Weekly Rundown

As I got ready to write this week’s Rundown, I realized I hadn’t written last week’s Rundown! My goodness, I am slacking big time! First I was going to just let it go, but then I realized just how much fun I had my vacation week.

As I posted, I made my first goal for the year: running the 6.5 miles on the Rail Trail between Gardiner and Augusta. That was awesome, especially since it wasn’t as difficult as one might think. Now I wonder how far I can run??

Daisy and I got a lot of walking in. We didn’t go far each day, but we got out to enjoy the changing leaves and fresh air. Well, I enjoyed the changing leaves, she mostly enjoyed the sniffs and racing ahead of me. She did like chasing any floating leaves, pre-emptively attacking them before they could hit the ground.

I also got to play with the horses almost every day–I had wonderful weather on my vacation. It was almost too warm.  I rode early in the morning most days, after the grain but before I threw out the hay to ensure it wasn’t too hot to make them exercise, much to the horses’ chagrin. But they did seem to appreciate the love, and I got to work my legs. Been a while since I had the time and place to make sure my legs were hanging the way they were supposed to be, heels down and on the horse instead of just reacting to what the horse was doing–or what I wanted the horse to be doing.

But I think the highlight of the week was the Great Inflatables Race.

I did it with 3 of my high school friends (and a daughter that got roped in), and we had soooo  much fun. We had serious issues getting over some of the obstacles because we were laughing so hard!
I did the Insane Inflatable last year, and there were some differences in the obstacles: this year’s were made with a much softer plastic, which made waves across the whole obstacle as people walked on it in different places–and speeds. That just added a whole new difficulty level,  not to mention more giggles.
The cool thing was that the set up course was 1.8 miles, so after all the waves went, we were invited to run it again. Second time was just as fun!

      There has been talk of skater skirts next year, inspired by all the tutus we saw

 Staring down the throat of the race (literally!) as we waited to start

      

 

 

 

Sliding home on the last obstacle!

 

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Walking Miss Daisy

Daisy and I have been taking some early morning walks, and we can’t help noticing that fall is definitely arriving.  We have had crisp mornings with warm afternoons and the landscape is changing. 

Early morning fog coated this stream as the sun tried to break through.

    

Leaves are dropping and grasses are nodding their full seed heads.

                                                   Daisy is impatient with  my photo taking.

    

Outdoors, finally

I got my first outdoor run today!

Daisy and I walked out a mile, and ran back. We managed to run down a long, steep hill without incident (downhill is still harder than uphill), and Daisy managed to not stop suddenly in front of me with the result of me tripping over her. 

I did manage to pace myself better than she did, as she led me the first half  mile and I led her the last quarter-mile. All in all, an excellent start to our running season.

I expect this is a good point to announce that I am aiming for a 5k on Memorial day. I’d like to do a couple this summer, so that seems like a good starting point.  I know I did the obstacle course last fall, and it was fab (definitely going to try again this year); but I didn’t run it.  So I am pretty excited to get out and do a straight up road race.

Daisy and I attempted our first after-snow walk. I was worried she wouldn’t be warm enough (especially with the windchill) walking through the ice and snow. I was also worried about sliding on the ice and snow myself, and injuring my knee more. It isn’t good with sudden movements or weight slamming down on it. Glad to say we both did great, thereby expanding our walking season. I did get her a new coat, and I do have some Yaktraks on order from Santa–we will see what he brings!

What did I do?

Yup, I did that. Ok, I will do that–I am registered for the September 17

Eleven inflated obstacles over 3.1 miles. Yippee!

Don’t worry, our team has a CCU nurse on it 😛  And the obstacles are inflatable, how hard can it be?

More on that stupid question later 🙂

Thursday

From dawn to dusk, what a beautiful day!

When I went out this morning it was foggy, and just becoming light. The sky was a solid gray that seemed at once very low and yet endlessly high. And rising above the dark silhouette of a tree the crescent moon glimmered in the gray.

Made me wish that I had a better camera than my iPhone. Mother Nature is being her usual capricious self, and it is actually unseasonably warm for us right now. The sky turned to a wonderful blue for our day, and windows were opened every where

After work and a solid four hours on the couch–my, I was tired!– I went out for my run right before dusk. Clouds were moving in low across the sky, but when I climbed my first hill the sun slanted across the field to highlight the burnt oak leaves clinging to the trees. The wind came up, and I was suddenly running through a flying cloud of leaves. I felt so exultant in that moment, I had to throw out my arms!

My cup runneth over

 

It’s always good to remember exactly why you decided you love an exercise. After my break–unintended although it was–from running, I gave some thought to why I enjoy it.  I was disconcerted to realize that while I could go as far, it was more difficult and slower. Thinking about why I was out there helped me get through those runs as I rebuilt my stamina.

These are the things I came up with (in no particular order):

exhilaration: the simple feel of my body working in harmony, the rhythmic landing of my feet on the road, the fresh air,  the clearing of my head as I run. These are things I can’t get anywhere else. And make me feel sooooo good afterwards.

the outdoors: you might have noticed from my other posts that I love Mother Nature. Well, I love the scenery; the tricks with the weather she plays I am not so fond of. I can spin many a moment out during my runs by looking at the clouds, or that perfect tree, or the many ponds I run by.  Fall is my favorite season, but all seasons have their charm: snowy landscapes with mysterious shapes, bright lime green of new leaves in the spring, bright flowers in the summer. I guess it is amazing I don’t trip more often!

weight loss: the reason I started running regularly was I discovered that running is the most effective way for me to lose weight. Years of aerobics and walking did not have the same results. I used to think my metabolism was slow, but at some point I realized that it must in fact be highly effective. I eat A LOT. And I have a hard time sticking to a diet, there always seems to be a good reason why I can break it and do better tomorrow.  Running helps me keep weight off even when I do bad.

satisfaction: oh, the power that comes when a difficult hill suddenly isn’t.  When you beat your best mile by 30 seconds. When your long run becomes your short run. When the race you trained and trained for was easy, and so much fun! All these things build to a satisfaction that is hard to beat.

pushing myself: my competitive side loves running. I try not to compare myself to others, because everyone is in a different place in our journey. Butwhen I see American Ninjas who train extensively to do such difficult feats, I feel the least I can do is a slightly better mile or one more rep. When my nephew runs 16 miles on a treadmill, I feel the least I can do is get out  and run–not 16 miles, but a good run 🙂 Those help with my motivation. I  am even more competitive with myself. I need to continue to improve. I am not satisfied with the same pace and races year after year, so I am always looking for something new to push myself with. It spills over into other parts of my life too, and I find I push myself harder in all the things I do.

i’m impatient: another reason I graduated to running from walking is that it takes so. dang. long. to get anywhere. As I am always in a hurry to get to the next place, whether I am working or driving, running seemed to be a natural fit!

 

Searching for inspiration

I have been wondering what to write about most of the day…and I am still wondering! Not inspiration to run, I am loving that. I had such a runner’s high yesterday after my run, I was bouncing around.

I have a multitude of possible posts in my head, but I haven’t had the time to flesh them out and do the research. Ah well, as many a famous procrastinator has said, there is always tomorrow. And the day after. 

So, until I get that inspiration (aka time), keep this in mind: