Sunday, July 11, 2010

Finding beauty at home!

Today, I started the day with my typical breakfast ( a lot of coffee, and a mixture of oats, yogurt, raisins,  cinnamon, cocoa, banana, and honey or agave syrup)  I typically eat while checking in on facebook.  My "what's on your mind" statement on FB was me contemplating a 3.5 mile run to get 40 miles for the week, a bike ride, or a walk.  On fb, I see that Jennifer T. has posted a beautiful pic from a trial run this am.  Later, Audrey invites me to run 5 miles with her - great - but unfortunately by the time I responded, she has already gone.  Both of these things inspired me anyway.  After trying to call Audrey and missing the run with her, I decided I would get my 40 miles for the week.  I head out the door and today I bring the camera along, just in case.  As I am heading down the road, I think back to Jennifer's picture and I decide I will run on some trails near my house.  I typically run these a few times in the winter.  It's good for a 3 mile run, so I decided today would be a good day to give it a try because it's been months since I have run it.  As I enter the area, I realize someone has done some work to try to stop the area from washing so badly.  It really has improved the area tremendously and I am happily surprised by it.
First thoughts as I enter the trail - I'm really not a trail runner.  Although is seems great when I see trail pics, I am a roadrunner.  I like the occasional traffic, I like to pass by houses and manicured lawns, I like to see and visit with some of the friendly dogs along the way, that have become like friends along my routes.   As I go further on the trail I really start to enjoy the change of pace.  Today, I am playing my I-tunes instead of the radio.  I haven't listened to my tunes in a long time and it inspires me.   Again this week, as I head out the door with a great tune playing on the Ipod, I am drawn to "my long runs."  Although today is not the day for a long one, I am anxious for the upcoming fall season. 
The pic above is where my new adventure begins today.  This is usually my turning around point, but with months of erosion the area is now much easier to navigate than the last trip here.  I want to see the view from above so I head up.  At the top, I am again surprised to see they have recently worked on the area along the power lines, and it is smooth and the weeds, grass, trees, are just starting to grow back, making for excellent running today.  It won't last long, as the growth will come back quickly, but today, it is nice.
 The pic above shows where the trail ends for me today.  You can see it continues, sort of.   Most of you "real trail runners" would have carried on and enjoyed it, but for this roadrunner - scared of snakes and ticks, this is my turn around.
Everything is especially beautiful today.
You see, today, as I headed out, I wanted to get some pics for my blog.  I just wanted to cover the distance of 3.5 miles to get 40 miles for the week.  So today, I am allowed to freely stop and get pictures of anything that is pretty.  I didn't leave the house until 9:20am, so after about 1.5 miles, everything was beautiful.        (beautiful - most likely because I wanted to stop :) )  My friend, Jennifer W.,  recently reminded me of the auto pause feature on the Garmin, so I was good to stop when I wanted to.  And stop I did! (thanks Jennifer)

This flower caught my eye.  Typically on our vacations, I take a lot of flower pics, I just love the wildflowers.  Today, I am happy to see and notice this along my summer run.  It did remind me of being on a summer trip, and I was only 1.5 miles from the house.  (Becky - that is a stick on the ground - not a snake)
The descent - only about 20-30 yards (Linde - this is my kind of descent).  I think I mentioned on the New Mexico blog that I hate the "coming down" part of trails - I'm a chicken - so this one is just right for me.
Didn't really like this part of "the trail" if you can call it that.  It was overgrown and looks "snaky and ticky" to me.  I had to pick up the pace and pick up my feet more than I wanted to today.  Luckily it was a short area to go through.  I made it through with no problems.
A final wildflower from my adventure run today.  You can see for a 3.5 mile run, I took many opportunities to stop and snap a pic.  But you know what, it was a great run.  I love these no pressure, do what I want runs. (Tues. at the track will be a different story - but I thankfully - I love the "kickbutt" days too.)   By the end, I really appreciated the trail, and decided maybe I will be a part-time trail runner.

Thoughts during or after the run:
I am thankful that I have a desire to meet, or exceed my weekly running goals. (this wk. the goal was 35 miles, but I made it to 40).
I am thankful that I have a weekly mileage goal.
I am thankful for my health.
I am thankful my hubby is home.
I am thankful BP is helping us during this mess.
I am thankful my hubby is a runner too, so he understands my running.
Dang - I wore some of my newer socks today, and ran on trails - not smart.
Definitely loving the Ipod today - but I love it everyday.
 I love how the connections, through social medias, can be so inspiring.
I LOVE no pressure Sundays. -A little run, a little tv/movie time/a little blog time/ maybe an evening bike ride.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Solid Training!

Nothing in particular going on for me.   I am thoroughly enjoying my long weekend, just a week and a half after my vacation.  Nice!  Nothing in particular, but I am getting in some solid base work, and gradually getting back into my speed work.  Love it!
Training Recap for the week:
Monday - 5 miles @ 9:44 pace starting at 8:00 am
Tues. - 3 miles easy on the treadmill am
pm - Tues track - woo hoo - finally - 5 miles total - 1 mile w/u, 6 X 200 with equal recovery, 1 lap recovery and then another set of 6 X 200 with equal recovery and 1 mile c/d. 
Wed. - 3 EASY recovery miles - 10:25 pace - feeling that first night back at the track (1st track workout since the fall)
Thurs. - 4:45 am out of bed to meet Dawn, Vicki, and Terri for some EARLY training.  It's also been a very long time since I have been out on a run this early.  So tough to get out of bed.  I enjoy the feeling when it's done, but I noticed again this time, when I do really early runs, I seem to eat more, the rest of the day.
Thurs. pm - trying to get my tempo mileage up, and didn't want to miss a tempo this week, so I decided to run my tempo on the treadmill.  I ran 4 miles - 1/2 mile w/u, 3 miles @ 8:20 pace, and 1/2 mile c/d.
Fri. - a nice lunch with therunningartist, and a 6.4 miles on my hybrid bike on the hills - avg. 12.4 mph - (again let me remind you - I'm not a biker and just to remind you - it's a hybrid bike, not a road bike - lol :) )
Sat. - need 9 miles to meet my goal of 35 miles for the week, so I planned to join the crew for another early run.  This was a good solid July run around 9:32 pace, but the last 2 miles were 9:07 and 9:04.  The weather has been really weird here this week.  The tropical storm out in the gulf has made it seem like Sept., not July. So, we had a nice breezy treat this am.
Sun - needed some extra recovery so today was an easy 2 mile walk.

A good week of training which included 35 miles of running, 6.4 miles biking, 2 miles walking, a yoga class,  2 days of arm weights, and some sporadic stretching/yoga poses.

Random thoughts!
*today was an easy 5 mile run - while running I was thankful for having an easy, breezy training run.  I started the run just after 9:00 am - I was thankful for being able to start late too.  My mind also ran across the thought that I am thankful that I can "have, and fully enjoy" my easy days of training.  I read, hear, and see people who train hard every day, or maybe they do have an easy day, but they HATE it.  I am VERY thankful that I really enjoy my hard days, and I LOVE my easy days too.  Thankful for balance in my training.

*this weekend I spent some time planning my fall schedule.  It's an optimistic schedule for several reasons.  It's optimistic in that I am hoping I can afford to go to and travel to a Dec. marathon.  It's also optimistic in the plan itself.  I am once again upping the training.   If my life allows (????), I will go up to 70 miles this fall, and run several 70 mile weeks.  I wonder why as a 40 something year old runner it seems that I am SO VERY driven to run higher mileage, more quality,  and apparently seeking "the fine line."   That, to me, is the sad part of running.  If you are "driven", it seems that you keeping driving until you finally go off the cliff.  I am hoping for very mild "signals" and "the common sense" to cut back before going over the cliff.  BUT, I am also excited about the possibility of reaching new training heights.

* found my "like" of the treadmill again.  I think it was back in 2007 that my brother and sister-in-law were SO nice to give me their treadmill.  That year, I used it fairly often and enjoyed the change of pace.  Then in 2008, we did a total remodel of our house, so we totally emptied the house,  and we remodel the house from front to back, ceiling to floor.  It took a full year to complete the remodel.  When we finally moved back in, I hated running on the dreadmill.   I used it from time to time, when it was lightning, or if it was dark and I didn't want to go outside to run, but it was a total struggle to use it.  Now that I am upping my mileage again, I am finding it nice to have another resource for training.   Sometimes it is nice to get involved in a show on TV, and just let the miles pass, or to try to get involved in a show so a tempo run quickly passes by.  I am totally excited that my dreadmill is now back to my treadmill, once again - a useful tool.

*this summer I have learned to run later in the morning and it's not bad at all.  I will be honest, I learned it because I have become lazy and I need more coffee before I get out the door, but at the same time, I am excited that I can run at a later time in the morning and not suffer.  Today, I started my run at 9:10 am.  It was 82 degrees with the real feel at 94.  It was a great run.  It was partly cloudy, breezy and nice.

I love this time of year.  I have totally adjusted to the heat, and  I started planning my fall marathon plan/race.  I totally get excited about the training ahead.   I am drawn to the marathon.  It has a strong pull that most of you will identify with.  I keep saying I will concentrate on my 5k training and try to PR in the 5k, but I always get pulled back into marathon training before I can get the 5k training done.  I do plan to continue July and most of Aug., with my shorter speed work, and I will run some 5k's, but I already feel  my marathon training will take over, before I have the opportunity (with cooler weather) to PR in the shorter distance.   And you know what....that's OK.

As my friend over at Frayed Laces says:

 (I just love it!)
 So I will continue with my aggressive marathon plan until I need to adjust.