I had to travel to Kansas early this week to attend a memorial gathering for a family member. I flew out early Monday morning, and though I could have possibly flown back the same evening, it would have made for a VERY long day (and a lousy Tuesday run). So I stayed overnight and used the opportunity to explore Sedgwick County Park on Tuesday morning.
|It had covered bridges! Neat!|
Sedwick County Park was a bit like Central Park. Except smaller and lacking in tall buildings and people. And hills. It did have covered bridges, which Central Park lacks. And also some nice "bike trails" which would be running trails for my purposes - a lap around the park was a bit more than 4 miles.
My plan was to drive to the park and start running around 5:30 am local time, which would give me plenty of time to finish, drive back to my grandfather's house, shower, and get to the airport. It was a good plan, but not without hiccups.
For one thing, it turns out that Sedwick County Park doesn't open until 6:00 am. In DC, a park being closed means that the bathrooms may be locked, or a single bar may block the entrance.
In Wichita, the park being closed means that a large gate (too high for me to climb) blocks the entire entrance, sitting flush with the fence on either side.
Fortunately, there was a neighborhood nearby. I cruised for a few minutes, trying to figure out what the parking regulations were. Then I realized that there were none - this was Wichita. So I stashed the rental and jogged to the park entrance. As noted before, the gate was too high to climb, but it did have a clearance of roughly a foot from the ground. After a quick scan in the dark to see if there were any obvious "trespassers will be prosecuted/shot/waterboarded" signs, I dropped to the asphalt and wriggled my way under the gate.
I was in.
From there I started my run. I had a fartlek workout planned - it's easier just to do stuff by time when in a strange place. My plan was to do an extended warm-up - running easy until it got light enough to run fast in a strange place.
|In case you were wondering |
about the differences.
Then they turned off, and it was light enough to start the workout - 16 times 90 seconds on/60 seconds off.
|Check out the elevation chart too :)|
The workout ended up being fairly fun. Part of it was the novelty of running in a new location, and part of it was that 90 seconds is just short enough that running fast is a blast. Though I will confess that by the last four reps I was more than ready to be done.
The rest of the week was back in DC, where some of our humidity has returned. Interestingly, though I'm generally the type that REALLY suffers in the humidity and heat, it hasn't bothered me. During both Friday's tempo and Sunday's long run I kept waiting for the humidity to start bugging me, but it never did. I'm not quite sure why this is - my leading theory right now is that I'm still defrosting from this winter. I'm certainly not complaining, though.