After a glorious two-day workweek, Bill and I headed out of town super early Wednesday morning for the mountains of Southwestern Virginia. As much as we love where we live, it’s always refreshing to return to our old stomping grounds on the Virginia Tech campus and the surrounding area. A visit to the farm to see my mom is just icing on the cake. Here’s how I tied my fitness routine into our travels…



I did something I don’t often do anymore, I ran three days in a row…

Tuesday’s run was at the butt-crack of dawn, solo, and thankfully completely uneventful as compared to last Thursday’s run. Wednesday, though, is where the fun began!

As I mentioned, Bill and I left home early on Wednesday for a five-day visit to SWVA. Along our way, we stopped in Roanoke County for a run/hike along the Appalachian Trail up to McAfee Knob, a favorite destination trail run for the two of us. It was 49° with a bright blue sky when we started our run and pretty close to what I consider perfect running weather. I ran most of the way, but stopped to walk a few of the steeper and more technical sections which is one of the things I love about trail running – it’s not frowned upon to walk up the steeper inclines. 😉 Bill did as much running as he dared and had a cold ice pack at the ready in our car for his knee after our run.


The pièce de résistance of running or hiking to McAfee Knob is posing for a picture on the iconic cliff overhang overlooking the Catawba Valley.


As you can see from the elevation chart below, there’s around 1,200 feet to climb over 4 miles to get to the scenic overlook, but as they say, “What goes up, must come down,” and the return run back to the parking lot is a lot easier and more fun. It was a fantastic 8-mile run!


After a delightful evening in Blacksburg and an unexpected dinner with our nephew who just happened to be in town on business, we headed out Thursday morning for a hike (run for me) to Cascades Falls in nearby Giles County. The Cascades, as they’re better known as, is a big destination hike for Virginia Tech students and I first made the hike my freshman year.


I had a little extra time to run while Bill stopped to take pictures and I ended up getting in 6.5 miles on this 4-mile round trip. Again, the weather cooperated beautifully with 42° and a slightly overcast sky.


As you can see from the elevation chart below, there’s around 700 feet of gain during the 2-mile hike to the waterfall.


After stopping by to see a few friends at their tailgates, we headed into Lane Stadium early for the Thursday night game. Sadly, our young team had a rough night and after the first 24-minutes of an explosively offensive game (it was 21 -21), we fumbled a punt, the other team scored, and the whole atmosphere both on the field and in the stadium shifted.



Even though I didn’t make it outside on my bike this past week, I did hop on my spin bike on Monday afternoon. I was definitely aware of my glute which really bummed me out (BTW, it’s feeling much better now). I’m determined to keep up my cycling fitness over the winter so I’m not starting from zero come spring. Hopefully, we’ll have a few more warm days so I can get outside on my new bike between now and spring.


Weight Training

Making the time to strength train three times a week makes me feel pretty badass even though I’m at a point in my life where maintaining the amount of weight I lift is pretty much equal to increasing the weights when I was younger. While we were traveling, I limited my strength training to squats, lunges, pushups, dips, and of course, my daily planks; once in the hotel room and once at my mom’s house.



Knowing that I’d be traveling from Wednesday through Sunday, I made sure to do my yoga sessions that require following along on a DVD before I hit the road, leaving the ones I wing as I go along for while I was out of town. My yoga for runners routine includes hamstring stretches with a rope, downward facing dog, pigeon pose, lightning pose, bound ankle cobbler’s pose, etc.


In case you skipped checking in on my blog this past week, here’s what you missed…

Looking ahead to this coming week…

  • Monday – Please feel free to join me for Race Linkup and let your friends know which races they can find you running in the next few months.
  • Thursday – I’ll be talking about running on the Appalachian Trail and a few ultra runners who made the trek at unbelievable speeds.
  • Friday – I’ll be joining in on the Ultimate Coffee Date fun with Deborah and Coco.


In addition to the runs I mentioned above, here’s a complete run-down of my workouts from this past week (completed mostly in our home gym)…


  • Questions:
  • Do you enjoy running trails?
  • Have you hiked or run on any sections on the Appalachian Trail?
  • Did you race this weekend?


And that’s a wrap… Have a great week!


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