April 23, 2016

I can finally run three miles and feel good while I’m doing it.  I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to get to this stage.    The inactivity that took over my life in the past year is starting to dissipate.   It’s starting to get lighter earlier every morning, so I’m able to get my runs in in the morning.

I’ve decided to try a different marathon training plan this time around.   I found this plan on the Women’s Running Magazine page.   It’s the Hanson’s Marathon Method.

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hmm, this sounds interesting…

The idea behind this plan is to run more, to replicate the last 16 miles of the marathon, thereby teaching yourself to run on tired legs.   The runs are not always long during the week.  And your longest long run is 16 miles.   Since my running took a hit this year, I’ve decided to go with the Just Finish plan that’s mapped out in the book.   I start my training on the plan near the end of May for my marathon in October.   The first week is a total of a mere twelve miles – something that feels achievable to me right now.

The best thing I can do, or for that matter anyone should do, is set myself up for success in running.   I know this plan is doable with my schedule and will help build up my running program again.  So I’m very excited to train a new way and get to my goal of finishing my next marathon.

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Random Pal picture

In the garden this week, things are starting to really show themselves.  The milkweed has really taken over its little corner at the end of the garden.  One of the meadow flowers is a little invasive in the rest of the gardens, so I’ve been working on getting that out from everywhere.   I’m excited to have a new garden going in front of our screen porch. My plans include a variety of perennials and shrubs and a wildlife pond.   I’ll start planting this week.

Finally, it was Earth Day yesterday.   Please love your Mother Earth.  If I could just have one wish this is what it would be – that people would stop the chemical warfare they have on their lawns.   All of the herbicides that are used to kill crabgrass, dandelions, and other things that seem unsightly to people is bad for the earth.   The use of these chemicals also affects the home environment of  earthworms, ladybugs, praying mantis, native bees and a myriad of other organisms, animals, and insects.  Please, please stop the madness!!   (and now I’ll step down off of my soapbox)

Happy running and gardening!

By the way, I’m on Instagram now @aruninthegarden  Check it out and follow me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Changes

Since I’ve been running, I’ve almost always done my runs in the early morning.  It just seemed better that way.   I would get up early, go for my run, and come home to start the day.  I would get back from my run, and get my breakfast ready.  I always felt so athletic — yes, I said athletic — standing at the stove making my eggs, while still in my running clothes.  It set the tone for my whole day if I ran in the morning.  I ate better.  I walked a little taller — not that I thought I was better than others, but I just felt like I had already accomplished something so early in the morning.   It made me feel strong!

Since starting this new job, it has been a chore to get runs done in the morning.   With all the changes in my life this past year that resulted in not running enough, I knew that I had to make some changes if I was to continue as a runner.   I had to stop thinking I could only run in the morning!   I did run last summer with a friend who started a weekly running group after work.  I did okay.  I ran when I got done work in time to get there.  It was good.  Plus we would get a drink afterwards, so that was double the fun!

I had gotten up early to run this morning, but I never made it out the door.  I made my mind up at work today that since I didn’t get my scheduled run done this morning, I needed to go out and get my run done after work.  So  that was that.   When I got home from work, I got on my clothes and headed out. My reward was not only a good run, but a beautiful sunset!   I think I might like nighttime running a little more now.

Change is good for all of us.  It keeps us on our toes.  It makes your mind grow to appreciate new things.    Sometimes to get what you want in life, you need to change the way you’re doing things to get to the next step in your journey.

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In the garden this week there’s not too much going on.  The rain barrels are almost set up again.   The daffodils are really starting to bloom.  It’s still supposed to be fairly cold at night yet this week, but I don’t think I’ll have to go out a pick all the daffodils to save them from the frost.   I’ve got grape hyacinths blooming in all of the gardens.   They just spread more every year.

I’m so very happy spring is here!

Happy running and gardening!

March 12, 2016

I am woefully out of shape,  it’s been a long time since I last blogged,  and before this morning my running was on the back burner.  Thankfully I made it out the door this morning and got about 40 minutes of running in.  And that run spurred me to start writing again.

Last year, after my injury, I was worried about gaining weight and not running.  And rightly so.   When I got back to about 80 percent of normal, I got the great news of snagging a job I had been trying to get for almost a year.   It was overwhelming to go from my free-lance job to reporting to work every day and putting in many hours and sitting at a desk, when I wasn’t in the courtroom.

For a good three months I would come home from work and just crash!   I knew I had to work out or run or something when I got home, but I just didn’t have the energy.   Many nights in the first few weeks I was in bed by 8:30.   It was crazy!   Even my family was saying, hey, this is how it is for all of us!    I can’t imagine how they did it.  I was so spoiled for 19 years free-lancing, that I didn’t realize how much energy it took to work full-time!   And then after you work a full day, there’s things to be done, like food shopping, cleaning, gardening, RUNNING!   How in the world do people do this???

Of course, I never ran the Wineglass Marathon, but I did go up and run the 5k and watched my two friends run the half.  It was a great weekend up in Corning.  And I’ve already used my deferral to register for this year’s full.   I did run a couple of local 5ks and ran down in Maryland at the Spook Hill 4 miler.   It was fun, and I was glad to be able to run the whole race.   I also ran the trail race that was part of the Runner’s World Half Festival.  It kicked my ass, but I finished!

By December I had gained 15 pounds.    I was clearly on the wrong path.   So I made it through the rest of the winter, and here’s where I find myself today.  And here’s the best part – every day is a new day to start over.  No matter what it is, you can wake up and start anew the next day.  So that’s what I’m doing, back to blogging, back to making smart food choices with the help of my dietitian, and, most important to me, back to running!

My race calendar this year is as follows:   Wineglass Marathon in October.   Runner’s World Half Festival, in which I’ll do all four races.  It’s a crazy idea, but I’m doing it.  I know it’s going to take some hard work, but I’ll do it.    I hope to find a half somewhere in July  or August, just to get one in and do a long race before October.    But before then, it’s just putting in the miles and getting back to my routine.

My garden fared much better over the past year.   I got every tender shrub caged, so no rabbits were feeding on them this winter.   It is soon spring, so things are starting to wake up.  The snow drops have been appearing since January.   The daffodils are now most of the way up and if the weather stays warm we should get flowers by next week.

I’m planning a new garden in front of the screen porch at the top of our yard.   I hope to include my wildlife pond in that garden.  The rain barrels need to be reattached to the spouting this weekend, as we had to move them to rehab the screen porch last fall.

I’ll do some spring clean up this weekend.  I also need to place the native bee box out.  And I found and aphid box from Knox Cellars.  Apparently the aphid killer wasps will use these to store aphids in so the wasp larvae can feed on the aphids.   Nature is amazing!

Happy Running and Gardening!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s National Running Day!!

It’s National Running Day, and I finally ran a mile – 1.2 miles to be exact!   After being able to get in just a half-mile this past week, I finally decided today was the day to do a mile.  What a great feeling it was!  Being injured really sucks.   It was so nice to just run and let everything go.

My hip and groin both felt fine today while I was running.   It actually hurt me more to be out in the garden weeding tonight.  Progress is such a good thing.  I finally have some hope to get in some races this year.  I was afraid to register for anything, for fear that I might just reinjure myself.   But, have no fear, I’ll be out on a race course in no time!

I also met with my dietician today, and I’m proud to say I’ve finally lost some weight.   I had gained six pounds since January, but since I’ve been walking again, and now I’m running, I’m down two pounds.  I’m on my way again, and it feels good!!

To all of you who think you can’t do it, yes, you can.  I don’t want anyone to think that being injured can keep you down forever.   Just taking that first step is the key.   I was so happy when I was allowed to even start walking again.   Now that I’ve finally got my first mile running in again, I know I’m on my way.

These past few months I’ve had to devote most of the blog to gardening, but this mile today leads me to believe that it will be more evenly devoted to running and gardening!

So, until next time, happy running and gardening!!

Jane

I’m Finally Running Again

It may only be a half-mile at a time, but I’m finally running again!   Oh, the feeling of running again!   Okay, so it was tough, I felt like I hadn’t run in 11 years, not 11 weeks.  My legs felt heavy.  It’s like that first mile feeling.  Maybe it’s just me, but my first mile is always the toughest.  You’re trying to get your rhythm and your breathing and your legs all in sync, and once it all comes together you know you can go the distance.

My PT visits are down to one every two weeks.   She’s given me a few more exercises to strengthen my TFL and for stretching.  I’m loving the feeling!   The only issue I have right now it to make it to my marathon in October, I need to be at a 10 mile long run by the middle of June.  I fear I might be pushing it somewhat, but I’m going to think positive, take it slow, build up my legs again, and keep moving.

Through all this my weight has taken a little bit of a hit, but I know once I start running more I’ll be back to losing again.   I’ve put on about six pounds, but I know how it’s come off in the past.  I know the best thing for me is to log what I eat and keep myself accountable.   With summer fast approaching, the food choices get better and better with all the great fresh fruits and vegetables that are available.

Out in the garden, things are moving along.   I know I’ve talked before about the issue of using bark mulch on your garden beds.  It sucks all the nitrogen away from your plants, and that is why I use shredded leaves for mulch.   There is one good use for bark mulch and that is putting down paths to walk through your gardens, so that was one of my projects this week.   Out city has a free compost and bark mulch facility.   I laid down bark mulch through my native garden, and now I believe that garden is finally finished for this year.  I just have to sit back and watch the flowers bloom.

One of my favorite trees in my landscape is the fringe tree.  It was a gift from my sister, because she knew I admired hers so much.   Chionanthus Virginicus is a native tree.  It produces beautiful fringe in the spring that smells like spicy vanilla.  It fills the yard with its fragrance.

Also growing like a champion is the Blue False Indigo, Baptisia Australis.  This also was a gift from my sister, Elizabeth, but it came from her garden, because it was getting way too big for the space she had it in.   We were lucky that it transplanted well, because it has a super long tap root that’s tough to get out, and therefore transplanting is hard to accomplish.   Right now it’s about three feet wide and four feet high.  In my native garden, I have a Yellow Indigo, Baptisia Sphaerocarpa, but it is a little more slow growing.

My horseradish is continuing to grow and grow.  I believe this will be the first year I’ll be able to harvest some roots.  It’s in its own little plot, due to it’s spreading nature.  The leaves are nice and large, and I’ve got some great blooms on it.  I can’t wait to start grinding it to use as a spicy condiment!

The pretty fringe tree in full bloom.

The pretty fringe tree in full bloom.

The bulk mulch path through the garden.

The bark mulch path through the garden.

Horseradish in full bloom

Horseradish in full bloom

Close up of the Blue False Indigo.

Close-up of the Blue False Indigo.

Happy Running and Gardening!

Jane

Lots of Progress

As of last Friday, I won’t be going to PT for another two weeks.  Yay!   Kim, my therapist, said the best thing I can do now is more rest, do the exercises she’s been showing me, and increase my walking.  So there it is.   I was able to do two miles today.  I came home and just iced my hip, just because I thought I should.  I did not have pain, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

Actually, when I first started running and for almost a year or two thereafter, when I would come home from a run I would  ice my knees.  They never bothered me, but it felt good, and it was a good excuse to sit down and enjoy breakfast and coffee after a run.

With any luck, my running will be back on track soon, and more of this blog will be devoted to that subject!    So for the people who want to read this for the running, hang in there!    I promise I’ll start devoting as much time to that as I do to the gardening!

Now, for my fellow gardeners — isn’t this just the best time of year to be a gardener?  As I sit here writing this, I can look out my window see my neighbor, a veggie gardener, working in his garden, finishing building his raised beds.  He’s already offered me fresh lettuce out of the garden, which I happily accepted.   In exchange, I do provide his wife with flowers from the garden.   It’s the perfect situation, in my eyes!

The wrens are back claiming their boxes.    I love to hear them calling out for a mate to just come in and see what a fine twig nest they’ve made for laying eggs in.   They have some of the sweetest songs you can hear in the garden.  We always have at least two nest boxes with chicks in.

In the mini meadow, the golden Alexanders are starting to bloom.   Some of the iris crestata have appeared.  They’ve certainly multiplied in numbers since I planted them two years ago.   And on the mound the foam flowers are blooming.  I have a few that are all white and some are tinged with pink.  Don’t ask me what variety they are.   I’m not a good record keeper in that area.  If I see something that looks nice, I buy it.

I know I espouse the goodness of our native plants, but I will buy other plants as long as they’re not invasive.   Blooming this week were my Tree Peonies.  I love a tree peony, because they just don’t fall over like regular peonies, and I think their flowers are much more impressive.   They take a little while to establish and start blooming, but it’s well worth the wait.

If you have a woodland garden, you must be seeing Jack-in-the-pulpits.  These wondrous plants start out like little aliens poking up through the ground.  First, you’ll see their three leaves and think it’s poison ivy.  But those of us who have them await the arrival of Jack himself.  I’ve got a few nice ones here in the garden.  In fact, I’ve had some pop up in places that I never planted.   Apparently the former owner had planted them, or just maybe they were here forever and reestablished themselves.

As usual, I leave you with pictures from this week’s garden glories!

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Tree peony

Tree peony

Tree peony

Jack-in-the-pulpit  Great for a woodland garden or shady nook

Jack-in-the-pulpit Great for a woodland garden or shady nook

Golden Alexanders in the mini meadow.

Golden Alexanders in the mini meadow.

Foam flowers

Foam flowers

Happy Running and Gardening!

Jane

Things are looking better all the time!

Finally today I woke up without searing pain in my hip and groin!!   I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere.   Yesterday at PT I actually did more than just stretching exercises, and I think I’m finally on my way to getting better.  I did a one mile walk every day this week.   Next week I’ll attempt one and half to two miles each day.    This is progress!

I will definitely not be running in the Covered Bridges Half Marathon.  Right now I’m more concerned with being 100 percent, and I don’t want to have to go back to not running, if I exacerbate this problem by running too long too soon.   For now I think I’ll set my sights on a local 15k trail race in July called Quadzilla.  The time cut offs are doable, even if I have to walk parts of it.

I’m still doing PT twice a week, and I’m sure we’re going to start doing more strengthening exercises now that the pain is subsiding.   I haven’t felt this great in a long time, and I want to keep it going.

Things are looking great in the garden, too.  The early bloomers are stating to emerge.   I’ve got bleeding hearts, Virginia bluebells, and columbine.  Some jack-in-the-pulpits are showing themselves, too.    It’s going to be an outstanding year.

Don't forget to keep your birdbaths filled!

Don’t forget to keep your birdbaths filled!

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Bleeding hearts and Virgina bluebells share the corner.

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Creeping phlox on the mound.

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Columbine in the mini meadow.

I also need to buy some shrubs to replace the ones that were decimated by the rabbits this winter.    Today I purchased a Fotheregilla Gardenii and an Ilex Glabra Compacta.  I so desperately want to get out the shovel and install them, but I’ll wait for my husband to do it.  I am determined not to have a relapse with my hip.

I would love nothing more than to go out for a long run on Saturday morning and come home and garden, but I can’t right now.  Well, that leaves lots of time for fine wine and good beer!

Happy Running and Gardening!

Jane