Running Favorites

Thanks Lizzy for tagging me in your running favorites! It’s been fun reading everyone’s posts.

Favorite:

Running Places

Now that I am in a new place, I get to have new places to run. I’ve made an effort to go to new places each day and check out the areas of town that I like. And I gotta say, I like it all. However, one place really stands out as the best. I’m going to go ahead and say the Konza Prairie is my favorite place. Just check out its beauty.

The beautiful Konza Prairie. Who wouldn't love running here?
The beautiful Konza Prairie. Who wouldn’t love running here?

The Konza is a biological field station owned by Kansas State University. It has a storied history in ecology research and is a generally awesome place. It also is some challenging trails. I love the rolling hills and wide open views… oh and there is a lot of wildlife to come by too… and prairie chickens!!!

This is a Prairie Chicken... I love them!
This is a Prairie Chicken… I love them!

Time of Day:

I wish I were a morning runner. One day, I’ll make the switch. But for now, I like to run in the evenings. There are always people around and lots of things going on, and I like to just people watch while I run. However, I do my long runs in the late morning (like 10am), since they are a little more substantial. I also don’t think I have the energy at like 6 to punch out much more than 6-8 miles.

Weather:

NOT WINTER! Oh man. I hate running in the cold. Actually, I generally like it warm, like 70 degrees. I lived in South Bend, where it is like the arctic for most of the year. I would dread going out in that. I’m definitely a native Floridian at heart, and I am cold all the time. Running in the warm never really bothers me, although it does slow me down a bit. I’d rather be slowed down than cold.

This is too much snow for running...
This is too much snow for running…

Fuel:

I have a pretty bad stomach. I get issues from a lot of different gels, and I have to be mindful on longer runs to eat throughout the run. I generally like Honey Stinger Chews. I down maybe one or two every few miles when I’m going 12 or more. Otherwise my stomach gets really messed up as soon as I stop running. I have not experimented much with gels (I like the salted watermelon, but I generally don’t need it on my runs, since they are not long enough). I’ll probably know more as I take on my marathon training for Chicago.

These are great!
These are great!

Rewards:

Hm… This is a hard one. I do love food, but I was a foodie even before I was a runner. I guess I’d have to say the races. I love the adrenaline I get and how happy everyone is at a race, and well, if you don’t train, racing is not so enjoyable. I think a lot about upcoming races while I run, and how I’ll feel at the starting line. I like to feel confident in the amount of training I did before walking up to that line and that is certainly a reward.

What is your favorite animal to see on a run? Do you have a favorite reward?

Some moving, some training, and lots of pictures!

Guess what! I have a furnished apartment! I have a desk, a table, futon, bed… I am a real person with a real place and I love it! I live in a historic building that was a hotel in the 1920’s. My apartment is pretty tiny, but it suits Frank and I (and our two fuzzy animals pretty well).

So what does having an apartment mean? Well, it means that I am going to get back to being a person again, who writes on here more than once a week. I’ve been struggling trying to even fit in time to run, no less blog, so things have been kinda tricky.

This week went pretty well, and I really enjoyed running in lots of new places. I must say, the hills here are a bit of a change, and will help my running immensely. However, it does have me rethinking my goals a bit for my next half marathon on June 6.

Monday: Ran 4 miles at 8:55 + morning yoga

This was a slow and sluggish run. We had moved in our stuff the day before, and I was exhausted from all the driving. Frank had his first day at work, so I figured that I HAD to get out the door to go for a run. I only went 4 miles and my legs felt tired. It was a pretty run and I was excited by all the new scenery. I took a yoga class in the morning, which was awesome.

Beautiful river views.
Beautiful river views.

Tuesday: 3.2 with running group + morning yoga

They have a running club here in town, so I went out with them for their weekly run. There are three routes that they cycle through, and this week was the “hilly” route. I am sure to all of you from more mountainous areas, this would have been a piece of cake, but for me and my Indiana/Florida legs, this was a pretty substantial task. I managed to keep an 8:40 min/mi overall pace, but I felt pretty beat at the top of the hill. I guess this will get me ready for Hospital Hill.

So, that's a hill there. Us Floridians never see those... neither do the people from Indiana.
So, that’s a hill there. Us Floridians never see those… neither do the people from Indiana.

Wednesday: 4.5 at Konza Prairie + morning yoga

This run was probably the highlight of my week. I drove down to a preserve just south of town and expected it to be a pretty leisurely run. It was not. The prairie is in the heart of the Flint Hills, and they were pretty crazy. I had about 350 ft of elevation gain and I ended up taking a few breaks to take in the scenery and to text/complain to Lizzy about the hills (she didn’t know that I was in the middle of a run while I was texting her). Anyways, I was pretty spent afterwards, but it was a pretty awesome run.

IMG_1646

Thursday: Morning Yoga

I did yoga. It was awesome, as yoga always is.

Friday: More morning yoga

I did more yoga. I was supposed to run, but a thunderstorm rolled in and I pushed it back, since I don’t have anywhere to run inside.

Saturday: Hiked 6 miles + Ran 4 miles

I made some new friends and we went hiking! It was super fun. We went to a state park just north of town and hiked about 6 miles along a network of hilly and forested trails. After I got home I slipped on my running shoes and went out for what I was hoping would be a 5-mile run. However, towards the end of mile 2, I saw lightening strike pretty close and decided to cut my run short. I haven’t quite gotten used to the unpredictability of the weather here.

Running during a thunderstorm!
Running during a thunderstorm!

Sunday: Biked 16 miles + hiked 6 miles + ran 8 pathetic miles

So I did too much and paid for it on my long run. Frank and I woke up early to bike out to the prairie about 8 miles from town. We hiked a 6-mile loop (and saw a bunch of wildlife) and then biked the 8 miles back. I was pretty tired, but we went to check out the Flint Hills Discovery Center for a talk about Prairie Chickens, an endangered bird found in this region. A few hours later I went on my long run. This was hands-down the absolute worst long run I’ve ever done. My legs felt like lead, I was sunburned from the bike ride earlier, so I felt a little dehydrated, and I just generally felt unmotivated. I was supposed to go 10 miles, but at 8 miles, I felt like my legs could go no further. I kept a 9:20 pace, but had to walk a few times. It was just bad…

Pretty new running trails. Too bad I felt too unmotivated to enjoy them.
Pretty new running trails. Too bad I felt too unmotivated to enjoy them.

I think I may have over trained a little this week. I did a ton of yoga and hiking, and I just think my body wasn’t quite ready for that much activity. Unfortunately, next week probably wont be much better because I am going to Rocky Mountain National Park for Memorial Day. I am going to try to get better sleep, and now that I’m all moved in, I wont be spending my free time moving stuff to a third floor apartment. The good news is that I feel totally injury free, no aches or pains, just general tiredness.

How was your week? Have you ever just had a TERRIBLE run?