Friday, September 30, 2016

Runfessing about Fall



Sadly this is the extent of the leaves that are falling around here. Not too plentiful yet, huh? 

So as we finally approach Fall around here, I have some things to Runfess.......

1. 5K races are pretty plentiful around here, especially in the fall. I planned to do that Lights 5K that is run at night time and I also planned to do a few Halloween themed ones in October.  Well, the night time 5K was this past Friday night and I didn't end up signing up and I probably won't sign up for any in October either.  My reason is,  I need to stop using my weekends to run 5Ks and start using them for long training runs! 

2. My longest run to date has only been 8 miles.  I have never felt so behind on a training plan before. I don't want to ramp up mileage too quickly but I wonder if I should even try to do 13.1 before race day?  I've always gotten in a 13 mile training run during every other cycle.  I know people who've only ever trained up to 10 miles for a half. I can definitely get in 10 miles by then.  If I DO ended up squeezing in the 13 miles, I definitely won't have any taper time.  What do you guys think on this one?

3. I'm meeting one of my favorite running friends this weekend! I can't wait to show her my favorite places to run and walk. Unfortunately it looks like our lovely weather is coming to the end and we will have rain this weekend.  Boo...

4. I haven't gone shopping for clothes (running or work clothes) since May. I'm planning a weekend to hit up some of my favorite stores sometime in October. I'm also hoping to pick up a few fall decorations for my house.



5. I've been trying to keep a better handle on my post run nutrition. I am one of those people who can't even begin to think of food after a run so I rarely eat anything. This certainly isn't good. I've stocked up on these Quest protein powders for after my runs. I've already had one of each of these flavors and the one I keep buying more of is the Salted Caramel! I mix mine with Vanilla Almond milk so I'm thinking it's sweeter than what it probably is suppose to be.

What is your advice on #2?  Share anything else about Fall with me!  -M


We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5.




Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The solo group run



When I have a long run on the schedule I usually run with my running buddy because we all know that miles fly by when you have someone to run with. Every now and then I will meet with a running group if the time and day work out with my schedule. After several times meeting the group, I began to wonder why I even meet up with them. Sure groups can be motivating, but isn’t the point to stay together in the group? Every time I meet with the group, I find myself just running with my running buddy solo anyway.  The runners that meet up are either at a different pace or not running the same mileage we plan to.   It is such a process from the start. Everyone knows what time the run is supposed to take place, but everyone is not on time, so we have to wait.  And then we have to discuss how far everyone plans on going, and then wait for everyone to get a signal from their watch. By then it has been at least 20 minutes, I could have had at least two miles done. 



That is what happened last week during our long run.  Since we normally don’t run with others there are different points throughout the route that we usually meet up at such as water fountains and restrooms. But until we wait around for them to get there just to say hi and see how they are doing, we could have another mile down.  My running buddy and I were plugging right along so I thought. I was feeling really good and actually keeping up with a faster pace than I normally do on the trails. I asked him how he was doing and he said he was struggling a bit. What? My running buddy struggles???  I found this odd because usually I am the one struggling between us. He is faster than me and he keeps me going during our runs.

 I thought it was a perfect day for a run, but then again I always like it on the warm side. He thought it was too humid. We had about a mile left into our run and he just stops to walk. He has never done this for as long as we have been running together. Usually he is the one that asks me if I am okay or if I need to slow down or walk. I guess there is a first time for everything. I asked if he wanted me to stop and walk with him, but of course he said no and that he would catch up. I continued the last mile solo, since no one else in the group was running at my pace. Glad it was only a mile to go, because I do not like running by myself without any music. I arrived back to the parking lot and finished with 13.5 miles and waited for him to come. After we were done we met up with a few people from the group to see how their run went, while others had already left.  

So for me, group runs can be sort of a challenge lately. Sometimes they can even be awkward. 

Do you find your group runs to be similar or different? L





Monday, September 26, 2016

Challenge me to Chicago


 I have been reading quite a few blogs within the last week in which people completed their last long run before Chicago. It made me realize that I haven’t done a super long run yet so I better get on that. I was hoping to do it last week. But after my 12 mile run on Monday which was partially in the run, it ended up raining the rest of the week and actually flooded, so there was no run. I had to work the rest of the weekend then I planned to go home to visit family the following week, so I knew a long run would not take place then.  My only time to get my long run in would be a Saturday morning long run. This in itself became another one of those challenging runs.

I can't believe in just 2 weeks I will be at this start line.   Source

After working until midnight the night before, I knew getting up at 6 am would be a challenge but I was ready for it. I planned to meet my running buddy, because he is always helpful when I need to get a long run in. I was hoping to do 16-18 miles. I haven’t been to a Saturday morning long run in quite sometime. My running buddy never plans it, but I know he is always out there every week at 7. I thought this week I would surprise him and actually show up.


Well he surprised me and wasn’t there. Luckily I brought my Ipod that had two new podcast episodes on it.  So I set off running through the State Park like usual. I was about a mile and half into my run and I find the trail completely flooded. This was not a good sign I thought. Maybe I should turn around now. No, I was getting my run in! I didn’t get up to cut it short! Luckily there was a portion on the road that was not flooded that still lead into the park.

 I continued my run and was about 5 miles into it until my next obstacle, a fallen down tree. I was either jumping over it, or ducking underneath it since it was on an angle. I was able to just bend underneath it since I am so short.  I decided I would go out of the park and start heading up to the oceanfront area.

When I exited the park there was a stand out for a running group that was training but they were offering Gatorade and water to all runners going by.  I didn’t need anything so I continued down the sidewalk towards the boardwalk. On the sidewalk I noticed inspirational saying such as, you can do it and don’t give up written with sidewalk chalk. I wonder if it was the group that was handing out water.

Yea, I was totally taking a nap when I got home.


 When I arrived on the boardwalk I was at 7 miles. I knew the length the board walk was about 3 miles.  I was feeling really good and keeping a good pace now that I was running on the boardwalk rather than the trail. I made it all the way to the end of the boardwalk and saw my watch hit 10 miles….wohoo! Now I just had to make my way back home. I went the same route back that I did when I headed out. I passed the table again with Gatorade and water and took this opportunity to fill my water bottle up.  

Right before I entered the park again, my Podcast finished and I had to switch it to my music playlist. I noticed that my Ipod was in the red and knew it was going to die soon. I had 5 miles left, so I began to pick up my pace to see how far I can get before it shut off. Only a mile left and I was out of the park by now but still on a sidewalk trail where there are some stores and shops on the other side.


Another stand was out by the trail. It was behind a chiropractor building that said they were doing a free 2 minute posture screenings that morning. I thought for a second that may be nice, but already knew what they would tell me, that I have a forward lean. So I told them I’d stop but I was on a time frame now. They said you’re looking great, keep up the good work. I knew I was almost home and wasn’t quite at 20 miles so I ran up another block until I saw my watch hit 20 miles! Of course I was happy to be finished with my run, but most of all I was happy that I felt great during my whole run. I am ready for Chicago!

Later that day, I told my running buddy I missed him during my long run. He told me that his foot had been bother him and wanted to take the day off. I hope he feels better soon, because we have plenty of long runs in our future for our fall race schedules! 

We will be linking up with our friends from TOTR.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Weekly Wrap.....September 25th

 So what's been up this week?  We got quite a bit of rain. Instead of recapping my entire week of runs I decided to just focus on this one memorable one!

I haven’t run in almost a week due to work conflicts but I planned on doing a long run on my day off. I heard it was supposed to rain on that day too. My goal was to get out there before it started. We all know I am not a morning person, so getting up just to get my run in was not going to happen.  I slept in like I usually do on my day off and slowly got ready for my run. The plan was to do a longer run, preferably double digits, weather permitting. 


I started out feeling pretty good despite the humidity. I could tell the rain was coming, but I didn’t want to turn around right away so I continued on.  It did start to sprinkle two miles into my run, but I told myself I was good, besides I had my visor on so the rain wouldn’t get into my eyes.  It actually felt refreshing and less humid so I didn’t bother to turn around. Besides, I cannot predict weather race day, so this would be a good training run.   I knew soon that I would be approaching the park where it is tree covered and feeling the rain would be minimal. And that is just what happened. I got about another mile into my run still feeling good, but then I started hearing the rain, it sounded like it was coming down a lot harder than earlier, and it did! All of a sudden it started pouring and what wasn’t wet from my sweat got wet from the rain. My visor was no help at this point since it was coming down in buckets. 
I don't run with my phone but this is a picture I took later on.


I told myself I think now is the time to turn around. I was a bit disappointed because heading back now would only make 8 miles for me. I continued back through the park jumping over puddles and feeling my shoes fill with water. I was listening to a new podcast that was talking about mental toughness. Well if this wasn’t it, what was? This couldn’t have come at a better time.

By the time I was coming out of the park, it started to clear up, the rain stopped and the sun came back out. At first I was mad that I turned around, had I known it wasn’t going to last I could have continued my run. Then I thought, well heck why can’t I? So I decided to take a different route on the sidewalk where it was completely dry. I ran about another mile and then saw a really nice track at a school. 
Well maybe I should stop and do some speed work, since I never incorporate that into my training. And that is just what I did. I jogged the straight away and sprinted the turns. Not sure if this is how other runner incorporate their speed work, but it was working for me and I was feeling the burn. When I was sprinting I would get down to 5:50's.(Of course that was only a 100 yards) So I needed that next 100 yards to catch my breath. I continued this pattern for two more miles. When I was finishing up, I could tell the rain was coming back. It got very dark and windy so I decided to head back and got home just in time before it started pouring again. I finished with 12 miles. I was hoping for a few more, but I like to think it evened out with the speed work I incorporated.
Running in the rain, Yay, or nay?   Tell me about your speed work.  -L

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Jerks on the Road

My number one priority when I run is always safety. That is why I do a majority of my training runs through the park, or on the rail trail. Often times I will run in town. One of my usual routes is running a lap at the park, running across the bridge (on the pedestrian walk way) into town on the sidewalk (never on the road).  I feel pretty safe on this route because even though I am in town, this sidewalk runs along the river, therefore I never have to stop for cars at red lights or stop signs because there are no streets that intersect it.

However, for the past month and a half,  I have been running in town so I could run the Harvest Festival race loop.  This loop is on a one ways street, and is two lanes.  It's not that heavily traveled.  The sidewalks on the part of town running North are new sidewalks and in perfect shape. Once I make the loop, the sidewalks on the South side are pretty uneven in some parts.  Even though these are one way streets I am running on, I still have to be cautious because unlike my other route that runs along the river, this route DOES have roads that intersect it so I always have to be cautious of drivers making a left hand turn,

I know this all may be hard to visualize if you are not familiar with where I am talking about.  Usually all my runs on this route are pleasant ones and I really do enjoy it. The people are friendly, drivers are considerate, and I pass walkers and other runners who always wave or flash a friendly smile.  However, with in the past few weeks I've encounter a few drivers who were acting like real jerks.


Example one:  There was one day were I turned the loop heading towards the South side of town (where the bad sidewalks are).  Since this road IS two lanes and it is not heavily traveled I decided to run on the road for a little bit instead of the sidewalk for fear of tripping.  I made sure that I wasn't actually IN the road, I was running as close to the sidewalk as possible.  Well a bit later this guy in a Honda drives into the lane I was in (even though the other lane was completely empty), and hollers at me saying something like "Get on the sidewalk if you want to run".   Wow, I was shocked and a little shaken. I had never had anyone yell at me while I was running. It's like he purposefully when out of his way to do that.

Which brings me to my second example: I mentioned that these roads I run on are one way roads that have two lanes. Yet even when there is no one in the further lane, drivers still do not make the effort to get over. I mean its not like I'm taking up the entire line but come on. If I saw someone running, I would move over and drive in the other lane just out of respect.

This third example really irritates me and this is why I normally don't run where there is traffic. I will stop at red lights if I have to and at stop signs I usually just give a glance to see if something is coming. If a car and I approach the stop sign at the same time, the car usually lets me cross before they continue.  Well, last week I was at a stop sign crossing and a car pulled up and instead of letting me cross she actually sped up. If she was stopped at the intersection before me I wouldn't have cared, but she wasn't.  I had someone do this to me at a traffic light as well.  Just goes to show that you always have to be on alert and watching out for the other guy too!

This last one happened to me just yesterday. I was running on this same one way street (and yes, this time I was on the sidewalk).  I was approaching a driveway (a driveway to a parking lot) that was leading out to the road and this guy pulls right up.  He didn't even see me  running ON THE DRIVE WAY. I knew he wasn't going to even look my way because it is a one way street and he was only looking towards traffic.  I don't know about you but even on one way streets I make a habit to look  both ways.  I knew he wasn't going to look  so I ran behind his car instead of in front and hollered "HEY" at him and he still didn't look even thought his window was down cus he was smoking a cigarette!

Just thinking about that last one is enough to get me irritated again so I'm gonna stop there and let you tell me a fifth one.

Which of these irritates you the most? Do you have any examples of your own? -M


We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5.




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Summer that.......

Well, today is technically the last day of summer so I thought it was a good time to reflect on how it went.  The first day of summer brings such anticipation as to what's to come in the next several months. Did you have great plans as to how you were going to spend your summer?  Are their things you wanted to accomplish?  Or are you more of a I'm gonna relax and not do one darn thing type of person?

I am the accomplishment type. I wanted to use this summer to catch up on all the things I didn't get to do throughout the year.  As far as this summer goes, I thought it would be the perfect time to increase my mileage and get lots of long runs in. I thought it would be the perfect time to work on my speed a little. I wanted to catch up on all my magazines and I have quite a few house projects that I wanted to tackle.  But this is what really happened instead.

This is the summer that....................


My mom and I took a Cruise together.  2010 was the last time we took a cruise that was just her and I.



I learned I will never take Baylee for long walks on the Rail Trail again. The Island is more her speed.

I finished 3 books!  For me this is awesome because I love to read but haven't read for pleasure since we started this blog!


                                               I spent LOTS of time with Baylee in the pool.



Baylee's story got published. I had to submit a dozen photos for this article and I have to say I'm not real pleased with the one they chose since there were so many cuter options ( like the picture above). I guess that's my fault though since I could have more of a say in it and I really just forgot about when it was going to be published.


I hiked Bushkill Falls and saw some amazing waterfalls and also hiked Ricketts Glen and Trough Creek State Park.


I spent time with Family at the Lake House and had a fabulous time on the Proud Mary dinner cruise.

Baylee and Belle rode in the boat for the first time. We've only bee talking about bringing them for years. I think they had a good time.


                                                                I had some beach time.

I drove my Pappy in the Fourth of July Parade ( and met some famous softball players, the REAL ones from that old movie A League of their own).

I ran one 5K race each month and placed in my age group for the first time and again for the second time!


I learned how to use a pressure washer and got such satisfaction from seeing how clean our deck became. I had no idea it was that dirty! I washed everything else I could!

I did finally paint some of the trim on our house.


I got a summer wardrobe update from Golden Tote and finally took some dress clothes I no longer wear to a consignment store in town.



I worked my way through the Starbucks Frappe menu...lol

I had my first experience with a meal delivery service.


I saw what may be the largest Elvis guitar!

So perhaps I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to do but I had a really good summer and I enjoyed just being in the moment. Sometimes making memories is more important than accomplishing a task.  -M

What memories do you have from this summer?





Monday, September 19, 2016

Harvest Festival Race recap

Every year my parent's town hosts a Harvest Festival. Its basically two weeks of festivities. The first Saturday is the bike race and the second Saturday is the 5K race.  Although none of us ever participated in the bike race, my family has been running the 5K race for several years now.


I know this may sound silly, but this 5K race was actually my goal race for the year. After coming back from the Disney Marathon this year, I decided to do more local races and concentrate on smaller distances.  Another thing that has made this my goal race is that each year we run it, I'm the only one in my family that never places...womp womp!

Unfortunately my sister wouldn't be in town to run the race this year so it was just me and my dad and my running buddy Jay. Jay and I ran several races together this summer and he has been pulling out PR's like crazy but always just misses placing in his age group. But we both agreed that placing in your age group in your 30's is usually difficult because there is such a large field in that age division.  Those of you in your 30's, would you agree with that?

So anyway, my only goal was to do the best I could and come in under 30 minutes like usual. I had some pretty good training runs in the days before so I felt pretty confident that would happen, but hey, ya never know.

The race started at 9:30 which I think is normally a little too late for a race because it gets so hot but really, this day was a perfect day for running.  As far as local races go, this is probably one of the largest 5ks in the area.

I am familiar with the course because I have been running it consistently for over a month now. The only difference is that I was running on the sidewalks and not the roads.  I thought by running on the roads that I would pick up speed but to tell you the truth, the sidewalks were flatter then the road was. Because we had to run in only one lane, I was running near the edge and the road was banked. I don't think I ever noticed this in previous years because I hadn't run the race course anytime before the race.

Around mile one we turned on to the next road and that road felt better to run on. I was so thankful for the lady running beside me because she was keeping a great pace and it motivated me to keep up. I ran with her and we intermittently chatted for the first two miles.

 I saw my mom, Scott, Baylee, and Belle spectating a little after mile two. At this time a man ran up beside me and was talking to me. The last mile of a race is when you want to push and not when you want to be having a conversation. He said "so, you run like an 8 or 9 minute mile?".  I said I didn't know but just wanted to finish in under 30 minutes.  He said his goal was 29. He told me plenty about himself.  He asked where I was from, and how old I was.  He was friendly enough but I thought he asked a lot of questions.

As I ran around the last corner I knew I was for sure going to make it under 30 minutes but as I came closer to the finish line and could read the clock, I thought I could perhaps PR so I gave it an all out sprint!   There were two timing mats at the finish line and I didn't know which one actually recorded the finish time so I turned my Garmin off right after I stepped on the last mat. I'm glad I actually remembered to turn my watch off right away! That doesn't usually happen during a race.

Speaking of Garmin, I didn't look at my watch the entire time I was running so when I finally looked at my stats I was surprised to see that my first mile was actually ran at an 8:30 pace. That's good for me, I haven't seen an 8 on my watch in a very long time! Oh, and I was actually off a PR by a few seconds, but I didn't care. I was pleased!

So getting back to the race,  As soon as I walked away from the finish line I saw my friend and he was just over the moon because he finally place in his age group! He not only placed, he got first! Woo hoo! I was so happy for him!

Unlike years past, the water and snacks were actually placed right at the finish line. This made it very nice because my mouth was so dry and I desperately needed a water. In previous years the refreshments were in the yard beside the building where we register/pick up bibs which was across the street.

After congratulating my friend, I looked to see if I could see my own time. I couldn't believe it, I had placed too. Looks like I had placed second in my age group! I later saw that my dad had placed third in his. Wow, this was turning out to be a great race day for all of us.  A few minutes later the lady at the results table said she had an updated version of the results. My friend and I both panicked because we thought perhaps our placements had got changed, but ours all remained the same!



It seemed like they did the awards ceremony much earlier this year then they had done in the past. I wonder if they wanted to do it right away  while most people were still there and before they started wondering around the festival?  I like that they did the awards right away and I liked that they did them right at the finish line were everyone was already.  However, there were still people running and crossing the finish line as the announcer was giving out awards. I did not like this aspect and thought it was a little disrespectful to the runners who were just coming in. It was almost like telling them that the race was already over by the time they crossed.  Not cool.  But then again, I have never organized a race so I don't know what their time line was like.

Our little group of winners. 

It was nice seeing so many friends and family at the race today.  My Pappy even comes out each year to watch us run which is nice! Wish I would have thought to get a picture with him. I wish Lacey would have been here to run. I know she would have placed in her age group as well. -M

P.S Sorry this recap is longer than I thought it would be. Thank you if you read the whole thing!


We are linking up this race recap with the gals from TOTR.

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