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Konquer the Konza Race Recap

Konquer the Konza Race Recap

It’s very hard at the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat other runners.  Eventually you learn the competition is against the little voice in your head that wants you to quit.  – George Sheehan I couldn’t resist one picture from […]

Race Weekend

Race Weekend

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up. – Dean Karnazes My friends, As you may have noticed, I’ve taken a step back from the blog these last two months.  I had to.  With training for […]

Running the Konza – Friends Edition

Running the Konza – Friends Edition

Friendships are born on the field of athletic strife and the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust. – Jesse Owens


The Run
9.0 miles

The Picture

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Mile 4

The Recap

You know the level of excitement you have on race day?  You have no trouble getting out of bed because you’re excited.  You have clothes laid out.  You already know what you’re going to eat, when you’re going to leave the house, and what you’ll do when you get there.

Well, instead of race day, that’s me when I get to run with other people.  Seriously.  Ok, maybe a notch or two down from race day excitement, but still pretty excited.  I’ve had so many lonely miles in the last year and a half and now that my runs are getting longer, they are getting lonelier.

Last week, I wrote about how the Konza served me up a big helping of humble pie.  And leading up to my Saturday long run, I had no intention of running the Konza again.  I was planning on staying close to home.  But then Friday after lunch, I saw on Facebook that two friends were putting together a Konza run for Saturday and posted an open invite to whomever wanted to join them.  Six miles at Six a.m.?? How could I resist??

Mile 2
Mile 2

Now my workout had me running for 90 minutes – 1 mile easy, 1 mile hard.  I wasn’t sure how this was going to workout considering my friends, Christie and Sandy, were planning a steady paced long run.  I rationalized that I could at least start with them and then figure it out from there.  My original plan was that I would run my first three miles at 5:30 before they showed up and then continue running the trail with them.  This did not pan out, but I didn’t mind.  I would just have to run extra after they were done – not ideal but oh well.

Christie and Sandy showed up and we all commiserated over the lack of sleep and early hour.  It’s always a little slow getting started, but we were all excited to be there. I had my camera with me because I wanted to see if I could run the whole way with the pack.  In the actual race I will have to run with my own water so I feel like it is good practice to run with weight in my training.  I was also carrying water and a snack (half a Lara bar).

On the way up the giant hill, the wildflowers were beautiful.  I would have stopped every five feet to take a picture, but that’s not why we came.  We came to run.  We all hiked up the steepest part and I think that’s a good strategy considering how toasted my legs were last week.  It was so nice being there with other people.  At the end of the first mile, I took off on my own for my first hard mile.  I ended up running it the same speed as last week.  Bummer.  But then I remembered that this week I was wearing my pack so I felt encouraged that the weight hadn’t slowed me down.  I snapped a picture and turned around to join back up with Christie and Sandy.  We ran together again at a nice conversation pace until it was time for me to run ahead.  This was the pattern I followed for the entire loop.  It was so encouraging to return to their friendly faces after each hard mile.  And it seemed to make the 6 miles go by really fast.

Before I knew it, we were done with the 6 mile loop.  With the back tracking, I finished up at 6.60 miles, but I still had time on the clock.  I had stopped a couple times for pictures, water, and a snack so even though I was at 1:12:00, I still planned on finishing out with 9 miles.

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End of the loop with Sandy and Christie 🙂

We snapped a quick selfie and then I went back down the trail for my last 2.4 miles.  It was more brutal than I expected.  After breezing through the first 6 miles, with hard mile times of 9:19, 8:30, and 8:40 (only the even miles are hard), mile 8 turned out to be the slowest and most miserable mile, 9:30.  I had nothing to look forward to upon finishing.  I had no friends to meet up with when I was done.  I had only me and I wasn’t enough to spur myself on to a faster pace.  Running is just as tough mentally as it is physically.  At this point, I didn’t have enough mental stamina to push through the rough terrain.  Even though I had chosen the flatter path, it was actually more uphill than I realized/remembered.  I was unprepared and ended up discouraged.

I snapped one more trail-side picture and headed back to the car.

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Mile 8

I finished strong, surprisingly.  I guess it was kind of downhill on the way back.

Overall, this was a fantastic run.  Yeah, my last 2 miles weren’t great, but more than 70% of the run was amazing!  FRIENDS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE!!

Notes:

  1. Last week, it was blazing hot.  This week it was cloudy and humid.  After a week of 100 degree weather, the clouds were a welcome change even though it was more humid.
  2. This was my first time ever eating on the trail.  I wanted to try to have something at the 1 hour point to avoid a sugar crash/hitting a wall.  I chose half an Apple Pie Lara Bar because they are easy to find in the store and they are natural.  I need to pick a different flavor.
  3. This was the longest picture run I have ever done and it turned out just fine.  The pack was comfortable the whole 9 miles.  I was going to take a picture at the end of every hard mile, but there wasn’t much around me when I finished mile 6.

I don’t know when we’ll all get to run together again, but I hope it’s soon!

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Running the Konza

Running the Konza

Some sessions are stars and some are stones, but in the end they are all rocks and we build upon them.” — Chrissie Wellington The Run 9.2 miles The Picture The Recap After living in the Flint Hills for about 18 months, I finally got […]

25K Training

25K Training

Balance is not about better time management, but better boundary management.  Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices. The Run 3 weeks of training The Picture The Recap You know how it is.  You have a plan.  You have goals.  And then life gets […]

Picture Post

Picture Post

Photography is an art of observation.  It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them. – Elliott Erwitt


The Run
3 miles

The Picture

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The Recap

“Someone busier than you is working out right now.”

Have you seen this quote?  It’s been on motivational workout sites for years.  For some reason it popped in my mind today and my first reaction to it is not, Wow, you’re right.  I need to be better about finding time to work out.  My first thought is, I feel so sorry for someone who is busier than me.

Don’t worry this isn’t another Stressed Out post.  This is just a picture post to say, Hello and yes I’m still here. 🙂  Yes I am super busy, but like I said last time, I’ve made exercise a priority.  I may be just the Three Mile Queen, but it’s better than the No Mile Queen.  How do I find the time?  I’ve been only running on the property.  Sometimes I have other things going on at the same time.  The other day I had 35 minutes to run while I had a cake in the oven.  I came inside after two miles to double check it and then ran the last mile with time to spare.  It isn’t ideal, but it’s still running.

And now that we’re back to school from spring break, I’m back to my 5 am wake ups so I can workout in the basement.  I’m trying to do that Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  And then run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  Now that the evenings are longer, I have more daylight after school to fit in a run which helps.  Today I ran after school.  The winds were gusty, but I stuck with it and ran my 3 miles.  They were harder than normal because I’m sore from lifting weights the last few days.  But I think the run helped work out some of the soreness.  This evening I feel less stiff.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some picture from the last two weeks.  They are all from the farm because that’s where I’ve been running.

First colors of spring
First colors of spring

 

Love that Kansas sky
Love that Kansas sky

 

Reflecting Sunset
Reflecting Sunset

 

Fields are getting greener
Fields are getting greener

 

New Blooms
New Blooms

 

Last light over our farm
Last light over our farm

Ok that’s all for now.  Hope you’re having a great week!  I’ll talk to you later 🙂

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The Raw Truth

The Raw Truth

I was at rock bottom; I needed more than just a You-Can-Do-It pep talk.  I needed something to change. The Run 3.20 miles + 3 miles + 3.1 miles The Picture The Recap All week long, all month long, all semester long, I’ve been pushed […]

A Tale of Two Runs

A Tale of Two Runs

There always seems to be a direct correlation between not getting to workout and not having a good week.  Maybe it’s just coincidental.  All I know is last night, Running felt like Freedom. The Run 2.10 + 4.00 miles The Picture The Recap I took […]

Time to Run

Time to Run

You know you’re a runner when you see other people running in the freezing cold and you wish it was you.  That was me all week; so when I had a chance to run today, I took it.


The Run
4.0 miles

The Picture

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The Recap

Unlike our friends and family on the east coast, our snow from the past week is starting to melt away.  I fully expected to have a muddy, mucky road today from the snow melt, but when I came home to a nearly dry road I knew I had to go for a run.

With school is full swing now, my schedule is tighter than ever so every time I get to run, it is a gift.  I knew I was too mentally tired to work on homework this afternoon, but I wasn’t physically tired.  Rich and Lizzie were out ice skating so I was free.  How often does this happen?  There were dishes to do, laundry to start, and a number of other household chores.  It’s never the perfect time to workout.  It’s always a choice.  This time I decided running took precedence.

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I donned a pair of running tights, a t-shirt, and a light jacket.  It was in the 40s, but the sun was out and there was no wind for a change.  It had been a week since my last run.  School and bad weather prevented me from running at all last week.  I’ve still been fitting in some workouts this week, a little weight lifting and ice skating, so I wasn’t a complete slob.  As soon as I started, I felt great.  My legs felt strong.

I didn’t think I had that much time so I was only planning on a short 3 miles, but when I got to my turn around point a blanket of un-stepped in snow lay before me.  The rest of the run had been on dry hard packed trail, but this section was still completely covered.  I couldn’t resist.  It was intoxicating.  I had to run through it – plus I still felt strong.

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I ended up adding another half a mile before turning around – making an entire mile of snowy running. I loved it.  There is just something about fresh snow that is so irresistible.

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On the way back I was starting to get a little tired.  I was about to walk the last little bit of a hill, around the 3 mile point, when I glanced down and saw that my watch said I was ahead by 0.08 miles.  (This means I was ahead of my virtual partner which is set at 9:15 mile pace.)  I’m almost never ahead!  I thought, Well then I definitely can’t walk! and I pushed myself up the hill and finished out the last mile strong.

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I finished ahead!  Under a 9 minute mile pace even!  This is exactly what I needed today.  I needed a little confidence booster to start my week on the right foot.  Finding time for fitness is always a struggle, but even more so with homework and deadlines weighing down on me.  I’ve told myself that even amidst the schoolwork, I need to continue to make my workouts a priority.  Running keeps me sane and working out helps my self esteem.  If I want to succeed in my academic program, staying physically fit is just as important as my homework assignments.  Easier said than done! But that’s my goal for the semester.  You guys can keep me accountable to that! 🙂

Have a great week!

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Off to a great start

Off to a great start

You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face. –Gatorade The Run 4.60 miles The Picture The Recap Some things never get old.  Like crunching through fresh snow.  Like running on […]


My Diary

Growth Rings

Growth Rings

“A commonplace life,” we say, and we sigh;
But why should we sigh as we say?

The commonplace sun in the commonplace sky
Makes up the commonplace day.
The moon and stars are commonplace things.
The flowers that bloom and the bird that sings;
But sad were the world and dark our lot,
If the flowers failed and the sun shone not;

And God who sees each separate soul,
Out of commonplace lives makes His beautiful whole.

– Susan Coolidge


The Run
4.76 miles

The Picture

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The Recap

Shortly after we got married, I had the opportunity to listen to an interview of my husband’s Grandpa Frank.  It had been recorded in the early 90s only a few years before he passed away.  He talked about his childhood, his first church as new minister, meeting his wife, and how they lived.  His voice sounded kind and gentle.  His words were reflective, full of wisdom and discernment.  One part I always remembered went something like this:

“Now you guys moved around a lot to different calls, what do you think of pastors these days staying with a congregation upwards of 15 to 20 years?”

Grandpa Frank answered quickly, “It’s not good.”  I could imagine him shaking his head as he said the words.

“Why not?”

“With every move I grew.”

He went on to say more about how with every move he was challenged.  And how his faith grew and matured with each new place they went.  The interview continued on and I remember a few other snippets, but this little bit of wisdom from my husband’s paternal grandfather has stayed with me these last eight years.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Since getting married, we have never sent Christmas cards from the same address in two consecutive years.  Before we moved to Kansas, we spent four years in constant transition, never settled.  From 2010-2014, we lived in four different states, sometimes together, sometimes apart because of work.  Amid the chaos of life, I have often returned to James 1:2-4.  I can’t say I have ever felt “pure joy” during trials, but I have had peace bringing my concerns to the throne of grace.

Now that we are in Kansas, we feel at home.  We have only been here a few months, but we already have a wonderful church family and a sense of community.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

I don’t know what God has planned for us here.  I feel like it is a wonderful gift that we get to live somewhere we really enjoy.  We love the wide open spaces and having a home of our own.  And of course, I love all the trails that are so close to our house.  There are so many on my list that I haven’t even explored yet.  When we were considering buying this house, I thought I’d be able to run from the house and maybe on the property.  I had no idea that Milford State Park had miles of trails and that Manhattan had plenty of running trails too, plus running trails around Tuttle Creek Lake, which would be great for a weekend summer run.

Last month, one of my friends gave me the sweetest compliment when she told me that my pictures, “capture the beauty of the ordinary.”  This picture from Tuesday’s windy run is a log slice that my husband cut while trying out his new chainsaw.  I took this picture because the concentric circles appeal to my math brain.  To me, it is a reminder that math is everywhere in creation.  And the same intelligent designer who created the beauty of what we might call commonplace is sovereign over all.  He has placed us here and he continues to grow and shape us for work in his kingdom.   To him be glory forever and ever, Amen.

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