a day in the orchard

I’m officially two weeks out from the Marine Corps Marathon!! Last week’s 21-miler did NOT go well at all…a late start and an unseasonably HIGH temperature did not offer up ideal running conditions, but today’s 12 mile run more than made up for it!! Next weekend only eight miles and then I’m finally in the home-stretch.

After this morning’s run, I rushed home, took a quick shower and then was off with the family for some apple picking. Again, a little on the warm-side for this time of year, but there was no denying that we had a gorgeous day for a stroll through the orchard.

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Time to do some baking!!!

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signs of fall

I know it must be October because the leaves are changing…

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These damn things have been in the house for less than 24 hours and already my teeth hurt

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The Marine Corps Marathon sent me an eCard yesterday…along with my bib number.

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Oh. My. Already?????!!

continual training loop

The treadmill is without a doubt my least favorite place to run, but…I really do love the fact that I have one. I’m thankful for it every time I manage to squeeze a few speedy miles in during my daughter’s morning nap. I put it to good use on Wednesday, then Thursday night I headed out with a group member for a 4 mile run. I’ll be out again tomorrow for 8 miles, but I think for today I may just do a quick 3 or 4 on the treadmill again.

On a completely random note, Wednesday night’s run officially bumped me up to the 600 mile mark. 600 miles since March?!

After the baby arrived and I decided to start running again, I had no real goals. I just wanted to run. I never thought for a second that less than a year later I’d have this many miles accumulated.  The downside? I’ve probably got about another 50 or so miles before I need to replaces my shoes…again.

At this point, I’m almost exactly a week out from my half-marathon and I guess I haven’t really thought much about my goal for it. On my last two 13.1 runs I came in at around 2:14, so anywhere around there would make me happy. 2:10 would be…”WHOA”! But I’m surprisingly not stressed about my finish time. Especially considering what a mental-case I was about my pace leading up to the relay back in August!!

I feel as though I’ve been running a little slower lately…and I’m enjoying it. The only time I push my pace is when I’m on the treadmill, but any time I run outside I’m either doing hill repeats or I’m running with another group member. So, instead of pushing to the max like I used to I’m enjoying the company, good conversation and scenery instead.

I’ve pretty much been maintaining half-marathon status since July. I’ve been on what feels like a continual training loop and I know that once I finish this half my final ‘big’ race will be done. I have a few smaller ones over the course of the next month, but it’s almost as though I feel like things are coming to an end and I’m letting up on the gas…a little too early in my opinion!!!

in conclusion

I think it’s time for a little follow-up bloggin’…

First up: you sure it’s not the shoes?

Well, here I am…more than a month later. Wearing larger shoes. And guess what? It was not, in fact, the shoes. It was…The Socks.  Typically, I like snug socks. There’s nothing more uncomfortable to me than loose socks. They get all bunchy and I feel like they slide around too much. The socks I originally had were Brooks running socks (not quite the ones I had, but close) with the undertoe seam. I thought they fit perfectly, but when the larger shoe size didn’t really help I decided to go with a different pair of socks. I opted for Adidas. I’ve been wearing them for about three weeks and the improvement is significant. Unfortunately, for my poor toe I think it’s too little too late.

Next up: run to the hills

Earlier this month I started doing hill repeats for the first time. A love-hate relationship quickly ensued. Once a week I warm-up with about a 1.5-2 mile run, then I head over to The Hill. Each week I’ve added an additional repeat. This week I squeaked out a sixth one…

I have to say, I love looking at this chart. That shaded green area right there…that final push straight up. It’s the only time when I run that my lungs burn, my legs scream and my heart feels like it’s going to pound right the frig’ out of my chest!! It’s awesomely horrible!! I have a bigger hill already picked out for next month!

Moving on: to marathon or not

I’ve made very little progress on this one, but I guess that’s to be expected since it’s a huge decision and it’s only been less than two weeks of serious consideration. I came very close to deciding on a 50k. Now I’m not so sure. We very recently (like, today) discovered that we may have some major changes that might happen right in around the time I would be in the thick of training. I don’t really want to deal with it all at once. The race I had my eye on is scheduled for March, but there’s another in October ’13 that might be the better one to shoot for. So, it looks like I’m off the hook for a while.

Let’s not forget: noises your shoulder shouldn’t make

I’m very happy to say that my arm still seems to be attached and my shoulder appears to be functioning properly! Since last week went so well I gave P90X2’s upper body workout another try yesterday. I completed all three rounds without any problems. It didn’t do it during the workout, but randomly throughout the day my shoulder will make interesting (but not painful) clicking noises. Not entirely sure what the deal is with that, but if it’s the only lasting issue that I end up with…well, I can get used to a clickity-shoulder.

Lastly: apple picking

This one isn’t really a follow-up, it’s more of a continuation…apple picking last weekend was definitely a good way to get a head start on the fall season. Since then we’ve had some chilly temps, on Wednesday night by the time I got home from running my arms were freeeeeezing. The leaves are starting to change color and the acorns have been slamming the heck out of our roof and satellite dish. Yup, fall has arrived!!

apple picking

Every year we head over to the same orchard for apple picking. I’m certain that there are plenty of closer options, but I’ve been going to this same place since I was a kid.  So, for nostalgic reasons it’s worth the trip. This year I was starting to think that we might not be able to make it. From now throughout the entire month of October our weekends are literally booked.

As it turned out a last minute change in plans (due to my husband’s recent hand surgery) left us with a free day on Saturday. We jumped at the opportunity to take the girls apple picking!

We had perfect weather. I was worried about going so early (usually we go in October), I absolutely need it to be chilly when I go apple picking. There’s been a few times when we’ve had unseasonably warm weather for it and it makes me a little cranky. Fall is my favorite season and I love a crisp day for when we visit the orchard….and luckily that’s exactly what we got.

I feel badly that our original plans were canceled, but I’m very happy we were able to get out and make good use of our free day!