5 Thanksgivings

Since ending the run streak and taking time off after running two marathons, I haven’t had much to write about.  I have only ran once since the marathon and I could barely walk the following day.  My calf is still tight and my right foot is still sore; so right now I am just taking time to recuperate.  I have also been pretty busy with work and some other projects I am doing on the side, all of that being said not a lot of time to write, but since Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday and that means Thinking Out Loud, I thought I would take some time to write before going to sleep.


For those of you who know me ‘in the real World’ know that I don’t like celebrating holidays.  It wasn’t always that way, but being in the military and away for 8 years holidays just become another day, besides that I don’t like the commercialization of holidays.  That is my real pet peeve.  Though I still enjoy Thanksgiving; for the most part ‘they’ haven’t found a way to commercialize Thanksgiving yet.

This week for TOL I thought I would share 5 meaningful Thanksgiving memories.

2014:  Running–Last year Thanksgiving was also day #33 of the run streak.  When I started I wasn’t sure I could make it 33 days, looking back I’m still not sure how I made it 365 or if it was worth it.  Did I sacrifice my marathon training for the streak?  I’ll never know, but I will have another shot to run a marathon and I’ll always have that year of running!

#tbtt Throwback Thursday & Thanksgiving
Throwback Thursday & Thanksgiving

2013:  Nick’s Seat–Every year since I can remember my family has always gathered at my Aunt’s house for Thanksgiving, it is the one thing I always look forward to!  I could probably tell you a story from every year, we always make memories and reflect upon years that have past and tell each other stories about the ones that have past, that we all know by heart.  Sadly in 2013 my Uncle passed away.  He was an avid golfer and I really enjoyed the times he would ask me to golf with him.  On Thanksgivings we would normally switch back and forth between golf and football depending on what time of day it was.  2013 was the first Thanksgiving without him.  Even though we don’t have assigned seats at the table we all sit in the same chairs each year.  After my Granddad passed away my Dad took his spot at the end of the table and Nike had always had the other end.  This year I wasn’t sure who was going to sit in Nick’s spot or if anyone would.  When it was time for dinner my Aunt asked me if I wanted to sit in Nick’s seat, I wasn’t expecting that.  I don’t think she realized how important or honored I was to have his seat.  So now it is me and my Dad at the ends of the table each year.

2012:  Gordon Biersch–In 2012 I really started running with people and going to different run clubs until I found one where I fit in.  That is where I met FKBT, I didn’t call him that then, I called him Tim.  If you want to know the story behind FKBT read Sarah’s blog.  Anyway, Tim was the leader of the City Sports run group and it just so happened that run group this particular week fell on ‘Friendsgiving’.  Tim had arranged for a rep from Brooks to come and demo some shoes; after the run Tim, myself, a few other runners, and the rep from Brooks went to Gordon Biersch around the corner from City Sports.  The rep offered to pay for the first rounds of beers.  After 1 or 2 rounds pretty much everyone left, but Tim and I stayed and talked with the rep for a while.  Next thing you know we were quite a few rounds in and having a blast.  At the end of the night the rep looked at us and said, so there were like 20 people with us tonight right?  We all agreed and the rep picked up the whole tab for Tim and I!  Pretty awesome!  I only tell that story because the rep no longer works for Brooks.


2003:  Surprise–This was the year I got to surprise everyone with a visit on Thanksgiving!  I missed the last two Thanksgivings, I was away in the military.  This year I flew in from Turkey and surprised everyone.  I know Turkey/Thanksgiving you can make some puns of your own.  It was great to see the surprise on everyone had on their faces.  I think I was only able to come back for 3-4 days and then back to Turkey, but it was well worth the trip.

2001:  The Redding’s House–My first Thanksgiving away from home I planned to spend in my dorm in Minot, ND.  Not very exciting, the holidays this year were especially rough being the first time away from home.  The day before Thanksgiving I got a phone call from pretty much a stranger.  She said her name when Ester Redding and she went to the same church I did.  She told me the pastor had mentioned it was my first Thanksgiving away and didn’t have any plans.  I told her that was correct; with that she invited me over to have Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family.  Normally I am not up for meeting strangers in a new setting like that, but I decided I would go.  I was pretty anxious about going, but once I arrived everyone was really welcoming and the Redding’s made my first Thanksgiving away from home a little easier to deal with.

2000:  Turkey Cup–Fifteen years ago my best friend and I asked two of our other really good friends to go golfing.  We decided to have a friendly competition, we called it the Turkey Cup.  The first year I won!  My friends did it again the following year, but I wasn’t able to defend my championship because I was in Minot, ND my first duty station.  Each year since the Turkey Cup has grown, sometimes we play on Thanksgiving, sometimes the day after.  This year we will play on Thanksgiving and have over 20 people playing.  The format of play has changed, instead of individual tournament we make it two-person best ball.  It has become a tradition we all look forward to and one that will hopefully continue for many years to come.

Yes, I know I chose 6 memories, I had to add one at the last minute after I originally posted.  Well there you have some of my most memorable memories from Thanksgiving.

What are some of yours?

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Veggie Fueled Runner



1 Week without running…except for that cat

After running everyday and following that up with running back to back marathons it was really odd for me to take an extended amount of time off.  I know my body needed it though.  If you read my Marathon #5 blog you know how bad I was hurting.  The soreness, hobbling and pain lasted most of the week.  I think Tuesday may have actually been the toughest, not sure I was just really sore that day.

Last week's #tbt for Veteran's Day
Last week’s #tbt for Veteran’s Day

The place I normally go to get a massage actually called me on Monday, I had not been in for a while.  I asked to schedule an appointment and the earliest they could get me in was the following Thursday, over a week away, I was hoping it would be sooner.  Most of my soreness had subsided now, although this weekend I had what I am calling ‘phantom’ pains in my feet.  It could have been that I was standing for a while or the shoes I was wearing but it they felt like I had just gone for a long run, but no apparent reason why.

The Phantom is everywhere!
The Phantom is everywhere!

Without running what have I been up to?  Hmmmm, work mostly!  It was a pretty busy week last week, I had several early morning and evening appointments.  I also had an overnight stay on the Eastern Shore, near Ocean City.  I didn’t have time to stop by the beach 😦  I had to work on Saturday morning as well, so it was a long week.

I pack light!
I pack light!

Finally Saturday evening arrived and a little time to relax.  My best friend, John, and his brother, Jordan, came and picked my up, we went to a local bar that was closing down the next day.  They had sold the property to a company next store, that another friend actually happens to work for, and they are going to tear it down.  We had two beers and went to my friend’s house to watch the big MMA fight.  Before going to my friend Tir’s house we stopped and bought some food and drinks to take over with us.  The three of us have been best of buds since high school, so more than half our lives.  I grew up in what most Marylander’s would consider a small town, everyone knows everyone, and their business, haha.

So that didn't run out the way Vegas was hoping!
So that didn’t turn out the way Vegas was hoping!

My John and Jordan had to leave after about an hour to go to some other events but they said they would be back later, before the main event.  Sure enough about an hour later John came back, but Jordan was still out and about with some other friends.  We will all sitting around watching the fights in the basement enjoying the evening and then that is when it happened.  We heard some noise outside and the lights started flickering.  John, said ‘Is that Jordan coming back?’  Then we heard a loud pop, pop, pop, pop, just like gun shots.  My first thought was Jordan had come back but something happened.  He is a police officer and my initial thought was some sort of ambush.  We all took off running upstairs, someone was pounding on the door.  I went for the door and I heard Tir yell the house next door is on fire.  I quickly opened the door, it wasn’t Jordan it was a lady explaining what Tir had just said.  Tir’s cousin Michael was with us to and we all ran upstairs as quickly as we could to get Tir’s wife and the kids out of the house.  Tir’s wife, Amy, had the newborn, Michael grabbed the middle child, I hopped up onto the top bunk to grab the oldest, woke him up, and handed him to John who took him downstairs and outside.  Smoke was already starting to fill the house.  We all made it out safely and Amy turned around and said we have to get the cat.  I was walking down the outside steps and turned around, just at that time I saw the cat run by the door.  I went back in, that same lady held the door open, when I went in.  I kept thinking in my mind over and over, you’re never suppose to go back for the animals.  I was yelling for the cat and saw her dart behind the sofa.  I grabbed the sofa and pulled it out from the wall and grab the cat.  I don’t think I was in the house more than 40 seconds, but I was coughing quite a bit when I came out.

Fortunately, everyone is okay, and the children were not in the smoke that long.  Tir had called the fire department and they started to arrive.  The kids were cold, we all tried to keep them as warm as possible.  Amy called her aunt who lives about two blocks away and we all went over there to warm up and come up with a game plan.  I didn’t even realize I didn’t have shoes on till I was walking over to Amy’s aunts with the oldest child.  Tir actually pointed it out, once the kids were safe inside we walked back over to the house.  The fire department had contained the fire from spreading.  Tir and Michael went back into the house to get some essentials that Amy, Tir and the children would need for the night.  I stayed by the door and kept it open, the house had quite a bit of smoke still in it.  Tir grabbed my shoes for me!  His fence was damaged, the fire melted about six panels of it.


The important part is everyone got out okay, oh and as for the house next door, it was empty the people had moved out two weeks ago.  So that is the story of the time I went running for a cat.

Not the actual cat, this is a cat body-double.
Not the actual cat, this is a cat body-double.

How was your weekend?

-Veggie Fueled Runner


Returning to the BRF

If you are reading this on Saturday morning, I am out running around the great city of Baltimore!  Race Day has arrived and I have returned to the Baltimore Running Festival after taking a break last year.  I haven’t ran a marathon in two years and the last one was a very poor performance, I ran without training.  This time I am prepared and as ready as I can be.


During the last four months I have logged lots of miles with lots of great people.  To be more exact during my training I have run 470.81 miles since July.  I cut back on some training runs but I’m hoping I put in enough to get my goal time, under 4 hours.


The first time I ran the Baltimore Marathon was in 2012.  I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been and didn’t take training serious until about six weeks before the race.  Once I hit the wall around mile 18 things sort of fell apart, but I was happy to finish my first marathon.

No, I didn't grow an extra hand, just some photo cropping.
No, I didn’t grow an extra hand, just some photo cropping.
In 2013 I had signed up for the marathon almost 10 months in advance, by the time October came I was burned out from the previous year of running.  I had run something like 15 races that year and had sort of lost interest in training.  I had thought about dropping out but all my friends I had been running with were running so I did to.  What a horrible idea!  By mile 12 I had enough of the marathon and wanted to quit, but finished anyway.  Let’s just say the finish line was pretty empty by the time I got there.  But it was an awesome party at my house afterwards!!!

I don't listen to music and run anymore.  I've also come to the conclusion I was never meant to have blonde hair...long story.
I don’t listen to music and run anymore. I’ve also come to the conclusion I was never meant to have blonde hair…long story.
2014 I pretty much gave up running all together.  I still went to run club and ran but it was sporadic.  I dropped out of a marathon in May, I knew I wasn’t ready so I withdrew about 3 weeks before.  I only ran a couple of races that year and knew running at Baltimore wasn’t going to happen.


If you have been reading my blog you know what 2015 has been like for me!  I’m feeling good, my body is strong, other than some minor aches; I am ready to run the Baltimore Marathon for the 3rd time! (4th marathon total).  I’m hoping this is my year.

Hoping the third time is a charm, in Charm City!
As I ‘toe the line’ tomorrow, okay let’s be real I’ll be in the middle of the crowd somewhere, it will be sort of odd.  It will be the first time in Baltimore I’m not running with anyone I know.  All of my friends have finished their marathons!  I’m sort of jealous.  I have a game plan in my head and just need to stick to it tomorrow.  I’m sure lots will be going through my mind tomorrow as I run the streets of Baltimore and I am sure I will reflect a lot on the past marathons, training, and the people who have helped my prepare for the race.

I'll be Running 3:16
I’ll be Running 3:16
I’m looking forward to sharing more thoughts after the race and hopefully being able to share a story of a PR!

What pushes you to run?

-Veggie Fueled Runner


Day in the life

It has been a while since I did a ‘Day in the Life Of’ post so I thought I would chronicle one for you today.  I also realized I had been talking about how long my days have been in my weekly updates.  Today wasn’t terrible busy, especially since my first appointment cancelled but it gives you an idea of my typical day during the fall.  I know everyone is busy, just remember the bed is always there for you at the end of the day 🙂

0754- Woke up

Normally I am up way earlier like 0500, but my first appointment cancelled on me.  I’m not going to complain about a little extra sleep to start off the day.

0802- Made Breakfast

Lean One protein shake starts off almost every morning right!

0805- Answered Emails from the weekend

Must check emails!
Must check emails!

0830: Confirmed appointment in Southern MD

0833:  Get ready for the day

I'm a fan no matter how bad the team is doing, plus it would be hard to change shower curtains!
I’m a fan no matter how bad the team is doing, plus it would be hard to change shower curtains!

0910:  On the road to my visit

Shadrack and I have been together for 10 years, gets me everywhere I need to go.
Shadrack and I have been together for 10 years, get me everywhere I need to go.

0917:  Stop for gasoline

Sometimes Shadrack gets thirsty...
Sometimes Shadrack gets thirsty…

0921:  Kane Show keeps me entertained for my drive

If it wasn’t for the Kane Show I would be super bored during my morning drives!

1028:  Hydration stop required


I drink 4-5 of these a day, sometimes I have to stop for a break!
I drink 4-5 of these a day, sometimes I have to stop for a break!

1108:  Arrive for my visit at Great Mills HS

Should have been my second stop of the day, but it was my one and only after a cancellation.
Should have been my second stop of the day, but it was my one and only after a cancellation.

1222:  Depart after visiting with students and sharing what JWU has to offer

Some great students here, hopefully JWU bound!
Some great students here, hopefully JWU bound!

1238:  Lunch stop

Convenient when on the road.
Convenient when on the road.

1245:  Eating my lunch on the road, the life of a college rep

I try not to eat eggs when I don't know the origin but I really wanted an egg salad sandwich.
I try not to eat eggs when I don’t know the origin but I really wanted an egg salad sandwich.

1433:  Pit stop to grab a couple of bottles of wine on the way home

Running low on essentials.
Running low on essentials.

1447:  Arrive back home after a lot of driving

Lots of driving to get back here.
Lots of driving to get back here.

1503:  Return some emails for work and scheduling


1610:  Getting some house cleaning done


A tidy home, is a tidy home.
A tidy home, is a tidy home.

1646:  5k run in the books

Should have been 5 miles, but time got away from me.
Should have been 5 miles, but time got away from me.

1725:  Shower and getting ready for an evening meeting

Back in!
Back in!

1801:  Arrive at the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation for a joint meeting with the executive committee and the board


1845:  Officially resigned from the DRC board after serving 3 years; two as President

There were differences that were unable to be resolved, it was a great experience to serve as President and be elected for 2 consecutive terms.  I wish the best to the organization.

1850:  Answer some work emails and resignation email to the entire board


1945:  My friend came over for some wine and popcorn; a great time to catch up on what has been going on.

2200:  Blog writing

2226:  Catch up on some DVR’d shows


2315:  Goodnight!



-Veggie Fueled Runner

Solid Background

Week 10 (8/17-8/23)

Well Week 9 didn’t go exactly as planned with mileage, but it was better than Week 8.  I honestly think I was still recovering from so many hills!  Half way through the marathon training plan and I’m feeling pretty good about things, but a little nervous.  I know the marathon is still two months away but I’ve been laying in bed awake at night worrying about breaking the 4-hour mark.  I really want to make sure that happens this marathon!

Monday:  4 Miles (Pace 8:04)

Today I decided to run the promenade around Canton.  My plan was to run 3 miles, but I was feeling pretty good and decided to add a mile and make up for some of the miles I skipped out on last week.  The evening air was warm and humid, but not as bad as it had been during the day.  There were lots of people out enjoying the evening.  I really do enjoy running along the water, much more than in my neighborhood.  I think that is because I actually see other people out running and the scenery in general is much better!

Tuesday:  9.5 Miles (Pace 8:30)

This evening I decided to run with Tin Roof Runners.  They normally run around 4 miles so I knew I would need to add some miles today.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to run miles before or after meeting with them.  The heat index was over 100 during the day, so I decided to get in the extra miles after.  We started running late, it was a little after 1900 hrs. by the time we started running.  It was only a few of us.  I pretty much ran by myself and the lead runners turned well before I was ready to.  I ran the waterfront through the Harbor, Fells Point, Canton, all the way to the end of Clinton St. and back.  It was a good run!  It is amazing the difference the weather can make when running.  Last Sunday it was much warmer when the sun was up and I was struggling to get 10 in.  Today wasn’t ‘easy’ but it was much more comfortable.

Wednesday:  5 Miles (Pace 8:03)

Tonight was a special but sad run, I decided to write a seperate blog for this run.  You can read it here.

Thursday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:14)

I decided I would run hills tomorrow instead of today and take a rest day today.  Today was my Dad’s birthday so I went out to dinner with my parents.  After dinner it looked like it was going to rain so I quickly changed and logged a mile around the neighborhood.

Friday:  5 Miles (8:33)  Day #300 of the Running Streak

My alarm went off at 0530 hrs.  I hit the snooze.  It went off again at 0539 hrs.  I hit the snooze again.  The alarm went off again at 0548 hrs. I finally got up but didn’t want to.  As I started getting ready I was sort of anxious about running with November Project, not because I don’t like the group but because of the weird ‘ritual’ they start off with before running.  I talked myself into going, mostly because I told my friend Sarah I would be there.  Today’s morning welcome was especially weird in my opinion, it was a welcome with a Sponge Bob theme.  For anyone who knows me, knows I don’t like cartoons and I think I’ve shared before I don’t like strangers touching me so this morning really peaked my social anxiety.  November Project using the hashtag #hillsforbreakfast since they run hills, but they normally incorporate some other exercises into their workout.  Today they had portions of the hill you were suppose to sprint, skip, and sprint again, then other circuit exercises at the top and bottom.  When I do hills I just like to run so I didn’t do any of those things.  Really I pretty much decided not to run with November Project.  I was feeling really anxious after the weird welcome so I just did hill repeats on both sides of Patterson Park by myself.  I like running with people, but I don’t think I can get past the beginning of the workout with November Project, they are a great group thought.  If you enjoy a crossfit-type workout and don’t mind getting really close to strangers I recommend it, but I think I’ve finally decided it isn’t for me.  I did (6) 800m hill repeats, not as fast as I wanted to but it was a good run and after about 3 hills my anxiety started to subside.  I also decided to meet some friends in the evening for Floyo, it is yoga on paddle boards.  I am really glad I went we all had a good time and it was a good way to work on the core as well as stretch out!

Saturday:  1.5 Miles (Pace 8:37)

The weather today was more like a late September day rather than late August.  I had every intention to run 9 miles today, but by  the afternoon I was exhausted.  I have no idea why I was so tired, I went to bed at a descent hour and hadn’t really done much other than meetings in the morning.  I took two naps and finally convinced myself to run.  I was meeting some friends from high school and didn’t have a lot of time, so I ran around the neighborhood.  Not an exciting run but I got some miles in.

Sunday:  14 Miles (Pace 9:26)

I went to bed early last night and got a full 8 hours of sleep, maybe even a little more, but I was really tired all through the day again today.  My original plan was to wake up at 0400 hrs. to run, but decided my body probably needed the sleep more than the running.  I had meeting in the morning, then by the afternoon I was wiped again.  I took a nap and dosed off again.  I finally talked myself into running around 1830 hrs.  The weather this weekend has been great and it was in the low 70’s when I started my run.  Right away I was feeling lethargic and generally not well.  About 2.5 miles in I almost got sick, at mile 3 I made a pit stop in the Four Seasons and felt a bit better after that.  I ran into my friend Kristen, she was running with some other friends and we quickly made plans to run Tuesday.  I was starting to feel better, by mile 7 I was thinking I could do 19 maybe even more.  I felt pretty strong up until around mile 12, then my hips started to tighten up.  They felt like they couldn’t rotate with my body, at this point I pretty much knew my run was done.  I slugged through the next 2 miles and made it back to my truck. I was a little dissappointed I didn’t get in 19, but it could have been much worse considering how I felt when I started.  I think running everyday and following the marathon training plan is started to take its toll on my body.  I’m looking forward to a real rest day!

Total Miles: 40

-Veggie Fueled Runner



Week 8 (8/3-8/9) St. Thomas

Week 7 of training was tough but a solid week.  The speed work and long run took it out of me, but I’m looking forward to running in St. Thomas this week.  (editors note:  I did not feel this way at the end of the week.)

Monday:  3.1 Miles (Pace 8:58)

Touched down in beautiful St. Thomas today with two of my great friends Paul and Adrienne.  After a flight delay and long’er’ day of flying then planned we had arrived.  As we drove to the resort I couldn’t help but notice how hilly the island was.  When we arrived at the resort there was nothing but hills leading up to our condo.  I was wondering where I was going to run.  We went to eat and I noticed the roads really didn’t have a shoulder to run on either, ugh!  After dinner I decided it was time to log some miles.  I descended the first third of a mile from the condo, it had to have dropped at least 500 ft.  I had to lean all the way back and work to slow myself.  Finally I hit some level ground and decided to run on the main road.  I went up to the next resort and I stopped at the guard shack and asked if it their property was level.  When the guard told me yes, I asked if I could run on the property. She said it was okay and off I went.  After making two loops around the property I was getting ready to leave when six security guards came up and stopped me.  I explained the guard at the gate told me it was okay to run on the property, they informed me I could not.  I apologized and told them I was leaving anyway.  They laughed and said it wasn’t a big deal and let me go.  Shew!  Thanks goodness!  I ran back to my resort and began the very steep ascent to back to the condo.  I was so happy to reach the top.  I was hoping to run a bit faster but I’m happy with the amount of hills and uneven terrain.  A good first night in St. Thomas!  (I looked up the elevation it was actually 230 ft. over .4 of a mile with 20% inclines, no wonder it felt so much higher!)

Vacation Face

Tuesday:  3.1 Miles (Pace 9:02)

Well I have resigned myself that my times this week are going to be a bit slower and I most likely won’t be getting in any long runs.  Running here feels like technical trail running.  There are lots of potholes, hills, and bumpy terrain around the condo.  After descending the mountain today, I ran the same direction I did yesterday but decided to go into a neighborhood instead.  I thought that would be a good idea, not so much.  About a 1/4 mile in dogs starting chasing me.  One a mutt mix and the other a pit bull mix.  I turned and saw them chasing after me, I put my arm out hoping they would bite that first.  As I did that they turned away and ran the other direction.  Definitely spiked my heart rate!  I decided sticking to the main road, though not much of a road, would be best.  I ran back past my condo in the opposite direction; the terrain did not improve.   I looked at the Garmin and knew I could get in 3.1 miles and turned around at the next resort.  The ascent seemed more difficult this time;  it could also be that my legs are incredibly tired from over 9 months of running.  I reached the top and dreaded thinking about how many more times I would have to do that this week.


Checking mileage and elevation
Wednesday:  1.2 Miles (Pace 9:26)

I didn’t run in the morning today, which proved to be a mistake.  We took a ferry over to St. John’s and spent the day there.  We did some walking and I went snorkeling for a while.  I was pretty tired when we got back to St. Thomas.  I changed to go for a run.  The hill is really becoming my nemesis.  As I started to descent, my quads, specfically my right femur really hurt.  I had a sharp pain in my leg.  After a long day I knew I wasn’t going to run far, especially since it was already dark.  I ran to the next resort and turned around.  The ascent back up the hill wasn’t as painful as the descent but still really hard.  I’m starting to doubt how many more times I can do that this week.  I actually thought about running on the treadmill tonight, but I haven’t since the streak began and I don’t want to start now…


Before the pain set in…
Thursday:  3 Miles (Pace 8:48)

My pace today was not an indicator of how I felt.  I really thought about ending the streak today.  St. Thomas is not a runner’s paradise by any means.  St. Thomas is taking it’s toll on my body; mid-afternoon I mustered up the energy (physically and mentally) to tackle the hill again.  I really don’t know how many more times I can do that hill aka mountain.  After the slow descent, I ran along the road filled with potholes, sloped terrain, and rocks.  Today I went a bit further and came to an area with a few stores and a good size parking lot.  I was about a mile in, and decided to loop the parking lot once.  I realized, by looking at my Garmin, the loop around the parking lot was about .12 miles.  I decided to run a mile here.  My legs finally fell into a rhythm that they haven’t had in days.  I was still hot and sweaty but glad to be on flat ground.  My second mile was 7:32.  I didn’t meant to run that fast but I wasn’t struggling and it was freeing to be able to run without focusing on the terrain!  I thought about putting in another mile but decided not to, I still had to tackle the mountain again.  I made my way back to the condo and ascended the hill.  I was a bit surprised at my pace considering how slow it has been.  Overall, I had a decent run but I really need a change of terrain.


Not Paradise…
Friday:  XX Miles (Pace XX:XX)

I didn’t forget to put in my miles and pace for today.  I don’t actually know what it was, other than it was further than a mile.  You can read about my entire experience on my Born to Run Experience blog.  To summarize, I ran barefoot for approximately 2.5 miles, over tough terrain.  I wound up with a blood blister on my left foot.  Later that night while on the sandy ‘dance floor’ I banged my toe on a rock, yup left foot.  Pain was shooting around my foot, I’m still not sure if I broke my toe.  It started bleeding and is pretty purple.  Not looking forward to running tomorrow.


Posing at the end of the day….
 Saturday:  1.1 Miles (Pace 10:04)

In Guam they are called Taotaomona or Deundes, in Hawaii island spirits go by several names Pele or Menehune are just a couple (I reference those because I have live in both places).  I’m not sure if the people of St. Thomas believe in island spirits but I feel like they have gotten to me, if there are any.  The island beat me up pretty good yesterday, my feet are really sore from running barefoot, getting a blister, and stumping my toe.  I really thought about calling the streak today.  I decided I would try to keep the streak going; we stopped at a store where I bought some gauze to wrap my foot.  When we got back to the condo I wrapped my foot with several layers and laced up for the run.  Surprisingly, my blister didn’t hurt that much; when I started the descent though that was another story.  My joints have really taken a beating with all this hills this week.  My knees and ankles started throbbing.  I kept going, my descent was actually slower than my ascent. I ran a different trail that stayed on the condo property.  I was glad to finish tonight but completely worn out.  I’m glad I only have two more runs here in St. Thomas.  St. Thomas may be paradise but it is not a runners paradise.

Sunday:  1.5 Miles (Pace 8:35)

Today I decided to give barefoot running another try, this time on the beach.  We went to a beach called Megan’s Bay, it was pretty long and the sand was pretty firm near the water.  I decided since it was flat it was better to run here without shoes than the hills with shoes.  I ran with my phone to keep track of distance and pace using the RunKeeper app.  For the most part this run was probably one of the better ones since I have been here.  I did have some trouble getting my hips to fall into sync when I was on uneven ground.  I had to modify my stride a little because of my toe and blister.  I thought about running further but I didn’t have my sweat gutr and the sweat was really burning my eyes.  I jumped in the water as soon as I finished.  After this week of rough terrain my body feels awful and I still have one run left tomorrow.  I’ll need to run before we fly out.  I’m looking forward to getting back to Baltimore and better terrain.


Only smiling because of the semi flat terrain.
What has been your hardest week of training?

-Veggie Fueled Runner


Thinking Out Loud in St. Thomas

This week has turned out to be a pretty hard week of training.  I’m in St. Thomas and the island is extremly hilly and the roads do not have shoulders so it is difficult to find a place to run.  I’ll have all the updates in my weekly  blog on Monday.  


Water Bay, St. Thomas (View from the room)
I have been taking lots of pictures here and it got me thinking about a few things.  How much I have changed in the last year.  Running has become a part of my life that I didn’t realize I rely on so much.  Since I haven’t been able to run the way I want it is bothering me.  Running really is an outlet and a time to clear my mind.  I feel like I have been doing much more technical running and my focus needs to stay on that, instead of decompressing the day.  I’ll be glad to get back to a regular running routine!


Trunk Bay, St. John
I mentioned pictures ealier; a picture from the memories feature on FB popped up this week and it was odd to see how much I have changed in the last year.  I’ve lost about 25 lbs.  I almost don’t look like the same person.  A year ago I wasn’t eating very healthy and running wasn’t really a part of my life.  I had given up any sort of regimine.  In October of last year I made a commitment to running and becoming a vegetarian, both have proven to be great experiences.  While I do think the running streak will come to an end after 365 days, I do not forsee me going back to eating meat.  I feel so much better and healthier!  


Drunk Bay, St. John
It is odd that to think when people ask, “What’s new” I usually say not much.  Everyday seems the same but looking back a year everything has changed.  (I’m pretty sure that is a quote from someone else, just not sure who)


Sunset over St. Thomas
That was a bit random and short, but that is me thinking out loud this week.  Plus I’m pretty tired from a long day.

How have you changed in the last year?

-Veggie Fueled Runner


Running (Pet) Peeves

Sometimes when I am out enjoying a run, or trying to enjoy a run, some things irritate me.  I thought I would compile a list and see if you feel the same way?

1.  Not smiling or waving back

When I run and see another runner or biker I usually wave, smile, or nod my head to them.  Just a sort of ‘Hey I know we are both suffering out here, keep up the good work!’  Baltimore is called Charm City, I’ve heard we were given that nickname as a joke and sometimes I think that is the true.  Other runners and bikers rarely respond.  When I tell people this, they say well maybe they didn’t see you, um, they were looking right at me.  What happened to just being friendly when you are out and about.  Maybe I’m expecting to much?

Try smiling back, you never know what could happen!
Try smiling back, you never know what could happen!

2.  Retractable dog leashes

This is probably my biggest pet peeve, literally!  (see what I did there)  You may have read in my last blog about when I ran into a retractable dog leash I could not see.  That was not the first time I’ve had issues with people and retractable dog leashes.  What I mean by retractable is those leashes that allow the dog to go anywhere from 10-50 ft from the owner and then retracts when the dog walks back.  When running the waterfront people allow their dogs to walk on one side and they walk on the other, they basically create a gate across the entire path.  One day, in my neighborhood, I had a person acknowledge I was coming and then he let his dog run up to me on a retractable leash.  We had quite the exchange of words after I almost tripped over his dog.  If you are going to use a leash like that, why use one at all?  You have no control over the dog; it is a safety hazard for other people and for the dog.

Let's keep the leashes to 6ft and dogs under control.
Let’s keep the leashes to 6ft and the dogs under control.

3.  People oblivious to surroundings

I’m sure we have all run into these types of people, hopefully not literally!  (maybe I should write a blog on puns)  These are the people who somehow passed second grade but don’t know their right from left, or left from right (subtle pun)!  Whenever I’m running up behind someone if the path is tight I will call out ‘passing on your left’.  This causes people to freak out, and go every direction but to the right.  I’ve actually had more problems with these people while riding my bike; unfortunately a few have gotten more acquainted with me and my bike then they would have liked.  Not on purpose they just zigged when they should have zagged and didn’t leave me enough time to react.  I digress, how about those people who are walking towards you or just standing in the middle of the path staring at shiny things!  Just this week, when I was running a person was walking towards me and I motioned which side I would pass on, last minute he changes his mind.  I avoided running into him, but I fell and scuffed up my hands; nothing severe.  Let’s not forget the little kids who’s parents don’t keep an eye on them, parents don’t let your children wander to far away from you in crowded areas, that should be obvious.

Let me just take up this entire sidewalk...
Let me just take up this entire sidewalk…

4.  People who yell things

Women I get it, ‘cat-calling’ is not appropriate!  Men experience this too!  Probably not the same way.  I experience it more in my own neighborhood than anywhere else.  On more then one occasion, okay probably weekly, I will be out running and someone has something snarky to say.  Usually it is some snide remark, sometimes I can’t understand them because they are slurring their words so much.  In those cases I will give them a ‘special’ wave and keep on running.  Only on a few occasions have I actually stopped when something was said to me, come to think of it the only time I have is when running by the bus stop.  Bus People, ugh!!!!  I’m not categorizing all people who ride the bus, I do from time to time.  Heck the people who say things may not even be riding the bus, they might just be hanging out at the bus stop.  People, ugh!!!  Anyway, I’m not one to just let things go without a response if I feel one is warranted, sometimes you have to stop and let people know what they said is not appropriate.  I’m usually not so kind in my phrasing or tone.

Cat calling!
Cat calling!

5.  Smokers

You wouldn’t really think this is a problem when running, but if you run in an area with restaurants or businesses you probably know what I mean.  People who congregate in one area and puff away on their cigs, that’s what all the cool kids call them; I think.  It creates this plume of smoke that billows from the area like the exhaust stacks from a factory.  I usually pull my shirt up over my nose or cover my nose with my hands.

Puff Puff!
Puff Puff!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway before July 30th, you could win a Nike+Sportband!

What are your running (pet) peeves?  How do you deal with them?

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Look!  Something sparkly!
Look! Something sparkly!

Odd Mileage Races


I’m just Thinking Out Loud here…What’s up with races that have odd and unusual mileage?  I’m not talking about a 5k, 13.1, 26.2, 50k, or even 100k though they are ‘odd’ mileages.  I’m talking about the races that aren’t that common as in a 6k, 10 miler, 12 miler, and the most recent I have seen a 6 miler.  Let’s start out with a race I do like and have ran three times but got me thinking about this entire issue…

Source:  baltimoretenmiler.com
Source: baltimoretenmiler.com

I like to be able to run a distance I am familiar with and have the opportunity to PR if I have a bad day.  A few months back I ran the Baltimore 10-miler and had an ‘off’ day.  Before the race I was probably over confident that I was going to get a PR, because my training was going really well.  It wasn’t in the cards though, I missed my PR time I had set the year before by close to 2 minutes.  It was very disappointing.  As soon as I got back to the car I started looking for another 10 mile race.  If I remember correctly I think I found one and it was a few hours away from me.  Waiting a full year to try and PR at that distance again really irked me, but I’ve resigned myself to that and will just have to wait.

Source:  Dundalk Heritage 6k Facebook Page
Source: Dundalk Heritage 6k Facebook Page

There is a local 6k race, the Dundalk Heritage 6k, held on the 4th of July.  It is a pretty awesome course that goes along the route of the 4th of July Parade.  4th of July is Dundalk’s second season, the other is Christmas.  But I digress, I didn’t run the 6k this year because I had committed to other things that morning but I’m not sure I would have ran in it anyway.  My training schedule called for a 6 mile run that day, 6k is well short of that so I would have had to add on miles.  A race like this doesn’t really fit into a training plan and it isn’t a race distance you see to often.

Source:  active.com registration page
Source: active.com registration page

Coming up in September is the Charles Street 12, a mostly downhill 12 mile course in Baltimore City.  In past years I have steered clear of this race because it was held in August, traditionally the hottest month in Baltimore.  This year I am going to run it to gauge where I am at in training.  My plan calls for a half marathon that weekend, but this is close and I’ll run a little before or after to make up the mileage.  Again here is a race distance that only happens once a year, so I better hope to have a great day and not have any unexpected ‘stops’ or issues on the course.

Source:  bostonstreetrunning.com
Source: bostonstreetrunning.com

Finally the Baltimore 6-miler, which is a new race this year, is the distance I am least adversed to.  While it is an odd race distance, I think it is much easier to work it into a training plan and adjust the rest of the week if you need to.  Though it did strike me as odd when I saw the advertisement, why not make it a 10k race?  It is another .2 miles and a much more common race distance.

Is this just a pet peeve of mine?  What do you think of odd distance races?  Does knowing you will have to wait along time to try and PR again deter you from running certain distances?  When you are training for one race will you run others?

Don’t forget about my free giveaway, coming up on July 30th!

-Veggie Fueled Runner

4th of July

The other day I saw Picky Runner did a ‘day in the life of’ blog, so I thought I would follow suit on today.  As a veteran this holiday is especially important to me, it is a time to remember those who fought for our freedom and are still fighting for it.

0530:  Alarm goes off, snooze twice

0549:  Finally wake up and get in the shower and get ready for the day.

0616:  Make breakfast.

Quick, easy, healthy, and filling breakfast!
Quick, easy, healthy, and filling breakfast!
0633:  Filled up the fountain as I left the house.

Daily Routine
Daily Routine
0641:  Walked by my friend’s house, who is setting up for his annual 4th of July Parade.

Phil's house at the top of my street, he gets ready early!
Phil’s house at the top of my street, he gets ready early!

People place chairs out to make sure they get a spot for the 4th of July parade.

Grand Stand and Dundalk Main Street
0654:  Arrived at Parade start line; since I am President of the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, I get to walk and represent the organization.  We also have one of our volunteers who likes to dress as ‘Uncle Sam’ ride in a convertible.

Just a few people starting to get ready.
Just a few people starting to get ready.

Gov. Hogan's campaign bus is here.  I find that odd, considering he won the election months ago.  Perhaps stop campaigning and start governing.
Gov. Hogan’s campaign bus is here. I find that odd, considering he won the election months ago. Perhaps stop campaigning and start governing.
0708:  Lead runners pass parade start line.

Lead Runner in the Dundalk Heritage 6k
Lead Runner in the Dundalk Heritage 6k
0710:  First Ladies pass in group of 3.

Tight race for the women!
Tight race for the women!
0714:  Marching Ravens arrive.

Marching Ravens, a piece of living Baltimore history.
Marching Ravens, a piece of living Baltimore history.
0715:  My best friend and his wife, pass by on race course.

John and Marisa Olszewski on the course, Marisa running for 2!  She pointed out she was running and I was not! ;)
John and Marisa Olszewski on the course, Marisa running for 2! She pointed out she was running and I was not! 😉
0841:  After over an hour of waiting and wondering where the car for the Parade was at, it finally arrived and the parade started.

Our car and 'Uncle Sam'
Our car and ‘Uncle Sam’
0842:  Parade starter dropped her pen, so I picked it up for her.  When I handed it to her she said, “Oh, you probably shouldn’t have touched that I am really sick.”  Great hope I don’t get sick!

0847:  Someone in the crowd boos ‘Uncle Sam’ because Uncle Sam is the one who raises taxes…only in Dundalk.

0915:  I always see people I know along the route, one person I always look forward to seeing is my second grade teacher, Mrs. Shatz (pronouned Shots) and her husband.  I also saw my high school librarian, Mrs. Kimos and her husband in the same spot.  Oddly, they don’t know each other, other than from seeing each other at the parade each year.

0950:  The rain starts but we are close to the end, just a light rain, but I’m not looking forward to running in the rain again.  After walking the 3 mile parade route and started and stopping, I’m pretty tired.

1010:  The parade is over we pack up the decoration from the vehicle and I walk back to the DRC and then home.  During the parade I always make sure to shake every Veteran’s hand, at least those that are easily identifiable.

1025:  I arrive back home, it started raining pretty hard so I had put on my Lululemon Pack-it jacket, during the walk.

Glad to be home and out of the rain!
Glad to be home and out of the rain!
1040:  Make a sandwich and relax.

It doesn't sound good but it is delicious!
It doesn’t sound good but it is delicious!
1050:  Called my parents since forgot to call them back from earlier in the week.

1056:  Catch up on DVR’d shows.

1245:  Woke up from a nap, still don’t feel like running. My legs and feet are so tired after the last few days.

1319:  Started my run, today was 6 miles at ‘race pace’  I wanted to run a little faster but I ran an 8 min pace.  Around mile 3 I saw a truck that had a Confederate flag on it.  It really bothers me that people fly that flag, on a day like today.  Probably not for the reasons you think.  I’ll write more about that in another blog.

The Sweat Life
The Sweat Life
1417:  Shower

1432:  Walked to my friend’s party.  (see earlier pic)

1526: Left party to eat at the Heritage Fair before my shift at Stouten’s snowball stand starts.  I help them out every year.

1529:  Arrive at the Heritage Fair, Phil lives pretty close and it is a quick walk.

People getting ready for the concerts.
People getting ready for the concerts.
1538:  Ate two slices of really greasy pizza, thank goodness I ran.  There isn’t much for vegetarians to eat at the fair.  I did see a sign that said Veggies and got excited, but when I got closer I saw they were deep fried veggies, sort of defeats the purpose.  Then again greasy pizza can’t be that healthy either.


Probably not the best thing to eat, but my options were limited!
Probably not the best thing to eat, but my options were limited!
1600:  Start my 6 hour shift working at the snowball stand.  

Best snowballs around!
Best snowballs around!
2000:  You could hear what was suppose to be the big band called ‘Merica’. Only in America are we to lazy to pronounce America. 

2200:  Shift is over and my legs and feet are throbbing from being on them all day.

2213:  Arrive home!

2220:  Shower

2245:  Sleep!

How did you spend your 4th of July?  Happy Independence Day!!!

-Veggie Fueled Runner