Monday, August 26, 2013

Long Run Monday

Big Girl's Birthday
Cheerleader cake by yours truly
I didn't get my long run done this past weekend. I used to fret over these schedule mishaps, but I've learned to let it roll off my shoulder. This running thing is suppose to be fun and release stress, not add it. So I run when I can and do the best I can with what I got.

My Big Girl turned 7 years old this weekend. As you can imagine, this momma had more important things on deck than squeezing in a run. Instead, I spent my mornings sitting on the front porch, sipping coffee, visiting with my parents who were in town for a visit, and watching my little girls zoom around on their new bikes. These moments in life are fleeting by too fast for me.

So after a restful weekend (I did sneak in one Spin class), I was determined to get out for a long run this morning. These days, anything in double digits is the definition of long for me. Midwest temps have been soaring and another hot one was on the forecast. I decided to head into town to run somewhere different for a change. I've been running a lot of solo runs from my doorstep lately. And while I like the ease of those close-to-home routes, it can make for a draining long run. I mapped out the best route I could think of that would offer both shade and new scenery. Those are two keys for making long miles tick by quickly.

I started on the familiar Rock Island Trail and ran south into Peoria - making sure that the cool dark tunnel (that goes underneath the interstate) was a part of my route. The first two miles were fairly shaded, but the humidity already had me drenched.

I took the Kellar Branch trail into the city, but veered off before the wide open (SUN!) stretch. I darted into some well-established areas and made my way to the High Point neighborhood. Nice homes equal fancy landscaping to admire... and big trees.

Unfortunately, it was garbage day. So I had to dart around constant garbage cans and play leapfrog with several different garbage trucks while I ran. Man, those things put off a lot of heat... and stink!

I even got a little history lesson on my run. One of the things I've always liked about running is finding hidden treasures that you'd normally just whiz by in the car.

My first time through the neighborhoods, I circled around and down every dead-end street. At one point, the road began to drop... and drop... and drop. The road zig-zagged down a 1/2 mile in distance, but over 250 feet in elevation. Like a fool, I ran down it, which meant only one thing... I had to go back up. Ugh! The biggest hill climb of my life! My hamstrings were begging to stop. Once I hit the top of the hill, I quit playing tourist and headed straight back. It was starting to heat up and my breathing was getting difficult, and I had a good 4 miles to go to reach the car.

It's been awhile since I ran this area and they put up new trail signs - which seemed like the perfect reason to stop, rest and regain my breathing...

In short, I managed the mileage back to the car. I racked up 11.36 miles in total with a fairly consistent pace around the 10 min/mile mark. The long run in heat and humidity was good practice for what looks to be a tough one in Minnesota this coming weekend. It's been a couple months since I've run a half-marathon and I was getting excited for Women Rock MN... until a friend posted the forecast! High of 98 on race day. Ugh! Not fun at all. My goals have changed for this race. Now I'm taking away any concern for time and just checking off state #15 AND having a GOOD TIME with friends. I'm excited to reunite my run buddy Patty, who moved away from me a couple months ago. I get to see bloggers Kim, Lisa and Lindsay! Plus there are several other Sole Sisters coming up from Peoria. We're gonna ROCK Minnesooooota!


  1. What a gorgeous run and looks like perfect weather! Good luck in your race!

  2. Such pretty scenery for your run today! Good luck on your race!

  3. Your first sentence made me feel a lot better, because I didn't go for my long run on Sunday either! I left it a bit late and didn't feel like going out in the heavy rain. Your run today looks beautiful!

  4. I'm doing Women Rock 10k this weekend here in MN. Looking forward to it!


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