That’s What Living Is To Me

May 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Posted in 5k, Blogroll, Cross Training, Half-Marathon, Music | 4 Comments
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Be good and you will be lonesome
Be lonesome and you will be free
Live a lie and you will live to regret it
That’s what livin’ is to me
That’s what livin’ is to me
~Jimmy Buffett

So…I’m still missing my little tab from wordpress…but I’ve discovered a way to fix it on my own, so HA!

Moving right along.

Running Week:

Whew, boy did I run this week! I ran more this weekend than I did all of last week. Well maybe that’s because I needed a rest…but still.

I informed you about the 4.5 miles of awesome and the 3 miles of crap with pepper-spray lossage.

Did I mention they found it? Yeah. Got my pepper spray back so yay for that.

Thursday and Friday I rested again, partly do to weather, partly due to work beating the crap out of me. Blah.

Saturday was cross-training day and MAN did I have an awesome day. I hiked one of the toughest sections of the AT. See “Other Junk” for that report.

Today I did a rockin 7 miler. I knew it was going to be hot, so I got up around 7am. When I opened my front door…it was like stepping in to a sauna!

I had planned my route so that I did 4 miles, ending back at the house so I could grab a drink, then went out for another 3.

That was a good plan because the humidity darn near killed me! I am NOT a warm-weather runner. I do better in mild or cold weather. Cool or chilly works best for me. Hot weather or humid running…slows me down quite a bit.

What about you? I wanna hear your best/worst running conditions!!!

So I did my first 4, came back and gulped down some ice water. Then out I went for the last 3. It was an uneventful run overall, but I did pass a man working at one of the college’s facilities, he asked how far I was running and I told him 7.

He was quite impressed. Haha. It was just one of those moments that puts a smile on your face. When running away from him I kept thinking to myself “He asked how far I was RUNNING, not ‘jogging’, not ‘going’ even, he said ‘running'” Little things like that still make me smile…and still make me feel like yeah…I AM a runner.

What makes you guys feel like a real “RUNNER”. Do you remember the first time you felt like you could call yourself a runner? Does it matter? Is there a difference? I wanna hear what you think!

So with my little compliment in my head I finished my run…absolutely SOAKED with sweat thanks to the humidity…and came in to see just how bad it was out there.

Yeah, that says 75% humidity!!!

Yeah, that says 75% humidity!!!

 I nearly fell over when I read that. But hey, I did  7 miles in 75% humidity. I’m ready for whatever summer has in store!

I’m also going to find a pool…haha.

Knitting Week:

Not a lot of knitting again, but I did spin some! Also, my editor for the Striders Newsletter that I write for is a spinner as well…she is at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival this weekend and I am BEYOND jealous.

However…she texted today to say that she was bringing one of her mother’s old spinning wheels home to LOAN ME SO I CAN LEARN TO SPIN ON IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, yes I did stand in the middle of my house and SQUEE very, very loudly.

Dream coming true. Check.

Editor of awesomeness. Check.

Favorite:

This week’s favorite HAS to be my new addiction. Steep and cheap. Thanks to Tri Girl.

I can’t remember if she mentioned it, but I’ve also found Gear Scan and can’t stop checking that either. It’s now part of my home page tabs.

These sites are all discount outdoor gear type sites. Gear Scan is awesome because it shows you 6 of these sites ALL at once. It shows you the price, the time left, and how many of that item they have left.

Steep and cheap is my favorite because it has the most stuff that I would buy. Just about everything that pops up on there, I want. From North Face Denali jackets, to sleeping bags to tents…I want it ALL.

The current deal is some trekking poles for 70 bucks. 50% off.

If you’ve never seen these one-deal-at-a-time sites…GO CLICK!!! They are legit and AWESOME.

I can speak for Steep and Cheap especially because last week I bought my new best friend from there!

Camelbak Fairfax Hydration Pack

Camelbak Fairfax Hydration Pack

Yeah. I got me a Camelbak! That way for the half in June…which IS a trail run…I’m prepared. I had a fuel belt…but it had the one BIG thing of water on the back…and it bugged me. This is much, much better.

Retails for around 45 bucks. I paid 20 on Steep and cheap. HA! Winner.

AND you can combinde shipping. I stopped myself there for now though.

My camelbak arrived Thursday…just in time for my hike this weekend…which we will now discuss!

Other Junk:

Well I had an awesome Sautrday. I got together with some of the Striders and we hit the trails. Myself and two other Striders met at 9:30 to hike up to Dragon’s Tooth. One of the hardest hikes on the Appalachain Trail. 🙂

It’s a really technical hike and in some places they have put in metal bars to help hikers get up the rocks.

La Bars

La Bars

 My main reason for wanting to do this hike…was I had tried TWICE before…with Tracy…and never made it to the top. The first time, we had to make it home to have dinner with mom and we were losing daylight.

The second time he got sick.

So this was my third attempt. Both times I’d made it to the same spot, the fire circle where the Dragon’s Tooth trail hits the AT.

There was NO way I wasn’t going to make it this time. I informed my hiking companions of such, announcing I would leave their butts if I had to!

I was mostly kidding. Mostly. 🙂

On the way up we saw some really pretty flowers, including a Ladyslipper! I was quite excited.

I’m going to put all the pictures at the end…and just talk about the hike for now.

So we reached the fire circle and I proclaimed that this was as far as I’d ever gotten. So on we forged…and the terrain changed QUICKLY.

It pretty much turns in to all rocks in some places.

I apparently…am part mountain goat. Every time the path forked, I took the higher, harder, rockier path. I had a distinct desire to go UP at all possible locations.

We had one moment where we weren’t really sure where the trail went…and I proceeded to climb up a rock wall. So I got some free climbing in as well. It was pretty fun!

I decided at this point, that I would shun the metal bars. I didn’t need some man-made crap to make my way to the top of a mountain, no thank you! So when we ran in to the hand-holds…I found ways around every time. I shun the bars! HA!

We finally got to the top, and could see the actual rock formation that gives the hike it’s name.

Of course, I climbed that too. I made my hiking companions a bit nervous climbing almost all the way to the top. However while scrambling around on a bit of rock, I looked over the edge and I saw what I KNEW could only be one thing…a Geocache!

I instantly jumped over the ledge to grab the cache. And gave my friends a heart attack at the same time. Haha.

But I got the cache! I was pleased.

I also met a nice little salamander whom I named Fred.

After that, we headed back down. It was getting HOT out. We picked a great time of day to go. Not too many hikers at the top, and more people going up as we went down, and down as we went up! It was great.

So let’s get to the pictures!

Ladyslipper!

Ladyslipper!

Rocky much?

Rocky much?

Awesome view, and not even at the top yet!

Awesome view, and not even at the top yet!

I know where I'm going!

I know where I'm going!

Don't look down!

Don't look down!

I'm so proud!!!

I'm so proud!!!

The famous tooth!

The famous tooth!

Say hello to Fred! I met him on my scamble to the tooth!

Say hello to Fred! I met him on my scamble to the tooth!

Me, sitting on the tooth!

Me, sitting on the tooth!

This is where I found the geocache, and promptly jumped over a ledge.

This is where I found the geocache, and promptly jumped over a ledge.

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!

LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!

Standing on the tooth. I win.

Standing on the tooth. I win.

You had to climb up and under this rock and pop out the top. I was highly amused by this.

You had to climb up and under this rock and pop out the top. I was highly amused by this.

I liked this massive rock ledge. :) Part mountain goat...

I liked this massive rock ledge. 🙂 Part mountain goat...

 

This is where I made my own trail, up a rock. You can't really tell, but it's all rock, nothing to really do but find a hand hold and scramble.

This is where I made my own trail, up a rock. You can't really tell, but it's all rock, nothing to really do but find a hand hold and scramble.

I win. Again.

I win. Again.

 Seriously…I realize more every day how much I love hiking. I love running…and just about anything that lets me be outside.

I’m also realizing that whoever I date…needs to enjoy at least ONE of those things. They don’t necessarily have to be a runner…but I think they have to like hiking. I enjoy running alone. Not so much hiking alone.

But I’m about to solve that issue…more on that next time. 🙂

Sorry I’ve Been a Stranger Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout goes to my awesome cousin Chrissy. First off you have NO IDEA how excited I was to get a comment from you on my blog this week!!! I squealed.

Yes, I need to come visit. I would like to publically announce that I have been a BAD, BAD cousin and I haven’t been down in forever AND I need to help with the wedding planning and….yeah. I’m a bad cousin.

But it’s ALMOST summer and so far I have NO summer job so….I’ll be down sometime after June 7th. You tell me when.

And we can go hiking!!!! Yes?!?!?! Haha.

And yes, I WILL bring you some granola. And give you the recipe. And come visit. And not be a stranger anymore.

Later guys!

That Good Old Mountain Dew

April 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Posted in Cross Training, People I Meet, running, Training | 5 Comments
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No Mountain Dew for me…but I did have some Mountain Mayhem. 🙂

Oh wow. SO much to talk about!!!!!

I can’t even remember what I did or didn’t talk about last time. Geez.

Running Week:

Well, as you know last weekend was a 5K that I turned in to a 10K. This weekend I had a REAL 10K. My first time ever racing that distance. Yeah, I’d ran it before, but never raced.

So of course, in my typical style, I don’t do an EASY 10K. No, nothing flat. Nothing simple. Nothing on pavement even! Of course I do a Mountain Junkies race. The Mill Mountain Mayhem. Aptly named.

The entire first mile is uphill. Entire.

And not a little hill either. A mondo-jumbo-evil hill. A mountain even.

Hence the name.

Thank GOD the finish was all downhill. However we did have to walk about a half mile UPHILL to get to the start. Which was also uphill.

Thank GOD the finish was all downhill. However we did have to walk about a half mile UPHILL to get to the start. Which was also uphill.

Actually it takes you through the Star City trails system, TO Mill Mountain, behind the zoo, around the Star **Roanoke is known as the Star City** and then back down the hill. Somehow…this amounts to 6.2ish miles. I still swear the first 4 miles were all uphill. Even after we reached the Star…and circled around to the back of it….the trail STILL had a slight incline.

I said quite a few choice phrases….and mom was behind me the whole way. Haha.

Mostly I was saying bad things about the race directior. I’ve been doing his races for years now…and at some point in every race, I question his sanity…or question his motives for the course. 🙂 He and his wife are both awesome. I’m a huge fan of their races, no matter how painful.

The best race crew EVER. These ARE the Mountain Junkies.

The best race crew EVER. These ARE the Mountain Junkies.

Also this week I found a new road near my house to run/bike. It’s VERY quiet. Secluded almost. I ran for about 20 minutes on it and was only passed by one car. That’s pretty great. It’s fairly flat, and doesn’t have any nasty curves so I feel safe on a bike without worrying that a driver will come up behind me on a turn and not see me. I haven’t biked it yet. I figured I’d run it first to get a better idea of the traffic on the road. It’s easier to jump out of the way on foot than on a bike!

Knitting Week:

Not a lot of knitting. Worked a little on my aunt’s socks. I’m having second-sock syndrome. I just don’t wanna knit them anymore.

I did spin some though! AND over the last week or two I learned how to set the twist in my yarn, so yay me!

Working with my roving from Gate City. Mmmm.

Working with my roving from Gate City. Mmmm.

Whoo, I has yarn!

Whoo, I has yarn!

Favorite:

This week’s favorite HAS to be netflix on the wii. OH MY GOSH. I can get a TON of movies and TV shows INSTANTLY to my TV. Considering the fact I don’t have real TV here…just broadcast…this is incredible. I went from having 4 channels, 5 on a sunny day, to just about ANY movie or TV show I want.

Ta-Da!!!

Ta-Da!!!

Yeah, they are all old episodes, but I’ve been without real TV for almost a year now…so I finally get to catch up!

Plus, the movies! I don’t have to wait 3 days to change out movies. If I watch part and end up not liking it, it wasn’t a wasted 3 days!

Netflix, your instant movies rock my face. (Yes, I stole that. You know who you are and you know you love me.)

Other Junk:

Well because a 10K on some brutal trails yesterday wasn’t enough…the bff and I decided to go a-hiking.

We wandered down to Fairystone Park to explore the trails around there.

Oh how I love hiking season. Man it’s awesome out today. 65 degrees or so…sunny, but breezy…perfect.

We picked a trail at random…Stony Falls I think?

The first drop wasn't much taller than I am. You can walk in the stream right up to it.

The first drop wasn't much taller than I am. You can walk in the stream right up to it.

The falls were little, but being as we’re in a flatter part of the state, I didn’t expect much. The falls were small enough that if it was warmer…I really would have considered trying to climb them. Maybe another time. But after the falls, we kept going on the trail, and found an AWESOME view.

A seat with a view!

A seat with a view!

Then we continued on the trail…followed the signs for the trail head…which on the map there were only 2…but…let me just say one trail head is NOT the same as another.

We wound up near a camp ground, but NOT the one we parked near…so we found another trail…that pointed us closer to the right direction…and then thanks to some lucky guessing, we found our way back to the car.

The trails were all REALLY well marked…we always knew what trail we were on, what mile we were at, but the downside of the park/hike was that we couldn’t find a big trail system map ANYWHERE. It would have been nice to be able to see a “You are here” dot somewhere….especially in the parking lot or at the camp ground so we could better locate ourselves.

Overall, I liked the trail we went on, and I really want to go back again soon.

I need more hiking companions. Any takers?!?!? I pack a great picnic! 🙂

Also, being as it’s Earth Week, I did my fair share!

I planted stuff! Yesterday I planted 5 tomatoes and 2 basil plants.

I planted stuff! Yesterday I planted 5 tomatoes and 2 basil plants.

I got this off of The Vegster’s blog. I’m not actually participating in the challenge…but I just enjoy knowing that I’m helping our planet. I typically do these things anyway…so it works. Here’s the list. The ones in bold are the ones I did this week!

GREEN WEEK CHALLENGES:

  1. Wash clothes with cold water 1 pt **I do it every time!**
  2. Drink a green smoothie 1 pt
  3. Eat a vegetarian or vegan meal 1 pt
  4. Use cloth napkins 1 pt
  5. Make and use your own cleaning products (Recipes here!) 2 pts
  6. Use a canvas, or reusable, grocery bag 1 pt
  7. Plant a tree/herb/vegetable (indoors or out) 2 pts
  8. Shop at your local farmers market or buy only local produce for a day 1 pt ***I went to 3 local markets, does that count 3 times?***
  9. Shop at your local farmers market/buy local for the next week 2 pts
  10. Take all batteries, old computers, DVD players, or other electronics to an electronics recycling center (keep hazardous substances out of the landfill) 2 pts
  11. Start a compost 2 pts
  12. Clean out your pantry and donate unopened non-perishables to a food bank 2 pts
  13. Walk, bike or take public transportation to work for the ENTIRE week 2 pts
  14. Carpool to work/store/gym 1 pt
  15. Make an Earth inspired meal using only whole foods- whole grains, fresh veggies and/or fruits, nuts, seeds 1 pt
  16. Get in touch with the Earth- try a yoga class, go for a walk without distractions such as your Ipod, meditate 1 pt
  17. Donate your time to a soup kitchen (good karma!) 2 pts
  18. Bring a reusable coffee cup on your next cafe run 1 pt
  19. Hang laundry to dry 1 pt

Also this week…I watched Food Inc. We will have to have a WHOLE separate post about that sometime. Whew.

Sending Luck Shoutout:

This week’s shoutout is to everyone doing BOSTON tomorrow!!!!! Karyn is gearing up, and a lot of people from my local running group are going as well. GOOD LUCK to everyone that’s Boston Bound!!!!

I’m SOOOO streaming the race tomorrow during school. My kids can DEAL. 🙂

All Apologies

May 6, 2009 at 9:16 pm | Posted in Blogroll | 2 Comments
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I do apologize for being lax with blogging but I have been rather sick. I thought it was just allergies but apparently it was a rather nasty cold and I barely felt like getting out of bed most days.

But I’m on the mend, so on to other news!!

Well there’s not a lot in the way of actual running due to the sickness.  I basically haven’t done much of anything since the tri…but I did pick out some other triathlons I REALLY want to do. 🙂 I think I’ll do another pool swim but we’ll see.

I did get out and do a decent run this morning. It was only about two miles but for as awful as I’ve been feeling, I’m somewhat pleased. I’m hoping to make a repeat effort tomorrow. According to an article in Runners World (I have no idea which issue, I’m several months behind and reading in whichever one is closest at hand) running while sick can sometimes help you get better, or at least it can’t hurt. Sometimes. If it’s the pig flu, I’m guessing you shouldn’t run. Or interact with other human beings. Or something.

My theory was I’ve been sick and feeling like crap for over a week, so if I’m going to feel like crap, I may as well accomplish something and run while I’m feeling like crap. It turned out well in my opinion.

I do have a small announcement to make…there’s a chance I will be writing an article for my local run club’s newsletter. I’ve been a member of the Star City Striders for over a year now. Since grad school is winding down I can finally be more active in the club! I submitted a piece to the editor and it appears as though it may be usable. I’m mildly excited.

And by mildly I mean I’m about to bounce off the walls.

In case you haven’t noticed, I like writing. And I like running. Therefore I like writing about running. This has been kind of a small dream of mine for awhile and I’m SUPER excited that even one article I write may get published. I don’t want anything big…I’m not trying to be famous or write a running book…I just enjoy writing small tidbits about my running life. 🙂 So we’ll see what happens, but there is a possibility that if THIS article works out, I could contribute in the next issues as well. Cross your fingers!!

So that’s all I have for now. Sorry it was short and picture free, but if you haven’t already read it, the triathlon report is below so feel free to go amuse yourself there!

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