One of the things I know I must do in order to make the most of my training this spring is make the most of my long runs each week. This past Saturday I managed ” a first” by heading out to run with the Olathe Running Club. The group gathers at a designated location each Saturday at 7am for all distances and paces.
Knowing I needed to get 11 miles in I figured I would run out 5.5 miles and turn around for a relaxed out and back. Heading out one of the first things I noticed were a few hills which were not as daunting as some of them out on the trail but a challenge none the less. About 3 miles into the run I hooked up with Jeff whom I had met before but never had run together. We settled into a comfortable pace and started to chat. Now I must admit I am generally not much of a talker during my runs but it was good to connect to someone else out there on the road.
We got to the 5 mile mark and Jeff mentioned he was going to go out a couple more mile to get about 14 in when it was all said and done. I suggested we head back and add the lake loop onto our run and he agreed. Now this was my first time on this course and I was not sure what to expect. As we got to the lake the first thing I noticed was that our run was going to be closer to his desired 14 than my planned 11. Anyway we turned to the north and headed around the lake.
Heading around the lake there were some very nice hills, the dam hills as I later found out they are called. Making the turn onto the east side of the lake I noticed there was an old golf course on the grounds of the park. I am an avid hacker and it was fun to hear a little of the history of the course and learned that at some point in recent history the course had some plans to make a comeback but the plans ultimately failed.
Back out on to Dennis Ave we headed east to the park where the group had started and I started to feel the fatigue of the 14 miles. In recent months I have not had many long runs so this one was a nice gauge of what lies ahead in my training. This weekend I have 12 on the schedule…let’s hope it doesn’t turn into 16.
In order for me to really get committed to an event is pay the entry fee and that is exactly what I did this week for the upcoming Free State Trail Half Marathon in Lawrence. Each year there are four distances during the event: 100K, 40 Miler, Marathon and Half Marathon. This year I chose the half marathon and looking back to 2012 I ran the race in just over 2.5 hours.
Looking forward to the event it sits just over eight weeks away and the goal is to achieve a time of two hours or less. Pondering my recent run times this goal is most definitely an aggressive one. The last several winter loops out at WyCo have been right at 2.5 hours with a distance of about 10.3 miles. Most will agree WyCo is a more difficult, having said that the North Shore trails are no gimmie. Very rolling with run-able hills that catch up with you after a while.
This last weekend I completed a road 10 mile long run in under two hours and a pace of right at 11 mins per mile. Understandably this pace will not result in the achievement of my goal, but it is a step in the right direction. What I have lacked in the last few longer races were multiple back to back strong long run weekends. So, my focus for the next few weeks is to complete my long runs with confidence and strength.
Wish me luck!
From the Facebook event page: Meg Cross Menzies was tragically killed by a drunk driver while out for her morning run on January 13, 2014. As an avid runner, member of theRichmond Road Runners Club, and Boston marathoner, she was a member of the running family nationwide. In her honor, our hope is to raise awareness of drunk driving, texting and driving, and overall safety of runners and cyclists everywhere.
Much like the thousands of runners worldwide I took to the trail on Saturday the 18th and got 10 miles in for Meg. It’s a funny thing to be running for a cause or for someone you have never met but at the same time feel a connection and common bond. In no way shape or form am I a Boston Marathon qualifying runner or even a sort-of-in-the-front-of-the-pack runner, I am squarely in the middle to latter part of the preverbal pack. Regardless, I felt the need to support a fellow runner and parent who needlessly lost her life while out on her run.
My route took me the long way ’round Shawnee Mission Park. From the Visitor’s Center I headed north past Theatre in the Park, then West along the ridge line/power line section of the trail. Although the day was very nice there was still some ice on the hills which made for some interesting slipping and sliding.
Next took a right turn and headed up along the Equestrian/Hiking trail section. After running this a couple of times this week due to the mountain bike trail being closed I am not sure why I don’t run this more often. Lots of tight turns and technical trail…rocks, roots, sharp turns and fallen trees. My guess is these don’t get used as often so they are not as compacted to the leaves are fluffy and you don’t see the rocks and roots as easily as on the MTB section. Makes for more fun and a new trail tattoo!
Thankfully the rest of the run was uneventful and I made it around the park in right at 2 hours. As I have always said I am not a slow runner, I am a sweeper. Out there at the back of the pack making sure no one gets left behind (even on my solo runs)! The morning was beautiful and cold, a perfect climate to get some miles and think about what the running community can do when it comes together. So unfortunate it takes something like the loss of a runner to bring us together, none the less it shows the power of shared interests and kindred spirits.
This weekend get out and support fellow runner Meg who was tragically killed while out running. The link to the Face book page is here. After my run today I will post some pictures and the map of the run. Be safe!
For some time now we have had a Withings scale in the house, it is a web connected scale that also tracks BMI and body fat percentage. Having the scale for nearly two years I have come to step on the thing every Monday morning and face the music. Although the readings on the scale are the result of my actions, and some weeks are better than others, I enjoy the analytics and iPhone app integration.
After reading review after review abut the new Pulse I made it out to Best Buy and picked up this beauty today:
Tonight will be the first night using the Pulse to track my sleep patterns. Should be interesting with two little kids who like to get up and invade our bed in the middle of the night. Regardless it should be beneficial to better understand my sleep. More posts to come with results and trends.
A new year brings some changes to this blog and website. Formerly the site was built in Tumblr and after viewing many other sites I thought it best to move to WordPress. I am by no means a competent web designer, programmer or coder (to the chagrin of those teaching coding these days) but thought WordPress would be more flexible if I ever decided to dig deeper with the site.