Day 8 of Gratitude…The Dreadmill

Now that it is daylight savings time I get home in the dark.  It leaves little time to catch some day light to get in a run.  I don’t mind running in the dark, but sometimes I think it’s good to have a buddy.

Thank goodness there is the treadmill at the gym.  Not always optimum, but it gets the job done.  Was able to pull out 4 miles tonight as I’m getting ready for this weeks race.

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 ~ 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!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 25 – 30 June

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday!  I still continue to move towards my halfway point!  It’s getting exciting and close!  Can you feel it?  My goodness I’ve been doing this a long time now, but I’m chipping away at that mileage and getting closer to the end goal.  It never seems to get old.  I mean sometimes it gets a little monotonous, but when I’m done or complete my mileage I still get that sparkle!

animeme.wikia.com

This week was pretty good week.  I tried to do something every day and have continued to work on my strength training with a combination of low mileage runs and did some indoor cycling.  I was going to do a longer run on Saturday, but opted for some faster paced runs to see how I felt.  I did mile sprints with the fastest being 9:45 and the slowest 10:14.  My Achilles on both ankles still continues to bite at me a bit.  Strange that both are hurting and I did pull back from riding today to give them a bit of a rest.

Good news I am a go for the Quantico 12K on 25 August.  It is in the Marine Corps Marathon family of races.  I’m excited to have signed up for my first race in Virginia.  I will be posting more about that in the future and race details can be found here Quantico 12K.

A couple of interesting things this week.  First, my mile pace runs on Saturday.  It really heated up this weekend.  Both Saturday and Sunday were in the 90s and the humidity was off the chart.  Any time it’s that hot it’s always important to hydrate and safely push yourself.  I learned something important about myself on Saturday, or at least found an inner fire that I seemed to have lost over the years.  I am competitive, but I like to call it a niiiccceee competitive.  When I was younger I was very competitive, but maybe I have mellowed over the years.  For my pace runs the first mile was more down hill than up.  I was at a good steady pace, listening to Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven, when another runner (female) passed me.  She passed me, but then cut right in front of me and then proceeded to slow down.  Now, do I care that she passed me?  Uh, no…people pass me all the time, but normally they get on with it!  She slowed down so much that I had to slow my pace down.  She was close enough that I could touch her.  The first thing that went through my head was to slow down and let her get far enough ahead that I didn’t have to pass her again.  Thus playing the….pass game.  Something all runners know well.  I have been running long enough now that I do try to keep a steady pace.  It doesn’t always work, but for the most part I try.  I didn’t want to be “that guy”.  But then I thought, what the heck?  I said no way, you’re going to pass then pass.  I kept my pace and me and Robert Plant climbed that Stairway To Heaven together.  I blew by her and didn’t give her a second glance.  No!

 

Second, just to let you know how hot it was today.  I happened to be driving to Safeway and I saw a guy walking his dog on the sidewalk during the middle of the hottest part of the day.  All of a sudden the dog lurched forward and collapsed.  At first I thought it got bit by something, but the owner kept on walking with one of those retractable leashes unaware.  Finally the leash pulled taut and he went back to attend to the dog.  I watched them for about 30 seconds and I drove up to the light and turned around and stopped on the busy street.  The dog had collapsed due to heat exhaustion.  We loaded up the dog in my car and I drove him and his dog home.  He kept saying in disbelief he couldn’t believe it this happened.  The dog was old and it was way too hot.  If you’re too hot, your pet is too hot.  I’m glad that I was in the right place at the right time.  The dog was about 50 lbs and that would have made a long walk home.  Be careful out there!!

I was able to complete 101 miles for the month of June, about 17 miles shy of last month.  Total miles completed comes to 5521.99 with 5793.01 gratefully remaining.   I hope this post finds you cool and well.  Happy Miles to You!!

Keep climbing that stairway….and it’s meant to be played loud.  Oh yes….