I admit I have not been blogging so much lately. I have a good excuse. It’s called mulch. Lots of it. Six yards of it.  If you are wondering, ” Terri, just how much is six yards of mulch?” then let me tell you, this is an amount of mulch that gets delivered via dump truck and the pile is so large, that ten days later, I am still at it.  I’ve had three good work days out there so far, at least 3-4 hours worth each day, filling up my wheelbarrow over and over and over…wait for it….and over, again.  It’s hot (some days more so than others, today being a steamy one), but it’s something I enjoy doing.  Our neighbors definitely appreciate it, as we understand that before we moved in, no one living in our house could grow grass in the front lawn, and when you drive into our neighborhood from one direction, since we live on a corner, our house is one of the first you see. We’ve been told that we do good work!

I’ve also been planting annuals (purple Midnight Dreams petunias, to be exact), and for once, bought too few, rather than too many. So, I’ve got to go back and buy more tomorrow, along with veggies.  Bill spent most of Sunday making a pen and gate to go around what will be part of our veggie garden, as Ruthie, our yellow lab (focus on the word “yellow” for a second) found it enjoyable to sit in the nice black, composted dirt I put down in preparation for our veggies. 🙂

Me, trying to "break out" of my pen/cage (not the best pic of me, but oh well!)

 Bill spent most of Sunday making a pen and gate to go around what will be part of our veggie garden, as Ruthie, our yellow lab (focus on the word “yellow” for a second) found it enjoyable to sit in the nice black, composted dirt I put down in preparation for our veggies. 🙂  That garden is about 7-8 feet by 14 feet. Hopefully we’ll get some good crops this year, we’ve not had such good luck the past two summers, so we’re going to get starter plants from a different nursery. I really would like to start from seed, but I’m not sure I have enough indoor space.

Oh, and I’ve also been running a fair amount. We’ve had weird weather – pouring rain during most of last week’s track session, and some major heat today (hit about 90, with high 80s forecasted for tomorrow.)  I did a 12 mile run this past Sunday on the course that I am running a half-marathon on, at the end of June.  Here I need to give a shout-out to someone with whom I talk regularly on Twitter, but who for privacy reasons, I won’t mention by  name because he lives near where the race will be held. (You know who you are.)  You were very patient in answering all of my silly questions about where to park, bathrooms, etc., and I am very grateful!  (So silly of Meg and I to drive the course ahead of time and not pay attention to stuff like that. We were so preoccupied with figuring out how bad the hills are!)  And a major thanks for reminding me to be careful, those roads really are narrow and windy.  I felt like I had my own tour guide ahead of time, and honestly, it’s the little unknown things like that, which nonsensically, can make me very stressed sometimes. So, anyway, thank you.

The good news is that while the course has some KILLER hills (and I mean killer, they just go on and on and on, and wait for it, on and on…) it also has some major downhills, and there is a lot of shade cover.  I was told that the roads I’d be running on are called The Road In the Woods by some “younger folks,” and they really are. The course makes you feel like you are running in the woods for a lot of portions, yet you don’t need to worry about tripping over roots!  Also, because my GI system has been giving me issues on runs lately (no pun intended, LOL), I kept my eyes out for areas where, if necessary, in a pinch, I could make a run to take care of business and be somewhat private. (Hey, you never know.)

I also know what shirt I am probably not wearing that day. Not sure if it was my bra, or my camelbak strap, but I got some major chaffage on my neck.  My husband and one of my guy coworkers was like “you look like you got a hickey!”  Yes, that’s just what  I want to look like, at work, at age 37.   SIGH. I feel like I should be wearing a sign saying “I ran on Sunday and this is chaffing, not what you think it is!” with a finger pointing to my neck.  (At any rate, diaper rash ointment seems to be helping.)

Oh, and I found I am capable of driving with two ice bags on my legs. Where I ran is about 30-40 minutes from my house on the highway and I didn’t want to be too stiff for the rest of the day so I stopped, bought two bags, and took care of things.  And no, I don’t drive a stick shift (although I am very capable of doing so, I actually like driving  a manual transmission!)

Anyway, folks, here’s the deal.  There is NO WAY IN HELL that I am going to do 1:52 on that half-marathon course. There are too many hills. I am not trying to be dramatic, just trying to be realistic. In fact, I’m more likely to run faster this weekend at Boston’s Run to Remember Half-Marathon (which I’m doing as a long run with several thousand of my closest friends), because it’s a much, much flatter course.)

I’ve been trying to add “progression runs” into my workouts, meaning every mile you run gets faster with the last mile being run at about your 10K pace or faster. My coach said I should try to do at least one of 5-6 miles per week. Another run he wants me to do is 35-40 minutes of “comfortable but hard” running.  The progression run I attempted on Friday was halted due to my needing to visit the fine establishment of McDonalds at 6:30 a.m., and the sad realization that I probably can no longer use Sports Beans. (Believe me, this bothers me.) Yeah, that really wasn’t so much fun.   I tried it again today – it was already in the 70s with humidity levels upwards of 74-75% so I’m happy that all but one of my miles “progressive.” (The third mile involved some walking, as I didn’t have water with me. Stupid, I know. I just didn’t feel like carrying it.)

Anyway, my next post will include info on our track workouts, in case some of you are interested in doing track workouts but just don’t have a group around you like we do.  Tomorrow’s workout just might kill me if it stays this hot! (8 800s, with active recovery in between!)

Thanks for reading!