Trail Running Maybe?

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It’s hard to believe that it was 3 years ago that I got the bug to run a trail race. My first. A half. Because . . . chocolate. Not kidding!

None of my friends were the least bit interested in trails, so I trained alone. In fact, I ran four halfs that year so it was just a matter of getting in some trail time. I managed to stay upright (for the most part) on my runs.

My pace was super slow. We were having a warm Spring, those trails were hilly, and I logged some of my slowest miles ever in my running career. Which went nicely with my trail half, which was one of my slowest ever, too.

But I did it.

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First trail race: Mud & Chocolate & it lived up to its name!

Did I get the trail running bug?
Not really. I did go on to run a trail 5k later that summer. Trail running was a nice change of scenery, but trail running is also hard, y’all. If you’ve never run trails, a 5k can definitely feel like a 10k.

I remember trying to keep one trail run a week in my training that summer, but that only lasted until the grass got about thigh high. No thanks.

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A drier day with friends (although I made a couple of friends at that first trail half!)

Then my friends got interested in trail running . . . 
Sort of. When I first started, pretty much all of my friends. local and online, professed their fear of trails. The first words out of everyone’s mouth is always “I’m afraid of falling”. It’s a legitimate fear, but I’ve fallen on roads as much as I have on trails, which thankfully isn’t very much.

So my friends finally started to go to our Summer trail running series. I joined a few times. It was nice not being on my own, but they’re in the evenings, and that’s just hard for this early bird.

Last Summer I did run a trail 5k (on my own) and then a 10k (my first at that distance on the trails) with a friend.

Everyone is afraid of falling on a trail. Of course it’s possible. It’s also possible on the road — the road tends to be far less forgiving. You simply have to check your ego and run slower. Whether you fall in love with trails or not, it’s a nice change of “pace” and scenery. An added bonus is how laid back trail races tend to be. — Chocolaterunsjudy

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I suspect I’ll always be mainly a road runner, but trails are a nice change of scenery

Final thoughts
I’ve seen some of the trails that other runners post. They look amazing. Ours tend to be rather technical, rarely a nice groomed sand or gravel path. The nicer paths are at least a good 30 minute drive away. It’s hard to justify an hour’s drive for running less than an hour!

I’ve been envious of some of my online friends who seem to have hooked up with local  trail running groups and had a great time. I know a few trail runners here, my friends are now into it, but as usual, the right group still eludes me.

Are you afraid to try trail running because you might fall? 

Or are you a trail lover? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Rest needed, stat!: Spilling over tea/coffee September 2019

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On Monday we spent the day with my parents. Despite the rain, the dogs were pretty good. Bandit (he appears here a couple of times) seems to particularly enjoy going to my parents — until it’s dinner time. We had a nice visit with my parents and some of their friends.

The next day my sister called to tell me my mom had found my Dad unresponsive on the toilet (sorry if that’s TMI) not too long after we left and he was in the hospital. They finally determined he has a blood infection and pneumonia. Yet he seemed normal Monday.

He’s tough, although quite frankly has little that makes him happy, and yes, we siblings have discussed that it would be a blessing if he passed quietly in his sleep. Sorry if that’s also TMI, but that’s our reality.

He doesn’t appear ready to go, though, for whatever reason. I am headed down there tomorrow — prayers & good vibes appreciated, but it sounds as though it’s not a dire situation, either. At 93, though, you never know.

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date — I enjoy hot tea year round, and just love curling my hands around a warm mug of tea. It’s so soothing.

I was going to video this soothing fountain on the patio, but the cars and occasional planes made me realize that it wouldn’t be so soothing to listen to. Still, it was a nice dinner!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that Mr. Judy and I enjoyed an al fresco dinner at a very nice restaurant a couple of weeks ago. It was a lovely evening. While the restaurant is in a strip mall, they have tall shrubs surrounding it and it’s really quite nice.

We also had the patio all to ourselves. Despite the restaurant being busy, no one else chose to sit outside. Their loss!

Trails look so deceptively easy

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I enjoyed my trail 10k a lot more since I didn’t set out to race it and I had company for the second half. I would also runfess that I definitely wasn’t trained for that long on the trails, and I was tired by about mile 3! I finally runfess that I felt as though I had run a half by the time I finished, even though it was only half that distance (if you missed last week’s runfessions, they’re here).

Why is it that trail running, while so much slower than road running, feels twice as hard?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that I am planning to take my YTT test today; nope, actually took it yesterday and passed with flying colors, although I didn’t think it was as easy as some did. I had wanted one more day to study, and to do it this morning when I wasn’t so tired (ha! didn’t get enough sleep last night), but I also want to get in a long run today and need to pack.

I submitted my practicum video on Wednesday; finished filming it right before the thunderstorms hit, thankfully. I’m pretty much assuming that I passed, but am waiting for my certificate and feedback on my practicum.

Bandit getting some Grandpa love — Grandpa didn’t act sick at all

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you Bandit is a strange dog. I know, I know, they’re all strange in their own ways but he is probably the strangest one we’ve had so far. The last couple of times we went to my parents, he refused to eat dinner there.

I was prepared this time, and only offered a very little, and when he refused that I gave it to Lola who was happy to help. When I fed him when we got home, he still just looked at it. Until I realized that I’d put the glass bowl on the floor of his crate, rather than in the raised bowl I usually use; I was very tired. When I put it in the raised bowl, he chowed down.

The odd thing is that in the beginning we fed him by putting the bowl on the floor of the crate . . .  spoiled much?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
Poor Mr. Judy. He loves Bandit so. Bandit, who does like Mr. Judy, has made it very clear that I am his person. If I sit outside on the lounge chair, he almost always comes out and sits with me for a while — although with the cooling days, sometimes he doesn’t want to be outside.

He will go outside and lay with Mr. Judy — but only if I am not home. If I am home, and in the house, he stays inside with me.

What are some of your furkids quirks?

Do your furkids show a preference for one person or love the whole family?

Would you pick a trail race over a road race? 

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

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Sliding into Fall: 8/26- 9/1 WRD

Another quiet week, and the last of my YTT calls. It’s amazing how much information we were exposed to — many students who are already teachers commented on how it was far more in depth than what they went through in an in person training. But just how much of it have I actually absorbed?

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing sliding into fall activities.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  3 miles recovery run
  • Tuesday: 3 miles easy, Dogwalk, PB ST (30 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 minutes)
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, Trail Run 2.80 miles
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min), Hips & Arms (25 min), Yin Yoga (30 min)
  • Saturday: LSD 7 miles, Yin Yoga (55 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, ST (30 min)

Mileage: 15.80 (+2.80)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Ain’t she a beaut? Nope, that’s not in my yard, that’s in the park

Monday
I will admit it: I was just a little achy after the trail 10k the day before. More so than for most recent halfs! Probably because it wasn’t easy, probably because while I’ve done some trail running this summer, not that much.

A slow 3 miles on a very lovely day at the park.

Followed by a surprise chiro appointment (was able to get squeezed in last minute — remember they no longer take my insurance after this month). She said it was a good thing, as my hips were out of alignment. Despite all the yoga & body awareness, I never can feel that.

These neighbors made this cute sign from a tree they cut down!

Tuesday
Apparently I typed over this, I haven’t been entering my runs this week, and I don’t have a lot of memory of what went on here. It was easy and just a little faster than Monday’s run, that’s about all I remember.

A beautiful night to end the trail series on

Thursday
The last of the trail run series from our local running club. I was grateful they started half an hour earlier — I actually got to sleep at a decent time. Since it was my third run for the week, I hung back with a friend who is working her way back from an injury.

As seen on my long run

Saturday
Say what you will about the dwindling sunlight, our movement towards Fall brings in some lovely weather — and it was awesome for this morning’s run. Nice and steady, and let myself go a little harder that last mile. Sort of negative splits (even before the last mile). Nice.

I’m not sure I would have gotten through YTT without Quizlet

Favorites of the week
This week has been pretty much consumed by studying for my test for my YTT. It’s released today, but I am not yet ready to take it (I have over a week). Plus figuring out how to actually video my practicum (which I’ll be doing next week) and test uploading it.

If you ever need to study for something, I highly recommend Quizlet, you can download the app (or use it on your lap/desktop here). I used the free version.

I am actually feeling kind of run down — although a bit better this afternoon, but the resting heart rate remains good, so hopefully it’s just from lack of sleep and lots of studying.

Lastly, in case you missed it, the Skirt Sports Labor Day sale is going on here. Obviously I’m partial to the Cool it Tops, which I am wearing above, and yes, they’re on sale.

What is the best thing you’ve done that was totally hard, but totally rewarding at the same time?

Do you enjoy learning new things?

What would you like to do that you haven’t yet tackled in your life?  

Thatcher Park Trail Festival 10k Race Recap 8/25/19

My first trail race was a half marathon. Yes, chocolate was involved. Of course. My next trail race? A 5k. Kind of on a whim, the day after a long run, mostly because it was a beautiful day.

The next year I was getting close to my 18 mile road race, and I didn’t want to do a trail race so close to that race; there also was no longer a 5k option.

This year there are no big goal races on the horizon. Yet. The weather was beautiful again. Another friend would also be there. I signed up. I’ve been running trails here and there all summer with friends, but not really a lot — rarely more than once a week, and not every week.

Skirt Meetup

Getting There & Hanging Out
It’s a bit over 30 minutes to get to Thatcher Park so I arrived at 7:30, an hour before the race. I parked, grabbed my bag, thanked the weather Gods for the beautiful weather, and started walking over to packet pick up, just a short distance away. I chatted with a couple of runners doing the 50k (30 mile) option.

I quickly ran into someone I knew by the bathrooms, but she had just finished with them and I needed to use them. We chatted a bit before parting ways. I picked up my packet, which included my parking ticket (it’s $6 to park), and then had to walk back to the car to put the parking ticket in the car.

I left my bag in the pavilion, which is one of the things I love about this race, that you don’t have to continually go back and forth to your car if you have stuff you need with you before the race, although there is no official bag drop because it’s a pretty low key race, as trail races tend to be.

I ran into another friend, a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador, but I was waiting on a third friend (another Skirt Sports Ambassador). We were just about to take our selfie when she finally appeared so we were able to get the three of us together.

I’d downloaded a mediation and something to listen to as I walked around before the race, knowing I’d be there early as usual, but I actually never had time.

I was glad to have company during the long stretches we didn’t see anyone . . . or a flag

The weather & dressing
There was a lot of hot, humid weather lately, but the morning started out a cool mid 50F temp, so I really waffled on what to wear. The park is also a higher elevation, so it’s always cool there.

I chose Skirt Sports Supergirl Tank and Lioness Skirt. I really debated about wearing the long sleeve Cool It Top, since that’s what I’ve been running trails in all summer. I needed the extra pockets in my Supergirl Tank for my water bottles, though.

I had never worn the Lioness Skirt for a race, or anything much over 4 miles. I’d never worn that particular Lioness Skirt, either. Turned out it was the perfect outfit for me, for this day, for this race.

Plenty of roots

My Race Plan
2 simple goals:

  • Finish
  • Don’t fall

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 12:15. Significantly faster than the first mile of the 5k two years ago, and basically the same route.
  2. Mile 2: 18:44. Significantly slower than the second mile of the 5k two years ago. My bad for not looking at the elevation chart. I thought it would be somewhat flat like the 5k. It was not. The largest hill in the 5k was 66 ft. This mile had a hill that was 154 ft — which I know doesn’t sound like much, but throw in lots of rocks, roots, and mud, and it was tough! I ran with one of my Skirt Sports Ambassdor friends here for a while, but eventually she took off. I decided right here to make it a fun run and I stopped to take a lot of photos.
  3. Mile 3: 16:07. I believe this is where my friend caught up with me; she’d started slightly behind me, but she was racing. Although she agreed to stop and take a photo at Hang Glide Cliff here. This was an out and back to Hang Glide Cliff, and it seemed to go on forever.
  4. Mile 4: 14:05. This was a relatively flat mile (only a 66 ft hill, LOL!), with some wider paths, but still plenty of mud, rocks, and roots. It wasn’t really a super muddy race, but there were plenty of mud pits to go around — or through, I’m guessing, if you’re really into trails. We mostly went around.
  5. Mile 5: 14:42. This mile had a fairly good net drop, and yet we slowed down. Not sure why. Probably because we were getting tired! We traded on and off being in front. There was also some very narrow single track here.
  6. Mile 6: 12:03. Headed back to the finish, mostly just grass, so I was able to pick up some speed. It might have been faster if I hadn’t kept going in the wrong direction towards the very end (luckily my friend kept correcting me).
  7. Last .33: 10:53. Sort of sprinting to the end.
Mostly dry trails, except for the multiple mud pits

1:31:37 — Official Time
14:45 Average Pace
76 out of 82

Yes, it tasted as good as it looked!

Was the race well run?
If you’re into trail running, this is an awesome little festival. There are four distances:

  • 10k
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon
  • 50k
The lovely Hang Glide Cliff. Yes, Hang Gliders take off from here though I haven’t seen it!

The first time I ran the 5k I also volunteered after — there’s a really nice spread at the aid stations. They ask you when you register what your projected finish time is. This was my first trail 10k (although not my first trail race), so I took a guess and was almost right — considering I wasn’t expecting so many hills, I guess I guessed well.

I don’t know why they want to know your estimated finish time. Since there are people running anywhere from 10k to 50k, the 10k runners can take their time if they want to. One woman did, indeed, walk it — slowly, but she is older than me and coming back from battling Lyme disease. My hat’s off to her! She always volunteers at races, too.

All the races start together. The first half marathoner finished just shortly after my friend and I finished the 10k . . . The trails are extremely well marked — there are some long distances where you won’t see any flags, but seriously, I didn’t go wrong until the very end (apparently I did something similar at the 5k, too).

You used to get socks; this year we got a picnic blanket that folds up into its own little case. Personally I prefer the socks, because they’re useful (although not really as running socks, but I often wear them in the fall when walking the dogs).

There’s a really nice spread afterwards, too. I stayed this year, since I had some friends to hang out with. All sorts of different sandwiches (including vegetarian and vegan options). Chips, fruit, bread, peanut butter (some of that also available for pre-race fueling). This year there was a cake from Bountiful Bread, one of the sponsors, and it was worth every calorific bite — even if I only ran 10k!

I debated about those sunglasses. I didn’t need them much, but was glad I had them in the end.

Final Thoughts
I wouldn’t run this race in bad weather, but I’ve been blessed with great weather the two times I have run it. I wasn’t that inspired by the 5k course, but I have to say that even though the 10k was much tougher, it was also much more scenic. It’s a pretty park and there were runners who came from my home town, over an hour away — it’s worth it, I promise you!

There are more trail races here around Halloween — I’ve always wanted to do one of them, but the weather is almost always bad. I’m a fair weather trail runner (except for my trail half, which was in WA state and drizzling and cool for most of the race). Maybe 2019 will be the year for the Squirrely Six!

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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All the roots & mud: 8/19- 25 WRD

It was a relatively quiet week, with minimal running but included my first Trail 10k, and the weather finally turned lovely towards the end of the week — just in time for said Trail race!

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing Summer activities.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk, PB ST (30 min), Yoga (30 min)
  • Tuesday: 3 miles easy, Yin Yoga Hips (35 min), Pilates Abs (5 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 minutes), Barre Fusion (30 min)
  • Thursday: 4 mile run with 6 x 20ish strides, Yoga (20 min)
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Yoga (30 min), PB ST (30 min)
  • Saturday: Dogwalk, Kundalini Yoga Workshop (workshop 30 min, then yoga for 60 min)
  • Sunday: Thatcher Park Trail Ruining Festival 10k

Mileage: 13 (NC)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Tuesday
Not only did I miss Monday (on purpose, I am not on the #nevermissamonday train) I totally forgot to take a photo but I assure you this run happened. Just 3 easy miles.

I was planning to run later in the day . . . maybe. Walked the dogs and just like Monday morning, the dew point was delightful. I wasn’t prepared to run, hadn’t eaten or laid out clothes or put on sunscreen like I wrote about here, but dammit it wasn’t humid.

So I got out at 9:30, it was sunny, the temps were rising through the 70s . . . but with an eye on keeping my HR low this run was fine — aided by my cooling towel, too. Gotta buy a second one I think . . .

At least the football players had to endure humidity too (even if school is almost a month away!)

Thursday
Another humid, hilly run. My trail race Saturday shouldn’t be terribly hilly, but it won’t be completely flat either. It’s been a while since I ran faster so I did strides at the end. Thankfully the cloud cover held, and even though I got out a bit late due to waking up too early and not being able to fall back asleep, it wasn’t too bad.

Sunday

My trail race Saturday shouldn’t be terribly hilly, but it won’t be completely flat either.

Insert evil laugh here. I did this trail running festival a couple of years ago when there was a 5k option. The 5k wasn’t too hilly. The graphic above shows my run on Thursday, and the elevation, vs my run today and its elevation.

I’ll recap it Tuesday, but let’s just say I had one of my slowest miles on the trails ever (stopped a bunch to take photos cause why not?), and there were definitely a few hills, lots of mud, and lots of rocks and roots. This 10k was nothing like the 5k of 2 years ago, but I’ve also never done a trail 10k so it’s a PR.

Mud & roots, but friends, views & cake too!

Favorites of the week
The race today. It was hard, y’all.I had 2 very simple goals:

  • Finish
  • Stay upright

I’m claiming I crushed it. Like I said, more to come Tuesday, but knowing a few people going into the race — and actually running the second half of the race with a running buddy who crushed her goals made this race more fun.

The Kundalini Workshop was interesting. I’ve done a little bit of Kundalini here, a little there, but never a full hour like this one. There was a talk about it a bit before we started, which was also like a mini review of some of my YTT material, so winning all around. It’s a very different style of yoga.

I really liked the instructor, who will be teaching a class in this style going forward, but unfortunately at 7 pm — which is kind of late for me, especially since it’s a little bit of a drive.

Do you ever get to actually race with your friends? I mean run with them in the race. It’s rare for me!

Trails — too scared on the more rocks & roots the merrier?

Do you prefer flat & fast or hills, even if it’s steep hills?  

Burger Battles: 8/12- 18 WRD

Yet more rain (and thunderstorms), a return of heat & humidity, some hiking, a bit less running, and a taste test. That’s what went down this week.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing Summer activities.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk, Some light hiking, Yoga (30 min)
  • Tuesday: 3 miles easy, Yoga (15 min), PB Abs (10 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 minutes), Fem Fusion Fitness FOGA (yoga+fitness, arms)  (20 min)
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, 3 mile Trail run, Yoga (30 min — another practice of my practicum!), PB Balance + Mobility (30 min)
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Yoga (30 min), Barre (30 min)
  • Saturday: 7 mile LSD, Short Dogwalk cause it was so hot & humid, Pilates (30 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Yin Yoga (45 min)

Mileage: 13 (-3)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Cloudy & buggy 9 am run

Tuesday
With more thunderstorms/rain in the forecast, I figured I’d be on the treadmill. Except the morning was dry. I got out late, since I hadn’t prepared at all, and even though it was buggy, warm, and humid, it wasn’t too bad. Probably because I was trying to keep my HR low.

Thursday
Another evening trail run with friends (with a little bit of sprinkling going on). Probably the easiest trail we did this summer, and pretty, too! The trail was only 2.5 miles but a friend agreed to run an extra .5 mile so I could get 3 (and not get lost).

The kind of run where you really wish it would rain

Saturday
Disgustingly hot and humid, but thankfully cloudy. Slower than normal while keeping the HR low, but not too bad. That’s the trade-off: more time on your feet.

We tried it: Impossible Burger

Favorites of the week
I very rarely eat fast food (luckily I have the option to make my own meals most of the time). Mr. Judy had a coupon for a free Impossible Burger when you purchased a Whopper at Burger King, so we tried it out. If you compare the Impossible Burger herewith the Whopper here, it’s kind of a wash, frankly, as far as nutrition goes. Neither one is terribly healthy.

I am also not super into veggie-meat replacement foods anymore, because that ingredient list is long and not always that healthy. On the other hand, it’s really nice for vegetarians to at least have an option, and there’s also the whole issue of cows and greenhouse gases.

Mr. Judy tasted the Impossible Burger, which I finished, and said it was okay. Of course he knew it was a veggie burger so that’s not really a fair comparison. Google Impossible Burger vs Whopper and you’ll find more people’s opinions.

Scenes from Saratoga Spa State Park

I had planned that Impossible Burger to fuel some hiking; in fact, I was trading a run for a hike. Long story short it didn’t really happen, but we did do a series of shorter hikes in a park I’ve been to a few times — always for running — but haven’t gone to just to explore. I still got in about 18 floors, which is quite a bit more than a normal day for me.

Tech fail

I tried to video my practicum practice session this week (the dogs were a lot calmer), but I only managed to video our discussion afterwards.

My parents are finally getting a much-needed aide next week. I can’t begin to tell you how long that process dragged on. Now the real fun begins, because my Dad doesn’t think they need help and he can be downright snarky to people. I don’t expect it to go smoothly at first, but my Mom, who can take care of herself, really needs that help taking care of him. Any good vibes appreciated.

Would you ever choose a veggie burger over a real burger? I am actually not fond of real burgers, never was, but my mom loves them so I don’t know where I get it from.

Techonology: friend or foe — or does it depend on the day?

What’s your favorite activity to do instead of a run?  

OMG (#allthegnats): 7/29- 8/4 WRD

I finally came clean about what’s been keeping me so busy this summer in my runfession, which you can read here if you missed it. Thankfully this week I was able to get out of my neighborhood some and run with friends! But the bugs. Forget Oh My God, Oh My Gnats this week!

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing Summer activities.

briots

And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  3 miles easy, PB Abs & Balance (10 min), Yoga (25 min)
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, TM Speedwork, PB Toning (25 min), Yoga (25 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 minutes), PB Abs (15 min)
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, 3.5 mile trail run
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min), PB Abs (10 min)
  • Saturday: 7 mile LSD, PB ST (20 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Rest day!

Mileage: 16.5 (+.5)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

It was so nice & shady. And so disgustingly buggy.

Monday
Car at least temporarily fixed, I got out relatively early to beat the heat and went to the other park. The trail was much shadier than at the park with the lake I run at a lot — but I was reminded why I don’t run here in summer. The gnats and flies (thankfully not biting flies) were insane. The run was just nice and easy, but I really didn’t want to stop for my normal walk breaks the bugs were so bad.

Tuesday
Early morning dog walk on a hot day meant speed work on the treadmill later in the morning due to excessive heat. I changed things up with a sort of ladder workout, recovery always 200m, then fast for 200m, 400m, 800m, and back down. Because I haven’t gone beyond 400m fast recently. It went well, and I think I could actually go a little faster for most of those intervals.

Such a gorgeous view!

Thursday
I wasn’t able to join the group at the trail run last time it was at this park, but this time I could and persuaded Mr. Judy to come along — just so he could enjoy the park and walk the dogs. They love going different places!

Apparently my gaiters are magic, because again the trails were surprisingly not too muddy — there were a few parts that had some mud, but it wasn’t across the whole path. About halfway through we came out to a great overlook. The majority of the trail was through the woods, though, and the bugs were relentless.

I did fall towards the end, but somehow managed to actually roll onto my shoulder like you’re supposed to. That’s never happened before. No lasting damage at all. My friends went out for dinner afterwards, but an 8:30 dinner is just far too late for me.

I forgot my sunglasses for once

Saturday
Just me and two running friends for this very humid, very warm run. They stayed with me until one friend turned around (she was running less miles), and then I was on my own. Which meant I could pick up the pace a little.

One odd thing: I’m still slightly paying attention to heart rate on easy runs. I have my Garmin set to show me distance, average pace, and heart rate. For some reason the average pace when I was on my own was a minute slower than what the actual pace for the mile was. I don’t remember that happening before. Very odd (and would be very annoying in a race).

OTOH, I didn’t think I was running as slowly as the watch said I was, and apparently I wasn’t — but it was accurate for the first three miles.

Poke: a go-to for hot days

Favorites of the week
Have you ever had Poke? It’s raw tuna and some veggies in a marinade — sort of like ceviche, except a different type of marinade. It’s one of my go-tos for really hot days. Doesn’t require an oven. We both like it. You just need a reliable source for raw tuna.

Although I’ve walked around that park we ran at this week and done one trail race there in the past, I’d never been to the overlook pictured above. It was almost worth the bugs.

Enjoying Chester’s Rock

We were out and about with the dogs today, and we stopped at the park, and I had Mr. Judy take this photo of me and Lola at what I think of as Chester’s Rock. It’s where he took a photo of me and Chester just a few months before he died. Everyone loves that photo, and it is a good one, but for me it still brings up painful memories three years later.

Yup, there’s a treat in that hand

Bandit tends to be camera shy. He really doesn’t like looking at a camera. But sure does like his treats.

Have you noticed the bugs multiplying recently?

Would you run a really buggy path if it was shady on a hot day, or suffer with the heat?

What’s your go-to meal for hot days?  

Dodge the Deer 5k Race Recap 6/23/19

I have only run three trail races. My first was a half marathon — go big or go home, right? Dodge the Deer, a very family-oriented day  out at a local park with our local running group, Albany Running Exchange, includes a couple of kiddy races and a trail 5k and has been on my radar a long time.

Historically it’s been in April, which historically is not-so-great weather in these parts. I am a fair weather trail runner, even if my trail half was cool, rainy, and muddy (you can read about it here).

However, Sunday was a gorgeous day. There is also a cookout/potluck following the race. I tried to convince a few friends to go, but didn’t have any luck. Other friends that might have gone were out of town. So I headed out by myself — the first time in a long time that I went to a race without knowing that someone I knew would also be there.

I would have gotten the race socks (from past years) if they had had my size; you could choose one thing from any of these — I like that!

Packet Pickup
If I’d registered before it closed online, I could have saved $5, oh well. I registered day of, which meant getting there really early — like an hour and a half before the race. The race is in a nice park, though, and it was a beautiful day. Getting there so early meant I got parking close to the activities and could go back and forth multiple times.

I was surprised I could pay with a credit card; I’d expected to have to pay cash. I was also surprised that despite day-of registration, I was still able to pick out one piece of swag from the variety they had (mostly from old races). I wanted to get the race socks, but they were only L & XL — so I got ARE socks (the running group that puts this race on) instead.

The Famous Dodge the Deer — even being very BOTP I was able to outrun him

I went back & forth to the real bathrooms a bunch of times (because I was there so early and so well hydrated). I also sat in the shade on a picnic bench listening to “Marathon Woman”, our running group’s next book club (I use that term loosely) pick.

I chatted with a couple with their dog there, a woman who had driven in 2 hours from MA to run this race — she’s the one I asked to take my photo before the race — and someone I recognized from our Wed night group runs.

It wasn’t super technical, but there were still plenty of roots out there! And shade, thankfully.

My Race Plan
Have fun. Stay uninjured. That’s all she wrote. Happy to say I met my goals. Despite the fact that my Garmin and the official race results tallied almost perfectly, the mile splits were way off. Yes, your results included your mile splits — a nice touch. So I’m reporting them with O for Official time and G for my Garmin time.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 11:40 O/11:16 G. Very weird. There’s no mat to cross, but there is a Start sign and a line on the path. Did I start my watch too early? Too late? Just weird. The first mile felt pretty good.
  2. Mile 2: 11:06 O/11:33 G. I was definitely surprised by my time the first mile. I’m usually pretty darn slow on trails. Despite the nice shady paths, I was already feeling tired!
  3. Mile 3: 12:45 O/12:13 G. I am still running without walk breaks, except for a short one at the end of each mile to drink water (which I definitely needed with the 10 am start). I thought to myself “don’t walk in the middle of this mile” but I think you can guess what happened.
  4. Last .14: 9:49 G. I was, quite literally, neck and neck with this older woman coming into the finish chute. Which helped me to push faster. She was 72, it turned out, and I didn’t want her beating me! We crossed at the same exact time.

36:26 — Official Time (36:25 Garmin)
11:44 — Average Pace (11:37 Garmin)
4 out of 7? in my AG
196 out of 236 runners

I’ve run one trail half (which was considerably slower and also much more difficult), and one other trail 5k a couple of years ago. And that one was 42:25. 6 minutes slower!

I don’t really remember if the course at my first trail 5k was that much tougher, but I don’t think it was. It was even a cooler day, I remember that distinctly! I had run a long run (maybe 9 miles?) the day before. I had no idea what that finish time was going into this race, so a much faster finish time was a pleasant surprise.

I wasn’t at all surprised to find myself so far to the BOTP, but was pleasantly surprised to find myself in the middle of the pack for my age group. I think there was about 3 minutes between me and the woman who placed third, so even without that extra walk break the last mile I don’t think I would have placed. No problem, I was extremely surprised to see I came in fourth — when I saw that I actually wondered if there were only four women in my AG, LOL!

Actually, the person who won my AG had a 23:46 time — there are some speedy older trail runners out there!

Even with my Cool It Skirt and towel, and the shade, it was a hot race!

The weather & dressing
A late 10 am start and temps already hovering around 70, it was a hot one even with all the shade. Good practice for my Fourth of July race, which will most likely have similar conditions (but start a little earlier).

There just has to be a story behind this costume, although I never got it. Apparently he is the Race Director’s father.

I wore my Cool It Skirt and Racecation Tank from Skirt Sports. I also wore my cooling scarf, which this time I dosed more thoroughly with water beforehand (last race I didn’t really get it wet enough).

Despite the claims of a very non-technical trail, I  wore my Saucony Peregrines and I’m glad I did. I am willing to bet you that my finish time would have been slower had I worn my regular running shoes.

Was the race well run?
This is such a great family-friendly event. Low key as most trail races are. Races for the kids. I had fun cheering them on as I was sitting on the picnic table before my race! Some of the kids were seriously speedy, too, but they were all so cute.

I had never been to this park but had no trouble finding the race. There was no one directing parking, but it seemed to work out okay. There are real bathrooms (which I always love). Registration was easy, I was happy I could use a credit card, results were posted quickly, there was a nice spread afterwards — and a cookout I didn’t stay for.

The one bone I have to pick is with the description of the trails:

The Dodge the Deer 5K (and Kids Races) are on the safest and most enjoyable trails around. It’s basically an unpaved road with easy footing and no hills. If you think of rocks, roots, and other gnarly things when you think of trail running – you’re thinking of places that aren’t Schodack Island State Park. 🙂

Okay, I guess they weren’t that technical because normally my trail running pace is a lot slower. Still, there were plenty of roots and while it wasn’t super hilly, it definitely wasn’t completely flat either — I guess it was flat as trail races go. I wasn’t the only person who thought this.

One last bone: I don’t really think there’s anything they can do about this, but several people were complaining that there were no water stops. Where would you have put them? I always carry water with me, and I’d even remembered to freeze half the night before so I had cool water the whole race. It might be nice to mention on the Website that there will be no water available during the race, though.

Would I run this race again? If the weather is nice, I absolutely would.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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God Laughs: 5/27-6/2 WRD

I had planned to up the mileage just a tad this week, while at the same time trying to rest up a little before the race this weekend. It’s just a 5k, always too crowded to do great pace-wise, not to mention being sick a couple of times in the last couple of months hasn’t made for the greatest training anyway.

Well, you know the saying about woman plans and God laughs; he/she must have been ROFL at me for sure this week. The last week of May was just total Mayhem for me (mostly on the personal front). And yes, I stole Mayhem from Marcia @ Marciashealthyslice (and my life is totally tame compared to hers).

bwrd

Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and just sharing running, “training”, ans staying active.

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And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Pilates Legs & Balance (30 min), 3 Easy Miles FTC Mentoring, Yoga Hamstrings & Hips (25 min)
  • Tuesday:  YBB Booty (25 min), 4 miles with 8 Hill Repeats
  • Wednesday: YBB Abs (12 min), Dogwalk, Almost 2 mile trail run
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, YBB Cardio + Sculpting (35 min)
  • Friday: 4 miles with Hill Repeats (8), Yoga for Sleep (20 min)
  • Saturday: YFR Foundation, Freihofers Run for Women 5k, Yoga
  • Sunday: Morning Yoga (15 min), Dogwalk, Slow Vinyasa at a Studio (60 min)

Mileage: 10ish (NC)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Yeah, it was a cold, rainy day

Tuesday
Monday was spectacular. Usually I run before I go to my parents, but it makes me very rushed & crabby. So despite knowing the weather was perfect, I decided not to run (right decision).

Alas, making the right decision did not help Tuesday’s weather. A cold drizzle for most of the run. Hill repeats again. The weather actually wasn’t that bad but man, this was a slow run — until the last mile, oddly.

You know how hills never look as steep as they are! Well this one does!

Wednesday
Met up with the women’s every other week group for a trail clinic — this time several friends were there, plus I chatted with some of the women I’d met the last time. Ugh! Hill repeats — again!

You had the option to run another loop after we finished the first, but frankly, it was getting late for this earlybird. Not to mention hill repeats two days in a row . . .

We moved on from twinning to a menage a trois

Saturday
Freihofers Run for Women 5k — I’ve been mentoring new & returning runners for this race for 10 weeks. It was my very first race ever 10 years ago. Back then I knew very few people, although I did have friends from my Weight Watchers meeting running the race. It’s definitely more fun now that I know more runners.

I definitely indulged in a few after the race

It’ll be a couple of weeks before I recap this (next Tuesday I’m wrapping up May), but it was neither my worst (that belongs to the first time I ran this race!) or best 5k. Still loads of fun, though!

Love using my own veggies!

Favorites of the week
Most of my veggies/herbs are now planted. Still have the marigolds & thyme to go — the thyme seems to be thriving so it’ll just have to wait its turn. I put some of my chard into this frittata I made this week.

Destroyer of baby bunnies & moles now

Another Bandit story. I came home from something one day and as I chatted with Mr. Judy outside, out of the corner of my eye I noticed Bandit rolling around in the grass, and something dark next to him. I went to see what it was, and it was a mole. We couldn’t decide whether to praise him (because we want to get rid of the moles!) or scold.

Bandit’s a mutt, and we don’t know exactly what he’s made up of, but for sure he has some Jack Russel Terrier in him. JRTs are bred to go after rodents that burrow, so he’s only being true to his breeding (again!).

What sort of workouts do you like in the week before a 5k?

Do you ever do hill repeats? 

Are there any women-only races in your town? 

Thatcher Trail Festival 5k Race Recap 8/27/17

I had had my eye on the 5k in the Thatcher Park Trail Running Festival for months — but I only wanted to run it if the weather was nice. Especially since I ran 9 miles the day before the race.

 

A great day and place to run!
And lucky me, it was just a beautiful weekend to run. A brief word about the scenic quality: quite a bit of the race also takes place on singletrack through dense woods (some of it on the Long Path), and that’s not quite as pretty to me.

A couple of friends came to cheer me in and we all volunteered afterward, too. This is kind of a long recap for a mere 5k, but I talk a bit about volunteering and the difference between trail runners and road runners, too.

 

Getting There & Hanging Out
I headed out bright and early on Sunday morning to Thatcher Park, which is a bit over 30 minutes from our home. We walked around there about six weeks previously with the dogs, which gave me a little idea of the lay of the land (it’s a larger park with many different parking areas) and what I might expect from running a trail race there.

I got there when I expected to, around 7:30 (the race starts at 8:30), and the way to the parking lot was well marked and the volunteers were on hand to show you where to park.

Packet Pickup was easy peasy and there are real bathrooms right by the pavilion — always a treat.

I had thought I’d walk back to my car to get my stuff, but when I saw lots of runners toting bags, I decided to just take it with me, and I left it in the pavilion. I also attended the volunteer meeting, since I was volunteering after the race, and met the woman I’d be manning the aid station with.

 

Great views
The weather & dressing
After a series of hot, humid days, some beautiful weather blew in midweek and it was a gorgeous day for a race — although a bit chilly in the morning, and I had a throaway sweatshirt on; I didn’t have to throw it away, either, as I just left it with my bag in the pavilion.

 

I wore a Skirtsports Cascade skirt and Exhale Bra Top. While it was cool enough when I arrived, but 8:30 it was getting warmer, and this outfit worked out great.

My Race Plan
I had run 9 miles the day before, so this was my recovery run and I seriously did not have a plan. But Rachel @ Runningonhappy was whispering in my ear, so I did a .9 mile warmup run (to make it an even 4 miles for the day).

My goal was simply to finish injury free.

Almost immediate bottleneck

 

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 13:42. You start out on the grass, a little on a paved path as you turn (although you could still run on grass if you wanted to), and there was an immediate bottleneck getting through some trees where it came to a complete standstill. Luckily, I wasn’t racing. Most of the first mile was fairly non-techinal, open, and on grass with some nice views as you come towards Hailes Cave (where I would be manning the aid station later).
  2. Mile 2: 15:17. Much of this mile was on very technical singletrack through the woods — lots of roots and rocks and I walked a great deal. There were also several portions with mud the width of the path, which I wasn’t counting on at all due to our dry week.
  3. Mile 3: 12:40. Coming out of the woods — finally! — and I felt like I could run again. Some grass, some gravel, but far fewer roots and rocks. I almost missed the slight turn towards the left at the end — it was marked well, but if the girl in front of me hadn’t turned, I might have kept going straight.
  4. Last .08: 9:15. In that last little bit I was really trying to beat the same girl that helped me not miss that last turn. I saw some of my running buddies as I came into the finish chute, and in the end, I did manage to beat her. She was about 15 years younger than me; yes, that made me happy. And I think I can also credit her with that last mile being the fastest — nothing like a little healthy competition!

Nicer views than most road races

42:25 — Official Time
13:40 Average Pace

Was the race well run?
Extremely.  Everything was well marked, although sometimes in the woods there was a long time between flags and since I was mostly by myself, I’d begin to wonder if I was going the wrong way.

There’s also a club day via a local running club. They do games (I was out volunteering) and grill hot dogs and hamburgers. Despite the fact that we didn’t get there until 1:30, after our volunteering stint was done, they were still grilling hot dogs and hamburgers (but the rest of the pickings were kind of slim).

They thought of pretty much everything

A word about volunteering
Running buddy J decided to volunteer at the race since the forecast was good and they were still looking for volunteers. Since I’d never volunteered, either, I decided I’d sign up too. The 5k wasn’t going to take long; there’s a 10k, 15, half and full marathon, and 50k too! All races start at the same time, so obviously some runners were out there for many hours.

Unfortunately my friend and I got different assignments, but she had another friend with her, which made me happy, and I was with a mother and her son at an aid station. I won’t lie: because of the various races and the way runners spread out, there was a lot of down time and it was pretty boring at times. On the other hand, the runners doing the longer races often stopped to chat for a bit, which was fun.

Runners & volunteers got socks instead of tees
Trail races are a very different beast than road races. Runners are much more likely to do things like stop and chat you up as you refill their water bottles or whatever else they need; unlike road racers who are usually just focused on finishing.

I did, however, nosh a bit too much on the goodies at the table. They weren’t even that great, I’d brought my own snacks, but three hours of mostly just standing around with nothing to do . . .

Anyway, yes, I would volunteer again. And if the weather is nice, I’d run again. In fact, if the weather’s nice, I have plans for a trail race the end of October.

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Tor-box

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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