Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Friday, July 27, 2012


Work has been insane.  Ask my husband.  Ask my dog.  I’m part of a project team that is “going live” with a company-wide system upgrade this week, so there is an end to the madness.  But over the last few weeks, it has meant a lot of extra hours working, including being on call through the weekends, evening conference calls, and some key “to do’s” during midnight hours.  It also means I’ve had to get creative with my time management.
I haven’t been perfect – I’ve been late with birthday wishes and the dust bunnies are busy multiplying.  What I have not done is let my running – my outlet – fall to the wayside.  Nope, won’t do it!  I think what’s helped me dig my heels in on this is the fact that I’ve committed to run my first ultra in the Fall and the fact is, I have to put the miles in.  No two ways about it.  As important, if not more, is the calmness I feel when I run.  Making sure my run gets on the schedule also reassures me I still have some control during such a crazy work timeframe.

So what’s my secret?  Nothing special honestly.  I’ve dubbed it a priority.  I grab the time when I can, whether early morning before my work day begins or lunch time runs that enable me to “step off the world” and recharge.  The challenge for me is that I am most definitely NOT a morning person.  But the alternative of skipping a run is worse. 

My other challenge is Bella.  She’s a 4 year old Lab who lives to play, run, chase, and hunt.  With an 8 mile scheduled run this morning, I opted for 6.5 on the roads (solo), with a brief stop at home to pick up Bella and headed back out for a 2 mile trail run.  I got my run in, Bella got her run in (no leash, yeah!), and I was home, showered, and dialing into my 8am call by 7:59.  Sweet.

I’m excited to see our project go live, but boy oh boy, I’m also ready to revert back to “normal work Lisa".  But these last few weeks have reminded me that there really is time to fit it all in.  It’s all about what I deem a priority and what I can’t live without.  Dust bunnies, have at it!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More Magic

“I think she’s in your age group” and “C’mon, you can catch her”……

She wasn’t.  And I didn’t.  But it’s amazing how effective those magical words can be when you’re racing!

Scott and I ran a 10K trail race this past weekend.  It took place on a sprawling reservation that is part of The Pingree School in Hamilton, MA.  I looked at Scott incredulously and said, “Wow, kids go to school here?”  It looks like a mansion:

We arrived early, saw a few familiar faces, said our hello’s, grabbed our bibs, and yes, assembled our magic caps again!  We added in a 4 mile run before the race to round out our 10 miles scheduled for the day.  We collected a few horse flies via magic cap just on the road during that 4 miler!  Never mind what the trails/woods would bring.

The course was a 2-loop 5K course and it was extremely well marked.  That’s saying something for me!  At one point, Scott’s magic from his magic cap fell off (too many horse flies weighed it down!) and I continued on for a little bit without him.  To be brave enough to do that is a testament to the course marking.  I did not get lost.

I also did NOT fall.  Yay me!

Although it was a very humid morning, we had decent cloud cover during the race.  But we were still a sweaty mess!  It’s been pretty dry as well, so no water on the trail and any mud was firmly packed and not an issue.  I spent a lot of the race watching other runners.  Trail running is a different animal and I definitely noticed a form that many runners adopted.  It was a form that included a combination of pushing (for speed) and relaxing - allowing them to almost float over the rocks and roots that might trip a trail newbie like me up. 

It was during our second loop that Scott uttered those magic words.  I pushed and I definitely closed the gap a couple of times.  Then a hill would appear and I would lose her again.  [Note to self:  Must work on those hills]  Scott was great in reminding me, “You’ll walk these hills at StoneCat” but for now, I just wanted to catch up to and pass the woman-who-I-thought-was-my-age-group-nemesis. 

We got to the 6 mile mark and Scott flew ahead of me, which had me reaching for another gear.  This time it would not come to fruition.  She finished just before I did.  She had an extra gear that I didn’t. 

But she was also in the 50-54 age group. 

I talked to her afterwards and thanked her for playing “rabbit” for me.  I ended up finishing 5th in my age group.  Not too shabby for a trail newbie.  I’ll take it and add this experience to my developing trail running repertoire.  Trail running is quite different and I’m quietly collecting information; observing others, testing the waters, and preparing myself for a possible 12 hours of it in November. 

Hopefully there’s some magic awaiting me at StoneCat!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Magic Cap

Remember last year when I introduced you to my uninvited running partners? Yeah, well…they’re baaaack!!!  Every year, right about this time, the horse flies come out.  In force.  This year is no different.  But wait, it may be different afterall…

Recently, Scott picked up a new trick to combat these flying beasts while we’re out running – especially in the woods.  And I being the sharing kind of person that I am will share this new trick with all of you.  So you too can have a magic cap! 

Materials you’ll need:
  • Baseball cap (or visor)
  • Duct tape
  • Tanglefoot
  • Place 2 pieces of duct tape to create a wide area on baseball cap – preferably on the back of cap, since horseflies usually head to the back of the neck.
  • Spread the tanglefoot like peanut butter on the duct tape.  The goal is to not get it on the cap, but just in case, select a cap you don't care about ruining.
  • Now, go run and compare who’s catching more flies on their cap!

One word of caution:  remember not to swat at your cap or else you’ll end up with a hand full of tanglefoot.  If/when you do though, just wash your hands with something citric. 

It seriously works.

First run with our “magic cap” = 14 horseflies
Second run with our “magic cap” = 40+ horseflies (a new PR!)

You’re welcome J

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

50 miles on cookie fuel?

I think I’ve died and gone to ultra heaven.  If this is recommended “fuel” for running ultra distance, I.AM.SO.IN.
I could get used to this.