Category Archives: Hiking

Running a 5k and Hiking a Trail

A few days ago, I took a much needed complete day off of waitressing, and this is what I did instead.  Brandon and I signed up to run a 5k–which is only 3.1 miles.  Well…if you haven’t been running consistently 3-4x/week, you may not get the time you want to run it in.  So I’ve been running when I can with my running gear, but still not enough to break any of my own records.  So I thought I’d just wing it and see how I do in hopes for the best.  To my surprise, I did much much better than expected.

Ready to run!

Before the race I had looked up all my previous ran 5ks and the times I ran them in.  They are as follows:

9/29/07  Hit the Brixx 5k ran in 30:30

10/06/07  Komen Charlotte Race for the Cure  33:15 (I remember this instinctively being PACKED with people and I blame my slower chip time on that).

11/03/07  Dowd YMCA 5k  30:06

08/29/09 Greek Festival 5k  36:00 (slowest time yet…taking 2 years off is a factor here)

06/18/11  Summer Breeze 5k 33:20 (As you can see, a much improved time since 09, but still not quite as fast as I was in 07)

Brandon’s chip time for Summer Breeze 5k  was 24:00–which is awesome!! I was so proud of him and he was so proud of me, b/c I wasn’t expecting to break 35min!

Before the race I also was researching how to run a negative split and running tips.  These sites give great advice on running and truly inspired me before the race.  

This is my favorite tip from Angela (OhSheGlows)

5. Boot it: Expect to haul majah booty during the last few minutes! No matter how fast I try to run during the first 90% of the run, I always have to make up for lost time during the last few minutes. And anyways, it’s fun to sprint hard the last bit! I often have negative splits when running short distances with tough goals…it literally forces you to run faster at the end.

I did exactly this during my race and killed it at the end of the race.  I believe that’s how I broke 34minutes was finding every last bit of energy left in my body and sprinting thru the finish line.  I told Brandon after the race, that I felt like everyone at the finish line was clapping for me and yelling my name!  haha…funny

Hiking the trails at Wilson’s Creek

So after running our 5k, I was still determined to go to Wilson’s Creek, a wilderness and hiking area in North Carolina.  At the end of the hiking trail there is an awesome waterfall you can climb down into and sit at with beach blankets, so we were excited to do that at the end of the hike.  We got our puppy life jacket, water bottles, sandwiches for the ride, and backpacks and were ready for our hike!

Brandon and Lacey led the way thru the trail.  I liked to follow in Brandon’s footsteps behind him to make sure I was stepping in the correct spots on the path.  Wrong false move and I was slipping on a slippery rock and breaking my knee…again.

There's nothing more masculine than this!

Apparently Lacey’s been here before in her past doggie life.  She led the entire way there to the waterfall, like she knew right where to take us.

Today was Lacey’s big day to get as dirty as she wanted to.  Many times when we go out for walks I pull her back and have her avoid walking through mud and rolling around in worms…but today was her day and she was allowed to do all that, if she wanted to.

I love when Lacey makes this smirk!

There were several other dogs, kids, and families around hiking and at the waterfall.

Lacey met a new friend, Callie.

I saw a stream so I knew we were getting closer to the waterfall, so we kept hiking…

and kept hiking….

 and hiking…past a smaller waterfall…

Until…we finally made it!!!

First things first, the little one needed her life jacket put on, and I’m not talking about me.

Lacey must have known we were taking her for an adventure, because she didn’t fuss at all with us about putting this contraption on her.  She just let us, like she’s worn it before.

Now to get down to where the waterfall is from the trail, you must climb down a large rock backwards and hold onto a rope connected to a tree with both hands.  We weren’t sure how we were going to get Lacey down at this point….but good thing she had a handle to hold on to her with at the top of her life jacket!  I watched Brandon carry her down then back up the steep rock like he was carrying a briefcase!  He was very gentle and careful with the sweet girl of course, so she wasn’t jostled around.

Happy puppies like going on hikes!

So we made it safely down to where the waterfall was, I laid out my beach blanket, and sat down with Brandon and Lacey…

Looking down on the waterfall

and what do you think happend next?
If for some reason you can’t tell, when Lacey is wet, her cute powder puff chinese crested look goes away and her tiny chihuahua look comes out.  At this point, I could not capture anything else on camera.  We were soaked, our puppy was soaked and her teeth were chattering and the last thing I could do was get my camera out of a bag when I was trying to keep the inside dry.  So after the rain let up after 15 min or so, we climbed back up the rock with the rope….puppy and all.  I had some personal problems getting back up though and decided I’d try it barefoot.  It worked much much better barefoot and not having slippery sneakers going up the wet rock.  But…it didn’t feel so good…YUCK!
Later on, we cracked up laughing about how we got dumped on with rain and our plan to lay out and relax by the water got ruined.  You have to laugh…really.  So the lesson learned here is….next time don’t forget your doggie raincoats to wear along with your doggie life jackets!