trails and treadmills

Sorry it's been a few days since writing last -- I was in Missouri all last week on the third Voices of Prometheus tour, and frankly I've just been lazy since then and haven't gotten around to writing.

I had a fantastic time on the tour, and contrary to my own expectations, I actually got a couple of decent runs in.  The most fun was definitely Saturday morning, when Emily and I went running on the beautiful MKT Trail in Columbia.  She's almost a year ahead of me in her training, so I started out a little faster than I should have and had to walk for a couple of minutes in the middle, but otherwise we had a nice, easy (for her) 3 mile run.  It was fun to run with someone else... although I definitely found out that talking makes running a whole lot harder!  Even though it's probably the slowest run that she's had in a while, it was nice to prove to myself that I could run with someone who's significantly ahead of me in speed and endurance.

The trail itself was great.  It's a rails-to-trails project trail, so it was nice and flat -- which is boring to some but perfect for slow me -- and there were lots of other people biking, walking, and running.  There were streams and bridges and lots of beautiful trees to look at, and we lucked out and had a pretty mild morning to go along with it.  It's definitely a route I'd love to run again in the future... maybe minus the walking.  Here are some pictures from the trail's website to give you an idea of what it was like:

My runs since I've been back have been okay...  I did three miles outdoors on Monday, which was okay but certainly confirmed that running mostly in hilly areas when you're starting out can be a little frustrating.  I'm sure it will be good in the long run, but they sure do tire me out fast!  Yesterday, I woke up pretty late and didn't feel like braving the heat, so I did my first run indoors on the treadmill.  It was a pretty mixed experience.  The fact that it was cooler than outside was certainly nice, and with the incline set on 2 instead of 1, it felt more or less like running on the road.  On the other hand, running inside is just boring, even with the TV on, and I couldn't stop myself from looking at the distance counter every 15 seconds.  The other definite downside was that there was no way to avoid finding out my pace and confirming that I actually AM the slowest runner in the world.  It was something of an ego blow to find out that a 13 minute mile is pretty much all I can handle -- I ran 2 miles at that pace, and by the end I was pretty beat.  Which means that I probably run even slower on my regular runs.  Not so good.

In any case, I know I shouldn't worry about it, and I'm sure I'll keep getting faster with time anyway.  Today is a rest day, which is very nice, and then it's back to the races tomorrow -- hopefully culminating in 3.5 on Saturday!   Also, I'll be breaking 50 miles since I started running during my run tomorrow morning, which is pretty exciting.  It's good to be making progress... even if it is very, very slowly.


meltdown at three mile... run

Yes, you read that right -- today was the big day of three mile ownage!  I don't know why this is such a huge mental milestone, but I have to say that I am almost more proud of this than of my first mile three months ago.  It's just cool to think that I could have gotten up this morning and run a 5k (3.1 mi)!  Then again, I'm glad I didn't, because when I got back this morning, it was about half an hour later than I thought it should have been.  I didn't time the run because watches stress me out when I'm exercising, but I'm pretty sure that it was pretty slow.  Not that it bothers me at this point -- but at some point, I'd like to be faster.  Or at least a little faster.

Slow or not, I definitely did it!  The weather was on my side...  For the first time I can remember since I started, I didn't walk out the door and think, "gee, it sure is disgusting out here."  I guess that the cosmos must have been on my side, too, because not only did I finish without walking at all, but toward the beginning of the run, I found a Dave & Buster's point card lying on the side of the road!  I'd say it's pretty likely that there's nothing on it if someone took the time to throw it out of their car, but you never know!

Just so I don't neglect it, I did also go on a nice trail run with Mike yesterday.  I hadn't actually been planning to run yesterday at all, but I'm so glad I did!  Even though it was 3:00 in the afternoon and consequently was probably 105 degrees, it was such a blast to run on nice dirt trails through the woods.  It's so much easier to let your mind wander and chill out when you're all alone with nature!  I did have to stop and walk a couple of times, but that was okay.

Overall, it was a great couple days of running!  Off to Missouri for the VOP gig tomorrow, but hopefully I can find the time to keep running this week.  It does NOT excited me that the forecast for Columbia says "oppressive humidity" and that according to the hourly forecast it's even more disgustingly humid and hot in the morning there than here, but I'll live.  Fall will get here at some point, I hope...