Since my right leg was still sore, and in anticipation of Saturday's run, I opted to run 3 easy miles instead of 6. I then stretched for 20 minutes before heading to power pilates, which was an excellent work-out this week! I can tell that my core is getting stronger, since I am able to go through the moves more easily and more controlled. In non-work-out related news, I had an amazing meeting with my adviser! I also received some amazing news from a friend that literally had me jumping up and down outside of the gym. Which in turn amused the guy I was standing next to at the crosswalk.
I also did some catching up on my blog reading, and came across this video posted on the Complete Running Network blog. For some reason I really enjoyed this video, so I thought I'd share. Maybe I should go running on some lonely stretch of road. (o;
A wonderful day of rest! I will be honest, I didn't even do my arm work-out or abs on Friday. Instead of did a bunch of errands, went tanning, and just relaxed!
I also donated money to a very good cause. One of my very best friends, Alisha, is doing a 5K walk this next weekend for the March of Dimes WalkAmerica. She is raising money and walking to help families that have babies who were born prematurely and to help research in preventing premature birth. This personally means a lot to me, because I was born 2 months premature and weighed just over 3 pounds. And before me, my parents had a daughter who was born 3 months premature and only lived for 2 week. So please, if you get a chance, visit Alisha's blog and her personal fundraising page. *hopping off soap box now*
Saturday started off quite delicious! Ever since I tried pumpkin oatmeal, I have become obsessed with pumpkin-flavored food. Saturday morning I made pumpkin pancakes. They were so good that I ate them for lunch as well! And the day just got better from there!
Saturday was my "Virgin Hash" with a local Hash House Harriers group. My friend Chris is a member, and he told me about this "drinking club with a running problem" a few months ago. I was quite intrigued, even though I'm not really a big drinker, but the concept just seemed so fascinating. (The Wikipedia link above gives a nice overview, so please read that if you are interested.) The hare set-off, I was taught about the different symbols and marks during "chalk talk", then we started on the trail to catch the hare. Altogether we ran just under 4 miles (between searing for the next part of the trail and running the trail itself) in just under an hour I think, and ended up crawling under a fence and along a section of the interstate (didn't see that one coming!). I was told that the previous hash run was much more "dirty" as it led through a muddy field, stretches of forest, and across a chest-deep canal of water. (See, doesn't that sounds like fun?!... Maybe I'm just crazy.) Lucky for me Chris was nice enough to slow down for me, so I ran with him the entire way. Despite his going slower, I was definitely doing what I would consider "sprinting" compared to my usual pace, and I looked forward to the "check" marks so I could take a walk break and catch my breath. While that might sound exhausting, I loved it! It was great mixing up my work-out with some interval-like training. And since I was so preoccupied with looking for the next sign of a trail, I was less focused on the running which made it all the more fun. After everyone made it to the finishing spot and enjoyed beverages of their choice (beer, water, juice, soda) and snacks (all the delicious junk food you could imagine... which the mere thought of eating made me feel nauseous.), then there was the "circle", where I was called into the center three times. Since it was my first hash run, I was known as "Virgin Jes". Circle involved lots of amusing songs, calling people out for violating different rules, plenty of drinking, "naming" those who just ran their 5th hash (congrats an the amazing/amusing name Chris!), and just an all-around great time. Later a good portion of the group met up for dinner. Basically, I thought the hash was simply wonderful! Not only was it a great way to change up my work-out, but it was a lot of fun, and I met some really amusing and nice people. I definitely plan on participating again, and next time I'll be called "Just Jes". (o:
After drinking Mountain Dew in "circle" yesterday, which I must say I pretty much never drink on a regular basis, I was up most of the night buzzing off the caffeine. I'm sure that the anticipation of Sunday's events also did not help. I slept for maybe three hours, and my legs were definitely feeling a bit sore from the run on Saturday.
I had made a personal goal with myself several years ago that I would go hang gliding before I turned 25. Due to circumstances out of my control, I had to post-pone this event, and I decided that it must be accomplished while I was 25. Seeing as my 26th birthday is quickly approaching, I realized that I was running out of time! I decided that I just had to go hang gliding on September 2nd of this year! September 2nd was an important day for me as it marked the two year anniversary of my dad passing away. Rather than spend that day feeling sorry for myself, I decided to remember my dad by celebrating life!
I drove out to Wallaby Ranch early in the morning. On my drive over there, I saw hot air balloons being filled and taking flight. Like my skydiving adventures, I learned that many people say they want to jump out of "perfectly good airplanes" or go hang gliding, and at the last minute they never show. This time was no different; however, Chris kept good to his word and came along with his friend Kyle that I met at the hash on Saturday. I was quite grateful that they came, because such an amazing experience really should be shared! So they met me at Wallaby Ranch, and before I knew it I was strapped into a hang glider (tandem with an instructor)!
Now for those of you who are thinking "How do you hang glide in Florida??"... they use "aerotowing", where a two-place hang glider is towed by a specially designed ultralight towplane. The plane tows you up to 2000 ft then releases you and you glide back down to the ground. The flight lasts approximately 15 minutes. The tandem instructor let me steer the glider for a little bit, which was a lot of fun. I even saw the hot air balloons off in the distance. The experience was absolutely amazing and quite surreal!!!
Once you have tasted flight,
you will forever walk the earth
with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been,
and there you will always long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci
Once I landed, I definitely wanted to go back up! Kyle was the next in our group to go followed by Chris. They both absolutely loved it as well! Afterwards, for a $5 donation, we all ate breakfast at the ranch, and it was delicious!
I was very pleased with how the weekend had gone so far, and couldn't imagine it getting any better. Then Chris mentioned that Shinedown was playing at the House of Blues that night and the tickets were inexpensive. I decided that the concert sounded much better than working on my thesis (I mean it was a day for celebrating!). The concert was really good, and I had a great time with Chris and his friends. They are a truly great group of people! After we met with Kyle as well and had something to eat.
I didn't get home until closer to 2 in the morning, so there was absolutely no way I was going to wake up early for my long run. Luckily I had decided earlier in the day to post-pone my long run until next weekend. Seeing as my legs were still a bit sore from Saturday and my right hip still wasn't completely back to normal, I decided that this week will be an easier week (since I've heard those are mandatory every 4 weeks or so), and next weekend will be the official 9 mile run!
So far today I have been lazy and caught up on sleep. I'm going to go to the lab for a bit and work on my thesis, then do some cleaning and watch a movie. I do need to enjoy Labor Day. (o:
In summary, this weekend could not have been more perfect! I tried something new, changed up my work-out, accomplished my personal goal of hang gliding, remembered my dad in the best way that I know how by celebrated life for all of it's glorious moments, met some amazing new people, and just all around had a wonderful time.
As one last note (yes, I'm sure you are sick of reading. Feel free to stop at any time)... Amy made a post about "The List". This list consists of people you could make-out with even though you are married. She posed the question of who would be on our own lists. Without putting too much thought into it (I mean if I was making my official list it would take weeks of research), I listed David Beckham (Mmmm Mmmmmm Good!), Keith Urban (sans the drinking problem), and Matthew McConaughey. This last person on my list reminded me of my cousin's cake at her bridal shower, so I just thought I'd share... Now doesn't that look Yummy?? (of course it was an ice cream cake... and didn't look quite so spectacular after it melted all over the table).
Well I hope that everyone had as wonderful of a weekend as I did! Remember to be thankful for all of the amazing people and little moments that make life worth living.