RunnerCache Wrap: February 2016, in 7 takes

(Or, The Post with the Most Selfies.)

I’m linking up with Kelly today over at This Ain’t the Lyceum.

–1–

My training for the Blue Ridge Half Marathon is in full swing!  I’ve started doing some pretty serious hill training and speedwork.  Believe it or not, I’m starting to not loathe sprint intervals as much as I used to, and I’m loving hill training more and more.  I did my first sprint workout in forever on February 1 in the rain, and had to cut it short because I had brought my Bluetooth headset that isn’t waterproof.  D’OH!  The last time they got wet I put them in rice for a couple of days and thankfully they recovered; I don’t want to take any more chances!

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–2–

I’ve started doing tempo runs again, after taking a break from them since last spring.  Easy long runs are my favorite kind, especially since I started using the Galloway method. It’s not easy to push myself to go a certain pace for an extended period of time; I expect it isn’t easy for anybody.  One thing I do now to make my tempo runs more tolerable is allow myself a walk break every now and then.  Besides, taking photos to post on Instagram during my runs has become a habit, and just because I’m trying to go a little faster doesn’t mean I can’t stop and take a selfie…

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(High water on the Rappahannock from the January snowmelt)

–3–

Why do I love hill workouts so much?  Because there are so many different ways to train on hills!  When I was training for my first few races, “hill training” meant sprinting up a hill as fast as I could for 45-60 seconds, walking back down, and doing that over and over.  That’s just one way to work out on hills; I learned from Sarah last year that there are so many other things you can do to train for a hilly race!  Sometimes I spend the entire workout walking up and down hills, no running.  Sometimes I just do my Galloway-style run-walk-run on them like I would on any easy long run.  I’ll even do a workout every so often where I walk up the hill and jog down.  And I do hill sprints too, but they are so much better when I can mix them in with other kinds of hill runs!

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(That day I earned my Skyscraper badge from Fitbit for climbing more than 100 floors in a day.  75 minutes of walking up this long hill and jogging back down.)

–4–

Well, Lent started, and I quit listening to music.  My first longish run without my tunes was a 7+ mile run on the first Friday in Lent, in the afternoon when I was already tired.  Do you know what?  It didn’t suck as I feared it would! I prayed the Rosary as I ran, taking the time to really contemplate each mystery and recite each prayer thoughtfully.  I could pay better attention to the beauty around me–and actually say hello to people I saw.  Before I knew it my run was over and I felt great, and a little closer to God, too!  I’ve done some other long runs without music since then, including the Dahlgren Trail Half (see #6), and last weekend I ran eight miles.  I’m starting to dig my quiet runs when my mind and my spirit can just wander where it will.

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(Almost finished with my 8-miler last Saturday!)

–5–

I made a resolution to run with someone else at least once a month, and on what may well have been the coldest day this winter I met up with a friend from the Fredericksburg Moms Run This Town group and went for an eight-mile run.  I considered waiting until the afternoon when the weather would warm up into the 20s, but then she and I would both have to run by ourselves.  So, I sucked it up, layered up, and went.  We had a great time catching up, and I even ran a little farther than I had planned!

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–6–

I ran my first race of 2016, the Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon!  If you missed the recap in my last post, check it out here!

–7–

Finally, I managed to squeeze two geocache finds in right at the end of February!  Remember that gadget cache I told you about in Old Mill Park, in my RunnerCaching Fred post about the Heritage Trail?  Well, on the Sunday 28th I was running errands around town and I stopped by the park to find it.  It was a beautiful day and there were lots of families taking advantage of the warm weather.  Luckily I wore my hiking boots, because the area around the cache was very muddy!  The “gadget” proved super easy to operate and open.  AND, I noticed that there was a new geocache that had just been placed!  It’s Finding Bigfoot Reloaded, a geocache that was once hidden in a secluded spot off Route 2 near New Post in Spotsylvania County.  The owners moved it to Old Mill Park, and on Monday the 29th I decided to do my sprint intervals on a 1/4-mile section of the Heritage Trail that is relatively flat and straight.  After my workout I took an extra few minutes to hunt down Bigfoot.  AND, I got a souvenir on my profile page for geocaching on Leap Day Weekend!

20160228_16102520160229_153738Geocaching leap day souvenir

 

Miles run, including walking hill workouts:  86.75

Races: Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon

Geocaches found:  2

Caches found while running:  1

DNFs:  1

 Stay tuned for a much-overdue RunnerCaching Fred post.  We’ve got a lot going on in our house over the next week or two, but I’ll try not to keep y’all waiting too long!  And for more Quick Takes, be sure to check out This Ain’t the Lyceum!

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