Monday, August 30, 2010

Fast and Furious!

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Rough day at work. Got started on my run late. I was grumpy. So I was running angry and it really helped my time! :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Running in the Cornfields Part 1

First let me admit the title of this post is inaccurate. I didn’t actually run “in” the corn fields. I would NEVER run IN the corn fields! 
I watched “Children of the Corn” in the 80’s. I have been afraid of those damn fields ever since! The trail I ran laid a scant twenty feet from the fields on either side and that was close enough for me! I still kept a sharp eye peeled for ol’ Malechai  as I ran. I bet it helped me keep my pace brisk knowing at any time psycho children could come out of the corn and drag me back in never to be seen again......
The start of my eight mile run was actually great. I felt fresh and strong! I had left early (8am) and was confident the heat wouldn’t get bad until after I was back in at around 10 ish. I mis-judge that a little bit. That wasn’t the only thing I mis-judged......
The trail was where the old railroad tracks had been taken out. So they ran a fairly straight shot threw neighborhoods and then through farmland when the trail left town. 
In the first couple miles I ran past large houses with carefully landscaped back yards. Many of the home owners built bridges across the ditch that separated their yard and the trail. With all the rain that comes in the summer, the residents will actually need the bridges to cross the ‘river’ that will appear. 
One yard was particularly delightful. The owner had placed a lot of objects of interest on their back property line so they actually lined the trail as I ran along. It was really fun to see the cute set ups they did. My favorite was a little bench with a pinic basket next to it. Just behind the basket was a sign that read: Picnic menu and listed items like “Hot Dogs”, “Soda Pop” “Chips” and there was a bright red phone right next to the sign for you to call up to the house and place your order. So cute!
There was also a Tic Tac Toe game set up using rocks with “X” and “O” painted on them. The game was at its end where there was only one square left to play and I noticed that either the “X”s or the “O”s had the potential to win the game.
One of my favorite features was a miniature 1960ish t-bird toy car with a big teddy bear sitting in it. The big teddy bear was holding a small teddy bear. Very cute. All the little scenes cheered me as I ran along. But that wasn’t all. 
At the end of the property was a large shed with a mural painted on it. It was a painting of the trail itself with a biker and a runner on the path with the phrase “Find joy in your journey” at the top. How appropriate! That property was a joy in itself!
I had a long way to go and I was already feeling the heat. It was going to be a long time before I’d see my Dad at the first agreed upon checkpoint. (My dad was SAGging my run for me). 
 And then I saw him..a few hundred feet away. He was wearing a red t-shirt, so he was easy to spot. He had parked at the nearest street that crossed the path from where he left me. 
At first I thought, “Aw, he’s checking on me.” Then I realized, he must not have thought I could make it that far! I hadn’t even gone two miles yet!
When I reached him he started jogging beside me for a few yards. How cool! Dad and I have ridden bikes together a lot. But we’ve never ran together. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen my dad run. Ever. But he jogged with me until he was back where he left the car.
The run to the turn around point seemed long.  I was not used to the humidity! Breathing was so much harder than in California! The air was like, not chunky, that would be LA. But wet and heavy. Like you’re breathing syrup. 
I was getting wiped! I couldn’t wait for Dad to meet me at the first ‘rest stop’. I needed a break! Then he called me. 
“Jill, I’m at 100th street and I don’t see you.” 
“I’m south of 100. I’m at 110.” I shout into my handsfree set.
“110 isn’t south. It’s north.”
So a long discussion ensued regarding the odd layout of the roads and where my precise location was. 
“Ok, Jill. I’ll meet you at 26th. I think that should be the next cross over you’ll reach.”
There was a ton of bikers on the trail that day. We later learned there was a sponsored ride. So at least I wasn’t alone as I struggled my way to the meet up. A few minutes later my phone rang again. 
“Jill, where are you?”
“I’m almost to 24th.”
“What? How did you miss 26th?” 
“I didn’t see you. Are you sure you’re at 26th?”

“Yeah. I’m at the intersection with all the old farm equipment.”
“Farm equipment??”
“Yeah. It’s right next to the trail. You had to have run right past it!”
“I didn’t see any equipment.”
“Gosh Jill! Where ARE you?? Maybe you aren’t as far south as we thought.”
“I don’t know Dad. I sense I’m south of you.”
“Me too but I should have ran into you here.” [Frustrated pause]
Some more bikers passed me heading north. 
“Dad, you want to try to meet me at 24th?”
Five seconds later my phone rings again.
“Jill, you are south of me. I stopped some bikers and they confirmed they had seen you south on the trail.”
“Yeah I’m just now crossing 24th.”
“Ah, I missed you!”
“Dad, remember the farmhouse on Irvinedale?”
“Meet me there.”
I kept running. I was so tired! The heat and humidity was just KILLING me! The farmhouse was way out there. It was within the last two and a half miles of the finish. That was a long way to go before getting my bottles refilled. But I kept plugging along. I was afraid my dad was going to have a long wait before he saw me coming down the trail. 
Finally, I reached what I call “Butterfly Alley”. It was a piece of trail right across the street from the farm house. It was a long stretch. But I knew a break was at the end. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Running With Diana

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So tired tonight. But I called my best girl Diana and she talked with me for 5 miles. Easiest 5 I've ever done! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Late 4 miler

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First day back from vacation. Stayed late at work. Didn't start running until 8pm! It's bed time now!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

14 Miles!!

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My first 14 miler! It went really well! I think the tough training in IA was really helpful! Yeah!

Seven Miles in Iowa

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I was better prepared this time. I even started an hour earlier than my 8 mile run. But it was still burning up in the second half. There were a lot of runners out too. Don't know how they do that long term. This was my last run in Iowa. Next run 14 miles back in cool CA!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Four Miles in Iowa

I haven’t blogged about my longest run in Iowa yet (8 miles). I want to take a little time with it. It’ll end up a two-parter as my ‘adventure’ didn’t end with the run itself. 
I also want to go back to the route and collect pictures of the interesting sites I saw. (Unlike my amazing husband, I don’t take good pictures as I run).
So today, I’m going to blog about this morning’s run. It proved both challenging and fun! 
I only had 4 miles to go today so I thought if I started at 8am, I’d be back before it got too hot. I checked the temperature before I left the house and it read “71”. That sounded great!
I got outside and it felt like 80! Amazing what a little humidity will do! But it was much cooler than my 8 mile run and I was loaded up nice and good with electrolyte fluids. I was good to go. So off I went. 
I made sure I covered myself from head to toe with bug spray. Yuck! That stuff smells awful and tastes worse! I felt weird using it while I am running to raise funds for cancer research. I can’t imagine the chemicals in the bug repellant being good for me. But the flip side is getting so many mosquito bites that at worse I get malaria or at best too many itchy bumps that I am too miserable to run. So I took my chances. 
As usual, I headed through my parents’ neighborhood on my way to one of the trails that snake all over the area through beautiful wooded areas. I love running in the woods. But today I decided to by pass the woods. Even though I had the bug repellant, we had such a storm that came through last night, not only would the bugs be particularly plentiful but they’d be angry too! Besides that, there would be low spots where there’d be standing water and I wanted to run rather than wade today. 
So I decided to do a loop around the neighborhood near the wood trail. It was fun because I didn’t know exactly where the road was going to take me.  The doubt and the attention needed to keep me on course made the run more interesting. 
I was feeling the heat more in the second half of the run. But I finished just a little slower than my usual “California” (i.e., non-heat, non-humid, no-bugs conditions) pace. :) 
Due to the unplanned route I finished several blocks before my parents’ house. Which was fine with me as it allowed me to do a great cool down walk and that’s how I met Buster and his mom. 
I was rounding the last corner and I saw a lady in a bright pink top with a super cute boxer in toe. (Actually, she may argue the boxer was toeing her)!
Those of you who know me know I had to stop to say “Hi”. I found out the boxer’s name was Buster. What a perfect name for a Boxer! He was quite excited to meet a new person. I could only imagine what I smelled like to him with the awful sweat and bug spray combo I had going on. But I guess he liked what he smelled because he gave me lots of doggy kisses! :)
His mom was super nice and I forgot to ask her name (some day I will learn my manners). So I know her now as ‘Buster’s mom’. :)
We chatted and she was kind enough to ask if I was training for something. She must have noticed my “Team in Training” hat. That, or she knew that only people who are training for something important would be running out in that heat! :)
So I filled her in on my marathon and why I was running. She mentioned her and her husband was considering a half-marathon in January. (I assumed she meant a ‘destination run’ as it is near impossible to run in Iowa in winter! Check out my post from Dec 15, 2008 for some insight on running in Iowa in the winter!) 
We also chatted about running with the TNT group. I so enjoyed chatting with her. I could have chatted all day with her if it wasn’t for the fear of melting. 
I sure hope she goes for the half. I could tell she could do it no problem.  And I’d love for anyone to experience the joy I have training for something bigger than they’ve done before! 
Go Buster’s Mom Go!
Dad was waiting for me on the lawn when I finally made my way back home. Sweat was literally RAINING off me! I could tell by the look on my Dad’s face he was grossed out! 
“Hey Jill?”
“Yeah Dad?”
“Can you promise me to take a shower before you sit on .... or touch anything?”
“Sure Dad.” :)

4 Miles in Iowa

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Did another warm run. This one was only 4 miles. It was hot again even though I started at 8am. Met a super nice lady and her dog Buster at the end. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tough Run in Iowa.

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I had 8 miles to do today so I started out at 8am thinking I would beat the heat. The heat beat me up but not out. I finished! It was good training in suffering and the importance of carbs. I will need to know how to manage both during my marathon. :)

Click the link if you want to check out the link and the stats!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Morning Run in Iowa

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I actually got up this morning to "run". (Kris managed to get me out of bed). I walked almost half of the run since my calves were still screaming from the hike at Ledges Park. But ran the second half.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Iowa Run #2

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It's hot running in Iowa! I waited until 8pm to try to run when it was cooler. It was still hot and humid. I got in just after dark with a decent pace on a short 3 miler. THis is very good training for me. I won't be running in the heat in San Francisco! :)