Hi! My name is Ken. I'm going to periodically write about running, writing, and a number of other topics. Please feel free to read my posts and provide your comments. If you have a question about any topic, leave a message and I'll try to help you get the information you're looking for. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Run Two Bridges-Hartford Style

One advantage of having paths and trails along a river in your area is that it makes running more enjoyable. My small running group refer to courses along and over the Connecticut River as "Two bridges". Now we have a total of four bridges that cross the river in Hartford and all within a 2 mile stretch, which makes it easy to vary the run. Yesterday I ran our "Two bridges w/o Arch".  I'm not referring to the Arch located in  Bushnell Park near the start and finish of the Hartford Marathon though. The Arch is short for Arch Street, which is a short city street that has one of our favorite bars on it. And the name of the bar is the ..... Arch Street Tavern.  Go figure.

So the term "two bridges" means just that. We cross over two bridges on these runs. I crossed over the Charter Oak bridge to East Hartford first and returned to Hartford over the Buckley bridge. This course takes you past the Colt Building in the beginning, and towards the end of the five mile loop, past the Hartford Steam Company and under Constitution Plaza before returning to my office along Bushnell Park. Check out some of these photos I took along the way.

The picture with the close-up railing in it is from the Charter Oak bridge looking east before crossing it, while the one looking down a flight of stairs is from the same bridge looking north towards Constitution Plaza and the Convention Center. The picture that is mostly water is from the Buckley bridge looking south towards the Founders bridge and the Science Center (building looks like a ship on the right side).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunday's Six Mile Trail Run

The rail trail was really busy this past Sunday morning. I usually can get a spot out of the 25 or so parking spaces, but they were all occupied. I settled for a nice spot facing back towards my house on the side of the road. As I walked up to do a few stretches before beginning my run, I noticed that the UCONN women's cross country team was training on the trail.  A minute or so before starting my run, they took off in two groups, each with about ten runners. Now I wasn't about to keep pace with these ladies, but I used them as motivation to keep my pace up and kept them in sight until the three mile turnaround point  for me. I stopped for less than a minute and just before I started back one of the groups passed me on the way back. There was a female coach riding a mountain bike along side them. They had about a forty second lead on me as I started back. I tried to close the gap and started to do so running around a 7:50 pace for mile four. I could see that the coach every so often would look back and then-boom- they increased the pace. This must have happened at least five times over the last three miles. Perhaps I'm full of myself, but I had the feeling that the coach was using me as motivation for her runners. "If you ladies don't pick the pace up, that old guy back there is going to catch us. Let's get going!"

Anyway, I continued to push until I was running around a 7:18 pace. I covered the last three miles in 22:57, which is a 7:39 pace. I think they ended up less than a minute ahead of me. I was happy with the run. 

What types of things do you do to motivate yourself during training runs?


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cross-Training? I've Got Something For You.

I just spent the last several weeks with the Connecticut Wildland Fire Crew working on the Pagami Creek Fire in Northern Minnesota. I was part of a twenty person team that worked with various federal and other state resources to help contain this large fire involving some 95,000+ acres of forest.

I didn't get a chance to run, but we had to carry in canoes and paddle through three lakes to get to our spike-out camp. Then we had to canoe in each day to the fire to work. The terrain, although not hilly like out west, presented many challenges with slippery rocks, bogs, moss-hidden holes and the usual roots, rocks, and fallen and leaning trees. Fortunately, no one got injured despite a few close calls.

I lost about 8 pounds while out there. We had to cook and clean each and every day, while we received supplies via a plane drop-off system. 

I'm still somewhat sore, especially my legs, but hope to resume my running tomorrow.
I hope everyone has been well during my absence.