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!

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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.

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.

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