I’m back from an awesome weekend away that felt like my nature-loving soul was in heaven. For almost the past decade, we’ve been going to West Virginia for the 4th of July weekend. We usually go to the Thomas/Davis area, with small, artsy, eclectic towns and tons of places to hike like Blackwater Falls, Seneca Rocks, Dolly Sods, and Canaan Valley. We rent a house so we can bring the dog and always have a good time.
This year we rented my favorite place of all time. We usually try to rent really cool places, a shift from when we were younger and were in the as-cheap-as-possible mindset. Some of the most interesting places we’ve rented were a cool apartment with very high, painted ceilings right in the city center of Prague, a ghost town (yes, the entire ghost town) in South Dakota, a three-story house with decks that look out to the ocean breaking right on the house in Hawaii, and an ultra-modern house with a mosquito net for walls and outdoor showers also in Hawaii. But nothing has compared to the oasis we rented this past week. It was pretty much like having our own park! It was 200 acres, with the house set back more than a half mile from the gate at the main road, with a winding road carved through a valley that led to our house. From the house, we couldn’t hear any noise from the outside world, save for the occasional plane that flew by. The property included a large pond you could canoe in, several smaller ponds with fish and snapping turtles, large, well manicured yards, and 8 miles of maintained trails. It was my idea of heaven! We didn’t leave the property the entire weekend. We hiked the trails, I ran on the trails, and Dave biked on the trails. We grilled out and had a firepit on the huge patio in back. I read two books on the porch swing in front of the house. I loved it so much.
But as much as we loved it, Django loved it more. Because we were in a valley with steep forest on the sides, which created a natural “fenced” yard, the property was perfect for Django to run around off-leash. Because we live in the city, we can never let Django off-leash except at dog parks. Django loves to run (for short distances–greyhounds are sprinters and not endurance runners), and over the weekend he had a blast running full throttle around the property. He’s been with us for 5 years, and at this point he doesn’t want to be very far from us. So he was very, very good with running back to be with us when he got too far away and basically staying around us instead of trying to run off. In the mornings I would take him on a run with me, which worked out great because he’d run ahead, then stop and sniff something for enough time for me to catch up to him. Whenever he started to go in a different direction or would want to go on one of the trails through the woods (I leashed him on the trails so that he couldn’t chase any critters we encountered), I would just tell him, “This way” and he’d listen to me. He’s such a good dog! Running with him off leash was a really special experience because we can never do that at home. And, because he’s a water dog, he would regularly take a break to jump into either the big pond or the smaller ponds or just walk through the water in the creek. We all had such a good time and will definitely return to this amazing property.
As for the rest of the week, it started out cool and very pleasant but ended warm and humid. Running in the cool mornings was so nice, and I appreciate those mornings when they come.
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: Keeping my fitness up prior to marathon training that starts July 17
- Days running: 5
- Miles this week: 14.15
- Miles this month: 70.71
- Miles this year: 466.08
- Strength training: 55 minutes
Easy run: 3 miles
Tempo run: 4 miles
With marathon training starting in two weeks, I wanted to try out my goal race pace to see how it felt. It was a cool morning, and after a 1-mile warm-up, I easily settled into marathon pace. It felt comfortable. Not easy, but comfortable in cool weather. I know it will feel harder in warmer weather and on hills, but I feel confident I’ll be able to run this pace in worse conditions (my heart rate was in zone 3). I enjoyed the two miles at marathon pace and could have run more, but there will be time for that soon enough.
Strength training: 25 minutes
I increased my weights during this full-body workout. I know that heavy weights are best for runners and should have increased to a heavier weight a while back since I’ve been using the same weights for a while.
Easy run: 4.5 miles
I was so excited for this run with Joanna. We ran together a lot last year and haven’t since the winter. Joanna will also be training for the Philly Marathon, so we wanted to talk about training. It was really nice to run together! The only thing is that I was very sore from Wednesday’s strength training, both running and biking to work. I have to only go on a few short inclines in my bike commute, but I had to put my bike in granny gear because I was so sore.
Easy run: 3 miles
It was 71 degrees with such high humidity that it was swampy. I’d planned to do a shorter run so I could get to work earlier and was happy to do only 3 miles.
I did 30 minutes of strength training before we packed up the car and drove 3 hours to our house in West Virginia for the weekend.
Easy run: 2.09 miles
I ran from our house up to the gate at the beginning of our property to measure the distance (.56 miles), then ran back and let Django out to join me. So much fun! Later in the day we hiked some of the trails on the property. Because we were in a valley, all of the trails were pretty steep. The owners do a really good job of maintaining the trails, which were all pretty nice.
I was so sad to leave. I wish I could live there. But, at least I have today off to get stuff done, and then I only have a two-day work week, so it’s not all bad.
I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap, Steff, for the Pittsburgh Run Bloggers Weekly Recap, and Courtney for her Training Recap. Have a great week!