May crept up on me, so I apologize this is late.
Not your typical May flowers scene, but I hope you enjoy it - taken in Florida during a fishing expedition - casting for bait.
To download the May 2016 calendar for free at Box.com, click on the link:
Free May 2016 Calendar - Cast Out
May crept up on me, so I apologize this is late.
I'm headed to the starting line of my fourth full marathon! It may be a rainy repeat of last year's Illinois Marathon, but I've survived one deluge, so I can do it again.
Here's what's been happening with my running:
1. New scenery on today's Rrun, 2. 6 Drops, 6 Miles in the Spring Rain , 3. I'll stop complaining about DST now, 4. Rinse and Repeat , 5. Saturday miles, heading uphill , 6. Many The Miles Today. One down, 19 to go , 7. 19 Down, One to Go, 8. March running
In March, I ran a total of 170 miles, a new monthly PR. I also had weekly PRs of 42 then 43 miles. This was the peak in my marathon training plan (Hal Higdon's Intermediate 1).
So far in April, I've run 123 miles, with lots of great people:
I'll be running with some of them today with the mindset of enjoying the run and being grateful for our abilities to run.
I first met Evan at a Cross Country banquet - when he was in middle school. He's still running and plans to continue in college, at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
I'm friends with Evan's mother and she prefers black and white photos, so I converted the ones she liked.
This one is also a favorite of mine, and happened to be one of the last photos of the day, when I could tell he was tiring of the whole posing / smiling process (that modeling thing is hard work!). I loved the how the light was catching in his eyes, so I took "just a few more". Evan was so polite through all my crazy requests!
Some photography details:
Shot with my Nikon D600 DSLR with a 70-200mm f/4 zoom lens, aperture set to f4 for all the photos. I have been using this set up for all of the portraits I have been taking over the last 3 years. I get great depth of field and nice bokeh. Post processing done in Lightroom 5.
fleeting (adj) ....passing swiftly; vanishing quickly; transient; transitory
spring blossoms bring bursts of color from the dormant ground
buds emerge from barren branches
before lush greenery fills the branched air
the magnolia, cherry blossom and sakura create a veil
petals rain down in the warm breeze,
a fleeting spring,
alive from the ground and in the trees
it is not a metaphor for life? enjoy it while you can.
Nothing says Spring like the Red Bud - heart shaped, tiny flowers provide a delicate veil of color through the emergence of green.
To download the April 2016 calendar for free at Box.com, click on the link:
Free April 2016 Calendar - Red Bud
Caroline is the daughter of a friend, and I am used to seeing her wearing sweatpants or a soccer uniform. She was super fun to photograph - even if it was a little windy and chillier than we would have liked. Caroline has a wonderful smile that matches her fun personality and is simply beautiful. These are but a small sampling of our work and we have a follow up scheduled to capture sporty photos on the soccer pitch with friends.
Caroline plans to attend the University of Illinois in the fall and she looks right at home on the Main Quad, with Foellinger Auditorium in the background. It's Spring Break week, so we had the entire quad to ourselves.
This photo is one of my favorites from our session. I knew it was special when I was looking through the viewfinder.
Photography Note - To shoot this, I asked Caroline to look down as I set the focus point on the camera, and then I had her slowly lift her head to look at me. This gives the model some "downtime" from smiling / trying not to blink and allows them to relax a bit.
I still have many photos to cull through and I look forward to getting together with Caroline again.
For the third consecutive year, January signaled the start of spring marathon training. As I've done for the last two years, I plan to run the Illinois Marathon at the end of April.
I am a member of the local running club, which sponsors a half and full marathon training program. The program includes organized group runs in pace groups. This year, I have taken on the role of pace group leader, which means I have some additional responsibilities - keeping the group on pace, knowing the route and keeping folks together. I try to keep the group "entertained" with "witty banter" (i.e, they get to hear all the weird stuff that happened to me the previous week, like my quad injury and the squirrel that nested in my daughter's car) and encourage conversations so we all get to know each other better. I've gained numerous friends through this program, learned a ton about running marathons and gained confidence in my running ability. I now try to encourage new runners and first time marathoners.
Back in the fall of 2015, I started a Wednesday morning running group and we have continued thought the dark, cold winter months. What started as a small group of friends from yoga class has expanded to include co-workers and marathon trainees. I am amazed that I've somehow convinced a bunch of people that it is fun to run at 5:30am, in snow, rain, bitter cold and darkness. We had our biggest group a few weeks ago, with 9 people. Of course the week prior we had, um, one person (that would be me) running in pre-blizzard conditions. I guess everyone has their limits!
1. First Run of 2016! , 2. Pre race. Perfect day for a trail run, 3. 6 mile view, 4. Right Here Right Now, 5. And Marathon Training has officially started , 6. Cold Weather Don't Care , 7. First Snow run of the season. , 8. Four Crazies on this morning's run in fresh snow! , 9. Winter's Canpoy, 10. Prelude , 11. Back At It, 12. Tank top Running weather. , 13. In the Groove., 14. Strata Sky, 15. Chime My 14 Miles
120 miles, including a trail race to start the New Year
98 miles, lower than plan due to the Quad injury I sustained while stretching in yoga class. I took a full week off from activity to let my leg heal.
I ended the month strong with a weekly mileage PR - 40 miles in one week.
So that's what's been going on with my running. With the time change to Daylight Savings Time, our morning runs will start and end in darkness again, but the promise of warmth and light increases daily and it is starting to feel like spring.