I should have posted this last week as we did the hike two Sundays ago…but …I didn’t.
Anyway, Ben and I were invited to chaperone a church youth group hike. Per usual, we decided the morning of that we would do it and threw a few snacks, the camelbak, some Energy Bits, and clothes in the back of my car. After church, we picked up some subs to eat for a quick lunch.
We were told the hike would be pretty easy… this was only half-true. The first three-quarters of a mile is flat… the rest is a nice little incline, the whole way up.
In spite of the steep climb, it was totally worth it. Interested in doing the hike?
Click here for more info.
Here are some views from the top….
Anyway, it turned out to be a great day for a hike and I am so glad we decided to go. This is definitely one of the harder hikes I have done, especially once we got closer to the top, but I felt good.
Hiking, yes or no? Favorite outdoor activity? Are you a last-minute person like me or a planner?
Confession: I am super behind on my blogging.
I have so much to tell you!
So, for the sake of time, I am combining GBN Weeks 10 & 11 into one post.
Here we go.
Monday-9.6 miles. I came down with a cold early in the GBN week and decided not to push too hard because it was so close to the race, this resulted in 4 days off without running. On Monday night, Farmer Ben and I were determined to get a long run in. And we did. Per usual, the first mile or two was a bit tough but after? I felt like I could take over the world. The original route was 8 miles, but I decided that I could go further. And I did. I was sore the next day, but it was totally worth it.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were rest days. Unintentionally but definitely needed. I managed to kick the cold for the most part and was mentally prepared for the Ragnar Relay.
Total Mileage: 9.6 Miles
Overall-Even though I only ran one day, I still feel it was a success. I got my long run in and I stayed healthy, for the most part. That’s all I wanted to do. And I did it.
The Ragnar Relay!!! Hooray! I woke up at 4:15 am on Friday morning. Having gone to bed after midnight, it wasn’t a happy morning, but I was pumped. We crammed everything into Zeke (the Versa) and headed toward Saratoga.
Because we had a bit of a van snafu, we ended up having to bring my car along for the trip, this allowed for some extra room, but was a huge pain. I totally missed out on precious hours of sleep because I had to drive my car to the major exchange points and then to my mother’s house. Le sigh.
Anyway, my first leg of the relay started around 1 pm. It had rained all morning and I was not looking forward to getting–and staying– soaking wet. I tried to nap before I started running, but of course that didn’t work. I was too excited to sleep!
It felt like an eternity before I started running and I was starting to get nervous. When I saw runner 6 (Hi Jessi!) barreling toward me, I knew that there was no turning back. It was time to go. I put one headphone in my ear and found a good station on Pandora, then I started on my 9.3 mile trek.
It was still raining, but barely and it would be clear by the time I finished running. I was feeling pretty good but knew that I hadn’t hydrated enough. No worries, there would be a water station somewhere along the course, right?
Wrong. I got to what I assume was the 6.5 mile mark, based on my leg map (they only marked the last mile of each route) and realized that I was on my own. Had I known this, I would have had the van meet me at the halfway mark with some water, but it was too late. I kept going and had, up until that point, kept up a good pace, but lack of sleep and proper hydration was definitely catching up with me. My phone died around 7 miles, taking my tunage with it.
Shortly before I saw the glorious blue mile marker (which by the way, was NOT at the mile mark, but further out), I started to crash. My body did NOT want to keep going and I slowed down a lot. But seeing that blue sign awakened something in me, and I took it one step at a time.
The funny thing about running is that even though your heart and your body are going crazy and pushing as hard as you can (at least during a race), and sometimes you’re not sure if you’ll be able to finish, your head is usually calm. Focused. I find that I have some of my most intimate conversations with God when I am running. Not intentionally, it just happens that way. Something about pushing yourself to the limit makes you clear your mind of all other distractions.
I used the last two miles of the race to talk to God. And to ask Him for help. And he sent it.
I didn’t catch his name, but this ridiculously tall, overly excited Ragnarian whizzed by me…at the exact moment that I let out a pained grunt. He whipped his head around and cheered me on. Although he was much faster than me, he yelled all the way up the last little hill until he was out of sight. After that, Sara, another runner ran by and continued to cheer me on, I ended up staying close to her for the remainder of the leg and went over to thank her for helping me finish.
Then I thanked Him.
After my first run, I cheered (loudly and obnoxiously) for the rest of our team. It had started raining again but we didn’t care. Our team was looking good and by the time we got to exchange 12 we were running on Clif bars and adrenaline.
At around 8:30 the first runner started his second leg of the race. We were in Lake George. Our van went to find food and I drove my car a little over an hour to my mother’s house, stopping at a Stewart’s to grab a sandwich, chips and chocolate milk (best recovery drink ever!). When I got to my mom’s, I threw my wet clothes in the dryer and then drove by where she would be volunteering for the rest of the night. After that, we drove to Ticonderoga (just under an hour), the next major exchange point and the beginning of my second leg. I got there a little after 11 and managed to nap for an hour or so. According to Van 1’s schedule, I’d be running around 2 am.
I was exhausted but wasn’t too worried about this leg as it was only 2.4 miles. I walked around and stretched to wake up and warm up (although it was warmer out in the middle of the night than it had been all day!). Once I started my leg, I was feeling great. My shoe came untied so I had to stop and tie it, other than that, things went off without a hitch. The last mile was uphill, but after some of the hill training I’d done, this was no big deal.
I ended up running my middle leg at about 9:10 pace. Much faster than I expected, so it was a pleasant surprise. I got back to the van and someone noticed I was bleeding. Apparently, our team slap bracelet had cut me. No big deal.
Again, after running, I was too excited to sleep, at least for the next few hours, so I cheered on my team.
Our van stopped at the halfway mark for Farmer Ben and we noticed that he was taking a little longer than usual to get there. I started to worry because I knew his foot was bothering him and because it was 3 am, dark and rainy.
He finally came into view and I could tell he was hurting but he simply grabbed a bottle of water from me and kept going.
We went up a little further (about two miles from the finish) and I decided that I would jump out and finish his leg for him. That didn’t go as planned because he wouldn’t give me the slap bracelet, so I ended up running with him. He was determined to finish, what can I say?
After Ben finished, I finally got a short nap in, but woke up a few times to cheer on one of our other runners. I stayed awake until we got to the next major exchange (where Van 1 would be starting) and then slept for a couple of hours. When we got Ausable Forks (where I would start running again), a few of us went in and got breakfast from the high school cafeteria. I had low expectations, but I was still disappointed. It was pancakes, eggs and sausage…I think. As gross as it was, I knew that I needed to eat something so I choked about half of it down. Then I ate an apple and filled up on water. I changed into dry clothes (it was still raining, but starting to clear up) and peed about 23543452456 times.
I was very happy to see two of my closest friends and the mother of another team member show up at the exchange point to cheer me on. Being exhausted, I was really worried about running my last leg. It was 5.1 miles, a rolling route that stayed along the Ausable River and seeing familiar faces really helped.
My heart was struck with genuine fear when Jessi came sprinting toward me, slap bracelet raised high. But I took the bracelet like a champ and started running. You could tell the end of the race was near because the excitement was everywhere, cars and vans drove by, honked, beeped and blasted music. This all kept me going.
About a mile in, I heard a familiar voice and turned to see a friend from church in his car. He slowed down and chatted with me for a few minutes and then wished me luck and went on his way. I later found out that another friend had seen me running. The perks of doing a crazy relay close to home!
I even passed a water station on this leg, but I was so disgusted that I didn’t stop.
I asked another team that had pulled off how far I had to go. They said the magic words: You’re halfway there. This was a great feeling. I felt a little spring in my step and even picked it up a little. Once I got to the 1-mile-to-go sign, I was feeling great. I handed off to our next runner and found out that I had run at 9:40 pace, which doesn’t seem that fast but it was a lot faster than I thought. I’ll take it.
I felt amazing after that last run. I had done it . 18.8 miles (this includes the extra two miles). I survived. Now my only job was to cheer for my team like crazy!
We ended up having to sub in a runner for the last mile and a half of the race, but we finished. We crossed the finish line at about 5 pm. And then headed over to get our free beer, medals and shirts.
This was an amazing experience. I cannot wait for next year. The actual running wasn’t as difficult as I thought, but the lack of sleep and food were a huge challenge. I definitely pushed myself and am jones-ing to do so again!
After the race, we met up with my mom (who lives about 20 minutes from Lake Placid) and I drove my friends Jessi and Niki back to Saratoga to pick up their car. Then we headed down to Albany to drop off the van. At that point, it was after 9 pm and I was so tired I could barely move, so we rented a hotel room to crash for the night.
Since the race, I have been pretty low-key. I’ve been going to bed a lot earlier and haven’t gotten any running in. But I will.
The Army Ten-Miler is 17 days away and I still have some work to do. That means tonight I get back to running. I’m fighting the sniffles after being in the rain all weekend but I am feeling a lot better and my body is finally recovered. So, the GBN journey continues!
What are some of your exercise challenges you’ve faced over the last two weeks? Any races coming up?
First of all-Shout-out to Jenny J for joining MFP! Hooray!
This week was a big step up from last.
1. Friday Night-3 miles. I was disgusted with myself after over-sleeping on Friday morning, so I packed a bag with my running gear and made up my mind that I would run after work at the restaurant. I was tired but I headed to my usual spot for night runs. I kicked out three miles in just under 27 minutes. This surprised me because I felt slow.
2. Sunday-5.1 miles. The hubs and I headed out on this beautiful afternoon and did a loop near our house. I had done the same run in reverse and thought it would be cake. Little did I know that this direction was a bit more difficult-it is slightly uphill for pretty much the first two miles. No big deal.
My body was protesting for the first half of the run but then I found my stride and I took off. I definitely could have run another few miles but we were short on time so five miles it was. We did it in 49 minutes and change. Not too shabby!
After the run, I did some planks. It was hard and my body was pretty mad at me the next day. But I think this will become a habit.3. Monday-8.2 miles with HILLS! Over the weekend, the hubby and I drove down to where the last legs of our relay will be run. Ben’s happens to be a HUGE hill, so we decided we needed a practice run. After work, we headed south and parked the car at the exchange point. We ran 4.1 miles to where Ben will hand off the slap bracelet.
Let me tell you, it was STEEP. When we got to the top of the first hill, I started thinking, “okay, we’re getting close!” Then Ben informed me that we had only gone 1.5 miles. In spite of this, we kept a good pace and even picked it up a little toward the end.
Once we reached the exchange point, we paused for a moment to relish the fact that we had completed the run, then turned around and headed back. For the return trip, we walked some of the way in order to enjoy the amazing Adirondack scenery. We even saw a few deer!
When we got back to the car, we were exhausted, sore and absolutely starving. But it was totally worth it.
Tuesday-Rest Day. I didn’t want it to be, but my entire body ached. I did manage to do a few sets of planks, though!
Wednesday-8.0 miles. This was hard. My mind was not in it–and when it was, I was over thinking! I found my groove after mile 2 and was feeling pretty good, but with three miles left, my body started protesting. My calves and lower legs were so tight, I could barely move. I stopped and walked for a little bit, hoping that would help. It didn’t. I managed to finish the run, but it was rough.
Upon reaching my driveway, I did a bit more walking to try to loosen up. It didn’t work.
Total Mileage: 24.3 Miles
Overall: I’d say this week was excellent. I managed to get in some solid mileage and did some pretty challenging runs.
I’m still trying to figure out my lower leg pain and I am wondering if it’s something to do with my shoes. Any thoughts and advice are definitely appreciated.
It felt good to get some distance in and I definitely feel myself getting faster.
Goals for Next Week: Complete an 8 mile (or longer) run-no stops. I won’t be satisfied til I do this. Figure out–and hopefully cure–this leg pain.
How were your workouts this week? Did you have any challenges that you pushed through?
1. How the heck is it already September 12? My brain cannot process how quickly the summer flew by.
2. The hubs is back on My Fitness Pal. Yesssss! Mission accomplished.
3. Making jalapeno peach jam tonight. So excited!
4. Planks really hurt. Hurts so good.
5. My whole body is still sore and achey today. Come on Baby, make it hurt so good!
6. Sometimes love don’t feel like it should… Hurts so good!
7. Just kidding, it’s from all the running. And planks.
8. Speaking of running, I cannot wait to get out for a nice little jog tonight. And listen to some 80’s music…
9. This article really spoke to me. It’s so true, runners (and athletes in general) cheer each other on, even if you don’t realize it at the time. I have friends who are just starting out on their running journeys and worry about how they look or how fast they can go. This is for them. I am so inspired by you all.
10. This was a fun little article and I can definitely relate to a lot of these. Great motivation!
11. Slow Food September. Love this. Hubby Time and Lunch? Yes, please!
12. Shout-out to Rachel at Rachel’s Table (Awesome localvore blog!) for this great idea! Even after marinara, salsa, two kinds of ketchup and barbecue sauce, we still have tomatoes to use up…so trying this!
13. I heart corny jokes. Score.
14. These are becoming a habit. So many good things, all in one little patty!
12. A sweet old barn from our run on Monday. Such a gorgeous spot!!!
13. Days like today make me love Autumn in the Adirondacks.
14. Speaking of autumn, I have so much planned for the next couple of months. Loving life!
15. Jeremiah 29:11.
16. Farmer Ben, you’re pretty cute.
17. Happy Wednesday!
Have you ever had one of those
weeks months where you have absolutely no idea what will happen next? Or, for that matter, you’re not sure how you got to where you are? I am currently there.
I don’t know if it’s daylight savings time, being super busy or…something else, but I feel like I just got off the zipper and am waiting for my head to stop spinning.
The past few weeks have been a blur…consisting of getting up, rushing to work and then rushing to job number two…followed by driving home, cooking random foods and entertaining my husband with my ability to make a giant mess in less than 5 minutes…with a little life organizing, mini trips, connexion groups, date nights, church, sporadically exercising, pretending to get enough sleep and trying to keep in touch with family and friends mixed in….topped off with some total randomness.
Like I said, not sure how it is already March 14. There is so much going on.
First, some good news! After being married for almost seven months, Ben and I FINALLY mailed out the very last of our long overdue thank you notes. Better late than never I suppose. I am embarrassed to admit this, but we wrote and mailed out the first half about two months ago… and then just never found a spare moment to finish the other half…until a few nights ago…so if you were included in this second batch, I’m really sorry for the hubs and I dropping the ball.
Second, Ben finally let me try the pickles he made this summer-both varieties! AMAZING. I ate so many that I gave myself a stomach-ache. Typical.
Third, we have a mini vacation planned for next week and it cannot come soon enough! Granted, we are only driving six hours south…but it will be a nice escape… and five days off. I love road trips..even if they are short. I also love days off…especially when they are consecutive. I am so excited to see my family and to get out of town…and to spend an entire five days with my hubby!
The hubs and I may have some changes on the horizon, so keep us in your prayers! Nothing serious, just some things to take care of/decide on.
It’s been beautiful in the North Country as of late, temperatures have been in the 50’s and the sun has been shining. Not too shabby for March. If I could change the fact that my driveway is a giant mud pit then all would be perfect. Some day it will dry… sigh…
The weather has really helped my running…meaning that I’ve actually been running. I’m still not too great at the whole getting out of bed early thing..but I’m trying! Mondays and Wednesday are the glorious days when I can run after work and thanks to daylight savings time, I can now finish before dark! I’m looking forward to hitting the pavement tonight. This is my latest motivation: Ragnar Relay … This race looks AMAZING!
We’ve been experimenting with some new recipes, including some homemade energy/granola bars. This means glorious bulk items from our co-op including nuts and coconut. I love it.
It’s almost garden season. Ben is already making big plans for our yard. I cannot wait. I also cannot wait to break in our solar food dehydrator. Hello sun-dried tomatoes!
If you can’t tell from the pictures, I am ready for garden fresh veggies!
In other news, I have a couple of restaurant reviews to post…along with a recipe or two. There is even talk of that Ben guy doing a guest post!
Stay tuned and have a great rest of the day!