Runner Cache Wrap: January 2016

January was a good month for running; not so much for geocaching.

During the school year I typically do my long runs on the weekends, usually in the mornings, and shorter runs on weekday afternoons.  The preschool day ends at 2 pm, and I’m usually finished with my work by 3, so that works out pretty well.  I’ll change into my running clothes after school and go run maybe 3 or 4 miles.  If there is a specific workout I want to do like hill training or speedwork, I’ll drive to my destination (never far away), do my workout, and return home at a reasonable time.  It does take some planning but it works.

When I went back to work after Christmas break I discovered that I can go for runs longer than four or five miles, and still have the time and energy to get through the rest of the day.  On my first day of work after the holidays, I ran six miles because I felt like it–the longest after-work run I’d ever taken.  The following week I went out for an afternoon 4-miler and once again ended up running six.  Another day I needed to do a 3-mile tempo run and do a little grocery shopping, so I drove to Wegman’s, ran along a flat course I had mapped out, and decided to veer off my planned route and explore some nearby trails.  Needless to say the “tempo” run turned partially into a leisurely trail run, which took a little bit longer than I anticipated but was more enjoyable than a flat-out tempo run.  (I later confirmed my suspicion that I was running VERY close to a certain puzzle cache that day.  Now that I’ve solved it I’m itching to go back there for it–as soon as the ground dries up.  I’m not fond of mud.)  When I finished I was able to get my shopping done.  And a day or two before the big blizzard hit, I moved my weekend long run of 9 miles to a weekday afternoon.  I have to say it feels good to know that I CAN go for long runs after work, and have more time with my family on the weekends if I want to.

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(There’s a geocache near here somewhere…calling my name…)

I’m officially training for the Blue Ridge Half Marathon!  Last year I ran the 10K, and I’m really looking forward to the half.  (Someday the full.  Not yet.)  The best part?  I got in for FREE because #RunChat had an Instagram scavenger hunt contest, and I WON!!!  There was a list of twelve items that you had to take photos of while out running and post them to Instagram.  I couldn’t believe it when they told me I won the free entry into any of the Blue Ridge Marathon races.  I finally registered over the weekend.

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(At the top of Mill Mountain in Roanoke, last April.  I wish it was a virtual cache!  That was when I ran the Star 10K; this year I’ll run to the star again, plus more mountains.  I can’t wait!)

I usually run alone, and one of my resolutions for this year is to run with a group or a partner at least once a month.  One Saturday our running store had a fun run organized by one of our local Moms Run This Town chapters.  A whole bunch of us runners–mostly women and a few brave men–gathered to run a few miles together, socialize a little bit, and afterward some folks from a nearby physical therapy clinic talked to us about common running injuries and how to prevent and treat them.  It was a great way to meet new running friends and connect with old ones!

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(Of course, having only been a runner for 2 1/2 years, just about all my running friends are new friends! 🙂 )

January is never a good geocaching month for me.  Weather is often a factor, plus the fact that life just seems to get busy right after the new year.  I found one in Washington, DC on Jan. 9, when we went to the Kennedy Center to see Shear Madness.  We had eaten dinner at Burger Tap & Shake in Foggy Bottom, and had some time to kill before the show.  I saw there was a cache just a few blocks away, and managed to talk my family into taking a walk with me.  It was great finding the cache with my husband and boys with me for a change!

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My other geocache find was last Saturday, when I visited a local park where there is a paved running trail.  Part of the trail is a fairly steep series of switchbacks on the side of a hill, overlooking the river, and after several runs up that hill I took a more leisurely run a short way to the cache.

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(That’s not the cache, but it’s very close by…)

On the very last day of the month, we went to Wintergreen for a day of skiing.  A fun cross-training day to send January off with a bang.  Yes, there are lots of geocaches there. No, I didn’t even try to find any of them.

Miles Run: 81

Total miles including walking (hill training walks, that counts!) 90.45

Races: None

Geocaches found: 2 (FAIL)

Geocaches found while running: 1

DNFs: 0

February is a short month.  Hopefully I’ll find a heckuva lot more than two geocaches, run 80-90 miles, and MAYBE run a race.  Meanwhile…HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY, and I hope to see you back here real soon!

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