A Moment of Pride for a Child Who Isn’t Even Mine!

We’ve know M since she and my daughter have been toddlers. M is a twin, and we all used to play together in our neighborhood pool.  The girls would all take turns jumping off the side of the pool into my arms when they were very young. When they were a bit older, they’d all take turns having me throw them up into the air and then splash into the pool. 

Now, the girls are in high school and M and my daughter run cross country. They are good friends, which makes me very happy since M is such a kind hearted, generous, hard working girl. 

It has been amazing to watch M grow and improve as a runner. When she first started running as a freshman, nobody noticed this shy, quiet, self conscious girl. But every race that fall, she got better and faster until by the end of the season, she was the number 2 girl. 

Last season, she became #1 in the time trial…an internal race held at the beginning of the season for positioning. 

She had an amazing season last year, and became one of the fastest girls in the county. Our county is the largest school district in the state, so this is big! Her track season was awesome too.  We drove to track meets just to watch her.  

And now cross country season has started again. At the start of each athlectic season, the county newspaper ranks the top 6 athletes in each sport. It’s called the Super 6. And our girl M made super 6!!! I’m so  proud of this young lady…almost like she was mine! Proud, and in awe. 

Can’t wait to see what she does this season!

A 24 Hour Relay Race Report

This past weekend I joined up with some new friends to run a 24 hour relay race in Jefferson GA. 


There were 8 of us on the team. 4 women and 4 men.  The course was a 10k “loop” through woods, over a meadow, and around parts of a lake. Each one of us ran the loop, one after the other. The goal was to get as many loops as possible.

As you can see, there were MANY twists and turns on the course. And as you can imagine it was really hot. The heat Index rose to 97 by midday! We started the race at 10 am. Luckily, there was still a bit of cloud cover. And it was ‘only’ in the low 80s. Our first man finished in 55 minutes. Next was my turn (I think they let me go next out of pity….I was by far the oldest on our team!)

The course was up and down a lot, and it was a bit confusing trying to follow the trail. But I finished fine, without missing any turns, and felt pretty good about my 65 minute time. 

The next 7 hours were spent refueling 

Cookie review: everyone enjoyed both flavors! I’d been eager to try each one, but knew better than to buy a pack of either one for myself. I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from eating every single one! But the race seemed like an awesome time to try them…lots of calorie burning plus sharing!

The rest of my team ran their laps in pure Georgia heat and humidity. It truly was brutal. I am surprised that only one race participant went down (from another team).

My next lap was at sunset. Still hot, but not as bad as what my teammates had faced. Finished that one in 67 minutes.

It was 9:15ish by the time I finished. I hopped in my car and went home for a shower and nap. Was back on the road at 3 am. Crazy??

My final lap was in pitch black. I had on a headlamp. And carried a flashlight in my hand. Both were needed. The flashlight picked out the stumps, and roots, and ruts, while the headlamp lit my path. It was kind of scary. 

One of my teammates reported hearing a deer snort. It literally scared the pee out of her!

I really had to slow down and concentrate hard not to miss the trail markers in the dark. It took me 75 minutes, but I’m proud to say I didn’t get lost or fall down, or walk, or miss any of the turns!

My family all laughed at me when I told them I pretended to be a native American warrior on my first test of manhood. But hey, I guess I passed even if I don’t fit any of the characteristics!

Fun  race, nice people…I think I’d do it again!

Odds and Ends

Well we are in the heart of summer running here…which means really hot and humid. Same as it is for all of you I’m sure. 

The good news is that I’ve been doing an excellent job getting out before sunrise. It makes such a big difference not to have the sun combined with the heat and humidity. Here is a screenshot of the weather one day last month. If you’ll notice, the temp isn’t bad, but humidity was high. Lately, it’s been even higher! Last week it was 92%!! Regardless of how rough it’s been, I still vastly prefer this to the cold of winter….so hard to get out of bed and run before the sun is up when its in the 20s!
On the fashion front, I made an excellent find yesterday at TJ Maxx! A Boston Marathon jacket! And wait for it….it was from 2015-the year I ran it!

I didn’t buy the jacket at the marathin expo in 2015 b/c it was $110, and I’m WAY too cheap for that! But look here at the tags! Nice bargain shopping!

Final price $40+tax! The only downside is that the size is XL…but when I tried it on my family and I all agreed it wasn’t as bad as we would have thought!

So yeah, this is a post complaining about heat and buying a coat! Hmmmm.

On the race front, we just had the largest 10k in the world here yesterday. The Peachtree Rd race. 60,000 participants!! I didn’t do it this year. But I have done it in the past. It is super fun, and patriotic feeling. 

This Saturday, I am participating in a 24 hour team event. 8 team members… we’re a mixed team. 4 boys and 4 girls. We take turns running a 6 mile loop. The weather forecast for daytime temps is 100! Yikes. But it’s around a lake/in the woods, so maybe a bit cooler?? One can hope. I am looking forward to it. I only know one or two of the runners, so I always enjoy making new friends. 

Hope you all have a nice week. I am looking forward to reporting back on the race!

Nature on my Runs and in my Yard

This week, I’ve seen a lot of wildlife while on my runs. On Monday morning, I saw 2 bunnies and 4 deer. The next morning  only one deer. Today I saw Canadian geese and some ducks. The geese cracked me up. One goose pinched another goose’s tail feathers with its beak. Is this where the phrase ‘goosed’ comes from?

Today I came home from work pretty stressed out from bad traffic. The exterminator was there waiting for me. He was here to do his annual inspection, and needed to check the basement. When we went down there, I could see through a window that a deer was in my backyard. A bit uncommon, but I know they’re here because they’ve devoured my hostas.

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I know this isn’t the rabbits’ work because I can see hoof marks in the pine straw.

Anyway, the exterminator and I went over to the window to look at it, and then we saw her baby!! Nursing! I’ve never seen that before. It was sooo awesome! The fawn was no bigger than a beagle, with spots and wobbly legs.

It must have been a very new fawn.

I think it is fawn season, because a friend posted this pic on Facebook.

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I’ve spent the last few hours checking to see if I can see them again. But they seem to be gone.

My Other Hobby

As you know, my main hobby is running.  But another small hobby that I have is taking pictures of things that I see that are either amusing or interesting.

Yesterday, I saw the cutest  little bunny devouring my day lilies.  He was so cute, I let him continue to eat my flowers.IMG_20160609_074111

I usually send these pics to my kids.  Sometimes my husband.

My 21 year old said I was immature when I sent him this one.IMG_20160611_200947

 

Here are a few classics from my archives

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What does this mean??  I can’t come up with any theory to explain “NO FEATHERS”

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An Old-Timey console TV that someone had just left on the concrete divider in the center of a busy road

But…the one that got away this morning may have been the best ever.  I just couldn’t safely get a photo of him while I was driving:

 

It was a man, out for his morning run….wearing a rubber horse head mask over his head!!

What?? Had he just robbed a bank?

 

 

A Really Tough Hike

On Monday, we went for a hike. Same general area as our most recent hike…about an hour from here at the beginning of the Appalachian mountain range. The trail-or should I say “trail”- was an out and back to some waterfalls. Total distance was 7 miles.

The Google listing described the trail as a difficulty level of moderate to strenuous. Well let me tell you, it was the most technical trail I’ve ever hiked!! And by technical, I mean roots, and rocks and creeks to Ford. And just as a frame of reference, I have hiked for 2 days on the Inca trail.

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It was a beautiful hike along side Panther Creek In Habersham county in Northeast Georgia. At times, we hiked next to the creek, at other times we were 40 feet above the creek, hiking a narrow path built into the side of a steep valley wall. At certain points, there really wasn’t much of a trail at all…we literally climbed strategic tree roots to find the next part of the path.

We came to a flat, un-rocky, non rooty portion of the trail, and ran both out and back. There were lots of people on the trail that day, and we were by far the oldest.

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By the time we made it to the falls, it had started raining heavily. Now the trail was slippery and muddy (oh why did I wear my brand new Adidas Boost running shoes?).

Actually, “we” didn’t make it to the falls. Only my husband did. The last stretch of trail before the falls the ‘path’ was straight across a single downward- sloping piece of giant granite outcropping. It was wet and slick looking. I have the world’s longest tail bone. I could only imagine slipping and cracking my tail bone, and not being able to get the 3.5 miles back to the car, and not being able to run…. so I said no thanks, I’ll look at the view from here…through the trees.

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There was poison ivy everywhere. I know we brushed up against it a thousand times. I consulted Dr Google, and apparently poison ivy rash doesn’t show up until 7 -10 after exposure. So now we are on poison ivy watch. Every little itch is cause for hysteria!

Overall, a really good hike. Beautiful, strenuous, rewarding…

I have to say though that I was super
worn out afterwards. Maybe this had something to do with the fact that I’d run 11 miles just before the hike?

A 100 Mile Run (not mine)

We have the good fortune to live near a very nice community… Suwanee, GA. There is a town center/green that is surrounded by residential and retail. Back behind the town center and residential area is a beautiful nature preserve with miles and miles of trails.

Our run store is in this retail area. And they host group runs on the greenway trails. It has been a great place to meet other runners and make friends.

Our son is employed at the running  store and has also been able to meet many people. And although he isn’t running right now, we all share the same acquaintances and friends.

One of the people that my husband, son and I all enjoy is R. He is great encourager to all and well liked within our running community. In fact R is the one who influenced so many of us to try out an ultra marathon!

R and his wife recently welcomed their first child, a boy. As a result, they have decided to move back to Michigan, where their families live.

As a parting gesture, R decided to run 100 miles in consecutive loops around the .36 mile perimeter of the town green. He put out an open invitation for members of the running group to join him. And started off his run this past Friday evening.

Over 50 runners joined R for parts of his run. My son ran with him on Friday night. By the time we all joined him on Saturday around noon, he had  76 miles in. Another friend, who my husband nicknamed ‘the closer ‘ (b/c she helped me finish my ultra) showed up around 1 with the intention of helping R finish.

But by Saturday afternoon, it had gotten extremely hot. We left for an hour for our run down the greenway in the shade. When we came back, R hadn’t gotten much farther. And he didn’t look good. We left, and wondered if he’d finish.

Much later in the day (6:15), my daughter wanted to go for a run. So we went back to the greenway. As we drove past the town center, we could see the gang still out there running. I wanted to go run with them, but in her strange 15 year old way she didn’t want to be seen there with her mom. So we ran in the shady woods where it was less likely that she would be seen. When we finished, we checked on the gang again. 

The scene I witnessed was straight out of Forest Gump….R in the lead with about 15 people trailing him. Then he just stopped. Was he done? Had he accomplished his goal? Was he quitting? I wasn’t allowed out of the car. But when I got home, I saw a new FB post that he had just finished!! Over 27 hours after he had started, and with help from a lot of friends, R had run 100 miles!

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Nicely done.