Revel Rockies Marathon

Only a few months after completing my first full marathon in January, and vowing to never run another, I found myself registered for the Revel Rockies Marathon. Whether it was the power of a persuasive friend or the lure of the marathon distance, I can’t be sure. But what I do know is this ….deep down inside of me, even while swearing I’d never run another, I felt I needed one more just to prove to myself that it wasn’t a fluke …that I could do it again. For some reason, the ‘one and done’ felt like I was wimping out. So, when Holly asked if I was interested in running this marathon with her …I knew I had to do it. I had to run ‘just one more marathon’.

Revel Rockies (1)

Continue reading

Advertisements

Keep Calm and Taper On!

Hello all! I know, I know …I haven’t ‘wrapped it up‘ with you guys in a while, but I’m still here trying to eek out this marathon training. To be quite honest, between adjusting to my new job, coping with the hubs deployment and trying to find time to get my workouts in without dying from heat exhaustion …blogging simply hasn’t been a priority. However, with my longest run of this training cycle behind me and the fact that I’m finally beginning to find my groove at work, I’m hoping to settle in to a comfortable routine again.Revel Rockies

I’ve said it before and I continue to stand by it ….I’ve lived here in the South my entire life and yet I still can’t tolerate running in the brutal summer heat we are ‘blessed’ with. April was a solid month of perfect running temps ..aside from all the rain. However, May came in like a menopausal hot flash. The only redeeming quality is that it has been beautifully sunny and has provided ample opportunities for the ‘What The Forecast’ app to keep me amused.20180514_212107.png

I’ve been able to manage two strength training sessions per week and continue to enjoy a weekly pool running session. My weekday runs have continued to be short in distance averaging 4 to 5 miles. At times I’ve worried that these are too short, but honestly I think it will be fine. The fact that I’m two weeks out from my marathon and have no major aches and pains feels good. (Especially considering that at this point before my last marathon, I was sitting in the podiatrists office) And since I’m totally not a 5 a.m. kind of runner, it’s simply too hot for more than 4 miles at 4 o’clock in the afternoon when I get off work. It is what it is.

 

Aside from the heat sucking the life right out of me, my weekend long runs have gone well. I’ve realized that I learned a lot about fueling, hydrating and the timeliness of salt intake from my first marathon training and I believe it has helped to make this one go much smoother. Or maybe it’s just simply the fact that I have overcome the ‘I can’t run that distance’ mentality. Who knows. But what I have learned is this …if you run slow enough, you can run any distance. Unfortunately, there is a time limit for this marathon and I’m a tad nervous about being able to make the cutoff. I’m holding out hope that cooler temps and the downhills will be my saving grace. Time will tell …literally!

                   Scenes from an 18 mile run ~ A beautiful neighborhood sunrise, Southern Magnolia’s in bloom and my own                                                                                                           personal pacer …Mr. Slowsky!

In non-running news, I have survived 6 weeks of deployment and have only suffered one minor meltdown ….praying the next 18 weeks will be as good to me! The college boy is home for at least a month before he goes back for a summer class, the oldest has been checking in on me regularly and offering to do things around the house while I do his laundry. (It’s a trade-off.) And the youngest …well, as we say here in the south, bless his heart …he’s just trying to get through these last few weeks of his junior year of high school. Between these three and Chester Boy, they are doing a good job of keeping me company in the Major’s absence.

                       My sweet boys grilled steaks for me for Mother’s Day while I relaxed …..okay, I cooked the asparagus, pasta salad                         and marinated the steaks. But I sure enjoyed spending the day with them. It’s so rare to have all three in my nest                                                                  at the same time these days! Blessed beyond measure.

…..and that’s a wrap. It’s taper time and just two short weeks to Denver!

I’m linking up with my #runrevel partner in crime, Holly and the fabulous Wendy for the Weekly Wrap linkup!WeeklyWrapNew

 

xoxo,

Finding “Fabulous” at Fifty, one run at a time!

April Runfessions

Whew, what a week! A lot has happened since my last runfessional ….Major Hubs has deployed, I’m one month out from my second marathon and I’ve started a new job! It’s been a crazy busy month and I’ve got a few things to get off my chest or soles, if you will. Let’s get to it, shall we?PicsArt_04-27-08.15.29.jpg

I admit that while I’m enjoying being back in the work force, I have had my share of ‘grieving’ this week. I curse the early morning alarm clock, get frustrated with figuring out what to wear and despise the morning traffic. However, I must runfess that I had forgotten how freaking good a run felt after a day at the office! When you can lace up and go for a run any time you want, it’s easy to take them for granted.

If you follow me, you know that I took up pool running in order to rehab a cranky hip flexor that I apparently aggravated during a very hilly 10k (still no race recap on that one…. maybe one day). The good news is that the hip flexor is all better and I’ve fallen in love with this new method of cross training. The bad news is that it requires me to spend some time in the gym locker room before and after my time in the pool. Now no one has more interesting locker room runfessions than Marcia and to be honest, I thought I had heard it all when she encountered the woman who was blow drying her nether region! However, the other day, after my swim session, I went to the locker to get my clothes and an older woman was sprawled out on the bench, blocking my locker. In the process of leaning over her to get my stuff, she looked up at me, while picking at her foot, and said ..”Have you ever had a corn? I have one and I’m not sure what to do about it?” Ummm… no and just no! Who asks a perfect stranger while half-naked in a locker room about corns?? I runfess that for a split second, I felt as if I had teleported to Marcia’s gym locker room!

dogsmhgif

Last week I was looking for a specific running skirt and in my hurried state, I started pulling items out of the drawer until I found the one I was looking for …. I runfess that I may have a problem, or maybe I just need a bigger drawer!20180427_200236.jpg

Major Hubs is the milk drinker in our house and since he’s been gone, I haven’t bought milk in over a month. I runfess that I’ve somewhat felt that I was ‘healthier’ than him since I always opt for Almond milk. That is until the other day when I opened the refrigerator and was slapped in the face with reality ….my reality. And that is in addition to the bottles of Cabernet sitting on the counter. Don’t judge ….a girl has to survive 6 months of deployment somehow!20180427_200122.jpg

Holly and I are about one month out from our Denver marathon. I can hardly believe we’re that close and I feel totally unprepared …yet oddly not worried in the least. I’m sure, in total ‘ladybird’ style,  I’ll squeeze about 12 weeks worth of stressing the week before race day. However, I runfess, no matter what this marathon experience brings (i.e. quad fatigue, altitude sickness, getting picked up by the course marshal for failure to meet the time limit, etc. etc.) I’m planning on having a heck of a time in Denver with my partner in crime, HoHoRuns!

It’s all good. Life is a journey, you know. There’s twists and turns everywhere you go …you just have to hold on tight, enjoy the ride and laugh like there’s no tomorrow!

I’m linking up with Marcia for the Runfessions link and Rachel, Lacey and Meranda for the Friday Five 2.0.

 

xoxo,

Finding ‘Fabulous’ at Fifty, one Runfession at a time!

Cloud Running: On Cloudflyer Shoe Review

In my never-ending quest to find the perfect running shoe, I recently ordered a pair of On Cloudflyer running shoes. On Running is a relatively new company in the running shoe market. The Swiss company launched its first shoe in 2010 and has been a huge success! If you’ve followed me long enough, you probably know by now that I am a lover of Newton running shoes and have been for many years. However, having been plagued with post tibial tendonitis off and on for a couple of years, I’ve wondered if a little more cushioning in my running shoe would be beneficial. I was told by a local running shoe salesperson that On running shoes have a similar feel to Newtons, only with more cushioning. Well, of course, I had to give them a try!

***I did not receive this product in exchange for a review, I am not an On ambassador nor an affiliate. This review is solely my opinion and based on my own personal experience.***

20180416_192125.jpg Continue reading

🎶Rainy Days and Taxes Always Get Me Down🎶

Happy Sunday and welcome to the Weekly Wrap! I’m honored to have the opportunity to guest co-host, alongside Wendy, this week for my friend Holly as she takes a much-needed break ….a little birdie told me she’s been basking in the sunshine and soaking up some vitamin sea down in Margaritaville! Who else is super jealous?

In the meantime, the marathon ‘train’ing keeps rolling down the tracks and there were a few stops along the way this week ….some pleasant, some not so pleasant and one exciting venture on the horizon.

The not so pleasant pit stops this week were rain and taxes …good grief, I’m so sick of rain. When it storms and rains an entire day, Saturday no less, the same day that you have to stop procrastinating and file your damn taxes …well, it just plain sucks. On the flip side, however, there were some beautiful 80 degree sunshiny days and an afternoon spent alone with my youngest son. You know, it’s rare to have several hours of uninterrupted quality time with a teenager these days ….so I relish in them every chance I get. Oh yeah, and the exciting venture? Well, you’ll just have to read on for that one!Revel Rockies Continue reading

Marathon Training: Lady Bird Gets Her Groove Back

March coming to an end not only means Holly and I are just 2 months out from our marathon in the Rockies, it also marks one week completed of my ‘deployment marathon’ as well.  After throwing myself a 4 day pity party, I woke up on Tuesday morning, laced up the running shoes, had a little chat with myself and hit the old running path where I put in so many miles training for my first marathon …it was there that I think I finally got my groove back. One can only feel sorry for oneself for so long, right? Besides, HGTV bingeing, popcorn, pizza and wine does not burn calories and it certainly doesn’t help with marathon training! Well okay, who am I kidding? The wine helps ….for both marathon training and surviving the deployment marathon!

Revel Rockies Continue reading

Kick Up the Dust Trail Race Recap

The adventurous side of me has been wanting to take my road running legs to some trails for quite some time. However; my logical, side reminding me of how injury prone and clumsy I can be, always won the debate. The thought of getting sidelined from running due to a twisted ankle, busted knee or worse from a pine cone or tree root just never seemed worth it …that is, until Saturday.

I’ve had my eye on this little local trail race for a few months. Knowing that it would be the day after Major Hubs departure and the fact that it was promoted as a great race for beginners made it even more appealing. So, 6 hours after the hubs left and 10 minutes before online registration closed, I threw caution to the wind and signed up for my first trail race. preview.jpg

Three distances were offered …14k, 8k and 4k. While I was really tempted to just say ‘what the hell’ and choose the 14k, I decided maybe I should ease in with the 8k, since I haven’t run on any surface remotely resembling trails in almost two years.

After a short 30 minute drive, I arrived at the site, parked in a grassy area alongside a gravel road and walked up the hill to the registration and packet pick up area.

20180325_133515-1.jpg

Swag included a super soft t-shirt, bag, frisbee and free local smoothie coupons

Immediately, I had one of those ‘Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore‘ moments. Trail races have a much different atmosphere and set up than road races. There was hot coffee, milk, chocolate milk and donuts in addition to the traditional fruit available pre-race.

The race is held on the cross-country course of Mississippi College which runs alongside a Buddy Butts park, a historical landmark which served as a German POW camp during WWII. The 14k course would include one loop on the cross country course then enter the single track trails of Butts park. The 4k and 8k would be run entirely on the cross country course. I will admit that I was a little disappointed to hear this. To be honest though, I never ran cross country and didn’t know exactly what a XC course would look like. In my mind, I pictured all grass and gravel ….and I really wanted to run a little single track.

FB_IMG_1522339545978.jpg

Getting last-minute instructions regarding the course for each distance

After a few instructions and explanations regarding the different courses, we lined up in an open field along a wide invisible starting line marked only by a flag on each side …..all 75 of us. There were no fireworks, horns or gunshot to signal the start …just a simple ‘on your mark, get set, GO!’ FB_IMG_1521930055077.jpg

Within the first quarter-mile, the course gradually narrowed into more of a normal trail width. Before too long, we encountered a little stream which was hard to see due to the fact that we were still running in grass. As I approached it, there was no time to think about how to navigate it other than to just jump it. Let me tell you, these 51-year-old legs haven’t jumped a creek in many, many years. I realized as I landed that I had a huge grin on my face and felt like a kid again. This was fun! Shortly thereafter, we entered the woods and hit a gravel path covered with leaves, small limbs and pine cones.

FB_IMG_1522202570490.jpg

Still not what I would consider technical, I had to constantly look down, watching every step. Around 1.5 miles, the course opened back up into a grassy area where we found our first water stop.

FB_IMG_1522202668251.jpg

Just behind the table is where the 14k runners moved to single track.

We continued on grass path for about a half mile and then entered the most technical section of the XC course, in my opinion. There were several large muddy sections that extended the width of the trail. Do I just barrel straight through the middle of it or try to ease around the edge? I’m sure a seasoned trail runner would’ve just gone right through it …however, since I really wasn’t interested in losing a shoe in a mud hole, I chose to ease around the edge. In doing so, I had to push a few limbs aside and duck around them while trying not to slip in the mud. Sure, it slowed me down a little …but not as much as it would have if I had to dig a shoe out of the mud.

FB_IMG_1521930125905.jpg

Photo courtesy of The Good Samaritan Center

More tree roots and another creek brought us back to the starting area and back on a grass trail. This is where the 4k runners finished and we went on for a second loop. While I normally do not enjoy double loop races, this was an exception. I found myself anticipating certain sections that I had enjoyed the first time around and before I knew it, I was approaching the finish area. Now this was tough …we came out of the woods only to run uphill on grass to the finish line. Seriously? Uphills should never be a part of a finish line of any race! However, they did have volunteers standing at the bottom of hill as you exited the woods, ringing cowbells and cheering you on to the finish line. 20180324_181814.jpg

Post race included more coffee and chocolate milk, donuts, cookies, fruit and biscuits with your choice of sausage gravy or crawfish spinach bisque. Yummy! Trail runners are obviously not worried about calories.

FB_IMG_1522339337388.jpg

Like many trail races, there were no age group awards ..only overall male/female for each distance. And the winners were presented their awards as they crossed the finish line. This year their awards were unique to say the least …but definitely went along with the theme of the race!

FB_IMG_1522339375509.jpg

Yes, it is a dust broom and dust pan! Lol

I hung around and mingled with the other runners for a while, even running into a couple of people from high school. As I was leaving, some of the runners had changed into clean clothes and were getting ready for some friendly competition of corn hole.

I love the laid back atmosphere of a trail race. The runners were friendly, helpful and encouraging to all of us rookies. I also love how laid back they are about finish times. They really just don’t seem to matter to them. They are more interested in the how challenging the course is and how muddy they can get …the more the better! Lol

In the end, I’m glad that I didn’t go for the 14k (one person got lost on the single track) right out of the gate. This was the perfect course and distance to get my feet wet muddy on and I’m pretty sure I’ll be back for more!

The good …no twisted ankles, no banged up knees or elbows and I did find a little mud to get into. The bad …apparently I picked up a nasty little hitchhiker somewhere along the way, maybe when I pushed the limbs back to ease around the big mud hole? Sunday, while sitting in church, I happened to run my hand beneath my hair and felt something stuck on my neck …I pulled it off having no thought as to what it would be. I’m not sure why I was so surprised to see that it was a tick! Yuck! Nasty little critters. I promptly squeezed the life out of him between my nails and made a quick trip to the bathroom to send him swirling down the toilet. One less tick in the woods! I wonder if Brad Paisley had been trail running when he wrote his song with the line “…..I want to check you for ticks’?  Lol

Finish Time 59:40 / Avg Pace: 11:54 / Place 9 out of 20 (8k) / Gender Place 4 out of 12 (8k)

Not bad for a first timer!

20180329_080255.png

 

Have you run any trail races? What was your experience? Ever sustained an injury trail running? 

xoxo,

Finding ‘Fabulous’ at Fifty, one run at a time!