Saturday, November 07, 2009

Sherman Airfield 5 miler

Went out for a 5 mile loop at Sherman Airfield today. I'm trying to hold onto some of the endurance I've built up this year.
Unfortunately, driving out to this spot is pretty time consuming and gas consuming so I don't get out here as much as I'd like. And there are probably not too many more bright and warm days left in this year.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Run with TrailNerds

Since I moved back to Kansas in September and realized what my running options were locally, I've known that I'd have a hard time putting in long miles by myself. Mostly for safety reasons.
I have been following a lot of the Trail Nerds' blogs since living in Alabama and decided to meet up with them for an evening run.
I got out there with only a minute to spare but luckily for me, they never start on time. It turned out there were about 3 guys who showed up and myself. Right off I asked them if they were going to kill me slowly by pace. They were really awesome and quickly promised to "go slow."
We set out and right away I knew it was a pace I'd never be able to hold. I had never run at Wyco Park and found out immediately it's all hills with a 600ft elevation gain and loss. And November means the trails are full of leaves so seeing the trails is impossible. On top of that it was pitch black out there in the forest and I only had a flash light. Oops. Shaking and jarring around my light made me think of Blair Witch Project. Awesome. Out here with three guys I have never met, in the dark, in a forest. Brilliant!
These guys couldn't have been kinder though. As I dropped back further and further the guys took turns one at a time staying behind me to make sure I didn't get lost. Then the guys out front would stop and wait for me to catch up. It was so amazingly sweet but wow, I felt like a loser. Like I'd never ran a day in my life. I had just ran a 25k last weekend and I just completely looked like a noobie.
The guys reassured me I just needed to get to the gym and work on strengthening my legs. But two miles into it, feeling guilty for slowing them down (and with how fast they were going, they must be super fast when I'm not there), I bowed out. I asked them to loop us back to the cars so I could split.
So now, I don't know what to do. I am a 12 minute/mile pace. It's slow, I know. But I've been this pace for the 4 years I've been running long distances on and off. It's just where I'm at. I probably should join a group that you pay so you can run with a group of people who are your pace but they all run roads. I'm so not into that anymore.
Going home tonight I just felt really let down by myself.
There's one other group I thought I'd try: the Lawrence, Kansas Trail Hawks. It'd be a long drive and they are all in super long distances right now. But it seems some of them go at a 12 minute pace so maybe I could tag along some weekend runs. Right now I want to crawl under a rock with SUCK inscribed on it.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hunting vs Trail Running

I had heard from some online sources that Fort Leavenworth has some hidden trails. After getting confirmation on this from a guy on the Kansas City Trail Nerds message board I decided to try to find the trail. My Dad said he would go with me so we took off to Post and parked near the skeet range. The guy had given us the best directions that you possibly could for finding a trail that never really reaches a road. You basically have a couple land markers (water tower, skeet range, fence, etc) and have to suss it out as you go into the woods.
Once we finally found the trail we were off at a pretty slow pace. It's basically a deer/hunting trail - single track - and at this time of year it's covered in leaves. Deceiving. You can't see any ruts, rocks or other debris under the fallen foliage, so stepping down and off each time is quite a gamble. The trail was sometimes easy to lose as well.
As we were going, and having fun we kept hearing gun shots. But, it didn't really register too much because the skeet range was at the top of the hill. They were aiming at the targets flying above us.
We go a little further and find a geocache! My Dad had never heard of these so I explained it to him and we took an item and left an item. Fun!
Going a little further on to the trail we see deer right ahead of us! There were only a couple and they were so huge and majestic! We stood still, a little in awe, watching them watch us. Then they took off and I took off after them. After they quickly out ran us I looked down and pointed out some shot gun shells on the trail. A little further, we smell gun smoke but again, just assumed maybe it was still the skeet range "perfume." :)
We decided to head off the trail and try to find the road. After coming out of the woods we see hunters hanging around at the forest edge! We also see the sign "WARNING - Hunting Area."

The shells, the smoke, the sounds - not just the skeet range. We were literally running with the hunted. WE were the hunted!

Lesson learned. For Xmas I'm getting my Dad this bright blaze orange cap from Cabelas! haha.