Salt Springs Trail Race – Preview

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This past weekend I was lucky enough to preview the short course at Salt Springs. The trail race is August 30th at Salt Springs State Park in Pennsylvania. You can register day of the race. I ran the 2.5 mile short course while others ran the 5.5 mile long course.

uphillstart

After leaving and crossing the bridge into the park, the start is an uphill one on a park road. The uphill goes for about a mile and is mostly road and field before you head into the woods and trails. The course is marked well, with the short course being marked in yellow arrows and the long course being marked in orange ones.

Where the long and the short course split

Where the long and the short course split

longcourse

There are the expected rocks and tree roots on the trail. When I ran the course this past weekend, the park had been battered by a storm a few nights earlier. There was standing water on the trail and, in places, no choice but to go through it, as opposed to around the water. The downhills are slightly technical but mostly due to the steep nature. Many places it is a single track so please start where you should as people may not be able to get by you.

trail

I strongly recommend, if you will be in the area, running this trail race. I would be there but am out of town on that date. It is easily set up to be for veteran, as well as novice, trail runners.

Are you racing Labor Day Weekend? Will it be a trail or a road race? Will you be at Salt Springs?

Dating is Hard

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Dating is not what it used to be when I was in high school and college, in other words pre-marriage. Dating, now, is hard. Dating is always hard but there are reasons dating the second time around is a bit more difficult. Dating in your 50’s is an added layer of hard.

First off, you all have baggage by the time you reach your late 40’s or your 50’s. If you were married, there is the baggage from that relationship. There is, most likely, damage from the divorce. There may or may not be children to consider. If you were not married, chances are there has been at least one long-term relationship. Again, there is baggage from this. There is pain and damage from the end of it.

Second, you are most likely set in a lot of the ways you behave. When we are younger, we are more willing to try new things. We do not have a set bed time or a routine that explains how we live our lives. Of course, being younger brings its own set of challenges to dating that I do not want to think about in this current dating climate.

Third, your life experiences have given you lines in the sand. We all have our “deal breakers.” I know I have them but in a recent relationship, I added a new one to my now list of two deal breakers. My original deal breaker was violence. You touch me in anger or with violence or malice and it is over. There is no going back.

My new deal breaker, and I do not ever think I realized this one until recently, is health as in you must care for your own health. I have watched one parent ignore doctors’ advice and just ignore health issues. I watched as this parent basically ignored doctors to death. It is not pretty and evidently made an imprint on me. When faced with a just recently ended relationship where health was an issue, I drew the line. I gave some time for him to act on the issue. When he didn’t, I ended it. I cannot be with someone who ignores his own health.

Fourth, sex. Oh my God! There is so much to say about this that is different from when I started dating in high school in the late 70’s. Now, before having any kind of sex, it is like getting a credit report. Are you clean? When was the last time you were tested? Have you had sex with someone since then? Was that person clean? How do you know? It’s almost enough to make me want to be celibate the rest of my life but not quite.

I cannot imagine what dating as a 20 year old is like in this particular climate. I know I think twice about it some days.

Are you currently dating? What do you think about it? What is your “deal breaker?”

Inspiration or Inspiring?

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Have you ever told someone they were an inspiration to/for you?

I spent this past weekend at my 35th – yes, that means I graduated from high school in 1979 – high school reunion. I know I can always go home again as I currently live about 20 miles from where I grew up. What I didn’t understand was that I had so many friends that had grown up there with me.

On top of having a great time catching up with some of the out of town classmates, I reconnected with many friends I do not see often enough, even though we do not live far away at all. Some of the biggest – and yes, best – parts of the weekend were from friends who wanted to tell me they follow my training with great interest. Others were from friends who told me how inspiring I was to them.

I never think of the average person as being a big inspiration to others. I always think we look up to, or are inspired by, those who are in the media and doing things I would probably never think of doing – being in the Olympics, professional athletes. I never really thought of myself as an inspiration.

So, if you were at the OFA Class of 79 reunion and talked to me about my fitness and healthy living  journey, thank you! You may recognize yourself  in one of these snippets.

  • The classmate who thanked me for posting my running on Facebook who has taken to biking more seriously and is losing some weight – not necessarily the goal – due to it
  • The classmate who walks every day but is starting to run a bit with a spouse who is starting over on a running  journey
  • The classmate who saw a post about a training group at the local running store and signed up and ran a first half marathon this past May
  • The classmate who says her knees would not let her run anymore but was so happy to follow my training cycles

Moral of the story: Carry on. Live your healthy life. You never know who is watching and what they will take from your journey.

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good – A Book Review

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Having been a Jan Karon fan for over 20 years – or at least it seems that way, I have always been drawn first and foremost to the Mitford series. While I loved the few books that took Father Tim away from Mitford to his roots, they didn’t bring me back to where I wanted to be – with the people in that small North Carolina mountain village of Mitford.

Cover

Excitement came to me immediately when I read of the release of the newest Mitford book. I knew I would be buying it in hard cover and possibly soft cover eventually even without cracking a cover. To be able to read it in advance and tell friends how much like a homecoming this book felt is a bonus.

Not totally picking up where the last Mitford novel left off, a reader who has not followed Karon and her character Father Tim may feel a bit lost. There is, other than your own loss, no reason to read all the previous books to feel right at home in this one. The closeness of small town America, the gentleness of a preacher’s home, the family and friends that came in the previous novels are all brought back together.

I will not spoil this by saying what exactly happens. I will, though, say I hopefully await the next installment as I can picture where it might lead.

Things I’m Loving Right Now

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I have been toying with this post for some time. Just so y’all know, some of the things I am loving right now were received via Influenster.com in the Surf’s Up Vox Box. Others were my purchases. As always, the opinions are all me.

Sinful Colors Nail Polish

First off, this polish is available almost anywhere – Target, WalMart. I just had an email from Big Lots and they had some also. It retails for under two dollars not a huge expense. The great thing about it is the coverage. Usually, I look for really expensive polishes to be single coat coverage. Sinful Colors is a great single coat polish. I tried it in Sage Rose which is a color I can wear well into fall.

HeadSweats

#RunChat first introduced me to HeadSweats. Now I own two different pieces from this company. I will be the first to admit I use to be a visor girl. It didn’t matter how long or how short my hair was. A visor worked perfectly. I would sport a hat while running as temps dipped in late fall or early winter but that was it. Now I am constantly in a either a #RunChat HeadSweats hat or a HeadSweats Ultratech Headband. Four weeks in the desert southwest in June ended with me wearing my hair shorter than I have in decades. The headband is perfect for runs when I do not need a bill to keep rain from my eyes/glasses. The hat works great in the desert also. My aunt soaked the head portion for me on a walk between her condo and my mom’s. The water didn’t run down into my eyes and the wet hat helped keep me cool.

United Airlines

I know a lot of people have had not so great experiences with United. In all honesty, my experiences were not the best but the way United handled them has made me a fan. I have had flights canceled when I needed to be somewhere. I have had refunds for partial trips issued. I have watched professionals deal with irate customers with care and understanding, even if the final answer was not what the customer wanted. While it may not be the smoothest way to get across the country – which I seem to be doing rather often, I love flying United.

Kindle App for Windows 8

I love to read. I have, in the past, spent way too much money on books. This problem solved itself when I started using Windows 8 and the Kindle App that it has. I know have tons of Kindle books that, for the most part, I received free of cost. I am reading voraciously and it is keeping me from here some days. BUT, to be a good writer, you MUST read.

What have you been loving lately?

Running for a Cause

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I am going to be writing a lot about running for a cause in the next few months. I just finished week five of my marathon training plan and am working hard towards being physically and mentally prepared to run the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October. There is, though, another part of my training that I have been ignoring.

I am running on TeamPRS Miles 2 End Prostate Cancer and the larger non-profit Zero Prostate Cancer. To be able to run in October, I have to raise a minimum of $550 dollars. I am currently sitting at $25. I would love to be to $275, or half way to the minimum by the end of the week. If you read this blog and can donate a dollar or five dollars, please go to this site and do so.

Here are things you should know about prostate cancer.

10-ThingsEveryoneShouldKnow2014

 

Satisfaction

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Are we ever satisfied? We live in a world of instant gratification. Almost anything we want is at our finger tips on the internet – music, food, clothing, shoes, dates. Do we know how to find what we want and then stick with it?

Have you ever bought a new pair of running shoes? You wear them for a few miles or a hundred miles. Suddenly, a friend tells you about their newer pair. Do you feel dissatisfaction at what you have, even though they are still good for running? Do you want to immediately look for a newer model?

What about clothing? I know a friend who will leave the tags on clothing until she absolutely has to wear it. She is never completely satisfied with her choice until she gets it on. If she should find a sale, or a style she likes better, before she wears the initial purchase, that first will go back.

I’ve found myself, lately, thinking that I need to do more research before making a purchase so that I can be sure I got the right thing. Then, I second guess myself when someone else talks about their purchase of the same thing.

What is it that causes us to think what we have is not what we should need or want?

Do you ever have buyer’s remorse? Does this dissatisfaction extend beyond your purchases to other decisions in your life?

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