2017: April Running

April, I’m glad you’re over! I ran 52 miles in April, which is my lowest mileage for the year. In fact, it’s my lowest mileage since January 2016! You can check out my recaps for JanuaryFebruary, and March if you need to catch up!

I really have no good reason why my mileage was so low. I just wasn’t feeling running in April.  The month started off with the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon. That race kind of led me into a downward spiral, with lots of emotions in many different aspects of my life bubbling up.  I’m fine, nobody needs to worry, but my running has definitely been slacking.  On top of the emotional issues I’ve been dealing with, I’ve been super swamped with wedding planning, moving prep, and work.  None of these things are good excuses, and I’m not trying to write them off, it’s just what happened in April.

I’m glad for May, a clean slate, a fresh start, a new month.

Back to April.  Rock the Parkway was the second Saturday of the month.  I didn’t write a race recap, but basically it was the slowest half I’ve ever run. I walked more than I’ve ever walked, and Chris stayed by my side for every single step. Emotionally, I went through happiness, sadness, frustration, hope, disgust, thankfulness, gratitude, rage, envy, hopelessness, shame, joy, love… the list goes on and on and on…  The race is over, I’ve dealt with a lot of my emotions, and still dealing with a lot more, but I’m in a much better place than I was at the finish line of that race.

Photo Apr 08, 11 23 40 AM

I only ran 11 times in April, the lowest in a long time.  Running is always there for me, and will always be there for me, whether or not I take a break.  I’m ready to get back on the horse and start putting in the mileage again.  I got a nice fun run in St. Joseph while Chris had band practice one Saturday, which was a fun way to explore a bit.

Photo Apr 23, 9 44 56 PM

Chris and I had some good runs too, the weather was really nice for part of the month, really hot and windy for part, and then at the end of the month, got cold and rainy.   I didn’t cycle at all in April. I need to work on that for May, and plan to go to cycle tonight.  I’ve added in some Group X classes, mainly a strength class during lunch once a week, and hope to add in a second day per week soon, and also get back to lifting on my own once a week or so.  Baby steps!

Photo Apr 30, 8 27 33 PM

I finished out the month with the Trolley Run, which is one of my very favorite KC races.  It was Chris’ first time doing the Trolley Run, and my third.  It was cold and drizzly, but we had a great run. I’ll be writing a recap this week.

Photo Apr 30, 7 48 06 PM

Looking forward to May: I have no races, but hope to get in some solid runs. My goal for the month is 75 miles for the month, and at least 1 strength session per week at the gym, and at least 3 cycle classes for the month.  How was your April? What does your May look like?

April stats:
Running:  11 runs, totaling 52 miles
Longest Run: 6 miles, April 23rd.
Races: Rock the Parkway Half Marathon and the Trolley Run

2017: March Running

I have just one word for March’s weather: bipolar!  One day I could run in a tank top and be sweaty in minutes, and the next day it’s chilly and rainy, and then the next day it’s warm and windy.  CRAZY weather.  I ran 3 miles last night to finish with 90 miles for March!  You can check out the recaps for January and February.

I cycled 3 times in March, and had some solid miles on the bike.  I’ve been enjoying the cycle classes lately, they’ve been pushing me out of my comfort zone, and I’m happy to have Chris with me on occasion too.

Photo Mar 13, 6 35 03 PM

Like I said above, the weather is crazy. I ran 5 miles with Amy on one Wednesday and it was chilly enough for vests and ear coverings, and then on that Saturday, Chris and I ran long and I was in a tank top and super sweaty! Crazy weather.  I had several long runs in March, with a 7 miler one weekend, 9 another weekend, and 10 last weekend.

Photo Mar 30, 7 34 41 PM

Chris and I also explored the trails at Shawnee Mission Park, which was great cross-training, and a nice change of pace for a “recovery” after one of our long runs.  We hope to continue going out to the trails to explore and hike every now and then.

Photo Mar 19, 1 07 27 PM

My ankle has been doing better since I sprained it at the beginning of February. It still gets kind of puffy after long runs, and I still have some sharp pain near my pinky toe, especially after running, but it’s getting better!

I was thrilled to meet up with Erica and run 10 miles last weekend on the paved trails by Leawood City Park.  It had been a couple years since I’d seen her last; she was one of my karate buddies from back in the day.

Photo Mar 26, 12 03 09 PM

Looking ahead to April: I have 2 races, Rock the Parkway Half Marathon, next weekend, and then at the end of the month, the Trolley Run 4 miler.  How was your March?

March stats:
Running: 17 runs, totaling 90 miles.
Cycling: 3 cycle classes, totaling 32 miles.
Longest Run: 10 miles, March 26th.
Races: None.

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?