Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Black Bears, Tacos and Guitar Lessons

These are all first time things for my 8 year old Emelie.

We started our morning off on the April 28th with a trail run in the National Park. We took off down a trail and we talked about bears. I let my daughter in on a secret that I really want to see a black bear. Not right in front of me on a trail, but off in a distance. About a mile into our journey we hear a scream. It really threw me off because my car was the only one in the parking area so I didn't expect to encounter anyone. We look toward the scream and a baby black bear came running down the trail toward us. It looked scared and was running very fast, so my reaction was to step off the side of the trail and let it run past us. When it got to us it took a right turn off the trail and down hill into the woods. It was only a few feet from us when it took that turn. We hurried down the trail to see if the person that screamed needed help. She was okay and only screamed because the bear jumped out behind them to mess / play with her two dogs. She was mainly a little shocked and was protecting her dogs. Her reaction to seeing us was "How did it feel to see a bear running toward you?" I told her that just minutes earlier I told my daughter that I wanted to see a bear from a distance and never expected to see one running toward me. We were shocked, but stayed calm, so we reacted in the best way. Most of Emelie's friends would of screamed and ran which might of made the bear chase them. I explained to her that we reacted well to the situation and that we would take the Black Bear class at the National Park in a few weeks, so we know more about these bears. It was awesome seeing a bear up close and yes it looked like a Black Teddy Bear, because it was a baby. It was a little bigger than Molly.

Emelie had her first taco yesterday. She has been asking for weeks to try a taco. I made the deal with her that if she ran well that I would get her a taco for lunch. After the bear incident no matter how well she ran I was getting her the taco. We went to Taco Bell and she had her first soft taco. She loved it.

Emelie also had her first guitar lesson yesterday. She has an awesome instructor with over 30 years experience in playing the guitar and has played professionally. He was in a Metal Band in the 80's. After only a half hour with her, she understands the parts of the guitar and can play the beginning of Jingle Bells. By the time she takes a year of lessons I'll learn how to play too. I was very impressed on how well he does with kids, he is a very patient man that communicates well.

That is our day with Bears, Tacos and a Guitar.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Molly's Story

We adopted Molly in October 2008, she was 8 weeks old. She has been a perfect fit for our family as a pet and as a running buddy for me. I found her and her siblings while searching on she was available for adoption through Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Molly was meant to be our dog, she picked us as soon as we saw her. She had chemical burns on her paws and a small spot on her face. One of her brothers lost his tail because of the chemical burns. They were found in West Virginia with their mother under a shed that must of had some chemicals stored in it. My husband wanted me to pick a dog that didn't have the burns, but Molly wanted to be our dog. The other puppies didn't seem to care for the girls and only Molly and her brother liked us. We took her home and within 48 hours, she knew her new home well.

Molly at 8 weeks old, her first day with us 11 Oct 2008.

She has been an easy dog to train and is a good runner. She is very calm for a puppy, and is good at communicating her needs. She is a GOOD DOG! What type of dog is Molly? We believe that she is Border Collie / Australian Shepherd Mix. Currently at 8 1/2 months old she weighs 40 pounds. She has tried to herd our girls and other neighborhood kids. Chemical burn spots have healed and her fur grew back!

Molly is ready to run or hike!

I would like to encourage anyone who is looking for a pet to consider adopting from a shelter or animal rescue organization. The money that you pay covers medical costs and the care that the animal has received through these non-profit organizations.

Life is Good when you have a dog like Molly!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday Morning Trail Run 18 April 09.

I arrived at the Dickey Ridge Trail around 8:35 AM at the Northern Entrance of Skyline Drive. As I stretched I chatted with two bikers as they assembled their bicycles to prepare for a long morning ride. One or the bikers talked about his days of running and how bad knees changed his activity to cycling.

I thought of how careful I have been about my running. In high school and college track and cross country I backed off if I felt odd pain. While in the military if I had an injury I was careful not to over do it. I felt guilt at times thinking back to college, "Only if I pushed myself a little more I could of been a better runner and could of won more races". I ran after having both of my daughters to get back in shape, because while in the military many female soldiers used the excuse of being over weight and not meeting the Army physical standards because of having a child. I could of hurt myself running as early as I did after having my daughters, but having a child doesn't make me disabled. My point is I've had regret about not pushing myself more and realizing that at times I pushed myself when I shouldn't because of the perception of others.

Now that I'm 37 years old, I'm glad that I avoided injury and that I was careful when I was younger. I'm 37 and can now teach my daughters to run. I can do any physical activity with them and feel no pain. I can pick up my 50 pound daughter and carry her up a flight of stairs. I'm determined to run this 50K Trail Run in September, but I'll be smart about it so I can run another day and hopefully another 30 years.

Over the years I've been criticized by other female runners for not having a lot of races under my belt and for not putting in as much training as they do. Many of these runners are now in their late 30s to mid 40s and they are broke. They have had several surgeries and those that are still running have slow times and run in pain. Knowing the condition of these women has made me grateful that I didn't train to an extreme and enter 3 or more races a month. I'm happy with 2 races a year and my healthy pain free body. I'm happy that when I see my past fellow runners current times that I could still beat them in a race even if I walked 1/3 of it. I've only ever competed with myself and my personal goals, not with other runners. Even today if I talk with a fellow female runner they want to compare times and for me to list the races I've ran the past few months. When I tell them my last race was 8 months ago and what my current goal is they seem to react as if I'm not a real runner. They then list their 6 races that they ran in the past 2 months. Are they real runners or are they just collecting T-shirts for bragging? I looked up one marathon runner's times after she bragged about her running but left out her finish times. She ran 2 marathons and 4 half marathons in 2 months, but most healthy people could of walked them in the same time it took her to run them.

Why do I run? I run for me and my daughters. I run because it is relaxing and I enjoy the scenery of nature. I have my personal goals that I'll reach for my personal pride. I'll brag to my husband, parents and a few friends of my personal accomplishments when it comes to running, but not to outsiders. I've never been the weak minded person to give in to peer pressure, so I'm not going to compare times and races with other runners unless you are a personal friend. Those who brag need to stop because self confident runners like myself get a good giggle out of spending 5 minutes on the computer to Google all your over the top running accomplishments to discover that you claim to be a hare, but you are really a turtle. I'm raising my girls not to brag about their accomplishes except to family and close friends. I also want them to encourage others to run and reach personal goals and not ever belittle others because they feel they are a better runner. Belittling and judging others doesn't make you a better runner. Supporting and encouraging others makes you the better runner. After you finish, staying at the finish line to pat others on the back for their personal accomplishments makes you the better runner. Not bragging about your finishes or notches in your running belt.

I do enjoy trail running because most runners are supportive no matter what races or times you have under your belt. They seem to accept you as you are and welcome you kindly. I'm currently teaching my oldest daughter Emelie to trail run, because it will be a better experience for her. We hope to run a trail run (4 miles Muddy Paws Run) in July with our dog Molly. Life doesn't get any better than Running, Jumping, and Leaping through the woods with Molly.

I went on a rant, but my thoughts during my run was how grateful I am that I didn't give in to the peer pressure of running.

I ran from the beginning of Dickey Ridge on Skyline to the flag pole at the Dickey Ridge center and back to Skyline which I measured as 10.2 in 1 hr 34 minutes. I had a difficult time breathing in the beginning but I slowed down a little and paced myself better after the second mile. I get a little excited when running up hill and I forget to pace myself. That is my big weakness pacing myself on the hills. I have a ton of training in my future, but I'll get there with the help of my husband, daughters, family, and friends. My goal is the 50K in September.

My next long run is Wednesday for 2 hrs on Dickey Ridge again.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Proud Trail Running Mom

I took my 8year old Emelie trail running today and she ran a really good 2 miles in 19 minutes. I feel for an 8 year old that 19 minutes is an awesome time for 2 miles on Trails. It looks like she might be a future Cross Country runner. I plan to home school her for one more year and put her in Catholic School in 4th grade, so she'll be old enough to run Cross Country!

If she can run 4 miles by July I might sign her up for the Muddy Paws Trail Run with me and Molly. Molly ran almost 8 miles with me last week when my parents were visiting. We had to run out about a 1/2 and back to my parents and the girls. My parents, Emelie and Susie were hiking and Molly and I were running. Molly didn't like leaving my mom, for some reason dogs love my mom. I had a decent workout that day, so I was happy and Molly was tired.

My next Trail Run is tomorrow Morning. I plan to run for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Trailrunning in March

This past month has been difficult. I took 6 months off from running and jumped into trail running. I'm fighting the hills and I seem to be winning, but it has been very difficult. I've had a hard time breathing, but I do have allergies and athletic induced asthma, but neither have bothered me much in the past year. I've decided that I might need a physical and some good allegery medications. Finding time to run has also been difficult, with my husband traveling often with his job.

I'm considering entering a 50K trail race in September, so my goal is to train-up for the 50K distance. I've currently ran up to 9 miles, which makes me believe that I could run that 50K by September if I keep training regularly. I need to get a better hydration system, so I've been reseaching them, and I need to start learning to eat a little while running. The eating thing is a new concept for me since my longest distance is 26.2 road run.

My goal for April is to continue small runs and have minimum one long run a week. I plan to extend my distance to 15 miles by the end of the month.