Category Archives: fitness

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!

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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 Sunday Adventure

Didn’t run yesterday. We went for hike instead. We are very fortunate to have some beautiful sights not too far away.

But before I tell you about our hike, I have to share a photo that I captured earlier in the week. This guy was fresh out of a nearby lake, trailing seaweed and moss from his back as he wandered down the sidewalk.

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Not sure if you can see, but his tail is dinosaur like! It was a snapping turtle.

Our Sunday hike was at Tallulah Gorge which is a Canyon/waterfall site. It is famous as the filming site of Deliverence (a disturbing movie from the 70’s starring Burt Reynolds and featuring banjo music, and backwards Appalachian hill Billies).

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The bottom of the gorge

The trail went from the north rim, down across a suspension bridge.

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to the bottom

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and back up to the south rim. Lots of steps involved

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It was a beautiful day and we saw beautiful scenery… All about an hour from our house!

My sister is a big runner too. And she lives in the area of the gorge. When I told her we had hiked there, she told me that she and her running friends try to go there every week for ‘hill’ workouts!

An Excellent Race Plan – Not Followed @Tear Drop Half Marathon

Hello, as promised a report on last weekend’s race (just in time for this weekend!)

This was my first race in 8 weeks. Ever since I ran the 50 mile event, I’ve been having some glute and hamstring pain.  I’ve really been babying myself with a lot of rolling and easier workouts.  In fact, I haven’t done a double digit run since then!  Truthfully, I wasn’t super excited to do this race for a number of reasons, but I had promised my friend I’d do it, so…as my mother says, “you have to be a friend to have a friend.”

Here are excerpts from the race description on the web-site:

Tear Drop Downhill Half Marathon
Event Information

Lace up your sneakers, lean forward and get ready for the 2nd Annual Tear Drop Half Marathon! If you’re looking for a fast and scenic half marathon then join us on Saturday, April 30, 2016

The race will start on top of Fort Mountain at an elevation near 3000 feet and finish 13.1 miles away in Chatsworth, Georgia, for an over 2000-foot drop.

The race course features 8 miles of 5-10% (which should improve your pace :40- 1:20 per mile!) grade downhill and then a flat to rolling finish.

So, it actually sounded great when I first read about it and convinced my friend to sign up.  She signed up early, and I procrastinated.  As the event drew near, I thought of all kinds of reasons that I didn’t want to do it:
1.  I wasn’t in shape for a half.  My longest run for 8 weeks was 8.5 miles.
2.  I didn’t want to make my hamstring/glute thing any worse.
3. The race started at 7, and it was a 2 hour drive away.
4. I had heard a few bad reviews from last year’s runners.
Eventually, I signed up and let some other running friends know about it through FB.  That’s when the torrent of bad reviews came rushing in!
So, based on fear of injury, I came up with what I thought was a pretty good race plan.  I decided that I would run/walk this race.  My plan was to start out running, then as soon as the hamstring/glute thing started waking up, I’d walk.  Or if in the later miles, I felt tired, I’d walk.  My friend said she was out of shape, and her plan was to run/walk too.  We’d be able to stick together!
Without pressure on myself to go fast I felt super relaxed!  I slept like a baby the night before.  And woke up before 4:00 without an alarm!  As I walked out the door, I made the decision to leave my watch on the kitchen counter.  A race without a watch!
At the start of the race, I felt smug while others were clearly nervous.  I didn’t care about my time, and just planned to run until it didn’t feel good.  The beginning of the race was a bit kooky.  We took off on a 1.6 mile descent, made a U-turn, and came back uphill 1.6 miles to the start for another U-turn, and then an 8 mile descent.
During the 2nd 1.6 miles, which was back up the hill, my friend started walking.  I’m sorry to be a bad friend, but I abandoned her.  I just wasn’t ready to start walking even before mile 2.
So I ran.  And one thing that I’ve always known about myself is that I’m good at downhill running.  By good, I mean that I don’t brake. AT ALL.  It’s where I’ve always gained an advantage in a race. In the downhill.   It’s how I BQ’d.  On a downhill marathon.
The scenery was beautiful.  We ran down a mountain that was surrounded by other mountains. 9401025_orig
At one point, we passed this scenic overlook.  3874945
And I kept on running.  I never got any pain, or lead legs to make me stop.  The descent ended at around mile 11.  But at that point, I wasn’t going to walk.  Plus nothing hurt. So I kept running.  I got to the finish line and saw the clock.  It was 1:51:19!  My race plan had been to finish in 2:30 minutes!!
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So there you have it…a great race plan, not followed.  My son, and husband and friend all laughed at me when they saw the results.  Each of them knew my run/walk plan was nothing but a fantasy.
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We both want to do it next year.  Imagine the possibilities if I was actually in condition to do a half!!

Today I am trying a link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.   See rules here. Thank you ladies!

WeeklyWrap

A New Running Experience

One of the things that I enjoy about this blog, is that I can report on new experiences.  This weekend, I had two.  Wonder if I should split this post into 2?

And the answer is yes!  After I finished writing about one experience, I realized I have enough material for 2 posts!

Experience 1

I used to go to track workout with my husband religiously on Wednesday evenings.  But then things got in the way…I got a part time evening job, I started running in the morning and so on: in other words excuse excuse excuse.  I really enjoyed it when I went.  There is a whole crew that goes regularly, and all very nice people.  My husband still goes.  My group of ‘chatty kathies’ doesn’t go so much anymore.  I’m hoping I can get back to it at some point b/c it really really does make me faster, but I’m not doing anything to make it happen!

Anyway, my son works at the running store.  One of his co-workers is a  former collegiate runner who currently competes at the national level in the over 70 age group and  is also the leader of the Wednesday night track workouts.  He invited my son and husband to a Sunday morning 1 mile time trail.  It sounded fun, and new, and different, so I invited myself along.  img_20160424_080120.jpg

About twenty of us showed up.  The usual fasties who go every week were there as were some of my friends from the ultra. And there were also several people that I didn’t know.

Anyway, after what felt like an interminable amount of time (warm up mile, stretching, strides…) we all lined up at once.  Four laps around the high school track and we were done.

The goal that I set for myself was 7:20.  I hit 7:22, so not awful.  But I think I didn’t run it too smartly.  I got behind a lady that I didn’t know (turns out she also works at the running store).  She was clearly younger than me and had on very revealing Lycra shorts, and not the tight ‘keep-every-thing-in-place’ type, but the ‘shows-everything-you don’t-want-seen’ type.  Since I was behind her, I could see that her rear-end was really flabby (not that mine isn’t, but no one could see it).  I decided that someone with a rear-end that flabby was not going to be allowed to beat me.  I jack rabbited ahead of her.  But then she passed me and stayed ahead for the rest of the time trial.  I guess someone with a flabby rear end can beat me!

The results were a little bit ego busting.  I finished third from last.  Not my normal spot to finish, but like I said, a lot of fasties, and more men than women. The last three of us were all in the 7 minute range and we were as follows: A 60+ year old female and 2 women in their early 50’s.  So realistically, nothing to complain about.  Plus it was fun!

I would do it again.  Maybe I should quite my P/T job, and get back into it??

Race Report – sort of, and Other Random Thoughts

 

 

RACE REPORT

We belong to the Atlanta Track Club.  This is one of the largest run clubs in the country, and annually puts on one of the the biggest 10ks in the world-The AJC Peachtree Road Race, a 4th of July race that draws 60,000 participants!

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Photo from AJC website

The Atlanta Track Club also has smaller races around the city throughout the year.  There was one nearby this past Saturday, so my husband and I decided to run it.  As long as you’re a member, many races are free.

I had worked on Friday night at my second job (P/T at a dress shop).  Lately, this job has been kicking my butt!  I’ve gone from eight hours a week to over 20!  Last week, I had to leave my F/T job in the middle of the day so that I could go home and nap.

So anyway, on the morning of the race, my husband started having an allergy attack.  He took a claritin, and we set off for the race.  The claritin didn’t work, and by the time we were almost to the race, he decided that he wasn’t going to be able to breathe/run.  I was never so gleeful about one of his allergic reactions in my life!! We turned around and went home. I got into bed and took a 2 hour nap!!  Guess I needed it.

A Completely Unrelated Item

Saw this on my way in to work today.  Glad it didn’t happen nearby me when I was out running!!

 

Another New Song

The singer is only 17!

 

 

Our Post Race Diner

Although I didn’t race this weekend (legs still a bit sore from last weekend’s ultra), we still went to breakfast at one of our favorite post race places…The Rexall Grill.  As the name implies, it’s nothing fancy!  But boy do we love it.

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And as you can see from this photo, it truly isn’t fancy!

Since we didn’t race this weekend, we got there earlier than our normal time.  We encountered a scene that really touched me.  But before I describe scene, I think I should give you a bit of background to understand why I was moved.

When I was growing up, we moved around. A LOT.  I went to a different school every year until 8th grade.  (I did get to stay in place to graduate high school…which was such a blessing!)  The moving around was a bit hard b/c once I got settled, and made new friends, off we’d go again.  I vowed that when I was grown up, I’d provide my children with the stability I didn’t have.

And I’ve been able to keep that vow!  We’ve lived in the same community since 1989!!  Although we’ve had different houses, my kids have been in the same school district since their births!

So anyway, back to the scene at the Rexall Grill.  The two tables in the foreground of the above pic were pushed together, and there were a bunch of REALLY OLD  men sitting there.  I formed a theory that they were friends since high school. The theory was confirmed when I overheard one of them telling the waitress that they had been football teammates!

There were also some ‘young’ men (in their 50’s) sitting with these older gentlemen.  Clearly, their sons.

How awesome is that scene?  What could be better than having the same friends for your entire life? And having your sons there too?  Sorry if I get a bit weepy just thinking about it!

And in case you are wondering what kind of food they have at the Rexall Grill, here is  another pic that shows what I always get…minus the grits/gravy in the left of the picture.  Grits are a Southern ‘delicacy’ that I’ve never acquired a taste for.  (even though I’ve lived in the South for most of my life now!)breakfast