Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ridley Creek State Park; 12 miles, 2 dogs and lots of great scenery

If I've said this once, I've said it a thousand times.... running with a partner is soooooooooo much better than alone. Today I had 12 miles on my schedule for Gettysburg. I arrived at 8 AM to run 4 by myself and met Jeannie just before 9 AM to run 8 with her. The final 3 were a hard and I know I would have finished but I would have walked more than the 3/1 ratio we were doing had I been alone.

The path at RCSP is generally pretty clean as most of it is also an access road for folks who live in the park. The total loop is about 4.5 miles but I knew I did not want to do the BIG hill. It's steeper and longer than the one on the Audobon Loop. So to avoid having to go back and forth too much on the same path, I ran 4 miles outside the loop on other park roads. When Jeannie arrived we ran those same about 3.5 of those same miles and then headed for the loop. We ran left down to the Chapel Hill entrance to the park and then back up (literally) past where we entered and most of the way across the top of the loop toward Tyler Aboretum and back to the cars.

If you know this route you know that it is a good hill routine. I was very glad to have company or I know I would have bailed a couple of times. We kept up a pretty good flow of conversation the first 6 miles and that really helped. As Jeannie put it, "It helps keep me out of my own head". I was not very good about keeping up my end of the chat those last two miles. I was grateful that she didn't seem to mind. The company and the scenery really makes this a great run. Snow on top of an icy creek and all the snow stuck to the tree branches was very inspiring.

We met quite a few dogs on the road. All accompanied by humans but some of the humans were not very considerate. Two of the dogs came too close for comfort; growling as well. I don't know why their owners could not have reined them in more. I don't thin they (the owners) were trying to be mean. I just think they weren't thinking. Whenever I pass someone who is keeping a tight leash on their dog as I pass I make a special effort to say "Thank you". It really makes a difference especially to someone like me who is not comfortable around strange dogs; friendly or not.

I am very proud of our run today. We stuck to our 3 and 1's the entire time except after 4 when we took a slightly longer walk break in order to swallow and wash down some gus. I think my thighs will feel today's run into tomorrow but I'm ok with that. With Gettysburg I need all the hill work I can manage.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stats for the day: Temp; 14, Windchill 5; Miles 6

Five phillyfitters came out to run at Oaks today. Some would say we need our heads examined and maybe we do; however it was a magical day on the trail. New snow fell on Friday. The trial had some packed snow and some not so much. The cross country skiiers must have loved it! Underneat the snow was ice from the warm and freeze we had earlier in the week. It was slow going in some spots but well worth the outing.

I had 11 on my schedule for today and finished 6. I'm not sure if I could have gone the full 11 or not but something told me it wasn't advisable. I finished 6 with Maggi but after she left I would have been out there alone. The trail was pretty much deserted this morning. The cold was not an issue for going farther. After the first mile my toes and fingers came back to life and I felt warm in my layers. The Aquafor had started to melt off my face but I had more in the car so I could have reapplied. My heart though was working overtime; not only to kee me warm but also due to the harder running. Where the snow wasn't packed we had to lift our legs higher to get through. I felt like I was straining a few times and was grateful for the walk breaks.

Still I really enjoyed the run. It was so peaceful and pretty out.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Never judge a run by the first mile (or two)

Last night I went out for a 6 mile run. When I left the house I told my husband that I was doing 3 or 6 depending on how I felt. I had bailed on the night before because it was so cold and wet. I don't mind cold and I don't mind rain but both together is more than I can handle. So finishing 6 was very important to me because if I did then missing the night before was just a blip and I really dont like running in cold wet weather. If I failed to get the 6 done then I was just a slacker. There was a lot at stake.

Yet when I left the house I had to let my brain think there was an opening to finish after 3. I'm not sure I can explain that really. It is what it is. So I set out on a 3 mile loop hoping that I would do two loops.

The first mile was horrible. My legs below the knee ached front and back. Briefly the thought of .. "Yeah I'm stopping at 3" crossed my mind. I pushed it out of the way promising to wait until the full 3 was complete before making a decision. Mile two was slightly better than mile 1. About halfway into mile 3, I finally fell into a groove. My legs were still uncomfortable, but less so and I didn't seem to mind it as much. So I rounded mile 3 and headed in to 4-6.

Tonight was a scheduled 3 miler... and I was fine. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Getting back

So enough of this time off thing. All week I've been tired and sluggish. Ten days since I last ran and I realized last night that this could very well be the reason.

So off to meet running friends at 8 AM at Betzwood. I was two blocks from home when I realized forgot my trax so I had to go back. The trail was completely snow covered so I'm really glad I did. One of our 2008 runners, Rose was there today. It was nice to see her again. Rose, Marjorie and I did 3 and 1's for 6 miles together and I went out for 4 more on my own. The others went out 3 miles on Betzwood and Pete took them off on another trail. According to Anne it was a field trip (emphasis on "field").

I held up pretty well until the last mile and a half. That's when my ankle strarted to get cranky and my right knee (opposite the ankle) began to chime in too. I'm not sure if (or how much) either one would have been bothered had it not been for the snow. It was mostly packed but there were a few spots where it wasn't and being slow I had to move over to that side a few times to let faster folks and bikes pass. I was surprised at the number of people out on a 25 degree morning with little sun and a snow packed trail; but out they were.

My legs are feeling the effects right now. I can move fine but I can feel it. I refuse to chalk this up to being 51 though. It's been ten days since I ran and 10 miles in the snow is hard work..... and I don't care what anyone says that's my story and  I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A slight detour

All was going so well. Then on Thursday, January 6 the plan took a detour. I had planned 7 after work. I was making up for a missed day earlier in the week. Decided to do what  I could and not worry about it.

I was working on a 3/1 run/walk combination and really enjoying the evening. The snow from boxing day was all but gone and ice was pretty much nonexistent. I had my headlamp with me although for the most part the streets are pretty well lit in Media. I only need the headlamp in a few spots.

So when my watch beeped 6 miles I was surprised and pleased at how good I felt. I went to switch from walk to run and BAM I went down. I wish I could say it was a bump in the road or a cat ran across my path or something more exciting. But it was just that my left foot appratly did not get the memo that walk break was over.

So down I went, my ankle smarting from being twisted in ways it does not like to go. I didn't have my phone so I had to walk the last mile back to the house. By the time I did arrive home I was sore and really chilled. What a sight I must have been sitting on the couch with ice on my ankle and blankets on the rest of me. It's Sunday now and although the ankle still twinges when I try to bend it - as in going up stairs - the swelling is down and walking on it is not a problem. I'm planning to do my scheduled 3 miler on Tuesday. Slowly and carefully. And since I generally don't do run/walk on runs less than 5 miles I shouldn't trip over myself.

Today I had scheduled a phillyfit run around Media so I went out to the meeting spot at 9 AM and John and Julius where there. They kindly accepted a walk with me rather than a run. This is the spirit of Phillyfit. Of course it could be that without me they wouldn't know where to go but really how lost can you get running up and down streets in a neighborhood. I offered to give some directoins too. No, they were just being nice. I appreciated it .

There is snow in the forecast again on Tuesday into Wednesday. I hope I get my run on Tuesday in before it arrives. My plan is to run the same weekday schedule this week coming up but change the weekend. This week coming up was supposed to be a drop back week. I think I'll just count this past week as the drop back week and add miles to my Saturday run and get back on track. It's still early. :)

A big difference in how I feel (think) now is that I am not really worried about missing a few days nor am I concerned about falling behind. Of course that doesn't mean I won't but if I do,  it won't be a self fulfilling prophecy this time. I'm really liking this new running state of mind.

I'm still slow and I run like a dork but I'm still smiling and I'm still moving.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

8 miles so far in 2011! Not a bad start if  I do say so myself.

Met with other USAFit/Philly folks at the Collegeville Diner spot on the Perkiomen Trail. The trail still had a fair amount of snow on it so I had a chance to give the YakTrax a try. They were great on the snow. I felt much more secure than I have without them. One thing about the snow is how slow it is to walk in it. I've been trying to move faster during my walk breaks. That was pretty tough in the snow and it got a bit tougher toward the end as the air got warmer and more snow melted. It was kind of slushy at the end.

I felt great again today. Out and back for toward Green Lane for 5 then out and back toward Oaks for 3. The Oaks direction had much more snow. I guess that's because it's more shady in that direction. I swear that the earth tilts when it sees me coming; the distance between mile 4 and mile 5 feels like uphill BOTH ways. I know that's impossible but ... is it?