Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Grass -Roots Running

The Love Run race is coming up near the end of August. I ran this race for the first time last year and I was surprised to take 2nd place in my age group.  I was planning on running this race again if I'm around.
Very murky water after the rain storm last night.

The race actually takes place on the island where I do most of my runs anyway so I figured I might as well go and practice on the course, so yesterday that's what I did. The race course is not the route I usually run. The race course route cuts through the wooded areas in some places and there is more running through grassy areas than I would do on my on runs. But since running in the grass is something that I hate to do, I figured I should start running in these grassy areas to practice. On race day I'm sure the grass is going to be wet and a little overgrown just like it was now!  So I plodded along.



Besides the grassy areas, this race is a complete trail run and it is challenging. No hills, but inclines, uneven surfaces, dirt, and roots that you have to watch out for.  Some of the trail was pretty muddy and some of it was a bit flooded due to rain we had the night before. I wondered what would happen if the trail looked like this on race day. Would the race be re-routed?


These are not sticks. They are actually roots in the ground.

Last year race organizers spray painted roots that may have been in the way a bright orange and that seemed to help people stay aware. This year I've noticed that the path does not seem to be as manicured as it has been last summer. There are a lot more roots coming up and there are still limbs and trees down from that one storm earlier this Spring. I kind of feel sad that the route isn't  as well maintained as it once was. It's heavily used too, so not sure why more isn't being done to keep it safe.

I completed 3 miles running and then walked about another mile just to enjoy the trail and the scenery. I came upon a family of ducks but I think they heard the music coming from my phone and scurried off.   Even though it was hot and humid, and my shoes were soaked from the wet grass and mud, I felt so accomplished getting these miles in early in the morning. -M

Would you rather run in grass or on dirt trails with many roots?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Running : I have the time!



I absolutely love Summer, there is no doubt about that one.  The weather is (my version of) perfect and I have off work, what’s not to love!
One of my favorite running paths.
During the other 9 months out of the year, I feel I need to be very efficient with my time. That means that even though I enjoy running, I can’t really spend the time I want to on the trails.  But during the summer months, I can stay out hours at a time without a care in the world. That would be ideal right? 

EXCEPT who wants to be out running on the trail when it’s so stinkin hot???  I guess summer is a double edge sword for me.  I have the time to spend, but I can’t keep myself out there running for long. Last summer I was stuck in what I called the six mile slump. My longest run ALL summer was only 6.2 miles.  Even then I felt like I was going to melt.  Running in the heat never really bothered me until the last year or so. I guess I can chalk this one up to age.

My summer has been so busy so far that I haven’t had any of the “me time” on my favorite rail trail yet this year.  I remember last year my favorite moment on the trail was when it was just me and my ipod. I downloaded a Stephen King short story titled “Gingerbread Girl”.  It was a story about a lady who ran and it lasted about 2 hours. I ended up spending those two hours on the trail just walking. It was glorious and I still got my miles in. It was a great alternative to pushing myself to run in the heat.

So, even if it is too hot to run, I’ll still try to get out and walk (or bike or do something) because I feel like I need to savor this weather.  I want to know that I made the most of my summer.
Do you still get out in the heat?  Can you give me suggestions of other “short stories” I can download? What do you do when you have more free time?



We're linking up with the gals from TOTR. I accidentally swapped topics with last week.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Weekly Wrap July 23...The Circus Is is Town





Welcome to another edition of the weekly wrap. This is how my week went down.

Some people live by the mantra " Never miss a Monday". I am not one of those people. In fact I don't think my body was meant for Monday runs. I just can't get it to do it. Even when I was training for an event, Monday's were usually my gym days, until I couldn't even bring myself to go there either..lol.  I don't know what it is, maybe it's exhaustion from the weekend. Maybe it's like how some people say they need a vacation to recover from their vacation? Yea, I'm going with something like that!

Instead, I finally committed to a paint color for my walls.  After testing 50 shades of blue on my wall Sunday, it was On Monday morning that I decided that just maybe blue wasn't my color. I just couldn't find that perfect shade I had in my mind. The room that is being painted is so large, I didn't want the color to be overwhelming and to tell you the truth, every time I looked at the blue, I thought it looked like a bathroom. Here's a tip for anyone considering painting: instead of painting sections of your wall, you can buy square panels at the paint store. Paint the panels and then hold them up to your wall, move them around the room, put them next to your windows, your trim, etc. or you could just paint a piece of poster board and do the same thing. I wish I would have known this little tip before I made my wall look like a patchwork quilt.

Tuesday morning would have been the perfect time to go for a run (because it had rained the night before and cooled things off), but again, I had to wait and let the painters in.
After that, I did some shopping for home decor and then this happened....

I went to the Circus with my Pap. This was actually a fun outing. My pap is so funny and of course he had to give a running commentary the whole time.


I got home in time to do an evening run of 3 miles. I ran at the island where some interesting things happened.

Wednesday I did more work around the house.

Thursday I walked 5 miles with a friend. We had a great time just chatting away as we ticked off the miles.

Friday the painting was finally completed so I was able to put things back together and start decorating.

I have no major commitments this coming week that I have to stay at the house for, so maybe I'll actually be able to get out for some early runs.

Did you ever have trouble picking out paint color?  Tell me a painting or decorating story.

We are linking up with Holly, Tricia, and the guest host for the weekly wrap. 


                                                   

Friday, July 21, 2017

5 Phases of Race Day

I'd like to say that in my community people come out to participate in races just for the fun of it and to show support for the organization that is sponsoring or being the beneficiary of the race.


Unfortunately that doesn't always seem to be the case because most people that run our local races seem to be super fast runners and are always gunning for an AG award. Also, our local races bring out a ton of high school students who are track stars in their own right. This can be kind of intimidating for an average runner like myself.

For that reason, I am often more nervous at local races than I am at large races such as Disney, RnR races, or any other destination race. I think I know that I can just blend in with the crowd there. At local races, I feel like I need to hold myself more accountable.

But regardless of the location or size of the race, I find myself going through these same emotions throughout the course of the race.

Finish lines


Pre-Race: The pre-race jitters. I get this more so at smaller local races. It might be the pressure to perform well. There's always the need to use the port o potty even after I just visited one.  At large races such as Disney, the nervousness is more subdued and I am more excited and pumped. I think it has to do with the atmosphere. At most local races, there really isn't a whole lot to do but stand around and wait. At large races, they keep you entertained.

Start of Race:  At local races I always go out way to fast because my body tries to keep up.  At large races where I am corralled properly, I start at an easy pace that's comfortable to me.

Mid Race:  Regardless of distance, my thought during every race is Ugg, this is hard, I don't care about my time anymore, I don't care about the goal I set, Maybe I should just walk a little.

End of Race:  Again, regardless of distance, when I know the finish line is near, I start to get heart palpitations real bad. I don't know if it is the excitement or what. Even if i'm dragging, I pick it up at the end and ALWAYS sprint across that finish line (or maybe I just think I'm sprinting).  Of course it takes me a while to catch my breath.

Post Race: I probably look like a zombie as I collect a water and medal (if applicable) and then its off to find my friends/ family or a place to rest for a moment.  A minute later, I feel so accomplished  and am so glad I participated in the race. Races usually set the tone for the entire day. How can you have a bad day after just completing any race? -M



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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sharing motivation with a friend

Yesterday morning would have been a perfect day to do an early morning run. It had rained the night before so it cooled things down a bit. I was up before 7am, so I certainly could have gone out for a run, but I had to wait at the house and let the painters in. I missed my opportunity for a "cooler" run.

So the day went on and I became busy with errands and such. I got home around 7:00 pm and promised Baylee a swim, so we did that.  While I was watching Baylee swim I was talking to a friend and  I was telling her how I missed my run that morning, so I should probably go do it  tonight but was lacking motivation. She told me that she needed to clean her kitchen, but she was also lacking motivation.  So we made a deal.......

I was to run at least 2 miles and she was to see how far she could get cleaning her kitchen. She had a list of three tasks she was to complete by the time I finished my two miles.


I ran down at my island and it was not uneventful. I ran into an old co-worker (who I ended up walking with for a bit later after I completed my run), I saw three deer chasing each other, and guess what, I ran into that guy that has the tropical bird ( I wrote about that  back in the Spring).



After my run  I actually talked to him this time and learned a bit about his bird.

Turns out, I ended up doing three miles. I texted my friend when I was done and told her I gave her some extra time to do her chores because I ran an extra mile. We both exchanged "proof" that we completed our assigned tasks. I sent her a picture of my Garmin, and she sent me a picture of her kitchen.  Now that was pretty good trade off as far as motivation, and it was pretty fun too. -M


































Monday, July 17, 2017

Ways to organize running gear



I know this sounds odd, but one of my favorite things to do is to organize stuff, especially stuff in closets. I think I have some pretty good techniques on how I store and organize my clothes and gear so I am happy to share them with you here. Some of these I have mentioned before in a previous post called The Runner's Room, where I talked about how I organize my dressing room.
   



For around $10 a piece, I bought these closet organizers.  In the one on the left I store all my running shorts, skirts, capris, and pants. Below that are cotton race shirts that I actually do like to wear, but not for running.
In the one on the right hand side I store all my tops. Tank tops go on the top since I wear them the most, short sleeve shirts in the middle, and long sleeve shirts on the bottom.  I admit I did refold all these shirts since this picture was taken. The shirts don't look in disarray! 

I also have a separate section for just running socks and sports bras. 


I organize all my running shoes on top of the rack I hang some of my clothes on. My husband does not think it is a good idea to store shoes above where I hang my clean clothes but 1) I always make sure my shoes are clean before I put them away and 2) I place the shoes on top of their original box. So see, I'm keeping it clean!  You can see a picture of my shoe organization techniques from this post HERE.



In my dressing room, on the back of my closet door, I have this over the door organizer (also for around $10).  This is where I store things I use for running, but things I don't need or use every day. These things include body glide, extra GUs, extra water bottles, calf sleeves, KT and Rock Tape, heat sheets, gloves for winter running, heat patches, biofreeze, etc.


I have a shelf in my bathroom that has hooks on it. This is how I organize all my headbands. If you are interested in checking out my favorite ones for less than $10, you can read that HERE.

If you haven't already seen how I display/organize my medals, you can see that HERE. I probably do need to update it some. I now have all three of those racks filled!




Now on the back of the door in my foyer is where I keep my running essentials that I use for every day running (if they aren't already in my little running tote).  This is wear I keep my Garmin and charger, my ipod and charger, sunscreen, sunglasses, pepper spray and anything else I may use on a regular basis before I go out the door. And yes, even though it is not a running essential, I do keep a lint roller in there because when you live with a Yellow Labrador a lint roller is a life essential!

What are some organizing tips you use for your gear? -M


PS: sorry for the sub-par photos.

                                        We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Weekly Wrap July 16


It's time for the weekly wrap. This week went by so quickly. Maybe because I feel like it was such a productive one! 

Sunday I did a 17 mile bike ride on the rail trail with my mom.

We rode to the end of the trail to the park where the 4th of July race took place and then rode all the way back to where we started. We stopped at an ice cream shop along the way but the line was like 40 people deep. We decided we could just load up our bikes and drive to another shop on the way home.

After getting ice cream, we had to go take our Peddle boat out of the water so my dad could take it home and wash it. We have it launched in the water at my Pap's house.  My mom and I had to peddle it UPSTREAM so we could get it into the launch so we could remove it. Trying to peddle against the current does not make your legs happy after just biking 17 miles!

Monday I wanted to start the week out right with a run, but I just didn't. I felt so achy. I stayed home and painted more trim around my door (and waited for the professional painters who never showed up).  Monday night I was so achy I couldn't fall back asleep. I ended up going downstairs to sleep on the couch. I was surprised to see Baylee laying beside me when I woke up. She sure loves her momma!

Tuesday was quite productive. I went to the paint store to pick out more paint colors and then headed to the trail for 4 steamy miles!


The sun was not out in all its glory because it was overcast so at least that felt good but all the humidity in the air did not feel good.  After the run, I rushed back home to shower and then went to a massage appointment.

There is a spa only 5 minutes from my house and I did not know about it.  The best part was that because I agreed to have an intern give me my massage, I got an entire hour for only $35 (plus tip)! Isn't that awesome?  Now if I was injured or had a major problem I would not have agreed to have the intern work on me.  But this worked out fabulous and to tell you the truth this massage was better than any I've gotten at any of the fancy resorts I've stayed at!


After the massage it was pool time with my favorite girl.

Wednesday was more working around the house.

Thursday-  I was up and out the door by 8 am and thought I could beat some of the heat.
I ran the 2 mile loop by my home and it certainly felt every bit like 89 degrees (or more). I made it home in time just to see the painters arriving at my house! That made me happy.

Friday was a rainy day so I stayed in with Baylee and did more housework and made food.

We ended up celebrating a friend's birthday later that evening at our house. I made Keylime pie for the first time and it actually turned out pretty good!

Saturday
Scott and I were on the go all day. we did get to walk at the marina, but it was actually more of a stroll as we watched the boats. We came home a cooked out while watching Baylee swim. 

Around 8pm I decided to go to my island and do a 3 mile run. I did most of  the run through the woods and because it was so late in the evening, I really thought that I would see some deer, but I didn't.

What was the least amount you ever paid for a massage? What is the latest you've ever ran? I actually plan to do more late runs this summer. They are so peaceful. -M

We are linking up with Tricia, Holly, and the guest host.

Friday, July 14, 2017

What does your Amazon list say about you?

So, unless you were living under a rock, you probably heard that Amazon Prime day was this week! Yup, it started Monday night and lasted into the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

I for one was very excited about Prime day because this was the first year I've actually been a Prime member! Let the shopping begin..........!

Except, I searched and searched and there wasn't anything I was wanting that was a Prime day deal.
No Mizunos, No dress shoes, no home furnishings, not even any beauty supplies. Womp Womp!

I guess I saved money though.


For today's post, I thought it would be fun to share what Amazon thinks we should buy!  What is on your "recommended" list?   The recommended list is obviously based off of your shopping habits on Amazon. Would you buy the recommended items?



Of course Mizunos are always my top pick because I indeed have purchased a pair of Mizunos from Amazon and I'm always checking to see if there are any good deals on the colors and style I like. The WaveRider 18's are my favorite and they are becoming harder to find.  This recommendation is Spot on!



I am always searching for dress shoes too. My favorites for work are the Anne Klein Sport shoes.  I have bought shoes that are similar to those first pair but would probably not buy the others. Good recommendations by Amazon though.



Amazon could have done a much better job recommending books to me. Yes, I admit several years ago I bought a book for school about Library media, and I DID buy a book about making candy creations (also for school), but that that was a long time ago. I have since searched and bought other books from  Amazon. I would not purchase any of these items again.




I'm not sure where these recommendations are coming from.  I know I bought my sister a season of Dawson's Creek DVDs but that had to be about 15 years ago and I'm not sure I even ordered them from Amazon.  I've never seen one episode of One Tree Hill not have I ever watched Dynasty.  I think  maybe Amazon is recommending Dynasty to me because I have bought several seasons of Dallas on Amazon and this show is similar. Yes, I would like to watch Dynasty some day but do I have time to get into another series?


These suggestions look pretty accurate too. I think I may have actually read that Beth Harbison book "Think, Rich, Pretty" although I did not get it from Amazon.


What would be on your Amazon recommendation list?  -M


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Running on Island Time




I mentioned in the weekly wrap earlier this week that I 've been visiting my mom at work and walking with her and her "work dog".  Well the other day we ventured over to the Marina which is actually on an island. Not the same island I usually run on, but a different island (that is much bigger). I bet you didn't realize we had so many islands in my state did you?


After we walked the loop, I ventured on my own to do a run.


There were so many people here walking, running, and walking their dogs, yet it was so peaceful and serene.

There is also a marina on this island and you can rent water craft. The morning we visited, there were several groups of people renting kayaks and putting them in at the launch.


We even saw some wildlife along the way.

This run wasn't anything amazing or anything but it was a nice little way to mix things up with a new route.  I've known about this island forever and it isn't too far from my home so I can't believe I've never ran here before.

I should have taken more pictures but honestly I didn't think that I was going to blog about it, so I didn't.

What are some new to you routes you've discovered this summer? -M

Monday, July 10, 2017

What's in the 20 year old running tote?

Whenever you head out for a run, do you have to double check and make sure you have everything? Have you ever made it to the start of your running route and forgot your Garmin? Your ipod or earbuds?



I feel like I am constantly gathering up all the things I need for my run. I rarely walk right out my door and start my run, I usually drive to a designated spot. For that reason I keep everything in a little tote bag. I've never carried a gym bag (even when I went to the gym) but this tote bag is the perfect size where I can easily grab what I need without digging around.

A little background story of this tote. This was a Christmas gift from a friend way back when. It has to be at least 20 years old. I don't ever remember using it as a purse or a tote then. I was on the verge of getting rid of it a few years ago but decided it would be perfect for my running essential.  I ALWAYS use it now. So glad I held on to it. 

My running essentials.



My phone -Sometimes I run with it, sometimes I don't, but I try to always have it with me in the car.

My ipod AND earbuds -There were times where I actually forgot one or the other. This is when the phone comes in handy. At least if I have my earbuds, I can listen to music on my phone.

My Road ID - Not only for safety reasons, but as of lately I've been clipping my ipod on it.

Garmin -This is a given. if I don't have my Garmin, I've lost my motivation to run. I know that is So wrong!

Pepper Spray- Not sure if I would need this for a personal encounter or an animal encounter. Thank Goodness I've never had to use it.

Personal Alarm - Same as above.

Water bottle

Sunglasses

Running belt /Roo pouch

Sometimes GU- Depending on how far I plan to run. Needless to say I haven't packed GU in several months!

Facial Wipes- These come in handy if I need to run an errand on the way home from a run, or stop at Starbucks for a frosty post run beverage.


This has now become my running tote and most of the time I just keep what I need in there unless the electronics need to be charged.

Seems like a lot of stuff just for a run, huh?

Do you feel like you have to "pack" for your run? Do you drive to your run spot or do you run right out your door? -M



                                      We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Weekly Wrap ....July 9




Wow, I haven't done a weekly wrap since the Monumental Mile back in June! I don't mean to be slacking but I guess I've been busy. I haven't even done a #FashionFriday post on IG with @Runningonthefly either. I need to catch up!

View of the lake.

Since that last week in June, I've been boating, doing some painting at my house, attended a graduation party at the lake, and had a chiropractor appointment (the kind that hurt so good)!

 There's been a little bit of running intermixed in there but nothing to really write home about because it's been way too hot to get in any "quality" runs.

Is it taboo to take a photo in a cemetery? 

 I did run in town to the cemetery.  I went to visit my Grandma. You would think running in a cemetery would feel morbid but it wasn't. It was peaceful and I could feel a sense of pride as I ran through and seen all the flags. That run was hot and hilly and I felt so accomplished.  It seems like all the cemeteries in our area are on a hill. Are yours?

A pretty house along the water. We passed this on our walk.

I've also been meeting my mom at work and walking with her around the lake as she walks her "work dog". We've done about 2 miles each time.

I've also done a couple little runs near my house. Again, nothing special.

I've been keeping my runs small lately because 1) it's just too hot, 2) I've been finding other things to do with my time this summer, and 3) I have nothing to train for right now.

When I say I have nothing to train for, I mean I haven't signed up for anything else just yet. I have a few 5ks I might run in the coming months and then 2 longer races I'm debating on in the fall.  It feels kind of good to not do any long distance running this summer. I'm sure I'll miss it thought and I'll be feeling the itch to get back out there soon.

Where's the oddest place you've run? Is your local cemetery on a hill? Is it taboo to take a photo there?

If you missed our posts this past week, you can read about the 4th of July 5k or How to soften your cotton race shirts (or any t-shirt).

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia (and the guest host) for their weekly wrap.


Friday, July 7, 2017

How to soften those stiff race t-shirts

Most races I do give out nice tech t-shirts but then there are the occasional 5Ks that still give out cotton t-shirts (ehem, Disney). The 4th of July race I did on Tuesday gave out nice tech tees last year but this year they were cotton ones. What gives?


Unfortunately these cotton race shirts are not always the softest but I've found a way to soften them up so I actually WANT to wear them.

Follow these 5 easy steps.


1. You will need a bucket, dishpan, or sink and fill it with a quart of warm water.




2. Add a half cup of plain old table salt.



3. Submerge your race shirt in the water.

4. You will need to let the shirt soak in the salt water for three days. Check on your shirt each day and stir it around.

5. After the third day, launder your shirt as normal.

Leaving your shirt in the salt water is like marinading it. You marinade meat so it becomes tender and in a way, the salt water is doing the same thing to your shirt.

I did this process with a shirt I didn't much care for just in case the salt water damaged it, but it didn't. It actually came out softer than when I put it in.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For the remainder of July, the topics for the Friday 5 will be "Free Choice".
As we go forward, please tell us what YOU would like some topics to be.

Do you like new topics each week?  Would you like broad topics that rotate month after month? Do you like the 5 format?  Please give us your input.




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

4th of July and a 5K

I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July weekend (and week). Mine was full of housework, cookouts, swimming, boating, fireworks, and a little bit of running. It was actually quite exhausting and I'm ready to have the rest of this week to relax and have no plans at all.


On Tuesday I ran the annual 4th of July 5K race that is held in a neighboring town. I ran this race last year for the first time and although it was hot and miserable and had a killer hill, I felt so accomplished when I finished. That being said, I signed up again for this year.

My running buddy could not make the race this year so I carpooled with another friend from my neighborhood that was also running.  He also ran the race last year, and we both agreed that this was NOT a course to be raced!


Even though this is not a good course, this race always brings out a lot of runners and awesome crowd support.  Many people spectate from their lawns and hold out sprinklers and water hoses (which are much appreciated by the runners). 


For some reason my Garmin didn't start right away. I noticed this probably a half mile into the race. I had started it before the national anthem and then it went into battery saving mode. I think that when I clicked it again to start it, that click took it out of battery saving mode and didn't really "start" it like I thought it did. That's okay. I just decided to start it over again at mile one. I just made sure to pay attention to the clock at mile one.

When I finished the first mile, the clock read 9:03. Meh, not bad seeing as to how hot it was.  Since my chip time and gun time of the race were several seconds off, perhaps my first mile may have been even less.

After that first mile, it was time for that killer hill!  I thought maybe I would suck it up and run the entire hill, no matter how slow.  I felt really awesome running past all these other runners who were walking up the hill but then it happened.  I was almost to the top and then just felt the urge to walk. I had to walk till I reached the peak.  My friend said that by the time he reached the top of the hill, he saw some runners puking! Yea, it's that steep.  Remember that I said this race brings out huge crowds? Well, a lot of the people who live along the hill will bring their lawn chairs out in their yard and watch the race. I kid that they are probably all sitting there saying "look at these idiots running up this hill in this heat"

The uphill is very steep and that means so is the downhill. You would think that it would be easy running downhill but when it is that steep, it's not easy and you really have to have control. I almost felt like running in the yards beside me so in case I took a tumble I'd be safe!

Normally I can see the finish line clock as soon as I turn the corner to run towards the finish but this time I didn't want to see it because seeing it while I still have several yards to go makes me anxious. This time I just kept my head down while I ran the last several yards.

Turns out, I think I finished in exactly the same time I did last year. I wanted to confirm that so I tried to look up my official time from last year's race result page and guess what? My name isn't even listed as running last year. I KNOW that I saw it last year. For some reason  I see that the race results from 2016 have been updated on 1/24/2017. Perhaps my name was missed when they updated it.

We had some watermelon after the race and then headed out.


When we got home we hosted a 4th of July picnic (and pool party).


Of course no 4th of July is complete without ending the night with fireworks!


I hope you're having a great week!  Would you want to run this race next year? -M