Adventures In Running

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Running in Michigan

I flew in with a co-worker to Detroit on Monday evening and am involved in meetings and testing in Livonia, Michigan. Once again I am running the paved trails that run along the freeway. I missed running here on my last trip because my leg was still in the boot and my ankle pretty messed up.

Last night I ran south on the trails. I have only ran that way once before for a couple of miles and walked back from work for a mile in March. It was nice seeing a whole new section of trail. I was even able to start pushing my pace and set my Garmin to beep any time I slowed down below 11:30 minute miles. I was actually able to manage to run most of my miles at around 11:00, so the speed is slowly improving.

This morning I got up early and ran north on the section of trail I have done multiple times. It was drizzling a bit as I headed out, so I left my phone/music behind. A couple of miles out it started pouring, so I enjoyed a nice refreshing run. I really enjoy the trees and bushes and grasses surrounding the trail. Utah doesn't really have a lot of decent trees and I grew up surrounded by a wide variety of trees, so it felt like going back to my old home. Splashed through lots of puddles and ran carefully when there were sections of wet clay on the path so I wouldn't take a face plant or butt landing.

Two more days of running here, then I take my show on the road to a planned 13 mile run by my childhood home and schools in the suburbs of Chicago.

Building Endurance

I've been focusing on building endurance again while trying to keep my ankle from getting reinjured. The progress is going well. My typical daily run is 6 miles now and I have done long runs of 13 miles and 14.5 miles the last couple of weeks. I think I will try to get my daily long runs to 8 miles and then start throwing in 2 a day workout occasionally. However, I need to make sure I find the line where my body can handle the weekly mileage without causing injuries.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Volunteering at the State Capital Half Marathon

On May 29th, my sister and I volunteered at the inaugural State Capital Half Marathon. I have to admit that our motivation was to get a free entry into the Utah Valley Halloween Half Marathon. This race looked like an interesting and challenging race including some trail portions, but I wasn't sure if my ankle was up to running 13.1 miles yet, or if I had the endurance for this race.

I was happy to see Rachel Moody at the start (and a bit amazed). She ran the Salt Lake Half Marathon, Ogden Half Marathon and this marathon in the last 6 weeks. Normally that would just be a bit insane, but since she is expecting a baby in mid-June – it qualified as totally insane, awfully awesome, and amazing.

Our aid station was behind Hogle Zoo on a long uphill. We had a little time to get ready and I decided that runners on the uphill stretch would need all the motivation they could get and hooked my iPhone up to the Jeep stereo and cranked up my 'marathon tunes' playlist. I know that when I have been struggling in races, it has been a boost to have someone out there playing music for me. The Jeep also served double duty as the water stop because the aid station was located on the wrong side of the road and the flat bumpers on the Jeep provided a great storage place for extra cups of water.

After providing all the runners with Heed or water, we headed over to the State Capital to see the finish for a little bit. Our timing was perfect, because I was able to see Rachel cross the finish line right as we got there. We hung around for a few minutes and then took Rachel back to the starting line where her car was parked. It was good to have a chance to visit with her.


After returning home from the race, I changed into my running gear and drove over to Draper to run the Draper trail system. I started out on the Porter Rockwell Trail and came back on the Draper Canal Trail. I was able to run the first 10 miles with no problems and then alternated running/walking the next two miles as a cooldown. I probably could have run the race that morning, but this way I saved an entry fee and was able to assist the race community.