Mileposts

I have a bunch of running goals I want to accomplish, hopefully before snow sets in this winter. Today I conquered a big one.

Milepost 1

I ran 6.5 miles on the Rail Trail from Gardiner to Augusta today. It was awesome!

I decided I wasn’t worried about time, I just wanted to make it from end to end. I haven’t run this trail (in its entirety) since the summer before my accident. And only the once.

So my stomach was a mass of butterflies as I drove to Gardiner today.

The longest I had run this summer was 5 miles, and that was a month ago. I was truly intimidated by the length of run. The plan was to meet a friend at the other end, then have coffee and shopping before she took me back to my car.  I knew that she would have picked me up anywhere along the route if it had been needed. So that wasn’t the issue, I was just concerned that it might be necessary. I had already decided that if I needed to walk, I would. That took some pressure off too. But of course I didn’t want to walk. Not to get too philosophical, but I decided the only thing I could do was take a deep breath and run one step at time.

So I went to the start of the trail, took that breath and stretched, then took that first step.

I definitely wasn’t going too fast to start, as I was worried about lasting all the miles. But I worked on getting a nice, consistent pace and kept taking those deep breaths. By the time I finished the first mile, I had relaxed into a rhythm. The nice thing about the Rail Trail is that it is a rolling path, with up and down grades instead of huge hills. And the only two big hills are coming the other way (I’ll be doing that next), going the way I was this morning meant I got to go down those hills. Gotta stack the deck anyway you can 😛

By the time I finished mile 3 I realized I could do this, and by the time I finished mile 4 I felt pretty dang good.  That feeling continued when I finished and looked at my splits.

The last longish run I did was 3.3 miles, and each one of those miles was 11+. Because of that, I have been doing drills and speed workouts on the treadmill. Apparently that helped, as based on my perceived effort, I thought I was doing 11 minute miles. Turns out that I was doing consistent 10:30 minutes, and mile 4 was actually  sub 10 minute.

Today’s total run was 6.5 miles in 68 minutes

I am very happy with that.  And ecstatic about how very good I felt doing it.  My knee did ache a bit during, but not badly enough that I felt I ought to stop, and it didn’t hurt at all once I finished, even though my friend and I went shopping so that I spent the following hours running around stores. It was a little stiff after I came home and sat for a while. I guess we will see how I feel tomorrow!

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Weekly Rundown

Another week gone by! Seems like just yesterday everyone was saying that it was only August, and don’t mention fall; but now it is September 18 and Fall is upon us! Drifts of leaves on the deck, foggy mornings and crisp air…..oh wait, summer came back last week. Still leaves and fog, but the afternoons were back in the 80s. I would like some more crisp air, please.

It was an easy week, exercise-wise. I think that I am on the edge of burnout, I have been doing six days a week for at least nine months now. So this week I took two days off (felt weird) and did a bit less on the days I did work out.

Monday: I stopped off at the Gardiner end of the Rail Trail on the way home. I am loving my new hours that let me run at different places. Not that I don’t enjoy my road, but I have been running/walking the same paths for months now. After taking the last week easy, I decided to see how I could do with 2 miles. I did pretty good. My first mile was sub 11 minutes (which is the best so far this season), and while I did do a third or so of a mile before turning back, my second measured mile was 9:11. And I wasn’t dead 🙂

Tuesday: I had plans of weights and yoga, but took an unplanned day off. I did take Christopher Robin out back for a walk; I am doing more ground work to break the “oh my gosh, I can’t leave Charby” mindset he has.  He was fine, although a bit dancy. When we got out to the ring he spontaneously decided to run about, so I let him out on the line and lunged him. He had a great time, bucking and racing. He didn’t pull or try to get away at all, he was just letting off steam.

Wednesday: I decided to run at the hospital before heading home. I did just over 3 miles, which may have been a mistake. I think I got a bit close to overheating, as it was 84 degrees and sunny. I definitely didn’t have enough water in the car. Better planning next time. I had recovered by the time I got home, so I took Charby out to lunge her in the ring. She didn’t have as good a time as Christopher, but she did behave herself nicely.

Thursday: another day off. Ahhhhh…….

Friday: I planned to walk with a friend, but she didn’t feel well so we decided to pick another day. I came home and did the weights I skipped on Tuesday, doing a half hour mixed in with stretch Yoga poses. Then I gave the horses the night off.

Saturday: we out in the morning for breakfast (still wasn’t hungry by 2pm!), and stayed out a lot longer than planned as we hit a “tent” sale at a local lumber yard and found some log siding for the cabin out back at a great price. It took a bit to load, then we got home and had to transfer it to a trailer to take out back and then unload from there.  So that was the morning gone and I was ready for a nap! After hanging around the house for the afternoon, I took Daisy for a half-hearted mile walk, and took Christopher out back to lunge again. He is a spry pony, he was having so much fun that at one point all four legs were off the ground as he bucked and jumped. I had to walk him out before taking him back in as he got a bit sweaty, but he had fun.

Sunday: another day where I just wanted to do everything. I started out with a 4 mile run (it would have been a good time if I had run 19 more miles at the same pace, but not so good for just a 4 mile run); then carried and stacked wood for an hour and forty minutes–it’s that time of year again up here in Maine. Right after I finished that I decided to ride Charby–my theory being that I better not stop or I might just be done! We did 25 minutes, then I vacuumed….laundry…..dishes. By the time the football game started at 1pm, I was concerned about staying awake for the whole game!  I did, however, watching my team roll over the other team. I did take Daisy for a brief walk out back to the cabin  where my husband was working during half-time. That helped wake me up for the second half.

Weekly Rundown

I decided on  a light week since my mile times have been getting longer.  I thought the legs might just need a break. And it seemed to have worked, since my single run of the week had a much better time. Felt weird though, not running. We will  see how this week goes….hopefully with more runs!

It worked out fairly well, however, as the horses required more of my attention this week. Maybe they felt they deserved it?

Monday: normally a day off, but since I took Sunday off, I decided I better do something. I had to do a short day at work, then came home and did some yoga.  I did not take it seriously enough, apparently, as the horses managed to blow my calm immediately–and totally! They were very contrary. I always take Charby out to  “babysit” when I ride Christopher Robin out back. No one wanted to go out back. I don’t think I have ever had Charby so flatly refuse to cooperate before–or, at least, not for years. I’d get one going and then the other would stop. ARGH. So, after much yelling (cuz you know, it was my only vent for my frustration), I lunged Christopher. Then I rode his butt up and down the driveway.  He might be a stubborn pony, but I was trained by my mom!

Tuesday: a full day at work, with weights at the end. I did my 3×15 with 4 sets of 6 Burpees in between. I also did strength poses for my core, like Plank and Scale. I am getting strong enough at Scale that I can start to straighten my legs. That makes a difference! After I finished, I went out and lunged Charby, then walked her out back (where she didn’t want to go yesterday) and led her around the ring, doing some ground work.

Wednesday: A rainy day. So I came home and got on the treadmill. I did a 30 minute walk at 3 MPH, and when did that start to feel like a day off?

Thursday: another easy day. I did 20 minutes of weights, mixed this time  with stretch-y yoga poses. Then I went out and took Christopher out to the ring-by himself! Horrors. It did take some fast talking, but we went out and walked around quite calmly  while Char sat in the barn waiting for dinner. I’ve decided to attack the problem of him not wanting to be separated from her, instead of convincing her she needs to be with us when we are out there.

Friday: I had planned to run at the hospital, and I took sneakers and a change of clothes with me. However, I had to work from 6:30am to 5pm, and I have to admit that while I still wanted to run, I simply couldn’t make myself do it.

Saturday: I was determined to run, as I had not yet this week. But I wanted to walk Daisy too, she pretty much only goes out on weekends. And I needed to ride. So I did. I ran  two miles first thing, and letting my legs take a break worked out well.  My first mile was 11:03 (fastest yet) and my second was 9:57. After breakfast and puttering, I took Daisy out for 2.70 miles-including the mountain-in 49 minutes.  I rested up some more, and then went out and rode Charby for half an hour. It was a very nice ride, although her canters were particularly round and energetic.  I don’t think I was sitting all that much! Perhaps my legs were too tired to give me a good grip at that point?

Sunday: a nice leisurely walk with Daisy. I decided to just relax after the busyness of the day before, so we did not quite 3 miles. I went out and helped my husband move some brush off the land he was clearing–that counts as weight lifting, right?And at the end of the day,  I took Christopher Robin out back riding. I walked out with him, and while he kept craning his head to see if Charby was following (she wasn’t), he stayed fairly calm at first. He even stood still while I got on. But as we went around the ring he got prancier and prancier. I decided that my point was made, and since he actually was quite good while out there, we went back in about 10 minutes. I figure we will make each venture last longer and longer.

Weekly Rundown

This week was a bit harder. I had worked two 6 day weeks in a row, with a trip to visit my mom on the day off in between. I had great time visiting, especially as I got to meet her new puppy:  Image may contain: people sittingImage may contain: people sitting   He is a little handful named Herbie.  What a cutie!  He’s been around for a while, but I haven’t made it down to make his acquaintance. He’s a friendly little whirlwind. We managed to tire him out,  he fell asleep for five minutes, but then was right back at it!

However, I haven’t had anytime to relax and do nothing. Nothing is good, right?

My run times have been getting slower. At first I wanted to double down, doing speed workouts on the treadmill and drills. But then I realized that my legs (and the rest of my body) are just plain tired. So this  coming week will be easier on them than last week was. Then I will do the speed and drills!

Monday: off

Tuesday: getting used to my new hours, I came home in early afternoon and ran. I ran down half of Blinn, but that meant I had to run back UP it! Surprisingly, my second mile- with the hill-was actually a minute faster than the first mile. Of course, the first half mile was all up hill too, but that just means the miles were evenly balanced between ups and downs. After the run I did 15 minutes of yoga, all stretch poses, to relax all those muscles. My grand plan is to be able to run from the bottom of Blinn to my road. I know that it is a half mile to my road, and a half mile from there to the top, but the bottom half is just so much harder! So I am taking chunks out of it.

Wednesday: weight lifting again. Still at 3×15, but I added  extra Burpees in between my sets, as well as still doing my  yoga strength poses for 5 breaths. My muscles felt pleasantly lethargic afterwards.

Thursday: took Daisy for a quick walk. We did just about a mile and a half. I wanted to lunge Christopher Robin after, but chores took precedence and it didn’t work out.  I rather doubt he minded.

Friday: I took a run around the hospital before coming home. I am thinking this is a great way to end the week. This time I looped out through the back field, then around the hospital to a road, ran out a bit on the road and then back to the car. I did the 3.31 miles in 37 minutes. Definitely slower than it should be. But in all, a good run.

Saturday: a longer, more leisurely walk with Daisy. We went just over 4 miles, doing about 17 minutes a mile. The picture-taking definitely slowed us down, but worth it 🙂 I posted the pictures on my other blog. After puttering around a bit, I went out and tackled Charby. We had a very nice, longish (33 minutes) ride in the ring.

Sunday: we headed off North to see some friends at their camp in the woods. And it was really in the woods! But so very lovely. It was a long day, so I took it off from exercise.