June Roundup

2015 is half over.  TIME FLIES.  June has been a good month, as far as running is concerned.  82.5 miles for June, and I’ll take it!  As always, you can catch up on my previous running roundups here: January, February, March, April, and May.  My running goals for the year are here, and my updated goals are here.  With 82.5 miles for June, my total for the first half of 2015 is 436.  With 436 for the year, I need 514 in the next 6 months to reach my goal of 950 miles, which averages out to 86 miles per month.  I’m feeling good about how my running has been feeling lately.Photo Jun 13, 2 24 39 PMI have continued to see the chiropractor once or twice per week, and my hamstring and glute issues are getting better, but I’m still a work in progress.  I have a very weak and non-activating right glute, but I’m happy to report my runs are much more pain-free than they were a month ago.  I’m continuing to do strengthening exercises to help my glute know what it’s supposed to be doing, and will continue to do so until it get’s it’s rear in shape.  I also bought a new pair of shoes in June, which I think is contributing to my pain improvement.  I got a pair of Hokas after Hospital Hill, and started breaking them in the week after the race.

June started out with some fun, as National Running Day was June 3.  KC Running Company had a fun group run and party to celebrate.  I had 1 race in June, the Hospital Hill Half Marathon. My race recap for Hospital Hill is here.Photo Jun 06, 6 31 10 AMI ran with the KCRC Groupies 9 times in June, and had several runs with Amy outside of the Groupies as well.  My longest run for June, besides the half marathon on June 6, was  5.2 mile run with the Groupies on June 23.  I had four 5+ mile runs in June, which is the most 5+ in a while!

I volunteered one race in June, the Glow Run 5k, which was at Kemper Arena.  It was a fun and lighthearted race to volunteer.  I’ve continued to practice yoga about once a week, and I think the slow stretching is helping my hamstrings and glute loosen up a bit.Photo Jun 27, 8 56 21 PMLooking forward to July, I have two 5k’s scheduled, the Wild West 5k in Hays over 4th of July weekend, and the Rock the Crossroads 5k at the end of the month, in the Crossroads district of downtown KC, with a concert afterwards!  This summer is all about building up a strong base for the 10ks and half marathons coming up this fall!

Monday Mentionings: June 29

Welcome to the first Monday Mentionings! Or I could say, Thursday Thoughts… now on Mondays! I’ve been thinking, for a while, of moving Thursday Thoughts to Monday.  It is easier to recap the previous week on a Monday rather than a Thursday.  So here we have it, Monday Mentionings!  I hope to have something special for Thursdays coming up soon too, so worry not, my loyal readers, you’ll still have something to read on Thursdays!

Friday night, the weather was so beautiful (upper 70’s, sunny, breezy), I went for a run when I got off work.  A beautiful 5 miles later, Jazzy and I cooled off on the balcony and watched the evening roll in.

Photo Jun 26, 6 59 13 PM

This has become a norm in my kitchen.  Jasper’s favorite fascination is watching the water boil.  I shoo him off the counter, and he jumps back on.  He never gets any closer, but he keeps a close eye on the water for me.  The old saying is “a watched pot never boils,” well, Jasper hasn’t heard that I guess…

Photo Jun 26, 7 34 58 PMSaturday morning, Amy and I ran 4 miles, and again, the weather was unseasonably beautiful and cool! Afterwards, we treated our feet and calves to some pampering and pedicures.  I also posted a fun running survey, if you have an extra minute, let me know your answers!

Photo Jun 27, 9 51 36 AM

We had to go check out Scheels, which had it’s grand opening on Saturday.  That store is H.U.G.E!  It is basically a little mall!  There is a Ferris wheel, several games/simulations (bowling, golfing, soccer, shooting and more), tons of “photo ops,” a cafeteria, and clothes and gear for every kind of sport imaginable.  It was really fun to walk around and see everything.  Amy and I did not ride the Ferris wheel, but we learned all the games or simulations or attractions are 1 token, which is $1.

Photo Jun 27, 11 44 53 AM

Photo Jun 28, 3 57 02 PM

Photo Jun 27, 11 13 48 AM

Saturday night, Amy and I volunteered the Glow Run, at Kemper Arena.  The run was at 9:00pm, so the runners had glow sticks, glow paint, and other glow in the dark stuff, and got to run a 5k around Kemper, which also included Glow Tunnels and a concert/dance in the parking lot after the run.  It was a lot of fun to volunteer, but Amy said past Glow Runs (held at Arrowhead Stadium) were run more smoothly.  There was come confusion as to what we were to do, and it didn’t really seem like anyone was in charge of things at the race.  Alas, we did our duty, and had fun together!

Photo Jun 27, 8 35 45 PM

Photo Jun 27, 8 56 21 PM

Yesterday, Amy and I ran with the group, we did 5 miles, which felt like 10! Our legs were tired, but we were happy to be out there on the trails, and the weather was nice once again.  We have had a weekend of nice weather to spoil us!

For the second weekend in a row, I have gone to the store to get my produce, and cut it all up and portioned it out for the week, so it’s super easy to grab and take to work.  Adulting done right!  (And grandma, if you’re reading, YES, I recycle my bags and use them again if I don’t tear them!)

Photo Jun 28, 4 01 08 PM

Jasper enjoyed a lazy Sunday afternoon too.

Photo Jun 28, 4 09 19 PM

I hope everyone has a great week! I’m looking forward to the 4th of July weekend, Amy and I are going to Hays to spend time with my family, run the Wild West 5k, and show Amy small town Kansas in Hays America!

A Very Important Running Survey

Janae, at Hungry Runner Girl, posted a survey on her blog this morning, so I thought I’d share my answers! Feel free to answer in the comments, or copy/paste to Facebook or your own blog! I’m excited to see your answers!

Photo Feb 28, 4 55 41 PM

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?  —  I think I would prefer to run on a mountain trail.  I love trees and have loved running on the (paved) trails in the KC area, so I think it would be a great next step to run on some real trails, and then another great next step to run on hilly or mountainous trails.  I must say, running on the beach is on my bucket list though!

2.  If you could choose the flavor of gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be? —  Red.  Red is the best flavor! I guess Red is fruit punch? It kind of tastes fruity, but mostly it tastes like red and sugar.  Blue is my second favorite, followed by purple, then lemon/lime, then orange.

3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?  —  Hmmmmm. With my last $100 gift card to a running store (KC Running Co.), I put it towards a pair of running shoes.  It’d be hard to not spend a free $100 on another pair of shoes, because you can never have enough! A non-shoe purchase would probably be a high visibility vest or to put the money toward a new Garmin.

4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?  —  Some of both? I have a general plan I ry to follow, but nothing set in stone.  I loosely follow the half marathon training plan my sister wrote for me, and can change my workouts depending on how I feel, weather/temperature, and non-running commitments.

5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?  —  Definitely start uphill and end on a downhill!  Starting going up  is always hard, but I take the time to let my pace fall wherever it wants, and not worry about the pace until I’m warmed up and the ground levels off.  By the time my run is finished, all I want to do is be done! I tend to speed up the last quarter to half mile, mostly to just be finished, but it also allows my legs to know what a bit of a kick at the end, for a race, feels like.

6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?  —  I practice yoga once a week.  If I couldn’t run for some reason, I would likely go to yoga twice a week, and try to bike or go to zumba or kick boxing classes for cardio.

7.  What is your preference—>  Out and back, point to point or loop runs?  —  I think my preferences have changed over the years.  I used to love out and back, but the more I run, I think I am leaning toward loops as my favorite.  Loops give me something different to look at and experience through the whole run, and it is nice to have the option of which way I run the loop.  Loops are almost like two different routes!   I have only ran point to points a few times, the logistics of setting up for them is more difficult, but the few times I have done it, I’ve really enjoyed it; they make me feel like I’m really going somewhere!

Photo Jun 13, 2 30 35 PM

8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—>  —  The most useful and relatively inexpensive running item I could recommend would be a good pair of socks.  A moisture wicking pair of running socks, like Features, really make your feet comfortable.  No blisters, no hot spots, good circulation.  A great pair of running socks is a must have for a new runner.

9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?  —  I’ve seen deer, muskrats, a possum, horses, cows, hawks, a snake… I’m sure there are more.

10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?  —  I’ve gotten lost once! When I moved to KC, I went running near my new neighborhood, and got completely turned around.  I finally used my phone’s map app to find my way back home; I was going the exact wrong way!  I generally pay very good attention to turns and landmarks to find my way back, and haven’t gotten lost since. *knock on wood*

11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be?  —  I’m really loving this sandwich that tastes just like summer: a croissant with sliced ham and/or turkey, some mayo, lettuce, avocado, sliced apple, and sliced tomato.  It tastes just like summer, it’s cool and refreshing and tasty and amazing.

12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?  —  Definitely capris.  I hate it when my shorts ride up and my thighs rub together when I run.  HATE it.  Capris fix all of my problems.  And there are such cute patterns these days!

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?  —  About the first mile always feels rough.  It takes my hips and lungs about a mile to really feel like they are working like they should be.

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?  The Buddy Pouch! Read my review here, it’s an amazing product, you don’t even feel it on your waistband, and it has never fallen off or caused chafing.

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?  —  So far, my favorite shorter race has been the Trolley Run.  It was an amazing point to point race, plus I PR’d! My favorite longer race was probably the KC Half Marathon; the crowd support and memories were really great.  I can’t wait to run the KC Half Marathon again this year, and hopefully improve my time!

16.  What type of run is your least favorite type of run?  —  Probably speedwork! I’m not  speedy runner, and I know I must train more with speedwork, because It doe help me increase my speed and my endurance, but it’s HARD! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!  I’m thankful that KCRC has a speed night every week, the Groupies push me out of my comfort zone and encourage improvement!

Photo courtesy of KC Running Co.

Photo courtesy of KC Running Co.

17.  What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on?  —  Being accountable of my own runs, and reporting to my readers and the Groupies and my family.  Without having to be accountable, I would definitely skip runs more often! I also think a huge motivation is how great I feel once I’m done!

18.  When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start?  —  This is about half and half… when I run with the Groupies, I drive to the KC Running Co. store and we run from there.  If I’m running on my own, I generally walk for a few minutes to let my watch find GPS, and to warm up a tiny bit.

19.  When running in daylight—>  are sunglasses a must or an annoyance?  —  MUST HAVE!  I hate squinting, and must have my sunglasses and usually a visor too.  The visor helps keep the sweat and/or rain off my face, and helps to shade my face, which I really think helps keep me cooler in the hot weather.

20.  When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?  —  When I’m running by myself, it is: “Make it to the next tree…” “Make it to the next stoplight…” “Make it to the next street corner…”  Or I just think about how good I’ll feel when I’m done, or I allow myself to slow down a little bit to help recover my breath or give my legs a break.  If I’m running with the group, or with a friend, I ask questions so I can focus on what the responses are!

Thanks for this survey, Janae, it was really fun to do!  I can’t wait to read your answers!