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 ~ 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 ~ “I’ve Got Your Six”

Happy Sunday everyone!  Another week down and 20 days to go before the Quantico 12K.  Feeling okay this week.  The ankles are still a bit sore, but I was able to soldier on as they say.  I kept my running to treadmill and a flat track surface.  I enjoy running on the track.  It is a good break from running on the road at times.

In the past I’ve had about two pairs of running shoes.  The older pair normally would end up on garden duty!  I have three at the moment that I rotate on a regular basis.  I know, most runners are saying ~ is that all!  For the most part I have had a moderate support shoe, usually favoring Brooks©, Asics© or Saucony©.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the rotating between the shoes I have now, Nike©, Asics© and Hoka© were not the same in rise category and therefore, hurting my ankles.  Different rises cause you to use different muscles.  There is a difference in foot strike between the Hoka shoe I have which causes me to strike mid-foot and the other two which is more of a heel strike, causing me to run differently and causing the pain.  So, it’s bye bye Hoka for now.  There are different Hokas of course, but I think I’m going to stick with what has worked for me in the past ~ the Asics and the Brooks.  Maybe throw in a pair of Saucony from time to time.  All seemed to be comparable to my running style ~ and hopefully will mean less pain.   I talked it over with someone at the local running store and the theory seems to hold some value.

This weeks running plan continued on a road of recovery and training for my race.  I ran on Tuesday, did speed work on Thursday and Saturday was my longer run.  I kept to my plan and stayed at three miles for the long run with a respectable 10:37 pace.  I got a little bit of a late start and paid the price for that in humidity and heat.  I was good for the first two miles but that heat started to set in at mile three.  With no breeze it was a little trying.  It wasn’t too boring because I got to see the high school track team stretching and then they played frisbee in the center field.  It was fun to watch.

I run on the farthest lane or the number “6”.  For some reason every time I would pass the number 6 on the track I would think of the saying “I’ve got your 6”.  The quote is a military saying that originated out of WWI.

“In the military, “got your six” means “I’ve got your back.” The saying originated with World War I fighter pilots referencing the rear of an airplane as the six o’clock position. If you picture yourself at the center of a clock face, the area directly in front of you is twelve o’clock”.  ~ https://www.gotyour6.org/about/faqs/

The track definitely had my “6” as it was a bit friendlier on the old ankles!!  The final count for July miles came to 22.68.  This week I finished with 9.95 miles.  I’m looking to keep kicking up that long run distance.  I have gratefully completed 5550.20 miles in my journey with 5764.80 remaining.  I have 107.30 miles until the halfway mark.  I hope this post finds you well ~ and I hope someone has your “6”!  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Monday Motivation…I Get Enough

I came across this article the other day called I Have Enough, by Ann Voskamp.  What caught my attention was the sell line that said “Three words that are stealing your joy”.  Me being me, I had to know what those three words were!  I am guilty, like many others I’m sure, of always needing to get to the next task, climb the next mountain, or climb the ladder to new heights.  What is the next level! I often find myself looking so many years in advance and not living in the now.  In doing that you lose the little wins in life I think.  It’s one thing to plan ahead, but at some point you do have to learn to be content.

The article states that when we constantly strive for more we miss our true calling in life.  That we are struggling so much for “more” that it is impossible to live life in the present and truly appreciate what we have.  It doesn’t mean that we don’t try to better ourselves, but at least enjoy the ride and know enough to know when we have enough.

Some of my favorite take aways:

“When I can’t remember that I get enough – I just have to remember to give thanks”.

“The disease of not-enough… is cured when you give thanks for more than enough grace”.

“But when we know we get enough – we get happy for what others get”.

If you want to read the whole article just Google Ann Voskamp.

I have more than enough….I hope you do too:)  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

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!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 16 – 22 July….0.0 and Still Motivated!!

Happy Sunday Everyone!  Just a quick check in.  Yes, you read that correctly!  I logged a big 0.0.  I’m so proud of myself, because it means I was disciplined enough to rest my ankles.  Which is way hard for me.  I did do plenty of yoga, eccentric heel drops and iced all those sore spots.  I’m ready to start next week and get back in the swing of things.

I picked up some K tape at Rite Aid and hope it gives me a little more support.

 

Ahhh they make it look so easy.  At least there is a picture of how to apply, I will give it a shot.  I hope this finds you in good July spirits!  Happy Miles to You!!