Exploring New Routes: Scary or Exciting?

I’ve been wanting to try a particular new route for a while, but I was scared to. Scared because it’s along the highway. Scared because it heads out to a small town I don’t know well. Scared because…well, because I’d never run it before.

Saturday, in the name of Halloween, I decided to conquer my fear, and I headed out for 8 miles toward Ravensdale, a town of about 1,000 people. On the way, I passed a road that was so pretty, I couldn’t resist turning down it to explore. It was lined with bright orange and yellow maple trees, but as I got a short way down the road, I got the creeps. Why?

Well, for one, I’d told Mr. T I’d be running the highway. What if something happened to me? Would the cops know where to look?

And, two, I came across a sign that said: Cemetery Reach. Oh fantastic. But then I saw the part underneath that read: Natural Area. Okay, not really a cemetery. Soon, I forgot that I’d been scared, and I turned down a side road off that side road. It was a neighborhood with bigger houses (but not too huge) on large pieces of land. I loved the neighborhood, and I will be bringing Mr. T there to see it. (There’s one house for sale.) The neighborhood was a loop, and I even came across a man with a boxer, with whom I shared we currently have NINE boxers in our house right now. (See why HERE.)

Once I got back out on the main road, I had to run a bit further in order to get to the correct mileage. I snapped the photo, above, at the turn-around point. Once I got back to my town, I was hauling at a sub-9 pace just feeling really good. And it helped that there were a bunch of people with “vote for” so-and-so signs at the major intersection cheering and waving at cars. It felt like a race!

I got to the light, had to stop, and a sign guy in an orange skin suit turned to me and said, “Hi, Runner.” Scary? No. Creepy? Yes. At least now I’ve explored that route and won’t be afraid to try it again…barring dudes in skin suits, of course.

Old Trail, New Season
On Sunday, I got to explore an old route, but at a different time of year. Zoë (Run, Zoë, Run) and I met up at the Soos Creek Trail in costume (for the RunningSkirts contest). It was raining, so we snapped our costume photos, then changed a bit for our actual run.

Can you guess what I am?

Zoë’s been in China for a month, and this was our first real run together since she’s been back. It was so much fun. I missed my running buddy so much! The trail was gorgeous and we had fun taking some fall photos.

We didn’t let Hell-Yes-Hill scare us too much at the end. Zoë cranked up her music and we charged up before finishing 5.5 miles in the parking lot.

Running with Bennie at Night

Overall, I’ve had a weird week of running and walking, as I’ve been on puppy-watch during the early morning hours. And since Bennie’s been cooped up, I’ve been taking him on night run-walks, which have been annoying irritating crazy interesting.

Check out my post about that adventure at my 2Toms blog. (I’d love it if you left a comment there with your tips, too! And did you know you can follow that blog by simply entering http://www.2toms.com/news in your Google Reader?)

Tonight is Halloween and T Junior is going to be Captain America. What are your kiddos going as?

Three Things Thursday: Puppies and No Sleep

1. Our girl, Lucy, had six puppies this morning. So far, everyone is doing well. The first few days are tough.

2. It is 3:50 a.m. I have been dozing on and off, and trying to keep an eye on mama and her pups.

3. Took Bennie for two walk-runs yesterday since he is confined to the upstairs. He’s a total spazz. So tired. Not sure if I will be able to take him today.

Two Times the Blogging Fun: Now at 2Toms, Too!

My run felt like a smile yesterday. It was sunny and cool here in the late afternoon, and the air smelled like wet leaves. 

It was one of those runs where I wanted to just keep going. I was like a child begging his mother at bedtime for “just five more minutes, pweeeeeez.” At 2 miles, I asked my legs for one more. At the end of 3, I wasn’t quite home yet, so I kept running and when I got by my house, I thought I’d better make it 4 just to even it up. Then I ended up running past that. 

But I didn’t have a lot of time for more. I had to pick up my son from day care/preschool. Juggling mommyhood, part-time and freelancing copywriting jobs, and running can be a challenge. Luckily, I like what I do.
And I’m so excited to do more
I will now be blogging once a week for 2Toms, the anti-chafing experts that make products like SportShield and BlisterShield. I’m so excited, you guys! Not only do they have great products, but the people there are awesome! 
I will be blogging about all kinds of things, from races and training to balancing exercise and life, and lots more.
Pretty please, go HERE to read my first entry. 
I would LOVE it if you would leave me some feedback there on things you’d like me to talk about or find out for you, and I would be so grateful if you signed up to see my posts in your e-mail, too. You can also like them on Facebook HERE.
Thank you for making my whole day feel like a smile.

The (Very Soggy) Cupcake Classic Recap

What: Jess (Run with Jess) hosted the 3.7 Cupcake Classic virtual race for her birthday and to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

When: Alma (The Average Woman’s Running Blog) suggested on our local running group’s page* that we all meet up and do the race together on Saturday morning at 7 a.m.
Who: Alma, me, Carla (Foil-Wrapped Runner), Karla (Running on Eagles Wings) and Zoë (Run, Zoë, Run), who is just one week back from a month-long stay in China.

Alma, Carla, Karla and Zoe
Carla, Karla, Alma and me (aka drowned rat)

Where: The Cedar River Trail (CRT) 
The Outfit: Black Pace Setter Lululemon skirt, pink Lulu jacket and my HautePink RunLove socks from RunningSkirts
The Weather:
-Downpour in the dark.
-I didn’t know it was raining until I was out on my front porch. I was already 5 minutes late and had no time to change. Plus, my capris were in the dirty laundry. 
-I had my windshield wipers on full power on the drive (about 25 minutes) to our meeting place on the CRT.
The Run:
-I was last to arrive, and the four others were standing out in the rain waiting for me. I felt bad.
-I got out and put on my headlamp. Still pouring. Drenched immediately.
-We walked across the bridge over the river to the trail and got started running.
-It was dark, but we had headlamps.
-It was LOUD with the rain pelting the leaves on the cottonwood trees.
-I stepped in a puddle. Sonuva! (Not that it really mattered. Feet were already wet. But now they were squishy.)
-We saw about 4 other groups of crazies runners on the trail.
-Cars driving by the trail are louder when the road is wet.
-The rain softened in the daylight.
-We turned just before Mile 2 to head back. Alma is recovering from an injury and Zoe was not able to run for a month+ in China, so we needed to end at the car. 
-I brought mini cupcakes, Alma made spice muffins for us (I saved mine for the drive home) and we took pictures, then said our goodbyes. 
-I peeled off my soaked Lulu jacket and put on a dry Brooks jacket.
-Carla and I headed back out to the trail for another four miles in the light(er) rain. (I really enjoyed getting to know her more. Thanks, Carla!)

The Result:
None of us ran for time. We just had fun running and chatting! Thanks for holding the race, Jess! And happy birthday!

Post Race:
I stopped at a local coffee stand and ordered a small eggnog latte. It went perfect with the muffin Alma made! The coffee stand owner took one look at me (soaked) and asked me what I’d been doing. I told him I went for a run. “You are dedicated,” he said, but I confessed that I didn’t know it was raining till I was getting in my car. Too late to turn back then! I was committed. Or…maybe I/we should be committed.

*We have a very relaxed group called the Women Runners of King County (WeROKC). If you live in the Seattle (King, Pierce or Snohomish counties included) area and want to be added to the group, or would like more information, e-mail me at kerrie (at) sanitydepartment (dot) com. We organize group runs through a locked Facebook group page. We also communicate about upcoming races, etc., on the page.

You Have to Read This

I just want everyone to read the story below. This young woman is so inspiring. It just made me really appreciate that I can run. By myself. With my dog. With a friend. On a treadmill. On a trail. On the sidewalk In a race. Wherever. Whenever. The only boundary I have is ME.

From the Mansfield News Journal.

Did you read it? Isn’t she awesome? And how about the coaches?

Should I Run When I'm Sick?

Run, hack, hack, hack run.

I have a stupid, stupid cold. I mean this cold is really lame.

It started as a little sore throat last Tuesday night. Not bad at all. I thought, This’ll be gone in like two days. Mr. T still had it after a week (and it had morphed into a cough), but I thought, I run. I take a multivitamin plus vitamin C. I’ll be better way faster than he is.

Yeah, we both still have it. But I’m in the thick of it now.

Of course, I’m not sure if I should or should not run and/or exercise. Despite the cold, I managed almost 23 miles this week ending with a long run of 9 miles Friday on. the. treadmill. (Brainless Bring It On is pretty much a great treadmill movie.) Sunday, I got to wondering if all that running while sick was a smart thing to do. Or not.

So I looked it up and found this great Runner’s World article about running while sick (HERE). I liked what one of the doctors said:

“David Nieman, Ph.D., who heads the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University, and has run 58 marathons and ultras, uses the ‘neck rule.’ Symptoms below the neck (chest cold, bronchial infection, body ache) require time off, while symptoms above the neck (runny nose, stuffiness, sneezing) don’t pose a risk to runners continuing workouts.” (Should You Run When You’re Sick? by Marc Bloom, Runner’s World, 2004)

I think I’m all above the neck, so I think I should be okay as long as I don’t overdo it. An article in the Running Times points out (HERE): “Pushing too hard may prolong the course of the illness and increase the potential for complications.”

I put my running stuff out for a Monday morning run, but I’ve been feeling pretty crummy in the mornings, so we shall see. I may have to pull a treadmill run out later in the day. I do really want to run, though, because 1) it makes me feel better mentally and 2) I’m eating like a bear getting ready to hibernate.

What do you do when you’re sick? Rest or run?