Sunday, July 31, 2011

Moving on..

Notice how my stop doesn't equal my start? My plan was 15 miles which equals 3 loops around Stone Mountain. I started out running in the opposite direction of cyclist traffic. I used to run in the same direction as cyclist, but then realized that if I ever wanted to possibly meet up with one particular cyclist, I had to see him coming. I knew he wouldn't be at Stone Mountain today, but thought I might as well practice running in that direction. And honestly, I'm trying to get him out of my system, so might as well keep my options open. At about mile 3, I notice a cyclist easily climbing a hill.. he's cute and looks familiar... maybe I've seen him before and he's just now catching my eye. I smile at him as he passes. The next time we pass, I smile and he smiles back. For the next few passes we both exchange smiles. I fantasize that I could have this guy if I wanted.. I think about saying "You're cute!" at the next time I see him, but I don't.. At the next pass he waves. I wave back. The next pass he says, "good morning" and I respond "HI". OMG.. I'm loving this flirt as it is keeping me distracted from the heat induced dehydration that I'm struggling through. I mentally backtrack and realize we cross paths about every 15 minutes. I make sure I'm looking like a strong runner each time I anticipate him appearing. I wonder how long he will be riding. Then he takes me off-guard and slows down to a stop at our next pass. We exchange names and he asks how much longer I am running. I'm at mile 11, so I say 4 more. He says I'm strong to be running 15 miles. He has 3 more laps to go and says something about seeing me later.

Then fast forward.. I made the mistake of carrying only muscle milk on my last lap. It provided great nutrition, but was thick and I desparately needed water, and lots of it, in this 95 degree heat. I stopped at each fountain and drank as much as I could. Yet that still wasn't enough and I had a hard time keeping my heart rate within my target range. So I walked the majority of mile 13. At 13.92 miles I reached the mountain walk-up trail parking lot. I thought about going toward the restrooms and filling my bottle with water, but then thought I would just walk to my car where water awaited in the cooler in the trunk. As I was weighing my options, I see a guy waving at me. He's in different clothes now, so I don't recognize him at first, but decide I should stop to say hi to whoever it is that is waving at me from afar. It's the cute cyclist.. I explain my dehydration and he offers me his bottle. I drink half of it and appologize and he says no problem that he has more. We leads me over to the shade to talk. He rode 50 miles today and he's impressed with my strength to run 15 miles? It turns out, he lives in the same town as me. He has two daughters, one that is the same age as my daughter. I ask her name and I immediately recognize it and tell him that she and my daughter are friends. He asks me to lunch or to just get something to drink and I have learned my lesson from the dude I'm trying to forget and say yes. He drives me to my car (hence the lost mile) and then he follows me to the nearest open restaurant I see (did I mention major dehydration?).

I'm still not completely over Mr. Sexy, and honestly doubt I ever will be, but it's time to move on..

Saturday, July 30, 2011

over or under?

Over or under? Which would you choose? Decisions.. decisions.. to be made on trail runs.. Saturday has become my trail run day. Stone Mountain used to be my trail of choice due to convenience and familiarity. Then a friend suggested Yellow River a few months ago, and now I doubt I'll go back to Stone Mountain for trails on Saturdays. Why do I like Yellow River Trails so much? It's much less crowded and most importantly.. I LOVE running beside the river. I've always been drawn to water bodies.

And I recently realized that a group of high school cross country boys run there on Saturday mornings. Therefore, I don't feel afraid of running the trails alone.. I know they'll cross my path often. Today I enjoyed eavesdropping on their conversation as I stretched at the parking lot after my run.. One boy was telling his peers that even though he was in the top 10 in time trials, he always takes Sunday as a rest day and listens to his body and takes other days as rest as needed. He was telling his buddies that it is important to not over train. If you overtrain, you get injured and/or burned out, and that is totally not worth it if you want to be competitive. This made me feel better about taking yesterday off of running to give my plantar fasciitis another day to recover, and for running slow/easy today to be able to run my planned 15-mile long run tomorrow.

So.. over or under was my original question.. Cross country rock star would choose under (training). Yet I opted for leaping over the log, yet not attempting to make up for missed mileage yesterday. Win win.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

ice ice baby

Started out as just a general aerobic run, then realized that I haven't run hard in weeks. So I picked up the pace the last 3 of 6 miles and ended up the fastest pace for this route all year! Plantar fasciitis really flared up, so as soon as I got home I took the advice of a friend (wife of a sports medicine doc) and soaked my entire foot in a bucket of ice water rather than rolling it on a frozen water bottle. Daisy and Diesel thought this was a fun idea too..

Saturday, July 23, 2011

chasing boys

i think too much.. need to put things back into perspective.. nothing like a trail run to do that for me.. especially a trail run that includes being passed by cross country boys.. how fun it was to chase them until they left my sight.. they were so happy and carefree and i let my worries go.. at a point where i wasn't sure which path to take, i simply followed the path they took.. for once in a very long time i didn't care if i got lost on the trails.. i actually needed to get lost on the trails.. i eventually made it back to the parking lot, miles sooner than i had hoped, but i'd reached a sense of clarity and called it a day. trail runs rock!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

beach run

Had an amazing 8 mile run! 4 miles to the beach, took off my shoes and ran 2 miles on the beach barefoot, then rinsed my feet/put back on shoes and ran 2 miles back to the hotel. Life doesn't get much better than this! Then showered and went out to dinner with a co-worker at the Oceanic. I have to credit him with this photo that he shared with me. We dined at table 95 over the beach and feeling the ocean breeze. Ahhhhhh... so peaceful!

Monday, July 18, 2011

sunset over the Cape Fear

Ahhhh.. home-sweet-home-away-from-home.. Returned to my favorite town to travel to today for a business trip. Did an easy recovery run this morning before leaving home, and looking forward to a great 8-miler on/near the beach tomorrow. This photo was taken as the sun was setting over the Cape Fear River while we were at Elijah's in downtown Wilmington, NC. Today was full of pleasant surprises to cherish..

Sunday, July 17, 2011

ran an errand

Might as well run an errand during my long run.. Last night Kyra (my daughter) told me that we needed to go to the grocery store in the morning to buy muscle milk for her county swim meet. I told her that I had to do a long run, but we would leave a few minutes early for the swim meet and stop by the grocery store. She said that she wanted it for breakfast at 9 a.m. and suggested that I run to the grocery store and buy it during my long run.. She requested 6 bottles of chocolate muscle milk. That seemed like a good idea at the time..

So I got up early, ate a light breakfast, filled my camelbak with water and started my 3 mile trek to the grocery store. Since she wanted 6 bottles, I thought it would be easier to carry it back home in a wine sack rather than the typical plastic bag. Six bottles of muscle milk is heavier than I imagined and slowed my run a bit. I got lots of odd stares as people passed this crazy lady running with a wine bag. But at least it made my long run less boring! I dropped the muscle milk off at home at 6.25 miles and then continued my journey to the greenway for a total of 13.22 miles today. Nothing boring about my day!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

if it seems too good to be true..

If it seems too good to be true.. it probably is.. so what to do when you discover that it's not as perfect as you'd hoped? "You want something, go get it. Period. ~ Pursuit of Happiness." was the twitter quote that I favorited that came to mind as I ran the trails today. When faced with a tough decision, I can always rely on clarity to come out of a run, especially on trails where I bond with nature rather than being distracted by tunes. I started the run with a dilemma that weighed heavy on my mind in the middle of the night. Then I let it go and let my mind wander to the fun memories instead. I chose to literally and figuratively explore new trails. I was less inhibitive about getting lost.

And once I found my happy place, clarity came to me through nature. I saw a gorgeous doe, and a few minutes later two of her babies. My mind shifted to animalistic nature and let the brain-washing of my youth go. Life is way too short to not pursue happiness to the fullest. I entered the trails confused and left confident. Living life to the fullest!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

such a tease..

Talk about a tease.. I LOVE running in the rain.. I worked from home today and had flexibility on when I chose to run. The sky grew dark and the thunder roared. My heart raced and I quickly changed into running attire. Out the door I went, only to be disappointed as the clouds passed overhead and the sun began to shine without a single drop of rain. Not quite the adventure that I was looking for, but at least I was wearing a tank top and worked on evening out my sleeve-tan lines :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

few are willing to plow

I was on such a roll.. then my 16 day run streak abruptly ended on Thursday. I was violently ill all day on Tuesday. Woke up feeling better on Wednesday and did an easy recovery jog with the pups, but was totally exhausted. When the alarm clock went off on Thursday morning for a 9-mile run, my body refused to budge. I turned the alarm clock off and went back to sleep. I woke up in just enough time to make it to work an hour late.. But I felt much better for doing so! I debated about making up the miles missed, but decided to just call it a cut-back week instead. I've been building mileage for the past two months, so I'm probably overdue. My body definitely needed rest more than that run. With the exception of two weeks ago when I purposely ran hard on my long run, today was the fastest paced long run I've had in a long time without even trying to make it fast. Thrilled with progress!

On my long run today, I saw a marque at a church that said, "All want a harvest, but few are willing to plow". I thought about that throughout my run. Once upon a time I wanted to run marathons and put the minimal effort into it. Now I'm on a mission for improvement in all aspects of my life and am putting in lots of hours to accomplish that. I am finally now a plower..

Sunday, July 3, 2011

on a streak

Just like this feisty little pony, that I adored at a horse show last weekend, I'm feeling high strung and am on a streak. It's funny how meeting a guy can transform my attitude about life. Who knows if I'll ever see him again, but he's stirred up an overwhelming desire for me to finally whip this body back into shape. I've wanted to lose weight for years. After seeing photos of myself from the Mojo Loco in December, I quickly made the firm decision to lose it rather than just half-heartedly try. I started off the year at 158 pounds. (I can't believe I'm actually publishing the number.) Up until recently, I was slowly losing about a half pound a week, with a few weeks of gaining when I had business trips. I had dropped down to 152 on the day that I met him two weeks ago, and now the weightloss has skyrocketed. I've been running more and eating less. I used to find that the more miles I ran, the hungrier I would be the next day and couldn't seem to lose weight. But now the opposite is happening. Maybe I'm just not giving my body the down time to be hungry. I've run every day this week, as well as all but Monday of last week, resulting in a 13 day running streak. This is my highest mileage week of the year (36.14) and my lowest weight in years (146). I still have a long ways to go towards my goal, but am thrilled with the progress. At this rate, I should be able to achieve my goals of running the Savannah marathon in November, lighter and faster. Progress is sweet!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

sweet treats of trail runs

There is a god.. and he led me to berries.. as I was feeling the effects of failing to carry nutrition on a trail run.. and oh how sweet the reward!

After last week's trail run at Stone Mountain where I didn't get lost or trip, I sent out a request to fellow local trail enthusiasts asking for suggestions on other trails to try. Obviously I know this trail too well if I no longer get lost or fall down.. Mr. Sexy and my buddy Javi both suggested Fort Yargo. So I decided to check it out today. Saturdays are now my official trail run days. It was a longer drive than to Stone Mountain, but turned out to be not far from where my kiddo takes horse riding lessons. In the parking lot, the guy that pulled in beside me struck up a conversation. He rides his mountain bike there often. I love how friendly trail folks are!

I looked at the map fairly closely. There was a 7 mile option and a 12 mile trail. I was interested in the 7-miler and the trail appeared to simply follow a path around the lake. But once on the trail, I was totally confused. When I did see trail markers I wasn't sure which way to go. I eventually decided to just follow the closest path along the lake. At one point, I encountered a wooden bridge that crossed the lake. It appeared to be marked by a blue trail marker and I knew I needed to be on the yellow trail. I thought it odd that it wasn't the yellow trail since it looked like a lovely path to take across the water. But, I kept moving forward along the lake. I eventually encounter a trail map and realize that I should have crossed the bridge afterall. So I backtracked, going against the flow of traffic. You're supposed to go clockwise on certain days and counterclockwise on others and was met by surprise from a few bikers barreling down the path.

There were other times that the path wasn't clearly marked and I had no clue where to go. I stuck with my instinct and followed the edge of the lake until that was no longer an option. I found myself running through a campground, then out in the middle of nowhere, and then in a nature garden. I was starving by this point since I was an idiot and didn't bring food with me. I had been hungry for at least a mile or two before. As I'm wandering around the nature garden and pulling up google earth on my iPhone, something catches my eye. FRESH BLACKBERRIES!!! Most were still red, but a handful were black and I greedily devoured every black berry that I could reach. Ah.. the sweet rewards of trail running!