Saturday, January 8, 2011

Coleen's Frozen Fat Ass Night Trail Run

What: Coleen's Frozen Fat Ass Run
When: January 7, 2011 @ 7:00 pm
Where: Prairie Center, Olathe, KS
Why: Why not! Night trail runs are a blast.
Weather: avg. temp about 27F with windchill in the teens.

This run started at 7:00 p.m. and finished 12 hours later, or whenever you decided to call it quits. It was put on by the Lawrence Trail Hawks out of Lawrence, KS. Now if you are like me and have no clue what a "fat a$$" run is all about, here's the skinny: it's a run held generally after the holidays to help you burn off all those extra pounds. With all the food that people brought to share, I think the purpose of this run was to add more pounds to ya.

The run was held on a 3.2 mile loop on the trails out at the Prairie Center in Olathe, KS. These are nice, well groomed, non-technical trails. There are two water crossings, but one was dry and the other only had about an inch of water. There are two noticeable inclines, but since it was dark, I can't really say if they would qualify as hills or not.

As some of you know, I've been having issues with my right knee for the past two weeks or so. I would feel soreness while walking up/down stairs, but could run up/down stairs fine. The only time I would feel soreness while running is if my right foot did the initial push-off to start up a hill. After that, no soreness while running at all. My knee felt good after a 5 mile run on Thursday and I had no soreness during the day on Friday. My goal for this run was to take it one loop at a time and see what happens, hoping to complete at least 4 loops.

I started off the first loop and just fell in behind a group of runners, by the end of the loop we were talking like we knew each other. That's what I love about trail runners, they're a very welcoming group. We stopped at the aid station, got some water, I took an S!Cap, and we started loop 2.

At this point, I fell in with another runner, Kevin, and we passed the time talking about various races, jobs, etc. Before I knew it, we were back at the aid station.

There was a lot of cloud cover which helped keep the temps in the 20s and for the most part only a slight breeze at this point. I was very comfortable in my 2 shirts (tank/SS), arm warmers, my Mizuno breath-thermo pants and brooks lightweight gloves. My stocking cap was a bit much, but it was nice when the wind was blowing. I had brought 2 other pairs of gloves and a jacket in case I needed to layer while out on the run, but it never reached that point for me.

Loop 3 went by quickly as well, but it was almost as if Kevin and I were the only ones out there running because we couldn't see the lights from anyone else. The cloud cover caused a slight reddish glow and it was just a beautiful sight to see while running. It was during this loop that I actually realized there were animals out as I heard a coyote howling in the distance. I was anticipating some deer sightings or at least some shining eyes, but nothing was seen during my time out running. Toward the end of the loop we fell in with another runner, Lloyd (I believe), who was a marine veteran out doing his first 50K. Just like before, it seemed as if we all knew each other and we passed the time talking about various races and trails to run.

At the start of the fourth loop the knee feels good, but I'm starting to realize that I won't be able to run too many more loops. At the end of the fourth loop, I think that I have another 2-3 loops in me. I was wrong.

The fifth loop starts fine, but during the first 3rd of the loop I can feel my ITB starting to slightly tighten. No soreness at this point, but something I needed to keep an eye on. At the 2/3 point of the loop, I can feel it protesting so I let Kevin and Lloyd know that this will be my last loop. When we stopped at the aid station to end the loop, I could tell that if I went out again I would have to walk the majority of it. I wished them good luck on their run and called it quits. I was pleased with how I did, even though I was hoping to do better. I had a blast and ran a total of 16 miles, what's not to be happy about.

I liked everything about this run. The location was gorgeous, the runners were awesome, and it was well organized. Since I plan on running a 50K this year, I used this run to test eating real foods to see which worked for me. I found the PB&J works (quarter sandwiches), granola, and part of a cookie all seemed to work fairly well. Each taken on a different lap, not at the same time. :) I also realized that heed doesn't cause any stomach issues either. I kept with my schedule of taking 1 S!CAP after every loop. It seemed to work and will likely be what I do during the summer as well.

To record the distance ran, they had you place your name on a board and record each lap as you passed. It was cool to see how everyone was doing.

I heard that last year they had a similar run held out at the same place during the summer, if it's held again this year it might just turn into my first 50K.

As promised, here are a few pics from the even. The first pic is one I took while running and the rest were official photos taken during the event.

This was taken during the 3rd loop I believe.

I'm in the yellow and look like I'm glowing.

I told ya the run was a blast.

coming in from loop 2

gathered around the aid station. I'm on the right drinking some heed.

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