at the running store where I bought my current pair of Asics.  I was told that the group is a mix of all different paces, but walking in there last night it was pretty clear I was a bit in over my head.  You’ve got one conversation going about ultras, another about qualifying for Boston.  It was slightly intimidating but once we headed out the groups fell into place, and I was lucky to make some new friends and keep not only a nice pace but also a pleasant conversation.  We ran 6 miles (did I mention it was in the high 60’s – a beautiful November night in DC), mostly on the trail that I do my long runs on.  Except I couldn’t recognize a thing (except the tunnel of course) since it was pretty dark out there and I was the only one with a headlamp (and it had a dullintunnel light).  I was shocked at the amount of bikers that were out there.  I had no idea the trail was popular with bikers at night. 

All in all I’m so glad I went.  I may not be able to keep up with the main pack just yet, but I felt great at the pace we were running at (my estimate was that we were running around 9:00 most of the time, even though our time said slightly more – we did take a small detour and stop at a light here and there).  Most importantly my legs felt good. And I really enjoyed combining running and socializing as well. 

I think I’ve found my new Tuesday night activity.

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home is where the….race is?

I’m “from” a bunch of different places, depending on who is asking or in what setting their asking.  Manhattan – where I was born and spent a good amount of time during my preteen years (one of the very few perks of having divorced new_england_map2bparents). Brooklyn Heights – where I spent the first few years of my life.  Connecticut – my real home. The longer I’m away (and it’s been way too long) the more I miss it. Western Massachusetts – where I began my college career, and probably one of places that defines me the most.  Newport, RI – where my family has a home.  This is my personal retreat.  I also lived there during the summers between college.  Vermont – 3 words: summer horse shows 🙂 Washington DC and now my current home of the past 4 years, Bethesda.  If I don’t feel like picking anyone of the above, I’ll just say New England.  That’ll usually suffice.  But lately there’s been an addition to this list, which is weird because I’ve never actually lived there: Pittsburgh.


A bridge we ran over

I’ve gotten to know the ‘burgh pretty well the past five years.  It’s where Pete grew up and we make the easy 4 hour drive a couple times each year.  I’ll admit that I wasn’t too enthralled with the city I deemed to be in the Midwest (I’m from New England. Yes, to me Western PA seems like the Midwest.).  With all those yinzers, forever stuck in the 80’s with their mullets and fashion, and those hills that will give any runner a panic attack, how could an East Coast girl who’s used to the ocean – not the Allegheny River  – gravitate towards this city?

Turns out Pittsburgh is filled with culture.  Not just sports culture, although there is plenty of that, but there’s quite a bit of an intellectual scene there.  And it’s absolutely beautiful.  Yes it’s nicknamed the Steel City, but besides being set


City of Bridges

right in the mountains, did you know that it’s also called the City of Bridges?  There are 446, slightly more or slightly less depending on who you ask, edging out Venice for having the most bridges.  It’s pretty cool, and let me tell me tell you, it’s a blast to run.

Which kind of leads me into my whole point here: This past May I ran my first half marathon.  In Pittsburgh. Honestly, I chose that race mainly for logistical reasons. And now I’m running the full there in a few months.  And this time it really has nothing to do with logistics.  I fell in love with the city that day.  It’s hard to explain, but for one the crowd was incredible.  I also went through a very personal transformation/realization during the race, and because that experience was in Pittsburgh it meant that much more.  I told Pete after the race that I felt a connection.  My sweat is on those streets.  So are my fears and triumphs.  It’s no longer just Pete’s hometown.  I find myself telling people I’m going home for the weekend, and mean Pittsburgh, without realizing it.  In a few months I’ll be running those streets again, through Oakland, over even more bridges, always near the water.  I used to say I’d never move there, I could never live so far away from the ocean, but with the possibility of that move becoming more of a reality I’m beginning to welcome it.  It’s funny what helps define “home”.  I guess for me it’s family, friends, horses, and now where I run.

Oh, and did I mention…Go Steelers!


My fav Pittsburgh shirt (and medal)


Fox in Pittsburgh


*Snowy not Smelly. haha. I'm very lucky to have such a supportive family and animals


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What a little tape can do….

So I’ve got a little product endorsement here: When my stress fractures hit me this summer I began to go to a physical therapist.  At the end of my first session he asked me if I’d ever used Kinesio tape.  No, but I saw it at the Olympics.  I’m really skeptical about all this stuff by the way.  I’m really not an easy sell – on anything, not just sports products.  But I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try.  I honestly can’t say what it is, or how it works, but whatever it does it works. 


I got myself taped up at the expo for the Marine Corps Marathon (in the last hour the expo was open).  It was well worth the 45 min wait in line (which goes really quickly when you make friends).  I was taped up better than my PT ever taped me up, and I seriously credit this weird tape with helping me run pain-free that Sunday.  My only complaint is this: By mile 5 the tape was seriously falling off my legs, and I almost worried about tripping on it if it did.  Before the expo I stupidly put body lotion on my legs, but I was sure that all the alcohol I rubbed on my shins while standing in line took that off.  The tape is supposed to be waterproof (I’ve even swam in it before), so I don’t know what happened here.  Either way, I wish I trusted myself enough to learn how to tape my own legs.  But I think my sandwich theory applies here: Just like a sandwich is always better when someone makes it for you, it’s better to have someone else tape your shins.

Did I mention the KT Tape booth will be at my marathon in Pittsburgh on May 2nd?  🙂




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