Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Forest Park St. Louis Run(s)

I've run the same routes over and over and over again. Street routes in my neighborhood, the trail from East Peoria to Morton, the Rock Island Trail, Grandview Drive, Springdale Cemetery, the Peoria Riverfront and even before the trail 'official opened' in Peoria Heights, I was running that too. Trails are so much better than roads, because you don't have to contend with ass-munch drivers who don't pay attention (I've been nearly run over more times than I can count), garbage cans, yard waste or other things left on the sidewalk blocking my path. However, on trails, being a girl, bathrooms are few and far between, if any at all and it's hard to keep hydrated, especially with longer runs. And, last, running the same routes and trails gets very mundane. Especially if you've trained for more than a few races.
Me at the start of our 8 mile run at Forest Park

So, this weekend, I was beyond excited to head down to the S-T-L and take in a run. They have this place, it's called Forest Park and it's in the heart of downtown St. Louis and it is a runner's haven. It's a running/biking trail, two paths parallel to each other, one for runners and one for bikers and it makes about a 6 mile loop of the entire park. It's fan-freaking-tastic! The only traffic you contend with is other runners and/or bikers if you choose to run on the bike trail, which many do. I kept it to the running trail. It's so peaceful and beautiful with a very good mix of sun and shade, awesome downtown skylines and great greenery. In fact, you pass a fishing lake, the mounted police horse pasture (and it doesn't stink), a golf course, the Science Museum and even the St. Louis Zoo, yes, all of this in one glorious park.

I love the little waterway with the city in the background

It's amazing and that is why you see HUNDREDS of runners, walkers and bikers on the trail. I came across people who were just there to cheer on the runners and even vendors. But, they were vendors that cater to the running community. The local running store was there, offering both water and Gatorade to everyone (and he was there both Saturday and Sunday) and other companies offering electrolyte enhanced H2O.

It was such a joy running in Forest Park, that on Saturday, I did an extra 2 miles in the pouring rain (and even saw a Team RC member on the trail) and even though Sunday was supposed to be a rest day, I couldn't pass up the chance to run there again and went back out for a quick 6 miles.As you can see the pictures below even after 8 miles, 2 of which is driving rain, I was still feeling great and all smiles!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Might Be a Runner If...

You Might Be A Runner If

1 Starting with a 5:30am run is a great way to start your day.
2 ... you find greater joy in spending your money on running apparel, shoes & gear than on a pair of designer jeans or monogrammed purses.
3 When people ask what happens if it rains during a race, you smartly tell them, "You get wet."
4 your day isn't complete until you've put your run in.
5 your daily run is like therapy, or an anti-depressant.
6 you're looking at this website instead of Facebook.
7 Your 'To Do' list reads: 1) Go Run  2) Everything Else
8 you get upset about injuries because they keep you from running, not because you have actually damaged your body.
9 You know that a course was accurately measured just by looking at your race finishing time
10 you run.....for fun
11 you are proud of and respect all runners of all abilities.
12 you don't like having to take a "rest day"
13 you consider getting a PR almost as great as winning the race.
14 you feel an instant kinship to any other runner you pass by on the street.
15 you are impressed and also happy when a female wins the overall race
16 you are on this website (wait, didn't I already say that?)
17 Whether a 5K runner or a marathon runner, you understand "the runner's high".
18 you have a list of all the races you plan to run for the next 12 months.
19 You think $20 for a banana and some Gaterade is a good deal
20 The high you feel after a race outweighs the anxiety you feel before it.
21 while driving places, you're constantly evaluating the road for it's "running route potential".
22 a nice walk doesn't really feel much like excercise.
23 you ask yourself 'why did I do this?' the last 5 miles of a marathon and 'when can I do it again' five minutes after you finish.
24 you have 4 pair of running shoes, one for mud/trail runs, one for the road when it might rain, one for the road on a clear day, and one for the treadmill.

25 You get more excited about finding a good new running route than finding a good sale at the mall.

I'd like to add....that when you go out of town your more excited for the run in someplace new than the vacation its self.

I could add alot more but I want to leave room for you, what do you want to add to the list?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trying To Play Catch Up But I'm Still Left Behind

I'm a bad blogger and I'm just going to have to let it go. I've been on the site for almost an hour now reading all the blogs and commenting as much as I can. However I think if I keep it up I'll never get my blog posted, I thought I'd give you a lil update on my so called life.

Running-starting with what this blog is all about! I've been getting back into it but its been filled with bad run after bad run. I was burnt out around July so I slowed down, practically stopping all together and it shows in my slow ass pace. Nearly 10 minute miles and over is not what I'm used to. Plus I have sore muscles every day from all the other crap I'm doing so my legs are feeling like I have ankle weights attached to them every time I run. And last weekend I did 6 miles and it was the most painful hour of running because I had the WORST case of trots I've EVER! MISERABLE I tell ya MISERABLE! But I'm still at it and I've been running 6-8 miles on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I will start officially training for my first Rock N Roll series race the first week of September. I'm very excited to be doing the Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon on December 4th and running the strip at night, woo hoo! While training for Vegas I'll make a stop in Mankato Minnesota again to revisit my first 1/2 and make it my 3rd 1/2. The race is on October 22nd and I am so excited to be going back because it was such a great race and so well organized and we got the hotel hook up thanks to a booking mistake at (read about it here-trust its worth the read).

Body Combat-After nearly a month of struggling I finally did what I don't do, I asked for help. Don't ask me why, IDK, its always been hard for me to ask for help. But I didn't want to quit so I spoke up and WOW all the girls on the BC team at the Riverplex stepped up to the plate. All offering helpful hints and getting me going. It seems each day I feel better and improve. I tested for my fitness manager and got my passing grade and even have completed 2 of my 8 required team teaching classes, I have my 3rd one tomorrow. I am now aiming to finish my video by the end of September, which will still put me ahead of the game. So what makes BC so tough? Well everything is done on an 8 count, which I haven't done before, we don't have that in RPM. Plus the moves are much quicker and have to be done exactly with that 8 count (and Les Mills is PICKY), your choreography needs to be spot on and your coaching needs to also be spot on. And then to make it just a bit more complicated you have to mirror teach, meaning I'm doing everything with my left, you do it with your right, so while I do left I have to tell you right. But I'm getting better in fact the girls told me last night that I've improved a ton from last week and that whatever I am doing that I need to keep doing it cuz its working. Want to know the goofy thing I am doing? While I am running, I listen to my BC music and I count "1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8" over and over and over again so the beat becomes 2nd nature to me. And by the looks of it, its working. I pretty much eat, sleep, and even run Body Combat. I hope it pays off because there are only 5 classes that will be offered at the RP but there are 6 instructors!

This weekend is my birthday I'm turning 34! And all I can think about is I have only one more year left in that 30-34 age group for races, isn't that funny. I don't want to leave that group because its very competitive. Every race I've done I look at the next age group and its not as competitive I can SMOKE those numbers. I want to stay in a competitive group. I know what your thinking, everyone gets a year older, sadly the girls I've been competing with are all already younger than me, so they will still be left in 30-34 and I'll soon move to 34 and up. One more year, I'll make sure to enjoy it. Matty is taking me to St. Louis for the weekend. Were going to see Incubus, I seriously cannot believe the luck that my favorite band in the world is playing on my birthday. This maybe the best birthday and weekend of my life. Great city (including a run in my favorite place Forrest Park) + My favorite band + the best boyfriend a girl could get + on my birthday =  the stuff dreams are made of! I don't think there is anything that could make it even sweeter than it already is other than can I wake up tomorrow and it be Friday?