Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Speed Workout with Sheila

Abby and I had a great little run planned for this afternoon.  She was somewhat sluggish from a sleepover last night and I only had a 3 or 4 mile run on the schedule.  We decided to head to Liberty Park and run a loop through the woods.

Upon starting our run, we noticed five or six older folks positioned at various locations along the outer loop of the park.  They had binoculars and were staring intently up at the very lovely blue sky.  This sort of thing makes me nervous though......what are they watching for?  Is a meteor about to tumble from the sky and bonk me on the head?  Abby thought maybe she remembered Jerry saying there is a bald eagle nest in the park.  I had no recollection of that, but I tend to believe whatever she says.  Her brain is 30 years younger and much sharper than mine.

As we passed one of the women standing watch at her position, I asked what she was looking for?  She lowered her binoculars and flatly said, "hawks."  OK. Fine. I'm cool with hawks.  Red-winged blackbirds not so much, but hawks are okay.

A little further ahead was yet another man standing at the entrance to the trail we wanted to run on.  This guy was serious about his hawk watching.  He even had a megaphone thingy that apparently was equipped to squawk like a hawk (cute, huh?) by pressing a button or something.  As Abby and I approached, he starting making it squawk like crazy and then he started walking really fast down the trail and holding the megaphone thingy towards the ground.  Abby and I stopped and tried to figure out what was going on.  Hawks are usually in the sky. He was looking in the wrong place.

Then we saw that he was chasing a 5 or 6 ft black rat snake down the trail.  His friends all started running towards us.  Abby started formulating alternate routes knowing that I really really really do not like snakes, especially big black ones like that! That thing was huge!

Then Abby said, "Hey I think that's Shelia!"  We remembered that the city naturalist who helped in her 5th and 6th grade classroom often spoke very highly about his snake friend, Sheila.  He even brought Sheila's shed skin into the classroom and stapled it onto the wall.  Sheila was not just a snake, she was his friend and would often visit his little office in the Old Stone House located at the other end of the park. 

At this point, the hawk observers asked if we would like to see the snake also.  I replied that I would prefer to NOT see the snake but we would head down the trail anyways.  Hence the title of this blog - I don't think I have ever run that fast!  We were laughing and squealing all the way down the trail just thinking about Sheila chasing us! I charged up those hills, through the stream and over the roots and rocks like never before.

So now I'm wondering if I can somehow turn this into a new type of workout.  Buy my new workout program for $19.95 and we'll include a real rubber snake at no extra charge.  That's right a REAL rubber snake.  You just need someone to hide in the trees and toss it out at you as you run by!

And by the way, if my husband or daughters try this I will make their lives miserable for a long, long time!  I would not appreciate that at all.....

Monday, June 28, 2010

Week in Review 6/20/10 - 6/26/10

 Monday:  6 mile run
Tuesday:  30 minutes yoga, 4 mile run with fartleks
Wednesday:  5 mile run
Friday:  9 mile run  (soooooo hot)
Saturday:  2 mile time trial with Abby

Total Running Miles:  26

Abby and I recovered from our 10K race and on Sunday I drove Gina and her friend to a swim camp at Kenyon College.  I drove back on Thursday to pick them up.  They learned a ton and made some great friends and connections.  As a nonswimmer, it is really interesting to listen to the terms and comments.  Gina talked a lot about the suggestions that were made to her to improve her strokes.  To be honest I hardly understood a word she said, but I could sincerely tell that the camp made an impact on her life.  She also really enjoyed the Kenyon campus so if anyone would like to contribute to her college education please send your checks my way! 

Training for Columbus Marathon officially commenced this week.  I will try to follow Hal Higdon's Intermediate Training Schedule with 5 days of running per week.  My plan is to make each run count!  I WILL try to incorporate some speed work, I promise!  On Saturday, Abby and I did a run we like to call the Army 2-miler with the goal being to push the pace as fast as possible.  The local army reserve post uses our local bike trail for their 2-mile run and we often have the pleasure of running in their company.  Unfortunately, I am usually going the opposite direction of them and experience the unusual sight of a a group of soldiers in army fatigues running full out towards me!  It is somewhat alarming to say the least.  They were not out on Saturday so Abby and I had the trail pretty much to ourselves.  She pulled ahead early and I could not catch her.  I was close though and she definitely heard me creeping up behind her!  So she finished under 16 minutes and I was just over.  Not horrible and we will take it from there.  So I had a long slower run on Friday in super hot conditions followed by a nice short lung burning two miler on Saturday.  It felt good.

Things went pretty well in the kitchen this week!  Monday we had a nice pasta salad.  Tuesday was a tofu and noodle stirfry.  I think we just did leftovers on Wednesday. Thursday I prepped stuffed shells before driving to get Gina and baked them when we got home in the afternoon.  Friday we tried a new recipe:  Indonesian Pilaf which was absolutely wonderfully delicious and I will share the recipe here later!  Saturday we had broccoli rice soup which was met with much dissatisfaction:  Soup on such a hot day, are you crazy Mom, i am not eating that, etc etc.  We ate it and it was good!  No one died of heat exhaustion......

It feels good to be in summer mode.  I am waiting on a client to give birth and then will work several hours a day for several weeks.  Burning River is now one month away so Jerry will needs lots of love and support as he winds down his training and begins to taper.  He is sooooooo much fun to be around during taper!  We will just keep him busy - there is a post it note on the kitchen cabinet with his list of things to do when not running!  That race is going to be here before we know it......

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jim Klett 10K Race Report

 Abby post race!

I ran this local race about 8 years ago as my first ever 10K.  I really liked the course and at that time had never seen the covered bridge on Everett Rd before.  I finished that race in 50 minutes and ended up with a nice red plastic cup as a trophy.  I still love drinking out of that cup (even if it IS plastic).

I somehow managed to coerce Abby into running this race with me this year.  It would be her first 10K - that's 6.2 miles for the non-runners who happen upon my blog.  We have done quite a few one hour runs this summer and I felt really confident that she could cover the distance.  We discussed at length our plan for the day.  I didn't want to hold her back but she didn't really want to run on her own either.  We decided to start together and stay together for two miles, at which point we would re-evaluate.  If she felt the pace was too slow, she or we could pick it up.  She could leave me but I would not leave her.  I was not out to PR or anything.  I really just wanted to run the course again and introduce Abby to the 10K distance.

Well Saturday was an extremely hot and humid day.  We left the house at 7:30 and arrived at Howe Meadow around 8:10.  It is quite a trek to the registration table inside Old Trail School and we were sweating already!  Much to our disappointment, there were no more small t-shirts.  What an unbelievable disappointment that was.  We were just smiled at and sent on our way with two mediums.

We began the process of pinning our bib numbers on.  Abby was wearing a minimal amount of clothing and had to strategically pin her number to her shorts.  I had many more options!  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a table way in the back with more t-shirts.  I strolled over and inquired.  They were leftovers from the kid's race held earlier and there were lots of youth larges and two adult smalls!  Yeah!  We made an exchange and felt much better.  I doubt Abby will ever wear an adult medium. 

Then a trek to the port-a-potties and all the way back to the car to deposit our goodie bags and t-shirts.  Whew!  So darn hot.  Then more walking and a warm-up run to the starting area.  I felt bad for Abby - there were way too many older men with no shirts on.  It was stifling hot and we tried very hard to not bump into anyone. 

Finally we were under way.  We ran the first mile in 8.57.  I thought that was just perfect and Abby said it was fine.  Mile 2 was steady at 9.00.  We took some water from the first water stop and slowed to a walk to get it down.  We discussed the pace and Abby said it still felt fine.  Mile 3 at 9.22 which was fine considering the water stop.  I was starting to regret not carrying my fuel belt!  We turned onto Bolanz Rd and the sun was beating down.  Abby was quiet and I tried to talk just enough to keep her going.  Mile 4 was a 9.40.

Jerry was running with Andy and Mike and we had planned to look for each other along Everett Rd around the covered bridge.  Well we made the turn onto Everett, climbed up a rather small but steep hill and I heard Abby gag a couple of times.  Uh oh.......

It is common knowledge that she gagged at the end of every cross country race last fall.  It was sort of the indicator of effort.  She knew that if she started gagging at the end of a race it meant that she had run hard.  No gagging meant she could have gone harder.

A few more steps and she said, "I'm gonna puke."  We switched from running to walking.  She puked while walking.  The funny thing was that at that very moment I saw Jerry and his friends happily running down the trail beside the road.  Abby said, "Oh this is great..."  We kept walking and shouted a few things back and forth with the guys.  I tried to just say enough to indicate that we were not doing so well.

We actually only walked about one minute and then we started running again.  There was water at the covered bridge.  Mile 5 was a big fat 11.45.  There was another round of puking and many little hills to manage.  We had 12 minutes to get in under one hour and I sincerely was hoping we could do that.

About one-third of a mile from the end there was a policeman.  I thought I was going to get in trouble for abusing Abby this way.  We somehow managed to shuffle by.  Soon enough the entrance to the finish line appeared.  It was a nice finish.  Lots of cheering and kind words.  The clock read 1:01.40 and that was just fine for the day. 

What can you say about a 12-year-old girl who would endure that?!  I say she is stronger than she thinks!  She never said "I can't do this" or "Can we just stop."  She just kept moving forward and if you ask me that is what life is really all about.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ADK Adventure Part 2

We have been home from our vacation for a week now and I just about feel like I am caught up!  We had an amazing week, but we returned home very tired and very sore from our adventures.  Starting off with a 9.4 mile hike was probably not the best idea, but as stated before it just seemed to be the right thing to do.  To summarize the week it went down like this:

Wednesday:  9.4 mile hike of Algonquin and Wright Peaks

Thursday:  Rainy rest day

Friday:  6.2 mile hike of Cascade and Porter Mountains and kayaking on the Ausable

Saturday:  Rainy rest day walking around Lake Placid

Sunday:  8 mile run of Whiteface Mountain for Jerry, Pseudo Rainy rest day for the rest of us

Monday:  7.5 mile hike of Whiteface Landing

Tuesday:  Drive to my parents via Niagara Falls

Monday, June 7, 2010

ADK Adventures Part 1

We are having a fantastic time during our 9th visit to the Adirondack region of NY state. We have continued our quest to hike all 46 peaks that are greater than 4000 ft by climbing Algonquin and Wright Peak our first day here. It was our longest family hike yet - 9.4 miles of very rugged rocky steep terrain. It has taken the entire vacation to work out the sore muscles! We have also returned to Cascade Mountain which we hiked five years ago as our first 46er climb. This time we included the side trail to include Porter. I am thinking each hike might get a full blog report once we get home- considering the resulting aches and pains were definitely comparable to running a marathon.

Speaking of running, Jerry has been the only one to don his running shoes. Yesterday he participated in the 33rd annual Footrace up Whiteface Mountain. It was 45 degrees and torrential rain for his 8 mile climb at 8 percent grade. I was guilt ridden to say the least, but he conquered and survived while the girls and I sat in the car at the top of the mountain until the runners started to finish. Not one looked happy. Just standing out in the weather was brutal, but that's what we do!

The top photo is from the peak of Algonquin - NY's second highest peak at 5,115 ft. The second photo is during the climb up. This was one of a few places we needed a little help from Jerry to get up and over. The third photo is from the top of Wright Peak which we climbed on the way down from Algonquin. It was VERY windy!

Today we have planned an easier hike - we probably should have done our hikes in reverse order but we had to adjust for weather and get the big one out of the way early on. We do not do well with things hanging over our heads. After the hike we will take one final trip into Lake Placid and have dinner at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery which has quickly climbed to the top of our list for good food. They have several veggie options and great atmosphere, but most importantly we have become extremely fond of their "buffalo wing french fries!" Fries covered in hot sauce and blue cheese - need I say more!
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