So if you've spent any length of time reading this blog, you know that we are anything but typical, and we're ok with that.
Today most of the country's kiddos headed back to school. Not us, we started last week and are doing 'school-lite' this week. Ella is hanging out with her cousin Jennifer and Aunt Cindy until Saturday so Hank will do just math, spelling and literature. He and Ella do all the other subjects together, and I want to keep them on the same schedule.
I had 4.5 miles on the schedule for today and planned to do mile repeats again. We had an insanely busy weekend so I slept in; that meant I would need to take the boys with me. We loaded up the truck and headed to the tow path. I figured I could push Shane in the stroller while Jake stayed with Hank on their bikes.
We've been trying to convince Hank he can stand up and pedal. He wouldn't even consider it so we couldn't take him places with hills. He actually tried it today and thought it was pretty cool.
The tow path is mostly tree covered with a few stretches that are not so I was worried my Garmin would lose its signal. It did give me some wonky pace times occasionally, but otherwise it worked really well!
When we first started out, it showed me running like a 15 minute mile - for quite a while. Then it showed me running a 12ish m/m. I was disappointed because I didn't see how I could run much faster and still keep that pace for 4 more miles. Thankfully at some point it figured itself out and showed my actual pace...which was - surprise! - too fast.
You can see from the elevation chart that the tow path is really, truly flat. There are a few spots here and there with little hills, but it's a 180 from the hilly roads around here.
Mile 1 was 10:11
Mile 2 - 10:46
Mile 3 - 10:32 (this is what I'm aiming for each mile, one day I hope to be consistent!)
Mile 4 was 13:39 - I had a little rebellion in the stroller and had to stop to encourage my passenger to change his evil ways. I walked and talked to him but didn't stop my watch. Too many things to do at once...my brain shorts out.
The last half mile was 5:23 or a 10:45 pace.
Miles 2 and 3 were pretty good so I'm making progress in the right direction at least!
We finished our bike/run and put Jake's bike along with the stroller back in the truck so Shane could ride his bike for a little while. It rained a little yesterday so there were some mud puddles on the path. I would have been a little disappointed in my boys if they didn't make a beeline for at least a few of them. Shane hit *every* one. He was completely oblivious to anyone else on the path. The only thing on his radar was the next puddle. Thankfully the few people we passed were very kind and gave him a wide berth.
Here he is making rooster tails in one puddle. One cool benefit of training wheels is sometimes being able to spin your peddles really fast and not move - like a stationary bike.
We went about half a mile and pulled off to walk down by the river. Shane found a snake skin that looked like a Copperhead skin. :shudder:
Gotta dig in the mud and toss a few rocks, too
The view upriver
Future mountain biker
The Appalachian Trail actually meets the tow path at the parking lot we were in. We weren't completely exhausted so we decided to head up the AT just to see what we could see. I also wondered if it was a good spot to run some hill repeats. Up into the woods we went...for about a quarter mile until the path became a ledge with a sheer drop to the creek below. Had it been just me and the big boys, it wouldn't have been a big deal, but Shane is too unpredictable for that sort of risk so we turned around and headed back to the truck to go home.
It was a very fun and productive morning. Tonight is the first football practice. I'm sure I'll have a million pictures to share!