Sunday, March 24, 2013

17.75K Access Granted (and the Bear Bell Strikes Back)

Yesterday I ran  the Marine Corps 17.75 K.  This was my first run back since the marathon last week.  I walked a mile on Sunday, and then pretty much just rolled and did normal activities.  I was surprised by how quickly I bounce back this time.  I was doing stairs normally by Tuesday and actually felt like I could have run on Wednesday, but I was really forcing myself to rest during zero week because I knew I had 11.03 miles coming up on Saturday.  My major activity consisted of walking the kids all over the National Zoo on Friday.
Staying warm in the car pre-race

I had no real goal for this race other than to have fun and get my guaranteed entry.  This race sold out in 45 minutes in January because of guaranteed entry into the Marine Corps Marathon.  A bunch of friends from my Gainesville Moms Run This Town group were running so we were just out to have a blast.    We met up in the Holiday Inn to stay warm while we waited for race start.
Gainesville Moms Run This Town

About 5 minutes before race start we went out and got in line.  I have never been so nonchalant or relaxed about a race not even when I'm running a 5K with the kids.  I was thinking that I wanted to do about 10 minute miles, but I really had no other race plan.  So we were off without much fanfare.  We started behind an IHOP and ran down 234 for about 3 miles.  This whole portion of the race sucked.  It was boring, and I was irritated to be running on 234.  My pace was somewhere in the 9:15-9:30 range through this section of the course because I really wanted to get out of the big pack of runners and get on the trail.  We finally made a left into Prince William Forest Park and got on some trail.  The hills were rolling in this section, but we weren't on trail for long.  At about mile 4.5, we were back on a very flat and at sometimes downhill road section.  One of my friends caught up with us, and we started running and chatting.  As we were talking, I started to hear a bell.  In the back of my mind, I was thinking that there was no way it could possibly be Bear Bell.  The bell was growing louder and louder, and my friend joked that it was him.  Then Bear Bell passed us!  My friend recognized him from the photo.  He was wearing the same outfit and running along with that bell.  I couldn't believe that I was at my third race with this guy. The first two were part of a series so I expect to see him for the additional series races, but it was just hysterical that he showed up at this race.  He continued along at a quicker pace than us because we were just taking it easy and cruising along.  So the score currently stands at Heather:2; Bear Bell:  1.  I'll get him back at Laurel Hill.

Our moms group was working the #3 aid station around mile 7.5 so we were really excited to get to that spot on the course.  We rolled through and high fived got water and got lots of moms are awesome cheers.
Coming through the Aid Station (courtesy of Suzanne Santos)

Miles 8.5-11 were more rolling hills.  We just kept pushing along even though my legs were pretty tired.  They were definitely still feeling the 26.2 because I wasn't working that hard for my legs to feel that tired.  I just kept thinking "stay motivated" as I ran.  Finally we could see the 11 mile marker and raced in smiling to finis in 1:50:46 which put us right at 10 minute miles for the 17.75K.
Bad Ass Mother Runners
Course Map and Elevation Profile
 My final place was 415/1077 women and 1113/2176 overall which was fine given that I was just doing a recovery run and getting my ticket.  We had to hike up this huge hill to get to the post race area.

It was a bit disorganized this year.  JD and I just grabbed our tickets and finisher's chips and hit the bus.

The bus driver was a complete and utter nightmare.

We made it home in time for the Oil Creek 100K Server Meltdown Party (otherwise known as freaking out and trying to register JD for the OC100K before it filled up in 15 minutes).

I actually had to rush off to work for a few hours after that.  When I got home, I registered for MCM again (not sure if I'll run or defer).  We also signed up for Drake Well Marathon.  I can hardly believe that this time last year I was just contemplating my first marathon.  Now I've run two and am signed up for 2 more marathons and a 50K.

Next race is April 6 Red Shoe 5K benefitting Ronald McDonald House and then April 7 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler.  I am going to try to just bike and do yoga for one more week before starting back to running workouts.  I think my body needs this after two back to back marathon training cycles.

Oil Creek 100k - Sweet Jesus, what have I done

So I have been kicking it around for sometime now, I have a goal of running the Oil Creek 100k in Titusville, PA on October 5th, 2013.  Originally, I got the idea from Ron Heerkens Jr. website, From zero to 100k in 20 months.  The registration for the OC 100k started at noon yesterday and given that we had a 17.75k MCM race all morning, it was going to be close in getting back home to my computer.  To make matters worse, this race was a point to point race which required a shuttle back to the parking lot where we started.  Of course, the bus driver we had made things quite interesting and was going so slow, I told heather, ain't nobody got time for that.  I debated asking other people if they could help but I figured I would roll the dice and heather and I made it with about 15 minutes to spare.  Last year, it took the 100k between 60 minutes and 90 minutes to sell out.  The 50k sold out in less than 5 minutes.  So the pressure was ON.  The 100K only takes 100 entries.  Ok, heather and I are staked out at the computers waiting and waiting and waiting....I got up just so that we can make sure we get in immediately...and then NOON hits...boom, the site went down.  Are you shitting me?  WTF...cmon...So heather is trying to access it, I am heart is pumping like I'm trying to PR at a local 5k and not let that 10 year old beat me..were yelling at each other and finally her page comes up but its not filled out and so we have to fill it out again....tick tock tick tock....she gets it filled out, then it goes to payment page, what is taking seconds feels like hours...were not going to get in, all because we can't type fast enough...I just know it, "its your fault if we don't get in"......"get out the way, let me do it", here comes the blaming!!!  pressure is high, tempers are flaring, its all on the line...finally, the credit card page comes up, she fills it out, and hits submit....WERE IN.  I am number 49 and got in by 12:02 EST.  Following the facebook page for OC 100, it sold out 12 minutes later....sick...just plain sick.  I suggest to every running husband and wife to test their marriage with a good old fashion registration deadline...if you can make it through the registration process, you can make it anywhere, lmao!!!  Registration shows 114 because they overloaded by a few just to account for the people who don't show.  Now comes the training...Can I run 62.1 miles in 31 hours...That is a good question but I do think I can if I train properly and mentally prepare...its definitely doable.  Goal 1:  finish, Goal 2:  DNF - do nothing fatal, 3:  Finish between 14-18 hours.  However, goal 1 is all that matters.  As of right now, I am running the Blue Ridge Marathon in Roanoke, VA, North face 50k in June, Drake Well Marathon in August, youngstown ultra trail classic 50k in September which should prepare me well however, I need runs that will keep me on my feet for long periods of time.  However, I need to training on eating through my long runs and learn how to walk big hills.  Training smart will also be important but if you don't try, you'll never know what you can do in life.

MCM - 17.75k golden ticket

About a week ago, I had a nice 40 mile week, it was my 3rd week in a row with my mileage in the high 30's and was feeling good.  Although, my Achilles had been feeling a little "tired".  On Sunday the 17th, I did a 18 mile run at Battlefield and it just didn't feel good at all.  On Monday, things were not feeling that good so I took the day off, Tuesday came and I tried to run.  No go.  Wednesday came and I hit 50 minutes on the bike with 3x5 minute uphill climbs.  Thursday came and I did a 3 mile run and it felt just ok.  No real pain but not 100% enough to run strong.  Friday, I made sure I did my eccentric heel drops (4x25) and iced the foot as I did the whole week. So here comes the point to point  MCM 17.75k (11.01 miles or so) and I am thinking there is no way in hell I am going to be able to run this race.  Additionally, just finishing the race would get me an automatic entry into the Marine Corps Marathon - 2013.  So I figured I would suck it up and just jog it out with Heather who was coming off the B&A marathon last week. We head down to Quantico, VA for the race and there are about 2100 people this year and the course has changed from a 10k to a 17.75k.  Personally, if you are going get a free entry into the MCM, it should be no less than 13.1 and I was thinking 15 would be more of a challenge.  The run was not interesting in that I was just doing a 9:30 pace the whole way and used it more of a training run than anything else.  I ended up coming in somewhere around 900+ out of 2100, not like it mattered...Heather and I got a quick pic right before the race - as zach would say, a selfie:

Today, I am going to work on the Achilles some more and hit the bike for an hour then start running again tomorrow.  Crazy thing was after the race yesterday, the Achilles started feeling better.  The eccentric heel drops really do work - I started to go away from doing them when my mileage started getting higher and higher.  Note to self, stay with the heel drops and avoid injury!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

No hugs, no hugs! B&A Trail Marathon

Photo by Paul W. Gillespie — The Capital Gazette
So this was my redemption marathon to make up for the mess that I made at Marine Corps. I think I signed up for the B&A Trail Marathon sponsored by the Annapolis Striders about 10 days after Marine Corps. I was really pleased with my training cycle this time which included three 20 mile runs and one 18 mile long run as well as my first ever 50 mile week. I was conservatively aiming for sub-5 hours and optimistically hoping for 4:30. B&A Trail Marathon is really low-key and billed as fairly flat. 181 runners finished the full marathon yesterday. There were another 170 or so half marathoners as well so very small field without a lot of hype. We first had to make a stop at Starbucks so Daddy could get his triple tall. I had had horrible stomach pains the night before and was having a lot of cramping early that morning so I was completely freaking out. A few bathroom trips later, and the stomach finally settled down. We arrived early at LA Fitness in Pasadena, MD to pick up my race bib and chip. The race shirt was a nice long sleeve tech t-shirt. We could all hang out right inside this really nice fitness center, use the bathrooms, and stay warm. The bathroom lines were pretty long, but it was warm and inside so I wasn't complaining. The Running Weatherman had called for some rain but decent temperatures. It was chilly at race start, but I figured that I would warm up as the running got started. At about 7:50, the race director told us all to go outside and assemble on the trail (note about the "trail" part of this marathon: This is not a trail in the traditional trail runner sense. It is a paved rails to trails project so think asphalt running/biking path similar to W&OD).
 We have a quick race brief, a lame version of the national anthem (complete with the locals throwing an 'O' in there), and we are ready to go. Marathoners had a 5 minute head start.
And we are off!

Photo by Paul W. Gillespie — The Capital Gazette
We head out for about 2.5 miles before heading back and passing the start. This was nice because I got to see the boys and give them a hug as I passed by. This also started a bunch of the men half marathoners on "Go Mom!" which they continued to yell at intervals until they finally hit the turnaround. I was settled in at around 9:45-9:50 pace for the first 7 miles and feeling good. I chatted a bit with an ultrarunner guy and a group of run/walk ladies, but then they dropped off at mile 9 to use the bathroom and never caught back up. We lost the half marathoners at mile 9 as well which was good because they were irritating, and I was ready to spread the field out and focus in on the hard part. We had been told that there was a hill at mile 7, but I never saw the hill. There was a small incline to get onto a trail branch, but it didn't really register as a hill. For the most part, the course is boring. It's not very scenic, and it's pretty flat. The only thing you are seeing are backyards of dumpy houses, loading docks of strip malls, and highway. So if you are looking for a scenic course, don't pick this one. I was looking for a course where I could focus and get my time so this one worked. The only neat parts of the run were when we got to run over the old railroad trestles.
I had broken the run into sections in my head. I was hoping that JD and the kids would make it to mile 12-13 aid station, but I wasn't sure so I was telling myself that I could have my ipod at mile 15. I essentially started counting down miles until ipod around mile 10. This part of the run was the least fun as we had to make a detour through a neighborhood. When we were on the sidewalk, it was OK. We went by Severna Park High School where they were having a mulch sale and high schoolers stared at us like we were crazy. At this point the marathon field was pretty strung out, and I was essentially by myself. After passing the high school, we ran about 0.5 miles on a fairly busy street with our backs to traffic and nothing but traffic cones (ie no race volunteers) separating us from the traffic. I was really nervous in this area and was really happy to get back on the trail. As I started into the mile 12 aid station (aid stations were every 3 miles), I was around 10-10:15 for pace and was getting some cramping. I popped an Endurolyte tab (this was risky as I had never tried these before and had no idea how they would work). Then I saw my little guys hopping around. I had dressed them all in green so they were visible from quite far away. As I am coming close to them, JD is telling them "no hugs, no hugs" because he really wanted me to stay focused and stay in my rhythm so we settled for high 5's, and I was back on the trail.

Within about a mile my cramping started to subside so I think the Endurolyte was working. At this point we saw the lead runners on the way back. I knew we had to be getting to a turnaround point so I told myself to hold out on the ipod until the turnaround. This is where we get an unexpected hill. It normally wouldn't be an issue, but at mile 16.5 it felt hard. So I put on the headset and hear Eminem tell me "'Cause sometimes you just feel tired,Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse." That got me up that incline and moving along so 'Til I Collapse was on repeat for a good 2 miles. Then I was tell myself that it was just 2 miles to the boys. I was still running in the 10s at this point. I came into the 20 mile aid station and saw my little leprechauns leaping around. I picked up some oranges and some water and got hugs this time. It was around 20.25 miles with time at 3:27 so I had a chance at 4:30, but it wasn't likely given I hadn't run under 10 since the beginning of the race. I just focused on not falling apart and moving forward for the last 10K. My legs were getting really crampy, and for some dumb reason I didn't bother to use anymore fuel after mile 20. It probably would have helped me as there were two more aid stations where I took water, but just didn't use any of the honey stingers. Somewhere around mile 24, I was really starting to feel awful. I looked at the watch and knew that I could still get in the 4:30s if I could just keep a decent pace. I was in the 11s by this point and hoping to stay there. I dropped to a 12 minute pace in the last mile and finally saw the 26 mile marker and could see the finish line ahead. The boys were all cheering for me, and Nic and Zach ran in beside me. JD snapped an awesome finish line photo.

Here's the medal!


Official time was 4:35:32 which was 130/181 overall; 32/54 females; and 4/8 35-39 females.
 Resting this week and ready to take on 17.75K with the Marines next weekend. Lots of half marathons on the schedule for the spring. Pretty sure that we are going to sign up for the Drake Well Marathon.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Backyard Burn #2 - Wakefield Regional Park

The week leading up to the second installment of the Backyard burn was packed full of problems.  First, it snowed 10 inches on Wednesday...problem, not really but given the condition of the last race, we were even wondering if this trail would be runnable.  The snow was short lived as it was 50+ the next day.  Then I got this massive ear infection and swollen boot, it was painful to run..did 8 on Thursday and 7 on Friday...all in massive don't know how much you need your neck to run until its really I get some antibiotics and anti-anflamatory medicince, all of which F's with you stomach.  So today finally arrives and all is pretty much feeling good...I am working on a 35 mile run week and my stomach is doing roller coasters..who knows how well I will do.  Before we get to the park, we stop off at MiccyD's for some fresh bathroom action.  So we get there around 7:30, pick up the packet and BIB number:

Its around 30F in the morning which was not what I was expecting but as Vincent says in Collateral "Now we gotta make the best of it, improvise, adapt to the environment, Darwin, shit happens, I Ching, whatever man, we gotta roll with it" Anyway, after 23 visits to the shitter, I am finally empty or at least empty enough to run.  Jim does his pre game talk and we are off, drop a 7:30 first mile thinking get out in front of these people before the trail clogs up with people.   The first 5.5 miles goes pretty uneventful as I have a 45+ minute 5.5 mile time, miles 6 and 7 I run with this guy who ran with me last race however I dropped him thinking I run a little harder.  From miles 8 until the end, I passed around 5-6 people and was only getting stronger.  I ended up with a time of 1:21:31 which got me 14th out of 40+ 40-49 year olds.  Looking back, I really didn't run that hard until the end but oh well - I just did not know how I would feel....Final results were 54th out of 173 overall, 14th out of 31 in my age group....  Compared to hemlock, this bitch was nothing which explains the 7 minute difference.  As always, this race is my new PR since I have never ran this trail before.  Here is a quick pic of the tents after the race:

My next race is in two weeks, a 17.75K trail run down at Quantico, VA.

Burn #2 (aka Revenge of the Bear Bell)

This morning was race #2 of the EX2 Backyard Burn Series at Wakefield Regional Park. The race website describes the course as "fast with mostly flat even terrain and only a few stream crossings. Competitors will run over cinder trails, under power lines, and along single-track." I had run parts of this course during the previously described ill-fated MLK Day 5K. Given that this was EX2, I was hoping for a far better experience. We stopped for a bathroom break at a McDonald's before getting to the course (yes, we were super early even though it was spring forward). I saw a cute sign and adopted it as my mantra for the day. It was really cold when we checked in and got our 28 degrees. I was starting to question the weather forecast of mid-40s by race start. I hung out in the car browsing Trail Runner and trying to stay warm. I finally got out with about 30 minutes until race time and was pleasantly surprised to find that it had warmed up. Suddenly, I spotted Bear Bell Man!! (JD snapped a stealth photo for me.)

Jim did his usual spiel, and we were off.
Courtesy of Swim Bike Run Photography (JD is in the foreground, and you can spot me in the leprechaun shirt in the back)

 We had a 1 mile prologue on pavement and gravel to string out the field. I got a little overexcited and ran this section in 8:30. I did not need to be doing that a week before my marathon since this was just supposed to be an easy taper run. I reigned myself in and settled in around 9:30 for the second mile. I let myself get irritated by the twisty single track and didn't enjoy the next few miles. Bear Bell was about .25 miles ahead of me, and I was hearing that damn bell at every twist and turn in the track. I was also getting really hot by the time we came through the first loop. I came through 5.5 miles at around 57 minutes so my time was irritating me too. I tossed my gloves near one of the race volunteers, pulled myself out of my irritation and started to really enjoy the run. Coming into the second loop, I caught a large pack of women who all looked to be somewhere in my age group. I kept telling myself to just hold onto this pack for as long as possible and hope that I had some kick to take some of them down at the end. We were running in a line of about 10 runners for 2.5 miles when gradually a few women dropped off. I was then left with a pack of 5 runners of which I was in the back. I started to pick them off one by one passing strategically and hoping that I could hold them off. My big break came at the water stop with 1 mile left to go. The remaining 3 women stopped for water, and I ran through the stop. I had one more small hill with switchbacks to navigate, and I knew I was home free. At this point, I realized that I was gaining on Bear Bell so I decided to try to take him down again this week. We hit some open field cinder track that was pretty straight, and I started pushing the pace until I finally passed him.
Courtesy of Swim Bike Run Photography...I'm a speedy little leprechaun, and you can see Bear Bell in the background.

 At that point I could see the soccer field and knew that the finish chute was straight ahead. I didn't bother to look at my watch, but I was really hoping to be near 1:40. As I was coming to the chute another runner yelled to me that I could break 1:40 if I pushed it so I gave one final sprint and crossed the line at 1:39:21. I was elated as this was my first distance trail run where I have averaged under 10 minute miles. I probably could have run harder given that the trail was mostly flat and not very technical, but I was trying to run smart and not burn myself up before next week. I was even happier because my goal last week had been to finish before Jim started the awards. My goal this week was to finish before all of the breakfast burritos were gone. I got my breakfast burrito! So only 9 easy miles and 5 days now separate me from B&A Trail Marathon. I'm in a good place mentally and feeling strong and confident that I can at least get under 5 hours if not the 4:30 goal that I really want. (no, we didn't play on the playground before the race)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Burn #1 (Where We Meet Bear Bell)

Photo by Swim Bike Run Photography
Last week JD and I ran the first 10 mile race in the EX2 Spring Backyard Burn Series at Hemlock Overlook. The race website notes that "This challenging race course consists mostly of hiking trails (including the Bull Run Occoquan Trail), old dirt roads, and open fields. Competitors will run over rocks and roots, cross a few streams, and up some hills." What they don't tell you is that you are going to spend a lot of time hiking. I would estimate that a good 1/3 of the loop is not runnable unless you are a mountain goat.
Sure, that's really runnable! (Swim Bike Run Photography)

 I had run this course last fall as the last race of the series. Since I am in marathon training, I was hoping to improve my time on the course so I was eager to get going. It was really cold on race morning...high 20s with a decent wind. Hemlock is nice because there is a large warm lodge with indoor bathrooms where you can check in and hang out before the race. I want to give a huge props up to Jim Harman for creating a women's t-shirt specifically for this race series. It is sized for women, and was a different color than the men's t-shirt so a really nice premium and doubly nice to have something specifically for women in the trail racing circuit. While I was waiting I noticed the word perseverance on the ceiling of the lodge. It stuck in my head and became useful later on during the race. We did our usual pre-race brief and casual start including stringing the field out on some pavement running. Once you hit the trail at Hemlock, you are really into the thick of it. This is definitely the most technical trail in the series and probably some of the most technical trail in the NoVa area. By about mile 2, you are into bouldering along a rushing stream which was not pleasant with the wind whipping past you. The first 5 mile loop on the trail was not too messy because the trail was still frozen.
Swim Bike Run Photography

 I came through the first lap at 57 minutes so I knew that I had a chance to improve on the 1:54 that I ran in December. I felt momentary hatred for the 5 milers who were scarfing down breakfast burritos, but then I got my head back in the game and headed out on loop #2. I tried to run loop #2 more aggressively, but it was getting difficult as the trail was warming up and getting very slippery in places. I had been following some idiot with a bear bell tied to a backpack for most of the first loop. I was praying that he was turning off at the end of 5 miles because the bell was driving me nuts. (Don't ask me why he was carrying a backpack or why he needed a bear bell in a forest that has no reported bear sightings and had 300 runners out on the trails.) Unfortunately, he did not turn off so my goal because to stay with the bell. As we hit the boulder section, bear man stopped because he was having issues with his shoes, and I passed him. Then my goal became don't let bear bell catch me again. I could hear him behind me the entire time, but I kept pushing. I hiked the hills as quickly as I could and then really pushed the pace on the runnable sections. I almost lost it a few times on the barely single trail section in the last mile, but I held on and managed not to fall at all.
Swim Bike Run Photography

I finished in 1:52 so I was thrilled with a 2 minute PR for the course. This put me in 14/24 for 30-39 females and gave me 7 series points. I had just been hoping to get 1 point so I'm thrilled with 7 points. Next up is Burn #2 at Wakefield which promises to be mostly flat, not very technical, and fast.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Backyard Burn #1: Hemlock Overlook - Clifton, VA

Last year, heather and I signed up for the backyard burn series which is composed of 5 10 mile trail runs throughout Northern VA.  Last year, I was nursing an achilles tendonitis thing and never got to run any of the races.  So the first trail 10 miler was at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park in Clinton, VA.  The day of the race was Sunday March 3rd, 2013 - the weather when we woke up was 29F and a tad windy...not exactly great running weather but not that bad either.  So we get up around 5am, I down some water and have two pieces of raisin bread.  Not really enough for a 10 miler as difficult as Hemlock.  So we get there nice and early, pick up our bibs, packet, and BYB t-shirt, then back to the car to warm up!

 Walking down to the rec center at Hemlock, I get a shot of heather:

Finally comes time for the race.   Jim, the race director of the BYB series and EX2 Adventures lays out the course and explains how technical it is around 8:50am, 10 minute before the race.  As far as trail races go, he does an awesome job marking the trails.    So after Jim gives us the rundown of the race, he says, "were starting in 45 seconds"....a little jolting but hey, I guess I am ready...then were first mile was an 8:07 and was pretty good but that is before we even hit the meat of the trail.  As we do the a small loop to string out the runners before you get into the trail (a common strategy for race directors to get people spread out before bunching everyone up), we hit the opening of the first 5 mile loop.  Below is a snapshot of me over the rock farm at hemlock - of course the pic is not to flattering and makes me look like I have a gut or something...
 Below is another action photo:

The wind could actually be felt through the trees which was interesting b/c it must of been worse out in the open.  The course was very hilly and had a nice stretch of just rocks, not little rocks, prehistoric bitches that turned the run into a hike immediately.  Then after the rock farm, you hit a major uphill run...I am thinking shit, this is a real trail with real hills.  I finally get to the 5 mile mark and the 5 milers peel off and I see the clock which was 45 minutes and a few seconds.  I had no idea if I was running to hard or not hard I had to piss something about 5.5 miles in, I stopped to take a piss....figured there was no way possible  to place...Below you can see the result of two tumbles down the hill but still in one piece...

The second 5 miler went about the same and I ended up with a time of 1:28:42 with a overall place of 46th out of 172.  I finished 18th in the 40-49 age group good enough to get me 3 points for the first run.  Did I run my fastest race, I don't think so but it was the first time I ran it and really had no idea how to run the hills...My next race is next Sunday, the 10th of March at Wakefield Park...not as many hills and less technical...yay but it means the times will be faster.  All in all had a fun time running with heather...she PR'd by 2 minutes from the last time she ran hemlock so that is awesome.  Did 10 miles this morning and will try to get around 35 miles in this week and maybe 40 next week...