Sunday, February 11, 2018

Rain, Rain Go Away (WW # 132)




The purpose of this linkup is to
support active women.
Rules can be found HERE.


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Thank you for supporting the NEW Weekly Wrap


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My plan for the week was to rest and taper before the Mercedes Half Marathon.  By contrast, I did not taper before my last two half marathons as I was building my mileage.  I decided not to skimp on Monday's typical strength training.  But, Tuesday's four mile run was at a super easy effort.  Even so, I could still feel the extra hilly tempo run from Saturday.  That gave me more reason to take it easy for the remainder of the week.

Wednesday was cross training day.  As per usual, I called up the FunkyTown channel and got to work. The tunes had me happily pedaling and singing and not wanting to stop when I reached my planned shorter session of 45 minutes.  I had a stern talk with myself and stopped at 52 minutes.  And more likely -- whatever song I was enjoying must have ended. 


 
Friday I ran my last few miles before the race.  I took them as easy as I could.  I did a quick yoga routine that evening and called it done.  Que Sera Sera.
 
With heavy rains and flood watches in the forecast, I knew this race would be what my newbie runner self used to call a Dig Deep Day.  Wendy stressed over being unable to get out of Chicago due to snowfall. Thankfully, she made it.  So I would not let my mind consider the fact they might call the race off due to predicted thunderstorms.   That won't happen.  No way.  Not going there. 


We are ready!  And apparently...FREE.
And that's a wrap!

Do you always taper before a long distance race?

When is the last time you ran in heavy rain?


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Am I Content?





Am I Content?
The question today...
If I thought for a minute
I think I would say

Am I Content?
Sometimes, I'd say yes
I'm happy in life
With family, I'm blessed

Am I Content?
When I am running
The answer is yes
If the sunrise is stunning

Am I Content?
When I am skiing
And the lake is a mirror
Sky's reflection appealing

Am I Content?
Other times I'd say no
Because I like challenge
And new ways to grow

Am I Content?
No, I'm still going
Outside to find fun
Adventures not slowing

Am I Content?
No, I'm not dead
There are places to go
Thoughts to be said

Am I Content?
I guess you could say
I am very  much content
If I can still play


I'm linking with my buddy Deb Runs for Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!













Sunday, February 4, 2018

Hello, February! (WW # 131)




The purpose of this linkup is to
support active women.
Rules can be found HERE.


********************************************

Thank you for supporting the NEW Weekly Wrap 
and making Wendy feel welcomed.  
If you haven't read the updated rules, please do so.
There have been a few changes.

********************************************





In January, my running miles ended up higher than they have been in a long time.  I guess two half marathons in one month helps with that.  I was consistent all month with my weekly cross training; really enjoying my indoor cycling on the mag trainer while pedaling to 70's funk.  My strength sessions were consistent as well.  However, I still only run three times a week.

This was a typical training week for me.  It was pretty stressful at work coupled with a week of poor sleep, however.  Which...who am I kidding...is really is nothing out of the ordinary.   Although it was very cold, I was rewarded with a pretty sunrise on Tuesday morning's usual progressive run [10:13, 10:11, 9:53, 9:46, 9:05]. 



Another progressive four happened Thursday morning [10:01, 9:47, 9:35, 9:15].  These weekday runs I feel I could do in my sleep.  For curious minds, I don't eat anything.  I drink a few sips of water before heading out and I take nothing with me.  I do not stop unless a rare traffic issue forces me to -- like someone backing out of a driveway.   In winter's cooler temps, I am comfortable with this routine for up to 6 or 7 miles.  Anything longer and I'll eat a few bites of yogurt and stash a water bottle on my route.  Summer is drastically different. But, I'll save that for another post.

This side-tie, thumb-hole athletic top was in
my latest Stitch Fix box.  I like!

I'll be running the Mercedes Half Marathon next weekend with my ho-cost Wendy so I took one last opportunity to run a few hills on Saturday.  After one warm-up mile, I concentrated on running 7 hilly miles at a steady pace (averaging 9:40).  I've talked often about living in a hilly neighborhood and having the ability to run extra hills whenever I need.  Here is what that looks like. 




Since I've been busy building my running base for the last few months, I opted not to taper for my last two half marathons.  This time, I have decided to taper and rest in hopes that the Mercedes hills don't have me begging for mercy.

And that's a wrap!


How do you get your hill training?

Do you always eat before a run?


Friday, February 2, 2018

Coffee Talk (February)


My back porch was as far as I ventured
outside on our January snow day.
Welcome to Coffee Talk!


It's time for the monthly Ultimate Coffee Date and, as luck would have it, time for the Friday Five.

I enjoy these monthly coffee chats.  I've brewed an extra dark coffee in my mug, added a splash of coconut creamer and I'm ready to catch up.  

Let's chat about whatever randomness comes to mind... 

Here are the five things I'd tell you over coffee:






Over Coffee...

I'd admit to you that I drink too much of it.  Or, at least what I thought was too much.  Lately, I've tried to skip my afternoon cup and just stick with my morning two mugs.   And then this articles pops into my inbox.  Take a look at the nine reasons coffee is good for you.  Most astonishing to me are the supposed benefits of drinking 4 cups, or even 6 to 9 cups, every day.  {Gulp}  I think I'm going to Starbucks this afternoon!


Over Coffee...

I'd show you the muscle under my should blade that I keep pulling.  This time, it was trying to wrestle the heavy zippered mattress cover off the mattress.   I know it will be short lived, but that makes it no less aggravating.  And, can someone tell me why those covers are so hard to remove anyway?  After all that -- the coffee stain (from a travel mug thrown in a tote bag and plopped on the bed) didn't come out anyway.  



Say hello to Big Dog the white boxer,


Over Coffee...

We have a new, old, Big Dog.  After this foster dog visited so many times with my son -- and his home visits with prospective families never went well -- we decided to keep him ourselves.  We have no idea what his name is as he was picked up by animal control in another state.  He looks mean (or sometimes sad) but truly is a big ol' softie.  The foster organization named him Casper.  Ummmm...no.  Pacer?  Fartlek?  Tempo?  Miles?  Any suggestions?


Over Coffee...

I'd ask if you have your year all planned out.  Then, I'd confess I still haven't decided on the location of the marathon I'd like to run this year.  I've got a couple of irons in the fire (pick me, Mr. Lottery, pick me!) and am anxious to have answers.  .Another option is a downhill course in the canyons of Colorado.  I hope by our March coffee date, I can tell you which race I chose...or which race chose me. 

One cannot have too many of these...

Over Coffee...

I'd report that I'll be running another half marathon next weekend.  Wendy and I are joining forces at the Mercedes Half Marathon.  I began stalking the weather this week and saw snow in the forecast. Seriously? Again?  Poor Wendy!  I insist she come to the sunny, warm south to race and -- BOOM -- snow.  Surely it will change.   Surely.




Well, that's about all the randomness I can think of.


What would you tell me over coffee?



I'm linking with the lovely Coco and Deborah!
Be sure to stop in for coffee on Saturday and chat.
www.got2run4me.com

I'm also joining on the Friday Five 2.0 linkup
Stop by and see what everyone is talking about.








Sunday, January 28, 2018

Callaway Gardens Half Marathon (WW # 130)




The purpose of this linkup is to
support active women.
Rules can be found HERE.

********************************************

Thank you for supporting the NEW Weekly Wrap 
and making Wendy feel welcomed.  
If you haven't read the updated rules, please do so.
There have been a few changes.

********************************************


Callaway Gardens Half Marathon
January 27, 2018
Pine Mountain, GA
Half Marathon # 51


My 4th, 13th, and 30th half marathons were on the beautiful property of Callaway Gardens.  I also love to ride my bike there.  All these halves later, it remains one of the prettiest, and toughest, courses I've ever run.  My best finish time on this course ranks low in my overall times.  It's just always tough.  Seeing I had a long run scheduled for the weekend however, I thought it would be nice to run it again.  If for no other reason...the scenery.  There is just something about this race that is so peaceful; the serenity of those Georgia hills in the middle of the woods.  No crowds.  No traffic.  Just me and the great outdoors.

Taken on a bike ride last year (no blue sky at this race)

The day dawned rainy.  When I arrived in Pine Mountain, it was only misting and it looked like the rain would hold off for a while.  It was around 50 degrees but the wind was gusty.  So, I ran in my usual tank and arm sleeves but wore capris.   This is not a large race so parking and packet pickup are always easy.  We received a soft blended T-shirt, but nothing more.  There were real restrooms available; always appreciated.



I kept telling myself this was nothing but a long training run.  But with the excitement and the easiest part being early, I began with a pretty strong tempo 5 miler.  I did not stop for water until mile 5.  I knew it would be tough from here on out.
 
I got out of tempo mode quickly and tried to navigate the bigger hills as best I could.  Some places are so steep you almost have to walk a few steps.  And I did.  I tried to make up time on the downhills.  Not really liking the Cerasport they were serving, I sipped on Coke (chased by water) a few times which is something I've never done.  I liked it.

It gets pretty darned tough after mile 5.

I still felt relatively strong until mile 10.  At this point, runners enter into the paved trail system.  This part is so pretty but the twisty, windy, up & down narrow trail is hard to navigate.  I began to regret the earlier faster miles and the hills had simply already whipped my butt.  I thought often about my friend Teresa who was running her first marathon.  That motivated me to keep moving.  I sent all the good vibes her way.

Deep in their trail system, on a sunnier day.

So now I'm really insisting to myself that this is a nothing but a training run and slowed down considerably by adding in a few walk breaks.  My right foot was cramping on and off.  It was raining and I only know because I could hear it.  Being under such a huge canopy of trees, I did not get wet.  And the only reason I could hear it -- my music had died during mile 9.  I sang the same song over and over in my head for 3-4 miles.  For the life of me now, I can't remember what it was.

I did not pick it up in the last mile as I normally would but cruised into the finish.  I felt as if I could have gone farther or pushed a little harder.  [Side note: I'm usually gasping and dying at the finish line.  It never fails that a volunteer asks if I'm OK.  Apparently, I usually look like death.  Not this time.]   The announcer was calling out everyone's name as they finished which is always a nice touch.




I knew I wouldn't be listed yet, but I checked the results anyway.  I saw two runners in my age group so far.  Could I have placed?  Surely not with a 2:13+.  I ate a few bites of pizza and a mini muffin from the selection of goodies.  It was blustery and damp so I didn't walk around the grounds but hunkered down inside their circus tent.   Officially, I was 3rd of 17 in my age group and received a large and heavy etched glass mug.


 

So, mission accomplished.  I completed my long run.  I got in a nice tempo run plus more hill work than I could ever, ever want.  I enjoyed the scenery.   And I now have a mug that would hold more margaritas than I should ever drink at one time.  {Wink}


Tell me what you think about super hilly races!

Have you ever drank Coke during a race?

What is your next race?


And that's a wrap!