My weekend didn't go exactly how I planned it, which can make me kinda cranky. First off my planned Friday morning 20+ miler with Gary and Christy got rained out. I don't object to running in the rain normally, but combined with the cold, noone was feeling it. I'm really, really ready for some warm, dry spring weather!! I waited till the rain cleared up in the early afternoon and went out to Wyco and did some hill work... on the (eek!) pavement!! I haven't run on the pavement in months and months! The 6 1/2 mile loop of the lake has some nice, long, steady climbs and if you can avoid the drunk fishermen, it's not a bad paved loop to do. I'm going to try hitting it at least once a week after Freestate... hills are the focus of my training from here on out... Leadville is going to chew me up and spit me out if I don't get really serious. This week I did 2 days of hill repeats and 2 days of cranked incline treadmill walking and I'm hoping to add at least one more treadmill day in the week.
Saturday I got up extra early to pick up a friend of a friend for our usual group run. Brian was visiting from St Louis and is doing his first ultra at Berryman in May, so we had a bunch to talk about while driving to Lawrence. There was a pretty good crowd for the group run, mud not withstanding. It was a gorgeous, sunny morning but unfortunately for me, my legs were shot. Shot, shot, shot. I could hardly keep up and then I took a nice fall into the mud, which made me cranky and then I had to "see a man about a horse", so I lost total contact with the group. Lands End at 6.5 miles is where we normally regroup and sure enough everyone waited for my crabby ass. Instead of continuing on to 15 miles with everyone else, I decided to just turn around by myself and only get in 13... I knew I was just going to be struggling and was irritated enough that I wouldn't even be good company.
On the way back, my attitude got a bit better but my legs were still really tired, it's definitely time to taper! I chatted for a brief moment with a guy training for FreeState also, we expressed hope that the mud would dry up before then... I also was passed by David Wakefield, he was flying along the ground like the mud was of no consequence. When I got back to the car, I de-mudded myself and settled down in a camp chair to enjoy the sun and wait for everyone else to make it back. While I was sitting there I noticed a woman runner checking out the map board so I yelled over that she should stay on the white trail since it was much less muddy. That prompted a conversation, and it turned out Laurie was visiting from Texas and had run Rocky Raccoon 100 also! Total small world! We talked for awhile and then she had to get running since she only had 2 hours before her ride would be back to pick her up. It was nice to make that connection and we expressed the hope that we would meet up next year at Rocky.
Shortly after that, everyone starting filtering back and Brian & I packed up to get back to KC. Nick had taken good care of him and Brian expressed that he had a great time... it was his first group run and I'm hoping that he'll hook up with the SLUGS when he gets back to St Louis.
When we got back to KC, it was brunch time at Mac and Angela's.. we were celebrating Abby's birthday and then in the afternoon they were going to go pet baby cows at the Shatto Farm. Mac & Angela made an awesome fruit salad and roasted veggies, which really hit the spot after the run. The best part of the day was seeing the expression on Abby's face when Angela brought out her big present... we had all chipped in on a Kitchen Aid mixer. Abby had been dropping hints and out and out pleading for one for awhile now, so she was a bit overwhelmed. It was sweet!
On Sunday, Gary announced the formation of a new trail running group based in Lawrence... the Lawrence Trail Hawks! I figured since I run in Lawrence at least 3 times a week, this is the trail group for me. I was the first KC member and my trail name is "lil' big hawk"... Gary has been assigning names to everyone as they join. We're going to clean up the Clinton lake trails on Saturday in time for next week's races. I'm really excited about this group.. should be a good time with good people!