Saturday, May 29, 2010

T.M.I. 18 Miler

After last weekends' deuce of long run fails I felt some pressure to get 18 miles logged. The mileage actually didn't phase me too much. I wasn't nervous about whether or not I could complete it, especially when I thought of it as two loops around the Sandrat trail. But, unfortunately, even though I tried hard to eat clean this week I ran into some unknown trigger ingredients towards the end of the week. I suspect decaf coffee uses corn as a preservative on the beans and also in the de-caffeination process. Companies will swear up and down they don't use any chemicals, blah-blah in their process but corn avoiders pretty much have a hard time finding a safe coffee -especially decaf. Anyway that and a couple other ingredients led to some more days where I just felt sluggish and had bodily function problems.
Never-the-less, I got out to the trail a 1/2 hour earlier than the usual meet-up time to run 2 miles. Shaving those off left me with two 8 mile loops.
Gary was waiting in his car as I came out of the woods. After waiting around a bit we decided no one else was coming and set off into the forest. I like running with Gary because he lets me fly at my own pace and has lots of conversation for keeping your mind occupied. We talked about jobs, family, endurance running and the Hawk 50. We saw mulberries and snake berries (pictured to the right). We ran into our fellow Trail Hawk, Christine, who was a Hawk Marathon finisher last weekend. And then Gary taught me a big trail lesson I'd been wanting to know about: Poison Ivy. Because the trail is a popular biking trail for weekend warriors (the ones that don't know the rules of the trail and that the runner actually has the right of way), we have to quickly step aside off the trail as they come swishing by at top speed. They almost never slow down. They barely say thanks. Mostly they just breeze by as we are teetering on the edge of the singletrack and the brush just glad to have seen them in time to hop out of the way. Well, I had be worrying that every time I'd jump to the side, I was standing in poison ivy. It turns out I was right, it's everywhere. Gary had me point it out along the way (I think I got pretty good!). The trail is maintained super well but still, there's so much poison ivy that it seems a matter of time before I'm going to come in contact with it.
While chatting we were trying to come up with a Trail Hawk name. It's customary for each new member (I finally paid up in dues) to be named out on their next trail run. Laurie had already came up with a hilarious name about a month or so ago but then Gary suggested 'Bama Hawk.' It's hard to sum up who you are in one little name, but as soon as he said that I thought, yeah, I got a soft spot in me for the deep south. And it stuck.

Southern Girl
, Erykah Badu (Link to Play or Lyrics)

After about 8 miles, where I'd felt pretty good, the cramping came back. Gary thought it was salt/water intake. It was warm but I'd ran farther distances in lots of warm weather and I knew from experience and from the days before that it was my food issues. I was still paying for mess ups the day before. Heck I still had eczema and issues from a week ago when I ate wheat.
I slowed down a lot and started walking off and on. ARGH. Makes me want to pull my hair out that my body overreacts to food that isn't truly a poison.
I thought about taking a break and going to a bathroom where I could deal with part of the issue. But, I was so thrown by my previous failed attempts that I couldn't let myself stop, even if it was just a break. I was worried I'd go home and log another too-short attempt.
So after saying goodbye to Gary I headed back into the cooler woods and plugged my ear buds into my ears. Surely the scenery, the music and the cooler forest would help move me forward the last 8 miles. Relentless forward motion as they say.
I did move for a few miles but then as a lovely biker came hurling towards me around a corner. I stepped out of the way in time but he chose to stay in the middle of the path instead of hugging the opposite side of the trail (as I was) and totally clipped me.
*#@*% BIKERS!!!!!
It hurt but wasn't lasting. More frustrating than anything else. And sometime soon after that the cramps and nausea came back and the last 6 miles were a battle. The closer I got to finishing the worse I felt. I just needed to get the h-e-double hockey sticks off the trail.
But I wasn't going home early that's for sure. I was sticking it out if my body had to blow up and all I had left was legs.
I was finishing.
And I did.

18 miles DOWN!

Food that worked: Coconut Water, Whole Foods Electrolyte Water, Reed's Ginger Chews (2), Chocolate #9 Agave Gel @ 6mi., Banana @ 10 mi.

Next up: Storm the Dam Trail Half Marathon, El Dorado, Kansas

Monday, May 24, 2010

Long Run Fail

They say if you first don't succeed try, try again.

They also say, if you first don't succeed then skydiving is not for you. *lol*

Luckily my feet were firmly planted on the ground running or I'd be a goner.

I tried getting in my 18 miler twice this weekend. Both times I ended up with only 5 miles in the bucket. I'm super frustrated and don't even want to really be thinking about running right now.

Saturday I woke up at 3:30am and volunteered at the Hawk 50 Ultramarathon for a mere 16 HOURS. I think the Trail Hawks put on a pretty great trail race especially considering the amount of rain that poured the week before. Marking the course alone had to be a huge challenge. You can read Laurie's awesome and detailed race report about how the water crossings were chest high in places (includes photos). CRAZY yet oddly intriguing and fun sounding, no?
Anyhow, I naively assumed we would be rotating shifts or at least that we'd have people relieving us at noon or something. But when are there really ever enough volunteers to have that luxury?
Well, it was extra hot and I was stationed on road by myself where there was zero relief from the sun. I underestimated how much water I would need (and turns out that the runners needed it too at that point in the race) and that I would need to bring safe food for me to eat. I knew I'd have fruit available (although, I wouldn't be able to leave my post to really get to it) but I just thought I could get by with bringing some nuts and a raw bar. I just didn't think I'd be there all morning, afternoon and evening. I didn't know I'd have access to my car and that I could have made myself a cooler stocked with ice and food for myself. It was just partly poor planning, I should have asked how long I'd be expected out there. I should have asked if I'd have access to my car, and therefore could have packed better. I don't expect people to cater to my food allergies but I should have asked more questions to make sure I could prepare. And the person that was supposed to be out there with me didn't show or I might have even been able to leave more... but even that, I can't go to fast food places really. Even if I get a salad to go I have to make and bring my own dressing.
Soooo... long story all to say that by hour 14 or so, I popped something into my mouth that I shouldn't have eaten. I was HUNGRY. I read the ingredients and although I suspected the product to be made of wheat, it named only soy and fish. So I believed it and ate it. In the U.S. wheat is supposed to be clearly labeled on a product as it's a top 8 allergen. It's the law to label food in this way. Well, it must have been mislabeled and when my symptoms started happening I realized that I had never seen this ingreident to not have wheat in it and therefore I had been duped. It's not the first time a label misled me. Won't be the last time either, I'm sure.
And for the next two days I paid a price.
Oh yes.
Oh yes.
Sunday my parents decided to go for a bike ride. I thought I'd tag along and run my 18 miler. Within 4 miles I knew my body was not up to it. I was tired, I was over-heated, I felt out of it and foggy, and my body was wanting to reject and eject the "poison" from the day before.
Monday I tried again. Rinse and repeat. Reject and eject.
5 miles each time and it just leaves me frustrated at myself and my body. This week however I resolve to eat like a saint so I can try, try again next weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Night Runner

I don't normally run at night but rain has poured here for a week and I haven't been running the trails.
But tonight, the sky cleared, the roads were dry and the air was still except for me slicing through for 4.5 miles.
What I'm loving about night running is the element of surprise. I smell the strong fragrance of honeysuckle all of a sudden but can't see it's source. I hear the trickling of water going down storm drains. My head lamp catches a frog leaping just out of my path. Street lights momentarily light up a bit of earth and flying insects as I pass.
Its the same streets I drive, walk my dog, and go about my errands but at night, it's a brand new trail I've never explored.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Current Inspiration: John Muir

"I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."

"The mountains are calling and I must go.

"The power of imagination makes us infinite."

"Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. "

"Surely all God's people, however serious or savage, great or small, like to play."

"Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of
the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter."
-John Muir

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 5k

Before moving to Alabama, my Mom and I participated in the Mother's Day Run a couple years in a row. Now that I've moved back, we decided to continue the tradition. My mom has had foot issues, including surgery, so we took it nice and slow. I'm happy to do that anyway because the reason we do it is just to enjoy the experience and each other. I had also run my 16 miles the day before so it felt good just to walk and stretch out the legs.
There were signs all along the course with sayings that Moms say:

"You'll thank me when you're older."
"I don't care who started it."
"Wear clean panties in case you get in a wreck."

Hehe. We laughed because they were true and it was a nice touch to the race. Afterward there were long lines for the free food. It was ridiculous and so we skipped it. I couldn't have eaten anything but brown bananas anyway. Mostly, this race is an average road 5k but I love doing it because I get to be with my Mommie.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

16 and Build'n

If it was a snake, it would've bit me!

I thought this was a sleek, black, shiny, long snake as I was running up to it. Luckily it was just a trick stick.

That's what happens when you're out running for two and a half hours! Ya start see'n things! Actually, it was a relatively easy run that I really enjoyed. My legs took a couple miles to warm up and then at six, I got distracted and my foot caught a root. BAM! I was eating dirt. Ugh. I get so pissed off at myself for doing that. My knee HURT too. Just ached for the next three to four miles. Then the pain disappeared for the rest of the run. Whew!
At mile eight I stopped off at the car to wipe up the dirt and scratches a bit, top off my Nathan and grab a little food. I had a Reed's Ginger Chew on the first loop and coconut water. Even though I wasn't exactly hungry, I wanted to start playing with eating more solid foods. The most I've done so far I think is to eat an all natural, organic fruit leather in mango, Justin's Almond Butter & Maple Syrup, and Chocolate #9 Agave Energy Gel. Which has all worked out great. This time I ate a RAW Organic Food Bar in Chocolate Chip (Ingredients: Organic Cashew Butter, Organic Dates, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Brown Rice Protein, Organic Dark Chocolate Chips (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Non-GMO Soy Lecithin), Quinoa, Flax). I cut the bar up in tiny, bite sized pieces and stored them in a snack baggie. This worked out okay although the baggy was kinda hard to stuff into and pull out of my already-used chest pocket. I really need a smaller bag. But, the bite sized pieces were perfect for eating slowly. I'm finding so far that I can eat while running, but I have to do it slowly over a mile or more. I eat a little and drink a few sips, then as soon as I can, do it again. Maybe this is good anyways for a constant supply of energy while requesting my stomach to work a little at a time.
Otherwise, nothing new out there - just logged the miles, felt great and went home. :)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Homemade Salty "Margarita" Trail Runners Drink

Is this for real?! Well, ...maybe. :) If you are wild and crazy like that, you could add some tequila. Heck, I ran a marathon with a guy who chugged a beer, kept it down and finished just fine. But, otherwise, this virgin margarita has sea salt for sweat replacement and to keep you drinking, potassium, calcium and magnesium to balance your electrolytes, water for the obvious and limes for taste! I also added agave nectar not only to sweeten the drink, just like a margarita mix, but to add some calories for energy. It's all natural, home made and works on a hot, summer run!

Recipe: Amy's Salty Margarita Runners Drink
  • 22 oz. (650 mL) Hydration Bottle
  • Whole Foods Electrolyte Enhanced Water
  • 1 Lime (2-4 slices, to taste)
  • Sea Salt (2-3 dashes, to taste)
  • Organic Lime Juice (Optional, 1 Tblsp.)
  • Agave, Honey or Sugar (1-2tsp, to taste)
Shake well & best chilled before run!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Current Inspiration: Amy Palmiero-Winters and Jan Brett

Today I went back out to the Sandrat trails for a mid-week run during perfect weather. 80 and breezy, in the shade almost the whole way.

I was facing the usual neighborhood running and realized I had the time today, I should freaking run where I'll be happy. A lot of people had the same idea as it got pretty busy on the return trail of my five miler.

Although it took me some time to warm up, my run felt good, the leg tweaks I had been having silenced, the trail felt smooth and I just rolled on. It's funny how you can feel so creaky and rusty beginning a run for it all to just start loosening up into a nice flow. I had been reading a profile on Jan Brett, author and Boston finisher, in Runner's World and she said, "The first mile of every run I always get this feeling that I'm not a runner and that this is all a joke." Ha-ha. That's me until later on in the week when I realize that running for 2 and 3 hours at a time probably means you are a runner. Even though I second guess all those hours out there wondering if it wasn't hard enough, fast enough, if I should have been on a different terrain, upset over a leg or knee ache, etc. Scared that my ultra marathon goal race will never happen. Maybe if I even get into the race, if I don't walk too much, if I'm not last, if I finish.... maybe I'll be a runner then. :)

I came out of the forest briefly where the trees part and a breeze came over me, the sun shone and the tall grass whipped back and forth. I just felt glad to be right in that spot at that very moment. Today running felt good. It got me thinking about Amy Palmiero-Winters and how she described her amputee as a challenge like any other. Running challenges can come in many forms, although I'd say hers is up there and her statement is very modest for what she has overcome! But I love it all the same, recognizing that not every run is a good run, not every day is a good day to run, not every body is up to running, and not every moment out there feels right.

But today, it felt right and everything showed up that needed to show up and lay down a weekday run.

Current Inspiration:
Amy Palmiero-Winters, U.S. Track Team
Link: USAToday article.

Jan Brett
Children's Book Author/Illustrator and Boston finisher (7 times)
Link: Website

Monday, May 03, 2010

Sandrat 8 Miler

I missed the Clinton Lake group run because had a lot to do on Saturday and wanted to jump my errands as soon as possible that morning. I probably could have gotten in my two hour run but driving home, showering, changing, unloading crap from my hydration pack and then getting ready for the day would have put me behind more than I wanted.

I never mind running alone anyway. In fact, it's my preference most of the time.

It kept trying to storm but the mix of the cool air trying to overtake the warm made for a mix of breezes and sunny spots. It also made for dramatic scenery every time the trail peeked out from the forest.

I lost my GPS signal (unlocked Garmin.. oops) very early on in the run. I'm unfamiliar with the trail enough to not know the mileage at the turn-around points. I guessed distance by how I felt and how far I had gone since I had restarted my watch. I'm pretty sure I got in all 8 miles and left the trails feeling great.

P.S. My shoulder is healed from last weeks' crash. :)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Anouk's Trail Run

I took Anouk to a dog park that has a grouping of trees and groomed trails. It's completely fenced in so my little escapee could run off leash.

Of course, once back into the open area, she ran top speed through the only puddle in the dog park!

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Trails Are Calling and I Must Go

The title is a 'lil remix of John Muir's quote, "The mountains are calling and I must go." For being a trail runner, I haven't been doing a lot of trail running lately. Yesterday I ran a neighborhood (neigh-boring-hood) 4 miles. This has been a long winter and now a very wet spring. Which has made the trails muddy and I just haven't been feeling like making my knee's ache from the wet suction effect, nor straining muscle from trying to move through slippery earth or dealing with wet, muddy shoes. If I had shoes to rotate, it might make that a little less of a sticking point, but at this time I only have one pair of shoes that aren't over mileage.
But, tonight was the Gal Gallup run at the Sandrat trails. The ground had dried out so I went early to run with Laurie and Coleen. Coleen led at a brisk 10:30ish min/mile pace. I don't know if that was the real average but every time I looked at my watch we were doing 9 something... 10 something.... I quit looking. We past 2 miles, then 3miles.... I stopped talking. I tried to stop my brain from thinking because all that I came up with was something like:
I have to stop.
I can't keep this up.
Negativity I didn't need. So, like I said, I told myself to shut off the brain. It wasn't doing me any favors.
New rule: Don't shut off the brain.
Within no time at all of mindless brain wandering I hit a sunken rock HARD. And boom, I was down, sliding into an invisible home base. I got up and thought SAFE! But, as we resumed walking I realized my left shoulder and wrist hurt. Ugh, annoying. We resumed running and my left knee sorta clicked. UGH, very annoyed at myself.
Then, not a couple minutes later, BOOM, my foot hit another rock. Luckily I did a Superman, staying airborne until my foot was back under me. But now I was pissed at myself. I was just tired and I had probably stopped picking up my feet enough. Not used to running so fast took the juice outta me quickly.
However, I'm still really happy to have run with these girls tonight. Every Thursday is a nice little challenge for me, and I need that. It's either faster than I usually run or an exercise in not being able to take walking breaks (as much as usual) as we run single file on single track trail. Both really great for a tempo training run midweek.
At mile 2ish Laurie had just finished telling us how a tree we were climbing over had fallen during her last run. Then we heard this huge creeeeeeeeeak! Mile 4 brought back the creaking and groaning of the trees waving high in the wind so we pressed on the gas to finish up. My watch said 4.5 miles but the girls say it's a 5 mile loop.
Felt good to be back on trails and back in nature!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fourteen Mile Garage Sale & Review: Sportslick

Five days later and I still have little dots on the insides of my legs. They don't hurt at all anymore but I forgot how long it stays with you! I also forgot the stinging and burning experience in the shower after your run. I cowered under the dripping water on the verge of crying for my mother. I forgot how a mixture of moisture (rain) and friction (running) on a warm day is a perfect setup for chafing. Oweeeeeee!
Saturday was the Fort Leavenworth Yard sale and I had 14 miles to lay down so I decided to just do both. I actually didn't stop at any of the sales, but it was interesting to people watch and browse on the fly. I started up at the old DB and worked my way through the 100+ year old housing and toward the brand new housing at the back gate. The furthest houses toward the West side of post sit on a hill overlooking the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary (photo: view from the hill). At about 5-6 miles (one hour-ish) into my three hour run, it started raining.
As I made my way back down, eastward, I found a nice little trail behind some housing and was surprised at how close you can come to the Federal Pen! Ft Leavenworth also did a good job with the walking paths. Although too short for a runner doing anything over a mile or two, they are perfect for families and strollers. They really add to a park-like feel and better quality of living for Post housing I think.
Anyhow, at this point I was about 7-8 miles into my run and the burning/chafing had started. I've only ever had one chafing issue with a sports bra on a double digit run about 6 years ago. The elastic band had dug into my skin and left slash marks for a week or more. I had always chalked that up to the material (even though I've always tried to stay away from cotton). But this wasn't the material. I think it was just sweat drying and then re-wetting as well as the rain mixed with warm temps.
By this time I also needed to use the restroom and wasn't in the luxury of a hidden forest trail so I made my way to the PX. This was on route back to the db and my car, where I was looking forward to dealing w/my skin issues. In the PX I felt really self-conscious with the hydration pack on my back. It just looks, ...pretty out of place. Not to mention the rest of me, red faced, sweaty, smelly, etc. :) But I ran in, did my thing, had a chance to look at the chafing, washed up really good and felt completely refreshed. I had a fleeting hankering for a small espresso at Starbucks, which is located in the PX. I was feeling tiredness creeping in and thought it might be a nice pick-me-up as well as something to warm me on the inside. But, I still felt weird that I looked like a hiker, 7 days off trail and lost... so I walked back outside. At this point I also unstrapped my long sleeved shirt from my Nathan Intensity pack and threw that on. Back out into the rain I went.
I took a different route on the way back, which has the most scenic views on Post. This street meanders along the new Command and General Staff College campus, as well as the oldest housing along the Missouri River. I stopped off at the historical markers and checked out the old canons lining the bank. Fun!
Making it back to my car, I was able to throw on a wind breaker. The temps had dropped and by now I had been running in the rain for about an hour and a half. I also figured I'd try out my new Sportsslick Solid anti-chafing/blister stick. Although the only brand I've heard of is BodyGlide, this is the brand they carry at EliteFeet, so it's the one I picked up. They are very picky about the brands they carry and I should have known this would be a good one just because they carried it. Literally, from the moment I started walking and then running again, the pain was gone. I had another half hour or so to finish my run in the rain, and I felt zero discomfort. Had I put it on before the run - or at least when it had started raining - I believe I wouldn't even had the chafing at all. I had just thought it was mostly caused by cotton clothing but now I've learned better!

Food eaten successfully:
VitaCoco Coconut Water - best tasting brand so far.
WholeFoods 365 Electrolyte Water
Chocolate #9 Agave Energy Gel
Justin's Maple Almond Nut Butter
Reed's Ginger Chews

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review: Black Diamond "Cosmo" Headlamp

Wet earth, my foggy breath, head light burning, damp clods of grass looking like frogs, twigs looking like snakes, still night air... I'm night running.

I had planned to run with the girls out on the Sandrat trails today but it's been raining for about 24 hours. At the risk of sounding like a wimp, I honestly didn't feel like dealing with the mud. I need to run 14 miles Saturday so getting my shoes completely muddy out there tonight, and then having to wash them out - they'd never be dry in time to do my mileage. Sometimes I can set them out in a hot sun and they might be ready in a little over a day - but it's supposed to rain a lot in the next 3 days so that's not happening. I actually don't even know when I'm going to get the 14 in but as soon as there's a break in the weather, I'm going to be out there laying it down.

I had already resigned to the fact that I just wouldn't get a run in today. I kept thinking however that I hadn't run since my Monday ...and that was eating at me a bit. I want to keep building my base miles. Running 4 miles is pretty much a breeze these days and I'd like to push it to where 8 miles feels easy. It already is very, very doable and on flat surfaces it is a pretty easy run. But, I can't wait for the day it feels just as easy as 4.

I went outside to let the dog out and realized it had stopped raining. The temperature had lifted a little as warm air infiltrated the cool. Out there I decided it'd be a great night to test my headlamp. I had picked it up last year but didn't do any races that started in the dark. I definitely had some training runs that ended in the dark unplanned but never had the headlamp on me.

I ran on city streets so the street lamps lit my way fairly well. But on the darker streets I was able to see just how well the Black Diamond Cosmo lit up the pavement. I don't have anything to compare it to but I believe this will be good enough for my purposes. Certainly, it's a lot less Blair Witch Project (read: jumpy) than holding a flashlight. The headlamp is just a lot smoother and more convenient than holding one more thing in your hands.

The Black Diamond Cosmo is also super light. I have tried out an electrician's head lamp before which is a bit bigger (as well as older) and the Diamond has definitely done a good job minimizing the weight. I would forget that I even had it on. It straps very snugly to my head and didn't move as I worked up a pretty good sweat. There are three settings: Hold to turn on (3 LED lights), push again to dim, push again to flash/blink and hold to turn off. The rubber button for these settings is fairly large, on top of the device, and I was able to access those settings easily while on the move. For being so powerful, the light is pretty compact and I can see taking it off when I don't need it and stowing it in my Nathan Intensity side mesh pockets or in the back, larger zip pocket.

As for the cons, I noticed two minor ones toward the 45 minute mark of my 4 mile run. I felt like it kind of made me itch. I probably have sensitive skin however and maybe having something strapped to my sweating skin was a little irritating. I don't know, but I feel like it was pretty minor. Secondly however, I noticed I had a headache toward the end of the run. I have no idea if this is due to the tightness of the strap, the moving light I'm constantly following or if it's completely unrelated. The pollen count has been astronomical lately - but it had just rained, and I think that's supposed to suppress environmental allergies isn't it? But still, it will take a few night runs to find out if the headache is related to the headlamp. And if it is an issue of following a shinning light in the dark, no headlamp is really going to fix that for me. I would say though, if I have to wear it for more than an hour, it could be more than a minor issue. We'll see though - maybe it'll just take some practice!

Overall, I would recommend it!

Black Diamond "Cosmo"
  • Retail: $29.95
  • 32 meters max light distance
  • 3 LED lights
  • High and low beams plus strobe signal light
  • Water-resistant
  • Uses three AAA batteries

Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: Nathan Quickdraw Plus and Adrenaline 10

Ran a 55 minute loop around the airfield today. It felt quick and very easy. I got a chance to test out two new pieces of gear as well: 1.) Nathan Quickdraw Plus Handheld and 2.) Brooks Adrenaline 10.

I tried a few hand held bottles over the past couple weeks but don't remember all of their names. I was inclined to buy the Nathan because I am so happy with my hydration pack. They test their products out on elite runners and although they aren't perfect in design, I feel like their products generally are well made. This was definitely true for the Quickdraw Plus. It fits like a glove. When you put your fingers through the strap, it just fits and stays. There is no effort to grasp the bottle at all so you don't feel like you are carrying weight at your hands. A bottle wouldn't necessarily slow you down, but mentally, I was always adverse to carrying one because I thought it would at least feel heavy enough to be a burden. I have no idea why, but it just doesn't feel cumbersome or weighty in your hands. I did have a little trouble with the screw on lid. After filling it with water, it never seemed torqued down tight enough. I couldn't tell if there was water spillage from the cap or if it was coming out the top of the nozzle or just that it was wet from being filled. I think this worked out okay though. When I started running some water was coming out but I hadn't pushed down the nozzle stopper. So that was my bad - but duly noted that you can't just throw the bottle around w/out plugging it back up. I don't think the cap not screwing down was really a problem either - - and maybe it just looks like it's not completely tight, I don't know.
Anyhow the strap also has a small pocket for keys and a few cards and /or energy gel. I didn't have to put anything in it so I'll have to do a short review when it's loaded up with stuff.

The second thing I picked up were some new shoes. I've been running in Brooks Adrenaline's since 2004 with only one deviation to Saucony that was a mistake by Garry Gribble's Running Sports. (I have a very narrow AA foot and I guess Saucony is a fairly wide shoe.) I have exclusively bought my shoes from Elite Feet otherwise and recommend them to everyone I can.
I was a little worried about the 10 because I've read that there have been a few changes in this model. It felt the same as previous versions when I slipped it on however.

Running in it for the first time today I felt two tweaks: one in my left ankle and one in my right knee. *brow furrows* I was running on the right side of a slightly sloping dirt road however so at the very end of my run, when the tweaks started letting me know something wasn't working, I moved over to the middle. I hope this was the problem. The only other thing that it could be was that I used an old insert in my new shoes. Since Elite Feet was closed, I couldn't buy my inserts because Gary Gribble's doesn't carry them. I might run in the shoes once more on a different terrain before going and getting a new insert at Elite Feet.... even if that is the issue, it's just a $20 solution. Otherwise, the feet felt fine I think.

One other issue that is still bugging me is that I'm getting a little skin irritation on my outer toes even during short runs like this one. Mainly my left foot. I'm wearing those thin drymax socks and a little disappointed in them still. I really wish I could get ahold of the thicker trail version. The skin issue turns to blisters at anything over 10 miles and especially on the trails in the mud. So in a race, I imagine I'd be in for a real problem. And the most irritating thing is that I've never had a blister problem before! I guess that's what training is for though - working out all of these problemos!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Homes Tour

Image: wikipedia

Today I planned to do 6-8 miles as a low mileage week between 12 (which turned out to be 11) miles last weekend and 14 miles next weekend. My legs were still a little sore and cranky from my trail run this week, so I decided to run the miles out at the flat Army airfield.

The first loop around, 4.5 miles-ish, went fairly easily and fast. That's one good piece of news. Every time I run a loop or two out there now it feels relatively easy. I think grass and trail running is really strengthening my legs and building my cardiovascular health as well.

When I came around from the loop, I saw some Army tents and soldiers sitting out in front of them. Mostly, everything looked dark inside the tents and I couldn't make anything out. There were also a few personal vehicles around the tents as well. My first thought was that it might be some kind of training but secondly I thought it might be a dragoon encampment! Dragoons are re-enactors who dress in 1840's uniform and educate people on what it was like living and working in a frontier fort. They usually have horses, tents, shoot cannons, as well as perform ceremonies (flag raising/lowering) and march. There are women as well who demonstrate what it was like to live and travel as an Army wife. I've heard they also have balls with full 1800s gowns and dress uniforms. Anyhow, when I saw them I decided to run the street nearest to them and check it out. Unfortunately, when I ran by, it was just far enough where I still couldn't make out what they were doing and it's not in the spot they usually perform. I didn't want to run by if it was a real training exercise so I took the road that led away and up to the old disciplinary barracks... home to the military prisoners for over a hundred and forty years.

I ran past some horses behind the DB and guiltily snapped a pic (it can be illegal to take photos on a military base). They always have horses on base but it had nothing to do with Cavalry anymore... I think they usually belong to families and even civilians. Past the horses I kept taken on the hill that leads up to the prison. It used to be called "the castle" and was built by it's own prisoners in 1875. A new facility has been built recently, but it still felt wrong to be running up along side the huge walls and guard towers. At one point I ran past the huge doors/gates that were open and led into some sort of yard inside the walls. I wanted to take a picture so bad but didn't.... So just think Shawshank Redemption and you'll pretty much get the picture not taken.

Once I got up past the DB and back onto the main post roads, I headed for the old housing. It turns out that day they were having the annual Homes Tour which features structures from the 1880-1890s. People pay to go inside homes and see the architecture and collections... in the fall they do an awesome history and ghost tour as well.

I passed the homes, wound around to the National Cemetary (c. 1844) and then pass the golf course and back to the main road for the last 1.5 mile back to the airfield. I had filled my hydration pack up with 50ml of coconut water and plain electrolyte water from Whole Foods. I ran out sometime in mile 6 so next time, if it's warm out at all, I need more than 50ml for a 1.5 hr run.

Lots of people were out walking in nice clothes for the Home Tour. I think I was attracting lots of stares passing them by at mile 6, 7 and 8 with my sun-pinked skin, hydration pack and huffing and puffing. Hey, I was just taking the tour as well... at a little faster pace!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

If I can't go to the beach, I'd rather be here

Ran the Hunt Lodge Valley trails on base today! I hadn't been to the deer trails since my hunting scare last season. It hadn't rained in days so I wanted to find out if the area had dried out, which it had for the most part. Except when the trail was muddy, it was a pit! It was also slow going over some of the dried mud because they were deeply rutted from hunting boots traipsing through this snowy winter.

I lost the trail twice on my short run but for the most part the path is easy to follow. After about 1.5 miles in you start to see quite a few trails crisscrossing. I have only stayed on the main path so I'm not sure how far the off-shoots go. It's really unfortunate that the Post doesn't assign a unit to maintain the trail system like they do at Fort Rucker. With all the PT that is required of the soldiers, you'd think it'd be an excellent place for them to get in shape. Although, I know they aren't really concerned about distance as much as speed.

Speaking of distance, I picked up an awesome GIS map from Santa Fe Bike Trails shop in Leavenworth. It's a satellite view of the West side of Post and has the trails marked very clearly. There looks to be quite a lot of miles out to explore!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Trail Run with a View

Saturday morning I met the trail hawks at Clinton Lake again. There was a pretty good sized group gathered with some new people (new to the group, not running). A couple were road racers and one of them was a triathlete.

We had some good talks about triathlon training, which I always think is something I want to do. Then I remember that I don't love the water. I can't even do a technical stroke. So at that point I always go back to hoping to get into duathlons. Until I remember that I don't own a bike anymore. Gaw.

The group went fairly slow because some people had a 25 mile run planned ahead of them and others were new to trail running. This was perfect for me as I only needed to do 12 and I was able to keep up. Finishing is always goal #1. Keeping up is goal #2. :)

The morning had started out a pretty cool 50ish degrees and almost half the folks were in long sleeves. I went sleeveless knowing that it'd warm up 20ish degrees while running in addition to whatever the sun would do for us. Nick had on some Moebens which I have been lamenting over online for quite awhile. I haven't bought any because I had no idea what size to get. I have freakishly long arms but they are skinny. Nick had size large and let me try on a sleeve. While the bicep area was almost too loose, it would totally work and was definitely the right length. So happy I got to test them - and it was exactly the right kind of day to wear them.

About mile 7 I started feeling some tiredness... energy wise. I had gotten very little sleep the night before and I'm not sure if that is why I was feeling it so much. I took a Chocolate #9 and never really felt like it did a whole lot. I don't know - the jury is still out for me on that product. If there was any way to put caffeine in that product with out using a corn derivative it'd probably be the most perfect product. This time I ate the product very slowly - maybe over a half mile or more. I didn't experience any nausea this time and I think that consuming it as slow as I can is key to this success.

I turned around at Land's End and took a mixture of blue and white trails back with one other gal. We ended up with only 11 which was fine by me. By the last couple of miles my legs were trashed. The trails are pretty tight and winding, with some hills and a good amount of mud. So the ole tree stumps took a lot of pounding. I was also out there for 2 hours and 45 minutes so if you look at "time on my feet" I was pretty happy with that...

One of the girls who had wrapped up earlier with 6 miles had gone to a cafe and brought back bagels. She opened the huge box for me but sadly, and hungrily, I said, "no thanks." My gluten free little body thanked me and I rewarded myself with at a coffee shop later with hot coffee and an allergy free Bumble Bar. :D

Thursday, April 08, 2010

5+ Miles with the Girls

I met the women's trail hawk group for a 5 mile run tonight. It started out feeling pretty cool at 55 degrees but once we started running the temperature felt awesome. Last week I had a little knee complaint after running on very muddy trails the Sunday before. This week everything seemed back to normal!
I ran with some girls who are definitely faster than me but it's probably good for me to speed it up once a week. On Tuesdays I can run at my own pace and then Saturdays I can push the mileage. This way I'm getting a varied workout through the week.
I love running with these girls and getting to talk about girl stuff - running skirts, food, yoga, boys... Good times! :)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Review: Chocolate #9 and Drymax Socks

Easter Sunday I spent with my Dad running around Sherman airfield. The weather was great for most of the run but started pouring during the last 1/4th of my 8 miles. I had on an ipod with headphones and worried about electrocution. Can that happen? lol.

The downside to running on Post is that it's a pretty good drive for me. I feel bad about spending the gas on it when I'm also going to Lawrence to run twice a week now. I usually try to double up on my errands when I go there and visit my parents and/or grocery shop at the Commissary, get gas (tax free), etc...

But I love running here for a few reasons. The loop is 4.6 miles which means regular access to your car amost every 5 miles. I also love it because it's perfectly flat. The elevation gain and loss is about 40 feet. :) Watching planes come in over your head also makes for something new to look at.

On the front side of the loop there is almost always soldiers or their families out there. The 2 mile strip is the Army Physical Fitness Test 2 miler course so a lot of military guys and gals are out there training or doing their test.

I walked a little too much with my Dad on the first loop. He doesn't sustain a pace for long because he's not trained up but naturally, he's way faster than me and feels pretty uncomfortable running my slower pace. He's going to start biking it along side me in the future. This is what we did a couple times last year and it works out perfectly. We both get a good workout in that way. So although we walked, time wasn't really wasted because we get to catch up and spend time together. The 2nd loop he went back to the car and I really booked it. I finished the last half of my 8+ miles in 45 minutes. I just felt like I really knocked it out!

Two things I got to try during this run that were successful:
1. Chocolate #9 Agave Energy Gel

Taste: Like chocolate ganache. Amazing... sweet but not overly sweet like GU.

Ingredients: Agave and swiss chocolate. So I was able to eat it with my allergies and not have problems. This makes me so happy. This is the ONLY gel I've found that I can eat.

Packaging: I was carrying around agave sticks which would work but they are as long as straws and not easy to carry with me. I'm so happy to have a normal, rip off packet now, easily stored in my pocket.

I did get a little stomach nausea for 10 minutes about 10 minutes after eating it. I am used to agave as I use it in place of honey and maple syurp for my coffee or pancakes, etc. But, I still felt a slight queasiness so next time I'm going to try half a packet, eating the other half later.
Also, I never felt a jolt of energy. This was to be expected though, as agave is a slow burner and that's the whole point vs other sugars that spike and then crash. I only ate it on an 8 mile run so it's not a great test anyway as far as energy. I'd normally not eat an energy gel until running something like a 10 or 12+ miler. But I will say that at the end of my run, I still felt like I could do more. So overall, I'm very happy with the product and have 3 more to try out.

2. The other thing I tried out were my new Drymax socks. I wanted and looked for the trail socks but couldn't find them in stores in my area. I settled on picking up the Running Lite-Mesh version. They felt a little thin and weren't even the thinnest one they make! As soon as I put them on however, they felt comfy and gripped my feet in all the right places. No slippage or sliding. I wore them on this run even though my normal Target running socks would have probably worked fine. I still had 2 blisters from my mud run last Sunday so I didn't want to take chances on interrupting the healing process. So, for my 8 miler the Drymax socks seemed to have worked - no additonal blisters. My current blisters didn't lose their new skin and my feet felt great.
I still would like to try their trail socks though. The lite-mesh version are white and trail running turns all my socks brown. And I hate to use bleach as it damages some fibers. I also wonder if the trail version is more sturdy - especially with how much twisting and turning your feet do on a trail versus on the road... Anyway, I should be logging most my miles on trails this year and my big goal race is out on the Ice Age Trail! Can you guess which race I've set my sights on???

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Meet: The Gal Gallup

On Tuesday I ran a quick 3 miles on some neighborhood roads but tried to stay in the grass as much as possible to simulate trail running. I think it helps to build my legs muscles. Although, when running uphill or when grass isn't available I've been not worrying as much about pavement running. I'm so much faster than I used to be (at least going short distances) and it's been fun to look down at my Garmin and see a 9:45 min pace or 10:30 pace here and there. I can't hold it for long, but more often, I'm seeing those faster paces flash across the watch. My legs are used to having to dig into the grass or mud or dirt for traction, so when I'm on the roads I'm fly'n! (relatively speaking to my usual snails pace)
Thursday I met another new trail running group! This is an all women's group that meets on the Kansas River Sandrat trails. The trails are on a loop but it's so narrow it's almost an out and back. They are also relatively flat - nice! There were a bunch of new runners (new to running and new to the group) so it was a great turn out and fun to meet everybody. There were two different paces going on. The first group I went out with ran faster than a 12 min/mile pace. I stayed with them until the turn around and then joined the 12 min-ish group to go back to the trail head. We finished right before it was getting dark and the air was still warm. Such a perfect evening!

Can't wait to see these girls next Thursday!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Meet: The Lawrence Trail Hawks

Last year, after moving to Kansas from Alabama, I knew that I needed to do two things to keep running: one; find unpaved trails and two; find new running friends.
After running the Dogwood Canyon 25k, I met up with the Kansas City Trail Nerds one night. They were very nice and have run together consistently for years. However, the 3 guys I met that night ran way faster than my pace. One guy from out of town did stay behind me but I held everybody up by alot and it was obvious. The hilly trails they run at WyCo Park were just too much for me, especially a week after doing a very muddy, hilly race. We were probably going seriously slow from their normal pace but their slow pace still sent my heart pounding into my throat. I wasn't ready and after two miles I had to drop out. I didn't go back. I didn't know when there would be girls or if there would be slower runners. I couldn't hold them up all the time and I couldn't run alone in that area. So I just quit. I ran a few more times outside at Fort Leavenworth before the weather turned cold and I turned to the treadmill at the YMCA.
But this spring, looking at hitting double digits on my long runs, I knew I'd have to find longer stretches of unpaved road or trail. I also needed people to run with for safety and for help reaching my new goal this year.
It turns out that my old boss is married to someone who is in a running group in Lawrence. So, I contacted Gary and within a half hour knew where and when everyone would be meeting! Today I met the group at the Clinton Lake north shore trail head for a 10 mile run. Everyone was very welcoming and there were a few other new to the group runners as well.
Again, everybody ran way faster than me. UGH. In fact, I'm so slow that I think people think I am new to running. People mentioned it a couple times but after we talked for a while they realized I knew a little more than a newbie would know.... I've been running since 2004. lol. Oh well. And the funny part is that I've actually gained some speed this year - - I have been running in the 10-11 min/miles on paved roads and 12+ on trails. But running with faster people all the time is tough (though they are all super supportive - it's my own negative self talk) and it makes my gains in speed seem like nothing!
I will say, in my defense, the Clinton Lake trail is more technical than I've been training on so far this year. -Lots of hills and the mud was outrageous! Almost every step we sunk, slipped and slopped. Worst mud I've ever ran in for a training run. I've run in rain, hail, sleet/snow, on icy paved paths, etc. I'm not a pansy to running in less-than-perfect conditions. But the way that the mud pulled at my shoes, my knees ached at pulling back with every step. Hoping my knees heal quickly and if I have to, I'll go back to running dirt roads and wait until the trails harden.
Anyway, Gary was awesome and let the group go on so he could run my pace to keep me company (and keep me on the right trail). Thanks Gary!! Colleen also met us half way through and finished out my milage with us.
Afterward, in my car I peeled off all my wet, brown clothing and saw blisters on my feet. Dang! I never get blisters so I chalked it up to the 2 hours and 45 min of running in the mud with old socks. As soon as I can I'm going to pick up some Drymax socks that I keep reading about...
I will definitely be running with the Hawks again! I will probably let everyone know that I can run alone because I don't want to hold people back each run. They've got their own races to train for and I'd feel terrible if someone had to baby sit me each time. I think it will be good enough to know people are out there on the trails when I am, for safety.
And I'm really excited to have new trails to train on!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Running errands

Today I decided to mix it up a bit by combining errands I needed to "run" with my 4 miler. It's almost exactly 2 miles to the Post Office from my house and the library. I found that doing this really helped to bring some purpose and new direction to my weekly run - which has been feeling like a chore lately.
Running the pavement always worrys me because I feel like they make me more prone to injuries. I felt a tweaking on the outside of my right knee and since I've been home it's felt sore. All that on a little 4 miler. But I have been mixing up my shoes lately and most of them are worn out. I think I might have put on a really old pair and I'm hoping that they were the cause of my knee pain.
Otherwise, I knocked out 3 things I had to do today in one jog. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some Sun and some Run

Prior to yesterday, it had been snowing for three days! :( I lost my free YMCA gym membership on the 17th so I couldn't run my 6 miler scheduled for this weekend indoors or outdoors.
Yesterday, however, the sun came out and was shinning warm and strong. It melted about 3/4 of the snow and then today, the sun was working on melting the rest.
Although it felt like summer, I still didn't feel like running! This kinda shocked me because usually the sun pulls me outdoors. I decided to get my running clothes on and take the dog out on a walk to get my blood flowing. That helped wake me up and put a little energy in my step.
Anouk (puggle) was so happy to be walking: tail up and bouncing, tongue out, panting.... bliss!
Once we got home, I hopped into my car and drove an exit down where the neighborhoods have sidewalks. My neighborhood sucks on so many levels... tight hills, sidewalks that disappear and reappear, country roads where drivers can not see a runner because of the hills and overgrowth as well as a lack of shoulder for someone to safely move over for on coming traffic.
So, although this neighborhood is just as boring and the views are basically middle class mid-west suburbia, it's safe and there's a grassy area on both sides of the sidewalks. I try to run in the grass most of the time. Usually I only pop over to the sidewalk if I'm going uphill and want to bring my heart rate down. Since I don't have easy access to real trails here, I feel like running in the grass strengthens my legs and works my stabilizer muscles enough to simulate trail running. You also have to pay attention to the ground just like trail running... there are frequent dips, holes and uneven terrain that could be a quick ankle twister. Also, I can tell my heart rate jumps up pretty quickly due to having to push off ground that gives rather than hard concrete. Lastly, I hope that by opting for the grass I am pounding the pavement less which hopefully means less chance for injuries that road running seems to produce.
I had scheduled 6 miles but only got in 5. In addition to taking days off due to weather, on Thursday I only got in 2 miles so my legs were really feeling this workout. I also didn't have any coconut water so my Nathan was filled with plain water and my legs cramped up pretty good the last mile. The sun felt hot and at 60 degrees outside it probably felt like 80 running - I even got a light sun burn (reminder: start wearing sunblock)! I decided that since this coming weekend calls for 10 miles, I'd give myself a break and not push my legs now.
Usually, I hate snakes but seeing this little guy sunbathing on the side walk made me think that maybe Spring is here to stay and Summer is around the corner!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Girl in the World

Went over to another neighborhood to put in 2 - 4 miles. I'm disappointed to say I only worked up to 2. I'm obviously having motivation problems here big time. I've said it before on this blog, but running around a bunch of neighborhoods is boring and I have a hard time pulling myself out there.
I feel trapped into neighborhood running though. There is a huge trail system in a forest around a local county lake but it's just completely unsafe to run there alone. Even some guys I know don't go there at night by themselves as it's surrounded by some not-so-great areas. There are park rangers, but it's pretty big and if you're going to run miles, it's not like someone can keep an eye on you the whole time.
There is also a system of paved trails that the city maintains. These are really nice but two problems there are safety (every year there's a women who get attacked on the trail system it seems) and secondly, I don't want to put in the majority of my mileage on roads. It just leads to injury for me.
I thought about starting to pay for a gym membership but I just had 6 months of free access to a YMCA and although I appreciated being able to cross train, I know I'd never want to do the majority of my mileage on a treadmill. Running for me is about life and being in nature. Treadmill running is just something I do when I have to get in some miles and there is no other option in sight.
The best thing that could happen to be is to find someone to run with.... Someone with the same mileage goals in mind and who runs at the same pace. Almost everybody I've ever run with, runs faster than me and one of us ends up frustrated. I'm getting faster by continuing my leg workouts, but still, I absolutely hate being pushed on my daily runs. - Unless it's a run where I'm working on speed, I just want to be working in my zone.
I used to run with a group on the weekends and I could join a group. But it still leaves me with the rest of the week, running in my neighborhoods.
Anyway, it's just where things have to be right now I think.
I feel frustrated often about being a woman and having the safety issues that men might not face. A woman just can't run anywhere without safety being a concern. Men also have situations where that is true, but it seems the majority feel free to run wherever and whenever they want. A lot of woman do it too, I know. I read some trail runner blogs where girls set out for miles on their own. Sometimes I think that maybe I should just do it.... but the truth is, I'd be so full of anxiety that someone was going to mess with me out there that I'd just not even be able to enjoy the miles.

Current sources of motivation:
Dirt Diva (trail runner/ultra runner)
Lisa (ultrarunner)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Review: Ultramarathon Man DVD

Just watched Ultramarathon Man: 50 Marathons in 50 Days. I had already listened to the audio book version of Dean Karnazes' story last year, but saw the movie on Netflix and decided to watch it.
I've been trying to soak up motivation from various sources. This has been a really harsh winter with a lot more snow than we usually get. Running for me is very much tied to loving the outdoors and warm weather. Cold weather makes me want to curl up in the fetal position under a blanket and not move unless it's to eat. :) So, I thought I could at least lay on the couch and watch someone else run a bunch of miles and maybe it'd somehow light my fire.
Well, it did and it didn't. I did want to build my endurance and I did think about how I need to put in the low miles now, even though I don't feel like it because by the time my mileage builds to something decent, it'll be warm outside and I'll want to be out there.
The movie itself was pretty entertaining. The complaints I read about this film seem to be people who were upset about how focused it was on Dean. Well, Dean was the one running the 50 marathons! What do they expect? He also focused on his cause which is childhood obesity and other smaller themes like the research they did on his body and how the crew survived living in a van for a month together.
One reviewer wanted the documentary to go into how Dean prepares his body and how he's able to endure that much exercise stress. But I think the documentary does hit on that. It shows Dean running a lot of miles to prepare for the Endurance 50. It also shows how he eats well on the road, how he never got as much down time as he needed, how he admits that a lot of his success is probably due to genetics and how afterward, he ended up doing 1300 more miles and ran half way across the country!
I think that Dean isn't doing secrete concoctions of Cytomax and Gatorade or a certain amount of gels and salt caps. Maybe in important races he strategizes but in this one, the fueling plan didn't seem very rigid. I think his success is just because he puts in the mileage day after day and his body is able to recover from it quickly due to genetics and his healthy lifestyle. They said that after 50 marathons, Deans body only showed 1/4th of the damage that a normal runner would have after just one marathon!
Anyhow, I thought it was an interesting story and definitely worth watching while snowed in on your couch.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oregon Trail Run

My Dad came out with me to run on Post today. We ran 4.6 miles around the Army airfield but had to plan out another three+ miles somewhere else unless we wanted to go another 4.6 around again.

We decided to head off the airfield towards the 120 year old housing. This post is the oldest active military post West of the Missouri and and has a lot of beautiful old buildings and housing. I figured we could run up the hill and then just run in the grass along the sidewalks and look at all the scenery.

There's a huge grassy field that we ran up. It's a long hill that dips right in the middle which was created from all the wagons heading West on the Oregon and Santa Fe trails. It still has the double ruts from the wheels although they are covered in grass now (shown in the picture of my Dad). It was fairly steep and we looked back down the hill towards the river and talked about how difficult it would be to get where we were standing. The travelers had to float their wagons and force their oxen to swim across a swirling, quickly moving, wide, muddy river (river pictured at the bottom of the post) - unless they could pay for a ferry. I copied the inscription on the monument:

The stone monuments to the West mark the trace of the original road leading up from the river. For many pioneers, traders, settlers and soldiers, this was the beginning of the Oregon and Stanta Fe Trails leading to the Far West. The steamboat and ferry landings were nearby, and foundations of one of the old levee warehouses may still be seen to the east of this marker.

It had rained for days before we were out there so a lot of the airfield road was muddy and rutted out. My dad held up great for not having trained at all (besides working out regularly at the gym). He finished with 5 miles and is thinking about doing a 5k. I told him he could probably even do a 10K at this point. Hopefully we will plan one together soon!