A great Northwest Arkansas route

I logged seven miles this evening on a scenic Northwest Arkansas trail. The Northwest Arkansas Regional Trail System, which you can learn about at http://www.nwatrails.org, currently boasts more than 200 miles of running, cycling and walking paths.

And there’s more to come.

I ran a stretch of the trail system in Bentonville, AR, home to retailing giant Wal-Mart. You can check it out at: http://www.bentonvilleusa.org/upload/file/Bentonville_Trail%20Map_080411.pdf. I ran from number 5 to number 2 and back.

If you’re ever in Northwest Arkansas, be sure to take in a trail. In addition to the Bentonville stretch, I’ve run a six-mile circuit on trails in Rogers, AR and the Fayetteville Lake Trail in Fayetteville.

I hope your Spring running is taking you where you want to go.

Happy running!

Kansas City Runner

Posted in All posts, May 2014 | Leave a comment

My next race

I blogged last Sunday that I’d commit to an upcoming race within a week.

Kate, the kids and I have decided to run the Independence Park Trot 5K Run/Walk. The free event, sponsored by Independence Parks and Recreation, begins at 8 a.m. on May 3 at Waterfall Park in Independence.

Independence Park Trot “aims to promote increased use and access to the city’s parks and trails,” its web site says. “We hope families will enjoy the event and want to spend more time visiting the many parks and trails Independence has to offer!”

I’m looking forward to the race. Kate and the kids have run it in previous years, but this will be my first jaunt.

As you may recall, I considered running June’s Hospital Hill Half Marathon but decided against it this year. I wouldn’t have had enough time to train for the hilly race, and it’s the morning after Jazzoo 2014 at the Kansas City Zoo.

I will commit to a longer race — possibly a half marathon trio — in the near future. Look for more information on it and a great running route recently minted by Independence Parks and Recreation Director Eric Urfer in my next post.

Happy running!

Kansas City Runner

Posted in All posts, April 2014 | Leave a comment

I A-M S-T-I-L-L R-U-N-N-I-N-G

It’s been nearly eight months since I posted a blog.

Can you believe it?

I’ve thought about and wanted to write every week. Heck, I’m a product of  Mizzou’s J-School. Writing’s in my blood!

Even though my busy work and family lives have precluded regular blogging, there is good news: I’m still running.

Not as much as I’d like. But running, nonetheless.

One of my recent jaunts, Community Services League’s Circle the Square 5K on and around the historic Independence Square, made something abundantly clear: I need to have a race on the calendar, something I’m training for, to keep running at the top of my priority list. I finished the 5k with no problem but was well off my PR because of the hillier-than-usual route and my lack of readiness.

So, after doing a slow-but-steady seven miles Sunday on the Manhattan Beach Wood Chip Trail during my layover at LAX, I made a promise to myself: I’ll have a future race on the calendar in the next week and a plan in place to train for it.

Kate and I have talked for years about tackling Kansas City’s venerated Hospital Hill Half Marathon, which in 2014 is on June 7. And if not it, then something.

Keep your eyes on Kansas City Runner in the days ahead for more information on my next race. And in the meantime, check out its updated links.

I’ve written before that running is my ballast. I look forward to returning to the road and posting more regularly.

Happy running!

Kansas City Runner

Posted in All posts, April 2014 | 8 Comments

A great day for a bike ride

With temperatures in the upper 70s and unseasonably low humidity, Tom and I ditched Saturday’s running plans for the chance to enjoy a long bike ride on Eastern Jackson County’s Little Blue Trail. In the end, it didn’t disappoint — though there were a few bumps along the way.

I was excited about the ride, too. Little did I know...

I was excited about the ride, too. Little did I know…

Tom was all grins as we hit the Little Blue Trail Saturday afternoon.

Tom was all grins as we hit the Little Blue Trail Saturday afternoon.

We headed south around 3 p.m. from the trail’s Ripley Junction Shelter parking lot. The idyllic weather drew a slew of runners and cyclists, and the trail was buzzing with fellow fitness freaks.

We rode eight miles out and eight miles back for a total of 16 miles. The final eight were tough for 10-year-old Tom.

Tom enjoyed the first eight miles of our ride.

Tom enjoyed the first eight miles of our ride.

The first eight miles were fun for me, too.

The first eight miles were fun for me, too.

He was certain the ride was uphill both ways. And he couldn’t understand why there was so much afternoon sunshine — more than usual, he was certain.

As we relayed the trail adventure to Kate several hours after returning home, Tom looked back on his moaning and groaning with a grin and chuckle. But he was a real bear those last few miles.

During our final few miles, Tom just wanted to get home.

During our final few miles, Tom just wanted to get home.

And wasn't eager to talk to Dad.

And wasn’t eager to talk to Dad.

All in all, though, it was a great day on the trail. Tom’s already talking about our next ride, on which he wants to set a new record and log at least 17 miles.

Kate and Tom’s half marathon training plan calls for a five-mile LSD today, which we hope to squeeze in after church. I’m looking forward to another nice day on the road.

He'd eventually remember, however, that I was his ride home.

He’d eventually remember, however, that I was his ride home.

Where are you running, walking and cycling? What races are you preparing for? Let us know by clicking the “comment” button below and replying to this post.

Happy running!

Kansas City Runner

Posted in All posts, August 2013 | 2 Comments

A good running week

It’s been a good running week … and the weekend is just beginning.

Kate, Tom and I after last Sunday's Little Blue Trail run.

Kate, Tom and I after last Sunday’s Little Blue Trail run.

If you read my last post, you’ll remember Kate, Tom and I planned to hit Eastern Jackson County’s Little Blue Trail last Sunday for their first Long Slow Distance (LSD) run. We’re preparing for this fall’s Big Sur and Gobbler Grind half marathons, and LSDs are an essential staple of every distance training plan.

We ran two miles out and back. It was a great afternoon to hit the trail: The temperature peaked around 85, but it was nice in the shade. A light breeze blew off and on.

Tom, a capable trail partner, chattered the entire time. That’s what I love about running with our 10-year-old: There’s never a dull moment.

Tom, who ran a 2:35 2012 Rock the Parkway Half Marathon, is a great running partner.

Tom, who ran a 2:35 2012 Rock the Parkway Half Marathon, is a great running partner.

If you hit the Little Blue Trail in the warm months, I recommend going north from the Missouri 78 Shelter. Even in the afternoon sun, more than half of the trail is shaded, making outings bearable in the heat and humidity.

Speaking of trails, I recently learned through Rails to Trails of a 2.91-mile stretch of abandoned railroad in Lafayette County. Look for more information in future posts on my efforts to create a trail on the former railroad between Lexington and Myrick, Mo.

The Beem Team will run the De-Feet Hunger 5K in September 2013. It benefits Harvesters and is coordinated by the Heartland Central District of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church.

The Beem Team will run the De-Feet Hunger 5K in September 2013. It benefits Harvesters and is coordinated by the Heartland Central District of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Looking forward, Kate and I decided today to run the De-Feet Hunger 5K Walk Run on September 7. The race, which benefits Harvesters, begins at 8 a.m. at 55th Street and Paseo Boulevard in Kansas City. It’s sponsored by the Heartland Central District of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church. Participants are invited to stay after the run to help pack lunches for area kids.

What races are you planning for the late summer and fall? Let us know by replying to this post.

Happy running!

Kansas City Runner

Posted in All posts, August 2013 | 6 Comments