So much to say

I don't like to post round up type posts and always have a main focus anytime I sit down to write anything.... except this time.  Life has been moving pretty fast and I have not been able to keep up.  The past few months we have been having a contest at work on who could get the most steps in.  The grand prize was a shiny new iPad and I wanted to win oh so bad!  The last few weeks the competition got fierce between me and one other guy which meant I had to "step" up my game.  He was 11,000 steps ahead of me going into the last week so I did nothing but run and walk and walk and walk every waking moment.  Since I did nothing but run and walk and walk and walk I just didn't have time to post anything...... the reason for the round up, scatterbrain post.  So, I am sure you are wondering..... yes!  I won the iPad!!!!!! by 20,000 steps.  A total of nearly 1.7 million steps over a 12 week period.
Now..... on to the running news
Saturday, the 21st, my daughters decided they wanted to go to the trails and run with some of their teammates.  I was happy that they were taking the initiative and heading to the trails, but I really wanted to sleep in since it was Saturday morning and my only day to sleep in.  I realized pretty quickly that this was an opportunity, not a curse, and so I took them to the park and decided to run my weekly long run of 10 miles (drop back week 6 of marathon training schedule) on the trails instead of Sunday morning on the roads around the house.  The run was great!  We ran at Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain, and I spent as much of the 10 miles as I could on the more technical trails close to the river banks. It was an interesting run, with the first mile finding me quickly dashing back to the facilities, and one of the later miles seeing what I think was a bobcat crossing the trail just in front of me.  It looked similar to the one in the picture and I ran past that area kinda cautiously.   It wasn't till a couple days later that I realized Saturday was National Trail Running Day.  I knew about the day coming up and wanted to run trails on that day, but had forgotten with all that was going on.

Sunday morning was a good run with my two daughters.  Since we all had run our long run the day before we all went out for 4 miles, and then I added 3 more to round it up to 7 miles.  This run was supposed to be at marathon race pace.  A cool thing that happened while we were running - we were about a mile into the run and I saw a couple deer bouncing through a yard just beyond us.  I pointed them out to the girls, but the direction I was pointing there was a couple walking towards us on the other side of the road.  I felt like I needed to explain myself and tell them I wasn't pointing at them, but rather at some deer behind them.  The woman quickly stuttered and said "She, she is the one that won the race last week"  She was talking about the XC time trial the Saturday just a week before.  That was a really cool moment for me, but even more so for Payton.  We were nearing the two mile mark and were coming out of the neighborhood and Payton asked if we could stop and stretch.  Just then this couple came around the corner and Payton quickly said under her breath..... "nevermind" - I guess she didn't want these people that were obviously impressed by her to see her stopping. I have to say I would have done the same thing....... we stopped to stretch once they were out of sight :)

Sunday morning's run also was a very somber run as well.  When I went to put my MyTach GPS watch on it wouldn't turn on.  I tried everything and then gave up to go and get the run in.  Later I tried some more things but nothing I would do gave any promise.  I contacted support and sent the watch in at their request.  Hopefully they will be able to fix it or replace it under warranty.  I started to get scared.  I am in the midst of marathon training and rely so heavily on my GPS capability each and every run, but especially the long runs.

Tuesday was hill repeats with the Tuesday Night Fleet Feet Running Group.  There was a Lawrenceville Police Officer there to talk about safety and to promote their upcoming race on September 11th - A Run To Remember 5K and Fun Walk.  While we were sprinting up the hill over and over again he took out his radar and was clocking us.  He said he clocked me at 13mph which would convert to a 4:37 pace.  I know this was a short distance, but I really don't believe that I was running that fast.... not even in an all out sprint.  I was going up a hill!  This makes me wonder.... is that how the cops have their radar calibrated? So if they clock me at 65..... was I really going 65? Hmmmmmmmmm.

The remainder of the week was just a lot of miles.  I had modified my training schedule a little bit so I could do the hill repeats with the running group, but had not thought about how that would affect me towards the end of the week.  Thursday morning I did 8 easy miles.  I then had a decision to make.  I was scheduled for an 8 mile pace run on Saturday followed by a 16 mile long run on Sunday morning.  The problem was that my daughters had their first Cross Country meet on Saturday morning and we needed to be there at 7:00.  Because of the early mornings the last few weeks and the early morning coming on Sunday morning I just was not going to be able to get up early enough to get 8 miles in before having to leave at 6:30.  I opted to run the 8 mile pace run on Friday evening instead.  I waited till the sun started to get lower in the sky and headed out.  The run was hard at first with the sun, but as the sun went down the run got better.

Sunday mornings 16 miler was a good run.  It turned out better than I expected given all the walking I have been doing lately.  I spent over 2 hours walking the night before not getting home till after 10:00 pm.  I got up at 5:15 and headed out the door for my 16 mile run by 5:40.  I ran the same route that I ran for the two previous 8 milers.  This was because it is one of the few routes that I know specifically where the mile splits are that is actually long enough to get me away from the house a bit.  I know the mile splits on this route 5 miles out so that is where I went.  I went 5 miles out, turned around and came 2 miles back, then turned back around and went back out the the 5 mile mark again.  This put me at 9 miles and time for a GU.  To this point I had sipped some Gatorade every 2 miles, but now it was time to switch to the GU and then finish out the run with water.  I headed back 2 miles again and turned around and repeated the previous mile one last time.  At this turn around I had been running for 12 miles and was 4 miles from home so the rest of the run was straight home - I always like that part :)  The stair-stepping was mentally challenging, but worked for me to get the run done and know how I was running as far as pace was concerned.  I really miss my GPS, I hope I can be running with either my MyTach or a Garmin again really soon!

If you got this far you are my hero!  Thanks for reading this very long, scatterbrained post.  I will strive to not let this happen again..... at least not anytime soon.

You will notice that I didn't elaborate on my two daughters first Cross Country meet on Saturday.  I wanted to dedicate a complete post to them and their accomplishments so I am keeping that for a future post.  Let's just say I am one proud running dad and you will have to stick around to read more about that in the next couple days.

- subscribe - follow blog - twitter - fanpage - call