Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is reflection:

Canadian Goose Reflection

I captured this photo of a Canadian Goose and his reflection on February 5th during the damaging ice storm that caused hundreds of thousands of power outages in our area.  I was wandering around my mom’s icy backyard on snowshoes with my Nikon D90 when I spotted this goose standing at the edge of the pond.  Hershey the chocolate lab saw the goose too and took off across the yard towards it.  Luckily I had my camera up and ready and was able to snap a few shots as the goose flapped its wings and flew across the ice!

Let’s Go Streaking!!

Join me for a Holiday streak by completing a mile a day
from Thanksgiving to New Year’s!

364 days ago I decided it was time to get off the couch and start exercising.  I publicly committed to a challenge that seemed pretty manageable…  all I had to do was walk, run, elliptical, or otherwise move myself one mile every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  This challenge really motivated me and I soon learned that it’s actually very easy to squeeze a single mile into my daily routine!

I first read about streaking on a friends blog (thanks Jocelyn!) where I learned that Holiday Streaking is an official Runner’s World challenge.  The concept is simple: commit to your mile-a-day and then, once you get into a routine, you’ll be hooked and you will do anything to complete your mile and keep your streak going!  The streak is also conveniently timed for the holiday season when we’re all probably drinking and eating a little more than usual so the regular exercise really pays off.

We're Streaking!

Last year I liked streaking so much that I decided to keep going for 205 consecutive days before taking a break for our honeymoon.  I started back up on July 1st and I’m currently on day 144 of my new streak.  My second streak acted as sort of a gateway to even more mileage when we got a treadmill in mid-July and I think I’m now officially addicted to running!

Matt and I will be kicking off our Thanksgiving festivities with the Seven Summits 5K Turkey Trot on Thursday morning.  I’m really looking forward to the race AND to all of the mashed potatoes and stuffing that I will victoriously eat afterwards.  Yum!

Will you streak with me from Thanksgiving to New Year’s?
Declare your intent in the comments below!

Since this is a running post I can’t end without noting my latest running tally… 600 miles is history!

Miles since last post:  90.8
Days since last post:  19
Average Daily Miles since July 18th: 4.83
TOTAL MILES: 614

Oy Vey 5K !

Matt and I ran our second 5K race in as many weekends this morning.  The race had a great name – the “Oy Vey 5K” – and, just like last weekend’s race, it took place in Wallingford, PA.  I had two goals going into this race:  #1 – run faster than last week’s 26:51 time and #2 – finish in under 26 minutes.  And guess what?? I did both!!  My official race time was 25:16 which is a huge PR for me – even better than my best time from high school.  On top of that I was the first female finisher of the race!

Annie - Oy Vey 5K

The Oy Vey 5K was hosted by Congregation Ohev Shalom.  We parked at the Synagogue, walked a short distance into nearby neighborhoods to the start line, and raced on a nice flat out-and-back course.  The race finished back at the synagogue where they had food, water, and raffle prizes for everyone.  All in all a great morning!

Matt was the 7th finisher overall with a time of 24:21 (faster than his time of 24:52 from last week).  I was 8th overall and only about a minute behind Matt the whole race which meant that I could see him most of the time.  Matt didn’t know how close I was until we go to the halfway/turn around point and then he realized that I was right there behind him and he cheered me on.  Woohoo!

Matt - Oy Vey 5K

I think there were a few things that helped me run faster today.  First, my time last week was much better then I expected so that gave me the confidence to set my sights on an even faster goal this week.  I went out aggressively in pursuit of my sub-26 goal (7:47 1st mile) so that put me on track for a good time even when I got tired towards the end.  Secondly, the course was really flat which was very nice after last weeks’ (seemingly) mountainous terrain.  🙂

I did have one technological glitch during the race.  My running playlist started off as usual with Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance but then, to my horror, I realized that my phone was set to repeat that same song over and over and over again… oh no!  I contemplated trying to fiddle with my iPhone while running (or maybe trying to talk to Siri and get her to fix it??!) but I eventually gave up and just listened to a LOT of Bad Romance.  I think I need to remove that song from my playlist for next week – I’m sick of it!

Here’s RunKeeper’s summary of today’s race.  As usual, the finish time and distance are a little off.  I guess I’d rather have my phone telling me that I still have another .2 to go and then actually be done rather than the other way around though, right?

Oy Vey 5K Runkeeper Stats

I almost forgot to mention… with 1.3 miles left to go in the race I hit 500 miles!!!!  I’ve been running since July 18th and I’ve had a blast.  Here’s to the next 500 miles!

Miles since last post:  28.7
Days since last post:  8
Average Daily Miles since July 18th: 4.91
TOTAL MILES: 501.3

Related Posts:
•  Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
•  Limping my Way to 400 Miles (10/3/13)
•  Run-A-Muck 5K (9/22/13)
•  300 miles and a 5K in my future (9/9/13)
•  200 miles!  (8/26/13)
•  100 Miles in 21 Days! (8/7/13)
•  100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge: 49 Miles to Go! (7/29/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Another 5K in the Books!

Matt and I ran another 5K this morning and it was fun!!  I had two goals going into the race:  #1 – Don’t walk and #2 – Finish in under 30 minutes.  Not only did I run the whole thing, I finished in under 27 minutes!!  I’m still surprised!

Fueled Up 5K Annie

The “Fueled Up & Fired Up Pick 5 Challenge” race took place in Matt’s hometown of Wallingford, PA and was sponsored by Wilson Oil & Propane.  We started at the Wallingford train station and wound around neighborhoods for two miles before tackling the hilly Smedley-Leiper Trail that parallels the Blue Route (I-476).  Thankfully, the race finished with a nice downhill towards the Wilson Oil parking lot.

Matt was the 7th finisher overall with a time of 24:52 and I was the 4th female to cross the line with a 26:51.  We both ended up first in our 20-29 age group which was kind of cool.  Granted, there were only a few people in our age group and the entire 5K race only had 67 entries, but I was still pretty excited!

Fueled Up 5K Matt

I had a very different strategy for this race than I had for the Run-A-Muck 5K we ran last month.  I tackled the Run-A-Muck with no watch, no music, no iPhone… just me and nature.  Because of this, I went out way too fast in that race and then mentally gave up on the hills and walked (a lot).  I also took a big gulp of water at a water station during the Run-A-Muck which made me feel sick for the rest of the race.  I tried to apply what I learned last month in today’s race.  I used RunKeeper to track my pace, I had a nice, upbeat music playlist to listen to, and I didn’t stop for water.  I’ve also been practicing running up hills in my neighborhood which helped me mentally when I got to a long uphill near the end of today’s race.  All in all a big improvement!  🙂

Here’s RunKeeper’s summary of today’s race.  (The finish time is a bit off because I was late hitting the stop button.)  The hills in the Smedley-Leiper trail definitely hurt my pace in the 3rd mile but overall this was much faster than I was expecting.

Fueled Up 5K Stats from Runkeeper

Here’s my latest mile tally.  Many of these miles were done on the elliptical due to my sore foot but it seemed that cross-training worked because my foot feels a lot better now!

Miles since last post:  69.6
Days since last post:  17
Average Daily Miles since July 18th: 5.03
TOTAL MILES: 472.6

Our next 5K is next Sunday and then we’re entered in another one the following Saturday.  Go big or go home, right?

Related Posts:
•  Limping my Way to 400 Miles (10/3/13)
•  Run-A-Muck 5K (9/22/13)
•  300 miles and a 5K in my future (9/9/13)
•  200 miles!  (8/26/13)
•  100 Miles in 21 Days! (8/7/13)
•  100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge: 49 Miles to Go! (7/29/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Limping my way to 400 Miles

Last night I hit the 400 mile mark in my 100 mile iPad mini challenge.  Sadly I was not running triumphantly through a park or jogging confidently on the treadmill as I hit this milestone, though.  Nope, instead I was cross-training on the old beat up elliptical in my garage because my left foot hurts too much to run.  Boo!

After running the Run-A-Muck 5K on Saturday, September 21st I felt AWESOME!  Empowered by the completion of my first adult distance race I was unstoppable and super motivated to run, run, RUN!  And so I ran like crazy:

…on Sunday Matt and I ran 6 miles at Valley Forge National Park,

…on Monday before work I ran 2 miles on the treadmill,

…on Monday after work Bailey and I ran the 4.3 mile loop at Ridley Creek State Park in 38 minutes (a new record!!),

…on Tuesday after work Matt, Bailey and I ran the 4.3 mile loop at RCSP again, this time in 40 minutes.

Then I got home on Tuesday night and said, what the heck, I’ll run another mile on the treadmill, just for fun!  And that’s when I realized that the outside bottom of my left foot really REALLY HURT!  Uh oh…

Bailey was my running buddy during both days of Ridley Creek loops.  I had her secured to me with a waist leash and I think she pushed me (or pulled me, actually) to run a little too fast for my own good!

Bailey was my running buddy during back-to-back days of Ridley Creek loops. I had her secured to me with a waist leash and I think she pushed me (or pulled me, actually) to run a little too fast for my own good!

Ignoring the stabbing, cramping pain in my foot, I woke up early on Wednesday and ran 2 miles on the treadmill before realizing that I might actually be injured.  I then did some internet-aided self diagnosis and determined that I am likely suffering from Peroneal Tendonitis.

In short, Peroneal Tendonitis means that the tendons that go around the back of my ankle bone down along the outside of my foot are inflamed and irritated.  This is apparently a classic “overuse” injury which makes perfect sense considering I ran over 20 miles in 4 days of 5K-induced euphoria.  Oops!

My Peroneal Tendonitis (or whatever it is) was causing some pretty intense pain along the outside of my left foot last week, so much so that I realized that it would be stupid to keep trying to run through it.  I had previously had a 4+ mile a day (walk, hike, or run) streak going since July 23rd but that came to an abrupt end last Wednesday.  On Thursday I slowly limped my way out to the old elliptical that we retired to the garage after getting our treadmill and I’ve been cross training on that all week.  😦 At least I’ve been able to keep my 1 mile a day streak going – yesterday was day 94 of that.

In addition to logging some quality time on the elliptical I’ve also been icing like a fiend (even under my desk at work!), and taking Ibuprofen.  My foot is feeling significantly better now but I am a little nervous about running.  I might start out with a really slow jog on the treadmill in the next day or two and see how that goes…

Here’s the official tally for this week.  Not quite what I wanted, but hopefully by my next post I’ll be back to running!

Miles since last post:  41.8
Days since last post:  12
Average Daily Miles since July 18th: 5.23
TOTAL MILES: 403.0

 

Related Posts:
•  Run-A-Muck 5K (9/22/13)
•  300 miles and a 5K in my future (9/9/13)
•  200 miles!  (8/26/13)
•  100 Miles in 21 Days! (8/7/13)
•  100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge: 49 Miles to Go! (7/29/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is inside. Here’s what Bailey does when she’s inside!

How Bailey prefers to spend her time inside.

We joke that Bailey is either “on” (full blast running, hunting and playing outside) or “off” (sleeping peacefully inside). In this photo Bailey is demonstrating her favorite sleeping position: snuggled into her covered “dog den” bed with a comforter tucked over her face for good measure… she’s such a prima donna!

Also, I have to point out that she puts herself into bed this way with no help from us! It’s really a cute sight to wake up to in the morning… 🙂

300 Miles! And a 5k in my future…

This afternoon I hit the 300 mile mark in my 100 mile iPad mini challenge!  Over the last 100 miles I’ve run a lot on my treadmill and I’ve also had fun hiking in Ridley Creek State Park, Valley Forge National Park, and at a rural central PA destination we fondly call “the Hunting Camp” (more on that in my next post).  Here’s the official tally:

Miles since last post:  86.3
Days since last post:  14
Average Daily Miles since July 18th: 5.57
TOTAL MILES: 301.0

I am now running with an official purpose… in less than 2 weeks I am going to run a 5K!  I haven’t run a distance race since my ill-fated attempt at Cross Country my freshman year of high school so I’m a little nervous (OK, actually a LOT nervous!).  Still, I’ve been working hard and last week I actually beat my best high school 5K time by about 30 seconds!  (I was running on the flat, even treadmill, mind you, but it was a victory nonetheless!)

The 5K that I’ll be running on September 21st is a true off-road cross country trek, complete with rolling (BIG) hills and a possible stream crossing.  We’ll see how it goes!  🙂

The 5K will take place across these beautiful rolling farmlands

The 5K will take place across these beautiful rolling farmlands in Willistown Township, PA. [cell phone pic]

Related Posts:
•  200 miles!  (8/26/13)
•  100 Miles in 21 Days! (8/7/13)
•  100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge: 49 Miles to Go! (7/29/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)