Monday, May 28, 2012

Just One More Day: Days 142 - 148

Day 142 – May 21, 2012

Whew. Track is finally over. I’ve enjoyed coaching but ten months straight is a lot. Now, I have some freedom to run on my own and according to my schedule. With that in mind, I ran country roads, enjoying the warm, sunny afternoon. The sky was a brilliant blue with white and silver clouds silhouetted against the canvas. Beautiful!

Total – 7 road miles

Day 143 – May 22, 2012

Sometimes it’s hard to get in the car to drive somewhere to run. So it was out the door and down the road today before working with the chipper to make more mulch for my flower beds.

Total – 6 road miles

Day 144 – May 23, 2012

Summer cold, go away! Out of nowhere, I started the stuffy, sniffy, low-grade fever thing last night and felt rotten all day today. I was tempted to do a one or two miler but once I started, I could breath much better. My run turned out to be a standard 6-miler that felt comfortable---expect when I saw a cat, being chased by a dog, get thumped by an oncoming car. Not nice. The car won that battle.

Total – 6 road miles

Day 145 – May 24, 2012

Wow. This cold has put a hurt’n on me. Fever, chills, achy head and chest congestion. Not good. I managed two miles but called it a day. I am feeling really wrung out. Hope it doesn’t last too long.

Total – 2 road  miles

Day 146 – May 25, 2012

Well, I sure don’t feel much better. This was supposed to be my long run in the mountains but even my fingers ache. So it was a real commitment to head down the road. I figured it would be two and no more. It was just two but the run took on a whole new meaning when I met a new neighbor and chatted for about twenty minutes. This was a God-ordained run!

Total – 2 road miles

Day 147 – May 26, 2012

I wasn’t sure how I felt when I woke up but I sure hoped it would better than the last two days. It was. I was able to tackle a number of outdoor tasks and was pleased with my progress. So much so that I thought about sneaking off to the mountains in the afternoon. Boy, am I glad I didn’t! When I headed down the road, my chest was very heavy and my energy low. The jostling made me hack up gross stuff, which I presume is good. But it sure makes a run difficult. Perhaps I’ll be able to make up my missed long run on Monday, Memorial Day.

Total – 6 miles

Day 148 – May 27, 2012

This warm Sunday was going to be a busy day. Church in the morning and house guests all afternoon, evening, and some for overnight. I knew it would be best to get up early and knock out a few miles before church. Besides, I hardly wanted to run when it was sunny and 90 degrees! I was glad to feel much better than earlier in the week even though I still have some chest congestion. I will have to figure out a way to make up for my missed long run in this coming week.

Total – Total 7 miles

Year-to-date: 958 miles

Monday, May 21, 2012

Simple pleasures

Ah. The windows are open, a fan gently whirls, and birds sing their evening praise as the sun begins its game of hide behind the backyard trees. I love times like these.

I also like unexpected pleasures. On yesterday's run, I spied some beautiful flowers growing along side of the country road. I couldn't resist. I stepped into the ditch and started pulling at them. The stems did not break easily, so there I was, running down the road with a handful of flowers, roots and all. I'm not sure if I delighted more in the flowers or the strange looks I got from the few people whizzing by in their cars.

When I smell the scent of freshly cut grass, my mind goes back to my dad and his riding lawn mower. He loved to come home from his dental office and climb onto that tractor. It soothed him. It made the pressures of a solo practice disappear for awhile. Maybe that's why I anticipate my sessions with our lawn mover.

Then, there's the quiet of my house. I'm fortunate to work from my humble little office. It certainly is convenient to grab my coffee and head upstairs to work each morning. Heading down the stairs for a snack has its advantages as well. I can dress up, dress down, or not dress at all when I head to work. (OK. Scratch that last comment. The visual picture is not pretty and hardly what I intended to say.) Anyway, though I sometimes have a hard time leaving work upstairs, I enjoy my situation.

Feelings and memories are wonderful: The warm spring air, the scent of wildflowers, a garden becoming crowded with green, the churn of the pool pump motor, the gentle lapping of the pool water, the energetic bunny that scampers across the driveway, the drone of a plane hidden behind billowy white clouds, the pop-pop-pop of tar bubbles bursting underfoot as I run along warm country roads.

I love this life and it's simple pleasures. Thank you, Lord.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Just one more day: Days 135 - 141

Day 135 – May 14, 2012

The team and I took a short run on the way to the track before doing the last hard workout of the season. Well, they did the hard workout. I just ran laps in their recovery periods.

Total – 5.5 road and track miles

Day 136 – May 15, 2012

This was basically a rest day for me. A few lowly miles with the team.

Total – 2.5 miles on gravel roads

Day 137 – May 16, 2012

As a team, we ran incorporated two half-mile pick-ups within the context of an easy 4 mile run. Short and simple with the state meet coming up on Saturday.

Total – 4 road and gravel miles

Day 138 – May 17, 2012

The country roads called my name with sunny skies and a gentle breeze.

Total – 9.0 miles

Day 139 – May 18, 2012

I was glad to get to the mountains today but was reminded what the heavy rains (up to 9 inches) of earlier this week can do to trails. Many were a mess, some were terribly overgrown, and the streams turned into rushing torrents! I had wanted to get in a few more miles but time was short and I had to get to practice and then meet friends for dinner at their home. By the time I got home, I was worn out.

Total – 24.2 trail miles

Day 140 – May 19, 2012

This was the closest I’ve come to missing a run. I got up at 6 AM, spent the day with the team at the state track meet, and got back to the school at 11:15 PM. After cleaning things out of the bus and loading up the car, I slipped into my shoes and went for a quick spin around campus. It actually felt great to run alone in the dark. I was pleased to feel quick and light despite the mileage the day before. So glad I didn’t weenie out by not running.

Total – 2 road miles

Day 141 – May 20, 2012

I really thought I would run two miles and call it a day. I was really tired from a couple whirlwind days. But I decided on my standard six-miler and ended up licking flowers along the way! It was a nice way to end the week although I have to say, the few cars that passed by did a double-take at a runner carrying a bouquet down the road.

Total – 6 miles

Year-to-date: 922 miles

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Just another day: Days 128-134

Day 128 – May 7, 2012

With a workout on the track that required my attention, I squeezed in a run before practice, manning the stopwatch as the kids whirled around the track.

Total – 6.5 road miles

Day 129 – May 8, 2012

This was our last trail run of the outdoor track season. With a little adventure on the side, we did a tour of two off-the-beaten-path cemeteries. What a great bunch of kids who love to explore!

Total – 5.6 trail miles

Day 130 – May 9, 2012

This was a mixed up day that resulted in less than intended miles. I’ve been working at a school all week, met one of my athletes for a special practice after that, had a track meet canceled, got rained on, then ended up at home to get dinner on the table. Hence, low miles.

Total – 3.5 track and road miles

Day 131 – May 10, 2012

After working a full day, I was glad to hit some easy, flat trails before heading over to a track meet. Felt good to run.

Total – 5 trail miles

Day 132 – May 11, 2012

Gary and I shared a ride to and from work today—at least part way from work. He dropped me on a country road and I ran the rest of the way. With the sun shining and a light breeze, the tour of back country roads was a great way to end the work week.

Total – 7.2 road miles

Day 133 – May 12, 2012

With our team having to host the conference track meet at a school other than our own, a huge chunk of the day was used to set up, run, and clean up afterwards. I managed to get in some miles on trails in the Blackwater Creek area in Lynchburg. It was nice to find some off the grid trails that I had no idea were there. Apparently, not many other people know about them either. They are true single track and not well-traveled.

Total – 8.5 trail miles

Day 134 – May 13, 2012

I am a little disappointed not to get in a long run this week. At about 45 miles, it was one of lowest in the last couple of weeks. The problem this week was that I actually had to go to a job everyday this week in addition to my regular jobs (teaching online, writing, and coaching) Free time was non-existant. I am hoping this week will be better.

Total – 8.5 road miles

Year-to-date: 867 miles

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Just another day: Days 121 -127

Day 121 – April 30, 2012

For a day that was forecasted to have a 20% chance of rain, it was wet, foggy, and drizzling all day long. At least the temps were in the 60s. A jumbled schedule at school meant that only a few of the distance kids showed up. However, with an easy day on the docket, we enjoyed a short road run.

Total – 4 road miles

Day 122 – May 1, 2012

Whew. After a cold and rainy spell, I’m not sure I was prepared for 80 and humid. I even had to strip my short sleeves off and run bare belly despite the old abs not being extraordinarily attractive. Oh, well. At least the 62 degree pool water cooled me off in a hurry.

Total – 6 road miles

Day 123 – May 2, 2012

Off to the woods with the team! We had a blast, taking a newly created trail that has eight stream crossings and ends up at a wonderful swimming hole at the bottom of a water fall. Needless to say, on a 90 degree day, every single one of us got a purposeful, complete soaking. It was so much fun!

Total – 5 trail miles (and lots of goofy around)

Day 124 – May 3, 2012

With a meet tomorrow, the practice schedule I made up in these weeks leading to States, a light practice was scheduled. And light it was. 3 mile around campus with a stop midway to get a free ice cream cone! Creeks and waterfalls yesterday. Ie cream today. Who said running with the distance team wasn’t fun?

But, I did feel a little guilty. When I got home, I got in another run right before another storm hit.

Total – 7 road miles

Day 125 – May 4, 2012

Just another lap around my country block. Not very exciting.

Total – 6 road miles

Day 126 – May 5, 2012

With cloudy skies and on and off rain, I sure enjoyed a run on the AT. The rhododendrons were in full bloom and beautiful! Even though it was an out back run (from Bobblet’s Gap to Salt Pond Forest road), I didn’t mind. A great section of trail!

Total – 21.6 miles

Day 127 – May 6, 2012

Things to do. People to see. Places to go. Finally cleared the way to a couple miles late in the evening.

Total – 2 road miles.

Year – to – date: 822 miles

A walk in the park and a pink finish line

By the time I finish most races, I've figured out at least the first paragraph of my post-race story. This was one of the few where the ...