Running in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Me running in Arkansas, circa 2013

You wouldn’t think that a farm country, southern state city like Fayetteville, Arkansas would be all that runner friendly, but you’d be wrong. It hasn’t always been runner¬†friendly, but It has come a long way! I even think there’s been a Runner’s World “rave run” article from the area (but I couldn’t find it by google-ing it; so maybe not).

I’ve been to Fayetteville my fair share of times. My extended family lives there, my Dad lived there for awhile a couple years ago. Recently I had to go back for a funeral, ūüė• ,¬†so I brought my running shoes with me hit the familiar trails.

As I grew up and became a runner, I watched the city (and surrounding areas) expand and change. One year, I ran the winding country roads near my Grandparent’s farm as huge pickup trucks weaved around me, looking shocked to see a tiny girl running along the road.

Another year, I ran a Turkey Trot 5k in a suburb of Fayetteville! I never ended up publishing my race recap for whatever reason (I probably got busy and blogging got pushed to the back burner and when I finally came back, I thought it was overdue and irrelevant) but it was a fun race and a PR at the time.

NWA (North West Arkansas) Turkey Trot

If you live there or are ever visiting, check out these awesome places to run!

1.The University
Located in the heart of Fayetteville, I think the University of Arkansas¬†has a beautiful campus. There are plenty of sidewalks and a lot of shade trees. I recommend running over to Senior Walk where every graduate’s name is carved into the cement.

2. Meadow Valley Trail
Running east and west, I could access this easily from where my Dad lived and my Grandma currently lives. This section of trail runs behind the Agriculture centers of the University and is surrounded by fields of greenhouses and cows. Doesn’t sound appealing? It’s actually pretty relaxing to look at. The best part about this section of trail is that it connects to the main Razorback Greenway that runs north and south to even more places to run.

3. Scull Creek Trail
This trail is part of the Razorback Greenway (basically it IS The Razorback Greenway). This north and south running trail is a safe and scenic as it follows the creek. If you run north, you eventually connect to Lake Fayetteville and if you run south, you can get to the University. I remember running this trail and discovering where the cross country meets take place (as a newbie coach at the time, I was enthralled and thought it was so cool!)

4. Lake Fayetteville
I have not actually run here but it looks amazing! There are concrete and dirt trails for runners and bikers to use and runners for the area rave about it!

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Whether you plan on running in Fayetteville or not, you HAVE to check out this awesome video made by the City!


Races in/near Fayetteville, AR by RunningInTheUSA.com

City of Fayetteville Parks Website Рthey have an awesome interactive map of all the areas trails and bike paths.

Trail Running Near Fayetteville, AR

Sedona Marathon Training – Week 7 and 8 Recap(s)

We have all talk about “the wall” we hit when we are actually in a race. I think I have hit that wall in my training. I’m having a hard time finding my running motivation and I’m not entirely sure why. A lot of it has to do with the below freezing, and even into the negatives, temperatures we been having here in Colorado. I tell ya, I’m a pretty tough runner. I’ll run in the snow, rain, sleet, wind, super hot temps, etc. But this cold of weather is not ok. It’s not that I don’t have appropriate clothes; most of me stays plenty warm. Sure, my face and hands will get cold, that’s bearable. But really, it’s about the breathing. It burns!!

So, I haven’t run much in the last two weeks. I also don’t have that easy of access to a treadmill, even though I hate the treadmill with a passion. I used to have a 24 Hour membership, but I cancelled it back before I was even done with school. I occasionally use the gym where I coach boot camps out of, but due to recent changes to our agreement with the community college, it is not as appropriate to use the gym for my own fitness. Let alone is it a little too far for me to drive there just to work out. Driving there for work is one thing, but it is fairly distant from my house.

I’d be lying if it was just the weather decreasing my running motivation. And even though I know that it’s not just the freezing temps and lack of a treadmill, I don’t honestly know what else IS contributing to it. I think this happened last time I was marathon training, if I remember correctly. I hit the same training “wall.”

Running-Motivation

Even though I’m kinda sad, bummed, and curious as to why I’m having trouble running, I’m not discouraged because I know that a) I’ll regain my motivation and break through the wall and b) I’m still fine when it come to marathon training, especially considering I don’t have plans of breaking any world records during my next marathon; my goal is just to finish.

sedona marathon event logoSedona Marathon Training Week 7 – while in Arkansas (keep in mind this is Thanksgiving week. I was on vacation and visiting family, so my training schedule was anything but perfect).

Monday: 10 miles complete. Because I wasn’t able to do my long run over the weekend, I planned to do it at the beginning of the week. It was a nice easy run as I explored the trail system in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

DSCN4035Tuesday: About 3 miles. I took a self guided tour of the campus of the University of Arkansas. It was a little warmer this day with the sun shining, so I had a lovely time looking at all the buildings I’ve seen a kid. At the U of A, they etch all the graduate names in the sidewalks all over campus. I spent part of my run looking for my grandfather’s and parents’ names. I found them, of course, but not without some strange looks from the students watching me run back and forth over the names!

Wednesday: Race Day Eve – I went out for an easy 2.75 miles.

Thursday: RACE DAY!!! I did a local 5K Turkey Trot in Arkansas. Recap to come. Hint: NEW PR!!!

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Friday: Post Thanksgiving feasting tempo run. I was so tired and my legs felt so heavy. I ended up running 6 miles, but I took my time and walked on and off. See, tempo run! hahaha. What? You’re saying that’s NOT how it works. Semantics.

I did get to follow up my run with some horseback riding. That was pretty fun, but I DEFINITELY a city girl!

DSCN4089

Saturday: 0 miles – spent about 13 hours in a car heading home to my wonderful Colorado.

Sunday: 16 miles due, I busted out 15.25. Literally at the 15 mile mark my legs we done. With the last three miles, my hip and knee pain was striking hard. This might be leading to my de-motivation for running. I’m kinda worried that I’ll always have pain with long runs. Which would be really disappointing considering I DO want to run a marathon in all 50 states!

Sedona Marathon Training – Week 8

Monday: Supposed to start right up with 4 miles, easy. I’m coming to realize that I actually don’t like the training plan I picked mostly due to this. From my knowledge of fitness and training from school and running experience, I think taking the day after the long run off is beneficial to recovery. So, needless to say, I rested.

Tuesday: Due to my schedule, I didn’t get a run in this day. And this is when the temperature dropped drastically in Colorado.

Wednesday: Phew, finally got in a 4 mile run, but on a stinkin’ treadmill. I kinda struggled through this run, not physically but mentally. I hate the treadmill.

Thursday: The temperature was in the negatives! I didn’t have to leave the house for work, so I didn’t even change out of my pajamas this day. I have no shame.

Friday: SNOWBOARDING!!!!!!! I upgraded my season pass to include another resort, so I joined the special someone, his friends and a friend of mine up in Breckenridge for a frigid day of snowboarding. Yes, I realize the irony of this: I’ll get up and out in the cold for snowboarding, but not for running. What did I tell you before?? A day of snowboarding definitely equals a medium length run. At least in my book! And being all bundled up, I actually stayed quite warm. Just my face was cold (and I put toe warmers in my boots). With access to a hot tub after our boarding session, it was a great day.

epic mix

Saturday/Sunday: Since the previous weekend was 16 miles, this weekend’s training run called for only a 10 mile, step back, long run. With the temperature being as cold as they were, I honestly didn’t even care, I didn’t go out and run. Hence the lack of motivation! Ugh! I did get stuck working the Broncos game in the cold. BRRRRRRRRR! BUT GO BRONCOS!!

I did vow to myself though to pick up my training plan where I am.

Even though I’m not running as much as I should/want to, I did start some exercise challenges at the beginning of December. I am doing a month-long plank challenge and an additional exercise challenge that includes push ups, sit ups, squats and lunges. This is mostly a way to get me motivated in to resistance training again. I’ve been wanting to start lifting again, but due to the gym situation as mentioned previously, I haven’t been too pro-active about it. I also need a workout buddy for resistance training. I’m working on that still. So, these challenges will help me get back into resistance training as well as help with my fitness just in general to complement running.

Maybe that’s why I avoided my blog last week, because I didn’t want to admit that I haven’t been running that much. Phew, now that that’s off my chest…

What else has been going on?? The company I’ve working for has some big news involving getting our own facility. While this sounds exciting on paper (er, screen), when it comes to my specific job, it actually means less hours for me right now. More opportunities in the FUTURE, but for now, with a tight budget and crazy schedule, I’m back to square one that I started with.

So, I’m back at the job searching, looking to get a second job. But, I already have an interview!

OH! And something exciting to look forward to this weekend. The special someone I keep mentioning is working up in Breckenridge for the Dew Tour (a ski and snowboarding competition where the winners will be part of the Olympic Team I believe) and I get to go spend the weekend up there watching the competition as well as just getting in some boarding myself. Ahhh, a weekend in the mountains. Hot tub included!

What about you guys?? Anything exciting/new in your neck of the woods? Tell me!!

Also, and what I’m more curious about, does anyone else hit “the wall” in their training plan?? Not just in a specific race, but the training process?? How do you over come it?

Sedona Marathon Training – Week 6 Recap

Greetings from Fayetteville, Arkansas! Yes, that’s really where I am. And let me tell you something…. I’m definitely cut out to be a Colorado girl! It’s cold out here! While it is the same temperature as it is back home, the air is filled with a lot more moisture and that kind of cold is WAAAAYYYY different! Brrr!

But, I’m still running in it! I assure you that! Actually, Fayetteville has a fairly new, extensive trail system they’ve been developing. I can easily get on it from my Dad’s house and it’ll take me as far as I need to run in any direction! It goes north to Arkansas Lake (I haven’t ventured that far yet) and South to the Arkansas Razorback’s Campus (I did go this way today).

Before I get too distracted, lets recap Week 6

sedona marathon event logoSedona Marathon Training – Week 6:

Monday: I decided to take the day off from training because I was indeed sore from the previous day’s long run. Although, I was still pretty proud of myself for busting out that run! I bragged about it to all of my bootcamps ladies! I love working in the fitness industry. Not everyone is a runner, of course, but in the fitness world, they appreciate your success no matter what the sport.

Tuesday: 4 miles due. 4 miles complete. This is a typical Colorado week. I ran this day in capris and a t-shirt. On Thursday, it was snowing and I was bundled from head to toe.

keep calm hug a runnerWednesday: National Hug a Runner Day. The question is, would you liked to have hugged me before or after running? Actually, I didn’t get a chance to run this day. I literally worked from 5:45am until 9pm. The only break I got was from 7-9:30 and only because I was waiting for my boss to get home. Don’t get me started on this day. I wanted to murder this day.

Thursday: SNOW!!! Tough Runner Weather. 3 miles – kinda speed work. I did get the chance to see the new Catching Fire movie. It was FANTASTIC!!! Way better than the first one and it follows the book pretty well. I loved it!

cold weather running

IMG_20131126_174315Friday: Worked then napped on and off for most of the day – my body was not having it, so I decided not to run. I needed the sleep. I ran off to work again (ugh I hate my split schedule) … Then, I got to see Warren Miller’s Ticket to Ride for free! The special someone picked up free tickets for us that a local radio station was giving away and I met him down town to see the show. It was amazing! I don’t know if you have ever seen a Warren Miller film, but if you haven’t and you are a skier or a boarder, you need to check them out. I have never even been able to catch one on DVD or netflix, let alone in the theater, so I sat wide eyed and jaw dropped for the entire thing! Very impressed to say the least. The whole event was pretty neat. It was at the Paramount Theatre in Denver on the 16th street mall (They actually having showings all over the Denver Metro Area). I have never been in the Theater before either so that was a treat as well for me (it’s a very pretty, historic building). Out in the lobby they had ¬†a lot of the sponsors with giveaways and other information. They also had a huge giveaway from the actual film hosts during intermission as well!

Saturday: After having a late date night, I woke up before the sun to get in a car and head east to Arkansas. That’s a 13 hour drive in case you’re wondering. Although, I wasn’t allowed to drive, so I slept most of the way, which made it seem like it went by pretty fast! No running was had this day.

 

Actual footage of an Arkansas run.

Actual footage of an Arkansas run.

Sunday: I wanted to get in my long run this day, but after visiting the grandparents on the farm (yes, I said farm. You can’t go to Arkansas and NOT visit a farm), we got back to my Dad’s house a little too late to venture out for a 10 mile run. I chose to keep it short, still get some miles in, but push my long run to Monday when I could go in the middle of the day, when it’s safer. ¬†With my Dad’s help, I discovered a wonderful trail system, and got in 4 miles. Running here looks a lot different than my Colorado.

—Monday, of week 7: 10 miles due, 10 miles complete. New trail fully discovered and I got to see parts of Fayetteville I have never seen!

Part of the trail

Part of the trail

Coming up: I have a race in Eureka Springs, Arkansas on Thursday morning. It’s a trail 5K! I’m super excited! And my Dad is coming with me! What about you all? Who’s doing a turkey trot come Thanksgiving morning??¬†