Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fall Plans

I have found myself in a bit of a funk lately. I've been a little tired and worn down. Much of this has probably come from work stress, mostly self-induced. It's funny how society has taught us, (or maybe just me), that it's valiant to work hard, and put in extra hours to succeed; but if you take a long lunch or adjust your schedule for some fitness time, then maybe you are not as committed to you work as you should be.

I know that this is an internal struggle that I deal with quite often.

Because of this recent slump, I have decided not to take on any major fall races this year. I had a couple of them that I thought I might do. I considered the Hawk Marathon / 50 mile trail race but the date just doesn't fit well into my schedule. Then I came close to signing up for the Kansas City Marathon just to see how that would go, but have not pulled the trigger. Mostly because my running has not been going very well lately.

For almost three years now I have been running and training for a fall and then a spring event. It has been a great adventure but I think that I may need a little time off from serious training. The work-life balance has been tilted out of balance and really heavily leans towards work these days. That probably isn't going to change for awhile.

Currently on the radar, I am hoping to run the 50 mile distance at the Ice Age 50 next year.

Of course...I could change my mind on all of this tomorrow.

Good news...I noticed that they have mowed the trails at Grand Trace, one of my favorite places to run. Looks like I will be running there again soon.

It may be just what I need.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gravel Sunday

I started to write this post on Sunday, but I wore myself out by the end of the day.

I ran10 miles and then biked 30.

I don't think exercise is an addiction for me, but it certainly takes the edge off and makes me a more patient and understanding person.

I ran the gravel on Sunday. I saw several deer but was not quick enough to get any pictures of them.

Here is what I did see though...

I ran another one of my famous "in the middle of nowhere" roads

These line our gravel road for almost half a mile.

Black eyed Susans

Queen Anne's Lace


Storm off to the south, we could have used that rain.

My running philosophy has changed drastically this last year. I am not so competitive on my runs, but much more meditative. 

I like it.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stormy Run

I finally got fed up with putting off my runs due to the heat today. I stepped outside and realized that we had just received a little sprinkling of rain but the clouds were off to the north east and I assumed that the storm had all but missed us.

It was 102 degrees when I headed out, my plan was to just run an easy 4 miles and take some walk breaks if I started to get too hot. I felt a few sprinkles here and there but assumed that that was all I would get. About mile two the weather changed quickly. The rain started coming down harder and the wind started blowing. It was actually quite refreshing. Then somewhere around the 2 to 2.5 mile mark, a huge crack of thunder went over my head and the skies opened up. It was pretty exhilarating! It felt great to have the cool rain coming down. I was really grateful for the shower because like many areas in the Midwest, it has been dry as a desert around here.

The rain was coming down in sheets and the wind was blowing at my face, it reminded me of the part in the movie Caddyshack when the Bishop was having the game of his life during the middle of a major storm.

If you don't know or don't remember what I am talking about here is a great clip of the scene.

Scene from Caddyshack, one of my all-time favorite movies.

Although it was a little scary at times because the rain was so heavy, I managed to actually run back out of the storm and made it home safely. 

Crazy runners....

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Who Inspires You?

We all have hero's or people that we look up to or admire for one reason or another. Somebody that has caught my eye and inspired me recently is Diana Nyad.

Diana is an endurance swimmer. She has broken and continues to hold several world records for swimming. She attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida last year and failed after being stung by several box jellyfish and Portuguese man-of-wars. They pulled her out of the water after swimming for 29 hours.

 She has not given up her dream and has continued to train for this swim. She is currently standing by and waiting for the right weather conditions for another attempt.

Diana is going to be 63 years old in August.

I love the outlook in this video of her stating "Life sometimes seems unfair, so what are you gonna do?"

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Update

After doing three races within a months time I backed off my running for about three weeks. Work has been busy, as always, but I also think I just needed a little time off to recharge the batteries. The down time from running has been good this time. In the past I have worried that I might not get back into running but I never really had that feeling this time. I knew I would be back, I just needed a little time, and fall race to pull me along.

I haven't fully committed to any race plans yet, but the Kansas City Marathon on October 20 is currently at the top of my list. It's close, fairly affordable as marathons go, and I will know some people running it.

With this stifling heat the last couple of weeks I have been doing some early morning runs. As long as I can get myself out of bed and get going, they are pretty awesome. I have only been going 4-5 miles at a time, but once I get my sleep habits adjusted maybe I can go a little further before work. Keep in mind, my goal is to be done running by 5:30am. Care to join me?

I even managed to get up early this morning and finish up my run just shortly after 7am in order to beat the heat.
As dry as it has been there is still plenty of color along the roads. The gravel leading away from our house is lined with purple cornflowers, it's kind of nice running along here.
Blue Cornflowers lining the road.

At just past the two mile mark there is an abandoned house on top of a hill. The yard is filled with these flowers.

My photography skills leave something to be desired because you can't see the true impact of the flowers from this picture. I tried some digital enhancements but still couldn't do it justice.