14 D.C. Area Runners You Should Follow on Social Media

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Here are 14 of the most social movers and shakers on the D.C. area running scene!  Each bio was submitted by the individual so all formated a bit differently (makes it more fun!).   Follow these folks to be in the know and to get your daily wisdom, motivation, inspiration, and humor!

1. Michael Wardian

Tarawera 100 Fun Run & Te Puia

Ultra inspiring, ultra down to earth

Mike is among the winning most American marathoners and ultra-marathoners.   This Dad of 2 has won over 30 marathons.  Mike has also set several Guinness World Records including the record for fastest marathon while pushing a jogging stroller, fastest marathon on an indoor track, fastest marathon on a treadmill, AND fastest marathon dressed as a superhero!

Mike has been a strong competitor in some of the toughest races on earth, including the Marathon Des Sables, finishing third overall in 2010, and the Badwater Ultra Marathon in Death Valley, also capturing a third place…

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Bull Run Run 50 Miler

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BULL RUN RUN 50 Miler-The non race recap

I wrote a beautiful post about my Bull Run Run 50 Miler (insert J-Z voice here: If I do say so myself)!  The internet Gods conspired against me, and somehow it disappear. Tackling my first 50 Mile race was my goal for the spring of 2014.  It was a lofty goal, and it was  a redemption from 2013, year of my discontent.  I accomplished my goal! YAY!!  I crossed the finished line, and ran a happy and strong race in a difficult course.  It was one the happiest day of my life.  A day of triumph over my doubts and fears.

Here are a few photos that capture the essence of my experience:

At the start with Heather
At the start with Heather


One of my run clubbers volunteering!
One of my run clubbers volunteering!
At the Fountainhead Aid Station
At the Fountainhead Aid Station


Ahhh The Awesome BRR 50 Car Magnet!!  and my super awesome hubby-crew!
Ahhh The Awesome BRR 50 Car Magnet!! and my super awesome hubby-crew!

Run strong my friends!!



It’s the little things (Rediscovering my passion)

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You’re reached in point in your life when you realize that is the little things that matter.  What you do every day, your routine is what really comprises your life. Whether you believe your life is fabulous or like one of my friends at work use to say: “life sucks and then you die”.  Then there are certain moments of said life that are indeed fabulous and that will be with you forever. Those moments make life worth living.  

I was reminded of that on my run on Tuesday.  It is taper week before marathon # 5 (where did the time go?), and my plan called for an easy 30-40 minute run.  I usually am an early morning runner, but I did not run in the am in favor or sleeping in as I had a running event the night before and had a late bedtime.

While I was still at work on Tuesday, I sent a text to my hubby for us to run together after work near our home.  My shortest run during training is more than 30-40 minutes, so I had a brilliant idea to run my old running route, I call it “To the river and back“.  It goes from our neighborhood street to a paved narrow trail on Algonkian Pkwy for a mile and change,  then you make a right into the Potomac Heritage Trail until you reach the Potomac River”.  It’s a beautiful route, one that is so close to my heart.  This was my almost daily run when I first started running and was training for my first marathon (MCM 2010) 

I was so new to the sport that at that point, I didn’t even know that there was a different name (trail running) if you were running on different surfaces. For me, it was just running and it was fun.  I loved this route, I was happy running through the woods there every other day.  Running there on Tuesday made me realized that I fell in love with trail running from the very beginning.  It was almost magical to run there again now.   It made me feel like that newbie runner that was running because she loved how she felt; because running was her happy place.  There was no hope for PRs and definitely not worries about how fast or how far!   

Again, what you do every day, not matter how little it may be, it’s what really matters.

The little hut before you reach the river
Small hills to keep it interesting
Amazing Sunset over the Potomac River





What’s the story morning glory? Catching up

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I am making an attempt at consistency here.  It is always hard for me to find the time to write on the blog.  You see it is so easy for me to post in other mediums, in fact, I am an Instagram junkie!  I do a daily post  (sometimes twice a day) right after my workouts.  My usual is a collage of photos with an inspirational quote.  Ok, enough with justifying why I haven’t written here in more than 6 months.

After my unfortunate fall and subsequent injury,  I could not run for several months.  It was hard at first.  Injury is a lonely place.  You feel disconnected from a big part of your world.  Your closest friends of course remain in contact with you.  They send you well wishes and words of encouragement, but trust me, sometimes there are not words kind enough to get you out of that funk.

I wallowed for a bit, and then took the decision of looking forward and not living in the past. It was not like all that grieve was going to help me return to running any faster. DUH!

I started walking at the run clubs (yes, I still went to all my run clubs every week)! To be a leader, and a good one, you must lead by example; so so I did.  I showed up every week with my bandaged ankle and started the runs. Sometimes, I will walk behind the group or just wait for the group to return and have our usual social post run gathering.  I also started doing P90X at home to strengthen my muscles and keep my fitness.  Before I knew it I was jogging slowly again!  (huge smirk here) So I have been running since the last week of August 2013!  YAY!!!

It hasn’t been all roses!  with some running between August and September, I had the delusional idea that I should go and run at the Chicago Marathon (It was my goal race for the fall of 2013 before I got injured).  I started by saying, oh I am going to be there anyways (my husband was running too), hotel and flights are paid for. It will be a waste of a good race.  what about if I have a breakthrough?   Big mistake!  I toed the line of the 2013 Chicago Marathon, marathon # 4, and I knew from the very beginning that something was off.  (oh yeah, having not enough training, and still recovering from injury # 2 on the same year.  That must be it)

Michiel and I at the start

It was a nice morning! Heck, Chicago was an amazing city and the organization of this race was superb.  Best I have seen so far!  But that is not the point.  I shouldn’t have toed the line period. To keep this part of my story short, I got my first DNF.  (nooooooo)

The funny part is that I was not bitter, and I was not sad!  Believe it or not, I was happy that I had the courage to DNF and not be too stupid to continue and risk being injured.  So that’s the story!

Awesome friends cheering for us!!!

Much more has happened since, but Rome was not built in a day! So…to be continued!!

Not all who wander are lost!

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Limping my way out of the trail–“Pain can change you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad change. Take that pain and turn it into wisdom.” ~Unknown

Shortly after the Rosaryville 25K post, I had a freak accident.  I fell in the trails and sprained my right ankle.  How is that a freak accident you may ask? Well, even though the picture suggests otherwise, I was not actually running. Ha!  I was having my Lululemon Ambassador photoshoot.  (just my luck!)

I was just recovering from an injury, and there I was again, injured! Back to square 1. It is one of those things where you cannot help but ask yourself “why me?”  It seem like I could not catch a break this year.  I spend several weeks rehabbing my ankle, and debating whether or not, I will quit running forever.

I am not a quitter, so I decided to just do what you supposed to do when you are injured, rest, rehab your injury and start over; and so I did.  There was pool running, light upper body weight training, heck, I even got a brand new road bike.  Then I started to walk slowly, eventually started running.  It took me around one month to be back running without a funky gate.  (if you have ever been injured, you know that as a result of whatever side your injury resides, your gait changes as you start to overcompensate).

My plan early in the year was to rehabilitate my calf, and train for Chicago.  I was able to do that, training was going well, and I was very happy with my decision of purchasing a real training plan tailored for me.  But with all of the incidents of the year, I have had a rough year, my confidence was shattered and even though I am back running, I know that I am not where I used to be.  I also learned to be more patient and forgiving with myself.  I love running.  I do it as a way of life.  It’s part of my life, but it’s not my livelihood.

With that realization, I took the decision to pull the plug on my goal of running Chicago (seeking a BQ).  It was an important decision, and one that I thought about for days.  I will not run a marathon this year.  I will focused on strengthening my body and getting myself back to a place where I feel confident, I can attain my goal.

Like the tittle of my post “Not all who wander are lost”  I am not running a marathon this year, but that doesn’t mean that I am giving up on my goals.


Rosaryville 25K Trail Race Recap

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Rosaryville Trail Run in the summer will always be one of my favorite races.  First, I have an emotional attachment to this race because it was the first trail race I ever did.  I do not remember at this time, but I do believe it was also the first time I ran trail.  I have run this race 3 times, the first time, I signed up for the 10 miler, and ended up getting lost and running the 10K, the second time I ran the 25k and had a strong performance coming second in my age group and setting what is still today my 25K trail PR of 2:50 (sweet).

Last Sunday, I laced up my shoes for a third time. Yet again, I did the 25K.  This time it was different; coming off from injury, and fully knowing that I was running without any hopes of a fast time for me.  I was just happy to be there and able to run. 


M & I needed to pick up K on our way to the race, we were running a bit late due to my miscalculation of time (hey, I never said I was good at math). Luckily, I had many friends running as well, so I called one of them to get our BIBs.  We got there with not a lot of time to spare before the race start. 

So cool to have so many of my friends running as well, at the same time, so much pressure to perform.  You see, this is one of the downsides of coming back from Injury.  You are always thinking that people are judging your performance.  Any comment can send me on a tail spin in my own head of other people’s expectation of my performance. 

The race starts on a beautiful grassy field, that quickly turns into a road where you have to covered around .25 of a mile before you reach the trail head.  It was hot and humid, but yet a beautiful day to be out there.  The race course is very shady which is saving grace in a day like Sunday.  Gentle rolling hills will greet you rather quickly.  I was talking with a friend for the first 3 miles, and the time was passing quickly.  I was feeling really thirsty, and I was drinking a lot which resulted in a too early pit stop.  I lost my friend and continue to run.  I was feeling decent, but the humidity and now running along was making me feel no so jolly.

I saw Eric at the first aid station.  He was running the 10 miler, and he was already there.  I won’t deny it, seeing him, made me feel good, but also casted a shadow in my mind that maybe I wasn’t doing as good as I thought.  I thought about dropping to the 10 miler, but then something happened.  I looked at my watch and realized that I was almost half way there.  I had to fight with my crazy self, and re-focus on running my own race.

From that point, I just concentrated and found runners to pace with.  I was behind a couple of ladies, and just stayed mentally there.  Focus Dora, Focus!!  One foot in front of the other, just make it to second loop, and it will be 1.5 miles to the finish.  And that I did.  When I made it to that point, I was already feeling proud.  I ran that 1.5 mile feeling rather calm, and steady.  I crossed the finish line in 3:16:30.  I did not break my PR but I  accomplished something bigger than a time on the clock.    Longest distance since injury, and my legs were feeling good, and that is something to be happy about!

Run Strong/Run Relaxed/RunDominican



New Beginnings!

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Starting to write again.  Documenting my journey, and keeping myself accountable.  Learning from my own mistakes, and sharing with other runners who just like me put themselves out there every day; training, sweating, suffering, believing!


God Rested on Sunday

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Billy Goat Trail
After all the anxiety about running with the group, I worked up my courage and went to the run. It turned out to be a great experience. Not only did I run, I finished in the second pack of runners which is a huge personal success. I got home and  I crashed for  hours. ( you sleep so soundly after run, it feels like you are in heaven)

The run gave me so much energy that I ended up driving to K’s house for some more outdoor activities. We headed out to the Billy Goat Trail A. As we were driving it started pouring but that did not stopped us, I was really determined to do the hike, as K has shared her experiences in the trail.

The hike was challenging, specially because  the rocks were wet and slippery, but there is this special force telling me not to stop. As we approached the highest part, the views of the Potomac River were impressive. More impressive was to see a group of people jumping in the river from the rocks above. The drive to K’s home was really fun as we were drenched and had mud up to our eyeballs. We finally got home took a shower and head out to the supermarket. We made some dinner on the cheap, and rented some movies. Ang joined us for dinner & movie. It felt great to be relax and to share an uneventful night after such an active day.
The morning came, and as I said, God rested on Sunday, we did not. Lazy in the morning, but with a whole afternoon to spare, we headed out to the C&O cannal for a bike ride. It was a beautiful sunny day.

The canal was full with people enjoying the outdoors. Picnicking and kayaking seem to be the activities of choice. Lots of bikers and runners as well. We mounted our bikes in G-town and made it all the way to Chevy Chase. 22 miles roundtrip to be exact. Such good effort must be compensated, so Dolcezza in Georgetown was the venue of choice to meet with Ang, and enjoy some much deserved Argentinian Gelatto.

Running & Social Anxiety

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Welcome Back Doryel!

After a rather long hiatus from blogging, I find myself back here again. Drawn to what I like to refer as a venting exercise. I am one of those people who think too much, and always have something to say, so here I am. This post is short as I am working up my courage slowly, and I needed to start somewhere. I just turned 35 and with it a new array of feelings is overwhelming me. Social Anxiety is the one at hand right now. I am recently recovered from a sprained ankle, and going back to running. I have been working out slowly and feel ready now to pound the pavement. I thought I try to go running Saturday with the Reston Runners’s; a club that I joined a few months back, but did not have the opportunity to join in the runs due to my injury. I am feeling so anxious about running with the group, maybe it’s because I am afraid that I won’t be fast enough to keep up with the pack, or maybe it’s because I need a familiar face so I don’t feel like a crasher at a party. Whatever it might be, I believe it is something that comes with age. That self conscious feeling that is there preventing you for putting yourself out there. In an attempt to alleviate my anxiety, I wrote an email to the club moderator, and I was pleasantly surprise to receive not one, but two very welcoming responses. So I guess that’s it, I cannot be rude or chicken shit, and not show up after that. So I will face my fear and will be there on Saturday bright and early. Wish me luck!

Dan-el Padilla, Illegal at Princeton?

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Sunday, April 16, 2006,

Dan-el Padilla, Illegal at Princeton
Personal comment on an Article published on The Wall Street Journal.

During the second week of my class, Introduction to Popular Culture, we had an interesting discussion about immigration. What made the discussion interesting to me was the diverse points of view of all my classmates, who are mostly foreigners or born in the USA but from foreign background. Another lazy (as usual) Sunday morning, I came across a great article about the story of young boy, believe it or not “Dominican”, who is an Illegal Immigrant studying  at Princeton. Below the link to the story:

WSJ.com – Illegal at Princeton

Please read within 7 days. A friend from work who is a subscriber to this newspaper send me the link. Enjoy!