Cross Continental Training Run

Ciao Cinquecento Amici,

I am quickly adjusting to my jetlag from a little over two weeks spent in the U.S. visiting family, friends, and attending one of the most romantic weddings of the decade. I started near my official Wisconsin hometown with my immediate family, as well as a few snuggle-bug family members. Then, I flitted over to my adopted hometown, Madison, Wisconsin, for a whirlwind 40-hour tour of favorite friends, restaurants, and running locales. I zoomed over to Dave’s Wisconsin home-region to visit with his clan and their kin – five nieces and one nephew between the ages of seven years and seven months. It was all topped off with a delightful first-time visit to Lawrence, Kansas, where I swooned at the aforementioned wedding.

Some people dislike the word ‘aforementioned’ because it is long and a bit over the top. I love it though; much like I love a run, even on days out of my comfort zone, with high heat and relatively high humidity. That is why despite the 82 degree weather at 8am, and the 66% humidity in Kansas on Saturday morning, I headed out to River Front Park for a 9-mile run.

I was running across continents with Sara from Real Fun Food. Sara took on the beastiest beast of basic running events, the marathon. After I berated her in the comments for her crazy choice, I offered myself up as a slightly-less-crazy long-distance running buddy. I plan to participate in her training runs until they hit about 15 miles, making me slightly-less-crazy than Sara, who will eventually run 26.2 miles (the distance of all modern marathon races). 15 miles is about the point where the running/time cost-benefit ratio runs out for me.

On Saturday, Sara ran through central London, you can read all about it here. She is quite funny, tells a good story, and usually writes about food in connection with the rest of her charming life. Sara has encouraged me to photo-document my running route; so, to commemorate our first cross-continental run, I did just that.

Enjoy the trek from University of Kansas through downtown Lawrence to the Riverfront Park and back. It is a lovely trip.

University of Kansas mascot, the Jayhawk, was everywhere in Lawrence. We stayed at a vrbo one block from the football stadium and campus. This statue was a few blocks off campus toward downtown. While in Lawrence I saw oodles of cardinals and a few robins, but never did spy a jayhawk, except like this.

A few blocks later, still downtown.

Kansas’s state flower, the Sunflower.

After crossing the bridge across the Kansas River, I left downtown Lawrence behind me and stumbled upon this intimate setting.

After about 2.5 miles, I arrived at the trailhead of Riverfront Park, a trail network spanning about 1000 acres along the Kansas River.

After a short water break, I continued on the grated, flat trail on the levee. First, I was running head-on into the burning sun.

Then I turned around for a brief reprieve before heading into the shaded trail for the return route. It almost looks like the yellow brick road!

After I delved into the wooded trail, I kicked myself for spending any time on the levee path!

Here I am just shy of the 7-mile mark; drenched in sweat, but still smiling!

I emerged from the Riverfront Park trail to once again cross the grand Kansas River before traipsing through downtown Lawrence back ‘home.’

Entrance to Downtown Lawrence.

The run was tough, slow, and sweaty. For the previous two weeks, I had been regularly drinking alcohol with breakfast (Bloody Mary?), lunch (beer?), or dinner (cocktails or wine) – some days it was all three! I was celebrating life with my family. Plus, many days I did not get inebriated; it was just that I was consistently having more alcohol and daily calories than my body is accustomed to managing. By the time I got to Lawrence, my body was confused and was seriously considering treating hops as a new form of bread. Considering those drawbacks, together with the heat and humidity, I was happy to finish the run with all my bodily organs still functioning!

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7 Comments

Filed under 5-100, Awesomeness, Running

7 responses to “Cross Continental Training Run

  1. Pingback: Summer nights | realfunfood

  2. I love the yellow brick road pic! Thanks for doing the run “with” me. This is such a fun idea! I was kind of thinking maybe you should sign up for a marathon too … šŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Cheerful Cherries, Green Beans and Quinoa | The Cinquecento Project

  4. Pingback: Two walls, a sparkling mountain lake, and a finish line | The Cinquecento Project

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