Vermont Run Fun

I’m busy packing for my road trip to Vermont tomorrow.  I sorta kinda waited until the last day, but it’s not like I’m going for a week so I don’t need that much to pack.  The most important items are my running gear!  Nothing says run fun like a brand new outfit too.  I think I could live at Dick’s and REI.  I went down to Dick’s and was only going in for a new running shirt.  Well, I’m happy to say I came out with a running shirt, a shirt and a new sports bra (much needed).  Oh and socks!  Don’t forget the socks. (again much needed)  The shirt and sports bra are from Under Armour™.  Loving both, but I just checked the forecast and it might be a little chilly ~ 54/39 at the start time on Sunday ~ so that shirt that is slit on the side and sleeveless might not happen.  I bought the leggings a few weeks earlier.

 

I warm up pretty quick when I’m running so we’ll just have to see what the final outfit will be on running day.  A full day of work tomorrow and an early morning wake up.  It’s going to be a long day.  I plan to blog while I’m on the road and you can always catch me on Instagram!  Making the second half the better half!  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 17 – 23 September….I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday!

Can we all just say it?  It’s taper time baby!!!

T – A – P – E – R…such a lovely word.  It means that the hard training for an upcoming run is through and it’s time to slow down, listen to the body and reflect about the upcoming race.  Okay, maybe that’s just a bit too Zen..but it sure sounds good.

Event status update:

I finally heard back, but to be honest all I have to go on is, yes you’re registered and more information will be coming.  Hmmmm…. I mean the organizer has been nice an all, but could this be any more laid back?  Maybe this is how they do things in the “Kingdom” as they say.  I was told that I could sign in and pick up a T-Shirt on Saturday…uh okay.  Where?  No address.  I mean ~ throw me a bone man.  Grid coordinate?  Smoke signal?  Anything.  Map?  The last words were, “if you need anything give me a holler”.  I know where the race is starting and the time and that’s about it for now.  Don’t you just love surprises?  I mean, truly this will be one for the books I’m sure!

The temps at the beginning of the week were fairly hot and dry.  Towards the end of the week I could feel Fall just trying to take hold.  I don’t know about you, but I love the changing of the seasons.  There is something to celebrate about each one.

I did a 3 and 5 mile run during the week and decided to complete my long run on Sunday.  Of course during the week it was nice and dry and today, well….it was raining.  The temperature was 60 when I got to the trail, but the rain!  It wasn’t a sprinkle either, it was squishy shoe running weather.  Do I have any rainy day runners out there?  I love running in the rain.  I could have taken it inside, but the bottom line is the weather for the half might be rainy as well and what better way to train, then real time.   Sometimes you just got to do it.

I didn’t get out to the trail until 10 am this morning and much to my delight there weren’t any runners.  I had the trail to myself, at least for a while.  A few cyclists and a couple of runners.  The big disappointment was the iPod wasn’t working!  I know there are people who never run with music.  They say it will mess with your cadence.  I know this is true!  Sometimes when a fast song comes on I speed up!  I have tried to run without music, but I find it’s just more enjoyable for me to run with music.  I was ready to go and the darn thing seems to have crapped out!  Yikes!  I was really disappointed.  Not only was I going to run the whole 10 miles in the rain, but without music too!  Crikey!  The first five miles were decent feeling miles.  No pain and a good even flow.  There is this wooden plank bridge around mile 2.5 that crosses a marshy area.  It was spooky with the rain and being alone.  I won’t lie, I was looking around making sure there weren’t any “creatures” hiding in the swamp!  Maybe alligators.  I just looked it up…they say some people have seen them here in Virginia, could be climate change.  You’re Googling right now aren’t you?  Hey, you never know.  My last five miles weren’t too bad.  A little bit of touch and go but over all decent.   My pace for this run was 11:43.  Not bad and I will do better.  Just think The Little Engine that Could!  I think I can, I think I can.  I did pick up new water belt (Nathan™) that was much lighter then my old one.  I’m not into carrying my water bottle in my hand.

Some photos:

New water belt

 

Muddy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garmin results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m ready for my next run on 30 September.  I am almost at my halfway point with 19.17 miles left.  I have finished 5638.33 miles in my quest with 5676.67 graciously awaiting.  I like the word quest.  It’s so, Knights of the Round Table sounding.  I hope this post finds you with Fall in your heart ~ brilliant colors of red, brown and orange dancing around and filling up your senses.  Happy Miles to You!!

Although a little dark, this song sums up today’s run nicely!  “I’m Only Happy When It Rains”

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 10 – 16 Sept…Almost Halfway There….

Happy Sunday Everyone!  Can you believe that September is almost halfway done?  Do you think that time goes by faster as we age?  I’m not sure about that one.  You’ll have to chime in and tell me what you think.

First, let me say how lucky we are in Alexandria that we didn’t get any residual fall out from hurricane Florence.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those that were directly affected in the Carolinas.  My home is Aiken, SC so the outcome of the storm is near and dear to my heart.  My sister and her family live in Charleston, SC and they had to come inland to stay with my parents.  I am grateful they are safe.  If you had anyone impacted by hurricane Florence, I hope they are well.

This weeks training continues on as I prepare for the Kingdom Half Marathon in Newport, VT.  It has been a bit frustrating trying to get information from the promoters.  One thing is for certain, this isn’t like any race I’ve done before.  After many calls and emails I finally heard something back from the organizer.  At least I know it’s still a go, but not a whole lot more.  It’s very laid back which can have it’s good points but then it’s frustrations too.  I feel like I’m an episode of Wayne’s World….Dude…where’s the race???

Fabulous!!!

Hey, I plan to be at the start line 0900 hours.  I shouldn’t be so surprised by this…I’m the type of person that would put a map on the wall and throw a dart.  Wherever it lands, hey that’s the next adventure.

The unexpected semi~injury of the week took place not on the road or trail but coming out of the DC metro on my way to work.  I get off at the National Archives stop (because I work at the National Archives!) and often the escalators are not working.  I tend to gravitate to the escalator that’s not working for two reasons; 1) you get a mini workout climbing the stairs and 2) it’s less crowded ~ no one wants to take the broken escalator.  There I was climbing the stairs and I was killing it …then about 3/4 of the way up I fell.  I mean I really fell.  I’m glad I was able to break my fall with my hands.  It hurt too ~ I landed on my shin bones.  One leg was bleeding.  It hurt.  There was a guy behind me and his eyes were just so wide!  Lol!  He just stared and asked if I was okay.  Truth be told, I was more worried about my hands touching the escalator stairs then the bruises and bleeding I incurred.  I picked myself back up and just kept going.  Yeah…you’re going to have those days, but I’m okay.

I continue to be on a vegetarian diet.  I make it sound like it’s a quest…I guess it is to some extent.  It’s only been a little over two weeks.  I wanted to see how I would perform physically.  So far, I do feel lighter.  I’m not craving anything ~ although I was thinking of turkey legs on my long run.

This weeks miles came to a total of 10.93 with my long run of 6 miles on Saturday.  It was a decent run with the last three miles being touch and go, meaning the last three contained a bit of walking.  My pace was 11:48.  Not pleased, but I continue to strive to be better.   I have completed 5619.67 with 5695.33 miles gratefully remaining.  I am 37.83 shy of my halfway mark.  I hope this post finds you with much joy in your heart.

Meet me halfway:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 3 – 9 September…Kingdom Run Half Marathon Training

Happy Sunday everyone!  I took a little break from blogging and a rest week before I started training for my half marathon in Vermont at the end of September.  I feel good and am ready to move forward.  I used to not rest too much after I completed an event, but now I do try to take at least a week.  Maybe because I’m getting older!  Lol ~ who knows.

The Quantico 12K was a good race to get me ready for another half.  This will be my fourth half marathon.  It would seem like I should have a few more under my belt, but I complete a lot of miles that aren’t really attributed to events.  It’s all about the journey.  Races are fun no doubt, but it’s not just about the races.

The body is feeling pretty good.  I have a few pains and aches, but nothing like I was experiencing before.  It seems sticking with the right style of shoe was the key and the after care of my legs by foam rolling and icing.  There is always overuse issues, but the right gear is imperative.  I look forward to staying with that trend.

I’m excited for this next challenge in Vermont.  I have never been to the area and have always wanted to explore.  I have a few frustrations with the administrative handling of it though.  I found the race through active.com and from there signed up through the race website.  I signed up and paid, but never received a notice for registration.  I had to email the race promoter to confirm my registration.  I was told that as soon as they were done with the triathlon they were running emails would be sent out.  I was confirmed with the registration, but I still haven’t received any packet pick up information.  The race is on 30 September soooo…you know I would like to have everything tied up!  I’ll give them one more week.

The weather here has been a little erratic with extreme heat than storms.  I wanted to do some cycling, but had to take that indoors because of the rain.  I did get some decent mileage in with a combination of running outside and on the treadmill and some indoor cycling.  I will probably see more indoor running as tropical storm Florence makes its way to the coast.  The total of that mileage came to 19.93 for the week.  I am 48.76 to my halfway point.  It’s bittersweet to say the least.  A lot of sweat, effort and tears.  I have 5706.26 miles gratefully remaining in my journey.  Happy Miles to You!!

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
― Kahlil Gibran

Not sure if you’ve ever heard of Yebba Smith.  She’s not well-known, but I really like her sound.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 13 – 19 August…Ready for the Quantico 12K

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday to you!!

My training for the Quantico 12K on 25 August is going fairly well.  The pain I have been experiencing is mellowing a bit and I continue to keep moving forward to this next mileage goal.  This week’s training wasn’t bad at all.  I started out with 3.5 on the treadmill and then went to the Mt. Vernon trail twice this week – once for some speed work and then my long run.  Wednesday was a long work day.  I taught yoga for the first time during lunch and I had a function in the evening which threw my training days off a bit, so this week’s long run took place on Sunday instead of my Saturday. The temperatures cooled off a bit, but it was still humid.  The kind of humidity that you’re good for the first couple of miles then it becomes a sweat fest.  At least for me.

This upcoming Saturday is the Quantico 12K.  I received an email during the week informing me about packet pick up.  Unfortunately, they say to pick up your packet on Friday ~ with closing time being around 7 pm.  Quantico is about 23 miles from where I live in Alexandria.  It seems fairly harmless until you add in DC traffic on a Friday.  The website had a caveat that packets should be picked up that Friday as they can’t ensure you will get yours the morning of…great.  I don’t know.  I’m seriously hedging my bets to pick it up that morning.  The race doesn’t start until 7:25, so we’ll see…..  I’d hate to have to drive all the way out there after work then drive back.  It just seems like a pain in the you know where!

Yoga class at the National Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the site about the 12k course:

Course

Runners will begin the 7.45 mile journey at 7:25 a.m., on Elrod Road parallel to the Parade Deck near the bleachers. The Quantico 12K will head south before making a right turn on Engineer Road and entering the OCS trails. Terrain will switch from paved streets to gravely paths. The 12K begins a 140 foot climb to its maximum elevation of 219 feet starting at the half mile mark and leveling off 1.5 miles into the run. Making a left onto Iwo Jima Trail runners will reach the first of three water points on the course just before mile 2. A slight downhill from Mile 3 to 4.5 features a 70 foot elevation drop before another short climb. The second water point is located near mile 4 at scenic Buffalo Pond, the furthest point in the course. From this location, runners will follow Engineer Road and begin to overlap with the run portion of the Quantico Tri and include the final water point as part of a two mile downhill. The course makes a left as runners pass the OCS Obstacle Course, before making two quick right turns on the way to the finish line located on the grassy PT field.

 

So, there you have it…that’s what I will be doing next Saturday morning.  I’m excited because this is the first event I am participating since moving to Virginia.

This week’s long run was uneventful and okay.  If I must be honest, my heart wasn’t 100% in it today.  I was a bit tired and just seemed to lose gas after three miles.  There were a lot of stops and starts, but I still made my goal.  Mentally, I just didn’t will myself to get it done like I wanted to.  But, I still pulled 5.10 this morning.  My pace was an average of 11:45.

As I approach my halfway point in my journey I have signed up for another event in September to celebrate.  I have always wanted to go to Vermont, so on 30 September I will run the “Fly to Pie ~ Kingdom half”.  The tag line says “doin’ the dirt”.  Anytime there is “dirt” in the title….it’s bound to be fun (sic).

A few fun photos from today’s run:

I love the entrance to the trail.

Hmmm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remain grateful in my journey.  It’s easy to get frustrated and lose focus on the end result ~ but still I continue on.  I have 84.54 miles left until the halfway mark and 5742.04 remaining in my journey.  I hope this post finds you well, continuing on and loving every minute.

Listened to this today on my run…just throwing it out to the universe…

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 6 – 12 Aug…Manassas, VA

Happy Sunday Everyone!  I’m excited as the approach of the Quantico 12K is right around the corner.  Two weeks to be exact! I had a good training week, slowly increasing my mileage and keeping an eye on recovery and strength training.  I always wonder if the mind overcomes the weakness of the body.  If you’re determined enough, you just make it happen.  Something to ponder.

I ran three times this week combining track, street and trail(improved) running.  On Monday I went to the track after work and ran 3.5 miles.  2.5 miles were steady running and the last mile was speed work.  On Thursday I ran the hood and on Saturday my long run was out on the Mt. Vernon trail.   Each day was hot and humid with a slight breeze every now and again, but for the most part humid.  The temperature was moderate but the humidity was off the chart.  I have stuck to the Asics© and Nikes© and I’m happy to say I feel much better.  Still a bit sore, but definitely feeling much better.

My long run on Saturday started off around 9 am.  A little later than I wanted, but there you have it!  The temperature was 78 when I started and the humidity made it feel a lot hotter.  My first three miles were pain-free.  I had a bit of pain on the fourth mile, and would slow down when I felt the pinch.  I did have a wardrobe malfunction with my socks!  Around mile three they decided to scooch!  That’s a word right?  Left me with two nice blisters on the back of my ankles.  It’s always something.  I’m happy with my performance.  I felt strong and ready to move forward.

Blister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scooching socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the things I love about this area is the history.  I decided to spend my day visiting the Bull Run Winery and visiting a couple of battlefield sites.  First, the Bull Run Winery is a must if you are in the Manassas area.  It’s a beautiful place and you can participate in tours and tasting.  They have food for purchase but you can bring in your own if you wish.  How can you go wrong with wine and live music!?  The wine was fantastic and I ended up buying a bottle of Norton.  Norton grapes are indigenous to the area.  The wine can be a little acidic at times, but this one was really very good.

A few shots:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the winery we headed on down to Manassas National Battlefield Park.  In 1861, Union and Confederate forces faced off in the first major land battle of the Civil War.  A couple of pics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s miles came to a total of 11.11.  I am 96.19 miles from the halfway mark with 5753.69 miles gratefully remaining.  I hope this post finds you in good spirits and at ease.  Happy Miles to You!!

I am a rock…in a good way.

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 23 – 29 July…Back In the Saddle Again!

Happy Sunday everyone!  I left you last week with a whopping 0.0 in miles due to some soreness in my Achilles tendons…on both ankles.  I have been aggressive in my recovery efforts and I’m happy to say I am feeling much better.  Icing, stretching, foam rolling, targeting areas for strength training and the use of the KT Tape© have made a big difference in my recovery.  I’m not out of the woods, but I have had less pain than when I started and no pain just walking.  That’s a big one!

I have used KT Tape before and it can be a little tricky applying it properly.  I’ve never applied it on the Achilles and my first application on my left foot was a little wonky, but effective.  The application on the right foot was much more eloquent.  The desired result was great.  I really felt support while running using the tape.  There seemed to be a certain tightness and that alleviated much of the pain.  Granted, I only ran for two miles with it, but it held up nicely.  I went out and bought more today and will continue to use it during my recovery process.

I started out with a run/walk at the beginning of the week.  You know the feeling when you haven’t been outside in a while and you finally get to go out and everything is exhilarating?  I had that feeling. It was so good to be running again.  A few pangs, but when I started to hurt I slowed down and ensured I walked a bit.  I’m one of those people who just like to push through.  I hate interrupting the flow.  My second run was two miles on the treadmill.  As monotonous as the treadmill is at times, it reduces impact and is part of my recovery and training program.

There is a high school down the road with a very nice track.  I figured this weekend I would give it a go.  When I was in Belleville, Il I would use the track on Scott AFB all the time.  I like running on the road, but sometimes it’s just nice to be off the road and have a flatter surface.  And it’s a track, which means lower impact and it’s good for speed training too.  I walked a mile to the track (great warm up) and ran two miles and walked back for a total of 4.30 miles for the long run this week.  No doubt I will be ready for the Quantico 12K in August.

 

Hawks track in the background.

I logged 9.23 miles this week.  I know..:/, but at least it’s 9.23 more than last week.  I remain eternally grateful for my steadfast journey.  I have 5774.75 miles remaining!  I hope this post finds you back….back in the saddle again.  Happy Miles to You!!