I’m either running or disappointed: week in review

That is probably an over-dramatic title and not indicative of my entire week. I’m currently in a funk because we were supposed to be camping tonight. But…last night the air quality jumped from “moderate” to unhealthy and it hasn’t noticeably improved over the course of the day. I was prepared to tough it out because, well, disappointed. But even my husband, who’s less sensitive to the smoke than I, is feeling its effects. Since the smoke has obscured all the sunshine and rainbows over here, I feel like it’s a good time to vent about a few other things….


I was geared up to run an experiment this week, but ended up spinning my wheels the entire week instead. Reasons: 1) some data I need pre-experiment was inconclusive; 2) people I needed to meet with were on vacation; 3) an instrument I need to analyze samples isn’t working. 1 and 2 should be solved by Tuesday, but who knows about 3.

The good: I sent a bunch of emails and made forward progress on some of the subject matter. And….that’s pretty much it.


My garden is a mess. Some of my vegetables have barely grown at all. The bean plants just stopped growing at about 6″, the chard is even smaller, and some of the carrots are normal while some are tiny. I’ve always had trouble getting squash to pollinate; the zucchini is having the same problem this year. The winter squash plants, though, have produced a grand total of ONE female flower for all five plants. They’ve been producing male flowers for at least a month, so it’s surely past time for some female ones.

Most of the garden bed is also overrun with ants. The ants are building an entire empire in my raised beds. I suspect this is contributing at least to the bean and squash woes. They seem to stay away from kale, tomatoes, and mint, though. Maybe I need to intersperse those throughout the garden.

The good: I can reliably grow tomatoes, brassicas (mostly kale and cabbage this year), and most herbs. If you need a 3-foot sage bush or more kale plants than you know what to do with, I’m your gardener. I’m very serious about the kale. My plants have produced thousands of seeds and you can have some.


Finally, the part of the week where I actually accomplished everything I intended to. I have 3 races I hope to run in late September through mid October: a trail 30K, a (flat) trail/road 8K, and a (steep) trail 14K. My rough training plan goes as follows. Top priority: increase my long run to 15-16 miles by Labor Day weekend. Second priority: alternate between steep trail workouts one week, road speed workouts the next. And round that out with 1-2 easy runs per week, preferably on trails.

Last week I did a steep trail workout, so this week I did a speed workout. I started too late in the morning and fizzled out in the last half of the workout, but it got done. I also had two short, easy trail runs during the week.

It was a bit smoky during this run, but it looks a lot worse than it is.

Saturday I ran 11 trail miles to Emerald and Heather lakes. Ideally I would do long runs on trails similar to the 30K race, but the uphill for the race has about a 5-6% grade and most of the nearby trails are steeper. This trail averages about a 7% grade, so better than most; plus it’s a trail I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. I settled into a steady pace for the first 3 miles, but slowed way down during the 4th mile. When I checked my GPS data later, I realized why: the grade increases to 11+%. The trail flattens out a bit before reaching Emerald Lake.

This photo is deceptive; most of the trail is steeper and more rocky.


Then climbs another steep grade to Heather Lake.

Look, I found some snow!

And after all that I ran back downhill and stopped for donuts on the way home.



How do you regroup when plans fall through?

Any advice for exterminating an ant empire?

Linking up with Meghan for week in review and Holly and Wendy for Weekly Wrap

22 Comment

  1. Wendy says: Reply

    Looks so pretty! We’re having hazy conditions, which is being blamed on the Canadian wildfires. Who knew it would affect us?

    Glad to hear you accomplished all your runs–the humidity has been affecting mine!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Smoke can go a long way in the right (wrong) conditions! And humidity is the worst.

  2. Bummer on the garden. I am so the opposite of a green thumb which is so upsetting as a vegetarian. I feel like I should be a master gardener 🙂

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I have mixed gardening results myself, but kale and its relatives have always basically grown themselves for me. There’s not much that bothers them, except heat, so they are usually spring/fall veggies.

  3. My garden is a disaster…but in an overgrown, jungle-like kind of way. I have way too many cherry tomatoes (and I love them, but I honestly cannot eat 100 of them daily. My regular tomatoes are now starting to get out of control. I have way more jalapeno peppers than I could ever swallow (I’m gonna take those to work and let my co-workers help themselves). And, I have ZERO time to deal with all of this LOL I plan on making tomato sauce and salsa…just not sure when….
    But, good job on all of your runs 😉

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Well that’s a better kind of disaster! I would take some of those jalapenos off your hands if I lived closer….

  4. Sounds like you’ve got a good training plan there for those three very different races. Have fun with those! Sorry to hear about the air, how awful but sensible not to expose yourselves to it too much.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      I’m hoping it works out well! Thankfully the smoke is leaving us alone for a bit now.

  5. Kim G says: Reply

    Sorry to hear about all the smoke there 🙁
    I have a brown thumb so I don’t even try to garden anymore, lol.
    Good job on your runs last week!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Thank you!

  6. Starting too late in the morning can really mess things up. I’m sorry your air quality has been affected by the fires. It’s really sad all the environmental issues we’ve been having lately. Florida has become overrun by Red Tide and Green Algae which messes with my normal routes. I can’t run by the beach/ocean anymore because the smell is so bad.
    Montana @ Pretty Lil Mudder recently posted…Space Coast Marathon Training Week 5: 8/12-8/18My Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      It really can. I know algae are a huge issue in the Gulf, but I didn’t realize they were stinky too!

  7. I made a few futile attempts at growing something years ago but the squirrels were my problem. So, I gave up without much of a fight. I hope your air quality improves soon. I’m sorry you weren’t able to go camping as planned. That just stinks! Thanks for linking.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Thankfully the squirrels have left us alone – maybe they avoid our furcritters?

  8. Laurie says: Reply

    Your trail pictures look so appealing! Where is the Emerald Lake that you mention? My son lives in Steamboat Springs, CO and I have gone to the Emerald Lake near there many times.

    I ran a rail trail marathon on Sunday in Washington state. We kept getting smoke updates from the race director before the race. I could smell smoke, and it was kind of hazy, but still beautiful.
    Laurie recently posted…The Luckiest Dog in the WorldMy Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      It’s near Bozeman – I think there are a lot of Emerald lakes! I’m glad the smoke wasn’t too bad for your race.

  9. We’ve been trying diatemaeous earth for the ants, since it’s non toxic to the furkids. I’m not sure how much success we’ve had, but our raised beds are really raised & they haven’t gotten into that.

    I have the same problem with my summer squash! My beds are probably to crowded. The strawberries did well, but something kept getting at them. The tomatoes are doing well, and the peppers are finally budding up. I also have a edamame plant in there & the pods are almost ready & I’m excited!

    That’s too bad about the smoke. 🙁 I hope that you can go camping another weekend? It’s not my thing but I can see the appeal of getting away from it all.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Our ants seem to gravitate to raised areas – they’re in one of the flowerpots too. And I’ve recently learned that ALL of our furkids like to lay in the raised beds (really not helping matters….) so non-toxic is good.

      Our weekends are pretty booked now, but I’m still trying to make it work.

  10. Your trail run training plan looks great! I am so envious of the trails that you get to run, though that 11% grade would kill me!

    We’ve got a pretty overgrown tomato garden going on. Thankfully no ants, but last year we had squash and the squash bugs were a real menace! We hadn’t tried to grow kale, I wonder how well it would do in our soil?
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Road to Recovery Week 2 RecapMy Profile

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Thanks! And I definitely do not run the whole way on that grade.

      Kale seems to put up with most conditions, apart from bolting in the heat (but my kale is an annual and most are biennial – I don’t think those bolt).

  11. I hope the air quality clears up soon and your equipment gets sorted out and fixed fast.

    I can relate to your garden woes. My squash never pollinated either and the squirrels and birds are eating everything else, except the kale, before I can pick it myself. Bastards.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      What is with the squash? We have some birds living in a tree right by our garden, but they don’t seem to care about it for some reason. At least kale seems resistant to most things.

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