Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Running Tour of George Mason U

As part of Auburn's orientation, they offered a running tour of campus for the parents one morning. I decided to do the same at my own campus today. Let's go!

I started off at the RAC, which is Mason's Recreation and Athletic Complex. It's a super nice facility, with room for classes and all kinds of sports activities. And clean locker rooms.

From there I headed over to the newest part of campus, where the athletic fields are. Here's the Field House, as you see it after ducking under Ox Road:

Choices, choices!
I turned right because I wanted to head back around the main part of the campus. Can you see how nice and shady it was over there? Very much appreciated.

Stoplight at Ox Road. A chance for a break? Or a chance for a personal dance party? If you run with a sweet 80s mix like I do, it is the latter.
The main campus is circled by Patriot Circle, and I took that loop. Since it's August, it was pretty deserted.

Plenty of parking! Come on over!
And then I looped over to Mason Pond, which is more scenic than this photo would lead you to believe.
You can tell it was late in the run because of the skin tone matching the shirt color.
And just a little jaunt across a bridge back to the RAC.

Running across bridges (even little ones) is my favorite.
And then it was off to work. The whole loop was just a shade over 3 miles, which totally made up for one of the donuts I ate during office moving day yesterday.

Hope your day is off to a fine start!

Monday, August 3, 2015

M is for MASON!

It's on, y'all -- I'm going to be working the Twitter account for @GeorgeMasonU this week, tweeting about being a part of the community at that place and also about taking a kid of our own off for her first year of college.

(It would have been super synchronous if she had been starting college at Mason but it's right down the street and not in the cards for our little flying-away bird.)

I'm also going to blog all week to support the tweets, but it'll be more of this Anne

It's the largest public research university in Virginia, you know. And that's the view from my office window. #swag
And this Anne

If I hold on just a little tighter . . .

Than this Anne.

The Mason-Dixon line!
But first I can tell you that I was lucky enough to have a terrific run on Saturday with my friend Linda, one of my favorite running friends. She was saving a little in the tank to run Sunday with Ironman-to-be Robert, but managed to kick my butt for more than 11 miles. We went out on the W&OD Trail and although it was full of speedy bicyclists, everyone was polite.

What really made it great was having a minute to enjoy a coffee afterwards at Amouri. It's been so busy lately that having a few minutes to sip a delicious coffee with a friend was a true treat.

Friday, July 31, 2015

She's Leaving Home

Our office is closed today and I got to spend at least the first part of the morning very well, with a great run in the sunshine and a couple of minutes to chill out on our front porch afterwards instead of scurrying off to get ready for work like I usually do.

While enjoying the breeze on the porch, I happened to take a look at Facebook and saw our dear neighbor, Beth's, post about how her daughter is moving to a house of her own. Wendy is a mature and lovely young woman, and Beth is truly "celebrating her daughter's independence" but I'm sad for her.

And sad for me, too, because we are in the home stretch: in a week we will be moving Cora into her dorm in Auburn.

If it works out the right way with my employer's communications office, I will be taking over the twitter account for George Mason University next week (@GeorgeMasonU). Every week, they choose a different university denizen to tweet for the university, to show all of our different perspectives. I will be speaking from the perspective of one of the thousands of worker bees at that place (not to be confused with the @GMUBees -- I used to tweet for those guys, too!), but from the viewpoint of a mama about to drop her firstborn at college.

Send tissues, please! Because everyone knows that


rhymes with 


Whether that gig comes through or not, next week will likely see some blog posts with the traveling-to-Auburn theme, to see how I keep up fall run training in the midst of these big changes.

I also stole this from Beth's Facebook post:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Do a Friend a Solid

It is Wednesday, and today I am writing about


I'm linking up with all the fine bloggers who take part in DebRuns.com's Wednesday Word link-up, and you can check their stuff out here:

Deb Runs

Most runners will tell you that one of the finest things about taking part in this hobby/sport/pastime is the friendships that come out of it. We runners are a supportive crew, and maybe it's because it's a joy to find someone to talk about your running with (because you know it bores the pants off the rest of the people in your life), but the running friends you've got may be your favorite friends.

This morning I am thinking of the friend that actually got me running distances in the first place: my buddy Robert. I've known that guy since college (that's back in the 80's)! And once he learned that I don't mind going out for a run, he hassled and hassled me to sign up with the very fine Team in Training program for my first half marathon.

"It'll change your life!" he promised. He didn't lie.

Now Robert is training for his very first Ironman. It's coming up in a couple of weeks, and will coincide with his 50th birthday. What a way to celebrate! He puts his money (and legs) where his mouth is: he's training with (and raising money for) Team in Training as he gets ready for this big event.

As you might imagine, there is a fairly sizable fundraising goal for such an achievement. Robert has agreed to raise $10,000 to support the search for a cure for leukemia and other blood cancers. His fundraising page is here, if you'd like to check it out -- it's pretty amazing! And if you want to donate to a fantastic cause, no amount is too small. I'm donating, because it is the least I can do for a friend who has made my life immeasurably better.

Even if you don't donate to Robert's goal, I hope that you can remember the person who prompted you to lace up your shoes for the first time. I hope that memory makes you smile, and nudges you to do a little something for him or her.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Feeling Slow

I had a swim this morning and was planning on writing a post about how I'm not feeling like a "real" swimmer because I have to use the mirror to get my swim cap on and I don't do flip turns so my big progress is getting to the end of the lane and not hanging out on the side for a minute but just taking one breath (as opposed to: breathe in, spit a little, breathe out while spitting, then breathe in again) before pushing off.

But then I got on Facebook and it looks like all of my running friends are not only running much faster than me but posting about it. I know we're not racing, and I know that everyone is in a different place, yadda, yadda, but it's certainly discouraging. Am I getting old? Am I just too tired? Am I going to make it to the Richmond Marathon?

I'm going to intentionally (or whatever) take it easy on my six miles planned for tomorrow and think this one through. A longish run always helps with these things.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Good Neighbor

When I'm running, I like to wave at all of the drivers in our neighborhood as they go by.

If it's a friend they're going to be like, "Oh, hey, there's Anne," and if it's not someone I know they're like, WTF, but you know, I would hate to miss someone.

When I started out my long run on Saturday, someone in a minivan all decked out in swim team stuff honked at me while I was hauling up a hill on Braddock Road and seriously, that's the best. That's true pay-back for all that waving.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Best Rest Day Ever

I finally got my training plan all worked out for the fall; I'm using one of Coach Jenny Hadfield's marathon plans. I like it because it calls for four days a week of running and two of cross training, and the long runs ramp up nicely so that I can use Marine Corps Marathon as a (really) long run and treat Richmond as a goal race.

Plus, I used her half marathon plan a couple of years ago and was very pleased with the results.

To get on track with this week's plan of running Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, I ran a little further than I normally would. With Coach Jenny, Sunday is a rest day. On Sunday of last week, though, I had a chance to run with my friends Robert, Melanie, Linda, and Kevin, so I jumped on that instead. We had a nice 8 in the steamy temperatures on the W&OD Trail. These are great people to run with.

But then I dove into training:

  • Monday hill day (4 miles) 
  • Wednesday semi-long run (5.5 miles)
  • Fun run on Friday (of about 3.2 miles)

This set me up with 20 miles already for the week, and the plan called for nine more on Saturday. What to do?

My foot was feeling fine so I bit the bullet, did the nine miles. That gave me a 29-mile week for the first time in AGES (I only did about 30 miles the whole month of June because of that plantar faciitis). After my run I put on a happy face (and Birkenstocks) and trucked around Tyson's Corner Mall with the soon-to-be college freshman, selecting party attire for sorority recruitment (don't judge, y'all! I loved my sorority days with my beautiful sisters in Kappa Alpha Theta and with my little bird getting ready to fly to a large university in the South, I am taking her interest in Greek life seriously!), and found myself too tired to move last night.

But I love being on a plan, and that foot and our travel to Alabama a couple of weeks ago did not make the plan possible. So it's ON now and I couldn't be happier.