Friday, April 27, 2012

The Return of Matt

Since hike 2 Matthew has been noticeably absent from the joint endeavor to chronicle our hikes.  Whatever...

But he sent me these amazing pictures from a hike he did in Egypt (where he's been stationed for work for the last three months) and I thought I'd grant him permission to take part in I Like Hike again.

The below are images from the Wadi Degla Desert.

If you click on the pictures, they will enlarge.

I'm kind of jealous.

More importantly - he gets back May 2nd.  And I can't wait.

Friday, April 20, 2012

We Are Family!

There's another 10K coming up for the DeMartini-Dazets!  The Zooma 10K Race is June 2 in Annapolis, MD. I originally registered with a girlfriend, but my family will also be in town and will partake.  Aunt Jeanne has already registered and we're trying to recruit Claudia to join us.  

What can I say? The families that race together stay together! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gardens Are Like Nature

The Washington Post sent out this lovely little guide of gardens to visit in (and around) DC!  

You can walk around gardens, so I'll be visiting a few of these (and blogging about them) in the coming warm months!  Read the article here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pohick Bay Regional Park or Hooray For Signs!

Thanks to April for writing this up!  She's my very first guest blogger to I Like Hike!

On Sunday, April 8th the Mr. and I headed to Pohick Bay Regional Park.  There were plenty of signs from the freeway to lead the curvy way to the park entrance.  After entering the park we encountered odd signs requesting identification that indicated you were from Alexandria, Arlington, etc.  And by golly there was a booth with a woman who asked for the driver's license (apparently passengers are exempt?  I wasn't asked, so I didn't offer).  The website has plenty of information, but nothing regarding that you be a resident.

We gently meandered along noting all that was available - camping, miniature golf, water park, etc.  There appeared to be plenty of parking for all the activities.  We parked near the dock area (dock fees, please!) and the Mr. headed for the restroom and was pleasantly shocked - it was modern and unexpectedly clean!

There were numerous picnic tables and grills with a lovely view of the bay.  *Please note that this was Easter Sunday, so most families seemed to come for a picnic or water fun.  We had the trails and woods entirely to ourselves.

The entrance to the trail wasn't clearly marked (I've learned that they never really are), but the signs that were up were wonderful - what color trail, distance to service road or camping site, etc.!!!  The trail wasn't groomed, but well marked.  We started with the blue trail and happily encountered a wooden bench near the bay to enjoy a pre-packed lunch (I'm big on food, what can I say?  And doesn't it always taste better when eaten outside?)  We were joined by many, many inch-worms.  Luckily inch-worms fall under my "cute bug" category so I wasn't screaming like a banshee; I merely gently flicked them off into the leaves.  There were plenty of felled/downed trees along the trail to offer picnic seating or a place to rest.  After lunch we continued along the blue trail with gentle to steep hills, a large ravine, and a nice scenic outlook at the top of the hill amongst the tree boughs.  We eventually crossed the orange trail (again, good signage regarding distance and destination).  We passed "comfort station #3" complete with laundry facilities - appeared very nice from the outside.

We ended up back (somewhat) near where we parked the car.  Also spotted a boat rental area, complete with boat tours.  We'll look into that next time : )

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I got two turntables and a microphone

I don't like to brag, but like, my karaoke team is all over NBC4 Washington DC. We're headliners babe, not opening acts.  Check it.

Also from  

They can't get enough of the Tone Thugs.
But let's be honest, few can.

And these are my faves from the season:

Tone Thugs 4 Life

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More of the Classic

In my haste to report on my own Classic experience - I think I left out some very important perks of the day.  I had flown in for just Saturday to see my family and run with them - it's a mini-tradition we started in 2011.  The day was PERFECT and there's a lot more to share than I wrote about on Tuesday.

Like all of this...

1.  Aunt Karen wasn't running the race - but she did wake up at 5:30am to help us get ready.  She also donned a headband and a runner's bib (aka a post-it with the number 2 on it).  While we were racing, she was getting the house ready and picking up food for the Crawfish Broil scheduled for later in the day.  We appreciated her enthusiasm!!

2.  My Aunt Jeanne - who joined Weight Watchers a little over a year ago and lost A LOT of weight - completed the race in 63:59.  She wanted to point out she's 50, and she can KICK, and STRETCH, and KICKKKKKKKKK!  I'm really proud of her and seriously, I'm not jealous at all that she's faster than me...

3.  The Crescent City Classic is more of a "Social Function" than a race.  There are more walkers than runners, people start drinking at 7 am, and in addition to water stations, people set up stations for jello and tequila shots.  My Aunts' friend, Diane, pointed out to me: "If you're trying to run a 10K at a serious pace, this is not the race to do it." So next year, I'm walking and drinking (see number 4, below).

4.  Referencing number 3, my father and Uncle participate in our mini-tradition socially.  My uncle buys 2 or 3 cases of beer, throws them in a rucksack and walks the 6.2 miles in his Army fatigues carrying over 48 cans of beer the whole way...and one in his hand.  My dad and Uncle John's buddies help out by drinking the beers; effectively lightening the load the closer they get to the finish line.  I think they stop at bars along the way as well, but I can neither confirm nor deny that.

5.  My favorite station from 2011 was back this year in 2012.  Re: Number 3, non-race volunteers camp out throughout the course and blast music, cheer, and provide beverages that are most certainly NOT water.  My favorite group passes out jello shots and wears tee-shirts that say "Jello Shots" on the front and "It's not like you're going to win..." on the back.  I find this hilarious - and next year, I intend on partaking in the non-water hydration provided along the course.

As with most things in New Orleans, the Classic, though athletic, is a drinking extravaganza.  I stopped into a restaurant in the French Quarter to use the bathroom at 8am before the race started and the bartender almost convinced me to get a Bloody Mary.  Peer pressure in Sin City!  And I almost caved - I'm so weak!

After the race we cooled off at Aunt Jeanne's with an amazing batch of Crawfish, potatoes, sausage, onions and lots-o-snacks.  I gave my diet the day off, having run 6.2 miles that morning.  Judging by how much I ate, you'd have thought I ran a marathon...and I've been paying for it at the gym all week. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Classic Kathryn

I finished the Crescent City Classic in 66:24.  Over 2 minutes more than my goal time, which was pretty disappointing.  That's why I've compiled a list of reasons that I was unable to finish 6.2 miles in the goal I set myself: the heat, the [lack of] altitude, the wall of chubby walkers pushing double wide strollers I had to weave through, the heat, the late start time, the position of the sun, and the crappy New Orleans streets riddled with cracks and potholes - just to name a few.  Totally not my fault I couldn't run faster.

But now I know - for my next 10K on June 2 - 66:24 is the time I'll have to beat!

Matching headbands! Gifts from Dad.

Ready to Run!

And an 'Awkward Runner' picture:
When I picture myself running, I look a lot more cool, calm and collected than this.

And of course, it wouldn't be my life without a ridiculous story at the end - so here goes.  After crossing the finish line, herds of runners continued down a path to the after party collecting water bottles, gatorades, and Muscle Milk.  Never one to turn down a free, um, anything - I suddenly found myself juggling four bottles right before I entered the festival grounds.  I stepped onto the grass to put away my phone, tuck my shirt into my belt and better handle the bottles - placing those on the ground while I situated.  Finally collected, I picked the bottles back up, cradling them in my arms like a baby.  About 10 steps later, I felt the first pinch, then the next and the next.  Looking down, the bottles were covered in ants which were hastily crawling all over my torso, and arm, and legs.  

19 bites later, I looked something like this:

And this week, I look like I have chicken pox.

Ugh, Classic Kat.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Goal Time!

The weekend is finally almost here for the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans.  That means it's goal-setting time!

*Side-note: Last year, I ran the Classic with Strep Throat - so my 87 minute finish time does not count.  The only other 10K I've ever run, sans training, I finished in about 71 or 72 minutes.

I think the 8k last month, where I averaged a 10:01 minute mile, is a good indicator of how I may perform this weekend.  However - I am super nervous because New Orleans is below sea level and considerably warmer than the DC temperatures in which I've been training.  IF I can keep up my 8k pace, I should finish in about 62 minutes, so I'm setting my goal as: 64:09.  That gives me a little wiggle room if I'm tired at the end of the race and if the humidity makes me want to pass out.

Wish me luck! I'll report back on Monday - unless I don't meet my goal and then I'll just pretend it didn't happen.  Moi? I hate running...I would never train for a 10K!