Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lake Frank

I am going to run an afternoon run at Lake Frank in Rockville...probably around 4pm. Just trying to get in an easy 10 or so since I ran long yesterday. Lake Frank is a "hidden gem" - lots of cool trails and wildlife.

Let me know if you'd like to join.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Live from New York it's...

...Saturday Morning!

The Return of Macalester's Dylan Keith

1:12:20 for 13.1 in NYC this morning

JARRIN - 1:23:30
Shannon - 1:30 PR!

Bain watched in silence

Friday, May 29, 2009

Log Run Warriors

I know most of us are in the recovery/slow build-up/coming out of injury mode, but I wanted to start a conversation about weekend long runs this summer. As we all know, summers in DC suck...simply put. Though as we also know, getting these long runs in is so much easier with company. I've spoken with some of you individually, but I wanted to try and get a schedule down as to when we should do these runs and where. I like to travel out and run in the shade, but others might not be "into" that. I also know we all have our time preferences. 9am seems like a doable start time. I am certainly willing to meet in the middle on any of these. There are a ton of different options around DC. Also, I want to keep my Sunday run between 15-20...ideally consistently 18+ after I get in shape. Later, I'd like to incorporate marathon-pace stretches.

So who is in?

We have 3-4 Patricks
A Billy and a Dylan
A Towpath
Bain (later)
Lurkers who are reading this site?

Saturday Run

Again, I will be running long on Saturday instead of Sunday (per the party on Saturday night).

GRC Store at 9am. Hoping to get in 15-18.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


The lovely Caroline White departs for Colorado tomorrow, but she will be at Union Jack's in Bethesda tonight from 8-10 signing autographs and posing for pictures. LTO, LJ, and I will be doing our best to make sure things get out of hand and she misses her flight. Stop by to say "see you later" (not good-bye).

Friday, May 22, 2009


I am running from the GRC at 9am on Saturday. Anyone else interested?

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Shannon O'Neill finishes 4th at Delaware Marathon in 3:12:37...

MORE: Lindsey Jerdonek, debuting as a professional, finishes 8th in BIG triathlon action in Columbia...Swim 1.5k * Bike 41k * Run 10k

SHOUT OUT: Baltimore buddy Ryan McGrath finishes 32nd in tri

MORE: Ernst drinks weight in Budweiser


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sunday Run

JARRIN, PMurphy, Dylan, Billy and I are meeting at DIFFICULT RUN Sunday at 10am.

Post below if you want to join.

Friday, May 15, 2009



please come to the following at the Georgetown RunCo tomorrow

Injury Prevention and Maintenance for Runners

Presented by Matt Garet, DPT, CSCS

Physical Therapist, Clinic Director

Professional SportsCare & Rehab

Learn more about treatments and prevention of common injuries, including:

-Anterior Knee Pain/Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome


-Shin Splints

-Ankle Sprains

-IT Band Syndrome

Saturday, May 16th

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Georgetown Running Company

3401 M St. NW

Washington, DC 20007

This Weekend Runs

Anybody have any plans for group runs this Sat. or Sun.?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Not to beat a dead horse but I was running on the treadmill again and happened to catch the new M&M tune, Rock Star Love again. Nice tune as the rapper supreme has not lost his way with the tongue. When I first moved to DC back in 99 or so I dated a woman who had a photographic memory and could rap the real slim shady word for word. We used to hang out at some cool dance club on U st(before it was trendy). Somewhere along the way M&M lost his way and was out of the spotlight for a bit. He has returned with some gusto.

I judge a person's character and strength not by how they ascend to the thrown of greatness but rather, how they climb out of a pot hole they have fallen into.

I am not sure the reason for my fixation with M as he certainly is not angel and has many undesirable qualities. Perhaps its his story of rising from poverty and a dysfunctional family situation to achieve some success that is worthy of praise. Who knows.

As for running, it is what it is, a regular companion throughout the journey of life.

A Week Without a Post

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sunday Run

I was thinking of hitting Riley's Lock or The Line...easy 14-15ish at 10am.

Any interest?

Monday, May 4, 2009

"Da Burgh" Race Report

Dave's and my feeble, hobbling steps into our apartment this afternoon marked our triumphant homecoming as the fastest married couple in the 2009 Pittsburgh Marathon (as far as we know anyhow...). It's been a long time coming, but I actually had a marathon I am proud of: 2:54:22 for 5th. Dave ran a shining PR of 2:36:22 for 6th.

Sooo... starting with the context.

Course: You can't spit in Pittsburgh without hitting a hill. Needless to say, the entire course rolled. The middle three miles (12-15) were ENTIRELY up hill, with a fairly steep grade heading into the half. I'd say it's on par with Boston in terms of difficulty (the Beantown hills are far less frequent but a little steeper).

Training: My training has been less than solid for this race (due primarily to the welcomed distractions of increased job responsibility, a new home purchase, applying to grad school, married life...). My average mileage for 2009 thus far is 48 mpw; that's low, even for me. It's also been nearly a month since I've completed a workout due to extreme allergies and asthma.

Taking all of the above into account, my goals for this race were more subjective than objective; I just wanted to run a solid effort. Hopped up on allergy meds (despite damp 50 degree weather and low pollen counts), I stepped on the line on Saturday determined to be very conservative from the start. That proved pretty easy; I settled into a very comfortable 6:30 pace and generally enjoyed the scenery and crowd support for the first half of the race. I was frankly surprised at how good I felt.

P. Murph ran the steepest point of the hills with me (having already run it with Dave...God Bless you Pat!) and, after crossing the halfway point in just under 1:27, I was feeling remarkably confident. I passed three women before the 15 mile mark. Now in 6th place and still feeling pretty good, I looked up for the next woman and the first money spot. (After all, we need all the help we can get to finance the aforementioned home purchase and grad school tuition).

Around 18, I started to feel the rolling terrain in my hips and feet. By 19 miles, I realized that the spotty preparation was taking it's toll and I went into survival mode. One foot in front of the other; the faster I went, the sooner I could stop. Luckily, the course was hard on everyone and I plodded past another woman heading up a long hill at mile 20. Okay... I was in the money; time to hold on.

I can honestly say I don't remember much of the last 10k, except for Pat's late race report that Dave was in 5th (and hunting down 4th). That alone kept me running (wait... was I still running?) through the fog. Forty-five minutes felt like an eternity.

My mother-in-law had (at my request) written my name down the side of both arms before the race. The downtown crowds' personalized shouts were the ONLY thing that pulled me towards the finish line in the last 2 miles. As they pitied the agonized look on my face, my uncontrolled and choppy stride, and my spaghetti arms, I could feel the masses willing me forward. Ten meters before the finish line, I blacked out and staggered sideways (this is according to my in-laws). Regaining my senses, I somehow surged forward and collapsed over the finish line.

There are pictures of me walking beyond the finish line, but I only remember waking up in a stretcher. That's always a bit alarming, but I was surprised at how fast I recovered. Grateful that my asthma demons were at bay and that I actually finished, I was sitting up and gulping Powerade by the time that Dave found me. He told me the agonizing story of how he was passed in the final mile by the eventual 5th place finisher. It took 3 EatNPark smiley face cookies, a banana, and two bottles of Powerade, but I eventually recovered enough to soothe my panicked in-laws.

I am still in "never again" mode when it comes to the marathon, but who knows.... The next few years might make for some tough training as I tackle a full time job and part time grad school. For now, mission accomplished: a race of which I can be proud and the extra boost from being married to one very fast man!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Frederick Marathon Race Report

Sunday morning I lined up to compete in my first marathon. I’d talked to people about what to expect, and read about the experience, but I really didn’t know how it would turn out.

While talking to people, one thing everybody told me was not to go out too fast. I’ve heard you should try to negative split, that the race is a 20 mile jog followed by a 6 mile run, and that you can’t go out too slow. My first goal is to run 3:15, my second goal is 3:10, and my ultimate goal is 3:00-6:53 pace.

So I go out in 6:33. That gets me a little nervous-I suddenly get visions of a nightmare last 6 miles. But I’m feeling great-it doesn’t seem like I am running that hard at all. I settle down a bit on the second mile and go through in 6:51. The first mile must just have been adrenaline.

Soon I come up to the first water station. Now I’ve taken water on my long training runs, but I’ve used a belt with squeeze bottles. I’ve never tried to run and drink from a Dixie cup before. I proceed to get half of the contents of the cup on my singlet, a quarter of it in my mouth, and toss the rest aside. This would be a common occurrence at future water stops.

As it turned out, the fact that I spilled liquid all over me like a drunken fratboy tossing back cheap pitchers of Busch did not really matter. I wasn’t going to stay dry anyway. The second 2/3s of the race was run in a steady rain. It didn’t really bother me and the temperatures were actually good running weather-mid 50s or so.

I run the first 15 miles or so at a fairly even pace-around 6:50 a mile over slightly rolling hills. I’m running relaxed and am still on target for 3:00 with 11 miles to go. I also discover that miles in a marathon come and go quickly, but there are a lot of them. Since the field is not huge, I’m running pretty much by myself after the half-marathon people finish up. I pass a guy at mile 14.5 or so but otherwise I am alone except for a couple of relay runners till I get passed by a marathoner at mile 20.

After mile 16, the terrain starts to get hillier. At first I try to convince myself that these hills won’t be a big deal-after all, I hiked the Appalachian Trail, where I climbed up lots of steep mountains with 35 pounds on my back. How difficult can some hills be?

The answer is pretty difficult. We gain about 200 feet in 3 miles. I’m not able to keep up my 6:50 pace any more. Mile 16 is 7:13, followed by a 7:09, 7:13, 7:35, and a 7:03. At the 20 mile mark the terrain seems to be leveling out. I’m at 2:20 on the clock and think to myself that I have a Boston qualifier in the bag-I don’t see myself running a 55 minute last 10k. Might as well throw down for the last 6.2 and see how close to 3:00 I can come.

This plan survives about a mile (6:55) and then I hit some more hills. I’m not too tired but my legs are heavy and I they don’t seem to have any get up and go. It becomes apparent that I won’t run 3:02 or 3:03 and I had to come up with a new goal. I decided that I need to beat Matt Ernst’s best marathon time. I’m pretty sure he ran a 3:06. I tried to motivate myself by thinking bad thoughts about Matt, but all I could come up with is that he retired at an early age and his life apparently consists of running and drinking beer. Since this lifestyle sounds pretty good to me I am left with only the desire to acquire bragging rights to fuel my last push.

And that was not enough to run faster than 3:06. I finish in 3:07:08, good for 18th place overall out of 824 finishers and second in the 30-34 age group.

I had a very positive first marathon experience. People stood out in the rain to cheer the runners, on, the course had some scenic parts (and some not so scenic parts), and I now know that I can run a quality marathon. I did not meet my ultimate goal, but I did achieve my first two goals and overall I am pleased with my performance. While I faded a bit in the last 10 miles I did not blow up-no 8 or 9 minute miles.

I’m looking forward to running some track meets and shorter road races over the summer and could very well see myself doing another marathon in the fall.

Frederick Update


Dickson Mercer, 1st overall in 2:37.03.
Jonathan Amato, 18th overall in 3:07.08, 2nd in 30-34 age group.

Patrick HUGE: 3rd overall in 1:15.11.

If I missed anyone please post. These were the names I recognized/found results for.

I'll write a race report in a bit.


Laura Turner O'Hara - 2:54:22 - 5th Place

Jake Klim - 51:15
Sam Blasiak - 53:15
Dylan Keith - 54:34