It’s been a while, because, Life

But I have been training and running and have completed several more 5Ks.  I know you want to hear about them, so, here:
5K twenty five and 5K  twenty five and a half were back to back loops of the Preddy creek trail.  I wanted to see if I could, with some hussle, fit two loops in right after a work day.  It turns out that I can:
5K 25 18-Mar-20195K 25.5 18-Mar-2019
I went one direction for the first lap and then switched directions for the second lap; you know, because boredom!
5Ks twenty six and twenty eight were yet more loop at Preddy Creek:
5K 26 20-Mar-20195K 28 26-Mar-2019

5K Twenty Seven was the longest “5K” that I have done this year.  It was the Charlottesville 10-miler.  After I ran this race last year, I swore I would never do it again.  It’s hilly and difficult, starts REALLY early in the morning and it was very cold last year.  After some convincing from my race wife, I found myself signed up for this race again!!!  I never saw her during the race.  I found her at the finish line and assume that, as always, she beat me.  But it turns out that she crossed the starting line far ahead of me and also crossed the finish line far ahead of me, but I spent 12 second LESS on the race course than she did, so I beat her!
Charlottesville 10-miler 23-Mar-2019 - 5K 2710-miler
Here’s me at mile 9.  I am glad to almost be finished:
It was a bit faster than last year and overall the race felt much better and easier, so there’s that.

An injury in karate the week after the 10-miler has put a bit of a damper on my training, so I haven’t really been in the gym or doing training runs.  I was practicing self defense with a team mate who put me in a very tight headlock that I couldn’t get out of, so I took him down to grapple with him and on the way down, my rib and his knee or elbow collided.  It’s hard to explain the pain that comes with that and how much core/rib muscles are used in everyday life, especially in activities such as sneezing or coughing.  I’m still not 100%, so I am wimpy training and doing what I can.  But I DID make the decision to try to run the Charlotte Spartan Super that I was signed up for with my race wife.  I had to wimp out of a few of the obstacles and my burpees were weaksauce, but we finished and it was 5K number Twenty Nine:
5K 29 Charlotte Spartan Super 06-Apr-201955929375_10155970633741861_9017803602009260032_o.jpg
This race was MUDDY, but the water was warmer than I thought it would be.  Here are my race wife, my tiny baby bicep poking out of my race jersey and I at the finish:
And us at the fire jump, which is the last obstacle.  Notice the man with “surly face” photobombing our otherwise perfect photo:

Keep in mind my rib is still injured.  Yet I was signed up for TWO 5Ks on April 13th.  I’m the kind of gal that doesn’t want to back out of a race that has been paid for.  5K Thirty was the Virginia Institute of Autism Run for Autism 5K.  Autism Spectrum Disorders affect so many children and their families and loved ones.  A friend took the time to message me after the race and thank me for running the race and bringing awareness to ASD.  This is why I love running charity races.  David, the friend that I ran the race with (I say this loosely as he finished many minutes ahead of me, go DAVID!!!!) asked that I make the $10 donation to VIA.  I have added another $10 for the friend that messaged his support after the race.
Run For Autism 5K

I’m so sorry this post is so long; I promise to blog more often.  Finally, 5K number thirty one was with my race wife.  It was the very challenging Albemarle CiderWorks Hard Cider 5K.  Because we are who we are, we opted for the donut option, so we also ate a donut at each mile.  It was not a fast race at all:
That’s the mile 2 donut right there!  By the way, we both wore totally appropriate shirts for this race; I’d like everyone to notice that.  She chose The Haven as the beneficiary of the $10 donation, so $10 has been sent to The Haven.

I technically have only 9 5Ks to go, but I am upping my ante.  I’m going for 100!!!  If you feel inspired by what I am doing, please donate to some of the causes that I have been blogging about and supporting.  Or please ask me when you can do a 5K with me.  Remember, all fitness levels are welcome.  I’m happy to walk with you if you aren’t able to run.  Or we can figure something else out if you aren’t mobile!

Help me hit 100, y’all!




I’m over half way there

There’s been a lot of training and a lot of running, which is why there hasn’t been a lot of blogging.
I just completed 5K #23 for the year.  Technically I have 17 left, but I realize that I set my goal too low, so I want to try to hit 100 for the year!!!  I am also running the Charlottesville 10-miler on March 23rd.  My shins have been bothering me, so I haven’t run in nearly a week, but I have been covering distance through hiking and fast walking.  I will be under-trained for the race, but that’s better than injured.  I feel under-trained for most races, so that’s nothing new for me!
Here’s the rundown of 5Ks that have taken place since the last time we have seen each other:
#15 was done in the pouring down rain with two friends of ours who came to see a show with us the night before.  They were great sports and agreed to walk a 5K with me rain, shine, cold or snow.  It was COLD and RAINY:
5K fifteen
Laurin chose the Virginia Beach SPCA as the beneficiary.

#s 16 & 17:
5K sixteen 24-Feb-20195K seventeen 25-FEb-2019

Both of these were me, inside, on the track by myself, but the times were pretty good!!!
#s 18 and 20 were lonely laps around and around and around at the gym track:
5K Eighteen 01-Mar-20195K TWENTY 04-Mar-2019

#s 19 & 22 were walks with George.  He hasn’t yet chosen a charity for these walks, but rest assured I will tell you about it when he does!!!
5K Nineteen 02-Mar-20195K 22 10-Mar-2019

5K #21 was The Haven’s Run for Home, all proceeds from the race went to benefit the Haven and their day shelter program to help homeless and very poor in our area.
I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, but I made improvement over last year, so there’s that:
5K 21 - 09-Mar-2019
It’s a HARD, hilly run!!!

5K #23 may be the run that did my shins in for being well prepared for the Charlottesville 10-miler.  It was another lonely indoor 1/12th of a mile track run:
5K 23 - 11-Mar-2019
I don’t know why my shins were so sad as the pace was super slow!!!

And now to today.  I knew I needed to cover some distance to try to help prepare for the 10-miler, but I can’t really run as I am trying to preserve the shins.  So, I went to Preddy Creek and managed to do 2 laps before it got dark.  It’s technically 2 5Ks, but I am only counting it as one:
5K 24 - 15-Mar-20195K 24.5 - 15-Mar-2019
I tried out my new Altra zero drop trail shoes.  They are sooooooo light and I think I really like them!!!

24 down, 16 to go.  But, really, let’s make it 76!!!!  I can totally do 100 this year.  And the deal still stands…..if you do a 5K with me, I will make a $10 donation to the charity of your choice.

Help me hit 100, friends!!!

And the voodoo magic continues

Since we last “spoke,” I have done 5 additional 5Ks.  My total for 2019 now stands at 14.  One of the was technically two 5Ks, but since I did it all at once, I am only counting it as one of them.  Afterall, I am not even remotely behind on reaching towards my goal of forty 5Ks.  Here’s what I have been up to:

5K nine
George and I did this 5K together, so he chose the campaign of Jennifer Kitchen as the beneficiary of the $10 donation.
And I did all of these myself:
5K ten
5K eleven
5K twelve
5K thirteen
I’d like to point out my paces.  They have been AWESOME.  The only reason they seem “high” is because I do some walking before and after the run!  See this one above.  I ran 6 continuous miles and I believe I did it in under 60 minutes.  That’s AMAZING for me.  Either better nutrition or 10 lbs of weight loss or a little bit of both have made a MASSIVE difference in my running performance…….which is great, because the 10-miler is coming up and I want to finish in under an hour and 50 minutes!!!

My great friend Helen completed 5K #14 with me.  We decided to hike High Top at the Swift Run Gap at Shenandoah National Park.  Most of the Park is closed to vehicle traffic because the roads aren’t safe to drive on, but this hike, which is one of my favorites is close to the entrance and still accessible.
5K fourteen
She chose the SPCA as the beneficiary of the $10 donation, so the cute pups, cats and rabbits at the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA got a little bit of a boost this week.

I’ve been putting some miles on these legs and taking some pounds off, y’all!

Gym Voodoo Magic

I would like to start off by saying that I have eight 5Ks completed now, so I am 1/5th of the way to my goal and we are only about 1/12th of the way through the year.  Chances are good that I will get at least double the number of 5Ks that I set out for initially.  It’s ok though, I will still do as many as I can with other people and make the $10 donations to the charity of their choice.

There was an inner dialog that went on before 5K #7.  It was Sunday.  Gravity is strong on Sundays, especially when it is cold and there are good things on TV, which is basically every Sunday from November until March.  Lazy me wanted to stay on the couch, under a blanket and watch TV or read all day.  Crazy me wanted to go to the gym and run at least 5K.  Crazy me NEVER wins these battles.  The best I could hope for was a compromise.  So lazy me and crazy me did some negotiating.  George was willing to walk a 5K with me, so the compromise was a walk outside with the dogs.  The dogs always enjoy this choice!  5K #7 looked something like that:
5k number seven
The beneficiary of the $10 donation for this 5K was the ACLU, as chosen by George.

Now, let me get to the part of the blog that I know you are here to read.  I decided to go to the gym Tuesday evening to run.  The 10-miler is bearing down on me (it’s in late March) and so far the best I have been able to muster is a walk run combo for 3-ish miles.  That’s not going to cut it for a 10-miler.  I didn’t feel like I had tiger blood running through my veins or anything like that, but I set off walking the first three laps of the track (it’s a 1/12th of a mile track) as I always do.  Once I had walked these three laps, I started jogging, as I always do.  But something was different… didn’t suck immediately as it always does.  So, I just kept jogging.  I try not to look at my Garmin watch too much when I am running as I think it makes me antsy when I get close to the distance that I want to run.  I glanced down just to check my pace and was astonished.  ASTONISHED, I say…….

My last actual race 5K was on January 1st of this year.  I finished in 32 minutes and 44 seconds, which is a 10:33 mile average.  I was shocked at this result, both because I was hungover and because it was a personal record by a fairly significant amount.  My race miles tend to be faster than my training miles as long as the course is fairly flat.  My training miles have been somewhere in the 11:30 to 12:00 per mile range and they have all been unpleasant this year.

Yesterday was the first 5K that I have run in about 11 days.  Yesterday was also day #15 of a healthy eating and weight loss challenge I am doing through my karate studio.  So, I have made some pretty drastic changes in my diet (including eating less calories and little to no added sugar).  I have also lost a few pounds as a result of the challenge.  So……back to my astonishment.  I was ASTONISHED when I caught a glimpse of my pace on my Garmin as I was running.  I was maintaining around a 9 minute mile pace.  And it didn’t suck, and I didn’t feel like I was going to die like I usually do.  I finished up my 5K, though I could have gone longer.  I had somewhere I needed to be and I wanted to walk for a cool down to bring my day’s mileage up to 4.

The scientist in me has hypothesized that the dietary changes have made a HUGE difference in my running performance, but the junk food enthusiast needs to see how repeatable the experiment is.  So, there you have it.  I ran a mile in under 9 minutes yesterday and also completed a 5K in under 29 minutes.  This is what it looked like (the pace is based on the fact that I walked a bit more than a half mile of the 4.)
5k number eight

Will the hypothesis be proven or disproved, y’all.

#4, #5 and #6 are in the books

Initially I didn’t want to complete any of the 5Ks by myself, but I am training for a 10 miler that happens in about 8 weeks, which means I need to run more often than people are available and it also means I need to do some runs on my own.  So, 5K #4 and 5K #5 were just that.  And they were unpleasant.  I’m not sure why I keep signing up for races, or why I decided that 40 5Ks this year was a thing I wanted to do.  I don’t really like to run.  I have NEVER experienced a runner’s high and it’s unpleasant the entire time I am doing it.  If you have any tips for how to get that runner’s high, I am ALLLLLLLL ears!!!

Here’s what runs 4 and 5 looked like.  Like I said…..they were unpleasant, so I was slow and had to do some walking:
5k number 4

My shins started to hurt and I have battled shin splints before, so I switched to walking as soon as that happened.  They seem to be ok now.

#5 was a little better.
5k number 5

And then 11 days passed and temperatures below 15 and a birthday and laziness.  But I completed 5K #6 with my bestie and her daughter:
5k number 6
*have I mentioned that I love my new Garmin because it gives me fun maps and stats like this?!?!
Anywho……my bestie’s daughter chose the charity to receive the $10 donation from this 5K.  She picked Panda Paws Rescue.  I didn’t know anything about this charity, but she is an animal lover and this organization seeks to “end the homelessness, abuse & neglect of all animals. To be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. To stand up and make a change. When we can, to care for those sick, injured, or dying at the hands of others. To nurture and find loving forever homes for them. To make a change, to make a life better, to be an advocate. To care. ”
So, if you feel at all inspired by my training, please train with me, cheer me on, or make a donation to any of the charities that I and my training partners are supporting.

I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on, y’all.

#3 of 40 is in the books

I signed up for the Charlottesville 10-miler yesterday because evidently I hate myself.  As my friend Erin says, “you’ll thank me around mile 8.”  Right, because mile 8 is where I am going to feel thankful that she talked me into a long run!  So, I suspect I will get to the 40th 5K pretty soon in the year, but still want to do many of them with friends, so I will go far over 40 5Ks if I need to!  Running didn’t feel good today (it never really does).  So, I walked about 1/4 mile and then ran until I got to 1 mile and then walked about 1/4 mile, ran until I got to 1 mile, etc until I was at 3.1 miles.  And that definitely couldn’t have come too soon!!!  Here are today’s stats:
13-jan-2019 5k

#3 of 40 is in the books, y’all!!!!

#2 of 40 is complete

As this week wore on and snow threatened, I wondered when and where I would get 5K #2 for the year in.  It’s cold outside and many of the trails I use would be treacherous in snow or ask that you don’t use them in sloppy weather to prevent erosion.  And I HATE going to the gym just after the new year.  It’s just too crowded to enjoy a workout, especially walking or running around the track 38-ish times.  Going to the gym in January feels #JustLikeThisit-begins

I got lucky this weekend.  I don’t have big plans AND the snow is going to hold off until mid-day today.  It’s cold, but George and I ate a good breakfast, leashed up the dogs and headed to Preddy Creek Trails Park, which is one of my favorite places for a quick and fairly easy hike, to cover the distance.  It’s also one of my favorite places to try to walk/jog/run in under 45 minutes when I am well trained.  So, 5K #2 is DONE.  Thank you to George for making sure I didn’t have to do it alone.  Today’s journey looks kind of like a vulture:
2019 5k number 2

And I wasn’t BSing about donating to the charity of my training companion’s choice.  George chose this family to receive the $10 donation.  This family lost their several generation family home to a fire over Thanksgiving and, while they had insurance, it’s not enough to build back what they had.  George has know them for years from the Charlottesville music scene and I met them through him a few years ago.  The family is so kind and so active in the community and all of them are insanely talented musicians!!!  Today they will receive $10 from me and I would encourage you to make a donation as well if you have a bit you can spare.

2 of 40, in the books, y’all.

Fitness and Philanthropy in 2019

Hello gentle readers (all of you….I think I am up to like 8 now):  2019 is going to be a year of fitness and philanthropy for me (and hopefully also for several of you).  In addition to the likely 7 Spartan Races I will do (I am signed up for 6, currently, and it seems silly to stop 1 Beast short of a 2X Trifecta), I am also completing FORTY 5Ks.  Here’s the premise though, they don’t necessarily have to be run and they don’t necessarily have to be part of an “organized” race.  The goal is just to cover the distance at least 40 times this year.  That could be walking, running, hiking, cartwheeling, swimming…….ok, not really swimming because that is a LONG ASS swim (according to Google, that takes an average swimmer about 2.5 hours and I am a WELL BELOW average swimmer).

Here’s the catch though, I don’t want to do any of them alone.  This is a shout out to anyone willing to complete a 5K with me.  Come, run with me, walk with me, hike with me, cartwheel with me.  If you aren’t able to do any of those things, let’s figure out a way to cover the distance together.  I will even sweeten the pot by making a $10 donation to the charity of your choice if you complete a 5K with me.  Today’s $10 donation went to the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia because that was the beneficiary of the race, and a few cans of food also made their way to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

I completed the first one today.  I ran alone, but I was in a sea of people, with strangers cheering me on; and two of my good friends also ran the race and both finished before me and were there to cheer me on at the end as I was desperately trying to finish in under 33 minutes.  But, guess what, I DID finish in under 33 minutes (I forgot to stop my watch until about a minute after I finished).  1 down……39 to go, y’all:
New Years Day 5K
This is my last race in the 30-39 age bracket and my first of MANY races for 2019!

The new toy

I have been lusting after and pining for a Garmin Fenix 5S Fitness watch for some time now.  My FitBit Blaze was doing it’s job, but it had started to not charge sometimes when I put it on the charger, I questioned it’s accuracy in steps vs distance and it’s not waterproof.  But there is a HUGE price difference between the FitBit Blaze and the Fenix 5S.  I can see why!!!!  This new toy is AWESOME and the user interface gives me WAY more information that the FitBit interface every did!!!

Take a looksie at the information it provided me from my hike today:

Pretty cool, huh?

I love the new toy, y’all!!!!!