Tuesday, July 3, 2012

BAK Musings

For me, the beautiful weather that brought Spring to Kansas three weeks early meant three more weeks of training opportunities for BAK (or Biking Across Kansas for those “in the know”).  That’s right, I temporarily hung-up my running shoes to clip into bike pedals and traverse across the entire state of Kansas.  I was so excited to travel and see the hilly northern parts of the state from the seat of my bike with my mom by my side.  Securing my aerodynamic helmet, clipping-in and locking my feet to the pedals, positioning myself on a small saddle while wearing padded compression bike shorts and gripping my handlebars through cushioned gloves – Umm, I have to admit; as a long-time runner, it seemed like I was  wearing awkward armor as I mounted my two-wheeled horse to ride into battle.  Still, one of many things I learned on my BAK journey is just how freeing a bike, you and the road can be.  I always thought that feeling could only come from running.  Here are a few other lessons Biking Across Kansas taught me about running and about myself:

#1: Running is the best cross training for any other athletic pursuit I undertake – period.

#2: On the flip side, biking is excellent cross training FOR running and you can go further, and faster and see more of the landscape from your bike. However, when I run, I feel like I’m really experiencing the place where I’m running – rather than speeding by or conquering a hill as I tend to do on a bike.  There is one exception though… This year on the Monday of BAK we experienced what I’ll always remember as “Dirt Day Monday”.  There were wind speeds of 45mph combined with chilly temperatures and a bit of sticky moisture.  If that wasn’t bad enough, for approximately 5 miles of that unnatural weather, we were DOWNWIND as we rode past feedlots.  The wind made the “dirt” from the feedlots blow and the moisture made it stick to you… everyone was pretty much covered in “dirt.”  This time, I would have for sure chosen to ride rather than “really experiencing” the landscape as I ran.  I’m pretty sure I got plenty of the “landscape” stuck to my face the way it was.

     #3: Running is pretty much gear free – you don’t need “armor,” patch or repair kits, etc. (and you also don’t need chamois butter – if you don’t know what that stuff is – let’s just say all those that spend lots of time in the saddle will eventually learn about it).

     #4: Even after arriving in tiny Kansas towns just to take a cold shower (because there wasn’t hot water) in an ancient high school locker-room where I dried off with a disposable towel each day after riding; I knew I was experiencing something amazing.  (In case you’re wondering – disposable towels are NOT amazing). Each day on BAK I saw something unique, rode past a historical marker, learned that Kansas is NOT by any means flat or experienced something I would have missed had on not been there on my bike (and consequently also ate food I would have NEVER eaten under any other circumstances.) This has inspired me to seek out new places to run, to register for races in places I’ve never been and to seek out the unique experiences that make running exciting.

 #5:  I’ve always considered being a runner as part of my identity and who I am.  Can I now say after several years of riding and training that I’m a cyclist?  Hmmm… I‘m not sure, I’ll have to think about that.  Either way, cycling is becoming a part of my runner self - chamois butter, armor, “dirt” and all that good stuff that goes along with it too I guess!

- - Little Runner on the Prairie

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bling Bling!

These beauties will be featured in our online store soon! We're so excited to provide you with these fun headbands that definitely add some flare to your running attire, ladies.

Look for coordinators Amy and Amanda sporting the headbands on Sunday at the Johnston's Half Marathon in Wichita. We'll even make it worth your while...but you need to check the competitor e-mail or facebook page for that little tidbit!

Happy running, everyone!

ps: There are only a few days left for the great $50 price in your Run for the Rocks entry. Prices jump to $55 on May 1st!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Spring in My Step

Happy Spring! (I say this reluctantly as I still think we'll be getting snow one of these days. We still have NJCAA tourney and spring break - two events that are sure to bring out the winter weather again!)

But for now, I'm enjoying this beautiful spring-like weather as I'm sure all of you are, too. There's something extra special about a run when it's done in shorts and running capris - even better when it's shorts and a t-shirt! I know my kidlets have enjoyed the fresh air, too, as we've been venturing out in the BOB Duallie for laps around the neighborhood post-afternoon naps (50 pounds of combined kiddo weight + 10 pound carseat + 10-15 pound stroller = massive resistance training!).

I even signed up for a few spring races, one of which happened this weekend with the St. Pat's 10K in Carey Park. It was my first race post-baby and I wasn't expecting much - just a simple tune-up race to get my running mojo back. And it worked. After a sleepless night (5 month old babe thinks sleep is now overrated at night), I managed to run a 10K under my goal time and cross the finish line in 51:09. That's actually one of my better 10K times (I know, not saying much as this body isn't a speedster!). The race was a fun way to kick off the spring and definitely helped my confidence in my next race - my favorite race of the year - the Easter Sun Run 10K on April 7. I've also been eyeing the Wichita Half on April 29, though I have yet to do a double-digit run. (maybe this weekend will be the big 10-miler I need to overcome?!)

What about you, my fellow running friends and confidants? What races have you signed up for this spring? And how are those tune-up runs going after a pretty mild winter?

Enjoy the beautiful weather this week! Nothing like 70-80 degrees and sunshine (bonus: little wind!) to put some spring in my step!

Happy Running!
Amy - AKA Mama on the Run

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweatin' with Your Sweetie

How many of you run with your sweetie? I long for the days when I can run with my hubbie again. It used to be a common occurrence pre-kidlets. And if we weren't pounding the pavement together on long runs, we were usually hitting up the gym in the early mornings - he'd go off and play basketball while I'd run some more or do cross training and weights. Jack ran his first - and last - marathon with me. He ran a few half-marathons with me, too. And we still try to run a 10K together each year while my parents take over child duties. This Valentine's Day, treat your sweetie to the BEST gift - a Run for the Rocks half-marathon entry! Our Sweetheart Special is going on now through midnight on Feb. 14 - where it only costs $45 to register for Run for the Rocks! Simply go to www.runfortherocks.com to register online. Even better....register to run with your sweetie! There's nothing like couples pounding the pavement together. Do it for love. For the love of RUNNING! - Amy, a Mama (always) on the Run

Monday, January 9, 2012

Register NOW for only $40!

Yep, you read that right. We're offering a New Year's special. Register NOW for the 2012 Run for the Rocks for only $40! You only have until Jan. 10th to register for this amazing price. (well, more like 1 day and 14 hours left...but who's counting?). Tell your friends and fam of this great deal and get registered today. More details (and the registration info) are available at www.runfortherocks.com. Happy Running!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter greetings, y'all!
We hope you had a marvelous Christmas and New Year's holiday. Speaking of Christmas - what kind of running gear did you get? I have to admit I was a bit excited when hubs and the fam asked me for gift ideas this year. After being pregnant for most of 2011 (or what it seemed like in that intense heat!), I was ready for some new running gear to keep me going in 2012. 

Here's what was under the Christmas tree...
Asics 2160s - They're my go-to shoe and I'm 99.9 percent certain that I'll get my Asics 2100 series each year for Christmas and my birthday (which works out well, since it's in June and I get new runners every 6 months!). I was extremely excited to open up these babies, as they were black! I've never had a black running shoe so hubs was definitely risking it, but it was one worth taking! I feel light as a feather as I'm back pounding the pavement.

 Balaclava - (not to be confused with baklava!) I really wanted one of these after last winter, when I toughed the elements more than usual for my morning runs. I really can't stand the treadmill anymore but didn't want to wuss out when the morning temps dipped in the teens.

  Garmin Forerunner 110 - This was the BIGGEST surprise under the tree! I had only mentioned once (maybe twice) before that a Garmin would be a fun gadget to have, but really just to track miles and heart rate/calories. I didn't want a fancy-shmancy one...I really didn't need one at all but thought it would be fun to have. Hubs spent more than the Christmas limit just so I could have this! (Actually, I don't have it yet - but it's in the mail!)

 Under Armour ColdGear winter jacket - My parents and in-laws know how to make this runner happy, too. My mom and dad gave me this fun (and PINK!) women's Under Armour ColdGear running jacket. I didn't know if it would feel warm enough (it's thin), but it said that the ColdGear technology would resist the wind and moisture. I took it out on a morning that dipped into the teens and ended with a nice sleet and it kept me nice and toasty! My favorite part of the jacket (besides the fun, girly color) are the roll-down mittens. They keep my hands nice and warm! (which, for me, is almost more important than warm feet)

So there it is...my Christmas running goodies. There's no excuse to break out for a run during these dreadful winter months! What did you all get for Christmas?!

Happy Running!
Amy - AKA Mama on the Run

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meet My New Running Companion!

Okay, I couldn't resist...I wanted to let all of my half-marathon buddies know about the newest runner in the Conkling family! Braxton Cade Conkling arrived Oct. 13, weighing in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces. We're all doing great - and mommy can't wait to start running in the coming weeks with the double-BOB stroller! Hope everyone has had a terrific fall running season. Enjoy the dip in temps...there's nothing like a cold morning run to clear out the lungs and wake you up! - Amy, AKA Mama on the Run