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Moving on Up!

*Beep*  You have reached the old home of Cape Island Runners. We don’t live here anymore, please follow the link to our new digs. Thanks for calling! *end message*

www.capeislandrunners.com

 

CIR SS screenshot

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Bloggy Switcheroo!

For the past month or so I have been working on updating the blog – it will still be Cape Island Runners, but without the clunky “wordpress” in the URL and some fancy upgrades (legit banner!, more tabs!). I’m super excited to unveil it, but before I do,  I need some time to finish importing this site to that one without the added work of creating new blog posts.  So gonna take a quick break,  jump into a phone booth and pop out a new and improved CIR! I’ll post the updated address on this site when it is ready (hopefully in a week, no more than 2, she says with the naivete that comes with thinking something techy will be easy-breezy!).

See ya on the flip side!

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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays. So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

While waiting for the vet to call and give me the go-ahead to pick up Popsters, I decided to add to my WMA run list with one that was on the way. Peaslee Wildlife Management Area is well-known as a bird, butterfly and dragon/damselfly hotspot and now I can also say with authority that it a great place to run. Especially if said run precedes a visit to pick up your sick rabbit, who is totally freaked out, and upon his release you are given a bill substantially higher than the already jaw-dropping estimate you were provided a few days prior. Extra especially if his treatment is not yet done (more worry and more money), they still don’t know how it will turn out and he seems less mobile than ever due to his arthritic back legs and bandaged front one.  It’s definitely a good place to go to get your stress level to zero so you can experience the full effect of jacking it up, lol.

In any case, before all that happened, this did (it is now 10:23 pm and I am just getting settled and having dinner so apologies for no captions tonight):

South side of Peaslee!

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Ok, maybe one caption. When I brought Pops home, he was quite agitated. Part of this must be what he has gone through, part of it is that I was putting him in his cage, in the house, neither of which he is used to. He and Keebs usually live out on the porch,where they have free rein. But for his recovery, I thought it would be better for them to be inside. I tried to introduce Keebs to him, but he got aggressive with him. So for now, they will just have through the cage bar visits and we'll work back to normalcy, if that is even possible. My poor babies.

Ok, maybe one caption. When I brought Pops home, he was quite agitated. Part of this must be what he has gone through, part of it is that I was putting him in his cage, in the house, neither of which he is used to. He and Keebs usually live out on the porch,where they have free rein, and only go in the . But for his recovery, I thought it would be better for them to be inside. I tried to introduce Keebs to him, but Pops got inexplicably aggressive with him. So for now, they will just have “through the cage bar” visits like Poppy is locked up in the big house and Keebs is his loyal visitor. I might have to get them mini-phones to talk through.

What did you see on your run today?

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Valentine’s Hangover

If you are like me, you might indulge a bit too much on holidays like Valentine’s Day. And if you did last night, you won’t get any lip from this chickie! As someone who keeps her considerable sweet tooth on a very short leash, I fully give myself over to the sugar monster on occasion and run free in the land of sugarplums and lollipops. Side note: I can’t get behind the whole “just have a tiny piece of chocolate every day to stop you from overdoing it!” so often espoused in ladies’ magazines. Well, what the hell is the point of that?!? For me, I prefer to avoid unhealthy food the vast majority of the time but on special occasions love to dive in, chow down to my heart’s content, and then to my liver’s, ears’, eyeballs’, frontal lobe’s, uvula’s, spine’s and even excised appendix’s content!

The next morning, however? Not so great. I usually wake up with a nasty sugar hangover and no appetite for a day. There is only one thing that makes me feel better, and I bet you can guess what that is…reruns of Full House! lol, just kidding, it’s running, of course (although Full House can play a complimentary role in your recovery, no doubt).

The trick to this remedy is to get the dosage right – this will not work if your planned workout is a long run, speed or tempo workout. Sure, you’ll be able to get through it, but you probably will feel the same or worse after. For this application, you need a short, easy jog around the neighborhood where you are focused on things like “huh, I did not realize you could have that many garden gnomes in one yard” or “I wonder what it would be like if that Russian meteor hit here, like, right now” and not things like perceived effort or Garmin splits.

So if you can still feel the sea-salt caramels rattling around your innards, take it from me – it’s likely not the first thing you would think of to help that belly but a short jog later and you’ll be a new man/lady/other (hey, we don’t judge here at CIR).

In other news, these things happened:

1. I went to my magical chiropractor, Dr. Greenburg, to address some lingering issues I have in my groin (hmm, that sentence could go a few ways). He ran a bunch of tests and thinks that the issue stems from a misalignment in my knee. He adjusted it and I will go back next week for a follow-up. In the meantime, he directed me to “go for a run” because we need to see how my leg feels after the adjustment. Finally, doctor’s orders that are easy to follow!

2. You may remember that Poppy (one of our 9.5 yr old bunnies) had some health issues in the late summer, which he recovered from. Unfortunately, a few new problems have cropped up and I am having a hard time figuring out how to help him, if he can even be helped and where we go from here. Positive thoughts for Popsters are appreciated.

poppykeebs

Poppy is on the bottom, Keebler is the snuggle bunny on top, in one of their favorite sleep positions.

Did you overindulge and need a Valentine’s Day hangover cure?

Have you hugged your pet today?

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My sister, myself

You know what helps you miss your hubby a little less? Sister time! I long for the days when Lil Sis and I lived within a mile (and sometimes much closer – in the same house or on the same block) of each other and could pop in and out of each others lives a the drop of a hat. I love living in Cape May so much, but one of the prices to be paid is having my sis a 45 min car ride away. Granted, this is not exactly the other side of the planet, but to me it feels awfully far. We have done really well over the last year, taking turns hopping on the parkway and carefully figuring out dates and times we are both free. One result of the distance is that it makes days like today special. What once would have been a normal Sunday hang out has becomes something more – a few hours to connect to a person that means the world to me.

How did we spend it? As is so many times the case, running and talking 🙂 When people see us together, they often comment that we never seem to run out of things to talk about. How could we?! With shape-shifting lives that we could not have imagined as two little girls growing up on Tiverstock Drive, there is never a shortage of things I need her opinion on, need comfort over or want to hear details about.

We decided to go for a run on the boards (no surprise there). Lil Sis prepared by drinking moonshine last night and nothing for breakfast today (no surprise there). I told her we would run 3 but squeaked an extra mile out of her (no surprise there). We had a fantastic time, content in our sister world, lockstep in body and mind. Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same (happily, no surprise there).

Ohh, a new mural since the last time I was here - pretty!

Ohh, a new mural since the last time I was here – pretty!

This is the kind of winter day I can get behind - bright, blue sky, low wind, reasonable temps. Very nice, winter, very nice.

This is the kind of winter day I can get behind – bright, blue sky, low wind, reasonable temps. Verrrry nice, winter, very nice.

Even the gulls were digging this day! Tons in the intertidal zone and right offshore.

Even the gulls were digging this day! Tons in the intertidal zone and right offshore.

Gotta touch the turnaround point! We swapped gloves today - I was trying out one of her pink Lululemon mittens (that Rocelle turned her on to) and fell in love! Sadly, the only ones I could find online were all black ones. But I want the girly ones! *stomps foot*

Gotta touch the turnaround point! We swapped gloves today – I was trying out one of her pink Lululemon mittens (that Rochelle turned her on to) and fell in love! Sadly, the only ones I could find online were all black ones. But I want the girly ones! *stomps foot*

Sissy also likes touching this rail for the heck of it - just one of those weird runner things. Not weird are her socks, which proudly proclaim "BACON" for no particular reason. They make me smile.

Sissy also likes touching this rail for the heck of it – just one of those weird runner things. Not weird are her socks, which proudly proclaim “BACON”. They make me, and everyone who sees them, smile.

Remember when I was talking about the salt water taffy machine last week? Well, clearly I could not resist a trip into Shriver's to see if the machiners were running. Coinsidering it is the middle of February, I am guessing the demand for taffy is at a yearlong low, but I still gazed longingly at my beloved machines!

Remember last week when I was talking about the salt water taffy machine? Well, I could not resist a trip into Shriver’s to see if they were running! Considering it is the middle of February, I am guessing the demand for taffy is at its yearly nadir, but I still gazed lovingly at my beloved machines!

Lil Sis loves the bench at 18th Street at the end of a run to take in the day, be grateful for the life she has and, in times of strife, to remind herself that everything is going to be all right. It was hard not to believe that on a day as beautiful as this.

Lil Sis loves the bench at 18th Street at the end of a run to take in the day, be grateful for the life she has and, in times of uncertainty, to remind herself that everything is going to be all right. It was hard not to believe that on a day as beautiful as this.

What are some of you favorite winter routes?

Do you run with your sibling(s)?

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My pain, your gain

I’ve been back to running for 3 weeks as of today, yippee!! I am still taking it easy, building up slooowly but really feel the worst is behind me. So this is the part of the movie where the main character sits at her computer, gets a dreamy look in her eyes and we hear a reflective song (some Kamikaze Hearts, perhaps?) while she thinks back over the past 2.5 months and what she should have done differently. You know how they say that failures are the best way to grow and learn lessons? That may well be true, but you know what I think is even better? Avoiding the whole failure thing in the first place by learning from other people’s goofball mistakes! So with that in mind, here are some failure-avoiding tips for you all 🙂

What I Did Wrong, Part 1: I woke up with a sharp pain in my groin the morning before the marathon. It felt a lot like a nasty pain I sometimes get in my upper back that can be resolved with a trip to the chiro. I chalked it up to race nerves and went about my day- which included driving all over the place buying last minute stuff for the race, even though shifting and getting in and out of the car made my leg howl. I walked all around the expo and then GD and I walked to dinner that night. As a long-distance runner, I have a well-honed  ability to block out pain – not so much in my regular life, where I am a grade A top choice wuss, but in my running life it comes very naturally to me. I blocked the pain out all day and hoped ignoring it would make it disappear. It did not.

What I Should Have Done: As soon as I woke up and felt that pain, I should have re-routed my whole day. Everything I did that day could have been avoided or I could have asked someone else to help me with it. When I recognized the pain as something I have felt in another part of my body where it has successfully been treated with an adjustment, I should have made an emergency visit to a chiro. I then should have completely stayed off it and determined if it was going to be runnable the next day.

What I Did Wrong, Part 2: I woke up with the pain better on race morning , but by no means gone. I should have seriously considered not running the race. This was not an option that I entertained for even one minute. I ran the race, plowing through even when the pain kicked in at Mile 13 despite many milligrams of a pain reliever.

What I Should Have Done: Seriously considered not running the race. I am not saying I would have been able to actually stop myself from toeing the line, but I should have at least had a frank discussion with stubborn me and really considered what running on it would mean – namely a long recovery period afterwards. Knowing now how hard it was not to run those 2 months, in the future I will certainly consider DNS as an actual option.

What I Did Wrong, Part 3: Crossed the finish line and let the adrenaline take over. I walked around, chatted with friends, walked to the hotel room, spent about 30 seconds on a foam roller, had lunch and got in a car to sit for 2 hours.

What I Should Have Done: Realized that I was intoxicated by a  runner’s high and immediately taken steps to reduce the damage I had just done to my body. I should have gone straight to the massage tent, iced, foam rolled and stayed off my feet as long as possible. I should have done some gentle stretching and gone for a short walk later that night and the next day.

What I Did, Part 4:  I went to work ( because we had a staff meeting in central Jersey) and sat in a truck for 4 hours and in a meeting for 6. I made no attempts to make a massage or doctor appointment on that day or any of the 30 after it (ie FOR ONE MONTH!!)  in part because I was in denial, in part because I was too worried about money (DUMB!!).

What I Should Have Done:I should have taken off work on Monday. I should have made an appointment for an ART massage, a sports massage, a chiropractor or even the ortho the very minute I woke up on Monday. I should have channeled Lil Sis’ attitude towards money, and I quote,  “it’s only little green pieces of paper floating around”.

What I Did, Part 5, in which the protagonist finally gets a clue: After much crying and pouting, I accepted that I would need a good long rest. I went to the ART therapist, chiro and sports doc multiple times. I swam. I baked. I foam rolled and used a heating pad (ice did not seem to do anything on this one, a first for me. It is usually a go-to miracle maker, but not this time). I visualized myself being ok and running footloose and fancy-free.

What I Should Have Done: Excatly that. Sheesh, took me long enough!

I’d like to think that this will help you make better decisions than I did if you are faced with the same dilemma race morning. Hell, I’d like to think it will help ME in the future if I ever find myself in the same place again. It’s a lot to ask of myself (and you) to learn from our own (and others) mistakes but, damn,  wouldn’t it be something if we could?

What are the biggest lessons you learned while recovering from an injury?

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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays. So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

My work schedule today called for me to drive 2 hours north, take part in a 1 hour meeting (which was actually really interesting and worthwhile but the drive kills me!), then drive 2 hours south only to get sucked into the hurricane that is the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – oh my, the jockeying for habitat restoration money is a sight to see! Anyway, my morning meeting’s focus was Stafford Forge Wildlife Management Area (or WMA as we call it in the biz, pronounced “wama”, rhymes with Alabama. You are welcome for some fancy govermentese to impress your friends with!). I knew a mental break was needed between all the driving and the Sandy tasks that were waiting for me at the office, so I decided a lunch run at the WMA in question would be just the thing I needed to get through the afternoon. I was right! Gorgeous property that I need to further explore… and it also made me realize I should make more of an effort to see our state WMAs. I am familiar with some of them, but there are heaps I have never even heard of! Might try to make it “WMA Wednesdays” around these parts as often as possible!

Time to get our WMA on!

Time to get our WMA on!

Stafford Forge has a lot of old cranberry bogs on site, which are just gorgeous

Stafford Forge has a lot of old cranberry bogs on site, which are just lovely!

Hi birds! I *think* these were Greater Yellowlegs. I saw them on the way out and on the way back I think I heard the GY call, but could not connect the two for sure. Either way, nice to see some birdies out and about!

Hi birds! I *think* these were Greater Yellowlegs. I saw them on the way out and on the way back I think I heard the GY call, but could not connect the two for sure. Either way, nice to see some birdies out and about!

Great trails to run around on - I tried some of the smaller ones of this main one, but they were a bit too undulating to be comfortable, like mogul running. No thanks!

Great trails to run around on – I tried some of the smaller ones off this main one, but they were a bit too undulating to be comfortable, like mogul running. No thanks! The main trails were just perfect tho’.

Fire is an incredibly important part of the Pine Barrens ecosystem. We all grew up with Smokey Bear telling us "only you can prevent wildlifes". And did we ever! Fires were suppressed so long and so well in the Pine Barrens that we fundamentally started changing the system! Whoops!

Fire is an incredibly important part of the Pine Barrens ecosystem. We all grew up with Smokey Bear telling us, “Only you can prevent wildfires!”. And did we ever! Fires were suppressed so long and so well in the Pine Barrens that we fundamentally started changing the system. Whoops! Many pine trees, like Pitch Pine, rely on fire to open their pinecones so they can reproduce and without fire, oak trees began to get a foothold.  Frequent, small, natural fires (like from lightening strikes) also help keep the understory neat and tidy instead of being overrun with vines, leaves and branches that will fuel a fire into a huge event (which can be very dangerous for the humans living nearby). Today, forest ecologists purposely set “controlled burns” to help keep the forest healthy and keep the fuel level on the forest floor low. The black on these trees indicate there was a fire here, but I am unsure if it was of the natural or controlled persuasion. I suspect it might be natural because the burn line is often lower on the trunk of the tress I have seen that were controlled burned. I also vaguely remember a huge fire in this area from a few years back. Any opinions or memories of this?

Winter and I did pretty well today - there was some ice, but also plenty of water, which meant the temperatures were comfortable enough for me to really enjoy this run!

Winter and I did pretty well today – there was some ice, but also plenty of water, which meant the temperatures were comfortable enough for me to really enjoy this run! Good compromising, winter!

What did you see on your run today?

 

 

 

 

 

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