Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in review : The year of the money-hemorrhaging foot

I finished out 2014 with 2 runs (unintentionally).  I've been in a bit of a running-rut for the last week or two.  I've been running 4-5 days a week, but my heart hasn't been in it.  I've been going out the door and putting one foot in front of the other for about 4.5 miles and then returning home and maybe remembering to stretch.  Today, I was in the mood to run.  I was going to actually run, instead of jog like I have been.  I headed out the door and started up my usual starting hill.  And then I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to use my inhaler.  But I felt strong.  I wondered if I could complete my whole run without the inhaler.  Thankfully, I decided against that.  As I looped back home, breathing got harder and harder.  It was pretty rough by the time I reached my door.  I dashed the stairs, used the inhaler, and headed back out to try again.  Take 2 went better.  My lungs didn't fully recover from Take 1, so I wasn't able to run quite as fast as I had envisioned, but I was happy to be running, and that was all that mattered.

2014 in Review

2014 in running didn't quite turn out the way I had planned a year ago. But looking back, it has still been a great year.  Maybe I didn't run a record number of races, or a race every month.  Maybe I didn't officially achieve a half marathon PR.  I didn't even get close to running 1000 miles this year, making it the first year since 2008 or 2009 that I didn't run over 1000 miles.  Maybe I took 10.5 solid weeks off from running, plus a lot of other time off before I had to get serious and quit for real.

But I did run about 690 miles.  And I did run 6 successful half marathons, 3 with foot pain, and 3 after my long time off.  And I did bike 2291 miles, that included over 158,000 ft of elevation gain.  And I did have an amazing year in so many ways that had nothing to do with running.  2014 was possibly the happiest year of my adult life.

2014 wasn't perfect, what year ever is?  But after a few rough years, I learned so much about myself, and about how to deal with life's punches, and it has made such a difference in my life.  I no longer let myself get completely stressed out or depressed over things that go wrong (most of the time).  Some things just aren't worth that kind of energy.  Being able to tell the difference is such a powerful tool.

2014 was also a great year for my photography.  I registered GMcD Photography as an LLC, and while it is not much of a money-maker for me, it does bring in money occasionally, and has given me some amazing opportunities.  I can't wait to see where photography takes me in 2015.

I don't know where 2015 will take me in running.  I don't think I am going to schedule any races during this winter.  I might just take some time to run for fun without any thoughts towards race/distance training.  I expect to run local races in March and April, and of course I plan on running the Blue Ridge Half Marathon in late April.  I haven't made any plans beyond that, and for once, I am ok with that.

Happy New Year!

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
1 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c whole wheat flour
2.5 c white flour
2 tsp cinnamon

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and egg, mix well.  Add baking powder and whole wheat flour, mix well.  Add the cinnamon and the rest of the flour a little bit at a time.  Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick.  (No chilling necessary) Cut out the cookies and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Dip some of the cookies in dark chocolate, if desired.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Six runs and a craft project

I ran SIX times this week.  That is a first since...sometime long before I took the whole summer off.  Those six runs occurred on 5 days, not six, and it's not the first time I've run 5 days, but I've been averaging only 3 days a week for awhile, and feeling like I need to get back to a consistent 5 or 6, so I'm happy with it..  It's been hard to get back into the running routine.  Not because I don't like running, but just because it's not routine anymore.  Running used to be that thing I did as soon as I finished work everyday.  And now it's not.  Sometimes I work later because I don't feel like I need to run.  Sometimes I get home and decide I would rather cook dinner or just be lazy.  Running used to always be more important to me than staying late at work or than cooking dinner.

I don't see it as a bad thing that I am no longer obsessed with running every day.  But I also don't want to be exercising only 3 times a week.  I am trying to find the balance between running frequently and not letting it become as obsessive as it used to be.

Last night's run was a last minute decision.  I felt the need to get off the couch and clear my head, and I had no good reason not to run, so I did it.  It was a nice way to see everybody's Christmas lights.

I thought about taking today off, but decided to run with a friend instead.  I might take tomorrow off...I have a feeling that 3 runs in 24 hours will leave me needing some recovery time.

This week:
T: 4.3
R: 5.6
F: 4.5
Sa : 4.5, 4.5
Su : 3.3 w/DD
total : 26.8 miles

In other news, I spent most of Saturday doing craft projects, which was fun.  I don't do that too often anymore.  I was browsing the craft section at Walmart early in the morning, and discovered "melty beads."  I rather un-original name for their knock-off  Perler Beads.  Perler beads were a fun craft from my childhood so I decided to buy the "melty beads" and have some fun.  I made some things for my faculty secret santa gift exchange, and I made some ornaments for my tree.  

I made a few snowflakes, and of course some runner-girls...
Because I can't make ornaments and not have them be running-themed.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Silly asthma getting in the way of my fun

That last half marathon I did in the cold air was not kind to my lungs.  When I tried to race again 5 days later on Thanksgiving, they failed me.  I killed the first mile in about 6 minutes, and then my lungs locked up and I couldn't really breathe.  I tried to fight it for another mile or so, then I gave up and jogged the rest of the 5 mile race.  On the bright side, apparently I can maintain a sub 8 min/mile pace even when I'm having an asthma attack.  So that's nice.

Also, it was really nice to go to a race with both my brothers and one of my sisters!  We didn't take a group photo, but hopefully next year we will get to race together again.

After the Thanksgiving race, I had to take it easy for a bit to let my lungs recover.  I went for a jog three days after the race, and could tell that my lungs weren't ready for anything faster than a jog.  I took a few more days off and ran on Wednesday.  I did less than 4 miles, but my lungs felt much better.  Then I took a few more days off because the weather was crappy and I didn't feel like dealing with it.  I ran 6 miles on Saturday and it felt really good.

Today it was 50 degrees so I got the bright idea to go for a bike ride because it was "warm."  Turns out 50 degrees on a bike feels more like 20.  I knew it would be colder, but not that much colder!  Lesson learned.  If I want to bike again before June I will need to buy some biking gloves.  Other than the frozen fingers, the ride was really good though.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

35.6 miles this week

Another great week of running.  A late decision to run another half marathon put me at 6 for the year, which is the same number I ran last year.  Considering all the time I lost from training this year, that's pretty nice.

I had originally planned to take today off, but this morning I found myself wanting a run.  Then a friend asked if I wanted to run with him, and my decision was made.  I know I will appreciate it tomorrow when I spend all day driving.

This Week
M: 7.7 / 59:24 / 7:44
T: 4.5 / 31:01 / 6:53
R: 5.3 / 39:37 / 7:33
Sa: 13.3 / 1:28:55 / 6:42
Su: 4.9 / 39:51 / 8:08 (w/DD)
total : 35.6 miles

Highest mileage in over a year, and my fastest half marathon avg. pace ever?  Successful week!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Star City Half Marathon

18th overall. 1st place female. Official time 1:28:58.
My fastest half marathon of 2014! Didn't get a PR this year, but after spending more than half of the year injured, I'm just happy I got within a minute!

My watch clocked me at 13.28 miles in 1:28:55.  Strava says I ran 13.1 in 1:27:53, which is my long-awaited PR, if the GPS was accurate!  I have no way to know for sure, so I can only unofficially consider it a PR.  But it is a confidence boost for future races, when I will hopefully break 1:28 again.

I am ridiculously happy with how this race went. Finishing under 1:30 after only 3 months back in training is better than I dared hope for. I knew I was on track for a great finish throughout the whole race, but I was never sure if I would be able to keep the pace or if I would crash and burn. The first 6 miles were run with the 10k, and I went out fast. It felt good, so I decided to just keep it and see what happened. The course was mostly flat, a few small roling hills here and there. There was a long hill around mile 8, and it was perfect. It was just the right steepness to energize me and I was able to really power to the top. I had claimed second place somewhere around mile 7, and I claimed first place around mile 8.5. Both girls came into my sight at mile 6 when we split off from the 10k. I kept my focus on them, one at a time, and slowly reeled them in. When I passed the girl to take first place, I could tell she was struggling, and as far as I could tell, she didn't try to stay with me. I didn't let myself get too confident about my place in the race; there were several times when I really wanted to slow down and just hope noone would pass me, but I managed to stay strong all the way to the finish. 
I was very relieved that my lungs never gave out on me during the race. The temp was in the mid-high 20s, so I did end up with a pretty violent coughing fit as soon as I broke from a cool down jog to a walk. I'm so glad the cough always holds off until I stop...I could never start running again after coughing like that!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Less is More : 31 miles in 3 runs

Super happy with this week's runs!

On Monday, it was actually warm enough to run in shorts and a t-shirt.  So, I headed home as soon as school was out and got ready as quickly as possible so I could run before the temperature started dropping.  I chose a 9+ mile loop.  I forgot to take into account the fact that I would be in the shadow of a mountain for most of the run, so the run ended up colder than I anticipated, but oh well.  I could see the sunshine off in the distance.  I was running hard, and stayed strong even up the steep climbs.  As I got back into town, I was still feeling good, so I kept on running until I was getting too cold and hungry to continue.  11.6 miles / 1:27:12 / 7:30 / 859 ft of elevation gain

I didn't have time to run on Tuesday because of a last minute babysitting job, and I didn't have time to run on Wednesday because of an after-school baby shower that lasted until after dark.  By Thursday afternoon, I was really itching to run again.  It was cold out and there was snow drifting down from the sky (but not sticking to the ground), but it felt so good to be running, I ended up with 9.3 miles, and probably could have done more.  9.3 miles / 1:10:20 / 7:34 / 804 ft of elevation gain

I took Friday off because I was afraid of overdoing it.  On Saturday, I figured I may as well stick to the theme, so I headed out for another long run.  I chose a loop I have never run before.  It involved a really steep hill that I have biked before.  I spent the first several (downhill and flat) miles second-guessing my route choice, but stuck it out, and climbed the 2 mile, avg. 6% grade hill.  (11.3% grade at the steepest part).  I decided not to push my luck once I got back to town and didn't add on to the loop.  10.5 miles / 1:25:20 / 8:07 / 919 ft of elevation gain

31.4 miles this week.  That is my highest weekly mileage since this week last year, which involved a marathon.  Sad to think that I went a whole year without a week over 30 miles, but I did spend a lot of that time injured.  I spent 5+ months injured and trying to get well without quitting, and then I spent over 2 months not running at all.  And then of course there was all the time trying to build back up!

To add some new data into the mix...this week my runs had 2,582 ft of elevation gain.  Each run had over 800 ft.  In a more typical week of running, each of my runs averages 300 ft of gain.  2 weeks ago, I ran 5 times, a total of 22.4 miles, and only totaled 1,619 ft of elevation gain.  I know the longer runs are going to have more elevation gain just because they are longer, so I divided the total weekly elevation by total weekly mileage.  72 ft per mile 2 weeks ago, 82 feet per mile this week. I ran some bigger hills this week!  I'm hoping they will help me get my speed back, because I really don't want to do speed work...but I do really want to get back up to pre-injury speed!

Here are some pictures of my horse...just for fun.
I went to see her today, and she was fuzzy and happy.
I guess the cold weather isn't bothering her at all.

Pumpkin Soup

1 medium pumpkin
3 carrots
1/4 sweet onion
4 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger root
vegetable stock
heavy cream
1/2 stick butter
sea salt
sage powder

Remove seeds and gunk from inside of pumpkin.  Slice off the skin.  Cut flesh into chunks.  Chop the carrots into chunks.  Steam the carrot and pumpkin chunks with the butter and approximately 1/2 c of veggie stock.  When veggies are soft, add 1 1/2 or 2 cups of heavy cream, a bit more veggie stock, and sage.  Let simmer.  Chop the garlic and ginger and brown in some olive oil, then add to soup pot.  Do the same with the onion.  Use an immersion blender to blend the soup til smooth.  

Chop a parsnip and brown in olive oil to put on top of the soup if desired. 

Apple Cider Pitas

They go well with my pumpkin soup.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nothing quite like a trail run to make me feel out of shape

I took Monday and Tuesday off this week because I was tired, and just didn't feel like running.  I decided it wasn't important enough to drag myself out there when I wasn't in the mood.  I had hoped to take Tuesday off of school to recover from the previous rough week, but nobody could sub for me.  We were able to rearrange my schedule so that I could take Wednesday afternoon off instead.  Not the perfect solution, but it was better than nothing!  I was able to have lunch with a friend and spend some time relaxing, and then I decided I should probably get some exercise sometime this week, so I went for a run.  I thought I would do a long run on Thursday because it was gorgeous out at lunchtime, but by 3:00 it was raining and I had a sudden burst of productivity, so I stayed at work until 4:45 instead, and then just went for a quick run before dark.  I didn't have time for a decent run on Friday in between school and babysitting, so I just took it off.  I finally got a long-ish run on Saturday, though still not the 10-miler I had hoped to get this week.

Today it was gorgeous out, and I decided it was past time I headed to the Greenbrier State Forest for a good trail run.  Some new trails have been built in the last year or two, and I hadn't gotten around to running them.  It has something to do with the fact that I was always training for races and afraid to sprain an ankle.  And then there was the fact that I couldn't run all summer.  Now, I'm running again, and don't have any upcoming races that I expect to be competitive in, so I decided there were no more excuses.

I ran a familiar trail first.  1.8 miles up a mountain, then I turned around and ran back down.  Running up that mountain made me feel like I am not at all in shape.  I'm pretty sure I could have walked up it faster, but I didn't quit.   I "only" twisted my ankles 3 or 4 times on the way down.  Then I found one of the new trails and followed it until it looped back around to where I had parked.  Despite the pain in my ankles/legs from having to use muscles I haven't used in forever, I loved it.  It was nice to get out in the woods and just jog around.  I'm sure it was good for strengthening a lot of muscles in my feet as well.

check out that elevation profile...

Runs this Week
W: 5.3 miles 38:24/7:14 
R: 4 miles 28:12/7:01
Sa: 7.1 miles 54:02/7:38
Su: 5.5 miles 58:41/10:38

Cocoa-Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies

The Cookies
1/4 c butter
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/2 c pumpkin
1 egg
1 c sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/3 c white flour

makes approx. 24 cookies
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes

The Filling
1/2 c cream cheese
2 tsp cinnamon
6-7 spoonfuls of confectioners sugar
1 tbsp apple cider

Inspired by this recipe.  I was looking for pumpkin cake recipes.  While browsing, the red velvet oreos caught my eye.  They sounded intriguing.  I've never made red velvet anything.  And I don't have any red food coloring.  But I turned that idea into these cookies.  So much for making pumpkin cake...maybe next time.

Peanut Butter Chicken Pasta

2 b/s chicken breasts
garlic powder
ginger powder
turmeric powder
1/2 c vegetable stock
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 c crunchy peanut butter
1 carrot
2 big handfuls arugula

Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and dump them into a skillet on medium heat.  Liberally sprinkle with the seasonings (If I was less lazy, I would have used fresh minced garlic and ginger). Add the vegetable stock and soy sauce to the skillet.  Stir occasionally as the chicken cooks, so that it will cook evenly through.  When the chicken is about down, add the peanut butter.  Mix well. Turn down the heat so that the chicken doesn't over-cook.  Chop the carrot into bite sized pieces and add that as well.  The pan should stay hot just long enough to soften the carrots.  Add the arugula a minute or two before serving; it tastes better if it doesn't wilt too much.  Serve over the grain of your choice.  I chose pasta of course, but I'm sure it would be just as tasty over rice or quinoa or farro or whatever. 

 boiling peanut butter deliciousness


Sunday, November 2, 2014

5k trail race

The last five days have been very long and exhausting (with some fun thrown in).  Just a quick summary for now, I will try to add detail/photos later.  I took a friend to the emergency room late Wednesday night.  It was scary and stressful, and I really did not get any sleep that night, and have not had a chance to catch up since.  I'm headed to bed early tonight and hoping I can catch up soon.

I spent the weekend at Sweet Briar College for a Sweet Tones Reunion.  Alumnae of all ages came together with the current Sweet Tones to practice all day on Saturday and then sing together in a concert that night.  It was fun, and a great experience, but it was a bit overshadowed by worries and exhaustion from earlier in the week.

The SBC lacrosse team hosted a 5k trail race today, so I ran that before I headed home.  I was the overall winner by a minute or two.  The course was not well marked at the end, and I took a wrong turn, but still ran the correct distance.  Many other runners took various wrong turns, and the race organizers just kind of shrugged it off.  So it ended up being more of a fun-run than a race.  But that's fine by me.  It was a gorgeous day out.  The only reason I didn't get lost is because I ran those trails all the time while I was a student, and I knew the general direction I was supposed to be going, and where I needed to end up in the end.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Run United Half Marathon

Another slow "race" in the books for me.  Saturday morning dawned bright and cold.  It was about 34 degrees out, which was a step up from last year's 26, but still not ideal.  It was probably 36 or 37 degrees by the time the race started, but it was still far from warm.  I started out at a comfortable pace.  I realized in the first couple of miles that the pace I had settled into was two slow for a good race, but it's hard to speed up once I've settled, and I really had no motivation to speed up.  I spent the rest of the race trying to speed up, and mostly failing.  It's hard to find motivation when there is no one anywhere near you for the entire race.  There were only 29 runners total.  My friend Jim won the race in 1:34:32.  I finished in 1:39:53 (last year 1:32:49).  The 3rd finisher was 3 minutes behind me.

It was a gorgeous day, and almost warm by the end of the race (turned out quite warm and beautiful in the afternoon), but I just wasn't in race-mode.  I'm finding that although running is going well and feeling good, I am not back to race-shape yet.  My body isn't ready to race, and my mind isn't ready to force it either.   I know the lack of any competition in this race made it hard to be competitive anyway, but I'm not sure that I would have had the energy or will power to race even if there had been people near me during the race.

This Week's Runs/Rides
M: run 4.2
R: run 4.3
Sa: run 13.2
Su: bike 21

Saturday, October 18, 2014

10/18/14 Chasing Waterfalls : Sandstone Falls

Today was Bridge Day, and just like last year, it was gray and cold out.  I went by myself the last two years and got some cool photos, but really didn't feel like going alone again.  None of my friends were able to go this year either, so I decided to skip it.  In the middle of the night last night, I decided that I should go somewhere else instead of sitting at home all day.  So I decided to check another waterfall off of my bucket list.

Sandstone Falls

I was driving along the road (still about 15 miles away from my destination) and saw a sign for an overlook, so I pulled off to check it out.  It offered a view of the falls from the opposite side that I would see them from eventually, and from high above them.  

 Just a little bit further down the road, there was another overlook, so I checked that one out as well.  It was a view of the river.  There was someone bird-watching there, and he pointed out a Bald Eagle's nest to me.  He also told me that the pair of eagles had been flying around a lot the day before, catching fish, and hanging out in the nest.  Of course they didn't bother to appear while I was there...

After the second overlook, I continued on up the river til I finally got to the bridge crossing it, then headed down river until I neared the falls.  I caught a glimpse of mist rising off the falls before I reached them, and pulled over to snap some photos.

Eventually, I reached the actual parking lot and set off down the boardwalk that overlooks the falls.

The leaves were colorful, the falls were awesome, and I had lots of fun taking pictures.  I even got out my tripod so I could take extra-cool photos of the falls.

After I took lots of photos, I went for a run along the river.  It was nice to run somewhere new.  It was also really flat.  I took the opportunity to run a 1 mile time trial off of a track.  I ran the TT during the 3rd mile of a 4+ mile run.  I finished it in 6:25.  Not my fastest, but not too shabby considering I woke up short of breath this morning, for no explicable reason.

After my run, I headed towards Bluestone Dam, which was sort-of on the way home anyway.  I had heard that there were frequent Bald Eagle sightings there.  But once again, I was disappointed.  And I didn't have hours to sit there waiting, so I had to head home.  I'll catch sight of one eventually!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Sunrise, a Scenic Railroad, and a Rainbow...What a day!

I'm in my seventh year of teaching, and so far, there have only been 2 years that my job description was the same.  The other five years have all been different.  This year's "something new" is that I spend 6+ hrs a week as a teacher assistant in the 2nd/3rd grade classroom.  Somehow, this turned into me getting asked to go along on their field trip today.  Since most of my Thursday schedule involves that class anyway, it wasn't too hard to take care of my 2 other classes and be free to go along on the field trip.

I suspected that I would be tired after a day-long field trip, so I got up extra early this morning to get my run done and out of the way.  4.8 miles in the moonlight, watching the fog in the valleys, and then I somehow got cleaned up and fed and it was barely past 7.  So, I headed to work early to get some things done before we left on the field trip.  I glanced out the window somewhere around 7:25 and saw a gorgeous pink and blue sky.

Less than 5 minutes later, the sky was gray and cloudy.  Not a hint of color to be seen.  I got some work done and then we piled into a few cars and headed towards the Cass Scenic Railroad.  Highlights/Entertainment on the trip up included 7 yr old girls singing along to Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and a 7 yr old boy requesting his favorite song : Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball."  Thankfully, "Wrecking Ball" was not on the iPod. I enjoyed getting to talk to a parent I didn't know very well, while the kids sang and played games in the back.  I also enjoyed the scenery.  Some trees are still green and too many have already lost their leaves, but there's still a decent amount of color on the rest of the trees.  There were a few lingering clouds hanging out in the treetops that looked really cool as well.

Once we arrived at Cass Scenic Railroad, we watched a short film about the history of the old logging town/lumber industry, walked through the little museum, and then boarded the train.

After the trip up the mountain to Whittaker Station and back to Cass, we had a picnic lunch and spent some time on the playground before heading back to school.  The ride back was quite entertaining, but sadly I don't remember the specific funny quotes that I wanted to remember.  I'm tired. Once back at school, I did some work and uploaded/edited the photos from the trip.  I just happened to glance out the window at one point and caught this:

Sometimes, it pays to stay at work late!  But it has been a very long day and I am looking forward to a good night of sleep!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin Peach Muffins

(Original recipe calls for 1 1/2 c flour.  I put in 1/2 c wheat flour and 1 1/4 white flour before adding the peach.  I let it sit for a bit to draw some of the moisture out of the peach, then added more flour until the batter returned to the consistency it had before I added the peach.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

5 miles. No, 6 miles. No, 7. How about 8?

I thought I was going to do a 5 mile run in the rain today.  But the rain stopped right as I started running.  And I felt too good to stop at 5 miles, so I thought maybe I would do 6.  But I neared 6 miles and was still feeling strong, so I figured I'd do 7.  I finally started feeling tired somewhere around mile 8.  I certainly can't complain about running the extra miles!  I love that feeling of being able to just keep going.  Weekends are good for that.  During the week I'm either trying to beat the sunset, or I'm trying to finish before my body realizes it's in desperate need of dinner.

This Week's Runs
M : 4.5 
W : 5.1
R : 6.7
Su : 8.6
total miles : 24.9

No biking this week.  Besides the fact that I really just like running a lot more, I also don't like biking after school because of traffic.  I was going to try and bike at some point this weekend, but I didn't have time for anything yesterday, and today was rainy.  The bike is clean right now, and I'd rather not get it all muddy.  So, finally a "normal" week of exercise with nothing but running!  

The best news for the week is that my runs on Wednesday and Thursday were completely foot-pain free!  Today was almost pain-free, but my foot hurt a bit somewhere around 6.5 miles. 

This week's sunrise photo

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chocolate-Covered Espresso Bean Cookies

1/2 stick butter
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1+ c white flour
1/3 c chocolate covered espresso beans

Beat butter, oil, and sugars together in a stand mixer.  Add the egg, salt, soda, and vanilla, mix well.  Incorporate the whole wheat flour, then the white flour.  Crush the espresso beans, then mix them in. 

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

One-of-a-Kind Photography Adventure

Yesterday was a long, exciting day!  I ran the Beckley 1/2 in the morning, then had to immediately rush home, get cleaned up, get some food in my belly, and then head back out for a 6 hour photography adventure.

Step 1 of the photography adventure was photographing a farm in VA, 
about 30 minutes from Lewisburg.  

Step 2 of the adventure started when this arrived:

We climbed aboard (they put me in the front so I could take pictures), and flew towards Morgantown.

I-64 and the Greenbrier

Summersville Lake

Milan Puskar Stadium

Part of my assignment for the day was to take aerial shots of a baseball field that is under construction not too far from WVU.  Once were were done circling the construction, we headed to the airport, where we were met by a police escort which sped us through traffic and red lights straight to the football stadium.  We watched the first half of the game, then headed back to the airport and our helicopter. 

Step 3 of the adventure was photographing the absolutely gorgeous fall foliage that we flew over on the way back home. 

I've been absolutely spoiled on the view of fall foliage from above.  
It will never be the same from the ground...

A very exhausted me arrived home around 7:15 PM from this adventure.  I started sorting through the 700+ photographs, but didn't make it very far before calling it quits and crawling into bed for some much needed and hard-earned sleep.