Tag Archives: running happiness

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!

Race Report – A Timed Ultra Marathon

Well, you already know the end of this story.  I ended up surprising myself and running 50 miles in my first ultra marathon.  My goal was to run 50k (or 31 miles), so it was a real shocker to end up doing 50 miles!!

It was an absolutely awesome experience, and I will definitely do it again.  Especially this one.  It was 15 minutes from my house!!

 

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The trail.  It was close to parking, so we could all set up our own stations right out the back of our cars

First, a bit of the particulars:  The 12 hour event was held in a park that had a .75 mile hard packed sand track loop.  To make each lap a full mile, there was a .25 out/back trip to a bridge added on.  There were 54 participants who ran the gamut in age (20-69) and fitness levels.  30 of the participants were female (two of whom were 67 years old and one who was 68!!!).  The one mile laps were counted by volunteers, who tracked a set number of runners all 12 hours long!

 

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The ‘to the bridge’ portion of the loop

 

Let me tell you, this was one of the most inspirational events I’ve ever witnessed/participated in.  (Boston Marathon being the other one).  This was not like a regular race.  While regular races really are fun, they are competitive (which don’t get me wrong, I like!) vs. cooperative.  Everyone at this event was so supportive of everyone else.  In the course of the twelve hours, we all got to know/run with many of the other runners.  These are people who  never would have met each other in our everyday lives. And here we were, running with and encouraging each other for hours!! As you can image, we’re all now best friends forever on Facebook!

 

Since the event was in “our territory”, 10 of the runners were from the same run group. Many of us already knew each other. And the ones who didn’t know each other at the start did by the end! Also, since we were so close to home, many more runners from our run group stopped by to cheer or run with us!

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Steve and I ran the event, and ran together for the first 28 miles.  My best running friend Maria (in the tigger capris) showed up to run a bit with us!

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Runners and supporters from our run group!

All that support made this event super!
As I already said, my goal was initially to do 31 miles. But, once I reached that goal, I felt like I could keep going. My next goal was 40 miles.

A friend showed up at mile 38 and told me I was doing 50. Another one of the runners started saying that too. I wasn’t interested, but kept on running. By mile 43, I agreed to 50!  And by the time I committed, I just barely had enough time to finish.  I completed 50 with 8 minutes to spare!

My friend ran with me….or i should say ran/walked all 12 of those last miles! She was my cheerleader and encourager. Without her, it truly wouldn’t have happened!

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There is so much more I have to say about this race. But I think I’ll save it for another post. In parting, I want to say, that when it was over, I took a shower.
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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 Trip to Africa and a Race in Atlanta

This blog is entitled travelrunstyle.  My original intention was to have a combo blog that featured all three of those subjects.  Somehow, I haven’t really lived up to the name of the blog, especially in the style area.  Mostly, this has become a blog about running, with a little bit of travel too.  And that’s what this post is going to be about.  (Maybe someday I’ll write a style blog).

A few years ago, we went on safari in South Africa.  My family flew ahead of me and broke up the long flight with a stopover in Paris.  A few days later, I took a direct flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg.  This was by far the longest flight I’ve ever taken – 17 hours! We also had a 2 hour ground delay in Atlanta due to rain!!  19 hours sitting in coach was a really really long time!

I had a window seat, which I prefer.  The seats were off-set a bit, so the person in the middle seat in front of me was visible as well as audible.  At first I was excited when I overheard him talking to his seat mate about running.  I hoped that maybe I could get in on the conversation!

Then he started talking about religion too. He kept on talking about running, and religion. And ON and ON and ON. FOR HOURS.  And I don’t sleep on planes.  Oh my goodness.  I can safely say he NEVER shut up.  Well…ok he did for a bit after he took a sleeping pill.  But still.  And it was loud!

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Eventually, I made it to the lodge at Krueger Park and met up with my family.  I had travelled with my running shoes, in hopes of getting a few miles in Africa.

Ya…No.

You don’t run while on safari.  Too dangerous.  Even without a run though it was an awesome trip.  So awesome, that we went again the next year to a nearby country, Botswana.

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African wild dogs…very rare.  We watched them make a kill, which was really gruesome.

In between the two trips to Africa, we ran some races here in Atlanta.  One of them was a small local race.  Both my husband and I usually line up towards the front in local races.  While we were waiting to start, I noticed someone on the front line that I recognized.  When I asked my husband who the guy was, he said he didn’t know.  Even before I could think to stop myself from talking, I thought I recognized that he was the loudmouth from the plane, and I asked him if he’d gone to Africa last year.  It was him.

Oh geez…why did I strike up a conversation with him?? What if he started a loud on going conversation that lasted the whole race.  I felt panicked!! Luckily, he must have been nervous about racing because the conversation was brief.

Small world…but I don’t think I’ve seen him since.  Or at least I know I haven’t HEARD him!

Hope you all have a nice weekend, and I’m looking forward to catching up on your posts!

Devised by Me: A New Training Plan for 2016

I call it the ‘I Want’ training plan.  And it means just that, I’m going to do whatever I want!

Without any big races on the horizon (like last year this time, I was marathon training),

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Medal from last year’s marathon

 

and without a burning desire to plan any big races, I’m just going to train in ways that make me happy.

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Here’s a for instance…yesterday it was warm outside.  My rational brain said ‘Oh you better run outside…it may be raining the rest of the week.’ But, I didn’t feel like it.   So instead, I went to our gym, and rode on the Arc Trainer for 7.2 miles.  My hair still sweat, so I know I got a good work out.  Plus I had total control of the TV remote, and watched silly shows like Love it or List it, and Judge Judy!

Here’s another for instance.  On Sunday (after a Saturday run with some intentional speedwork), I decided this was going to be an easy junk mile run, or if you want to sound more fancy, a LSD (long slow day).

 

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Blah BLah BLah…This guy seems a little uptight!  Who cares if you’re out for head clearing junk miles!

But, toward the end of my run, I started feeling pretty good.  I sped up and finished my 9th mile FAST.  Because that’s what I wanted!

One of the best things about running and training is the goal setting.  So don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to set goals.  Right now, the goal that is exciting me is achieving a weekly/annual mileage.  I’ve set these type of goals for the past 2 years, and enjoyed achieving/surpassing them.

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No I didn’t run 70,000 miles this year!

I’ll keep you posted if I change my training plan.  And check out this site for similar sentiments, and my inspiration for today’s post! http://slackerrunner.com/

 

Today I am trying a  link up with  PattyErika, and Marcia!  Thank you ladies!!

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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

The CRAZIEST Run of My Entire Life

Today started out fairly normal…I got up and had my cookies, then started to procrastinate my run.

During my procrastination phase, I was texting with a friend. She was telling me about another friend of ours…D.  D is a 40 something hard charging, high level corporate executive who tackles full iron man length triathlons for fun! Well it turns out D is 5 months pregnant with her first child!! I started out my run thinking  about how happy I am for D. She preoccupied my thoughts for the first few miles.

At mile three, it was time to implement my new strategy for regaining some speed. This is a highly complex, advanced strategy, so of you’re a newbie, you may not want to try it until you have some more experience.  But here it is….I’ve decided that you have to go fast if you want to go fast! So I ran speedy for my next mile and a half. Two and a half more laps around the park at a slower speed, a few stops at the water fountain, and then I turned out of the park to go home with the intention of doing my last mile (9) speedy too.

I passed the fire station, and was trying to pump myself up to do a fast mile, and wondering what I could write a blog post about when a car that was going in my same direction about 20 feet in front of me jumped the curb, crossed the side walk, ran into some crepe myrtle tree stalks, and then FLIPPED completely over!! It was completely upside down, the roof was totally crushed in, and the car impacted with an electric pole. The transformer on the top of the pole exploded twice, sparks flying everywhere!! I kept running. But faster now, toward the car. A man driving in another car who had witnessed everything yelled at me not to touch the car….it could be live. I didn’t.  I saw a lifeless arm in the car and prayed that no one was dead.  I yelled inside that we were calling for help, but that we didn’t want to touch the car. I saw movement in the car. At least one person was alive. I ran back to the man in the car who had yelled at me not to touch it..his wife was calling 911.  Then I remembered the fire station. It was about 1/10 of a mile away. A boy in a jeep took off.  For some stupid reason, so did I. Anyway, the fire engines got to the accident scene within about three minutes of the accident. By the time I got back, they already had a chain saw out to cut through the car to get to the man. It turns out there was only one person in the car…so he was alive.

I hung around for a few minutes, then feeling pretty shook up, decided to head home. I had to run through the scene to get home. Needless to say I didn’t feel up to a speedy last mile either.

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The electric pole to the left was the site where the car flipped over.

When I got home, and was telling my family about the accident, we realized I would have been killed if I’d been running a bit faster in my third and fourth park laps…or if I hadn’t stopped for water.

I pray that the man will be OK. Incidents like this make you put life’s petty issues into perspective.

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The chunked up grass must be where the wrecker pulled in…b/c  there was absolutely no braking when the car jumped the curb.

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