Saturday, October 29, 2011

what not to do the week before a marathon.. if you trip easily..

Georgia International Olympic Mountain Bike course. My daughter is participating in the Boo Rama horse show at the Georgia International Horse Park this weekend. She came in 3rd place (out of about 15) in all 4 of her events today! After her last event, I headed for the trails. This time, unlike others, I followed the signs for the bike path/no horses. The first mile was so easy that I wondered how this could possibly be the Olympic course. Then I realized that that must have been the "warm-up" portion because the following miles were more challenging. I'm sure bikers take the ramp in this picture, but I chose to leap over the fallen tree instead.

There were only a few bikers on the trail and they politely warned me that they were approaching from behind so I jumped off the trail to let them pass. I felt strong as I ran and took 30 second walk breaks every 5-7 minutes depending on the terrain and my breathing. Just shy of 2 miles I tripped and fell. I didn't bother to look at the damage.. just got up and continued along the path paying closer attention to the trail obstacles in hopes of not tripping again. I can't afford a serious injury a week before my marathon.. 4.27 miles was the loop. I assessed the damage at the car. Hopefully this is just surficial scrapes rather than more significant damage since I have a marathon to run in 7 days. I posted on Facebook and Daily Mile: note to self (aka trail tripper) NO MORE TRAIL RUNS until AFTER your marathon :-P  (But I somehow doubt I can stick to that since I am now a trail addict.) Please wish me safe trail travels instead..

Oscar warned me before he left for Colombia to please be careful.. He didn't want me to injure myself before my marathon. Obviously he knows me too well.. Today is his birthday and I miss him more than I thought I would. Hope he is having a fabulous time with his family and friends!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Bring on the marathon! Most of my miles during the past few months have been on trails. I decided that my last long run before my marathon should probably be on the road to better simulate race conditions. I ran at Mountain Park Park with the strategy that I plan to use on race day. At every 5 minutes took a 30 second walk break. At every 4 miles (~45 minutes) ate half a clif bar and drank about 6 oz of gatorade plus water. Except for the chafing, this was an amazing run! Guess all those trail miles paid off since I felt strong the entire run. I used to walk the minor hills here, but now they are easy to run. Woohoo!

Monday, October 10, 2011

zen run

I love how the trail looks different every time that I run it! Today was a rainy run and the bright red leaves of fall approaching caught my eye on this section of the trail today. It was much more gorgeous than this photo could possibly portray. Maybe because I was in the moment, smelling the fresh scent of rain and mud, feeling the cool drips of rain on my skin, hearing the leaves rustling lightly. Zen running at its best!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

dirty girls have more fun

At least this time I tripped and slid in mud rather than doing too much damage. It was actually kind of fun! Today was my longest trail run ever. I had planned for an easy 5-miler; I normally do my long runs on Sunday. But I was feeling great and had enough snacks and water in the car, so I decided early on to shift gears and listen to my body and turn this 5-miler into the 15-mile long run that I had on schedule for tomorrow. Best decision ever! At 5 miles I returned to the car, had a snack and drank water. I run a 2.5 mile loop at Yellow River Park trails, so every 2.5 miles I stopped by the car for another small snack and gulp of water. Fueling was perfect! By the end, I felt I could easily run more, but my knee was starting to hurt a little so I didn't want to push it. Dirty girls have more fun!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

rattlesnake.. thanks for the warning instead of the strike

Take a close look.. a very close look.. what neither of us see in the image was the rattlesnake that was half-way up this trail climb. I had a work meeting at Sweetwater Creek State Park today and went for a trail run afterwards. I decided to go a different route than I did last year. I loved the first mile or so. The trail thinned and I wondered if it was a true trail but decided to continue forward. Then I came to a steep incline and wasn't sure if it was a trail "dead end" or only for the hard-core. I was tempted to turn around but decided to be adventurous and climb. It was steep so I went slowly, grabbing branches/trees to keep me from slipping. About half-way up I reached for a small tree, near its base, and heard the rattle of a rattlesnake. I glanced to my left and there it was.. within inches of my hand.. I'm so grateful that it warned me instead of biting me!

If you've read any of my previous posts you may surmise that trail runs can be dangerous. Trips, lyme disease, insect stings, rattlesnakes.. Yet the trails are also where I find nirvana. I'll trade a boring/safe run for a trail any day. New adventures keep my life interesting.