Sunday, August 28, 2016

A 30 mile week for the first time since April!

Getting those last few miles this week was hard...yesterday was too hot so I biked instead...and then today was too hot and I just had to deal with it.  My first mile was a 7:07 pace and the last half mile was a 9:02... But I got the miles and that's what matters in the end.

The running group I've been joining officially runs at 6 on Tuesday/Thursday, but there are a few people who meet at 5 and run twice.  I decided that joining the 5:00 group and then running again at 6:00 would be the ideal way to get my mileage up.  So that's what I did this week.  It was hard to stand around after the first run and then head out again, but that's one of the great things about running with a group; it's even harder to quit than when you are alone.  The group can act as a distraction from the fatigue and help me push through.  On Thursday I didn't get home in time to meet the 5:00 group, but I got there around 5:25 and did my own hill sprint run, making sure I finished right around 6 to meet the group for the second run.

This week : 
M : run 4.5 / 7:12 / 249 ft
T : group run 6.1 / 8:09 /400 ft
group run 4.8 / 8:19 / 164 ft
R : hill work 4.3 / 7:35 / 381 ft 
(1 long hill push and 3 short hill sprints)
group run 5 / 8:17 / 141 ft
Sa : bike 22.6 / 17.7 mph / 1276 ft
Su : run 5.5 / 8:05 / 430 ft
run total : 30.2
bike total : 22.6


In other news, the first three days of school went great!  I only taught a handful of middle school classes, but tomorrow I start with my full schedule.  Tomorrow will also be the first time I wear a blazer to school since I graduated from high school...but here we will only wear them on Mondays instead of every day.  

Also, my spare bedroom is set up and ready for guests!  Just waiting to see who the first one will be...


The spare bedroom was last weekend's project...I had to scrub every inch of the carpet to try and get rid of the cigarette stench in that room.  It still doesn't smell as odorless as I would like, but it's a lot better!  Today's project was supposed to be the stairwell.  I did vacuum it and spray to help keep away the spiders, but I didn't scrub the carpet as planned.  Wasn't up for all that work after my run.  I will be in Lewisburg next weekend (hooray!) so I will get another 2 weeks off from carpet scrubbing.  


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Found a new running group

Proud new member of the "Wolf Pack" which meets every Tuesday/Thursday at Wolf Hills Brewing Co. for a run followed by beer and socializing.  I'm especially happy to have found some runners near or at my pace.

This week : 
M : 5.2 / 7:27 / 161 ft
T : 45 min fac/staff yoga 
run w/Lisa 6 / 8:06 / 151 ft
R : w/Amanda 7.5 / 7:45 / 469 ft
Sa : hike .8 / 171 ft
hike 2 / 299 ft
trail run 3 / 9:13 / 325 ft
Su : 6.2 / 7:21 / 348 ft

total miles run : 27.9

I just ran my highest weekly mileage since early June.  I hope this is the end of the lazy streak and that I am truly getting back into a routine now!  Next goal : get over 30 miles/week...


Grayson Highlands State Park 8/20/2016

My first photo-adventure after moving to VA!  Grayson Highlands is only about an hour away from me, so it seemed like a good place to start.  Plus, wild ponies!

I stayed up later than planned on Friday night, therefore slept later than I wanted to Saturday morning, and ended up dashing out the door pretty soon after awaking, without really eating breakfast.  I packed some grapes and pretzels, and called it good.  (I knew it was supposed to rain later, and wanted to get in as much adventuring as possible beforehand)

The downside to adventuring in VA is that they charge parking fees at state parks.  And since I haven't gotten my VA registration yet, I had to pay slightly more for being from out of state.  But, I suppose $5 isn't too much to ask for a well maintained park...

There are various different parking areas and trails in Grayson Highlands, and I wasn't sure where to start, so I drove along the road until I came to the Sugarland Overlook, which looked like a great place to get out and take in the view.








I enjoyed taking photos here until a couple of other cars pulled up and people started getting in the way.  I took that as my cue to move on.  I drove on up the road to see what my other options were.  Massie's Gap was clearly the popular spot, it's parking lot was very crowded, so I ended up starting back near the entrance to the park.  The trail I found there was pretty short and there were some obnoxiously loud boys on the trail, so I didn't linger too long, but I did get some nice butterfly shots in the meadow leading to the trail. And a few photos inside the woods as well.  













After going into the Park Office and realizing that Massie's Gap was where I needed to go to see the ponies...I headed back up the road to Massie's Gap.








I got about a mile up the trail before catching a glimpse of the ponies off in the distance on a different trail, and then the rain started.  I didn't want to risk my cameras out in the rain too long, and knew it would take awhile to get back down the trail I was on and head up the other one.  Without being able to know for sure if the rain would get harder or lighter, I decided to play it safe and head back to the car.  Once there, I changed into trail running shoes to head for a run.  I was kicking myself for not remembering a ziploc bag for my phone, but then found one in my car...hooray!  Thanks to that discovery, I was able to bring my phone safely on the run and get some photos of the ponies.  Of course, the rain stopped only minutes into my run.


Trading my hiking sandals for trail running shoes...bet you can't guess my favorite colors...


Found the ponies!




There were a lot of giggly girls petting the ponies and lying down with them...pretty sure this foal didn't just happen to snuggle a flower.

It was naptime for all the babies! 

The trails were very rocky...but I miraculously never twisted an ankle!


After spending some time taking pictures of ponies, I headed back down the trail.  Since I had hiked south on the Appalachian Trail earlier with my cameras, I decided to explore the trail northwards for a bit on my run.  I didn't run too long because I was very aware of the fact that I hadn't eaten much all day and still had an hour drive home.  Overall, I hiked just under 3 miles and ran 3 miles, not a bad day!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

2 weeks of craziness

The first week of August was a whirlwind involving my last week working at Greenbrier Valley Brewing Co, a visit to Bristol to tour my new school and find an apartment, and lots of packing.  The second week of August was another whirlwind with packing, driving to Abingdon and unloading the Uhaul on Tuesday, returning to Lewisburg the same day to wrap up final stuff and say goodbye to people, and then I officially left Lewisburg and moved into my apartment in Abingdon on Thursday.  So, I no longer live in WV but I'm not letting go of my "WV hill runner" status quite yet.

Suprisingly, I actually managed to exercise 5 days each week!  No high mileage, but at this point I'm happy just to get out there, even if it's short!

August 1-7
M : last Pub Run 3.3 / 8:48 / 36 ft
R : run 6.2 / 7:44 / 472 ft
F : bike w./ Dan 21.6 / 17.3 mph / 1355 ft
Sa : run 4.5 / 7:58 / 328 ft
Su : bike w/Dan 19.7 / 16.4 mph / 1325 ft
run total : 14 miles
bike total : 41.4

August 8-14
W : run 4.5 / 8:43 / 453 ft (forgot inhaler)
R : bike 13.1 / 17.8 mph / 830 ft (first day in Abingdon)
F : run road/trail 4 / 8:22 / 413 ft 
Sa : bike 11.3 / 18.4 mph / 617 ft
Su : run 4.5 / 7:32 / 246 ft
run total : 13 miles
bike total : 24.4


It has been ridiculously hot here in Abingdon.  90ish degrees, "feels like 96+" doesn't make it super easy to exercise outside, which makes me even more impressed that I got even the minimal mileage that I did this week.  Between all the work I've done unpacking my apartment and the exercise, the few extra pounds I gained months ago finally just melted (sweated) off.  

I'm running at about the same elevation here in Abingdon as I was in Lewisburg (just over 2000 ft), but the neighborhood/downtown hills are definitely not nearly as long or steep as they were in Lewisburg.  If there are some bigger ones, I'm sure I will find them in time though!  

Tomorrow I start teacher week at my new school (Sullins Academy), and I hope to be able to get into a routine of daily exercise like I haven't had for a long time!  


Photos from my last days in Lewisburg. 

Wearing matching glowstick necklaces and having a blast. 
Gonna miss her!

Farewell night at the Pub.
(apparently "Thanks for all the fish" is a reference to a movie I haven't seen...)
I did make a final batch of Potato Leek soup for the Pub on my last day in town!

Saying goodbye to Pony on my way out of town.

Car is all loaded up with the last bits and pieces from my apartment.  
Whatever didn't fit at this point, got tossed!



Some photos from my first 4 days in Abingdon

Home is where the bike is?
Hardly anything is set up at this point, but my bike found it's new place.

Next order of business: hang up the awesome medal hanger I won at the South Peak Hill Challenge
and hang my medals on it!  All my medals from races ranging from 10 mile to marathon.

I came down the road on the left and snapped this photo before turning around and heading back up the hill the way I came.  I'll explore that road leading off into the hills on a future ride!  
This is just past White's Mill Mercantile.  


Found out that Wolf Hill's Brewing Co is only a 0.8 mile walk from my apartment...so I headed there on Friday night to try two of their beers.  Started with the Troopers Alley IPA and finished with this Zazzy's Downtown Ground.  I was told it's a coffee stout, but I'm doubting the "stout" part.  It was a really delicious coffee beer though!