Monday, July 25, 2011
Well, a few nights ago I had the same nightmare but for running. I dreamed that I overslept on race day and was almost certainly going to miss the start gun. It was terrible! All these thoughts were going through my mind. Will they let me start late? Can I even get there soon enough to do that? Will my timing chip still work? Oddly, the race was in my hometown, possibly on our old cross country course (which was later totally blasphemed to build a baseball field).
Have any of you ever been late on race day? If so, what happened? Did you still race?
Saturday, July 23, 2011
First up, the random--a picture and a story about hot weather
About five years ago my brother, Mom and I collaborated to write a set of short stories about my lovably eccentric Dad as a birthday present. This is a cut-down version of one of those (all rights reserved).
* to be absolutely clear, I love my Dad's stories. I really, truly would not have him any other way!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Then a few days at Mountain Lake, in Southwest Virginia.
After that we headed to Snowshoe Mountain, WV, where I'd always wanted to stay. LOVED IT.
Spruce Knob means the world to me. I went to The Mountain Institute as a student during the summer of 1998, then again as staff in 2000 for a program called Scholars Academy (which no longer exists). For a month we learned about the economic and cultural landscape of West Virginia, we camped hiked, spelunked, and wrote a 75-100 page autobiographical thesis. I've been back many times since, often for the annual reunion of people who went through the program I participated in. I love these people and this place. I would never have known how to love West Virginia without this experience, and I wouldn't have gotten into my specific field. It felt so good to go home. I wanted to stay forever.
Saturday was Mr. Joanna's birthday. Another Scholar alum brought cake and another made an amazing dinner. It was absolutely perfect. Did I mention that I wanted to stay?!? But we had other places calling our names. On Sunday morning we headed back down the mountain to Seneca Rocks to meet up with my BFF Jamie.
Let me tell you about Jame. I've known her since we were 12. She's as close to a third kid as my parents ever got. We get each other, and we are both openly, completely ourselves with each other. We've spent the last 12 years living in different states, and that hasn't slowed us down one bit. I swear, she knew my old commute as well as I did because my commute was the only time I reliably had to talk. She's outgoing, Irish, and crazy. I love this girl. And it was fantastic to see her.
We hung out for the evening and went our separate ways on Monday morning. Mr. Joanna and I waaaaay miscalculated driving time and ended up on a wild goose chase all over West Virginia just so I could go to the Tamarack before we caught our flight back out. I LOVE the Tamarack. It's upscale, beautiful rural gorgeousness. It's a center where handmade products (and some manufactured goods) from around the state are sold and beautiful food is offered. I was hoping to find an art glass accessory for our master bedroom. Some of the women in my family worked in the potteries in WV during the war, so that industry in general has a huge place in my heart. I kind of knew what I was after--I wanted a new piece of Blenko to add to my collection. And I found it! It's being shipped and should be here in a few days.
We had just enough time to pick out the new Blenko, grad some sandwiches to eat in the car, and hit the road back to the airport to fly home. Coming home was like waking up from a dream. A long, amazing dream. I can't wait to do it again.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
We were at The Mountain Institute's Spruce Knob Mountain Center, where I've spent a whole lotta very happy time. The Mountain Center is several miles from a paved road and is in one of the last dark spots left on the eastern seaboard. There's a dirt road a mile long that connects the "main" dirt road of the mountain with the main part of The Mountain Institute. It's a route I've run many times. I even acquired my first running scar on this run, waaaay back in 1998. This weekend I ran it out and back twice, for four miles. It's a run I carry with me every single day.
Here's the view just as I was starting out.
At the top of that little hill you're greeted by this splendor.
When you crest the last hill of the run, you can see the yurts from a distance. Yep, I said yurts. These are the main buildings at The Mountain Institute. Because it's that insanely cool.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Today's Monday on Notice is brought to you by my attempt to blog via the Blogger App. As some of you know, I'm kinda new to the whole 21st-century-cell-phone, what with it's apps and so forth. I know, I was the last hold out on that campaign. Well, after posting twice with minimal intervention via a laptop, I decided I was ready to go all-mobile-app-blogging.
Friday, July 15, 2011
I'm sitting outside drinking a post-run iced tea as I write this (although it may not post until later). I have another Joanna Returns To The Mountains 2011 Rave Run to share! Today's run comes to you from Snowshoe Mountain, West By God Virginia. You may have heard of this place as a ski resort, which it is, but I highly recommend coming up in the summer too. We are having a blast--a lake/beach, paddle boating, water slide, ski lift through the gorgeous mountain. I love this place!
I ran a little over 4 miles today. I definitely ended up somewhere I didn't really mean to go, but that's ok. Otherwise it wouldn't be an adventure, right?!?
After I got into the main portion of the run I came across this view and had to grab a pic.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
You know how I said I was going to let in more of the crazy? Well, here's your first little taste of it. Ready?
It totally creeps me out to tell the internet where I'm going before I go there.
But now that our time up on the mountain is over, I can tell you all about it! We spent a long weekend hanging out at Mountain Lake, in southwest Virginia, doing a whole lot of relaxing with some people I love.
For the girly girls among you, this is where Dirty Dancing was filmed. Yes, the gazebo, the stone lodge, all the landmarks you would recognize. And, this is also where Mr. Joanna and I held our wedding reception 6 years ago, so it's extra awesome for us. We've loved coming back and showing this place to our little boy. One of the sweetest moments for me was carrying my son (for communion on Sunday) to the alter where Mr. Joanna and I were married. Talk about an incredible moment.
You might also recall that I'm from central Appalachia. Being back in the mountains is so relaxing and therapeutic. We ate good food, heard some Appalachian storytelling, swam, biked, ran (of course), slept in, saw a magic show, and on and on. I can't say enough good things about it!
There are a few more really gorgeous runs to share with you from this trip, and a little more travel to share. Stay tuned!
Monday, July 11, 2011
Why? This past weekend we were traveling. Our travels involved an almost 2 hour long layover in Detroit, which was absolutely perfect. We had enough time to exit security and see these people. (Sorry for the photo quality. This was my first attempt to use pics from my phone and I haven't quite figured out how to make it all work yet.)
The trail is 2 miles long. I came across this at the back end, about 1 mile into the trail. So picturesque!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Rest days: 15
Highest mileage week: 18.3
Long runs: 0
Pace workouts: 4
XT days: a big fat zero....this will be changing later this month.
Tempo or interval runs: 2
Favorite run: my standard 4-miler on 6/29. I got an average pace of 8:41, which felt great! I finally let myself attack the pace again after the few days of back issues before that.
Current goal: consistent 16-20 mile weeks with maintained speed.
Current obsession: still decorating! I got the shipping notice for our sofas a few days ago, so they should be here soon. Also, I am almost finished painting our bedroom and the search for decor has commenced. I love doing this SO much! I love making our house something I feel good about and enjoy.
Current need: materially, there really isn't anything I need right now. But I do need some rest. And it's coming! We have a vacation planned, but I'm not going to tell you where, what, or when until we're back. :) So you'll just have to wait.
Current excitement: Feeling like I'm getting back into the swing of things. I feel like I'm slowly regaining control.
Current bane of my existence: I know I sound like an insufferable ray of sunshine here, but honestly, if all I can complain about is the state of the closets in our house, life is pretty fantastic. But the closets, yeah. They are pretty bad! Maybe I should take before and after pictures.
Current wish list: a new bathing suit
Current indulgence: DECORATING! And Schlafly Pale Ale. Because it's summertime.
Monday, July 4, 2011
It's been a while, blog. I've thought of you often. Wondered what I would say when we inevitably met again. What version of the truth I would tell you about where I was. Wondered if you'd still be here when I came back. I missed you, a lot.
See, it wasn't you. It was me. Things are good. No, not good, great. There is no cause for concern. But I did need some time apart, some space if you will, to embrace the side show my life often becomes, to re-think what I want for our relationship, and to set some priorities for what remains of summer. Maybe I should do a "day (or week) in the life of" post with you sometime. My SIL, Kdot (who I adore) tells me it's not normal--often in a good way and sometimes in a downright crazy way. Recently things had gotten a lot out of hand. It's not a complaint; I wouldn't live my life any other way. But I did need to stop and hash out a game plan.
I really want to get back together with you, but I need to lay some ground rules. First, I need to ask you to let me hit "mark all as read" and let me move on. It's gotten to the point that I just can't catch up on all the 9,837 posts in my Reader. Second, I want to ask if I can let in a little bit more of the crazy from time to time. I think this will be good for both of us. Third, I need to ask that no one judge me for reverting to the treadmill when the heat index reaches "blistering". For several years I've had a medical issue that makes extreme heat + exertion a real problem for me. Telling you this will make it a lot less awkward for me to talk about summer running. And with that, I promise not to whine about heat. Fourth, I want to do some giveaways. Soon.
I have had some fun while we've been apart. We've had some friends visit from out of town (reason #72 why I love living in a city: people have multiple excuses to come visit!). This ridiculously adorable pic is the kiddo with his very first friend ever, a little boy he used to go to daycare with, and whose parents we know from our old church. They came to town for a family getaway. Also, I started painting our master bedroom (XT, baby!) on Saturday night. It's just almost finished, finally, and I love it! Now I get to shop for decor and accessories, and Project Closet Reorganization will be underway very soon.
Thanks for not leaving me while I was away. I have so much stuff planned for us, and I'm super excited about it!