Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Human Frogger

I woke up at 5 am to get my long run in..did you know it is really dark at 5 am?!  I had a doctors appointment at 9:20 and knew if I couldn't get my run started at 5 I wouldn't be able to get my miles in..I looked at the weather and decided that I could do my long run in the evening and went back to sleep.  What a mistake I made.

I know you are thinking I ditched my long run..I didn't.  I got it in, but I will tell you there is a big difference running at 6 am as opposed to 6 pm.  More on that later..  I parked my car where I usually park and had my route planned in my head.  I figured I could do the loop that I normally start off with and then head down towards the park that I discovered and head back towards the car..which should put me around five miles...and I can then grab a drink of some Gatorade and then head back out on my run.  Sounds like a great plan right?  Well the thing that I didn't plan for were the cars.  I felt like I was playing frogger with them.  I was on the left side of the road and I was hugging the side of the road.  Cars would drive by and not move over a bit.  Now if a car was coming on the right side I could understand, but nope, no other cars except me and the car coming at me.  So I kept having to jump off the road.  The jumping off the road was annoying but not that bad when I had a berm to jump to..but sometimes there really wasn't much area on the side of the road.  I really didn't have all of these cars the last time I ran this neighborhood at 6 am.  Note to self, this road sucks to run in the evening!

The one nice thing about last night's run was that it was nice and cool for the summer.  I think it was mid to low 80's when I was running.  Talk about some nice temps!  I headed out on my loop and waved to some neighborhood people.  (I know someone is bound to invite me soon to a block party) and then headed down the road to Government Island Park.  I couldn't wait to run the shaded wooded area.  It is located down a dead end road, so you would think not a lot of traffic. Which compared to the neighborhood was a lot less.  The problem was there was no real side of the road and the road was windy..so I was always worried about not being able to be seen by the speed demon cars coming up and down the road.  So that will be my last run down towards Government Island. If I want to run there I will drive there.  The heart attack while running was not worth it.

 A bit sweaty but not too bad.  Can you see the stress lines on my face from the worrying about getting hit to get here?

I headed back towards my car and got my drink and fixed my Camel Back.  I am really blonde because it took me a while to figure out that my mouthpiece had a shutoff valve.  I couldn't figure out why water kept coming out.  When I got to the car I also had to adjust the straps on the Camel Back because it kept bouncing and I had to get the air out because it kept sloshing.  Once that was all settled I was off again.  I headed off to the next neighborhood.  No real issues.  I did realize that the speed limit of 25 mph was apparently just a suggestion that nobody follows!  60 was the way to go!

I enjoyed exploring the neighborhood.  I thought I could circle around back to my car but turned out all I found were dead ends.  It was fun exploring though.  As I was coming back to my car..tired and ready to be done with playing Frogger with yet more cars..btw..I apologize to the nice red car that moved all the way over for me.  I thought you were not going to move at all and I was secretly cussing you out..turned out you were the nicest car of the night.  Thank you for looking out for me and not trying to run me down.

Well two hours later I am almost to my car and I spot about 6 deer crossing the road in front of me.  I tried to take a picture but I couldn't get my iphone fast enough.  When I got to where they crossed they were long gone.  I did see a random cat in the driveway though.  I did not take a picture of the cat.

So my lesson on this run is that I need to get my long runs in during the morning hours when there are less cars on the road.  I just do not like dealing with cars.  If I put off my run until the evening I need to go to a bike/run path to run.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

bike danger

So another beautiful night out.  I got in four miles this evening.  I was thinking that as runners we really need to be aware of our surroundings.  We have to know where the cars are when we are on the road.  We have to look out for potholes.
Nobody wants a twisted ankle.  

We have to look out for scary people.  
Nobody likes scary people.  
Unless you are a scary person, then you are probably ok with other scary people.  

Then there are the off leash dogs.  
Please..I love dogs, but I like them more when they are attached to a leash and an owner is nearby. Random dogs are a bit frightening.

Well as I was running today I realized there is a hidden danger that we as runners might not think of...the small cute four year old boy.  Yeah he looks harmless.  He may even look all cute and smiley, but we all need to watch out!  He is dangerous, especially when he is armed with a new two wheel bike!
These were not the actual boys..but I'm sure you can imagine the speed demons!
He likes speed!  He just may not have the best steering yet!  He also was living on the edge..yeah no helmet.  You know that is trouble if he is speeding along without a helmet!  As I was running I came across this scary cute boy on his little bike as he was riding straight for me.  He rode off the curb of the playground straight for me!  What did I do to this kid?  I didn't want to test out his steering abilities so I jumped out of the way and picked up my pace a bit.  Yeah, watch out for those little speedsters..they are out to get us runners!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

tired...tired..and more tired...

So I feel like I have just been running and running but not actually running...know what I mean?  I traveled to PA on Saturday to say goodbye to Becky and slept on an air mattress..not my best night's sleep.  Then came back on Sunday and took Riley on his 1 1/2 mile walk.  I planned on running but I was too tired to lace up my running shoes. Up early on Monday.  Not the time that I wanted to get up.  My poor iphone was super hot and my alarm didn't go off.  Actually the phone did not work at all.  So I had a moment (ok, maybe more than a moment) of panic.  My phone can't be dead!!  So I unplugged and left it to cool...and now I can only squeeze in a 1 1/2 mile walk with Riley.  Great! At school still no iphone so I spend my morning ordering a new one.  My phone is 2 1/2 years old..so it has had a great life, but I was trying to have it hang in there till the new iphone came out.  Oh well the new one is on the way..and of course mid morning the super hot iphone starts to work again. Randomly gets super hot so I am guessing it is time for a new one..sigh...

Monday after school Kristi and my three nieces were stopping by my house on their return to Virginia Beach.  Kristi drove to school and we headed towards the National Zoo in DC.  I learned that you should really check the address when you use the point of interest on your gps.  I gave Kristi and the girls a lovely tour of some nice neighborhoods in DC.  I did comment that I didn't know why the gps was taking us to the zoo through Rosslyn and Georgetown..but who am I to argue with the gps?  So after traveling the streets of DC we finally make it to the zoo.

 All three girls were really happy to be out of the car!  They got up at 6 am to drive to my house and now we are taking them to the zoo.  We had a great time at the zoo, but in the end we were all hungry so we headed back to the car and off to find some food before headed to see the Whitehouse and the Lincoln Memorial.

We ate at the Shake Shack..yummy burger and shake.  The girls were super hungry.  I don't think we heard a peep from them the entire time they were eating.  Next up the Whitehouse.

We had one more stop before we headed home..Abraham Lincoln was calling our name.

 And it was back home.  We were all super tired.  The girls fell asleep on the ride back to my house.  Needless to say no running on Monday.  Tuesday I set my alarm to walk Riley.  I knew I wasn't going to get in a run, but that was ok, because it was Tuesday which means run club.

I headed to run club and ran (what did you think I did? bike?)  And chatted it up with everyone and then headed home super tired.  I knew after the weekend and the DC trip I was going to take Wednesday off and not take Riley on a long walk and not worry about squeezing in a morning run.  It was the best choice I could have made.  I felt much more rested than I have for a week.  It was a beautiful day today so after I got my allergy shot I mowed the lawn took Riley on his long walk and decided that I couldn't let the evening end without a run.  81 degrees on my run..you have to run!  I think it might be a law that you have to run in weather like this during the summer!  I think it is supposed to be great weather for the rest of the week.  I was thinking of moving up my long run to tomorrow if the temps were going to go up..but looks like I can have a great long run on Saturday with no problem.  :)  That long run will be the perfect cap to the end of summer school too!

Hope everyone had a great running day!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Weather.com you are such a liar!

I walked three miles today.  While on my last mile and a half with Riley I felt a lovely breeze.  I thought to myself, "Great!  I will drop him off and then run and that breeze will feel so nice!"  And that is exactly what I did.  I dropped Riley off and headed out the door.  I figured since it doesn't look like I will get my 11 mile run in tomorrow since I am headed to PA, I can at least see what I can do tonight.  I knew I didn't fuel properly for a really long run.  I don't think baked breaded mushrooms constitutes a great fuel plan.  The BBQ Chicken salad from Panera for lunch wasn't going to offer much either, but I figured anything is better than nothing.

I started off and quickly noticed that there is no freakin' breeze!  It sort of disappeared!  I think mother nature was screwing with me.  She just wanted to lure me out to run and then melt me!  Once again I am calling foul on weather.com and their feels like temp for my  town.  I know it was hot but I still do not think that at 8 at night the temp is 87 feels like 101..you want to say it is 95 and feels like over 100 I can believe that..but not what weather.com was giving me.

I headed around and got in 4 rough miles.  I was sweating like crazy.  I was slow as a turtle.  I actually think I remember a turtle passing me at one point.  Someone posted that they change their shirt mid way through their long run, I think that may have to happen.  I am thinking that I can add some miles to the beginning of my long run and then pass my car and pick up a new shirt at mile 5 or 6..better than nothing I guess.  Sopping wet tanks do not wick away sweat.

Tomorrow I am going to try and get up early to run some..but we will see how that works out..I am not stressing about it.  If it happens great, if I rollover and get some more sleep..then I need sleep.

Then after my run or snooze hitting fest I am off to PA to wish Becky a final goodbye.  She is headed to Columbia next week.  The nice thing is our friends Rachel and Mike are coming down from Ohio to wish Becky a bon voyage too.  I haven't seen them in years so it will be a nice reunion!  Should be a fun weekend for sure.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The skeeters are coming!! The skeeters are coming!!

Well I got up and took Riley on his 1 1/2 mile walk this morning and then had enough time for a mile run.  I figure a mile is better than nothing.  So I dropped Riley off at home and headed back around the loop.  I think Riley is liking the new routine of long walks.  I always worry about the long walks in the summer..I don't want to give him heat stroke, but he seems to be fine with it so far.  It helps that it has not been as hot as in past summers.  Last year I think we had 100 degree weather for most of July..this year only upper 90's.  Ah I can feel the cool in the air!

After summer school I came home and took a nap.  Those kids wear me out.  This evening I decided to try a new place for a walk...Government Island.

I have lived here for ten years and I have never heard of this place.  A neighbor told me about it.  She walks her dog there all of the time.  I guess that George Washington had some of the stone from the quarry here in Stafford sent up to make parts of the white house and the capital. Government Island is an historic 18th and 19th century quarry site that provided Aquia sandstone for the construction of the White House and the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Government Island was purchased by Pierre L'Enfant on behalf of the federal government in 1791 to provide stone to build the nation's new capital city - Washington, D.C. The Island was first known as "Public Quarry", as it was owned by the federal government to build public buildings.
Who knew?!  Well we decided to walk it.  It has a nice paved path and a long wooden boardwalk over the marsh and then some wooded paths.  It was a nice shaded walk.  Riley loved it!

I came home drank some water and headed back out the door for what I was hoping would be a five mile run.  It was hot and soupy outside.  I thought I was doing pretty well considering that my weather.com app said the feels like temp was 100.  I think it probably was wrong because it said that the actual temp was 89 feels like 104...although maybe it was right who knows.  I waited until 8:20 to run. I was running the loop and getting bit by some skeeters.  If you know me, you know I don't normally get bit.  I guess they liked my sweaty self.

I couldn't take it anymore so I stopped at 3 miles.  I really do need to start running more in the morning.  Less soupy air and less skeeters.

 three miles of sweaty  mess...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

That's the plan!

Today was the start of a heat wave in Northern Virginia.  Ugh!  Just a reminder that I am a sweater.

Not this kind of sweater...

But this kind of sweater...

I got up this morning and I planned on running three miles.  I,once again, did not sleep well last night so I just couldn't roll out of bed.  This is two nights in a row that I haven't been able to sleep well.  I am over not sleeping. :)  So I finally talked myself out of bed a little after 6.  I went to sleep with my sports bra on figuring it would make it quicker to get dressed in my running gear in the morning and it would force me to get up and move.  I guess it worked.  I didn't run, but I did take Riley on a 1 1/2 mile walk before work.  So score one for moving.  I am hoping to make that a habit this summer.  If I am not running in the morning I will at least take the dog on a long walk.  

I headed to summer school and then had tutoring after school.  I came home in the heat and crashed on the couch.  Looks like I missed run club because of my little nap.  That's ok. The feels like temp was 105.  I was ok with not running at 6:30.  Don't worry I didn't miss my workout.  I ran tonight.  I did my 3.19 miles.  I am happy.  As I have said before I judge my workout by my sweat.  My entire front of my shirt was sopping wet.  My face was as red as my tank top. I ran some of my 3 miles at 10 min. miles..which is really good for me.  So I will try to run my short runs a bit faster than comfortable.  And my long runs will be slow and steady.  Hopefully that should get me to Marine Corps Marathon. Because really that is what it is about right now..not dying in October.   

Speaking of Marine Corps Marathon..if anyone would like to donate a few dollars to a great organization, I am raising money for Fisher House.  It is like the Ronald McDonald House for the military.  It is a great way to say thank you to all of our wonderful military families.  If you would like to donate a few dollars please click here.  Thank You!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

scary Scottie dog..and a long run

I got up and out the door by 6:40, a bit later than what I had hoped for, but I survived.  I headed out to the spot down the road.  It's very quiet and shady, perfect for a long run day.  There was even a bit of breeze out there this morning.

The people that I saw out and about this morning were very friendly and would say hi as I passed them.  I might be making some new friends this summer.  Maybe I will be invited for some block parties..even though I am not part of the block.   I think this spot is going to be great for my long runs.  

I ran for 1 1/2 hours this morning using my new camel back.  It worked out great!  It wasn't too heavy and there is no way I can train for a marathon using my handheld.  I also enjoyed all of the storage.  I was able to carry my phone in a front pocket.  My shotblocks were in a back pocket and my car keys were securely fastened to a clip on the inside compartment.  This could be my best running purchase in some time.

I ran in the neighborhood and was scared twice.  First was a rather scary statue of a white Scottie dog.  Yeah terrifying!  It was hidden beneath a mailbox.  I think I saw it snarl at me...Not sure how the mailman delivers mail with that fake dog sitting there.  Luckily nobody was around to see me jump when looking down and seeing the statue.

The next scare was as I was completing a circle in the neighborhood and a man came up behind me and I may or may not have screamed slightly.  I don't know what was making me so jumpy.  He laughed at me as he ran by me..did some push ups and then ran back towards me.  I didn't stick around to scream again on his return run.

At this point I was about 4 miles into my run and sweating like mad.  I was starting to worry that I would end up drowning in sweat and nobody would be around to call 911.  I headed out of the neighborhood and down a road to a new neighborhood.  I had no idea where I was running, but figured it could be fun exploring.  I ended up in another neighborhood with a bunch of new housing being built.  The people in this development were very nice too.  One person was nice enough to have their sprinklers out watering their lawn, and it might have also watered down a sweaty runner.  I also might have made sure that I headed back  near the sprinklers for my return run.  Cool water never felt so good.

At this point I was not loving life.  I was hot and sweaty and wishing my run was over.  
 Ah  never knew this existed in my town.  Hopefully this route will amuse me for awhile as I increase my mileage.  The nice thing is that it was pretty shady for most of the 1 1/2 hour run.  I also didn't have too many cars to deal with.  If I would have gotten up and out the door by 5:30 am I would have even less cars to worry about.  I am happy that I got out there and knocked out some miles.  Although I am wondering how in the world am I going to knock out a twenty mile run..that is going to eat up my entire morning!  I guess it will have to be one mile at a time. :)

When you run your long runs..do you run the same route or do you try and change it up?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's getting hot in here..

So the summer heat is here.  With it comes the fact that I will come up with any excuse not to run in it. :)  Today was supposed to be my long run..I'm going to try and squeeze it in this evening if the temps go down or it will be an early wake up call tomorrow morning.  I did have every intention of knocking out my 9 miles this morning (I know I've said that before), but I was up at 1:30 a.m. with horrible allergies so I took two Benadryl..ain't nobody got time for dat...

 So I knew that the odds of running this morning were slim to none.  Not sure what is setting off my allergies.  For the past two days I could scratch my eyes out they have been so itchy.  Tuesday is round two of allergy shots so hopefully my horrible allergies will start to leave.

Since I didn't head out to run, I took the dogs out for a walk this morning.  I am dog sitting for a cute golden retriever puppy named Harley.
 She is only 12 weeks old.  She is very sweet (except for the razor teeth that she uses to attack anything that moves)  Harley does not like to walk and she doesn't like the heat either (can I blame her?)  So a 10 minute walk turns out to take 30 minutes because she decides to lay down every 10 feet.  So after I took Riley on a mile walk and then I walked another mile.  Hey if I am not running I at least got in a few walking miles this morning.  Next up the pool.

Anyone else have trouble getting out there and completing their long runs during the summer months?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July everybody!  I decided last minute to run a 5K with some people from run club.  Yesterday Jen emailed me to see if I wanted to run the Freedom Run 5K.  I said sure.  During the Fourth there are so many 5K's around here that sometimes it gets a big confusing.  Turns out I ran this race last year.  As I was driving to the race I thought..hmm this area looks pretty familiar..I think I ran here before.  Yep I have..same race only different year.

When I got there I saw Jen and picked up  my bib.  As we were walking back to our cars to put our phones and stuff away we saw Susan from run club too.  So we all chatted and waited for the 5K to start.  Last year it was horrible because of the heat.  This year it was not nearly as hot.  Now don't get me wrong, it was still hot and humid, just not hot like the flames of hell are going to swallow you up at any moment hot..so I was happy.  It felt like it was going to rain too.  We have had rain everyday for the past two weeks.  Not the best summer.  I really wouldn't have minded the rain, it could have cooled me off.

As we took off, not even a mile down the road, and some mom was reprimanding her son for starting to walk so soon after starting.  I was a little irritated.   The kid was maybe 7 and I just feel like it should be fun to run.  She then said fine if we have to walk we need to get over to the right..so run until we are on the right..I know it can be frustrating to run with kids that have no concept of pacing..but really they are kids.  I'm sure that she knows what her son is capable of producing, but I just felt like she should just let her son run his kind of race, not the mom's race.  I also saw some crazy stroller mom dart over and almost take off this girls ankles..strollers scare me in races.  And she had the good old double jogger too..not sure she realized how close she was to knocking over a runner.  She did sort of stopped and straighten up the stroller before continuing with the race.

I thought I did pretty good for the first two miles..then the hilly part started and I just hated life.  I did better than I did last year in the heat.  The last hill defeated me and I ended up walking a bit.  I finished and found some run club friends.  We got our picture taken and watched some kids playing in the fountain.  I would have loved some Ben & Jerry's but the line was crazy.  Last year we had Popsicles this year Ben and Jerry's.      We also got this lovely beach towel as our swag.


After the race we headed to The Silver Diner for some French toast.  What a great way to start off the Fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Humidity sucks

Last week was the start of marathon training (did I just admit that I am training for a marathon?! Yikes!)  It also was the beginning of a humid summer.  I now remember why I hate running in the summertime.  The heat and humidity make me feel like a brand new runner...it is so draining.  Combine the heat with the fact that it has been raining everyday for over a week..I am starting to feel like a drowned rat.  If I am not wet from the rain it is sweat..(Don't worry I will be complaining about the need for rain and the horrible sun and heat in a few weeks)

Last week it was so hot I ran through the woods at run club and then turned around and ran back because it was so hot and I wasn't doing the last half on the hot pavement.  The nice thing was when I was coming back I saw a deer just hanging out.  Who thinks of a deer a few miles from DC?  It was obviously a city deer because as I told a family very quietly about the deer (thinking that some city folk would love to see a deer)  the kids basically yelled, yep that's a deer.  The deer just looked up at them and was like "Hey".  She didn't flinch at all.  Oh city deer.

This weeks run club was much better.  Some drizzle and a little breeze made it pretty enjoyable..I was able to pretend that the sweat rolling down my back was rain.

What do you all do to combat the heat and humidity of summer?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Good Luck Becky!

So Becky is heading off to teach in Columbia (the country, not Columbia, Maryland)..She has sort of been crashing at my place for the last month.  By sort of I mean she has been storing her stuff here since her lease ran out and then suddenly has been dog sitting for everyone under the sun.  :)  So she has been in an out for the last few weeks.

Well  its here.. Becky's last week in VA.  So sad to have a friend leave but happy for her and her new adventure.  Last week was a busy week of let's say goodbye to Becky.  It was fun, but I think I gained five pounds with all of the beer and food that it took to say goodbye.  Who knew that you had to eat and drink so much to say good bye to someone.

First we had the last runclub..(it sounds like the end end..but she will be back)
 We've had a lot of cupcakes at run club..so to say see you later and good luck we had cake!  Let there be cake!

 And she earned her 100th run shirt on her last night of run club!  Go Becky!

We all have a bit of the devil in our eyes to see Becky off.

After the last run club you have to have a run club goodbye outing :)  Lots of people showed up and Becky was so excited to see everyone.  Love the support from all the runners we have met on Tuesdays.

The margarita stare off...

Then it was the work send off...by this time I was tired from the week of saying good bye to Becky and getting stuck on 95 South for an hour...so I was a bit late to the party.

It was a great turn out to wish Becky good luck on her adventure.

Going to miss seeing her daily.  School and run club just won't be the same!  Don't worry Becky I will be down to visit and see Columbia :)  You will have lots of fun and meet so many new people!  Enjoy your new adventure!