Saturday, January 31, 2015

Happy New Year! Still here!

Well, I barely made it to posting (proof-of-living?) during January, so I declare that this counts as a New Year greeting!  May it find you well and with resolutions to which you are sticking!

I'm pleased to say that I'm fully installed in Kansas (and have been, for the last few months) and enjoying my job and this wonderful state. 

I took a nice hiatus from running this fall, and am getting back into it just now.  While overseas I was putting in some solid hot and sunny mileage, and a nice FOF half marathon, and some great hill training, but I came home burnt out and with hamstring-itis - right where the muscle starts, at the ischial tuberosity - and quite literally a pain in the rear!  I still don't trust myself enough to prevent re-injury, so I've only raced a few times since returning from overseas - a 5K Turkey Trot, a 7.2 miler Christmas race, and most recently the Groundhog 10K last weekend.  My goal? Shorter distances but faster times this year.  Broken record, much?

I don't think I'll do any marathons, but maybe a mid-summer half if I can take the time away from work.  My current schedule prevents high mileage weeks, but I accept the break willingly!  Oh, and I happen to love my job.

What a pleasure it is to live here - I've got miles and miles of rolling hills and low-traffic roads on which to re-learn some lessons, and a great community of runners to keep motivation high.  There are great parks and trails nearby.  And it's nice to be re-united with D and Nugget.  Chickens will follow soon!

Let me tell you about the Groundhog 10K!  L and V, our old friends, happen to live here too now, so we carpooled to the world's largest underground warehouse for a unique sub-terranean race!  D and I registered last minute, and really hadn't trained - what are good friends for, if not talking you into untrained 10Ks :) It was a cold, drippy rainy morning as we parked and shuttled to the start, but once we got to the cave entrance, we entered a 65F balmy, humid, runner's high-scented underground lair!  Perfect weather indoors, and perfectly miserable outside (good thing!).  And no Morlocks anywhere.

  Some facts - the race benefits Children's Therapeutic Learning Center of KC.  The race is crowded because you run the narrow catacombs (2 laps) of this high-ceilinged, dim and twisty underground warehouse but this adds to the fun.  The 5K starts an hour ahead of the 10K.  It was extremely well organized (thank you, volunteers) and with great post-race snacks.  I love the gear check.  Oh, and the shirt.  D states it is 'too cute' so now I have two.  There are timed waves but if you want a PR, start up front of your wave or face traffic jams for the first half mile.  I started behind my wave and got stuck for a bit, but hey, who cares.  I always appreciate frequent aid stations and there were plenty - all with water and potties and cheer.  A+ race, not because of my time, but for the whole event.  I don't know that I'd pony up the big bucks ($50, if you register late like I always do) every year, but I enjoyed the novelty of the race.

Blessings run deep here, but I am old enough to know that the good times are not an entitlement or ever permanent.  Here's to appreciating the good with the bad and the ability to know the difference.  May you all be so wonderfully blessed and, if not, know that it won't be forever.