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Mind Over Matter: the Des Moines Marathon

I spent the latter half of my 20’s living and working in Des Moines, Iowa. These were years of mixed experiences. I secured gainful employment, began living on my own, and gradually grasped the expectations of post-college life and a professional work environment.  This was also a time of testing boundaries, and learning through some embarrassing situations. Maybe that’s what it took for me to … Continue reading Mind Over Matter: the Des Moines Marathon

C&O Freedom's Run

Freedom’s Run Marathon: Finding Flow on the C&O

If you ride or run in D.C., you’ve probably had your share of conversations about the C&O Towpath, a hardpack multi-use and car-free path that starts in Georgetown and extends all the way to Cumberland, Maryland. The C&O: sublime urban escape or an exercise in monotony? Tooth-jarring nightmare or just what the doctor (not your dentist) ordered? I meander from one side of the argument to … Continue reading Freedom’s Run Marathon: Finding Flow on the C&O

Marathon Capitol Hill for the second half

A Non-Runner Runs the D.C. Rock ‘n Roll Marathon

Even though it’s been over two decades since I left high school, I still struggle to escape defining my athletic self in terms of physical education (P.E.) classes and (gasp!) high school sports. That definition repeatedly reminds me that I have no right to consider myself an athlete in any sport.

I was never picked dead last for those days in P.E. where we divided up and people picked teams, but from elementary through high school I was consistently in the bottom half of the selection. I participated in a couple of sports, but never made the varsity team of anything.

When I look back, I see the distorted importance of sports in our community, and how we respected and valued people because of their athletic abilities. And really, that was stupid. Continue reading “A Non-Runner Runs the D.C. Rock ‘n Roll Marathon”

Riding into the morning light before the run start.

A Marathon DNF: the Mustard’s Off the Hot Dog

After wrapping up the Marine Corps Marathon, I was riding a big post-marathon endorphin high. I’d run three marathons in six weeks, and my body had held up remarkably well. I felt a little tired, but had no notable lingering aches or pains. Continue reading “A Marathon DNF: the Mustard’s Off the Hot Dog”

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A Marine Corps Marathon State of Mind

Sunday, for the fifth time, I joined more than 31,000 other runners in one of the largest running spectacles in the country– the Marine Corps Marathon.

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Now that I have run multiple editions of this event, I treat it like a 26.2-mile tour and fun run. I don’t worry about time, and this approach helps minimize any distress about the moving throngs of people all around me. Continue reading “A Marine Corps Marathon State of Mind”

Freedom's Run Marathon - C&O

Freedom’s Run Marathon and C&O Bike Overnight

“It’s a privilege to run in the places you’ll be today,” Race Director Mark Cucuzzella said as we lined up at the Freedom’s Run Marathon start, the morning sun popping out over the tree-covered hills behind us. Continue reading “Freedom’s Run Marathon and C&O Bike Overnight”

Adebe Bikila International Peace Day Marathon

Abebe Bikila International Peace Marathon: A Break from the Bicycling

All the recent weekend riding has been glorious, but I was craving a break so I signed up for the Abebe Bikila International Peace Marathon. This run is a double out-and-back course along 6.5 miles of the C&O Canal, and the start is about 10 kilometers from my house so practically ideal. Continue reading “Abebe Bikila International Peace Marathon: A Break from the Bicycling”

Bikeshare post-marathon

D.C. Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon: A Soggy Sign of Spring

Whenever the transition from winter to spring begins to occur, I greet it with incredulity. But how? Less than two weeks ago, the city was coated in snow.

Ten days ago, I made a snowman during a snow day run. A UPI photographer even caught me in the act. Continue reading “D.C. Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon: A Soggy Sign of Spring”

Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon: Celebrating Runners for 26.2 Miles

For 26.2 miles this past Sunday, I was a spec in a mammoth event, one of more than 27,000 people who swarmed the Washington, D.C. area for the opportunity to be part of an annual two-footed tour of the city—the Marine Corps Marathon.

For 26.2 miles, people’s cheers and encouragement seeped into my heart, propelling me forward. Spectators use poster board and glitter paint to make clever signs with messages like “I’m Feeling 26.2,” “You’re Running Better than Government” (still a popular one),  “Go Random Stranger!” and “Joe Biden thinks your marathon is a BFD.” Continue reading “Marine Corps Marathon: Celebrating Runners for 26.2 Miles”

Mile 19 Freedom's Run

Freedom’s Run Marathon: The Eventure Continues

Run Summary

I first participated in Freedom’s Run Marathon in 2009, its inaugural year. I remembered loving the course — the way it rambled around Harpers Ferry, traveled along the C&O, and eventually crawled away from the Shenandoah River into the beautiful, hallowed, and hilly place that is Antietam Battlefield.

I even liked the mileage loop out and back to Murphy Farm Overlook, although it can be a little crowded on the relatively narrow footpath. It’s a good spot to watch the sun come up.

Me, Freedom's Run

I returned to Freedom’s Run this past Saturday for the second time. It fit well into my eventure scheme and I wanted to know how, if at all, the run had changed. Continue reading “Freedom’s Run Marathon: The Eventure Continues”

C&O and Surly LHT

Choose Your Own Eventure: C&O Bike Tour to a Marathon

Hello friends. I’ve just returned from a weekend concept ride I’ve been plotting for the past year. It involved a 134-mile mini bike tour from Washington, D.C., out the C&O to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and the Freedom’s Run marathon.

Leaves  on the C&O

I don’t know what I was expecting, but what I ended up with was a satisfying fall weekend full of movement that was also 100 percent car-free. The perfect eventure. Continue reading “Choose Your Own Eventure: C&O Bike Tour to a Marathon”

Delayed Post-Marathon Satisfaction

Marathon medal

During and even after running the D.C. Rock ‘n Roll Marathon on Saturday, I felt pretty glum. Frustrated that I had not run faster despite not setting a time goal. Mad at myself for lingering in a low point for five miles during the event. Disappointment despite finishing without injury.

Continue reading “Delayed Post-Marathon Satisfaction”

D.C. Rock ‘n Roll Marathon: Run Hard, Brunch Harder*

Me at the marathon finish

I generally arrive at the starting line of the D.C. Rock ‘n Roll Marathon with wavering confidence. I love the course, which creatively sews together a scenic 26.2-mile tour through all four quadrants of the city, but spring marathons are generally a challenge for me.

Continue reading “D.C. Rock ‘n Roll Marathon: Run Hard, Brunch Harder*”

Marine Corps Marathon: From Frustration to Elation

Photo courtesy of Felkerino
At the Marine Corps Finish, courtesy of Felkerino

Over my years of living in D.C., I’ve developed a fondness for local events. There are a few reasons why.

Continue reading “Marine Corps Marathon: From Frustration to Elation”

The Furlough, Fall Events, and a Marathon Taper

Quickbeam and me

Taking the topic away from coffeeneuring for a moment, I wanted to post some thoughts about three separate, yet interrelated, topics: lions; tigers; and bears. Or really: how I spent my furlough days, the impact of the furlough on the fall event plans, and my marathon taper. It also gives me an opportunity to post some of the many photos I took during that time.

Continue reading “The Furlough, Fall Events, and a Marathon Taper”