Thursday, February 28, 2013

Clear road hunting...

I decided it was time to start increasing my mileage. I know you don't see that in a 2.75 mile run, but it's true. This is the first time since January 5 that I've run two days in a row. I ran with my Knuckle Lights for visibility and enjoyed the slightly lighter time of day. Next week after that crazy time-change thing, I'll be plunged back into utter darkness. I guess I'll take the light while I have it.

I left the house in search of a new route. I didn't want to do the same emergency snow routes as I did yesterday. No sense in getting in a rut - literally or figuratively. I ran over to Stout on School, then turned south and ran all the way down to Sixth Street. The streets were clearer than the ones I took yesterday! I saw only a patch or two of ice and they were easily avoided.

I turned onto Oak and ran up the hill toward Main. When I got to Main, I started to run across to the far side when I noticed the nice, dry sidewalks. I redirected my feet to the flat surface and ran up to Second. The only problems came in front of unused buildings and the donut shop. They should not make those places smell so good. I fled the temptation.

I turned east on Second and ran over to Oak, greeting a good friend along the way. He was out scraping his windshield. Another neighbor greeted me as well. I turned south on Oak to avoid the snow-pack and ice to the east and ran to Third which I took all the way to Howard which took me north to my home. I ran past the house and did a little out and back to get up to 2.75. Call me OCD if you like. I just can't end on a weird number when I nice pretty distance is so close at hand. (garmin data)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Post-blizzard shake out...

It was 11 days ago when I last ran. In those 11 days, two snow storms blasted through town dumping more than a foot of snow on the streets. I live on a snow route, so my street was "cleared" early. It was still snow and ice packed. I thought better of it every time I thought about running. No sense in risking injury from a fall.

With the melting that took place yesterday, I felt it was safe enough to go out this morning. At 18 degrees, I figured the ice patches would at least be solid. I wouldn't have to worry about falling through and getting wet feet. My socks got soaked yesterday while I was shoveling snow and slush. I wasn't keen on repeating that.

I stepped out into the cold just before 6:30. Normally on a school day, I'd be stepping back in to fix breakfast at that time. Today is not a normal day. My kids' school is on a two-hour delay, so they don't have to show up till 10:00. They're ready to go. They haven't been to school since the 19th.

My plan from the beginning was to run on emergency snow routes. That, if figured, would give me the best footing. I started out running down Howard to mail some bills and my daughter's tax payment, then ran through the grocery store's parking lot over to Lawrence, through the bank's parking lot and onto Stout.

Stout had a few spots that were icy, but it was mostly clean. I took it up to School, then headed west. School was by far the worst street I ran on. There was a stretch or two where I was running on hard snow and ice. I did not like that one bit. I slowed down and placed each foot carefully.

I turned north on Main, ran across to the other side and followed it up to Maple. Parts of Main were treacherous too. Thankfully, I saw all the slick spots and avoided them.

Turning east on Maple, I ran down the hill, then back up it. This quarter mile or so was the driest of all the streets I ran on. Only when I came to the intersection of Stout and turned south did I have ice to deal with.

I ran down Stout to School and did another loop of the same snow routes bringing me back to School on Stout again. I thought about turning onto School and taking the shorter route home, but opted for the longer route. Retracing my steps through the parking lots, I made my way back to Howard and ran north to home. Glancing at my Garmin, I saw I was close to four and a quarter miles, so I ran till I reached that point then stopped. I turned around and walked straight to my front door. I was tired of the chilled air and ready for a little warmth. (garmin data)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The non-group run...

I got up early this morning to meet my Pratt Running Club friends. It was dark and cold. I ran to our meeting place, arriving just before 6:00. I waited. No one showed up. Perhaps 16 degrees was just too much for some of them. Whatever the reason, I ended up running solo.

I ran away from our meeting place and ran around town. As I ran, I sang the country song I'd begun writing in my head. I made up parts of two more verses and a change in the chorus. Keeping my mind occupied in this manner, made it much easier to keep going. I hardly noticed the chill.

I ended up running 10K. It took me a little longer than I would hope for in a race, but I wasn't racing anyone. I guess I'm pleased. (garmin data)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wal-Mart run...

It was kind of spitting rain when I headed out on my run this morning. Not enough to get me really wet, just enough to make me notice it. I wonder if we really will get some snow today as predicted.

I started out running west on School, then south on Stout. I wanted to run a loop out and around Wal-Mart, so this was the best way to start. My doctor said I need to switch things up, so I tried running on the opposite side of the street and on sidewalks to avoid tweaking my back. Of course, that makes me paranoid about cars sneaking up on me from behind, so I'm constantly twisting my back to look. Not sure if that's a good trade off.

I ran down Stout and crossed the highway and ran on down Rochester to Sixth Street. I turned east on Sixth and ran all the way over to Fincham. Along the way, I ran past a friends house as he was coming out to get in his car. He goes fishing early every morning. I yelled something about fish still sleeping and kept right on running.

I turned north on Fincham and ran up to Wal-Mart. On a whim, I decided to run through the Wal-Mart parking lot and cross the grass over to the Day's Inn. There's not a lot of shopping going on at 6:15, so it wasn't all that dangerous. I ran up the Day's Inn drive and crossed the highway again so I could go north on 61.

Running up 61, I saw a few cars. Thankfully they saw me too. I ran along the nice wide shoulders up to Maple and turned west.

On Maple I ran right down the center of the street. I ran to the bottom of the hill and turned south on Parkway. I like running this street with the trees on the east side. It's kind of pretty even in the dark. I ran to Parkview and, turning west, ran up the nasty little hill to Terrace.

Terrace took me back to School and home. When I passed the house, I was about a quarter mile from four miles, so I ran on to Cambridge and did a quick loop around the block, jogging east on Random and then back north on Edgeford. I hit my goal just before reaching the house. (garmin data)

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I started out this morning with the goal of running 5K. I wasn't expecting anything special. I just wanted to run.

I started out running up Welton and then down Maple toward Highway 61. I was feeling really good. No soreness or stiffness like I had on Wednesday. I was surprised when I looked at my Garmin and found that I was running along near 8:00 pace as I was running up the hill. That's when I decided to go for a fast 5K.

After a first mile at 8:15, I ramped it up as I ran along the highway. I was running around 7:30 some of the time. I turned the corner onto the cemetery road, ran past the place with the wicked dog. I finished my second mile in 7:41and then headed up the hill.

While running upwards, I passed a couple of friends who were running down the hill. One of the, Shelly P., asked how I was feeling. I told her I was good. I should have said great since I was way better than I was two or three weeks ago. Thanks for asking, Shelly! I appreciate your concern and support!

I ran around the corner onto Stout and did my best to maintain my pace, but pushing it made me feel nauseous. Not being the smartest banana in the bunch - I do belong to the Idiots Running Club - I kept going. I figured I could puke in stride and still have a great time. I'm happy to report that though I tried hard, I did not toss my cookies. I finished my third mile with a slight drop in pace - 7:57 - but no mishaps.

My last tenth of mile on Lawrence wasn't anything special. I finished. That's about all I can say. My heart was beating so hard I could almost hear it. I walked for five or six minutes to get it back under control then went inside. I plan to run again this afternoon with my wife. She likes running when it's warm. (garmin data)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Easing back into it...

One month ago yesterday I injured my back. Two weeks after that I tried to run again. That run stressed my back again. Today, with just a little trepidation, I went back out. I promised myself I wasn't going to keep going if my back hurt at all. This was a test run and no matter how long or short it was, it was not going to aggravate things.

I started out not knowing if I was going to run two blocks or two miles or two hundred miles. (That might be a bit of exaggeration there at the end.) I ran down School Street with no plan at all. When I got to Hillside, a dog on the loose chose my first direction change for me. He wasn't much of a dog, but I value my ankles so I turned.

I spent the next mile or so trying to decide how my back felt as I warmed up. There was a little stiffness in my joints and a little ache here and there in my muscles, but overall, not bad.

On the advice of my doctor, I ran on the opposite side of the street. I would never do that in a big city. In Pratt, KS, on side streets, it turned out to be quite safe. I think I saw three or four cars out this morning and none of them was approaching me from behind.

I finished up my run right at 6:30, walked around the block to let things cool down, then stepped inside. I'm a little sore, but I think I'll survive. I guess I'm back. (garmin data)