Trolley Run 2016

Oops! I had this written earlier in the week, but forgot to hit publish! Anyway, here’s my Trolley Run race recap, a few days late!

The Trolley Run was Sunday, and this was the second year I’ve run it!  Last year, Mom came down to KC and we made a fun weekend out of it.  This year, my race entry was paid for by my employer, so I was really excited to run this race again.

A little history of the Trolley Run (source):

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 6.58.54 PM.png

One of the most unique aspects of this race is the point to point racing.  I parked on the Plaza, and took a bus up the trolley trail to the Waldo area, and then ran the race down to the Plaza.  It was a gorgeous morning, and I got to the starting line about 45 minutes before the race was to start.

Photo Apr 24, 7 12 25 AM

I met up with several friends before the race started, and was sure to use the bathroom too.  I saw lots of KC Running Co friends, and then met up with my coworkers for a picture before the race started.

Photo Apr 30, 6 39 11 PM.jpg

Top: Tanya and me.  Bottom: Me, Mark, Jason, and Mark’s friend.

Photo Apr 25, 9 29 08 AM

Co-workers! Photo credit: Beth Masters.

The race started after a few announcements and the National Anthem.  There were many blind athletes running this race with guide runners.   I would love to learn how to do this, and I’m planning on looking into it for future races.  If I have any race photos (they should be posted soon), I’ll post them.

The race itself is a fast and flat course, which actually has a net negative elevation from start to finish.  There are a few gentle uphills, but overall the race is considered a downhill race.  Last year, I had a huge 4 mile PR, so for this race, I planned on going out just a tiny bit faster than the pace for last year’s PR, and to see how I felt after a mile, before deciding to push for a PR or back off for an easier run.  I ran 9 miles the day before the race, and my legs felt pretty decent, considering the effort on Saturday.

Photo Apr 28, 8 27 14 PM

The miles went by quickly, I got into a groove pretty easily, and was able to push the uphills and stride out a bit on the downhills.  There were lots of spectators, and the “bacon aid station” that I saw last year was there again, which is neat.  There was a water station at the half way mark, and a second water station around mile 3.25.

I ended up running extremely even splits, with the first and last mile times being exactly the same, and the middle two miles being exactly the same, 10 seconds per mile slower than the first and last miles.  I put out a hard effort, and felt like I had a little left in the tank, but not much.  I came in with a 23 second PR, which I was ecstatic with! The PR makes me confident that I can PR my 5k time this year as well.

Photo Apr 24, 10 16 16 AM

Let me just talk a minute about the after party! This is an awesome post-race party there was a band, lots of food, drink, massages, and giveaways.  The weather was so perfect, and the Plaza is such  pretty place to hang out with several thousand runners.  I met back up with several friends and coworkers, then ate some popcorn and drank some chocolate milk.

Photo Apr 24, 10 11 43 AM

I grabbed the printout of my time, and got my picture taken, then headed home.  The Trolley Run 4 Miler is definitely one of my favorite local races, and I plan to do it again next year, and the year after that…  I’m very thankful to my employer, who paid for my race entry, thank you! For anyone who wants a great race in KC, I highly recommend this one!

Photo Apr 24, 9 02 49 AM

Have you run the Trolley Run before?

Running with Music

When I began running, over 3 years ago, I always listened to music.  It was a crutch, and it eventually turned into a necessity that wasn’t doing me any favors.  I had to have the distraction of music, and often, if I had to walk during a specific song during one run, if I would hear the same song during another run, it would be a mental cue to walk again.  It turned into a cycle, run with music, walk with this song, etc.

After several months, maybe even a year into running, my sister told me I couldn’t run with music any more.  WHAT? No music?  I didn’t feel prepared to run without music, but I trust my sister, and gave it a shot.  It was hard, but then it got better.  For a very long time, I didn’t run with any music.  I listened to my body, my breath, my footsteps.  I didn’t have the distraction of the music, or the tempo to dictate my cadence.  I got used to it, and was scared to run with music, because I’d been without for so long.

Recently, I’ve started using music for some of my longer solo runs.  For short runs, 4ish miles or less, I don’t use music, and probably will continue not to use it.  For longer runs, especially when I’m on my own, without the group or a running friend, I’ve started using music again periodically, as a tool.  For example, Tuesday night, I ran 5 miles, and did not use music.  Wednesday night, I also ran 5 miles, and did listen to music.  My time was within 15 seconds from one day to the next, running the same route, with and without music.


I have several pros and many cons to using music while running.  For some runners, it is a necessity, but for others, the thought of listening to music is foreign.  I’ll share some of my pros and cons to listening to music while running.  If you do listen to music while running, and you’re running outdoors, please be safe, and keep one earbud out, so you can hear your surroundings, be it vehicles, fellow runners, bikers, weather, or wildlife.

Pros to Running with Music:
-It can be a distraction, and make time/miles seem to go faster.
-The songs or beats can pump you up to run with more energy, especially with a faster beat.
-Many songs at a certain beat can help you increase your cadence. (170-180 beats per minute is a good running cadence to shoot for)
-You could also listen to a podcast or news show, or listen to a book, which can keep you entertained.

Cons to Running with Music:
-It can be a distraction, keeping you from listening to your body.
-The songs or beats can slow you down if it is a slower song, or a song with negative emotional ties.
-You may not hear your surroundings; it can reduce the level of safety.
-Many races do not allow you to use headphones or earbuds during a race, so training exclusively with music could negatively impact you during a race.
-It can take you out of the run; you may not fully experience the run.
-You build mental strength by having just yourself and your run.
-You have to have extra stuff, headphones, an armband or pouch, and you have to carry your phone or iPod with you, when you might not have your phone, normally.

Photo Apr 27, 6 54 22 PM.jpg

So, should you run with music? It’s up to you! I’ve read that about 75% of runners run with music.  That seems about right, from what I see when I’m out running, but I would say, personally, I run with music about 15-20% of the time recently.  It is neither good nor bad to run with or without music.  If you use it correctly, it can be a tool to help you, but it can also be a hinderance, so it’s definitely worth trying both ways during training runs.

If you run with music all the time, I challenge you to run without music for several runs, see what you think, see if you notice anything different about the run, or your body while you are running.  Likewise, if you never run with music, try it a few times, and see how your runs are; perhaps the miles will go by faster.  Let me know if you run with our without music, and whether or not you’ve tried it the other way.

Monday Mentionings: April 25

Monday again! I only have a few pictures to share, but hopefully in a couple days I’ll have a Trolley Run race recap to share! I’m going to share a fun little sentence per picture for you this week!  Also, 1 month until my birthday!

Jazzy had quite the fun time playing like a little hunter in the jungle.

Photo Apr 20, 7 26 40 PM

Wednesday night, I had a really great run, and I wrote about it here.

Photo Apr 20, 7 30 58 PM

He always keeps me entertained.

Photo Apr 21, 8 08 02 PM

Friday night I had a dinner date with this little boy.

Photo Apr 22, 8 00 07 PM

My dinner date was with Amy and her family on Friday night, to celebrate Passover (I’m not jewish, but I wanted to support and celebrate with my best!)

Photo Apr 24, 7 35 56 PM

This snapchat filter is my new favorite.

Photo Apr 23, 1 48 01 PM

Saturday I had a very difficult 9 mile long run, but I survived, and celebrated with Chick-fil-a!

Photo Apr 24, 7 36 17 PM

Sunday I had a fantastic Trolley Run, and PR’d by 21 seconds!

Photo Apr 24, 9 02 49 AM

Last night, I watched the premiere of season 6 of Game of Thrones! Did you watch? What did you think?