Category Archives: morning run

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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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.

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!

 

 

Spring is Here

 

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Spring is in full bloom here.  Quite beautiful!  A bit pollen-y, but I think we’re through with the worst.

I haven’t raced any races since my ultra marathon.  Had a little pain in my hamstring and glute, so I’ve been babying it for the past month.  Although its not all gone, I’m in much better shape now!

Life has been a bit quiet (which is a good thing), so not much to report.

I do have 3 new (for me) songs that I’d like to share though.

1st one: new Lumineers: Ophelia.  I LOVE this one!! I listened to it 4 times during my 1 hour run this morning!

The next 2 are by Galactic:  Hey Na Na, and Right on.  FUN songs to run to!!

 

First Race of the Year

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OK, so first things first…I’ve learned the hard way that a half pound of raw carrots the night before a race is not  good pre-race fuel.  Sheesh!!  Good thing the race didn’t start until 10!

So this was my first race in 2016.   I’ve made this race an annual event for the past four years b/c it falls on or around my birthday.  And really what better way to celebrate than to run a race?

It is local 5k, on a course that is VERY difficult.  It is an out and back loop.  First mile, all down hill, second all flat, third all uphill.  This is not a PR course, but I enjoy it because it is close to my house, and I always see a lot of running friends there.

Some of my best running buddies didn’t show up this year, but I brought an old friend who is new to running.  It was awesome to share the experience with her!img_0477_1.jpg

It was COLD this year, but not so bad once the race started.

One of my biggest thrills is to see/greet all the people I know.  I saw our high school cross country team…they were running in the opposite direction on a training run.  ‘Go Mrs R.’. So that was fun.  I also saw some cross country moms who braved the cold to race too! Awesome!  And a friend who ran Boston last year when I did (we actually found each other at the start in Boston!).

The very best part of this race for me was when I was coming up the awful uphill finish.  A man in front of me was struggling.  He’d walk, I’d pass him, then he’d run and pass me…At one point, I was passing him again.  As I ran by, I motioned with my arms to ‘come on’.  To my surprise, he did!  We reached the single flat part in the uphill finish, I knew to surge here, b/c the .1 to the finish line was uphill.  He didn’t surge, but he didn’t walk either.  He finished about 5 seconds behind me.  Later, after we’d caught our breaths, he came over and thanked/hugged me for the encouragement.  That made my day!

The really good ending to this story is that he won his age group!!

 

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

Sights Seen on my Morning Runs

I usually do my long runs on Sunday.  Since I’m not training for anything, I don’t have any set mileage that I “HAVE” to cover. I just pick what I want and go.  Or really, go and pick what I want while I’m out.

This past Sunday, I had a  goal of going 12 miles.  But I was kind of grumpy about it when I first started.  Everything was bothering me during  mile 1.  I was obsessing about what I was wearing.  Did I under dress?  Did I over dress (more likely)? How was I going to get 12 miles in? Why didn’t I bring any money for water?….blah, blah, blah.

At exactly the end of my first mile, I encountered a family of deer.  Six of them.  About ten feet from me, lined up in a row, and all facing me!  Two were even wagging their tails.

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Not my pic…but this is what our deer look like

Ah.  That got me out of my whiny phase!  Such a treat!!  A woman  drove by speeding along in her mini van, talking on her phone.  I signaled to her to stop and look to her left. She did and rewarded me with a big smile.  The deer made my day, and I’ll bet they made hers too.

This morning, I saw something else that was pretty awesome too.  OK, I admit it…I didn’t go outside to run today.  Somehow if it is under 40 degrees  and still dark, I just can’t make myself get out of my nice cozy bed to run outside.  I know, wimpy.

But I went to the gym in our neighborhood, and worked out on the elliptical, and stairmaster (argh!).  When I was leaving, the sun still hadn’t risen.  The sky was clear, the moon was bright, and I knew to look for this.  5 planets

All the planets were lined up to the left of and below the moon.  I’d been looking for it for several days, but today was the first time I saw it.  Pretty awesome! And I got to share it with one of the trainers who happened to be in the parking lot.  It’s always nice to share a cool sight with someone else.  He liked it too.  You can see this too.  At least in North America through Feb. 20. Look to the east 45 minutes before sunrise.

I hope you get to see some awesome sights this weekend too, and I look forward to catching up with everyone’s blogs.

A Pity Party and Pants that Fit

Last week I was a bit down in the dumps.  From a purely rational standpoint, I perfectly understand what was going on.  As I’ve posted about previously, my routine  mammogram (in October) showed some unusual cells.  The cells were removed via a needle biopsy, and the surrounding tissue was removed during an outpatient lumpectomy surgery.  The cells were not cancerous, nor were they pre-cancerous.  All GREAT news! Nevertheless, this surgery, plus a previous surgery, plus the fact that my mother had breast cancer  put me at a really high risk for breast cancer (40% lifetime chance vs. 10%).  The oncologist suggested that  I consider taking hormone therapy (tamoxifen) as a preventative.  It has been shown to reduce a person’s risk by 50%.  But….there are side effects.  I was  scared to try it, but considering the scarier prospect of breast cancer, I obviously decided to try it.

One of the known side effects is depression.  Another is sleep disruption.  As I am getting acclimated to this drug, I have been experiencing these side effects (among others…which I won’t bore you with). The depression part is a bit weird.  It will be pretty intense for about 90 minutes…then gone!  (BTW this week it is all gone).

Anyway, last week I had the sadness thing plus the sleep disruption.  On Tuesday I was awake at 3:00 am with no possibility of going back to sleep.  Eventually I got up and went outside for a run in the dark–all the while feeling sorry for myself.  WHINE WHINE WHINE were the only thoughts running through my head when suddenly a beautiful flash of blue/green light flashed across the sky.  A meteor!!  I took the meteor as a sign to BUCK UP and stop being such a baby (and I did)!  Later I googled the meteor.  It was part of the Geminid Meteor Shower.

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I didn’t take this picture, but this is what it looked like

So the other action that I took to reverse my sadness last week was retail therapy.  Generally, I don’t enjoy shopping b/c it makes me feel guilty to spend money on myself.  However, one of the side benefits of my second job (at a women’s clothing chain store) is getting to shop at the company store.  Everything there is $2-$15 except the leather jackets and skirts which are $20!  I hadn’t been in a while, but thought I’d go to holiday (and self) shop.

For the past several months, I have cut my wine consumption down from 2 glasses a night to 1 a week.  I did this b/c I found it was easier to get up early for my run.  An unintended consequence was that I lost 8 pounds!! But now my pants haven’t been fitting.  Most of the weight went from my belly and rear end, and my pants have become droopy.  I have been constantly hitching up my saggy pants like a hill billy!

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The crotch of my current pants are down to my knees! And not in a stylish way!

But, for $5 a pop, I was able to buy some pants that actually fit!! Amazing how wearing pants that fit can change your  whole outlook!  I guess its the little things!

So, after my Tuesday pity party, things have been pretty good.  Hope you are having a great week so far!

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

Thanksgiving Half Race Review

My husband and I ran a half marathon this past Thursday, and it was a great way to start our Thanksgiving! The following is a recap of the race:

Race course

I had previously run a half on this same course.  It was on a greenway that took us across meadows, through woods, and alongside a creek. Very scenic.
And quite a bit of it was on elevated boardwalks that were somewhat springy. The course was a straightaway, with 2 U-turns. Not hilly at all either! Plus the day was perfect! Sunny, but in the high 40s to start.

‘Celebrity’ Sighting

There were about 300 people racing in the half. For the first few miles, I was trying to see if there was anyone going about my speed so we could run together. The last time I had raced there, I got into a group of 4 others, and they seemed to carry me along.

I wasn’t having much luck, so just decided to enjoy the sites. There weren’t many spectators, but I spied 2 at around mile 2.5. A boy and man. The boy looked familiar. I stared at him for clues as I ran by. He had a letter jacket on. I saw his name on the jacket and realized that he was the boy who’d recently made national news for having been disqualified from the Georgia state high school xc championship race for having a bible verse on his headband. He had finished third, but was disqualified to last place! It was a big controversy.

(See story here: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/11/11/was-it-bible-verse-teen-runner-disqualified-from-state-meet-over-religious-headband.html)

Race Encounters

I was so excited about my ‘celebrity’ sighting, that I made friends with the girl next to me to tell her about it. She was a nice girl and we ran together for a bit. While we were running, the leader, who had already passed the first U-turn and was now running past us in the opposite direction appeared. I cheered for him. And she said that was her brother! Later, I mentioned that I had noticed at least 3 ladies ahead of us who might be in my age group. She said her mother was ahead of us, and we determined that mother and I were in fact in the same age group.

I never did ask her name, but learned that her goal was to finish in under 2 for the first time.  At the time we were going at about a 1:48 pace. I told she had it. Eventually, I lost track of her b/c she faded a bit.

Another Fall

Really, who falls in a RACE?? A dork. I cannot believe I fell!! This is the second fall in the past 2 weeks. And only my 3rd overall. So I’m wondering if its my new shoes? Or the boardwalk? It was a little uneven with boards sticking up. Or is it just me not picking my feet up? Anyway, I slid onto my front and knees, but got right up and started running again. No major damage! Thank goodness!! I am SO lucky. I fall all the time on the tennis court and don’t ever seem to get hurt too bad (knock on wood).

Finish

My goal was to finish in the high 140s…but at mile 11/12, I started fading pretty bad. I realized that my finish time was going to start with a 1:5-something. 7 people passed me in mile 13 (yes I counted). For the last 1/4, I was just dying.  We were finishing on a track and I had turned my tunes off….sounds were bothering me. I heard someone behind me getting closer. After 7 people had already passed me, I thought “THE HELL YOU ARE” on this one. And dug deep. Somehow, I got a bit of a kick. I also noticed the photographer near the finish line. I was able to have the coherent thought to pick up my feet b/c in most finish line photos, it looks like I’m barely moving.

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I am glad my feet are lifted!

Finished with a strong kick. After passing across the timing mats, the lady who had been running behind me congratulated me for the kick, then immediately asked me my age. We were in the same age group, and I’d beaten her by 2 seconds! We chatted for a bit until I saw my husband. He had PRd by 6 minutes!! I am really proud of him!

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We wandered around while chatting  with the lady who was in my age group then I remembered my other friend. I wanted to see if she could hit her goal. We caught her just as she was finishing…in under 2 hours!! I was super happy for her and congratulated her. So was the lady in my age group…..her mother!! And then the brother came over to congratulate his sister who had beaten her PR by 12 full minutes!! And it turns out the brother had won the whole thing! So that was fun.

I won 2nd place in my AG, but we didn’t stick around for the awards. We were both starting to get cold, and it was only going to get worse if we waited around for awards time. Plus, it turns out the awards were sorta weird looking.

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I DID NOT win this award…but you can see they’re a bit odd looking!

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

Deer Run

I encounter a lot of deer when I run.  We live in a neighborhood that is built around a golf course, so there is a lot of land for deer.  Right now, it is deer mating season which causes the deer to behave unpredictably. Normally, they are cautious about crossing roads, but during mating season, they become bold and unafraid. They leave our neighborhood and try to cross busy outside roads in search of mates. As you can imagine, the end result is that a lot of deer get hit and killed.  Most of the time, the deer carcass stays by the side of the road until its remains are devoured by vultures (this usually takes MANY weeks).  And lord help you if you encounter a carcass on your run!  Ugh!!!

This past weekend, I noticed smelled, then saw a new carcass near one of my favorite early morning run streets.  It was in someone’s side yard.   I haven’t been back that way all week, b/c I’m not sure if its still there.  If it is, and I did my normal route, I’d have to run by it at least three times!  Since my sense of smell becomes heightened when I run, I haven’t wanted to risk it.

In other deer related news, I encountered a beautiful, big sized buck this morning during my pre-dawn run. Here is the weird thing about the encounter:  Before I saw him, I heard an unfamiliar, repetitive noise.  It was a deep sounding CRRK, CRRK, CRRK.  Then I saw the buck and understood that the sound was coming from him.  I never knew deer made noises!!  I see deer almost ever single day, and the only noise I have EVER heard from them is snorting (which will scare the bejesus out of you if you hear it before you see them).

I’m wondering what wildlife you encounter during your runs?