Month: September 2015

And the decision was made

I anxiously spent the whole morning refreshing the BAA webpage waiting to see some news on what the cut off time was for the 2016 Boston Marathon.  And then it updated.

2:28

Oh man.  Ouch.  That was more than I expected.  I was thinking it would be closer to 1:45 or 1:55…

1:32   that’s MY time under qualifying.

So NO, I didn’t make the cut.  Heartbreaking to say the least.  But still, I guess that’s better than being just a few seconds away from the cut off time.   I guess.

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Well, I’m going to go be sad about it for a little bit – and wallow in some self pity.  Then, I’ll be back to my old self again 🙂  But not today.

Bummer for everyone who didn’t make it.

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Thankful Tuesday

On the eve of what is going to be a bad day for more than a few people out there, I thought I would talk about some things that I am thankful for on this day before Boston Marathon cutoff declaration day!

But first, a quick recap of my camping weekend…  It was beautiful weather!

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We found fuzzy critters!

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We had fun fishing.

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The big one got away…

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Here’s funny shot of what I found in the morning – my son’s toes on my daughter’s pillow!  Yes, she is under the blanket, and he somehow stretched across the bed without Sydney noticing it!

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… despite these colorful shoes, I did not run one bit.

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My week of rest is paying off so far.  My foot appears to be on the mend.  I started back to it with two running dates this week!  Yep, TWO!  And one was a new running friend : )  (Yo Jamie!)  And a bestie who is trying to get back to it (Yo Jennifer!!)  You know who you are.

Thankful for =====>  Running friends!!

Thankful for =====>  Delicious desserts made by my husband!!

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And also this love note in my car this morning…

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Thankful for =====>  Being back to running, after that one very long slow walk on my treadmill this week!  Woohoo, almost 2 miles!!

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Thankful for =====>  My happy family!!   This totally would have looked authentic if it wasn’t for Alan’s elbow sticking out…

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And one more set to get some good vibes going for tomorrow… for EVERYONE who registered.

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Stop on back to see what Wednesday brings!!  Have a great Tuesday 🙂

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The waiting game

The BAA announced yesterday that for sure they would not be able to accept all runners who registered for the Boston Marathon.  They are crunching numbers and verifying finish times right now, and by Weds we’ll get to find out who made it in.  My mindset has switched from sad to disappointed, because I’m pretty sure I didn’t get in.  That lightens the blow some I guess.  But as I wait out this week, I have been finding a few things to entertain me.  Wednesday I met with some friends and we got to enjoy this awesome view on the water.  Wouldn’t that be great to see that view everyday?

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Wednesday also greeted me with the reality that a little pain in my foot on Monday was more than just a little pain.  Remember that great workout I had on Monday?  Oh, just a little too soon I guess.  And maybe not the best idea to try to keep up with the XC team.  AND, certainly not the best idea to go for a run on the pain on Tuesday, even though it was with my bestie and we haven’t run forever.  Although I very much enjoyed seeing her again and catching up with each other, it did my foot no good.  At this point, my best self diagnosis is that I have Sesamoiditis.

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When I say “best” self diagnosis, that means the one that looks like it is hopeful to heal on it’s own, and won’t require surgery.  I found many other scary diagnosis that range from removing bones to “it will never go away”, so I’m putting my money on the one that I found which will heal in the shortest amount of time.  And will allow me to still run.  But, if my foot is still feeling this way next week, I will be visiting my Dr for a session of this dialog:

  • Dr:  So, have you been running marathons?
  • Me: Yes!  And now I hurt myself again.
  • Dr:  Do you still have that boot?  Put it on, and you’ll need to stop running for 6 weeks and let it heal.
  • Me:  Ouch.  That hurts more than my foot, or getting rejected for the Boston Marathon!

It’s odd because my foot will hurt annoyingly a lot when I am lying in bed in the morning, after resting it.  It feels like someone is pushing on the spot with a pencil.  A very specific pinpointed pain.  Huh.  I guess that is from stretching my toes and some swelling?  Well, if anyone knows more about this issue, please leave me a comment!

Here’s another thing I’ve been doing to occupy my time lately.  Going to the gym!  I’ve always wanted to attend my gym on a regular basis for weight lifting during my training plan, but that never seems to happen.  But now I have new health insurance that will give me $20 in “health rewards” (good towards my insurance premium) if I go to the gym at least 8 times during the month.  What?  Sounds like a challenge to me!

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I’ve got to say I’ve been doing a great job considering I just started going after the marathon (the 14th) this month and I’ve already been to the gym 6 times.  I’ll make my goal after all.  I took this stealth selfie just to prove that I was actually working out.  So sly!!!!

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Q:  Have you ever had any running injury that required something more than just “stop running and rest it?”

Q:  If given that challenge, (I mean “opportunity!”), would it be easy for you to go to the gym 8 times a month?

If the gym was the primary place I worked out it would be no problem.  Too bad I can’t just turn in my Garmin logs and show them I’ve been running!  

Q:  Got any fun plans this weekend?

We are heading out camping this weekend.  Should be beautiful weather!

Happy Friday everyone!!

Two great things and a sucky ending

Monday was my first official day back to training since Erie Marathon.  Yippie!!  On tap was intervals, 5 x 800’s (1/2 mile) with a mile of warm up.  I went out right after the kids got on the school bus.  The morning was actually crisp and chilly.  You can feel Fall in the air!!  Not to mention all of the leaves starting to fall on the running trail.  Ahhhhhh…..

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I picked out a straight boring mile section of the trail and ran back and forth.  The intervals were supposed to start at 10K pace, but I’m not always so good at keeping my pace outside so I just ran fast.  Intervals ended up being faster than 10K, each around 7:33.  VERY happy with those results.

Must have been my snazzy new compression socks!  It was a good morning for them – they kept my legs warm.

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Next great thing on my agenda was later in the afternoon.  I got to run with the cross country team.  It was a “hill run”.  We ran over to a hill 1.5 miles away from the school, then ran up and down the hill.  Zachary got to bike along for support too.   We were kinda like sheep dogs keeping the team in line 🙂

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The hill is killer.  It’s a sledding hill.  I ran up and down it three times.  That was about half of what the team was doing.  I thought my heart was going to jump right out of my chest!!

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Look out kids, old lady coming through!!

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We even found a baby snake.  Awwwwww, so cute!

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After that hard work we all ran over to the ice cream stand for some treats.  Ice cream has never tasted so good!!

And for the sucky part of my day – I was excited for approximately 5 mins when I got to register for the 2016 Boston Marathon.  My excitement was short lived as we read about how registration was up 15% from last year.  For sure, the BAA will be breaking some hearts again this year by turning away some runners, and it’s most likely I will be one of them.  Which totally SUCKS.  That’s all for  now, because I don’t even like to think about it, it’s getting me sad.  I’m purposely avoiding all the personal opinions on what the cutoff time will be.  That really doesn’t help.  Everyone should know by Sept 30th if they made the cut or not.   I’ll try my best to stay positive, but it’s really not looking so good at this point.

To end on  a happy note, my kitty was hanging out with me this morning 🙂

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Q:  Have you ever wanted something so bad and you don’t get it?

HAHA, just kidding, I wasn’t going to mention it again, right?  It is what it is.  It’s just too bad everyone can’t run.  I just wish they would change the qualification times again so people aren’t disappointed after they register.

Q: Do you ever wear compression socks in the summer?  Just wondering because they are pretty warm.

Q: Favorite topping for ice cream?

I chose hot fudge for my ice cream treat.  Yum, oh yum!

 

 

 

Busy weekend wrap up

Wow, what a busy weekend it was!  Our weekend started with an exciting Friday night.  Our daughter plays clarinet and the 7th & 8th grade band students played with the high school band during the football game half time show.  The marching band for our high school is well known and have won many competitions so it was exciting to see the younger group out there with them.  Check out the arrow – there she is!

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After the game the band had a “lock in” so they goofed around at school (mostly playing battle ball, eating pizza and cookies) until midnight.  Well, I did pick Sydney up at 10:45pm because she had an early XC meet.  And when I say early… the bus left school at 6:45am!  Heck, that was early for me after that late night.  I did get to run 2 slow miles on the treadmill after drop off just to give my busy day a good start 🙂

It rained all during the meet.  We really weren’t expecting the rain.  But she took it like a pro and did a great job at the meet.  Got a ribbon for 16th place!

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After XC, it was off to Zack’s soccer game.  We were all ready for cold and rainy there too, but it ended up being a little warmer and actually dry!  Go figure.

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After the soccer game, it was time to get ready for the neighborhood block party!  I’m on the party committee so it meant early arrival and setting up everything.  We haven’t had a party in three years, so it was fun to get everyone back together again.  I was afraid it was going to rain and be really windy, but the weather improved and the party was pretty darn good.  We had something for everyone – a DJ, bounce houses, face painting, and TONS of food.

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By the time we cleaned everything up at 9:30pm, I sat on the couch and feel fast asleep watching TV!  I was exhausted.

So Sunday was a day of rest, except I snuck out for a 3 mile run around the neighborhood because the temperature was actually in the 40’s!!  I busted out my capris and hit the road.  It went well.  My official training plan for Columbus Marathon starts on Monday.  Woohoo!

I took the kids to a park that had some fun new playground equipment.  They had their own American Ninja Warrior competition.

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I got in on that action too – it’s a fun structure!

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And finally, we went to the apple orchard to pick a huge bag of apples.  22 pounds of them!!

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With one little rotten one in the bunch!

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I’m enjoying some down time tonight for sure.

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Q:  Did you have any big plans this weekend?

Q:  Do you take an annual trip to an apple orchard?

We didn’t go last year and the kids reminded me of how much they enjoyed it, so we made it a priority to get there.  

Q: What is your favorite apple variety?

Gala!

What’s cooking around my house

While I’m not running this week (resting!!), I thought I’d catch you up on stuff.  Now that the kids are back in school, my husband and I are finding one nice quiet day a week, on my day off.  So far we’ve gone out to lunch a couple times, complete with a ride in the Mustang convertible and a beer (so deviant, a beer at noon??).

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But another thing we’ve done is some cooking!!  One thing that drives me crazy is not having a plan for dinner.  When I don’t have a plan, I find myself going to the store 4 times a week because I didn’t plan ahead and I forgot something.  What a time and money waster!  So when I saw a freezer crockpot meal plan in my inbox, I decided to give it a try.  Note, this is NOT a sponsored post, but just some ramblings about my day….  The plan promised 20 meals in under 2 hours, and for $160!  Sold!

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I made a couple shopping trips to Sam’s Club and the grocery store to get the supplies, and then we were ready to go!

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There were lots of veggies to cut.  LOTS.  I have to say, the plan was very well organized.  We had recipes with chicken, beef, hamburger and pork chops.  We bought a lot of stuff in bulk at Sam’s, so we had some leftovers (onions, lots and lots of onions!).

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We didn’t quite get this all done in an hour like I expected.  I mean, if one person can do it in 2 hours, we should have crushed this in an hour, right?  Nope, I think we were in the kitchen for 3 hours that day.  But, we did get our 20 bags of meals to put in the freezer!  And by my records, we spent around $135 because there were some things we didn’t need to buy.

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Are you wondering what crockpot meal included that watermelon??  Uh, I’m just lazy and couldn’t find another place for it.  That’s why this isn’t a cooking blog 😉

We have tried two of the meals already and they were good.  So far I think it was time well spent.  Did you ever wonder what your parents did while you were at school?  I’m sure they were doing a lot of this.  haha!

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Q:  Have you ever done any “freezer cooking”?

I do it sporadically.  But I typically have some bags of pasta sauce, soups,  or Cincinnati style chili in the freezer at all times.

Q:  What would you like to do when you have a day off?

Glass City Marathon Ambassador

I’ve got big news….

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I’m proud to announce that I will be an ambassador for the 2016 Glass City Marathon in my hometown of Toledo Ohio!

Here’s my profile, and you can check out the other ambassadors here:

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As an ambassador, I’m joining a group of runners and bloggers that are excited about the marathon.  We hope to educate, inspire, entertain, and motivate you to achieve your goals!

These races take place in April, 2016, so I have a few months to plan, but as I go through my training I’ll keep you informed and engaged.  And you’ll probably get to hear a little bit of my whining too 🙂

The Glass City half marathon was my first half in 2010.  I remember it well.  Even back then my husband was able to enjoy a beer on the course while I gave it my all!  (no fair)

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I’ve run a Glass City race almost every year since.  It’s a great course, with a great group of people!

And beer… did I mention the beer?  Little known fact: in 2013 they had a contest to name the beer which is served at the finish line of the race.  I WON!  So when you raise a mug at the end of the race with “Glass City Glory” in it, think of me 🙂

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Glass City Glory tastes great in ALL of these mugs!

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Q:  Is anyone planning ahead and registering early for the Glass City Marathon?

I almost always take advantage of early registration.  The cheaper the better!  And it gets me to commit.

Q: What is your favorite race swag?

These mugs have been perfect because they get used all of the time.  I am also a sucker for a great race shirt!  We also use a bottle opener from the Boston marathon.  Geez, you’d think we drink a lot of beer in this house….

Erie Marathon race recap

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So, I have a secret.  Did you know that running a marathon is not my favorite thing to do?  I know, not the best way to start out a race recap, but it’s something that needs to be known.  I LOVE running.  I do love racing.  And I LOVE half marathons and shorter distances.  But marathons, they’re not really my thing.  I just don’t think it’s a distance that I excel at.  So why do I keep running them?  I often wonder that myself.  Up until last year I ran them as a means to achieve a goal – to run the Boston marathon.  It was never my goal initially.  I just ran one for the heck of it, since I’d seen my husband do it so many times.  But after he thought I might be able to qualify, it became a passion of mine.

After qualifying and running Boston 2015, I thought I’d stop running them.  They are just soooooo exhausting! (I guess that’s why Pheidippides died after his run to Athens. But I digress…)  I love training for them, and having a plan and a daily goal, but without something at the end, a training plan seems a bit pointless, so I signed up for the Erie marathon again.  Erie is quite honestly the perfect race for qualifying for Boston.  It is the flatest race I have ever seen.  It’s mostly shaded and a state park, so you know it’s scenic!

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But when I found out the Erie was not going to qualify for 2 years like it has a few times in the past, I was bummed.  I pretty much thought “what’s the point of running it now?”.  It had a great appeal to me when it could qualify me for 2017, but now, it was kind of missing something.

We got to Erie on Saturday, with just an hour left at packet pickup, and the pre-race pasta dinner that we had signed up for.  It was our 23rd wedding anniversary, so it was our special night, even if it was cold and raining a lot!!

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I got my race outfit ready that night, and per pre-race tradition, we watched “Run, Fatboy, Run“.  That is one movie I will never tire of!  The perfect humor to take off pre-race jitters.

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I actually got some good sleep before the race.  We had to get up at 4:45am, because it was recommended we be at the park at 5:45am.  Sadly the mini fridge in our room was turned down too cold and the milk I brought for my Frosted Mini Wheats was actually an icy slush!  Yes, I like a heaping full bowl of fiber before a big race!  It keeps me full and works for me.  Don’t judge 🙂

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Parking on Presque Isle is a challenge, but the race does a great job of getting every one in efficiently.  Unfortunately the rain caused one of the parking lots to flood so they lost a large number of parking spots.  We sat in a long line of traffic until 6:40 when we finally found a parking spot.  Luckily a lot of people were still finding parking spots and the race was delayed 17 mins, because I was still in the port-a-potty when the race should have started!  But soon enough the gun went off and we were racing!

I have been training for a 3:51 finish, but I typically have a pretty strong fade at the end, so we decided that we’d try for a 3:50 finish, and run an 8:40 pace for as long as I could and that would still give me some cushion for a PR (my finish last year was my PR, 3:53:27 8:54 pace).  I thought that sounded good, and for quite a few miles we had the 3:45 pace group in our sight.

The weather was great – a little windy (not really an issue), and temps in the 50’s!  I don’t think I ever thought it was hot or I was too warm at all during the race.  Immediately as I started the race my car key came loose from being tied tight in my shoelaces and I spent the next 26 miles running with a key flopping and scratching my Achilles occasionally when the other foot got too close!  I was not about to stop and take the time to fix it.

But then it happened.  Around mile 14 I started wishing I was done.  Around mile 16 my pace started to drop.  It was too soon for this crap to be happening!  Around mile 20 my pace was getting pretty bad, around 9:20.  Ouch.  And double ouch, my glutes were now feeling like they were on fire!!  Alan knew I was struggling and kept it positive, but also honest, as he reported when my 3:50 finish was no longer going to happen.  Well, that was OK, I knew that.

Around mile 22 I think Alan told me that I needed to keep it up, and if I did, I would still get a BQ, and probably a PR too!  But I had to work harder.  And I think that was about that time I also informed him that I didn’t even care if I finished in 4 hours, I just wanted to be done.  Haha!  Glad that Alan knows I am just getting down on myself and I really would care.

When it came down to the last two miles, he told me that I really needed to push it or I wasn’t going to get a PR.  I knew it.  I was completely aware of it.  I could see my overall pace slipped from 8:40 early on, to something much closer to 8:50 now.  No cushion left.  And no fuel left in me!  I was so tired, cranky, and engulfed in pain.  I really did try my hardest, but there was nothing left.  We had a friend there who took this picture of us around mile 26… funny because we actually look pretty good!  And laughing like we were having a good time!  I was thinking – “oh good God, just let the finish line be around this corner!!  I am going to die!!!!!”

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But here’s the view from the back.  Felt and looked like my feet weighed 100 pounds!  (hey, but look at that great calf definition!)

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Finally, the finish line was in sight!  We finished in 3:53:56.  A BQ, but 30 seconds slower than last year.  Waaaaaaaaa.  I honestly didn’t know if I should be happy or sad.   But one thing for sure, I had given it my all and I couldn’t stand one more second on my legs.  Two volunteers helped me through the finish chute and I sucked down some chocolate milk.

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I immediately went to lay down in the shade.  Alan was having a great time watching my lips turn purple and me shake while I tried to open my milk container!  Please, just take me back to the hotel – now!!!!  It hurts to move my legs!!

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What’s wrong with you? I’m feeling fine!!

So there you have it.  It was a good race, other than the fact I couldn’t finish strong and really wish I could have went faster somewhere in the race to better my time.

I’ve had a few moments of sadness and regret that I didn’t do something differently to get me to my goal.  But in the end, any day that I finish a marathon AND get a BQ is a pretty great day and I’m proud of my accomplishment 🙂  Now I just need to cross my fingers and hope that the cut off time is similar or less than last year so I will get in to Boston 2016.

I’ve got it all

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If I’ve learned anything from running Boston this year, it’s that you can never be too prepared!!  Or overpacked!  So, this time I’ll be ready for it all.  2 pairs of shorts (not sure which to wear yet), 2 tank tops (ditto), capris, 2 t-shirts (in case it’s chilly), bunch of GUs, pins, gloves, undies, hat, throw away shirts…. you get the picture. (yep, there it is!!)

The forecast for Erie looks pretty good right now.  Let’s hope it doesn’t change!  This week the forecast has gone from pretty warm (78) to really rainy.

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Tomorrow it’s off to see my daughter run at a huge XC meet (and she’s running varsity for her team!!!).  Then off to Erie.  Enjoy romantic pre-race pasta dinner with Alan (it’s our 23rd wedding anniversary on Saturday!).  Hopefully we’ll see a few friends.  Get a good night’s sleep and then IT’S ON!!

See you on the other side!!  🙂

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Q:  Do you get the pre-race jitters?

I sure have in the past day!!

Q: If it’s sunny, do you wear a hat/visor or sunglasses?

I’m not even taking sunglasses.  The course is mostly shaded, and quite beautiful because it’s a state park.  I’ll take a few pictures for you!