Travels
Queen of Trades; Travel and Photography- Category [Running Thoughts/Ideas/Lessons]

I don't know if anybody on here does any kind of trail running but I recently did a trial run for the first time in years. The last time I attempted to do any kind of trail running I almost landed flat on my face due to not paying attention to what was going on around me (this doesn't include Yellowstone which we all know how that went from my post about it) and after a mile, I gave up and have stuck to concrete roads ever since. 

The downside to that is that of course it's more impact on my knees and I'm sure in another ten years or less I will have side effects of some kind from it. How bad will it be? Who knows but I signed up for it so here we are. 

In any case, I decided to switch things up and attempt to go to a state park that Lylah and I have been to a few times. It's technically a bird island state park but it's quite beautiful and it's quiet which is perfect for running with your pup. For Lylah it was a little confusing since we go there for her to run around all wild and freestyle and she couldn't do that while we were running so she was looking around and at me all confused while we ran and I have to say I think we both enjoyed the change. Not only was I a little slower due to the terrain but it was nice to be on the ground that wasn't so rough. In this particular park, I didn't find the trail running to be too terrible since they seem to maintain the park well enough that you can see the roots before you get to them which is helpful and we cruised through the park just enjoying the weather and passing people we saw with little to no problem. We even saw a park ranger and he nodded to us and didn't seem bothered by what we were doing.

But what I didn't think about was the route I took. We came to the state park in September and there is a part of the trail by the parking lot where you go uphill for quite a ways and then it levels out and can add on about a mile and a half to your trail. It's nice because it's all grasslands up there and it seems a lot of people avoid that part of the trails so it's secluded and Lylah loves romping around up there. Here's what I forgot about that part of the trail. 

I forgot that to get down to the main trail you have to take this little dirt path that has super exposed roots sticking up and it's slick. So good ol me forgot about this and turned to go up to the grasslands trying to add on the extra mileage to try to get somewhere between 4 to 5 miles in total since that was the plan. 

So we turn and were going up and Lylahs pumped up, ready to go and instantly I realize I made an error but I was slowly running up it and trying to push through and I almost died in the first 30 seconds of that decision. It was not only covered in exposed roots but slick from the fallen leaves. I decided, sadly, to walk up the little path and it killed my time. Absolutely destroyed it and once I hit the four-mile marker at the parking lot I stopped. I couldn't believe I forgot about that part. The trail run was enjoyable and I see why most people prefer it but the man did I question myself for that last mile. I do plan to go back there just to change things up and pick different routes to run on so we can explore and change it from the normal runs we do since it not only helps my recovery but is good for lylah and distractions. 

How do you guys feel about trail running? Do you hate it or prefer it? Let me know. 

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With moving here I am almost always out doing something. It could be walking, climbing, hiking, anything really and it has been amazing the changes that have happened. I'm running in the morning these days which if you knew me, almost never happened. You only got me out of bed (in the early mornings) for races and that was only on Saturdays. Any other time that I wanted to run was later in the day or in the evenings and that was my routine. If I got done working late and had planned to run I would go out and run. Even if it was late in the night. 

When I was doing my first half marathon I worked at Kilwins. At Kilwins I mostly worked night shifts so we would get done around 10 p.m sometimes 11 p.m and I wouldn't get home till 11:30 or at the latest 12. Those nights were hard when I had to go run because I wasn't just running, I was training and I honestly didn't have a choice then. I would get home, change, have a glass of water, and go out and do the distance. It was hard but I did it and my half marathon was a success. I did the race in 2 hours and 6 minutes and I felt so proud of myself for making it happen. 

 

My second go at a half marathon I did mixed training but it was more of the same. I did a mix of nights and afternoon training but I really had wished I had gotten up early enough to get it done first thing. I just never could get myself to commit and with Florida weather it was hard to know when it was ok to go. Some days you get ok humidity and other days you were drenched in the first half-mile. You could never really win in that state. 

Now that I live in Tennessee and I have a friend who has been running mornings with me I have the motivation to actually get up and run before the start of the day. It's been so nice here. 50 degrees in the morning and by the time I'm done it's around the low 60s which is fantastic and makes the mornings so much better. Not only do I get my run done early but I also get to actually enjoy the fall weather and not die from humidity or heat waves. 

The plus side to this is that Lylah also gets to enjoy the run because it's cooler and this way she can get some exercise first thing in the morning and get to enjoy the fall time with me. With this change of pace and lifestyle, I'm hoping that training will go smoothly. I've been slowly increasing the milage with Lylah so that I can acclimate her to the milage and also be better prepared this time around. I feel like in my last two training sessions I was able to really accomplish a lot and I learned what I do and don't like when training for a distance as long as thirteen miles. This time I feel like I have a better handle on my abilities and where I need to be by the time I get to the race. 

I'm nervous, excited, and feeling good. Three Half Marathons in my 20's isn't so bad. In honesty, I never thought I would be someone who would do more than a one-half marathon but here I am, signed up for my third and really pushing my limits not only as a person but as a runner as well. 

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Recently I decided to up the number of miles that I run. For a couple of years now I have been keeping up with a regular schedule of doing 5k distances. Once a month I do a 10k so that I can keep up the cardio and test myself and see if I can continue to do the six miles that I once dreaded. Now here I am three and a half years in and I have decided to change it up for the month of December to see if I can do more than normal. I decided to go ahead and do three and a half to four miles on a regular instead of just three and three alone. 

Let me say this right now, it hurts. Like really hurts. My body has gotten so used to doing three miles that doing four is a chore. Three and a half is hard work but four is a drag. When I first started training for the half marathon I did a lot of four-mile runs so that I could get the distance up and get ready for this crazy thirteen-mile race that I hell-bent on doing. At that time it was necessary but right now, it's just a test and a way to get rid of the small muffin top I have acquired. Of course, there is a lot going on in my life as it is and running in the middle of the day is probably not best but that's ok. Pushing yourself is what sports are all about and I am happy to take on my own challenge. 

I'm hoping that by the end of the year that the four miles will be normal and that it won't be too hard to keep up with. Four miles is a lot yes but its better than sitting on your couch eating a bag of potato chips while binge-watching all four seasons of Lucifer. I rather exercise than get big and fat wondering where my life has gone. 

By the time I get to my anniversary, I hope that I have gotten faster and stronger than the year before. After all, no matter how small the progress is, progress is still good. 

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Were getting ready for a race in June up on Mackinaw Island. Dad and I go up there every year to spend some time away from the normal but to also get some fresh air. We camp out a lot and we also have some delicious food and alcohol while were up there. The weather is usually a perfect 60 to 70 degrees with sunny days and long beautiful nights. It really is quite wonderful. Every year we have been up there we have missed the lilac race and every year we are upset by this. I think it’s just because we usually miss it by a couple of days or by a few hours so it really hits you hard when you realize just how close you were to being able to do something new and exciting. 

This year though we made sure to sign up for it and plan accordingly. So were getting ready to rock and roll this race. It’s a 10k (which is a nice 6 miles) race that goes half way around the island and then cuts through the middle and comes back to the starting point. The only thing that sucks is when you cut through the middle you end up going uphill for a good portion of the race so I just know that it will kick my ass for a portion of it. The upside is when you get to the other side it’s all downhill so you can be like the roadrunner and just high tail it down to the finish. 

I’m excited but I am a little bit nervous. We have less than three months until the race and the closer it gets the more I wonder if I am ready. I do hope I am because I would love to finish strong. 

 

 

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Yesterday was the Lucky leprechaun race. In the past I have never had the pleasure of being able to do them before and this time I had the chance to run in the race. So I decided to go ahead and give it a try. Of course when it comes to races it means that you have to be up really early to not only wake up but to also have some coffee beforehand. If you don’t give it enough time to settle then things can get a little "messy" while you are out racing. To avoid any messes I take extra precaution. 

For this race I knew that it was on a course that I really enjoy and I also knew that two of my favorite people were running it. One of them was my bf D and the other was my Dad (or as most of you know him, the market ticker). All three of us were running and all three of us were going to see what we could do. For dad and I it was a routine. We run and then I split right when I finish so that I can head to a friend’s house to shower and then go to work right after that. For D it was a test to see how far he had come along in his running. We wanted to see how he would do in a 5k so that we can get a feel for a possible time on a 10k. 

This race was slightly crowded (more than others I have been to) and this one was one of those races that you know everyone is trying to finish quickly so that they can have drinks at the end. So when the race started everyone was moving like a pack. Everyone was moving together for a while and the people that have raced before or were faster than the people in front of us found ways to weave in and out of the crowd so that we can actually challenge ourselves. That quickly happened for me. I found my way in and out of the crowd and I passed many people in this race for the first mile and a half. Once I turned around I saw D and he ended up High fiving me on the way. 

For me it felt like the race was over as soon as it started. My time was really good and I felt good after the race. Of course I Had to catch my breath for a second so that I could actually drive home without suffocating. I had given it my all the last half mile so I was having some trouble with breathing. Once I had cooled down I told my Dad the time I thought D would have and I told him I loved him. Then I went ahead and started making my way back home. 

The day went on and I found out I placed second in my age group which is awesome. I also found out the first place in my age group ran the 5k in 22 minutes which was four minutes faster than me. So I was glad to take second. Dad got third place in his age group so he got to go home with a prize himself. D got to know his time for a 5k and now has a goal to work towards. I think it has lit a fire in him. 

 

I can't wait to do other races and see how much better and faster we all get. It’s so exciting. 

 

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