Sunday, October 31, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

Trail in Eleanor
May 2010
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The race is done, the race is won

The race is won by someone other than me... But that's ok. I was out there. I had fun. I finished. I met my time goal. I went farther than I thought I could.

Today was the Ace Adventure Center Gorge-ous Trail Run. I've been looking forward to this race (my only race this year) since I did it last year. Last year, I was a new (very new) runner and wasn't prepared for the distance, so I walked the 4.5 mile walk. This year, I've had a year of training under my belt, and I was going to ROCK the short course (as much as a 12 min/mile can rock a course :o) ) I toyed with doing the long course, but an injury to my knee made that decision for me - didn't want to risk not being able to finish...

So Marc and I got up bright and early this morning (not true, it wasn't bright, it was still dark...) to head to Ace for the run. He had some packages that had to be mailed, so after a stop at the only post office in the area open by 8:00, a stop to get gas & ice, and a stop for some food, we were off.

Until we hit a traffic jam on the interstate.... All I have to say is this: If they built the new bridge to make traffic flow better, then why the heck is it 100 times worse now?

We got through the traffic and arrived at Ace just in time for the pre-race meeting and to grab our numbers. A quick changes of shoes and clothes, and we hit the starting line. Woo hoo, we were off!!

I fell into the common, race newby trap of running with the crowd at the start rather than holding back and running my own pace, so I started out a bit faster than I should have. But eventually, the crowd thinned, and I found a rhythm. Until the knee started to hurt. So I slowed down and started walking more than I should have. It got to the point where I decided that it was going to hurt either way (running or walking) and running didn't make it feel any worse - just a dull ache. So I started running more and found my rhythm again.

I did a little time/distance check on the iPod. 6.88 miles - almost done already... Different websites reported the short course as either 7.5 or 8 miles, so I thought the finish line was coming soon. I thought wrong... We followed the red arrows like we were supposed to and kept going and going... I was getting tired and grumpy and my knee hurt. We began to wonder if we had read the signs wrong, but I kept seeing red arrows, and we kept following them. Finally, after about another mile or so we reached the point where the blue arrows (for the 13 mile long course) and our red arrows went different ways. We followed the red arrows for what seemed like forever. I was walking at this point, and was ready to be done...

But then I heard a crowd cheering for some other finisher, and I thought, I'm not walking across that finish line. I started running and realized I felt pretty good.... And ran all the rest of the way across the finish line, to applause and a chorus of "Great Job!s" and "you did it!"s Yep. I had done it! A couple miles more than I planned and wanted to go with sore knee, but, still - I finished!! 9.94 miles at an average pace of 12:06/mile (even with what I thought was excessive walking.)

So in short: I went out there; I had fun; I finished; I met my time goal; I went farther than I thought I could.

Makes for a pretty good day.
Me & Marc on the trail.
Gorge-ous Trail Run
Ace Adventure Center, Oak Hill, WV
October 23, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Not so Random Random pic of the week

Diana Gabaldon signing books
WV Book Festival
October 17, 2010

Got my copy of "The Exile" signed.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Random Thoughts for a Saturday...

1. For someone with a sore knee, I sure have put in a lot of miles (almost 31) this week....

It might just make people think that I'm making it up. Nope. The knee hurts. In fact, it's sore right now... (I really must learn to not sit crossed-leg (or "indian-style", if you want to be politically incorrect about it) on the couch after a run.) I have just chosen to not let it stop me.

2. I had a choice about what to do with my day tomorrow. I could drive about 2 hours and pay money to run a not so fun 5k. (last year it was my first race; I came in last; I got beat by a walker.... sad sad sad. But hey, it was my first race, and I finished it, so it wasn't all bad. Just mostly...)


I could drive 2o minutes to go to the WV Book Festival to see my favorite author for free. Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, which I have read at least 5 times (or maybe 6, or maybe 7... honestly, I've lost count I've read it so many times) will be at the festival. Her books defy descriptions. They're romances because there's an awesome love story. They're Sci-Fi because there's time travel. They're historical, because well, they take place in the past; and they're some of the most descriptive, well written, educational historical fiction I've ever read. I know they sound strange, but trust me... It works. Reading these stories, you can almost believe that it could happen. And the characters - they're so well written that they're real. In short (which the books are anything but...) they're awesome. Highly recommended. Get thee to a bookstore and buy them!!

So, it really doesn't need to be said which option I chose. Once in a lifetime opportunity and all that. The only decision left is do I just take one book for her to sign, or do I cart all of them down there??

3. Another debate raging in my world right now relates to Random Thought #1... (the sore knee). There's an awesome trail run next Saturday. Last year it was my second race. I came in 4th. (ok, that statement requires a bit of a disclaimer... There was a walk, in addition to 2 runs. I walked the walk).
Before I hurt my knee, I was thinking about doing the 13 mile run. A long way (longer than I've gone before) but I know I could do it. I'd be slow, but I could do it. Then the pain started and I thought I was out for good. Spent a week riding the bike and walking and got stronger and can now run without too much pain. Some soreness, but nothing major. I've got a knee brace/support that really helps. I've now done two 5 mile trail runs with the brace, and I've felt pretty good after both. So now there's the debate... do I walk the 4.5 mile walk, run the 7 mile run, or go for the big one and run the 13 miler? Lookin' like that's a game day (errrr, race day) decision.

Marc (and a bunch of other people on wheels) on the news

(Marc's the one on the skateboard. :o) )

(If you don't like clowns, stop the video before the end (at about 26 seconds).... the next story was about a haunted trail, and a creepy clown showed up before I got the video stopped.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

This is Bree with her toys.
All squeakies must die!!!
(Mutts by Patrick McDonnell, June 3, 2010)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Tie your shoes my dear friend, and press on"

I was re-acquainted with the song this line came from when I found it on iTunes earlier this week. I remember loving it and singing along with it over and over. A very catchy tune with a wonderful inspiring, uplifting message. It popped up on the shuffle on my iPod on my drive home the other day and I heard the whole thing for the first time in years.

It brought to mind some of my friends and family who are going through some tough times and dealing with some hard issues. So this is my prayer for them and for anybody else facing a rough patch -

"I was down in the valley
Of the shadow of death
Where the passion for life
Drained like blood from my chest
And it took more than my will
Just to take a step
When the compass of hope was gone

In a silence so black
That I wished for the blues
Every desperate prayer
Seemed like Heaven refused
And some days I found faith
meant just tyin' my shoes
And it was All I could do
To press on

Press on me amigo
Press on mon ami
Walk on in the face
Of the mystery
Though the night hides the light
Through the darkness still dawn...
Tie your shoes, my dear friend
And press on

On the ocean so lonesome
I was not left alone
Had some heavyweight friends
When my heart was a stone
And they carried my heartache and
Made it their own
When the current of sorrow was strong

(and one said) "I pray your memories
will not drag you down
Not be anchors but treasures
Of the love that you've found"
And His kind words turned hurt
into comfort somehow
And the wind in my sails
To press on

So press on me amigo
Press on mon ami
Walk on in the faceOf the mystery
Though the night hides the light
And the journey is long...
Lean on me, my dear friend
And press on

Though the days seem like years...
There may be giants in our fears...
Ah, but they who are sowin' tears
They shall reap in joy
They shall run and leap for joy!

So press on me amigo
Press on mon ami
Walk on in the face
Of the mystery...(...)
Though the night hides the light
And the journey is long...
Lean on me, my dear friend
And press on

Press on me amigo
Press on mon ami
Walk on in the face
Of the mystery
Though the night hides the light
And the journey is long...
Tie your shoes, my dear friend
And press on!"

Press On by Billy Sprague
from the album The Wind & The Wave, 1993

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Random Pic of the Week

Boy Scout Trail
Putnam County Park
Taken September 2009
This is one of the trails we frequently run on.