KIAWAH!

Now for Kiawah!  I have wanted to run this race for about as long as I have been running.  It’s an old race on the resort island of Kiawah, South Carolina.  This year was the 40th anniversary of the race!

My run club picked it as a focus destination race and a lot of my friends were going.  This was the year!  I checked with Ron and he was free that weekend so I quickly signed us both up.  Since I knew we’d be with friends and no one would want to wait 5.5 hours on me to finish a full, I signed up for the half as well.

We had a blast!  Ron and I stayed with 3 other couples and 4 of the 8 of us were running!  Here’s a shot of Kim, Connie, me and Ron at the finish!

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The drive to Kiawah from our home was about 4.5 hours.  It wasn’t a bad drive but it was raining the entire way and the traffic got a little busy once you make the turn to Kiawah from Charleston.  For anyone thinking about doing this race, I’d recommend that you make it down to Kiawah early in the day or even 2 days before the race.  Kiawah is a private island resort and all the cars have to enter through the main gate.

Also, I’d highly recommend that you plan early and stay on the island.  Pick a place close to the start/ finish line and once you park at your rental home, you won’t have to drive again.

Connie had us covered and took care of all the arrangements.  Here’s a few shots of our room.  The home had 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms!  We loved it!

The funny thing though was as nice as our home was, when we actually got out the next day on the run and saw all the mansions on the island, we realized as my friend Kim put it, that we were staying in a shanty!  LOL

Connie, Kim, Ron, and I all ran together for the first 6 or 7 miles.  We were doing 2 and 1s I think.  That’s when you run 2 minutes and then walk 1 minute.  We are all former or current Galloway runners and this method is very good to keep you injury free.  Ron stayed with us but he decided to slow down at bit and then we split up.

It was a great run.  The crowd support was awesome and even though the previous day was all rain, the day of the run it cleared up.  It was cold but no rain!  We were all thrilled.  When you’re a runner you know you have to deal with the cold and you have to deal with rain but when mother nature attempts to throw both of them at you at the same time, it can be a little much for you to wrap your brain around.  We were so happy we only had the cold to deal with.

I highly recommend Kiawah!  Go run it next year and plan to have a blast!

Here’s a shot of the race shirt and the medal!  Best race shirt ever!  Check out the  hood and the thumb holes!

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Happy Running Friends!

 

 

 

50k for my 50th

I spent May 30 (the day before my birthday) running all day long.  I had a blast.

My Plan didn’t go exactly as hoped starting out with the fact that I overslept.  Sorry Amelia and Kim!  It was so sweet of you guys to offer to run with me.

I woke up at 5:23am and I had hoped to be running by 6:00.  Ron was going to run with me too and there was no way he was going to get ready that fast.

I think we started around 7:15 or so.

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Take a look at Ron’s shirt.  That awful Beaver with the banjo was the Rock-n-Roll shirt.  Horrible!

Anyway, 5k #1 and #2 were awesome.  Ron and I did intervals of running 3 minutes and then walking 1 minute.  It was a gorgeous morning and we both did really well.  Our time was 1:29:23.

Next up I really wanted to go to the Galloway kick-off so I took a break and headed to Raleigh.  I wasn’t shy this time and I got this picture and an autographed book from Jeff Galloway himself!

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Jeff re-qualified for Boston recently with some insanely short intervals.  I am excited to try them out this summer.  I think the group that I will be in will run for 60 seconds and then walk for 30 seconds.  I’ll know next week at my first Galloway run.

When I got home it was after lunch and the heat and humidity were way too much for me.  I decided to tackle #3 and #4 on the treadmill.   I cranked the AC down to around 72 and put the ceiling fan on high.  My time for those was 1:19:40.

I should mention some of my fueling strategies up to this point.  Before the first 2 5ks I had a banana.  Afterwards I had a huge green smoothie.  I took one gel during #3 and #4 and then afterwards I had a hummus wrap filled with greens.

Next up my good friend Connie met me at White Deer Park and we did 3:1 intervals for 5k #5.  Our time was 37:47.  Thanks so much Connie for running with me and for my birthday present of White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter!  You know I love it!  (PS.  I can’t believe I forgot to ask you to pose for a picture.  Sad smile)

Then I was supposed to meet some other friends to walk my next 5ks but that didn’t end up happening.  I walked a mile, ran a mile, and walked the last 1.1.  Then I did 60:30s for the next 3.1 and my time was 53:21.  It was beginning to cool down some and I really had a nice time.  I love White Deer Park so much!

Next I slipped through the Wendy’s drive thru and got a baked potato and a junior Frosty.

Then Ron met up with me again and we ran #8 and #9 on the Clayton River Walk by the Neuse River.

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We did a combination of 60:30s and 2:1s and had a great time.  I was so impressed with how well Ron was running.  Our time was 1:31:35.  It was getting dark by this time and we didn’t have headlamps.  Ron was all set to run anyway even though that would have meant over 15 miles for him.  The farthest he’s ever gone is 16 miles.  He was so sweet!

I couldn’t ask that of him though and we stopped after #9 and headed to Double Barley Brewing to celebrate!  Deep River Brewing closed at 9:00 and it was a good thing because DB had it going on.  Their beer garden was so inviting and relaxing.

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We had my favorite guacamole and chips and chips.

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And then I had this awesome pizza!

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Oh my word.   Delicious!

We made it home around 11:00 and I hit the treadmill to knock out #10.  I have to admit I was a little tipsy after 2 Thilla in Vanillas the first mile was interesting to say the least.

I got it done though and finished up with a time of 49:25.

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I finished with 5 minutes to spare in the day!  Smile

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I hopped in the shower and was asleep in no time!

My combined time added up to be 7:42:12.

The best news was when I woke up on Sunday I wasn’t sore one bit!  Intervals rock!  Seriously.  31 miles and it was like I hadn’t even run.

I am so stoked to try for a 50 Miler this September at Hinson Lake!

Next up my 13.1 recap from yesterday!

RunRaleigh Half Marathon

I just finished up the RunRaleigh Half and it was amazing!  Very well run race.  I cannot express enough how awesome the race organizers and volunteers were.

Here are my results and I am so impressed with how fast they were posted!   Way to go RunRaleigh!

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My time was 2:26.   I had no idea exactly how I was doing until after the race as I ran Garmin free.

Well that’s a lie.  I could tell that I was somewhere between the 2:15 pace group and the 2:30 pace group but other than that, I didn’t know what my pace was at any given time.  I think the first half of the race was much faster than the last 6 miles.  If I had to guess, I bet my pace was around 10 minute miles at the beginning and then probably around 12-13 minute miles from around the middle to the end.

Raleigh is very hilly but I am happy to report that I ran each and every one of the hills.  Sometimes the people that were walking the hills were going about as fast as I was but I was running.  Smile  I ran the whole way except I did walk a few steps at each water stop.  I didn’t walk all the way through the water stops like I usually do but I did walk a little while I was drinking.

Now for a complete recap beginning with packet pick-up.  RunRaleigh was a small race with only 554 racers.  No expo per se but packet pick-up was very well organized and held at only the best running store in the Triangle, Capital RunWalk!  I need to go to RunWalk more because they really are fabulous.  They gave us 20% off but all I got were 2 gels this time.

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The one on the left was Salted Caramel and it was SO delicious!  Definitely my new favorite.  I did end up taking both gels this time.  My plan was to take one at mile 5 and then the 2nd at mile 10.  The first one went well but after some Gatorade at mile 8.5, my stomach wasn’t doing 100%.  I decided to wait until mile 11 for the 2nd GU and that ended up being perfect.

Here’s my Flat Melissa for the record.  I wore my Fuel Belt but all I had in it were my gels and my car key.  This was my first race without a Bondi Band and my visor ended up doing very well.  Not sure why I decided to go without a Bondi Band.  I think I was expecting it to be sunny and I wanted some sun protection.

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It didn’t end up being sunny at all.  However, it was very soupy out today!  The temperature was only around 68 degrees at the start but the humidity was pretty bad.  I knew after about mile 2 we were in for a hot one!

I loved the race course.  It went through some of downtown Raleigh and then did a lot on the Capital Area Greenway.

I have run so much of the Greenway from 2 years ago when I ran with Raleigh Galloway and I love it so much.  The greenway was so peaceful.  We did go through 2 tunnels this time and I am happy to report that the city of Raleigh has added lights!  No more vertigo feelings.  Yay!  Speaking of Raleigh Galloway, I saw tons of walk runners and so many Galloway friends.  I miss them!  Many of the walk runners finished way ahead of me and that technique really works for so many.  I can’t get it to work for me because of my deathly slow walk but I am definitely signing up to run with them next year.  Long runs can get quite boring running all the same loops by yourself.

The race was pretty uneventful for me.  I ran the whole way by myself.  Some of my mantras today were:

It’s not a water stop so no walking!  It’s not a water stop so no walking!  Only an hour left.  Only an hour left.  It’s just a hill.  Get over it!  And of course, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I did see one barefoot runner.  She had long gray hair and she passed me at around mile 11.   After she passed me I kept thinking about Born to Run and Cabio Blanco and that kept my mind busy for at least a mile.

The best thing about the course to me was the magnificent volunteers.  Everyone was so supportive.  The best group of volunteers has to go to the Black Girls Run group right near the end of the race.  I sped up so much and it was all because of their super cheering and smiles.  Thanks so much BGRs!  Love you!

The finish line was nice and the medals are very pretty.

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RunRaleigh’s medal is  the black one right in the middle.  The reason for the dog and cat on the medal was because the SPCA was the main charity the race was supporting.

The finish line food was good.  Just your basic bagels, oranges, and bananas but really that’s all I ever want after a race.

Here I am all showered up and ready to take on this Splendid Sunday!

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I love the race shirt but friends, it is coming off before I head out to go grocery shopping.  Too hot in this neck of the woods for long sleeves today!

Oh, that reminds me of something super funny.  I got Mason a new long sleeve shirt on Friday night.  He wanted to wear it on Saturday but I told him it had to get cold before he could were that one.  It wasn’t long until Andie was questioning Mason why his new shirt was in the refrigerator.  Smile  Makes perfect sense to me!  LOL!

All in all it was a super run today.  I got to visit with my amazing friend Lisa at the beginning of the race and she was right there for me at the finish line!  Way to go Lisa!  Awesome, awesome job on your best Raleigh time!  You are going to fly at OBX next month!

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Happy Running Friends!

Marathon Saturday

Last Saturday morning began like every other Saturday morning has all summer long.  I got up when it was still dark.      I applied chamois butt’r.  I got my running clothes on and filled my water bottles.  I ate a slice of bread with peanut butter and banana.  I got my cup of coffee and headed out the door.  I was off to meet my Galloway group for our weekly long run.

Saturday’s long run was 23 miles!

This was what our route looked like:

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Click here for some shots of Raleigh Galloway in action.

I really felt very strong and was so happy!  I met another person that is signed up for the Medoc Trail Marathon and we ran together for about 5 miles.  He had such an easy going attitude about our upcoming race he really put me at ease.  And since this run was going so well, I kept feeling better and better and more confident.

The people in our group that were training for a half marathon stopped at 10 miles.  That left about 15 people or so in our group at this point.  5 of us were scheduled to run 23 miles and about 10 others were running 26.  Things were still going very well for me.  It had been raining on and off the entire morning but it wasn’t a problem at all.  I wore a hat so I could keep the rain off my face.  It was a little humid so the rain actually kept me nice and comfortably cool.

Then something happened.

The last couple of miles were straight up and even though I had already run them on our first loop, I let them psych me out the second time.

I started walking for more than the allowed 1 minute in our interval training.  I think I walked about 4 whole minutes.  Then it was all over.

Friends, there is one thing that I have learned in distance running and that is you can’t walk for long.  If you do, it gets harder and harder for your legs to get going again.

I walked too long and that sealed my fate.  I had to walk the entire way back up those hills.  I couldn’t muster even a shuffle.

I covered 23.1 miles in 5 hours and 21 minutes.

After the run, I went to Whole Foods and got a slice of veggie pizza and about 2 cups of fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and cantaloupe) off their salad bar.  I knew I needed some protein and I was craving chocolate milk.  I couldn’t find any single servings so I ended up stopping at McDonald’s.  There I got the chocolate milk and I also got a Large Diet Coke.  Lately, I have been craving soda so much after my really long runs.

At this point, my running for the day was not quite over.  Some of my friends from church were running in a 5k and I had signed up to run with them.

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So….I took a hot shower, changed, and headed out the door again.

I was surprised that my legs were so fresh after only about a 3 hour rest.  I was running with one of my friends and we were clicking off a sub 10 minute mile pace for a while.  I did stop one time for some water and then I had to stop one more time when my shoe came untied.  (I didn’t double knot as I usually do and I can remember thinking to myself that it’ would never come untied in only 3.1 miles.  Rookie mistake!)

My 5k time was 33 minutes and I couldn’t have been happier.

26.2 glorious marathon miles for the day.

However, the most amazing thing to me was that the next morning when I woke up, I wasn’t very sore at all!

After the other 2 marathons that I have run, I looked like this.

Not this time.  I did feel a little twinge in my right hip but nothing bad at all.  I can only attribute this phenomenon to the Galloway intervals!  They are truly the way to keep running until you’re 100!

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Galloway autograph

Happy running!

I wish you peace, joy, and happiness always!

xxoo,

Melissa

Run the Valley…..and the Mountain

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most photos by Christy Crisco and used by permission

In my quest to run a race a month for all of 2012, I came across the little gem of a race called Run the Valley.

Since my training mileage is increasing every week, I knew I wanted to look for at least a half marathon. If I was going to miss my Galloway training run I knew I had to make it worth it. However, my stipulations were many. I wanted a race destination that was not too far away. I wanted a low entry fee. I wanted a medal. And, most importantly, I wanted a cool race shirt. Run the Valley met and far exceeded all my expectations.

Run the Valley begins in the town of Badin and runs to the top of Morrow Mountain and then back again. I had never heard of Badin but I knew Morrow Mountain. My niece got married there so I knew it was close to my sister’s home in Mt. Pleasant, NC. Total distance from the Raleigh area was only about 2.5 hours away. Perfect. I knew I could either drive early the morning of the race day or I could spend the night with my sister. No hotel costs for me. Huge Win!

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The entry fee was only $35.00. I could not believe it. At first I just knew that you’d never get a medal for that price and if you got a shirt, it would be a” rotten” cotton one.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. For the very low price of $35.00, somehow they provided us with the most amazing race you could imagine. Nice medal. Very cool shirt. A long sleeved technical one and you even had the choice of a man’s or woman’s fit.  And we even got a sweat towel.

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I was sold! I knew I wanted to do it but I knew that running a race alone (no matter how cool of a race it is) is never as much fun as when you share the adventure with a friend. My only problem was that Ron hasn’t been training as much lately and he isn’t prepared to run that far right now. I knew I’d have to drum up a buddy to run with from my Facebook friends. I posted on my FB page and I didn’t get any takers so I also posted on my Galloway pace group page. That’s where I met up with Dottie.

Dottie has been running for over 30 years and is an inaugural member of the Raleigh Galloway Program. She said there couldn’t have been more than 20 or 30 members when they began and now our Raleigh group is over 500 members strong. That makes us the largest Galloway program in the nation. Dottie has 10 full marathons under her belt and too many half marathons to remember. She saw my post and was also intrigued. She decided to register that day.

This year, Dottie mostly runs with the 11:00 pace group and I run with the 10:30’s. We kept missing each other on Saturday mornings and remained FB only friends for about a month. Early race day morning, we met for the first time face to face and became in person friends instantly. Isn’t it so cool how a common hobby such as running and racing can help you find a new friend!? One of the group leaders in the 10:30 group told me that all of her best friends now are people she met at Galloway.

I’ve thought about how I was going to put my thoughts into words all week and how in the world I would ever give you a glimpse of the beauty of the valley and the mountain.

I knew it was going to be hard. Especially hard because I had only one photo to share with you. My phone has officially bit the dust. It hasn’t really worked well at all since I ran with it in the rain back in March. I had charged it all night but before I could even snap one picture on race morning, it was dead. This photo of me and Dottie with our medals was taken by a nice person I met at the awards ceremony. Her name was Kara and when I told her my phone had died, she didn’t hesitate to snap a picture and email it to me. Thanks Kara!

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What I really needed were all the cool pictures that the race photographer took. So, I found her on FB and sent a message to her. I asked for permission to use her pictures and luckily she agreed. I’m not positive that she took every single one of these pictures but since she seemed like she was the head race photographer, I’m hoping that it will be ok. Please visit their FB page for a complete viewing of all the wonderful race day photographs. 

Early Saturday morning, I drove into Badin. It was still dark and when I approached the town limits and I could just make out the lake that Badin is famous for. Badin Lake is very popular and the boat dock was quite busy that morning as are most Saturday mornings I am sure. There was a slight mist rising from the lake and that mixed with all the lights from the trucks and boat trailers gave me a sense that I was in for quite the adventure.

Just around from the dock, my Garmin told me to turn and I found my way to an Elementary School that runners were supposed to park at. One foot out of my car and I knew something was different. It was Saturday. It was dark. But it was cold. I have been running all summer and every Saturday I faithfully apply sunscreen while it is still dark and try to find something to wear that will camouflage all the sweat that I will be swimming in moments after I begin running. Today was different. It was cold. I couldn’t believe it. Fall was actually here and the horrors of this challenging, humid, HOT, Summer were finally coming to a close. I was SO happy.

Dottie and I met up at the bib pick up area and quickly became friends. We then started planning our Mountain strategy. Dottie doesn’t normally run her Galloway intervals on race days anymore since she is so experienced. However, I really wanted to. She didn’t think twice and agreed to run them with me. I set my Garmin to the run 3 minutes – walk 1 minute interval and just like that we were off.

Note…that’s the one small suggestion I have for the race directors. It was fine to just say, “On your mark, get set, Go!”   I liked that part a lot. I didn’t miss the gun start at all. I did miss the singing of the national anthem. I did really miss the prayer. I’m sure there was someone in Stanley County that would have loved to showcase their voice with the singing of the national anthem. And, with all the Run for God t-shirts that I saw in the race, I’m sure others missed beginning the race with a prayer.

The race began very quickly and before I knew it I looked around and Dottie and I were dead last. Not a single person behind us. That has never happened to me in a race. I could not believe it and was sort of freaking out. Dottie wasn’t irritated in the least and just told me to stick with the intervals and that we’d catch up to some other runners soon enough. Her easy going attitude calmed me down and we settled into a good rhythm. The run down Valley Drive was so tranquil. Dottie kept pointing out different houses she liked and how nice the landscape was. It was a very pretty run.

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Not long after we started up Morrow Mountain Road, I spotted some runners in the distance. The mountain was tough but with the intervals it was doable.

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Here’s an elevation graph so you can get an idea of what we were facing.

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We kept chugging up the hills and then there was this huge hill and a sharp horseshoe curve. There was a race photographer right there in the curve so I told Dottie that we had to run and smile for the picture.

Here’s a shot of me in that curve.

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Here’s my very favorite picture of the entire race. Two runners giving each other a high five as they pass one another.

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And here’s another great mountain shot:

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We made it to the top before we knew it and then we began the descent.  We met up with a two other runners and chatted with one of them a bit.  It was his first half marathon and I told him that he really picked a hard one.

We trailed 2 other runners the entire way back into Badin.

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We finished up just behind them and when we met up with them at the food tent, they just smiled and smiled and told us that we were really challenging.  They said we were relentless.

This race was one of my very favorite that I’ve ever run.

Dottie won 1st in her age group and I won 3rd in mine.

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My very first trophy ever.  I am so proud of it but I promised myself that I’d come clean tonight and reveal that there must have only been 3 women in my age group.  LOL

85 total participants.  The smallest but most wonderful half marathon I’ve ever run.

Way to go Vac and Dash!  Next time I’m  in your next of the woods, I’ve got to visit your running store.  Well, running and vacuum cleaner store that is.  I’ve got nothing but the highest regards for you all!

Good Medicine

I am happy to report that I did make it out for my run this morning.  16 miles completed!  I don’t know the exact stats because I was using Ron’s Garmin for the first time and I didn’t quite have the hang of it.  My Garmin is on it’s last legs after a little over 2 years of faithful service.  It still works, it just doesn’t hold a charge for more than about an hour.  I can use it during the week but on a 16 miler I knew the battery would die.

Our Galloway group runs at at 3:1 ratio.  I was trying to set Ron’s Garmin up to beep after 3 minuets and then again after one minute.  I wasn’t successful so after a few miles into our run, I just gave up.  What we do is run for 3 minutes and then walk for 1 minute and then repeat.  Since I was running with the group, it wasn’t critical that my watch worked.  Plenty of other people had theirs on so I could hear the beeps perfectly.  We have about 30-40 people in our group.  We are called the Wanna Beasts and are in the 10:30 pace group.  The Raleigh Galloway group is one of the largest in the nation and our entire group with all the different pace groups is up to around 500 members strong.

Today we ran on the Capital Area Greenway 5 miles out and then 5 miles back.  After the 10 miles the people that were training for a half marathon departed and then we headed back out.  There were 3 of us today that were shooting for 16 miles so after 3 more miles in we turned around.  Everyone else kept on truckin’ and then some turned around after 4 miles and some ended up doing the entire course again and logged 20 miles.

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We have run on the Greenway many times so far this season and I just love that it is so shaded.  Keeping the sun at bay this summer has been a huge help.  The only thing that I really don’t like about the Greenway is that there are a few tunnels that you have to go through.  Some of them are a little narrow for my taste and relatively long.  With a group of 40 people going through them all at once, I get a little dizzy at times.  Luckily today our group leader had us walk through all of the tunnels.

I think my time for the 16 miles was around 3 hours and 30 minutes.  I was glad to have completed the 16 miles but I can’t say I was all that happy with my time.  All day long I have been moping around the house feeling sorry for myself.  I thought I was so much slower than I was 2 years ago when I was training for my first marathon.  About an hour ago, I was looking through my old times on the computer and I saw that on 9-18-10, I ran 16 miles with a time of 3:25:32.  Almost exactly like my time from today.  (With a Garmin, you download all your runs onto the computer.  I’ve saved all my old stats.)  I’ve got to stop being so hard on myself!  I think I just wrote recently that how fast I was didn’t matter.  I think I mentioned that I need to just be happy that I have my health and that I’m able to run.  This is supposed to be a hobby isn’t it?  Aren’t hobbies supposed to be joyful?

I want to improve but I want to have fun more.  I’m really gonna work on this!

Here are 2 funny things I heard today:

“Hills?  No problem, I’ve never met a hill I couldn’t walk up.”

and

“Hay!  You can’t be slower than me.  I’m a professional!”

I think these people have got the whole hobby and joyful thing down!   Smile

Now for an update on the patient.  He’s been really quiet today and has slept a lot!  I think he’s going a little stir crazy already.  He’s still doing really great but I can tell he can’t wait to get back to normal.

I made a very tasty dinner again tonight.  It was pasta fagioli which just means an Italian bean soup served over pasta.  I dvr the tv show Totally Vegetarian and that’s where I got the recipe.  I searched their website for the recipe but I couldn’t find it anywhere.  So, I just sat down in front of the tv and wrote it out.

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I was out of pasta so I substituted couscous.  Couscous are pearls of small balls of toasted semolina flour.  These tricolor ones were flavored with spinach and tomato.

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All you do is chop up one stalk of celery, 2 carrots, and one onion.  Sauté’ them in 2 TBSP of EVOO.  After they cook a bit, add some garlic.  Then after the garlic cooks a little, add some sage, rosemary, and dried oregano.  You were supposed to have fresh sage and rosemary but I used dry.  Next, add one can of beans of your choice, one can of tomatoes, and 3 cups of water.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

While that is simmering, cook your pasta.  In my case, I cooked the couscous.

Serve your soup over the pasta.  The lady on Totally Vegetarian suggested a cool topping made by grilling some bread crumbs in EVOO and adding garlic and crushed almonds.  I wanted to skip this step but Ron wouldn’t hear of it.  We used some Ezekiel 4:9 cereal for the bread crumbs and substituted mixed nuts for the almonds.  That topping was the bomb!

I was pretty hungry and I dug into my bowl before I snapped a picture.  The picture above was a staged one that I set up after dinner.  I only made 2 servings of couscous so that’s why it is missing in the picture.  The topping was all gone too.  Ron had a second bowl and he just dumped all the topping in.  He loved it.

Happy Running!  Happy Eating!

and remember

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  Proverbs 17:22

Goodnight Friends!

Run – Walk – Run

Back in December of last year, I got the idea that I wanted to do a race a month for all of 2012.  I’ve had a blast in all of my races so far and I even went a little crazy in April and did 4 races.  However, here it is June 30th and I have no race to recap for this month.  I almost did the Captrust 10k at the beginning of June but to be honest, my racing budget was bone dry.  I splurged in April with all of those races and in then I depleted my race money with what is turning out to be the best money I’ve ever spent as far as running goes.  So….here’s my June recap for you.  Welcome to “Run-Walk-Run.”

On May 12th, I shook hands with an Olympian, and joined the world of Galloway runners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had run the Clayton Road Race that morning so I ended up arriving a little late to the 2012 Galloway Kick-off.  Jeff Galloway was speaking as I slipped my sweaty self into one of the back seats in the auditorium.  The comment that made me sit up a little straighter and take notice was when he said that for every hour that you exercise, you add 2 hours to your lifespan.  Pretty cool huh?  There were many questions from the crowd and he answered each one with a passion that was such an inspiration to me.  One question came from an 86 year old lady.  She asked at what age should she stop running.  He told her to not worry.  She had many more miles ahead of her.  I have since learned that this woman’s name is Iris and I see her every Saturday.  Wow!  I want to be just like her when I’m in my 80’s.

I’ve been running since December of ‘09 and I trained for my first marathon all by myself using The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer.  I had great success with this method and went from the couch to finishing the OBX marathon in November 2010 in just under 5 hours.  I was hooked.  I signed up right away for another marathon.  This time it was Wrightsville Beach.  For this training plan, I was first using the Hal Higdon Intermediate plan but the 5 day a week run schedule kicked my butt.  I modified it a bit and dropped it down to only 4 days a week.  The mileage was still pretty high.  I could do it and I was still having fun but let me just say that it is a HUGE time commitment.  I did shave 9 minutes off my time however afterwards, I was mentally spent!  That’s when I took a break from running.  I only slowed down for about 3 or 4 months but during that time, I gained 20 pounds back and developed plantar fasciitis.  The pounds and the injury slowed me way, way down.  That was the summer/fall of 2011 and since then, I have been struggling to get back to my 2010 running shape.  Nothing was working.  I had lost my focus.

Then comes Galloway and this is turning out to be exactly what I have needed.  I am learning that I may never see a 4:47 marathon again let alone the 4:30 that I have been dreaming of and that is ok.  Enjoying the run, making friends, and staying injury free are what I need to concentrate on.  I am a grandmother you know!

We meet up every Saturday morning rain or shine or in today’s case, sweltering heat.  Local running stores host our runs and they give us discounts on stuff we buy at their stores.

 

They also spoil us with ice cold water, bagels, and fruit after each run.  Here are today’s treats:

We have 450 Galloway runners here in the Raleigh area alone.  So you see, each Saturday is like a race in itself.  We break up in different pace groups and run on some of the most amazing routes you can imagine.  Last week we ran from Crabtree Mall past Shelley Lake on the Capital Area Greenway.  Today we ran on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham.

I joined the 10:30 pace group and was so pumped when I found out our pace group name was Wanna Beasts.  I do wanna be a beast so this was the place for me.

The Galloway method is a run, walk, run sequence.  In our pace group we run for 3 minutes and then walk for 1 minute.  By doing this, you will not believe how much better you feel.  I can remember back to some of my long runs in 2010 and afterwards all I could do is shower and make it to the couch.  That’s were I’d stay for the rest of the day.  Now, after our Saturday long runs, I’m rejuvenated and ready to take on my weekend.  The best thing of all with Galloway’s plan is that I actually can have a life now.  I only have to run two other days a week for 30 minutes.

Will it this low mileage plan work?  Will running only 3 days a week still give me the strength to make it 26.2?  We shall see.  Something tells me that it will.  I’ve already signed up for The City of Oaks full and I’m thinking very seriously about running Baltimore a few weeks before that.  And who knows?  Maybe the Virginia Beach Rock-n-Roll half and the Kiawah Island full medals might just end up on my wall this year too!