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9 Miles and Next Week’s Plan

August 29, 2010

Hello everybody. If you’re a new reader, welcome! If you’re a regular, welcome back! On the path to 26.2 Miles and $26,200 dollars, I had a very productive weekend. Starting a little backwards, with today, I did a bicycle ride for my cross-train and finally completed the “chalk campaign” that I’ve been meaning to do for two weeks:

Approximately every .3 miles, for three miles, I chalked the above along the very popular Custis Trail.

As for yesterday, I set out on my 9-mile run with a new-high record of 100 business cards in tow. Can you believe I ran out of cards at Mile 6? While I was a little disappointed, it didn’t really ruin anything. The entire run was full of lots of interesting sights and people all the way from Mile 1 through Mile 9. Starting off, I headed towards my favorite – the Custis Trail. However, when I got to the corner of my block, I decided I really wanted to run through DC so I headed towards Georgetown instead. Taking that turn really changed a lot of what I have been doing in the past relating to my long runs. Generally, during my longs runs, I hand out the blog’s business cards to other runners (who would be interested in the massage prize or the running fuel and gear reviews). Taking a “non-trail” approach really opened up the type of people who came across my path yesterday. Instead of looking for and at runners, I started seeing everyone: people coming back from the gym, people sitting down outside for coffee, tourists, media, etc. It’s also easier to hand the cards to people who are not running – fast – and in the opposite direction. So not only was the variety of new possible readers expanded, but my job of getting the word out was much easier!

At around Mile 3, in Georgetown, I saw a man being arrested. I kind of felt bad for him. He was sitting, cuffed, on a bench and quite honestly, I have no idea what he had done to deserve that. Do you ever do that? – Look at someone and try and figure out exactly who they are, what they do, and/or what they’re doing in their life at that point in time? As for the man with the handcuffs, he looked homeless based on his clothing so I honestly can’t tell you what I think he had done. Maybe he stole something? Who knows.

At around Mile 4, I came across a lot of runners who were stretching. They got cards. Somewhere around Mile 5, I ran past someone who had “Media” and “Press” badges. I got about .25 miles down the road before I took a u-turn; I decided they would definitely need some cards too (Are you reading this, ABC?). I had no idea why ABC was down in my neck of the woods, but I did run past a pretty large Volleyball tournament, so I chalked it up the players and made a note to myself to return to any weekend tournaments in the future to hand out some cards.

Once I was back on course, about a half mile later, as I started to run across the Memorial Bridge, I knew that something BIG was going on because hoards of people (maybe 1000?) were walking towards me and they were about 4 or 6 people wide. It was an interesting sight to see for about a second before I realized that all those people who were walking towards me were also not moving out of the way. Whatever the BIG thing was quickly became a BIG pain in the butt for me and any other runners. Fortunately, I was able to make it about half way across the bridge without breaking stride, but after that, I had to stop and walk a few times while I was stuck behind some people who were strolling against the crowd to get to Arlington Cemetery.

Towards the end of the bridge, there were fewer people, so I started to pick it back up. Just before I was getting ready to exit the bridge, I noticed a man (a tourist?) on the side of the road, taking my picture. If he was having a moment of, “I wonder what this person does or what they’re doing?,” I quickly made it clear; As I ran past him I said, “Sir, did you just take my picture?” Before he could answer I said, “Well then you must take a card, check out my blog, and make a donation!” I think he had a little giggle. He took my card, clearly read it, and then shouted behind me, “Thanks Elena! I’ll definitely take a look!”

I said my run was interesting, didn’t I?

Anyway, around Mile 6 I ripped out the Fruit Punch Sport Beans that I got this week from my friend. Remember how I was excited because they had a resealable package? Don’t get your hopes up because the resealable package was actually a little more difficult to open. I wasn’t even in motion while I tried to open those babies (I was stopped at a corner because of a red light). I tried four different ways to rip open the package before resorting to using my teeth. There was a few stopped cars at the red light next to me who got to witness the whole ordeal. If someone had snapped a photo of me then, I think they would have titled it, “Crazed and Ferocious Runner.” The good news is that the Fruit Punch flavor was pretty awesome. I could definitely taste  a little bit of the “salt” flavor that my friend mentioned, but at that point, I kind of needed it and after the first bean, you really can’t taste it anymore. If you like jelly beans, these are definitely for you (but stay away from the orange or lemon-lime!). Luna Moon Chews are still No. 1 and right now I’m putting Chomps and Sports Beans together at No. 2. I have about 3 or 4 more different things to try before the Marathon rolls around, so I anticipate those two might drop a place or more in the future (for example, I purchased Clif shots to try, but my husband stole them for his long run instead so I won’t be reviewing those for another week or two when I can pick them up at the store.)

Mile 7 and 8 were all up a very steep hill, so I took a walking break or two and enjoyed the view of people, babies and dogs that were all over the neighborhood. I finished at my house at exactly 9.01 miles and thought to myself, “Hmm. That was a perfect 9-Mile loop,” which was good because one of the things I dislike the most is when I get back to my neighborhood and have to run around the block to complete my mileage.

So as I said above, it was a very productive weekend both physically and for Marathon or Bust (and I’m not even sore! I guess we’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow). As for the 3:35 am post the night before last, it didn’t really mess with my run the way I feared, but now I am indeed pooped which could be the lack of sleep catching up plus the vigorous amounts of physical activity. I’m going to bed at 8 pm tonight. Lastly, upon my return, the hubby informed me (before he knew that I went through DC) that I should, “Stay away from DC today.” I had quite a laugh and said, “Too late. Do you know why there was a boatload of people?” His response, “Some kind of tea party rally.” I actually got around to googling the event today. According to the internet, I ran through the audience for Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally. I also found out that Al Sharpton had an appearance in town. Only in DC could a run take me through history in the making. With all that info I just want to state one random thing, while this blog is non-political, I do thank all branches of the military (which includes my husband!) for their years of service, dedication and sacrifice on behalf of myself and this country.

Moving on … up this week I’m going to focus on flyer production for upcoming events (including Happy Hour, October 1 at The Laughing Man Tavern in Washington, DC) and I have to go visit a sponsor to see if they’ll let me set-up a table outside their venue on Saturday, Sept. 11th. One of the “campaigns” for raising funds that I have planned is the sale of temporary tattoos that I ordered (I don’t think I mentioned these yet; Surprise!). They’re tattoos of the sneaker logo that I made that’s at the right side of the blog here. I’ll be selling them for $1 locally and $5 via the internet (which reminds me … I also have to go to the post office this week to get a PO Box too).

Feel free to wait until the tattoos come in, but as a reminder, the raffle special that I’m running will only last two more days. If you’d like to make a donation and get 2 EXTRA chances to win one of the 5 awesome prizes I have, you have to get your donation in before Aug 31. If temporary tattoos, happy hours, and raffles are not your thing, you can also purchase something from the Marathon or Bust Gear store.

Hope you all had a fun and exciting weekend as well, readers.

Happy feet!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2010 10:28 pm

    i love your chalk idea!! hope it helps!

  2. kek permalink
    August 30, 2010 10:42 am

    I saw your chalk signs on the trail this weekend and they kept me going at the end of a long sloggy long run. Thanks!

    (um, you must be so focused on your training that you don’t read ANY news to have missed that there were competing rallies on the Mall…but luckily it sounds like no one tried to recruit you to their cause)

    • August 30, 2010 11:37 am

      haha – I’m so glad all my chalking peaked your curiosity enough to distract you from the end of your run. Indeed, I have been VERY focused on training and fund-raising, but truthfully, I try to avoid politics at all costs lest I cause a war amongst friends. I hope you enjoy the blog enough to become a subscriber! And perhaps you’ll find me along the trail in a few weeks with some temp. tattoos. ep 🙂

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