Saturday, October 31, 2009

Running in Wheaton

ORN:  7 miles total; 5 x 1 mile intervals, average 8:28
We are in Wheaton, Illinois visiting youngest son Matt during Parent's Weekend at Wheaton College, where his is now (amazingly) a junior.  Fascinating to watch him grow, spreading wings, flying.  We're so thankful for our three sons...words fail me to even express it. 
So I won't try; instead I'll talk about running.
In between events with Matt, I managed to get in today's required workout, 5 x 1 mile intervals.  I ran the Great Western Trail, part of the DuPage County Trails in the suburbs west of Chicago, which had an entry spot about 200m from our hotel.  It is an extensive rail-to-trail system...looking at the map, I think you could easily do a 30 mile run and not see the same thing twice.  Packed gravel made the surface wonderful on the legs.  Darrell once ran these trails while in Chicago on business.  This has to be a huge plus for any runner living west of Chicago. 
Despite a 20mph west wind and 41F temperatures, it was most enjoyable.  Individual splits were nice and even:  8:29, 8:27, 8:30, 8:26, 8:26.  The run was smooth and not maximum effort; I felt good all the way. 
And one weird thing.  I've noticed this before but only figured it out today during the last interval.  When I run at an 8:20 to 8:30 pace, the cadence of my foot strike is precisely the same as the core beat of Michael Jackson's song "Billy Jean".  Seriously.  And so I end up with that song stuck in my head during intervals. When I put this together, I felt like I should run with my left glove on and my right glove off.  Oh my.
My biggest tip of the hat today goes to long-time blogging buddy Waddler who does much of her training on this same trail system.  I thought of her a lot during the run, as next Saturday she goes for her first full Ironman distance at the Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon.  She has worked oh so very hard for this, with not a few obstacles to overcome.  She has truly persevered, in the greatest sense of that word.  My prayers are with you and your whole family this week, pal.  Keep moving forward!!


Sarah said...

I remember you writing about taking Matt to college as a freshman. Love the rails to trails!

Darrell said...

Rails to trails can get a bit monotonous but they sure a wonderful for the long runs.

I can't quite wrap my head around the idea of you humming along to Billy Jean on the run. Too funny!

crossn81 said...

I have a friend who lives about a half mile off the prairie trails in Wheaton. Always love running there when I visit. Lots of the high school teams use them too!

Wes said...

Ya know, speaking of cadence, I ran barefoot the other day, and it taught me alot about my stride in just one session. I can't wait to do it again. Persevere :-)