I’m in the 6th week of my 16-week Run Less Run Faster (affiliate link) training cycle for my OBX Half Marathon, but with yesterday’s Shenandoah Half I feel like I should be wrapping it up. What I set out to run simply as an easy long training run, I ended up racing, but more on that later in today’s post and in my race recap.

We started out the week while still on vacation on the Outer Banks. We considered heading home on Monday, a few days early, to avoid the tropical storm heading our way, but we decided to weather it out and enjoy our last three days of rest and relaxation.

Always planning ahead, I decided to do my track workout on Monday and my tempo run on Wednesday so I could rest two days before Saturday’s half marathon.

I headed out on Monday morning at low tide to a very angry ocean and the wind mostly coming from the east. Foam and waves were lapping up on shore as if the tide were coming back in rather than still on its way out. My training plan called for an easy 1-mile warm-up and 1-mile cool-down with 2 x 1200 and 4 x 800 intervals. I was to keep my 1200 pace at 7:35 and my 800 at 7:27.

I struggled again with speed and ran my 1200’s at 8:35 and 8:16 and my 800’s at 8:44, 8:54, 8:37, and 8:33, all well above my targeted pace. I’ll be interested to see how this coming week’s paces are once I’m back on the high school track.


Of course, on the high school track there’s no way I’ll be treated to wild horses running my way. Right in the middle of one of my Monday repeats, I looked in the distance and saw two wild horses galloping straight toward me. I ran higher on the beach to allow them both to pass before continuing on with my run.


With a tropical depression/storm headed our way, we considered driving home Monday afternoon. Once we decided not to leave, we headed down the beach to the store to stock up on a few more groceries. Warning flags were placed all along the beach and with the tide much higher than usual, traffic had to hug the dunes to avoid getting stuck in the mucky sand.


Waves were occasionally lapping up to Laughing Gull, the house closest to the ocean along the 4 x 4 beach, and we had to yield to oncoming traffic to get around it.


Neither Bill nor I slept very well Monday night with sustained winds at 20 MPH and gusts up to 60 MPH. We could hear the rain slapping against the windows and feel the house rocking on its pilings. I crossed another item off my bucket list of being at the beach during a tropical storm, but I removed another item – weathering a category 1 hurricane.

Early Tuesday afternoon I headed out for a walk and a little yoga on the beach. Waves were coming all the way up to our road so I picked a high spot that seemed somewhat safe from water washing my GoPro out to sea.  Apparently, I didn’t pick a spot quite high enough…



For Wednesday’s run, waves kept me farther away from the water where the sand was a little more soft even though I planned my run for while the tide was heading out and close to low. The storms had changed the shape of the beach and there was much more of a camber to my usually flat running trail. My plan called for  a 7-mile run with a 1-mile easy warm-up, 2 miles at tempo, 1 mile easy recovery, 2 miles at tempo, and a 1-mile easy cool-down. I was supposed to run my tempos at an 8:28 pace, but hit them at 8:56, 8:56, 9:28, and 9:09. I could definitely feel a difference in my push-off in the softer sand, and that, combined with an incredibly strong headwind on the last half of my run, helped me rationalize my slower paces.


Once back at the house, I foam rolled and as I headed into the kitchen for breakfast, I felt an odd pain in my lower back/oblique area. I thought nothing much of it and spent the morning vacuuming and cleaning before we closed the beach house up to head home. After sitting for 6 hours riding home, I could barely walk without pain as we unpacked our SUV.

I hardly slept that night because I woke up in agony every time I moved. I pounded Advil (no more than directed, though) and felt sure that based on previous experience with a very similar injury that I’d be fine in a day or two; however, on Thursday I felt only slightly better and carefully only did movements that didn’t hurt while exercising. I had a full schedule on my first day back from vacation and was careful lifting the weights as I handed them to my clients.

In trying to determine what caused my pain, I think it was the perfect storm of running on the soft uneven sand, vacuuming, and then sitting in the car for several hours on our drive home without an opportunity to move around. Whatever the case, I continued as planned on my girls’ overnight trip to the Shenandoah Valley for the National Parks’ Shenandoah Half Marathon, deciding that I would start the race and drop out if necessary.

I left home with my running friends Lupe and Angela at around 2:30 on Friday afternoon. Once in Luray, VA, a tiny town located in the Shenandoah Valley, we headed straight to packet pickup. After picking up our race packets, we drove to Moonshadow Restaurant in downtown Luray.

The three of us shared fried green tomatoes, a first for me!


For dinner, I ordered a crab cake with steamed veggies and rice, and a pinot noir. It was delicious!


On my training plan for my weekend long run was 10 miles, but since I was signed up for the half, I decided to swap out next weekend’s 12 miler for this weekend. Planning ahead, next weekend I’ll only have to run 10 miles while visiting my mom.

The girls and I got up at 4 AM to get to the parking lot by the 5:30 cutoff and catch the race buses. By now I was feeling fine and hoped for a successful race/long training run. It was going to be a game-time decision on whether or not I’d be able to run because I didn’t plan to even run one step until the starting gun sounded.

I don’t want to go into too many of the details of the race other than it was very hilly as you can see from this picture. I experienced zero pain from Wednesday’s injury and continue to feel fine today.


The girls and I all finished within three minutes of each other and all had great runs. Even though we all planned to run at easy training paces we pushed a little harder and felt very satisfied at the end. I was supposed to run my long run at an 11:18 pace, but finished quite a bit faster than that. I’ll save the details for my recap, though.

I doubt I’ll get the recap up until next week because I want to hold off for the official race pictures which are not expected to be available until Friday.


Even though I continued to mix things up this week, I’d say it was a pretty good week of training. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and adjust accordingly. Now that I’m home, I have one more race and a few football games to schedule my long runs around, so some weeks might be just as mixed up as these last few have been. Bottom line, be willing to go with the flow, but plan in advance to get the work done!

Looking ahead to this coming week, on Wednesday please be sure to join me for my monthly Wednesday Word linkup where this month’s word is improvement, and I’m hoping to find time to do a final vacation post later in the week in the way of a simple camera dump.

In case you missed it, this past week I posted the following articles:


In addition to the runs and yoga I mentioned above, here’s a run-down of other workouts I completed this past week…


Fitness tools beyond the equipment in my gym that I used during the week included:

Cameras used for blog photography include:


  • Questions:
  • What interesting things have you seen recently while on a run?
  • Have you run any of the National Parks half marathons? 
  • Did you race this weekend? 


Have a great week!


Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.




I’m linking up with Holly at HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap. Be sure to check out not only the hosts’ posts, but the other great bloggers joining in on the fun!


I’m also linking up with Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC for her Training Recap linkup. Be sure to check out how Courtney the other great bloggers joining the linkup are doing on their fall marathon and half marathon training.