Happy Tuesday and belated 4th of July, friends! This past week was my last week before marathon training starts, and it was awesome!
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: In off-season between training cycles; marathon training starts July 4
- Days running: 4
- Miles this week: 17
- Miles in June: 75.87
- Miles in July: 7.2
- Miles this year: 903.14
- Strength training sessions: 3
I was inspired by Ali’s post when she mentioned she did the Blogilates Extreme Abs 2 and 3 videos. I did Extreme Abs 2. What a killer! It was basically torture. I could not get through the whole video (about 10 minutes) and had to pause it many times to give my poor abs a break. This was a great workout!
Easy run: 4 miles
I met Anna on the river trail for some easy early-morning miles. We did 3 together and then I tacked on 1 more. My abs were so sore from Monday’s workout!
In the evening I did 22 minutes of full-body strength training.
Rest day, but it was so cool out that I was really tempted to run. Instead, I did the Blogilates Extreme Abs 2 again (ouch!) then took my dog on a longer morning walk on the river trail.
After work there was a happy hour at Franktuary, a hot dog restaurant, in Lawrenceville. Portions of sales went to my greyhound adoption group, and you were invited to bring your greyhounds to the outdoor seating area. There were about five or six other greyhounds there, and Django was beside himself with excitement. As we were approaching and he realized there were other greyhounds, he actually started prancing like a horse to get to them. While Django is very calm compared to other dogs, he’s pretty rambunctious compared to greyhounds, and he was the only greyhound there who started barking and play-bowing because he was so excited. I got a vegan hot dog and fries with vegan gravy that I shared with Django, who impressed everyone by sitting nicely and lying down for his fries. One of the owners of Franktuary stopped down with his dog, and there was another person with her dog, so it was basically a big party with a bunch of dogs and a lot of fun. After the happy hour we walked down to the dog park and stopped in for a bit before going home. Fun night!
Easy run: 5.8 miles (58 degrees)
It was another blissfully cool morning, and I met Joanna for the usual route we’ve been doing. I am really loving these morning runs with friends! The miles go by so quickly, and it’s just a nice way to start the day. I would typically run .2 more to finish at an even 6, but I knew that this was one of the last times I could flake out and not reach an even number, so that’s what I did.
At lunch I had a consultation with a tattoo artist! I have a very old, ugly tattoo that I’ve been wanting to cover up for years. For the past year I’ve been thinking of what I want and finally made an appointment for a consultation. I really liked the artist, and we brainstormed a design that would work as a coverup. Unfortunately, what I originally wanted won’t work as a cover-up, but I actually love the alternate idea she came up with. AND, she came up with a very creative way of incorporating Django’s ear tattoos. Racing greyhounds have both ears tattooed for identification. I really wanted Django’s ear mark as a tattoo but wasn’t sure how it would work since it’s just 8 letters and numbers. But I LOVE the artist’s idea! We made the appointment to get it done for September, and I’m so excited! I will just be getting the outline in September because she said the outline will heal quickly. Then I’ll get it filled in after my race in November, since it will take longer for the whole thing to heal. I can’t tell you how happy and excited I am! I got my tattoo when I was very young without much thought, and I’ve hated it for most of my life. I’m thrilled that I’ll finally not only have something beautiful instead, but it will also be meaningful to me by including Django’s ear mark.
Easy run: 3.2 miles (62 degrees)
This short, easy run on another wonderfully cool morning was the perfect day to start off my Friday.
Easy run: 4 miles (63 degrees)
We were leaving for the weekend so I got up really early to run because I didn’t plan on running while we were away.
Then my husband and I got ready, loaded up Django and our stuff in the car, and headed down to Virginia for the weekend. On the way down, we stopped in cute little Front Royal. Love this book-sharing stand that was right by the city park!
We rented a cabin near Luray, Virginia for the weekend. We waited too long to book a place, and this was one of the few available. The owner was nice enough to leave us a bottle of wine chilled in the fridge, the hot tub was new and awesome, and it was in a secluded location with lots of woods around and a big yard that Django could run in. But other than that it was pretty small and bleh, with really dated furnishings. Oh well–at least everything was clean and worked!
We headed to Shenandoah National Park, which was only about 20 minutes away from where we were staying. This would be our second time in the park.
On the drive up toward Skyline Drive, signs warned of heavy fog. Skyline Drive is a 105-mile drive on the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains and runs the entire length of Shenandoah National Park. There are 75 overlooks along Skyline Drive with beautiful, expansive views. Because almost the entire Skyline Drive and top of the park was shrouded in clouds, you couldn’t see a lot of the views but it was actually really cool! Driving through felt atmospheric, and walking through the clouds seemed spooky and otherworldly. Plus, it kept the temps cool, which was perfect hiking weather for Django.
We first hiked to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, the highest point in the park at 4,051 feet. The hike was a short 1.7 miles round-trip, but the first half was up a really steep trail. Of course, when we got to the top, we could see nothing but fog!
After that we drove further to do the Rose River Falls hike. The full hike was a 4-mile loop, but Django didn’t love the steep hike to Hawksbill, so we decided we’d hike to the falls and back for a shorter hike. As we were walking to the trailhead, we met a woman, Joyce, and her greyhound-lab mix Marley. They were doing the same hike, so we did it together. Django loved having a buddy for the hike! The hike was 2.6 miles down to the falls and back up.
I absolutely loved the fog! It kept things cool and was fun to hike in. We also saw two black bears, or the same black bear twice. Both times we were driving. We came around a bend, and a black bear had just come out of the woods and was on the corner of the road, peering as if to see if any cars were coming. When we came toward him, he ran back into the woods. We were driving on a switchback, and shortly after we came to a complete stop because a black bear was in the road, seeming to hesitant about running across. When all the cars stopped, he ran across the road into the other woods. I’ve never seen a black bear that close! It’s rare to see bears like that, which makes me think it was the same bear trying to get somewhere.
The 4th of July forecast looked bleak, with rain all day. We decided to head out anyway in hopes that the rain would clear up. We drove an hour south to Staunton. It’s such a cute little town! It has a historic train station and a lot of historic buildings in its downtown. It had rained the entire drive, but as soon as we got out to walk around, the rain stopped and stayed away the whole time we were walking around.
After that we drove back over to Shenandoah National Park, having no idea if we’d be able to hike because of the rain. Sure enough, as soon as we parked, the rain went away and stayed away for our hike. We really lucked out with the weather! We did the short 1-mile Blackhawk Summit trail, which was like a rainforest with the forest floors filled with ferns and moss on trees and rocks. I loved it!
We came out to the spectacular overlook, with a boulder field all around us at the summit. So beautiful!
Part of the trail was shared with the Appalachian Trail. This is the trail marker.
It was time to go home, but we decided to drive through Shenandoah National Park again since it was just slightly out of our way. It was hot and sunny, but the views were hazy, as they often are.
It was a really fun weekend away, the perfect ending to my fun rest period before marathon training starts this week.