Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm an inspiration?

I'm working from home today and decided to go to a nearby greenway trail for an easy lunch time run. I've been extremely busy at work, haven't run in days and definitely needed the stress relief. The first mile was sluggish. Maybe I should have waited a little longer after I ate... I started feeling more into it on the second mile and picked up the pace a little. I decided I would pick up the pace by at least 10 seconds on the last mile. So as I'm cruising along, I see two older women standing in the pathway pointing and staring at one of the new bird houses that have been installed. They looked so happy admiring the bird house and flowers and enjoying their leisurely walk. And then I was totally surprised... As I was approaching them, one said to me, "You're our inspiration". I said, "Thanks!" and smiled. I must admit I was a little perplexed. I'm just plodding along at an 11-minute per mile pace. I had no idea that my stress-reducing lunch time run would prove to be an inspiring moment for someone else. Double the goodness!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

XTERRA Harbins Park 10K Trail Race

I arrived home around 9 p.m. last night from a business trip in Portland, OR.  My body and brain were still on Pacific Coast time and I was wide awake until at least 1 a.m.  I forced myself into bed and set the alarm clock. I didn't want to get up. But, the lure of a trail race set me in motion. This is my first trail race of the year. I bought new trail shoes last weekend, since the funk had sunk into my prior pair. My goals for this race were simple:  enjoy 10K of trails.  And it was a success!
  • I didn't finish last, although it wouldn't have bothered me if I had;
  • I learned about a new trail that's only 30-45 minutes from where I live; and
  • I had FUN!!!
They mentioned two more upcoming trail races. One is a 5K next weekend, which I'll probably skip. The other is an 8.5 mile XTERRA Georgia Championship race on October 23. I'll probably register for that one since it will be a guaranteed PR since I've never run a 8.5 mile race. And did I mention... I LOVE trail runs!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Well, this wasn't a run, but I'm so GRATEFUL to Deb for taking me on a waterfall tour. We hit the Vista Center on the Columbia Gorge, Latourelle Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Multnomah Falls (2nd highest in US), and Horsetail Falls before it got too dark. They were all so different and beautiful in their own special ways. AMAZING beauty!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thalassini Kyra

One of the other places that Deb had mentioned running at was the Waterfront Loop in Portland. Someone in Portland told me how to get there by train. A guy in my training class went to college in Portland, so I asked him how to get there. He said it was easy... he ran there yesterday... Just follow the train tracks until you cross the river (about a mile from the hotel) and the bridge/pedestrian walkway would lead onto the Waterfront Loop, which is about 3 miles long. Since it was only about a mile from the hotel I decided to run there rather than take the train. Around 6 p.m. I started my journey, following the train tracks. If I had taken the train, I probably would not have noticed a ship named after my daughter, Thalassini Kyra.  I was so excited! But after I crossed the bridge, I didn't see anything that looked like a running park loop. All I saw were homeless people and I felt oddly out of place in my running skirt and tank top. The hairs on my neck prickled, so I turned around and returned to the hotel. Maybe I'll try again some other day after getting better directions.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wildwood Trail

So.... many months ago I became "friends" with @dorothybitestoto on Twitter. She seemed like a cool chick. Loves to run, has similar funky hair colors as me, etc. So when I found out that I would be going to Portland, I sent her an advance tweet and we made tentative plans to tweet-up. She had Tuesday and Thursday open, but thought Tuesday would be the best bet based on the weather forecast. So after a few exchanges on Monday evening, we decided to go for a run at the Wildwood Trail. She said she would meet me at the Zoo entrance which was the Zoo/Washington Park train station. She sent me a link for how to plan a trip on the train system.

I was a little confused when I got off the train, but asked for help and was told where to go... Deb was waving at me as I headed in the right direction. We started out and stayed on the Wildwood Trail. She told me that it is about 40 miles long. We ran/walked/talked until about 7 p.m. and then turned back around to ensure we finished before dark since neither of us brought headlamps or flashlights. The trees are SO TALL! It was SO COOL to run with her. We chatted like we were old friends even though this was the first time we'd ever met in person. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to run with her. I never would have found this beautiful trail on my own. Thanks Deb!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

pretty purple flower

Last week was insanely busy and I only got in one run. Hope to do better this week...  My flight to Portland leaves this afternoon... So after getting my daughter on the school bus, and finishing packing, I went for an easy run to get back into the groove. I saw this amazingly beautiful flower early in my run and made a point to stop and take a photo before returning home. This run/walk was simply about working out the stress and enjoying the beauty of nature. Goal accomplished!

Monday, September 6, 2010

two half's make up for a whole?

Yes, I'm definitely doing a re-set. My two friends that I ran the Chicago marathon with last year are backing out of the race. We've all been dealing with injuries, heat/humidity, lack of time to train properly, etc. The main reason I wanted to run it again this year was more about the girls get-away vacation than the actual race. The three of us and our four daughters had so much fun last year! But if they're not going, and I haven't put in the miles necessary to make it a great experience, then I've decided it's just not worth the expense (airfare + hotel).

So instead of Chicago, I'm going to pick two half marathons in November to run instead. I pulled up the Hal Higdon Intermediate Half Marathon training plan and counted back from the date of the first half that I want to run. That would put me at 6 miles for my long run which I can easily do. Woohoo! The training plan looks so much more realistic to fit into my hectic life schedule than a marathon training plan. Feeling happy!

According to Hal's training plan, I should run a 10K race on 9/25. And as luck would have it, there is a trail 10K race that day! So I registered for the Harbins Park Trail 10K race.  This will be my first trail race of the year and it's only about a half-hour drive from my house. I've never been to this park before, so I'm looking forward to discovering new trails to run. But... I guess this means I'm going to have to buy more trail shoes. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my creek-soaked trail shoes out of the plastic bag after my last trail run... I found them two days ago with a wretched odor. No way that foul smell is going to release, so into the trash bin they went.

The Zooma Atlanta half marathon is on 11/6 at Chateau Elan. The registration fee is pricey, but I had a $10 discount code and it does include a necklace, technical tee, breakfast and wine... And it's less than an hour drive from my house in a scenic area. Looking forward to it!

I also registered for the Atlanta Thanksgiving half marathon. I registered for this more out of tradition than any other reason. I ran it for the first time in ~1995 and have run it several times since then. It makes Thanksgivings without my daughter more bearable (she'll be with her dad this year). Last year she and I went to Southern Cross Guest Ranch for Thanksgiving, which was awesome! I'm sure that's going to be a tradition for us on the alternate years when she's with me.

So, I've printed out the Intermediate half marathon training plan, shifted all the runs up a day so I can do my long runs on Saturdays, and began the program on Saturday. Instead of a 5K race, I went out for a 6 mile run (which was the plan for the prior week). I'll do week 4 this week. I'm so much more excited about this plan than marathon training. Woohoo!!!