Monday, January 16, 2017

Running Through a Horror Film

A few years ago a wrote a post about how sometimes just an ordinary training run can become a memorable run, one you will remember for a long time to come.  Last Thursday's run was one such run for me.
haunted run

Let me set the scene. Since the temps were going to be nearing 60 on Thursday, I knew that was the day I was going to run on the trail. It sprinkled and rained on and off all day while I was at work, but it remained warm so I still planned to do the run.

As I was driving to the trail, the sky was blue and the sun was out. I was all excited about this warm run. As I turned down the road to the trail, grey clouds loomed. When I arrived, I found a ton of people all on the trail too. There were  several groups of runners from the local university, and then many of other people just walking.  Even though I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, I decided to throw on my visor and windbreaker in case it started to rain again.

My plan was to do a 6 mile run/walk ( basically run all of the first 3 miles and then run /walk the last 3).

After mile 1, I checked my Garmin and saw that I was keeping a good pace. I was pleased.  After the first mile it started to sprinkle, then rain (a pretty light rain but was more than a sprinkle). Even though I had my visor on, I got water in my eye so started to rub it.  After I rubbed my eye, I was a little freaked out because I couldn't see, Oh no. Had I lost my contact lens?

I pulled myself over to the side of the trail and stood under a tree, which obviously did not provide as much protection from the rain as I was hoping.  I got my phone out (again, in the rain and was really worried about it getting wet since it has already started to go on the brink), but I had no choice, I had to look in my eye to see if my contact was still in tact somewhere, perhaps under my eye lid.  It was getting increasingly more difficult to hold my phone with one hand and keep my eye open with the other hand as I searched for the missing contact lens.  I knew there were others walking on the trail and I did notice an older lady behind me when I was running. Perhaps she could help me.

She must have turned around earlier because she never walked by. In fact, no one came by.  Finally, the contact lens fell out of my eye. I was relieved that I had found it, but again, trying to hold my phone and put my lens in while it was raining was very difficult.  It wasn't going well. I even had the thought of What will happen if I can't get this lens back in? How will I drive home?  I decided to put my phone in my pocket and just try to put the lens in by feel. I've been wearing contact lenses for more than 20 years, for sure I could do this.  After I few more tries, success!

Okay, after all that I had the thought of turning around and calling it a day since it started to rain a little heavier.  But I didn't. If I turned around now, I'd only gotten in 4 miles.  For sure I can run another mile before turning around.  When I got to mile 2.5, the thought occurred to me that I should turn around because it will be getting dark soon. But I didn't. I came to do 6 miles and that's what I was going to do.

When I got to the 3 mile mark I had planned to do a run/walk on the way back but the rain was coming down even harder now so I did a lot more running than walking.

It indeed got really dark fairly quickly. I was so glad that I had my Run Lites with me. However, I was only using one of them.  I had my phone in my jacket pocket, but my jacket was completely soaked and I figured that my phone was NOT being protected very well. I decided to put my phone inside the other Run Lite glove for a little more protection from the rain. I then put it in the inside pocket of my jacket and hoped for the best.

I have to tell you that the rest of the run back I was SO scared. I didn't see another person on the trail, and except for the light from my glove, it was dark. It was pouring down rain, I was running in the "wooded" part of the trail, and I could feel the mud slushing under my feet and kicking up on the back of my calves. I could tell I was starting to panic cus my breathing was getting heavier. I felt like I was running for my life, and I didn't even remember to bring my pepper spray.  Nobody even knew where I was.  I felt like I was in a scene from a horror movie for sure.

Around the last mile, the trail opens up a bit (less trees), and I can see the headlights from the cars driving on the highway near by. I can smell a neighboring home doing laundry (you know that smell of fabric softener when someone is drying clothes?), and thought Oh what I wouldn't give right now for a big warm fluffy bath towel. 

During the last half mile I passed a lady who was also running but she was running with an umbrella. She was wearing long pants and a long shirt so I couldn't actually tell if she was out on the trail because she was purposely running or if she just got caught in the rain.

I finally made it back to my car and a few minutes later I saw the umbrella lady again, which made me think that she was purposely running.  Everything on my body was completely soaked. I pulled out my phone and was glad to see that it was still in working condition. I stripped off my soaked jacket and t-shirt and although I did have an extra pair of pants in the car, I kept my shorts on because my legs were so wet (and I didn't have a towel), and I didn't feel like putting wet legs inside dry pants.

Even my drive home was a bit scary. It was dark, and I could see some fog rolling off in the distance. I couldn't wait to get home and get into a hot shower!

So, even though I will remember this as a horrific run, I will see the positives in it.

1. I set out to do 6 miles and I stuck to it (although I should have turned around earlier than I did)
2. I am thankful I wore my "older" shoes.
3. I'm thankful my ipod didn't go on the brink like it did last time I ran in the rain.
4. Extremely thankful my phone still works.
5. Thankful I was able to salvage my contact lens.
6. Thankful I'm still alive (okay, this may be a little dramatic).

Okay and after all this, when I got home to get in the shower, I found out that the strap on my Garmin was broken. -M

Have you experienced any of this on a run? What was your scariest run?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Weekly Wrap .....Jan 15

This week should have been the first full week back to work since the holidays and I was looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, but that didn't quite happen.

Remember I ended up getting sick last weekend? Well, Monday I only worked a half day and then came home sick. It was nice to be at my own house for the rest of the afternoon.

Tuesday, was glorious because they left us all out early again because the weather was calling for sleet. This allowed me to come home for yet another afternoon and get some much needed house work done.

Wednesday work was cancelled altogether due to an ice storm. I got up at my normal time though and thought about all the stuff I could accomplish while I was home all day.
Our walk way was covered in a sheet of ice.

Due to the ice, running outside was out of the question as was really driving anywhere. I was even nervous for Baylee to go outside.  She started to slip once, so I limited her time outside and I even walked with her as she went to the yard to do her business. I didn't want my old girl breaking a hip!  I stayed inside and ended up doing a total of 15 miles on the Nordic Track bike this day.

What a change Thursday brought. It was nearing 60 degrees and I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt for my 6 mile run. This run was certainly without incident so I'll be sharing more about it this week.

The rest of the weekend I stayed in doors and worked on a house project. I know my 6 mile run and my 15 mile bike ride isn't going to cut it for the week so I am hoping to get some treadmill miles in today.

*Edit: I did get 5 treadmill miles in. It ended up being a beautifully warm day anyway, so I guess I should have ran outside but I was just being lazy.

When you have off work, do you like to relax or do you like to use the extra time to catch up on chores and things? -M

Thank you to Holly and Tricia for hosting the Weekly Wrap!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hawaii Highlights: Friday 5


This Friday 5 is about dream destinations. I had an opportunity to get out of the cold for a little bit in December and visit Hawaii. Here are some highlights of my trip. I know this is longer than usual but I wanted to fit everything in. We didn't do any sight seeing before Sunday because we wanted to save our legs.

  1.  Sunday – Ran the Honolulu Marathon in the morning (Recap here). That evening we went to a Hawaiian Luau. 
    Here we had a buffet filled with traditional Hawaiian food and mai tai cocktails. During our dinner we watched a show with ladies hula dancing and men throwing fire torches. 

  1. Monday- We drove up to visit the Dole Plantation.
                                                                                                                                                                                    We took a tour of the plantation and learned how they grew the fruits. Afterwards we enjoyed a dole whip. While shopping in the gift shop they were handing out keys to see if yours could open the treasure chest. Luckily my key opened it and the ticket I picked inside was for a free oyster pearl….score!
    After the lady opened up my oyster I ended up paying to set it in a ring because it was a black one which means adventure.
     I thought it was very fitting. Afterwards we headed up to the North Shore to see some massive waves during a surfing competition that week. We stopped for lunch at the famous Giovanni shrimp truck and tried the spicy shrimp. There was even a note on the menu that said no refunds on this item (it must have been hot) but we like hot food so we were willing to take a chance. And oh my, it was really spicy and made our eyes water!  After we ate that, we were really looking forward to cooling off with some Hawaiian shaved ice. 

  1. Tuesday- We decided to take a day trip to Maui. After our 20 minute flight we met our tour guide to take us around the island. 
     During this tour we saw many waterfalls and stopped at a state park for lunch. The road was one very narrow lane and very bumpy. The tour was fantastic and we learned a lot about the island .

  1. Wednesday- We wanted to go zip lining so we went to a place we found online. When we got there we didn’t even think it was opened  because there was so much construction going one. Turns out, they had just opened 2 weeks ago. That should have been our first clue.
     It was fun and we did several zip lines, but none of them were up very high and our views were nothing but some trees. We wished we would have done the tour packaged ones that offered the scenes from Jurassic Park. That tour would have been a bit more expensive (and I never saw the movies), but I think that would have been more exciting! 

  1. Thursday- We got up bright and early to head to Pearl Harbor. Again, this was another tour package we could have done but thought we would try to do it on our own since we had a car. We were told if we were not there super early we may not being able to do the tour because they only let the first 4,000 people tour.
    We arrived just after 6 and were already the 4th people in line. The first people in line were sitting in lawn chairs they brought. I wonder how long they have been there waiting. Closer to 7 am the lady that worked there walked down the line and gave us some brochures and showed us some packages we could purchase. We thought we would decide what tour we wanted to purchase once we entered. After we entered we were given tickets and were told the show starts in 20 minutes. We lined up in front of the theater and watched a 25 minute video about Pearl Harbor and then exited out to get on a ferry to take us to the USS Arizona observatory deck. Inside listed everyone’s names that was lost in the horrible tragedy on the wall. On another wall the survivors that have since passed are listed. Their family members bring their urn and a professional scuba diver takes it down to the Arizona and releases it back with their shipmates. After the ferry brought us back we walked through the museums and saw pictures and artifacts of Pearl Harbor. When we were ready to leave we wondered what the packages included that you could have purchased because we saw and did everything we wanted to for free. As long as you go early enough you will have no problem doing what you want.                                                                                                                                                                                              After we were done  visiting Pearl Harbor, we  took a hike up Koko Head Trail which was quite the experience so I'm going to share that in a separate post since this one is already long.

This was an amazing trip and I’d definitely go back. If I ever do, I would like to visit the other islands. This is a place that should be on everyone’s bucket list! 

Thank you if you read to the end.
               Have you ever been to Hawaii?  L

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What's next?

What’s next?

Guess what? I may actually have my race calendar planned out for next year already (I'm not actually registered for all of them, I just have them planned in my head).  And you know what, at this point there are no Disney races on it. Can you believe that????  That doesn’t mean I won’t be going to Disney at all next year, it just means that as of right now I don’t plan to do any of the races. Of course that could change, but really there are none out there now that I have the desire to run again in 2017. This will be the first time in 7 years that I won’t be running at Disney. 

But that’s okay because I have some new "plans", which include running some bigger city races.  
I've done plenty of Race-cations in years past and I have to say that I'm kind of over it. I want to go places that I can go and come back all in the same weekend.  I say this because I need to start picking places where I can take Baylee because I don't like leaving her for too long anymore.

These races don’t have to be all half marathons or marathons to meet my “goal” either. I’m happy to visit a city and run even a smaller race.

This video is sums it up.

If you want to have a catchy tune stuck in your head all day, you'll want to listen to this song. My middle school kids absolutely Love it.

I've done a lot of "Big" races, such as Disney, Runner's World, some beach races, but as far as large City races, I'm thinking the only one I can check off my list for that would be Las Vegas.

Here are the cities I’m hoping to run in at some point. I picked these because I already have races in mind but feel free to suggest other races too (right now I’m only picking cities on the East Coast because they are driveable).

City Hopefuls

1.       Washington DC – I have my eye on the Army 10 miler, but I don’t like the fact that you don’t get a finisher medal. I may consider doing any other Military type race.

2.       Pittsburgh- I really want that medal that says “Runner of Steel” for obvious reasons.

3.       New York City- I definitely want to run through Central park and times square.

4.       Baltimore (or maybe Annapolis) – I’ve seen a few good races in this area. I guess this one is going to boil down to what time of year I’ll have available.

5.       Philadelphia- This one is a big MAYBE and I just threw it on the list because it’s a big city that I should probably put on my list (how’s that for logic?)!

I also have some smaller races on the schedule but they aren't big cities so I'll share them later when we talk about our Spring racing schedule.

What races will you be traveling for this year?  Will you be singing that song all day? -M

Monday, January 9, 2017

7 Races that got brought to a halt

Do you remember your first race? Was it a local 5K? Was it a half marathon?  Was it a race you traveled a good distance to run?

Whatever the distance or where ever it took place, I'm sure you put a lot of hard work into your training, a lot of blood sweat and tears (especially for the half marathon and marathon training) but you knew it would all be worth it to make it to the start line and then get to the finish line and collect your reward.

Yes, that is always the plan, but what happens when things don't work out like that due to  circumstances that are out of your control.

That is exactly what happen this weekend at the Disney World Half Marathon on Saturday.  The race cancelled on Friday evening when the weather was predicting storms and lightning the morning of the race.  My heart went out to those people who were doing this half marathon as their first half, or their first Disney race, or as part of the Goofy or Dopey challenges. I know it just plain stinks to have trained so hard for something to not be able to run it in an "official" capacity.  Plus, Disney trips are not cheap so I feel awful for those who have saved up to make this their one and done race. I know it's just not fair. However, I do understand that Disney is looking out for everyone's safety and if the weather was threatening even one life, it was better to be safe than sorry.

When you sign a Disney race waiver, you are consenting that you know there are risks involved and that you will not be refunded. So, if it cancels, it cancels.  However, Disney did offer some compensation through park tickets, refunds in the form of Disney cards, entry into another run Disney race, or limited entry into the Marathon on Sunday.

Now I know there are many logistical issues that go into planning a race of this size and I don't claim to know nearly as much as others do about races but I was wondering why Disney couldn't hold the half marathon during the same time as the full marathon like they use to years ago.  If they didn't have the staff to man the half marathon route as it broke away from the marathon route then perhaps they could put a mock finish line at mile 13.1 of the marathon.  This way folks would still get to run their Disney race.

Even though the race was cancelled, runner's still received their medals. Many of them decided to make up the distance with their own runs around Disney property!

This year was the 20th anniversary of the WDW half marathon. Since it was not actually put on, I wonder if they will name the 2018 WDW marathon the 20th instead?

Now, this isn't the first time that people have been disappointed in a race that they did not get to complete due to issues beyond their control.

In 2015 The Disney Wine and Dine race became a half of the half when the course got cut short due to lightning.

In 2016 Some runners dreams of a BQ were cut short when a freight train went through the Lehigh Valley Marathon course bringing runners to a halt for more than 10 minutes. (But they DID finish)

Also in 2016 the Vermont City Marathon ended early due to excessive heat.

In 2013 The Boston marathon was brought to a stop. I'm sure you remember this story. If not, You can read Lacey's experience HERE.

In 2007 the Chicago marathon was shut down after temps reached 88 degrees and 185 runners were sent to the ER (and one death).

Of course we all remember the controversy in 2012 when the NYC Marathon was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. (The race wasn't really cancelled due to the storm but due to the fact the city could not dedicate the resources to it during that time).

Also this weekend the Mississippi  marathon was cancelled due to ice and snow.

This is in no way a complete list of races that have been cut short or cancelled. We'd love to hear about more from you guys.

Have you ever traveled for a race that didn't happen or got cut short? Tell us about it.

                                              We'll be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Weekly Wrap....January 8

I have a feeling this weekly wrap is going to be short and sweet. I had big intentions (I'll be using this word a lot  this year) for the first week of the new year but they kind of all just flopped.

I don't know for sure, but I assume my gym was closed on Monday. That's okay though because we went to a birthday celebration/lunch for my pappy and aunt, and then did a little after Christmas shopping. I bought a new tree skirt and some different colored decorations for my tree since one of my intentions this year is to paint and re-decorate that room.  The day wasn't all lost though because I got in 3.1 strong treadmill miles in before showering and settling in to watch the season premier of The Bachelor. Who else watched?

Tuesday I went back to work. I don't even remember which days I did what but there was NO gym time this week. Instead there was some more shopping, running errands, and one half @ss run on the treadmill. I was doing a simulated route and for some reason it stopped right before I reached 2 miles. I thought about starting it over but my heart wasn't in it so I just threw in the towel.

I hope I can get my heart into doing more substantial treadmill workouts because I really do like coming right home after work and spending time here at the house with Baylee. I know that I am invited to take Baylee to the gym with me, but I don't want to abuse that privilege.

By Friday I had a feeling I might be coming down with something. I felt fine but I was sneezing all day at work and my nose was starting to feel raw. When  I woke up on Saturday morning it was official, I was sick.   Needless to say Saturday was a lay-around-the house  day.

By Sunday I thought if I pretended to feel better then I actually would but that didn't happen. I did muster up enough energy to go to the grocery store and to put my new lab flag out.
My other lab flag said "Merry Christmas" so this one is perfect now for winter.

We got a dusting of snow on Sunday afternoon and after that it was hard for me to convince Baylee to come back in the house.  In fact, she was nudging me the entire time I wrote this post because she wants to go back outside in it. It's not even enough snow to roll in so I'm not sure why she's so excited.

Next week is a new week and I intend to stick more to the plan!

Do you feel you can get just as good of a strength training session in at home as you can at the gym?
Do your pets like to play in the snow? -M

Friday, January 6, 2017

Things to look forward to in 2017: Friday 5

It’s always sad to see a year come to an end, especially when it was a really great year!
I don’t know what this next year will hold, but I know there will definitely be some good things that I will be finding joy in.

1   1.  I’m gonna start this one out by saying I’m excited for this new season of Nashville. Who else is with me on this one? I’ve missed this show!

2  2.  A new semester of Students. Each January starts a new semester and I’ll have a different group of students. I have to say that the students I have now are pretty great so I’m crossing my fingers that the next ones that come in are just as amazing.

3   3.  New races. I’m going to have some “new to me” races on my calendar this year.

4   4. Mini Race-cations. This goes along with #2. I’m saying “mini” race-cations because I don’t have any Disney races on my schedule for next year (at least not yet anyway), so all of my race cations should be just long weekends, nothing very lengthy.

Puppy Baylee. I didn't realize how much I'd love this dog.

5     5.   Lastly, I think 2017 will be the year that we finally get a puppy! It’s been over a year and a half since Baylee lost her buddy and we (mainly Scott) think, she needs a new buddy.  I am not at all excited about the prospects of having a puppy but I admit it will be nice (for me and for Baylee) to have another full grown dog in the house. 

What is something you are looking forward to this year? -M

If you have a post wrote in a Friday 5 format, please feel free to link it up below.

Blogging tips