RunnerCache Wrap: March 2016. And Lent… {7qt}

I’m linking up with This Ain’t the Lyceum today!  And be sure to check out my latest RunnerCaching Fred post, where I give you a rundown on some of the geocaches along one section of the Virginia Central Railway Trail.

–1–

My training for the Blue Ridge Half is reaching its climax, and it’s just about ready to wind down here two weeks before the race.  I’ve been tackling some serious hills (it’s pretty much impossible NOT to encounter hills where I live), and I’m feeling pretty confident that I can handle Mill Mountain and Peakwood if I’m smart about it, and use a run/walk strategy that works.  For the Dahlgren Trail Half, which is flat, I started with a 1:30/30 interval, took it slow, and had enough energy those last 5-6 miles or so to increase my run segment to 2 minutes and pick up the pace as well.  For Blue Ridge I’m thinking of starting with a 1 minute/30 second interval and hopefully I can dial it up a little bit once I crest Mill Mountain.  We’ll see!

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(The view of Roanoke, from the Mill Mountain Star.)

–2–

The weather is starting to warm up, and I think I can finally put away my winter running clothes!  I’m always surprised at how sluggish I feel when I go out for a run on the first warm days of the year.  I often have to adjust my schedule and instead of going out in the late afternoon and early evening during the week instead of at 2:30 or 3 pm.  Which may mean saying goodbye to weekday long runs for a while…

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(My last run of the year in my winter gear–I hope.  Along a trail where I found a geocache.)

–3–

Ever since the kids were little, we’ve taken an annual day trip to Massanutten to go skiing.  Wouldn’t you know that the very top of the mountain, where the black diamond runs are, is a virtual geocache?  It involves counting the lights at the top of the lift and looking at the numbers on the chairs.  The day we visited we took several trips on that lift, and my family helped me figure out the answers (it’s not as easy as you would think).

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The other geocaches at Massanutten are along the ridge trail that leads to the top.  I hope one day this summer to go for a hike there and look for some of them.

–4–

OK, Lent… I think I would give myself a B-minus.  (You can see what my Lenten goals were here.)  I studied the Catechism every day…for a while.  I read the Gospels every day…for a while.  After reading Matthew and half of Mark, the copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies I had reserved at the library became available, and that was that.  I did go to Mass almost every Tuesday morning with my family, and I watched most of the videos in Matthew Kelly’s “Best Lent Ever” series.  I never did get to Richmond for 40 Days for Life, and I pretty much forgot about Hallie Lord’s “40 Days to Fearlessness” thing.  I did, however, manage to do ALL of my runs without music, and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought.  I prayed, I meditated, I listened to the birds, I thought about life.  A few times I ran with other people and chatted with them.  In fact, the other day when I was finishing up my run and turned on the music for the first time in over six weeks, I realized I really hadn’t missed it all that much.

–5–

Life Runners now has a Fredericksburg Area chapter!  As of now there are ten official members but I’m hoping that will increase over time.  I am so thankful for everyone who helped get the group going–my co-leader Barbra, my friends new and old who signed up, our chaplain Dr. Tim, my friend Marilyn who heads the DC/beltway chapter and inspires me more than she knows, Paul Westendorf, who helped me get things going, and all the people in LIFE Runners who I’ve met both in person and online.  If you’re interested in being a LIFE Runner (you don’t even have to be a runner!) click here.

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(Marilyn and me at the Father’s Day 10K in Mason Neck State Park last June.)

–6–

Remember that pesky geocache along the Heritage Trail I told you about that I couldn’t find?  It kept going missing, and when the owner Goingtopot recently replaced it I decided on one of my runs I’d try to find it one more time.  Of course I didn’t, and dear Goingtopot emailed me to tell me exactly where and how he hid the little bugger.  I stopped by the next day–luckily there is street parking near the cache–and I finally found it.  I love how geocachers help each other out.

–7–

So…I’d say it’s been a great month for both running and geocaching!  I found most of my caches Easter weekend and this past week when I’ve been on Spring Break.  I found my 500th geocache on Monday, ran my longest training run of the month on Tuesday (13.1 miles), and on Easter Sunday before Mass I got to run a few miles along a section of the Huckleberry Trail in Blacksburg that I don’t get to run on much except when I run the Hokie Half.  I also ran my first 8K earlier this month, which you can read about here.

–8–

BONUS TAKE!!

OH, and I totally forgot to mention…I’M RUNNING THE MARINE CORPS MARATHON THIS OCTOBER!  I’m so excited.  Yesterday (March 31) was the day everyone who registered for the lottery was notified on whether or not we got in.  I got my confirmation yesterday morning, and I’ve already sat down to figure out what my training plan is going to look like.  I’m a little nervous about the logistics of getting there; I still haven’t decided whether or not to get a hotel room.  We managed just fine in Richmond without one but I know this one is going to be a little bit more complicated.  I’m sure I’ll be posting lots of updates on how my training is going.

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Miles run: 94

Longest run: 13.1

Geocaches found:  15

Caches found while running: 2

DNFs: 4 (one avenged, so really 3)

Races: John Robbins 8K

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!  And don’t get too confused when you first look at her post.  It’s April 1, after all.  Have a great weekend!

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