Training Log – Weeks 11,12

Comment: My typical Saturday morning running sessions take me through two residential neighborhoods to the western edge of the town of Brownsburg Indiana and along a rural road in Hendricks County to the historic location of the pioneer town of Tilden Indiana. The empty field where the train station once stood is now the west end and future trail head of the growing B&O Trail. For over a decade, I’ve been running this particular segment as the first three miles of my running route before heading down other rural roads in the county and then circling back toward home. For the last two consecutive weeks, though, I’ve turned onto the new section of the B&O Trail, not waiting for the official opening later this year, and have run to the major artery of Green St before turning around and heading back toward home.  I’m liking this change, and envision that this will become my new regular Saturday morning route.

Comment: The next Indy Mini-Marathon occurs in exactly one month. I’m having a good training program so far and am cautiously optimistic that if I add some hard miles during the next two weeks and then have a sensible taper, I might achieve an elapsed time in the race that is at least a few minutes faster than last year. Could I set a new personal record this year?  Could I finally break the two hour barrier this year?  Not realistic, but maybe I’ll dream.

Raw Data: The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. For some sessions, additional information is included. ** 28-Mar-2017, 4.3 miles, 11.0 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 29-Mar-2017, 3.8 miles, 9.7 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 01-Apr-2017, 13.22 miles, 10:52 minutes per mile, neighborhood and rural roads including B&O Trail from CR 500 E to Green St and back. ** 03-Apr-2017, 4.0 miles, 9.8 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 04-Apr-2017, 3.3 miles, 9.7 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 06-Apr-2017, 4.5 miles, 10.7 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 08-Apr-2017, 13.12 miles, 10:48 minutes per mile, neighborhood and rural roads including B&O Trail from CR 500 E to Green St and back. My goal was to run a steady pace and keep each mile faster than eleven minutes, and I succeeded for the first twelve miles, though the effort was harder than I expected. ** The total running distance was 46.2 miles for weeks 11 and 12.

Photo: Future Trail Head 2

Not quite empty field of historic significance, west of Brownsburg Indiana, December 2016.

Not quite empty field of historic significance, west of Brownsburg Indiana, December 2016.

It was just a half year ago that I posted an image of a future trail head on my blog, accompanied by an explanation of the historic significance of an unassuming empty field in the countryside and a claim that someday the spot would contain a trail head for the growing B&O Trail.  During a recent Saturday morning long run on a cold and dreary December day, I could hardly contain my excitement when I saw the very first asphalt.  The newest section of the recreational trail isn’t officially open yet, but of course that didn’t stop me from immediately changing direction and heading down the new black ribbon of pavement.

Training Log – 2016 Half 9,10

Comments: The B&O Express has been an event for which I’ve registered each of the past six years, running the five races from years 2010 through 2014 and waiting near the starting line in year 2015 when the organizers cancelled the race due to dangerous weather. The event was a benefit to raise awareness and funds for the construction of a future B&O Trail west of Indianapolis, and I looked forward each year to supporting the cause and running in a race close to my home. I was wondering this summer why the B&O Trail Association had not opened registration for this year’s race, and this weekend I finally saw a notice on their website that the event won’t be held this year. I had thought in past years that the event didn’t have enough publicity and didn’t have enough participants, and now I wonder if last year’s cancellation led to the end of the series.

Raw Data:  The following are the dates, distances, paces, and locations of running sessions. For some sessions, additional information is included. ** 30-Aug-2016, 3.8 miles, 9.5 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 01-Sep-2016, 4.03 miles, 10:30 minutes per mile, neighborhood. ** 03-Sep-2016, 13.11 miles, 11:08 minutes per mile, from Broad Ripple running deck south on the Monon Trail, west on 52nd St, around the campus of Butler University, northeast on the Central Canal Towpath, and north on the Monon Trail to 86th St and back to the running deck. Finally, we have a break from the oppressive heat and humidity, with temperatures in the 60’s F and humidity less than wet and sticky. ** 05-Sep-2016, 8.25 miles, 11:30 minutes per mile, neighborhood to historic former town and back. ** 07-Sep-2016, 5.0 miles, 9.9 minutes per mile, treadmill. ** 10-Sep-2016, 4.6 miles, 10.0 minutes per mile, treadmill. I didn’t run outdoors or go to the Indy Runners session today because of thunderstorms. I’m thinking about a replacement long run tomorrow, which I’ll count toward next week’s training.  ** The total running distance was 38.8 miles for weeks 9 and 10.

Photo: Future Trail Head

Empty field of historic significance, west of Brownsburg Indiana, May 2016.

Empty field of historic significance, west of Brownsburg Indiana, May 2016.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a train station that served the pioneer town of Tilden Indiana stood in this field.  In various eras, the trains that came to this station belonged to the Indianapolis, Decatur, and Springfield Railroad; the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Neither the train station nor the pioneer town exist today.  The railroad right-of-way was purchased by a grass-roots non-profit organization and is slowly being converted into a recreational trail.  In a future year, this spot will contain a trail head and parking lot for runners and walkers using the B&O Trail. I run by this field on the road in the foreground most Saturday mornings.

Photo: Rail Trail

A completed section of the B&O Trail, east of Green St in Brownsburg Indiana, August 2015.

A completed section of the B&O Trail, east of Green St in Brownsburg Indiana, August 2015.

A grassroots organization in central Indiana is laboring to convert part of the abandoned B&O Railroad into a recreational rail trail across central and western Indiana. A few miles are already built and will be extended westward starting in the year 2016.