Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Destination Run - Spokane, WA

Oh my goodness! Summer is going way. too. FAST!

Even with all of our weekend adventures this summer, I am happy to report that I haven't missed a long run! I've adjusted some mid-week runs here and there to accommodate my schedule, but the ones that count (long runs) have been going very well. 

After our visit to Penn State, we traveled to Spokane for a family wedding! It was my first time to WA and after a brief layover in Seattle, MarathonMike and I agreed that we want to go back! Don't be fooled. It wasn't the airport that got us, even though it was very nice. The views flying in were amazing and we want to check it all out someday. 

We got in on a Thursday and traveled to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho with our cousins for dinner. Cute little town with lots of shops and restaurants surrounding a beautiful lake. Highly recommend Crafted Tap House + Kitchen for drinks and dinner. Delicious! 

Most of the family was arriving on Friday, so Friday morning was the perfect time to go out for a long run. Our hotel was in a busier part of Spokane, so I apologize, but I don't have any pictures from my run because it was mostly sidewalks and road construction. Since I wasn't familiar with the area, I picked out a 3 mile loop from the hotel and ran it 4 times for 12 miles. Before our trip, running in MA was hot, sticky, and just plain awful. It was so refreshing to run in the cool, dry morning air. Great run, for sure!

That afternoon, MarathonMike and I traveled to downtown Spokane and walked all around Riverfront Park. Beautiful place with space to relax, walk, run, or bike. Plus, there was a merry-go-round, children's amusement park, a fountain, and a really cool running sculpture that celebrates the Bloomsday Run. So glad we got to see this part of Spokane! 

Of course, the whole point of our visit to Spokane was to celebrate the wedding of our cousin Ben to his beautiful bride, Katy. The ceremony was outdoors along the Little Spokane River with a barn reception and Huckleberry Pie for dessert. So much fun! And here's proof that MarathonMike and I clean up well. At least, I think so! 

Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am! Even if it is going fast! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Destination Run - State College, PA

Happy belated 4th of July! 

MarathonMike and I traveled to State College to spend the holiday weekend with PSU friends from our college days. We got to town in time for the amazing fireworks display. Seriously, it's so good they show it on the TV! 

Waiting for the fireworks

The big "event" of the weekend was a bike ride for the boys and a run for the girls. This was great for me, because I needed to do 11 miles. Oh, did I mention? I signed up for the Hartford Marathon! So, a run in and around State College was exactly what I wanted to do! 

I did a couple miles on the Bellefonte Central Rail Trail... 

... a few miles along the golf course... 

... past beautiful Old Main...

... all the way over to the stadium... 

... with the big finish at the Creamery! Yum! 

We like to travel to State College about once a year. My last destination run on campus was two years ago, just before I started to train for my first marathon. Now, I'm training for #3! Unbelievable. 

Looking forward to more destination runs this summer! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Race Report - Ashland Trail Race 5K

Way, way back in June, I ran the Ashland Trail Race 5K at Ashland State Park. It was a beautiful day and a super fun experience. 

When I signed up for this race, I didn't know what to expect or what it would be like to actually run on trails. To me, trails were for hiking. And that alone can be challenging! Fortunately, my attempt at "running" on the trails was a success. Here's why: 

1. I did not trip. 
2. I did not get lost. 
3. I finished.


What's fun about running on trails is that you feel like you're on a mission. Like you're being chased. And the last thing you want to do is be tricked by the evil roots and rocks trying to take you down. You see, that's the difference between MarathonMike and I. When he runs on trails in the woods, it feels, and I quote, "Like you're running through the woods." Probably explains why he's much faster than weirdos like me... 

But, hey, I had fun! And I liked a new off-road running experience. It's good to mix it up every once in awhile. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Running on Trails

I have absolutely enjoyed the last few weeks of running. No schedule, no training plan. Slow, easy pace runs with good company. In fact, I've been adventurous for a change. I've ventured off the road and onto the trails. 

This weekend, I am running the 5K at the Ashland Trail Race. I'm excited and nervous. I've been joking about trying to win "Most Polite Runner" if there was such a thing. "No, please, go ahead. After you!" I don't want to trip or fall or worse, cause someone else to take a spill. How embarrassing would that be? I've been practicing short distances on the trails nearby and today I ran 3 miles completely on trails at Caryl Park and Noanet Woodlands. Another perk from the trails? Beautiful views you can't see from the road! 


MarathonMike asked me if I will keep running on trails after the race this weekend. Definitely if it gives me an excuse to buy a new pair of shoes like these ones! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Race Report - Newport 10 Miler

Last weekend, I ran the Newport 10 Miler!

I really enjoyed this race and would highly recommend it to fellow runners! The course had some rolling hills, but nothing that was killer or anything like the hills around Hopkinton. (Thank you, Ash Street!) The views were great along the ocean with gentle breezes pushing us along. Near the end, we ran down a wide avenue with mansions on either side. Wonder what it would be like to live there... A girl can dream. The race started at Fort Adams State Park and ended with the finish inside the fort. That was pretty cool! In fact, the race began with the shooting of a canon. Not this one, though.  

I wasn't sure how this race would go for me. About 2 weeks ago, I was really sick. I missed a week and a half of running and was still dealing with a little cough as the race approached. I decided to shoot for 8:30/mile to 8:40/mile pace, knowing that I should be able to go a little faster than my half marathon pace. Thanks to my trusty Garmin, I kept an eye on my pace and adjusted when I started out a little too fast. I finished my first 10 miler with a time of 1:25:02! Yeah! 

Not that long ago, I was trying so hard to run an 8:30/mile pace for a 5K. Now, I can run that pace for 10 miles. That's what I love about running: When you really keep up and keep at it, you can make huge improvements. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn, but rather to encourage any novice runner or walker to not give up. Keep going, one step at a time. 

Running this race got me excited to run a fall marathon! Now comes the hard part: choosing a race. I'm considering Hartford, Philly and a few others. Any suggestions? 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Race Report - Marathon Park Prep Half Marathon

Today, I completed the Marathon Park Prep Half Marathon - #4 is in the books! 

I'll be honest... I was hesitant to run this race. Long story short (never short): I was signed up for Quincy Half last spring. It was canceled. Free/Deferred entry for this year. Town of Quincy said, "Heck no!" and it was moved to Ashland. (cue whiny voice) But, I just did Ashland in October! Sucked it up and decided to run. Free is free! 

I really enjoyed myself out there today. I was familiar with the course and that helped me mentally to know where I was and to save myself for the Green Street Monster. After doing this course in the fall, I also knew that in order to reach my goal, I needed to open up on the downhills. It was cold and windy at the start, but the sun was shining and I warmed up quickly. Finished with about a 2 minute PR for an official time of 1:55:41. Garmin gave me a free second! 

Other perks included an awesome shirt, 

food and drink tickets featuring Long Trail Ale, 

easy parking and plenty of port o' johns. Sorry, no picture of that! The hills are tough and challenging, but this race gives you a HUGE sense of accomplishment, no matter your time.

What's next? I plan to rest up for a few days and then it's time to prep for my first 10 mile race. Newport 10 Miler in 6 weeks! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2 Years

It's been 2 years since I started this blog. Time flies! 

I remember it was a cold and quiet February vacation week in MA and I needed something to do. What's funny is that since then, life has gotten busier (because I wanted it to) and I've had very few days without some sort of checklist or work to be done. 

The bad part? It's my running that's been suffering from "too busy" and "too tired" excuses. I recently got a membership to our town's athletic center so that I can use a treadmill when it's dark or too cold. I'd prefer to run on the roads, but THIS means I have no excuses. Seriously. 

Good news: I had a great, but icy, 11 mile run yesterday! That was just what I needed to boost my confidence for the last few weeks of training before the Marathon Park Half Marathon. I still got it! 

Because know I needed it, hoping this quote will be good for you too: "Either you run the day or the day runs you." - Jim Rohn 

Here's to year 3! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why Run #20

Start somewhere today. Don't put it off. You can do something, no matter how "small" you think it is in terms of your long-term goal. Every step you take is one you'll be thankful for when you get there. 
- Caressa Sharp

Friday, January 3, 2014

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