Monday, May 31, 2010

tweetup trail run

About a month ago, Mark sent a tweet to several people saying that he would be in the area at the end of May and suggested that we get together for a tweetup run on Memorial Day. Sounded good to me, and several others, so the date was set. Last night tweets flew back and forth about what people would be wearing so we could easily identify each other; none of us had met before. Javi would be wearing a Get Guts shirt; I said I would be wearing a skirt and blue top; and Tim said he was considering wearing a skirt, but probably wouldn't (HA HA HA).

I left home in plenty of time to arrive early, but guess what... I was about half-way between home and Stone Mountain and realized I was still wearing flip flops! My dirty trail shoes were still sitting on my kitchen floor, in a bag, by the door. So I tweeted that I was running a few minutes late and returned home to get my trail shoes.

I arrived a few minutes after 7 a.m. and found the guys easily. The group consisted of Mark (@bamarunner on Twitter), Javier (@aReyoUiN), Ron (@losttrailrunner), Tim (@virtual4now) and me (@SamanthaUF). After introductions, Javi led us on what he said would be a 5 to 6 mile trail run. I've run trails at Stone Mountain a few times, but this one (or at least sections of it) was new for me. I was totally excited to learn a new route!

Within the first mile I slipped on a rock and crashed. I scraped my right leg and palm, but the worse part was breaking my Garmin 405 wristband! The watch/GPS seemed to still be functioning so I was greatful for that! I was the slowest in the group. Ron hung with me for the most part, then Mark traded off with Ron to stay with me for the last half of the run. I've run part of the trail segments before so I had a sense of approximately where I was for portions of it, but doubt I could repeat the path. I didn't realize there were so many trail intersections in the loop around the mountain. Unfortunately, Ron tripped over a root and fell too. At least I wasn't the only one with a momento from the run.

At the end of the run, we chatted in the parking lot for a while. Oddly, each of our GPS units had different mileages. Mine was 5.37, someone else had 5.5, another had 5.7, and another was 6 miles. I wonder which is accurate? We ran under heavy canopy and the sky was one giant cloud. Guess Javi was right when he said the distance would be between 5 and 6 miles.

I'm really glad that Mark suggested a tweetup run, and most importantly that I participated. I learned a new trail route and got to meet a few runners that I've been chatting with on Twitter for the past several months. Despite the scream in the shower as the water hit my boo boo, I can't think of a better way to have spent this morning. Trails ROCK; running with others is AWESOME; life is GREAT; run for FUN!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

another shoe bites the dust

Uh oh... Guess I should have given Riley (golden retriever) his new toy BEFORE I ran...  Found this shoe in his mouth when I returned. Oh well, I was getting tired of this shoe anyway. One less pair to take up space in the closet :-/
Slow but progressive 8 miles. I started the run very slow (12:20 minutes/mile) and then steadily increased the pace until I finished the scheduled 8 miles. I tried out a homemade electrolyte beverage of coconut water, tart cherry juice, and filtered water for dilution. Coconut water tastes horrible but has lots of electrolytes. The cherry juice killed the bad taste and tart cherry juice is reported to have anti-inflamatory properties. I LOVED IT! Thanks Deb for the suggestion!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

easy 6 miles followed by party at the lake

I got in an easy 6 miles this morning on the treadmill while my daughter and her friend slept late. I took another vacation day today in order to go to a party for graduating 5th graders at a friend's lake house. Tonya said she really wanted me to be there, and I couldn't resist. The kids (and adults) had so much fun! Jetski rides, boat rides, jumping off the 2nd story dock into the lake, swimming, volleyball, burgers, cake, etc. Great day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

run with Lisa on last day of elementary school

Today was my daughter's last day of 5th grade/elementary school. She goes to an AMAZING school!!! On the last day, they have "survivor day" for 5th graders. This involves organized play outside all day long. I took a vacation day from work and volunteered at the water gun station. I think I had as much fun as the kids did. When they didn't follow the rules (no squirting volunteers/adults), I shot them with the endless supply water gun (hose), which elicited many smiles. At 1 p.m. the kids went to the front of the school for the annual picnic. When the other grades went inside, the fire truck came and doused the 5th graders for about 10 minutes. What an AMAZING and emotional day.
During the picnic, Lisa told me that she needed to go for a run this afternoon. I happily said that I would go with her. Her oldest son is graduating from high school today, and today is the last day of elementary school for her youngest child (as well as my only child). (Our girls are pictured here in orange t-shirts.) She really needed to go for a run for stress release and I needed it too. It's been months since we've run together. I totally enjoyed it! We need to do this more often! She only wanted/had time for 3 miles, so after I left her house I ran 2 more on my own to get in a total of 5.1 miles. What a great day!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

new kicks

Well, I had hoped to re-invent my blog this week, but guess it will have to wait... I wanted to make it more entertaining rather than a diary. But since I didn't take any photos this week, and don't have any exciting stories to tell, guess this week will be presented as in the past... I did buy a new pair of shoes, but it's too soon to write a review...

I won't bore you with the details, but Monday-Wednesday were just way too insanely busy to get any exercise in.

Thursday: Got up early this morning and ran 3 miles in 32:48 minutes. 10:56 minutes/mile average pace. I was supposed to run 4, but only had time for 3. Will try to make up miles later in the week.

Saturday: Ran 4.03 miles in 48:19 minutes; 11:59 minutes/mile average pace. Was scheduled to run 6 easy today but would rather do my long run on Sunday, so just did 4 easy to make up for some of missed miles earlier this week. My goal was to keep the average pace under 12 minutes but not push too hard; done. Saw Joe A. running towards me on my last mile, so at that point, there was NO WAY I was going to walk up that hill. Glad to see his similing face out on a run!

Later, I went to Fleet Feet to cash in my $15 coupon before it expires. My current running shoes have over 300 miles on them, which is way beyond what I normally allow. I wanted to purchase my faves, Nike Zoom Elite, but they were discontinued... Their replacement is the Lunar Zoom. I tried on and did a test run in the Lunar Zoom and the Lunar Glide. I liked the Glide a little better so I purchased them. And of course, I had to buy a new outfit to match the shoes :-)...

Sunday:  Ran 6 miles in 1:13:58 minutes in my new shoes; 12:20 minutes/mile average pace. 82 degrees, 66% humidity. Should have gotten up earlier when it was cooler... Splits: 11:47, 11:12, 12:00, 12:02. 13:54, 13:02. Like my new shoes :-) My plantar fasciitis is still acting up so I iced it immediately after the run, and a few more times during the day.

Weekly Summary:

  • Days run this week: 3
  • Days run this year: 56 (about 25 runs behind 2010 goal)
  • Miles run this week: 13.03
  • Miles run this year: 354.73 (about 37 miles behind 2010 goal)
  • Highlight of the week: hmmmm..... seeing Joe on my Saturday run? New shoes?
  • Goal for next week: run more, enjoy daughter's graduation-from-elementary-school activities

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I NEED to get back into a more structured exercise routine. Running 1-2 days a week with scheduled bike rides and swimming just isn't working for me. I've never been a huge fan of biking. I'd also like to get the dogs back into running shape, and I seriously need to lose some fat. Not to mention that I'm way behind on my goals for 2010. I'm considering getting up each morning and going for at least one mile (starting next week). The thought is to take Riley for a mile one day, Tasha for a mile the next day, then repeat so they are starting out at a mile every-other-day. Then after a few weeks, gradually increase the distance. On days that I'm supposed to run, I'll drop the dog off after what I'll consider my warm-up mile and then do the rest of the miles on my own. I haven't thought this through completely yet, so it may all go by the wayside, but we need a change! I took them both for a mile on Saturday and gave them both a rest on Sunday. I think I'll take Riley on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and Tasha on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays or Sundays. Check in next week to see if I follow through. I got in three easy runs and a swim this week. Read below for daily details, followed by my weekly summary.

Monday:  Ran 4 miles in 41:40 minutes, 10:25 minutes/mile average pace. I was taken off guard when I looked at my daily email from Buckeye Outdoors and saw that the plan was for four miles today. Monday is normally my off day. I was eager to run, since I skipped the four miles on Saturday, so I adjusted my schedule and left work a little earlier than originally planned to get it in. Was pleased with the pace!

Tuesday:  I was supposed to bike today but worked late instead. I'm just not too thrilled about biking...

Wednesday:  Rest Day. Enjoyed going to the high school girls soccer game with our neighbors.

Thursday:  Swam 1400 meters in 45:55 minutes. Swam a variety of sets that Coach Josh had planned for me. Felt good.

Friday: Again, I'm thrown off by this change of routine. I'm used to having Friday's off, but Josh scheduled 4 miles. Decided to take today as a rest day and run tomorrow instead.

Saturday: Ran 4.11 miles in 50:44 minutes, 12:21 minutes/mile average pace. Ran the first mile (and fastest) with Riley (golden retriever), ran the second mile with Tasha (siberian husky), then ran my neighborhood 2-mile loop alone. I haven't taken the dogs for a run in a long time. The last time I took Riley, he only ran for a half-mile and walked the rest, so I expected the same from him today. But he surprised me and ran the entire way, except for a few steep hills. There were a lot of squirrels out, which kept him on the chase. After our mile loop, I dropped him off at home and leashed Tasha. As usual, she had to stop and pee a dozen times and pooped once. She ran a steadier pace than Riley, but with all the stops, her mile was much slower. Then I ran the 2-mile loop in our neighborhood by myself. I felt sluggish. It was 75 degrees with 76% humidity.

Sunday: Ran 2.06 miles in 27:01 minutes, 13:06 minutes/mile average pace. I've been feeling so out-of-shape. Since I skipped the scheduled bike rides this week, I opted for an easy jog/walk in the neighborhood.

Weekly Summary:
  • Days run this week: 3
  • Days run this year: 53 (about 24 runs behind 2010 goal)
  • Miles run this week: 10.17
  • Miles run this year: 341.7 (about 31 miles behind 2010 goal)
  • Highlight of the week:  SQUIRREL! aka running with Riley
  • Goal for next week: run more and lose a pound

Sunday, May 9, 2010

so happy to run again! + mother's day weekend

Marathon recovery with Coach Josh's plan is worse than tapering! Last weekend I REALLY WANTED to RUN. But he said no... give my legs a rest... so I grudgingly complied. I was ecstatic to see running on the schedule for this week!

Monday:  Rest Day

Tuesday:  Ran 4 easy miles in 44:21 minutes, 11:05 minutes/mile average pace.  My daughter is with her dad tonight so I scheduled my run for this evening. I arrived home late from work and began my run at 7:50 p.m. I decided to leave the sunglasses at home since it was dusk. big mistake... a bug flew into my eye at about the 2 mile mark and it irritated me most of the rest of the run. However, I was too happy to get to run again so it didn't get me down. Lesson learned: always wear eye protection when running.

Wednesday:  Rest Day. This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. On Tuesday, the children were supposed to bring a flower to school. Each student's flower from the classroom would be combined together in a single vase for their main/homeroom teacher. Every year we've cut a rose, usually the first rose of the season, from one of our rose bushes for this occassion. Yesterday morning we were sad to see that none of our roses were in full bloom. I cut this rose (still just a bud barely opening yesterday) for my daughter to take to school. She wasn't thrilled. She purused our garden and found a gorgeous iris to cut/take to her teacher instead. Since I had already cut this rose, I took it into the office. I didn't have a vase with me, so I tucked it into my 26.2 cup, after I finished drinking my Teavana tart cherry tea. Happy that the teacher received our prettiest flower and I got a rose too. win-win!

Thursday:  I was supposed to swim today but had way too much other stuff to accomplish.  I'm so far behind with work, house work and yard work...

Friday:  Today was scheduled as a Rest Day, but I did a good bit of yard work instead.

Saturday: I was supposed to run 4 miles today. My daughter and I are spending mother's day weekend at our favorite local horse ranch, Southern Cross Guest Ranch. This is our third year in a row of what is now known as our "tradition". I told her last night that I had planned to get up before she awoke this morning and go for a run on the horse trails. She begged me not to. She pleaded that I spend the entire mother's day weekend with her and not leave her to run.  She knows how to pull at my heart. So I slept in instead. We woke this morning to an amazing sunrise! The photo from our balcony just doesn't do it justice. It's about a quarter mile from the guest house to the stables. She normally rides one of the guest bikes to/from and I normally walk (can't bear the pain of sitting on a bike after two hours on a horse saddle.)  During the two hour morning horse ride I tried to scheme how to get a run in. The answer came to me that I should run from the stable to the guest house between rides as she biked. I didn't get 4 miles in, but probably ran a mile (total) from the stable to the guest house (in riding boots and jeans). She had fun daring me to keep up with her (on a bike), and I had fun trying.

Sunday:  Mother's Day. Today was supposed to be a rest day but we spent the entire day riding horses. Horse back riding may seem like "resting", but four hours of riding, plus tacking/untacking a horse twice a day for two days in a row really works your core!  By the end of the day today, I have sore muscles all over. My daughter is pictured here next to "Ghost". She rode Ghost yesterday afternoon and said I should ride him this morning. She said he had a very smooth canter. She wanted to ride a different horse and got stuck with Sparky this morning. It wasn't fun for her; Sparky isn't so sparky. Our guide suggested that she ride Harley this afternoon, but the woman in line before us asked for/received Harley. My daughter was in tears, but rode Ghost again this afternoon. She was upset at the beginning, but perked up after the first canter. I've found a new favorite horse for me, Codey. At the end of the day we dined with a woman from our group ride that had just come to the ranch for the day. She said that she used to ride with her mom, who has passed on, and wanted to ride today in remembrance of her mom. Talking with her reaffirmed how important this tradition is. Hopefully my daughter will remember these special moments way into the future. We had a wonderful third annual mother's day with daughter at the Southern Cross horse ranch!

Weekly Summary:
  • Days run this week: 2
  • Miles run this week: 5-ish
  • Highlight of the week: running again! + mother's day 
  • Goal for next week: run more

Sunday, May 2, 2010

recovery week

This week is a recovery week. Coach Josh prescribed swimming on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (no running). I was still coughing pretty hard on Tuesday and was quite sore so I took a rest day instead.  I had my hair cut/colored on Wednesday and didn't want to ruin it, plus I'm still coughing and sore from the marathon, so I did yard work, a little bit of easy cycling, and lots of sleeping instead of swimming. Boy am I sore from that challenging marathon!

Weekly Summary:
  • Days run this week: 0
  • Miles run this week: 0
  • Highlight of the week: so proud of completing a mountainous marathon
  • Goal for next week: ease back into running