I use Daily Mile as my running log to record mileage. It’s a good looking site and has a social aspect, which is more motivating than anything else. It’s interesting to look back and see the distance totals for various months. For example, I remember my foot and knee hurting during June, along with July consumed with cycling.
The inaugural Morgan Creek Country Race was last weekend. It was also my first experience at Morgan Creek park on the west side of Cedar Rapids. The course ended up being about 7 miles, mostly on rolling grass with two creek crossings. My favorite section of the course was the arboretum with soft pine needles. I ran to the race in order to get my training mileage in for the day, which ended up being an 11 mile warm-up and finished just under 50 minutes. I’m hoping this race comes back next year…love all the new off road events that are popping up.
My 26th marathon was a dandy! Michelle and I visited Fort Collins, CO for the 2nd time this year and this time around we really got to experience the Old Town. My highlight was running the Blue Sky Marathon, which I believe is named for the trail, but also turned out appropriate with the clear blue sky hovering above us. The first part of the run took us up Towers climb (800′ of elevation gain) near Horsetooth rock. The climb up was tough but what really hurt was my zealous ego sprinting down the other side. As a consequence, my quadriceps suffered from mile eight on. The race was made up of two big loops. The second was the longest and in the middle lay five miles of large rocks or a basically a boulder field. It was slow going but the views made up for the tough terrain. Not a very fast race, but a helluva training run for the JFK 50 next month.
I signed up for the Sioux Falls Marathon as motivation and a long training run for my upcoming JFK 50 mile in November. With that in mind, I made the trip to Sioux Falls quick and in reality, cared more about tailgating for my beloved Hawkeyes the day before. I arrive at the start 45 minutes before and picked up my race number. The course was point to point with the finish on the other side of Sioux Falls. The start was in a football stadium so I stretched and did a handful of 40 yard jogs pretending I was in full pads racing for the endzone. As with most large races, the line for the restrooms was super long. I decided to wait and use the portable ones along the course. The first half of the race was relatively boring, as we ran through the less populated areas of Sioux Falls and on many frontage roads. I’m guessing the organizers were aiming for less traffic and without a care for ambiance.
In the middle of the race, we made our way downtown Sioux Falls and ran through Falls Park. The falls from the Big Sioux River are beautiful and made it worth the wait to get there. The last portion of the marathon was on a paved bike trail. Better than streets in my mind, but my feet would have preferred limestone or something softer after 20 miles. My last five mile were the fastest, which is a good sign on any training run. Overall, I ended up with 3:38:00. Not bad for me considering the heat/ humidity and short sleep the night before. Sioux Falls was a success and has me even more excited for Fort Collins in October and JFK in November.
I signed up for the JFK 50 mile race in November and need to start upping the mileage to get ready. Long runs for me are always dreadful, mainly because I prefer the midday when the sun is full and sweat comes easy. Going longer in those conditions is pretty taxing. Hence, the motivation for today’s idea.
I decided to run to a local 5K, race, and then run back home. Each way, it’s about 13 miles. At 5am I woke up after hitting snooze for the 3rd time, made a quick cup of coffee and drank a protein shake. I was on the road by 5:45 and made it to the start line to register just before the national anthem. The Pirate Dash is a low key 5k, which is an understatement. About 75 runners lined up to run 1.5 miles out on a county road only to turn around and run back. You could almost see the turn around point from the start line if it wasn’t for a slight incline in the paved road. No fanfare, no bib number, no race clock. When I crossed the finish line someone yelled 20:10 and I was handed a popsicle stick with my place.
I’ve ran over a hundred running races over the last 10 years and this was only my 2nd experience with the popsicle stick timing method. The last couple years we have seen the all kinds of technology hit running races. From microchips to text message updates and posting results to Facebook. This morning, we had no “post race party”, no music, no sponsors or promotional stuff. It was refreshing to race with the focus being on the act of running.
My run home was a lot slower but also very enjoyable. I took my time, walked some and even stopped at a convenience store for a soda and granola bar when I ran out of water. And most importantly, I completed a long run.