Sunday, October 19, 2014

Great Long Run at Farmdale

This really is my favorite place to run. Right now it is absolutely gorgeous and smells like Fall, that smell that makes you forget all your stress and appreciate every step of that run you're taking.

I ran almost 11 miles, which is the farthest trail run I've done.

I ran by myself, but want to bring Jennifer to this tree I found which will be perfect for our systematic desensitization heights training!

I used to be afraid to run alone in this park, but as I get more familiar with it, I'm getting more comfortable. In fact, I'm realizing that to some people I am the scary one. One day I came up behind a guy poised on a mountain bike at the top of a hill and about scared him right down the hill before he was ready. Yesterday I shared the joy and mystery of the blue Chevy with a couple strangers. I think they questioned my sanity and perhaps their safety as I lured them off the trail. "You have to come a little closer to see it. Really, you have to walk toward the edge of the hill there. A little farther off the trail. Keep coming. You'll see it if you come a few steps closer." I didn't even tell them I had just peed by it. Luckily they trusted me enough to leave the trail (at this point I had run 8 miles and probably looked like I could be knocked over with a leaf, to be honest) and see this amazing spectacle!

I also tried taking a picture of the blue Chevy from below, but it's so high up, I'm not sure you can see it. You really just have to go see it in person. maybe Jennifer and I can start conducting guided tours to earn money for Hawaii. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New Improved Goal: WALK the Honolulu Marathon with My BEST FRIEND

One thing I love about my best friend, Jennifer, is her sense of fun and adventure. She was really my inspiration for starting to run when she invited me (pressured me) to do a midnight trail run with her 18 months ago. She kept me running after that. We have fun together no matter what we are doing and love adventures. When I was in Hawaii this spring and got to do some hikes, even though I was having the time of my life, I felt immense sadness that Jennifer was not there beside me. I am over the moon with excitement that she is going to come back to Hawaii with me, and we are going to walk the marathon together!

Jennifer was training to do the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon last weekend, but she got injured and couldn't run it. It would have been her first marathon. We have now decided to walk Honolulu together. I cannot think of anything that would make me happier than to do that course with her. I still plan to continue my running training plan, and I will consider walking Honolulu a training step and find a January marathon to run.

I am so excited that we can do the hikes together that I have been dreaming about for months. She has a bit of a fear of heights to overcome but I we are going to have the trip of our dreams going to Honolulu together. We have been friends for 34 years! We've had some rocking adventures, but this will take the cake. I can't wait!

Yesterday we walked the Farmdale Half- Marathon together.

It was cold at first. The first creek crossing at mile 2.5 gave us an idea of what an ice water bath is like. It actually felt good.

We are looking for height and balance exercises to use systematic desensitization to overcome fear of heights and balancing practice to improve balance. I had found this awesome felled tree that was the perfect height for both goals on a previous run, but when we got to it, someone had sawed it up and it was lying on the ground! Jennifer tackled her fear of low heights anyway!

There is a huge hill on this course. The race included a contest for carrying the heaviest rock up Cougar Hill. 

My rock being weighed at the top-

Jennifer also participated, hoping to carry the smallest rock. Even though her rock didn't register on the scale, another person had already brought up a smaller one. 

The winning rock was 90-some pounds. The rock weigher was building this rock scupture among the poison ivy.

When we arrived at our finish line, it was already taken down, but we finished at 4 hours and 32 minutes! It was such a fun time and I am super psyched about walking a whole marathon together!

I hope Jennifer will write posts for this bog too. It is now OUR journey.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cat Pee, a Hard Fall, and A Great Sunrise Long Run

This was a pretty good training week, in spite of a cat pee incident, a fall, and being short one short run. Since my Tuesday was booked from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., I decided to do my short runs on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Friday, I was sore from falling on Thursday, so under the advice of my PT. I skipped that run.

On Wednesdays I usually try to meet my running group, Sole Sisters. I got off work a little early, went to the allergist for an injection, and decided to change into my running clothes in the restroom. I got completely naked, then got out my running clothes only to discover my bra was wet. And then the smell hit me. Cat pee!!! On my $60 Victoria's Secret bra. (I really love Victoria's Secret Knockout bras and bought four of them a couple months ago. I'm feeling frustrated because I'm losing weight in my breasts and am going to need new bras soon.)

I came home and ran three miles by myself here.

Thursday, I needed to do five, so I headed to Farmdale Park, my favorite place to run. My pace was a little faster than I normally run on trails, and I was feeling great. Then at about mile 5 I fell hard. I tripped and flew forward and hit the left side of my head pretty hard. I tried to catch myself with that arm and jarred my head, neck, and shoulder. The scariest part was my glasses flying off my face. It is a terrifying feeling when you can't see to find your glasses, even if it is in your own bedroom. Luckily, I found them, and they were fine, and I was fine. 

Friday I had physical therapy and planned to run three miles after. My shoulder and arm were too sore to do some of my PT exercises, and my therapist recommended skipping my run. I was fine with that. I headed back to Farmdale Saturday morning for my ten mile run. 

This was the hardest run I've done yet. It was harder than both of my half-marathons I've done. Running on trails is more exerting I guess than on roads. I really felt accomplished, and I've registered for a half-marathon there in a few weeks. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Marathon Training For Realz

OK, I finally feel like I am consistent enough with running and raising my mileage enough to feel like I'm doing something different than my normal routine. I'm really marathon training, and it is exciting!

This week, Monday was a rest day. My Tuesday run was approximately 3 miles. I ran inside on a track for 30 minutes because it was raining hard. Wednesday, I did four miles.

Thursday I did 3 with taped knees. I think the tape helped and want to try it again.

Friday was a rest day. Saturday I did 9.

I know that says 9.69, but here's the thing. Either Map My Run or my phone makes the Map My Run distance off. It always overestimates my mileage, so I try to add a little more.

Today is Sunday and I did the Stairmaster for cross-training.

I'm feeling great and ready to start next week's training with a day of rest tomorrow. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Five Miles at Farmdale

Today was a perfect day for a run at Farmdale Park.

I LOVE this place that is 5 minutes from my house, with miles and miles of trails. It is a beautiful place to run. I've gotten very lost here before (several times), so I am trying to get some miles under my belt and use the map to feel more comfortable running here. My pace on trails is pretty slow, but I am OK with that. There's so much to look at, I don't want to feel rushed anyway. This pace really wasn't bad, especially considering I stopped to look at the map and take some pictures. I'm only racing myself and the mosquitoes.

I started in the direction of the dam. You get to run across the top of a long dam. 

I stopped here to make a shadow shaka sign.

Then shortly I am to one of my favorite spots, a cluster of pines that smell amazing. I like the feel of footfalls on pine needles. 

Nine months ago my town was hit with a tornado. It's sad to see tornado debris by the trail.

And some trees that are sheared off by the tornado.

Then I come to my favorite thing in the park...the blue Chevy.

It took my friend, Jennifer, and I forever to find this, looking on multiple occasions. This is the first time I've gone to this spot by myself. 

It's so beautiful and peaceful here, and the weather was gorgeous today. 

There's also a cool creek. Depending on the route, you may cross it several times. You have to get your feet wet, literally. Today, it was just once at the end of my route. A fun ending to a perfect run.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Beautiful Day for a Hike and a Walk

Technically, I was supposed to run 5 miles today and cross-train tomorrow, but I am just switching those days. It was a gorgeous day today. I went for a three-mile hike with my best friend, Jennifer. Later my husband and I took Grandma and our dog to the park.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Little Bit Rough, but still moving forward

Hmm. So, I have already been struggling to get my miles in, and I haven't even had any really long runs yet. I've started a full-time internship at the same time I started marathon training, and I've had a couple days of not feeling well, and there has even been lightning deterring me from runs. I have only missed one altogether though, and this week I am one run behind, but will make it up tomorrow. So all and all, I think I will be fine.

Tonight I didn't feel well, and it was pretty muggy, but I ran.

The good news is, I felt like I was probably running a 12 minute mile the whole time (which would have been fine), so I was surprised to see that I ran about my normal pace. 

I also got a new physical therapy toy today called a Voodoo Band. 

I don't know a lot about it yet. I'll do some research and write a post about it at some point.