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May 21 – June 3, 2012 Weekly Recap

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 Totals:
Miles: 63.33
Time: 11:11:50 h:m:s
Count: 9 Activities

5/22 – Lawrence Creek Trail: 4.78 miles, 41:47
5/22 – Ellenberger Park Loop: 3.67 miles, 1:01:54
5/24 – Lawrence Creek Loop: 7.34 miles, 31:02
5/26 – Brown County State Park: 10.09 miles, 1:46:21
5/27 – Indiana University Loop: 6.36 miles, 1:51:24
5/28 – Run to Black Acre Brewing: 1.97 miles, 39:08
5/29 – Ellenberger Park Loop: 5.7 miles, 45:18
5/31 – Irvington To Downtown Canal Loop: 14.31 miles, 2:10:16
6/2 –D.I.N.O. Trail Race in Brown County Park: 9.1 miles, 1:06:03

It was nice to get away from Indy to run on some moderately technical trails at Brown County State Park by Bloomington. Coming over from Southern California I was use to running on hard-pack dirt and rocky terrain in the San Gabriel Mountains. The routes I ran had no shade or very little covering, if any. There were many challenges: steep climbs, rattlesnakes, long stretches running under exposed sunlight, ridges/cliffs, and far distances between exit routes. Even the loops that I ran frequently weren’t didn’t get boring because there were so many ways of running them. The different views of city landscape and backcountry scenery always provided a fresh perspective on routine runs. Running around the city gets boring, so the weekends in Bloomington were a welcome change.

Brown County Park actually has hills to climbs. Mind you these aren’t quarter mile 18% ascents, but they were enough to give the legs and lungs a good workout. It felt nice running on well maintained single track under the cover of tall trees. One thing to note about running in the mid-west is the high humidity. I was already dripping wet after 10 mins. of running. I connected a few trails around the park to string along a 10 mile loop. On the loop I found myself running beside lakes, streams, and campgrounds. There was very little foot traffic and only a handful of mountain bikers. The sharp turns made some parts a little sketchy, but overall a nice trail experience.

The following week we returned to Brown Mountain Park to run the D.I.N.O. Trail Series. It wasn’t only my first race in Indiana, but our very first race together, which added to the significance of the day. Cristina ran the 5k and I opted for the 15k. We met up with her co-worker, Steve, and his mom for a fun jaunt through the woods…like real “woods”, not Malibu Creek chaparral type “woods”.

The course is single track and starts out with a mad dash uphill. The rolling terrain and the many turns help to make the time pass and the distance bearable. It’s definitely a course for fast runners, but had there been more sustained steep climbs I think I would have placed a bit higher. Cristina did well for only two weeks of minimal running prior to the race. Mind you it was also her first trail race! She finished in 30 mins. with plenty of energy left to run around to take photos. I was out sprinted down the stretch and missed top 10 by a couple of seconds, but managed an age group win. After the race we had lunch at our favorite Bloomington hangout, Upland Brewing Co.

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