Showing posts from 2017

Bakersfield Marathon Race Report

I completed my 19th marathon this week in Bakersfield, California, where I used to live. The race ran through one of the high schools and colleges I went to and ran right by four places that I've lived. It was a run down memory lane. There I am at the finish line with my husband. I was so glad to finally be there!

The Race: Bakersfield Marathon
Date: November 12, 2017
Results: 4:57
Course: Mostly flat except for miles 12-18
Weather: maybe 50 degrees at the start, mostly overcast
Pace Group: ran near the half pacer for 2:30
Parking: easy-peasy and close to start
Expo: small, registered quickly, no line
Shoes: Saucony Everrun
Fuel Pre-run: blueberry muffin, oats and banana, Gatorade, coffee
Fuel During Race: gels with water at miles 5, 10, 15, 18.5, plus Gatorade
Post-marathon Food: breakfast burritos, popsicle, oranges
Unplanned Occurrences: my head felt so heavy and some dizziness
To Improve: place more people on the bike trail, esp. underpasses/tunnel  
What Went Well: I finished!

Stopping in Bakersfield, California

I'm writing to you from the Bakersfield Resort RV Park in central California. In the photo, you can see our RV and the building where I pick up our mail and work out in the gym.

If it's dark, I run at the RV park. Otherwise, I like to run outside the park where I see a lot of kids walking to school and occasional homeless people. This is such a big change from running at the park where my husband and I used to live in Texas.

We sold our house just north of Houston in Spring, Texas, exactly one month before Hurricane Harvey rain flooded our neighborhood streets and the National Guard took boats down our street to rescue our former neighbors. We think our old house probably had a few inches of rain inside. We're so glad we sold!

We are staying in Bakersfield much longer than we had planned to because my mother-in-law has been very sick. We spend a lot of time with her. I didn't run at first, but when things calmed down I started running again. Running is a good distract…

Florida Fun in Our New RV

What a fun week I've had! We drove to Florida to pick up our new RV. Then we drove down to the Florida Keys and all of the way down to the southernmost point - something my husband and I had never done before. And something I had never seen before on a beach - an iguana. They run around wild on the Keys. Can you spot the iguana in the tree?

We stayed at a newer RV park on the Keys, Palms Keys Resort, in Key Largo that was really nice. Going for a swim and watching an iguana or two walk by - fun times!

The beach views were gorgeous on the drive down to Key West. The water was such a pretty shade of greenish-blue. We stopped at a couple of places and walked around Key West for hours. That walk included a stop for Key Lime Pie.

It was great to go back to the RV at night. Our new RV had some surprises for us, though. There was a hot day when I wondered if we'd ever get the air conditioner turned on. You have to turn off the generator first, or last, or... Oh, I don't remember…

Downsizing: Less Stuff, More Fun

Since my husband and I are preparing for an extended RV vacation, we're downsizing. If you can't fit all of your clothes into your closet or if your kitchen drawers won't hold one more gadget, you might like to get rid of a few items, too.

We can't have yard sales in our neighborhood so we had to be creative. Here's how I found new homes for our belongings.

1. We sold items.
Online classifieds. That's how we sold our RV and more. (We're buying a new one.)We told our friends that everything must go and they came over. They even told their friends and they came over, too. A friend let the music teachers in her music association know that we had a piano for sale. 2. We gave items away.  Sometimes you can match up friends with things you think they'd like.I donated my race medals at a local store. They'll be given to hospitalized children.Drop off items at a local charity. 3. We put stuff in the trash can and recycling bin. I didn't really need 20 w…

March '17 Wrap-up

Between running a half marathon and selling and donating many of my belongings, March has gone by fast!
I had a great time running in The Woodlands Half Marathon on March 4 in 2:10. After the race, I ramped up my miles to 35-39 miles a week. When I get the chance to race again, I'll be ready.
This month, I ran 142 miles. So far this year, I've run 497 miles. If I keep that up, I'll end up running about 2000 miles this year. I don't know if I'll be able to keep that up, though, because changes are coming...
Our realtor came by this week so we could talk about selling our house. Not only that, we're selling nearly everything, by word of mouth and online ads. That's because we're taking a long vacation in our RV.  I don't know how much running I'll do later this year, but I know it'll be an adventure!
Speaking of adventures, we visited a nearby area, Old Town Tomball, for the first time this week. It's within an hour's drive from home …

The Woodlands Half Marathon 2017 Recap & Tips

The Woodlands Half Marathon took place on March 4, 2017. I was given a free entry on March 1 so I signed up that day and started planning for race day - when to take gels and how I'd taper until race day with a couple of easy 3 mile runs. 

Since I ran the Rocky Raccoon 50K trail race three weeks ago, I wasn't sure how I'd feel running so soon. I felt great, though! I finished in 2:10 and I was 35th of 122 females in the 50-54 age group. It was a great race day!

Expo/Packet Pick-up: The expo took place on the day before the race. I arrived at 10:10 (it started at 10) and waited in line for 20 minutes. Then I spent 20 minutes walking around the small to medium sized expo. I parked across the street from the expo - easy parking!

Getting to the Race: I live near the race course and I've run the marathon in The Woodlands twice and the half marathon twice before so I felt safe leaving home at 5:35. I was parked at 6:00 in the blue lot, leaving me plenty of time to be in my corr…

Rocky Raccoon 50K Race Report

The Rocky Raccoon 50K Trail Race took place on February 11 at Huntsville State Park in Texas. After crossing the finish line with a time of 7:41, I was told that I had won my age group. I couldn't believe it. 

That's because a couple of times I felt so sick that I didn't know if I'd finish or ever be able to wear my new finisher's shirt. I think the heat was getting to me. At least that's what I told people who asked if I was okay when at mile 21 a wave of stomach queasiness hit and my head felt funny. I had to sit down on a tree stump. 

If there had been an aid station nearby, I probably would have just quit there. Instead, after a few minutes I had to get up and walk again because so many runners paused to ask me if I was okay. I felt guilty for slowing them down so I started walking. Within a mile, I was running again! That was my longest time in the pain cave, but I felt badly and needed to walk a few more times after that. 

And that's why I couldn't b…

Being Mindful of My Time

I woke up at 4AM without an alarm today. That only happened because I went to sleep at 7:30! It felt great to finally get a good night's rest and to have time to do all that I wanted to do before my 8 mile run: pray, read my Bible (I use this Bible reading app), eat (muffins, today) and to do hip/leg exercises.

Yesterday, we found a buyer for our piano that we're selling. I'm posting a picture of it to remember two things: our piano and how I had high hopes of playing it often, which I didn't stick with.

Exactly three years ago today, I wrote on my blog, "I practiced on the piano 5 days this week. Too bad taking a child to piano lessons for years does not make you a great pianist!" Playing the piano on a regular basis for the last three years would have been great, but other fun hobbies beat out the piano. 

So I'm taking a moment to remind myself to think about how I spend my time and to choose wisely.

Exercises (1/29/17-2/4/17): Sunday - restMonday - 6 mil…

2017 Goals Revised

January is nearly over and I already need to revise my 2017 goals! My husband and I are prepping for a year or two of full-time RV life and hope to begin this new adventure in 2017. Life is going to be busier. 

Reading two books a week and running high mileage when we're traveling may be impossible some weeks. I just want to take a little unnecessary pressure off of myself. Besides, these goals still look great to me - with just the right amount of challenge. 

My Mostly Revised 2017 Goals 

1. Run 1700 Miles in 2017. I've averaged 50 miles a week so far, but now my goal will be 33 miles a week (instead of 39/week for 2,017 miles). You can find me on Strava.
2. Finish 52 books. My new goal is to read or listen to 1 book a week. I finished 9 books so far this year. 
3. Take a picture a day. I've posted a photo a day on Instagram so far and I think I can keep this up.
4. Sell nearly everything and move into an RV. This is a new goal - lots of planning and time needed for this one, b…

Coming Up: RV Living and a 50K

There are big changes coming up for me - if all goes as I hope it will! After our 4 month RV adventure last year, my husband and I would like to become full-time RV'ers! 

We hope to buy a bigger RV and to sell nearly everything we own - here's a link to our sale page. Have any tips for finding new homes for your belongings? That's one of the hardest parts of this adventure. So far, I've sold items online and donated to Goodwill. 

My training continues for the Rocky 50K that's on February 11. I ran 48 miles this week and continued my strength training, but I took a break from riding my bike because one of my hip flexors was uncomfortable and if I have to skip something - biking goes first. 
I wanted to run 10 miles the day after my long run of 16 miles, but because of stormy weather I switched the days. Tailwind (naked flavor is a nice change from sweet drinks) and Clif Blok shots kept me going on my long run. I've noticed my long runs of the last three weeks have …

Rocky 50K Trail Race in 4 Weeks!

People have been asking me if I'm racing in the Houston Marathon tomorrow since I live close to Houston. I've done Houston and it's fun, but instead of the marathon I signed up for the Rocky 50K trail race! It's held at Huntsville State Park and only about an hour away from home. This will be my 4th 50K race. Here's how I'm getting ready to race.

Train in All Kinds of Weather 

Training in all kinds of weather is great preparation for race day. Last Saturday, it took forever to get ready to run becauselayering clothes for a 21 degrees run takes time. Then on Thursday, I wore shorts because it was 75 degrees F. when I did my long run.
Fuel for the Long Run

My long run was a 16 miler. For breakfast, I had white rice with a scrambled egg mixed into it, a banana and coffee. During my run, I had a GU gel nearly every 30 minutes starting 30 minutes after I started for a total of 4 gels and a few pretzels, too. That may sound like a lot of gels for a training run, but I wa…

Taking Pics: Joy in the Ordinary

Sometimes I forget to find joy in the ordinary. That's where my new challenge comes in. 

My New 2017 Challenge: Take a Photo a Day 
On New Year's Day, I decided that I wanted to take a picture every day this year so I started an Instagram account and, so far, I've posted a picture of theapple crisp I baked today, my very patient Weimaraner, Zoe, and my husband working on a drone job. (I'm a spotter, making sure the sky is clear.)

Some days are noticeably special (like Zoe's 12th birthday on New Year's Day), but most days are those good ordinary days that so much of life is made up of. This daily picture goal makes every day a daily treasure hunt.
Two Familiar Challenges: Run 2,017 Miles & Read 100 Books

(1/22/17 Update: New goals alert!Because we may begin full-time RV life this year, my mileage and reading goals may need to be decreased. Here are my revised goals.)
I've done running and reading challenges before and I want to keep them up this year. I'd …