July was supposed to start and end with races: the Heritage Festival 5 miler on the Fourth, and the FCHC Twilight 5K on the 30th. I posted a recap of the 5 miler, which you can read here.
And just last Saturday, the evening 5K that benefits Fredericksburg Christian Health Center was to take place. Dr. Timothy Powell is the head physician at FCHC, which serves people in the community who don’t have health insurance. A third of their clientele have no insurance and the other two-thirds do. We’ve been going there for years. Dr. Powell also serves in his Baptist church as a deacon, and our little Life Runners chapter is blessed to have him as our chaplain. The Twilight 5K was to be an official Life Runners meetup; and it was, but unfortunately a lightning storm called off the race. But it wasn’t a total washout, though; we prayed the Life Runners Creed together and got to socialize with our friends in the running community for a while. There was also a kids’ 1-mile race, and fortunately the storm didn’t move in until after they were finished. In lieu of race winners and age group placements, there was a random drawing for gift certificates from Lucky Road Run Shop, which would have gone to the winners. I won a $10 gift certificate, yippee!
Of course I’ve enjoyed quite a few runs with my friends from Moms Run This Town! One of my RunnerCaching Resolutions was to go on more group runs–which I’m defining here as any run with at least one other person–and that is one of the few I’ve managed to faithfully keep! (Another was “hide three geocaches.” I’d better get cracking on that one.) I know I’ve said this here before, but one of the blessings of running is that it’s a great way to make friends and get to know other people!
(At the end of a particularly warm and humid group run. We took a break from chowing down on watermelon to snap this photo–see take #5)
I even introduced one running friend to geocaching! Every month The Geocaching Vlogger and the online store Cache Advance posts a geocaching challenge, and the challenge for July was “Take a Muggle (a non-geocacher) Geocaching!” We went for a run one morning along Spotsylvania Parkway and found three right along the running trail! I’m on pins and needles to find out what the August challenge will be.
I made the easiest salad ever from a recipe in the July issue of Runner’s World. It’s to die for. Here ya go:
STRAWBERRY, WATERMELON, AND FETA SALAD
Blend 1/2 cup trimmed, quartered strawberries and 1/2 cup cubed watermelon. Garnish with feta cheese, chopped parsley, black pepper, and a touch of red-wine vinegar.
Runner’s World, July 2016, p. 56
So I downloaded that new Pokémon Go. It’s a great concept, and I love that it gets people outside and moving. People who are normally sitting in their basements playing video games (Oh, like my sons!) are going outside. I love that there are designated “Pokestops” and “Gyms” where you can get more points and battle and such. The Ginger Runner and The Geocaching Vlogger are big fans of the game. Well, I’ve tried, but I just can’t get into it. So…I’ve deleted that app and replaced it with Munzee, which is another scavenger hunt game, kind of a digital type of geocaching. I’ll let you know what I think of it once I get around to trying it out.
We had a lot of hot and humid days in July! I tried to get my runs in as early in the morning as I could, before the sun came up. Still, I finished every run completely soaked and red-faced! This is me after a particularly exhilarating hill workout on what might have been the most humid morning of the summer:
I felt great right after my workout, but for the rest of the day I was exhausted, had a headache, and my stomach was out of whack. I thought I had hydrated pretty well, but apparently not. Since then I’ve been faithfully making sure I bring plenty of water and a sports drink, and refill my bottles frequently. On one of our group runs, a friend brought watermelon to share after the run, and LET ME TELL YOU, that hit the spot!! I love a nice snack of fresh watermelon after a run! It tastes great and it’s a good way to rehydrate. The other day I was running on Lee Drive on the Fredericksburg Battlefield, which is nine miles when you go to the end and back. There were a couple of ladies running the same route, and I noticed they weren’t carrying water. I figured they were just running a couple of miles out and they would turn around and come back. They ran the ENTIRE nine miles with no water. I have no idea how they pulled that off. I couldn’t possibly.
My marathon training is officially in “serious” mode, because my long runs are longer than half marathon distance, and getting longer. I’ve been trying to start at 5 am when it’s still dark, which means I need to drive somewhere with better lighting than my neighborhood. St. Mary’s Church on William Street has been my go-to starting point these days, because I can make it my central point to come back to for water refills and bathroom stops, and I can even take a minute to sit in the air-conditioned church and pray a little bit. (Not too long; don’t want to get too much sweat on those nice new pews Father Rooney had put in a few years ago.) And believe it or not there are a few geocaches that I haven’t found yet that I can stop for on a long run. On my 16-miler I grabbed the one hidden at the bus station.
Every summer, usually in August but not always, Geocaching dot com makes special “souvenirs” available that you can earn for your profile page. To earn each souvenir you have to find a specific type of geocache within a certain time period. This year they made it a little bit more fun and complicated by making you solve a puzzle in order to unlock the souvenir and what you would have to do to earn it. The theme this year is “Mission, GC,” presumably in honor of Mission, Impossible. The last weekend of July you could earn the “Favorites Are Forever” badge (like Diamonds are Forever, I guess–?) by finding a geocache with ten or more favorite points. I chose a virtual cache in Stafford County at the site of a railroad bridge that President Lincoln walked across during the Civil War, and declared it must be made out of “beanpoles and cornstalks.” I guess it must have seemed pretty flimsy. There is a modern, working railroad bridge nearby as well.
Miles Run: 127
Group Runs: 7
Geocaches Found: 12 (5 while running)
DNFs: 6 (but I went back and found 2 of those, so really 4…)
Race: Heritage Festival 5 miler
I’m linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum. Have a great week!