It officially turned spring on Friday at 6:44 am and while I wasn't QUITE on on the trails yet, I was only off by 30 minutes. My friend Christy and I decided there was no better way to spend the vernal equinox then doing a 30 miler on our favorite trails at Clinton Lake. It was a bit chilly when we started out so we were both sporting our Moeben sleeves and I was trying out a new shirt by Atayne made from recycled plastic bottles and coconut shells. It's really crazy that you can take 2 things like hard plastic bottles and coconut shells and make a really soft, amazing, wicking shirt from it! Technology is so cool! And the shirt is darn cool too, I'm totally ordering a few more and running in them all summer, it felt like I wasn't even wearing a shirt.
I was also giving my Drymax Maximum Protection socks a true test.
We started out easy and I felt awesome, there is nothing better then a good run after a spate of bad ones! My legs felt amazing and even the hills felt easy (if only EVERY run was like this!) We spent the day talking and laughing and gossiping. The nice thing about Christy is that she notices things like I do on the trails.... when I stopped to look at some pretty feathers or a bunch of honeycombs on the ground, she doesn't think I'm insane for getting excited! At mile 12 we stopped and did some crossfit workouts on the mtn. bike trials course, after we completed a bunch of workouts we realized what idiots we were being.. we still had 18 miles to run. Duh!, Should have done the workouts at the end! This was the longest run Christy had done since September when she ran the Flatrock 50K, she had spent all winter trying to diagnose a knee problem and taking time off for that and this was my longest since Rocky Raccoon so we just took it easy. I was using homemade gel, from a recipe I got off the ultra list and it was great! It tasted great and I never had a sugar crash... cheaper, tastier and better nutritionally then the commercial gels.
The police had blocked off the roads in the park and were practicing defensive driving so the soundtrack to our run was squealing tires, we even stopped and chatted with one of the cops for awhile ... they were pretty excited to be driving upwards of 100 MPH, so we used EXTREME caution while crossing the roads in the park all day. The temps fluctuated all day from "perfect short sleeve" weather to "glad I had the arm warmers on" weather and the mud was only bad in the last mile. All in all it was a glorious day on the trails, a perfect way to greet spring! My feet ended the 30 miles with nary a hot spot or blister so I am going to confidently give Drymax socks 2 thumbs up! I am going to buy a few more pairs of the maximum protection socks since Bob from Drymax recommends those for anything above the marathon distance and I will wear the other styles for shorter runs. This training run was all about trying new stuff before I used it in a race and I'm excited to get things dialed in!
Saturday was a group run out at Clinton Lake and I had originally thought I would do 20, but due to some commitments at home and work I had to cut it back to 10, but it was nice to run with some of the usual suspects. I started out fast and had a bit of a chat with Jim Megerson, who is always a great conversationalist but after about 2 miles my tired legs started to whine at me and I dropped back to a group with Nick and Laurie who were planning on doing 30. I like the 30 mile pace quite a bit better!! It was with much regret in my heart that I left the group and headed back to the car at Lands End.. I really wanted to do more miles but, life happens sometimes. I hooked up with Pat in the last 2 miles and enjoyed running in with him, he splits his training between running and the bike and I always enjoy hearing cycling stories, since in another life I did race bikes. I motored back to KC and finished my day doing boring stuff like working and cleaning the house, and laughing at my friends basketball obsessions.
Sunday is my day off and I spent it at Shawnee Mission Park hiking with my husband, friends and dogs. We dodged plenty of mountain bikers and even a few runners but no one I recognized. It was great to relax the legs and spend time with another group of friends... it was the first time they had been on the trails at SMP and everyone really enjoyed them. We did the 4.5 mile loop and by the end the doggies were whupped, a splash in the lake was in order for them after the hike. A big salad on the porch with a glass of wine and good conversation with the husband and our house guest Rhonda rounded out the evening. I couldn't have asked for a better spring kick off.