Friday, July 29, 2011

The Times They are a Changing!

        It's funny to me how our goals seem to change in running through the years and miles. When I first started running (the 2nd time around) I had only one goal-to lose weight-as much and as soon as possible. This goal worked out real well.
        The next phase of my running had to do with races. Every race I ran I felt like I should set a PR even though it doesn't usually work out that way. If I didnt't se a PR then I must not have worked hard enough during the week so I would add more miles to my workouts. By doing this I developed a new goal-run as many miles during the week as I possibly could(never said I was smart).
       After turning 50(with age comes wisdom?) I decided to set my goals a little different. I would pick out one to two races a year(marathons and 1/2's) and train hard for those and use the short races for speed work. I still felt like I had than one super race left in my legs and that one race it would be my day when everything went right and I would run the time of my life. I'm not sure if I ran the time of my life after 50 but I had some great runs.
     My next change of goals came after my knee surgery. It was simple-just let me run again. I was able to run and then my gola was to run a marathon, preferably the same one as my daughter Jessica ran. Again this worked out great because I finished the race and watched Jessica cross the finish line of her 1st marathon( along the way I was also fortunate enough to run side by side with Jessica in her 1st 1/2).
      Now I have new goals and they are very simple ones. I think they have changed again because of a combination of age, heat, miles, and a little wisdom on my part.
     Goal1: Finish my runs upright on my own feet.
     Goal 2: Finish my training runs the actual same day I start them.
    Actually I have one more goal: To keep running as long as possible and have Jessica cross the finish line and wait on me!
Whatever your goals are:Keep Runnin!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunshine Superman!

     I started my run out today feeling really great. It was just beginning to turn to daylight and did not feel to bad out there. The 1st 4 or so mi. I was running right on target pace thinking this is really going to be a good run timewise, then it happened. I started slowing down and began feeling miserable and could not get my pace back to what it should be.My feet were even hot and burning. What was going on?
       Then I looked up and realized what had happened. The sun had become my kryptonite. The higher in the sky it got, the worse I felt and ran. I had no lead shield to protect me so naturally, just like Superman I lost all my strength. The last uphill mile home proved to be a struggle but I made it and found a lead shield in the form of the A/C and will live to run another day!  It just goes to show you that "Running is 90% mental and the other half is physical". Please forgive me Yogi for changing that quote just a little.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cool Water

Instead of "My Kingdom for a Horse" this morning i felt like saying my kingdom for some cool water, but since iI don't have a kingdom I just settled for some luke-warm watered down fluid.On my days off in the summer except for my long runs I try to start my runs between 7 and 8 a.m. Even though I don't always manage to do this, it is a habit I picked up when I was racing 3 to 4 weekends a month in the summer. Most races start at these times so I felt like it would better prepare me to race by doing this. Why I still do it I'm not sure unless it at least makes me think I'm preparing for a big race.
      Rambling right along, this morning I left the house with a full bottle of iced cold fluid, but by the time I took my 1st drink the ice was melted and the bottle was 1/2 empty(not good). It is always a good idea to double check and make sure the lid is closed tight and if you feel water running down your back you might stop and recheck the bottle. I wasn't that for from the house and the smart thing to do would have been to go back, refill and re=ice but then noone has ever accused me of being just real smart when it comes to things like this. After all, it was only an hour run right-needless to say was out of even lukewarm fluid when I finished my run this morning and was very hot and thirsty.
      The moral of this story is #1-check then double check your water bottle and #2-it wouldn't hurt to freeze one bottle overnight and take it with you as a back-up. This just goes to prove if you want to survive out there on the road this summer it helps if you are smarter than the road. If not it could be a long hot summer!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Smoky Mountain Rain

It's hard to believe that we left for the Smoky's almost 2 weeks ago. It was a great vacation and I did learn something very important for future use. If it says it is a running or walking trail that's what it means and if it says it is a hiking trail with a moderate or hard degree of difficulty thats what it means(more on this later).
   My 1st day of running consisted of running close to the hotel and i mean real close because the road up to the hotel was a very narrow 1 mi, straight up road that you had to share with very lge. trolley's. After breakfast Mary and I headed to the Mtns.and our 1st hike of the day. Our 1st hike was a total of 4 mi. roundtrip to the top of Laurel Falls on a paved trail. It was paved but it was all uphill to the top and Mary made it to the top and I was very proud of her! Next on to Cades Cove for some more hiking and looking for bears(we did see several also).We came to the Abrams Falls trail next and Mary decided to sit this one out. It said a moderate hike that would tkae 3-4 hrs. round trip. I decided to put my new Brooks Cascade trail shoes on and run it(1st mistake). I started out running at a good pace, the trail was fairly flat and smooth and I crossed a bridge and ran beside a river and the trail started climbing. This is where my problems started because now I really was on a trail with stumps,roots and very lge. rocks to dodge know that if you fell you wou have time to shave 4 times before you hit water or ground, Of course I did take a very hard tumble and scraped my knee up plus I landed on a big rock and must have bruised some ribs in a bad way. After I fell did i use some sense and hike the rest of the way-oh no not me I started out to run the trail and I ran it. I managed to make it to the top and back without any more mishaps but I was beginning to feel the effects of the fall. By the way it was a 5 mi. round trip to the top of the falls and back and well worth it for the great photos i got.
       The next two days were filled with doing the usual tourist stuff with a lot of walking and looking. I did find a running trail that went thru the park from Gatlinburg to the Sugarland Ranger station. It was smooth and only a few small hills and a 4 mi. out and back run. I ran it and Mary  walked parts of it and we also did an easy hike to Cataract Falls(it was easy until I climbed to the top of the falls). We also took a ride on the Great Smoky Mtn. Railroad. We did this on Saturday and Sunday because I had bigger plans for Monday.
       Monday was my big hiking day. I had decided I wanted to do some serios hiking so I se out by myself(Mary was spending the day in the arts district.) My 1st hike was to the Chimney Tops. It was a difficult hike for me but I made it to the top. Next I went to Newfound Gap on the TN. and NC. border and hike a trail that took me to the Appalachain Trail. I hiked some on it then hiked backed to the car. Next I drove to Clingmans Dome and went to the top of it and along the way found some more trails and hike on the Appalachain trail again(cross that off my bucket list-not the whole trail but just hiking on it,) According to my Garmin I hiked a total of 12+ mi. this day but the next morning it felt like I had run 25. My ribs where I fell on them would only hurt really bad at night but they caused me discomfort all day running and hiking.
        We left on Tue. for Charleston and the running there was great. Running along the river you get to see Rainbow Row and the battery and you can also see Patriot;s Park. and Ft. Sumter from the road. Running the museum mile you run thru a lot of history and see a replica of the Hunley submarine. Our last leg of our trip was Nashville(one of my very favorite cities). I ran mostly around the hotel here because it was so big. We did go to the Grand Ole Opry(cross another off my bucket list)and had a great time.
   This is a long post for me I know but it seems like we did a lot in such a short period of time.I am ready to go back and hike some more trails and see some more sights.