Enjoying the weekend runs and new fitness home

It’s been a few months — again — since I blogged.

It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write. I simply haven’t had time.

You know how the day job is — always nudging its nose between you and life’s most rewarding pursuits. Writing ranks near the top of my list of personal pleasures.

As does running. My crazy schedule’s squeezed my trail time in recent months, too.

Even as life gets busier, though, running will remain a constant. Hitting the road, whether solo or with Kate and the kids, keeps my motor purring.

Joe, Maggie and Tom enjoying a bite at MCI.

Joe, Maggie and Tom waiting for dinner at MCI.

Friday’s jaunt is the latest example. Not sure of my path, I hit the road as the sun set. I altered my typical five-mile loop, and the resulting route covered hills and terrain that pushed and rewarded me.

It was a great outing. Pounding the pavement in the ‘hood was just what I needed after a week of travel.

Running outdoors in August in the Midwest can be difficult. Unless you do it between midnight and 6 a.m., it’s usually downright hot.

Until recently, the Independence YMCA was my running respite during the summer heat. It opened early and closed late on weekdays and had reasonable hours on Saturday and Sunday.

The YMCA of Greater Kansas City’s decision earlier this year to close its Independence, Raytown and Kansas City, KS locations — which I wrote about briefly in my last post — was a real disappointment. Without warning, my bad-weather running roost evaporated — along with the fellowship it afforded.

Maggie, Tom and Joe in Grayton Beach, FL.

Maggie, Tom and Joe in Grayton Beach, FL.

Yet what initially seemed a loss has ultimately become a blessing. Many former Independence Y members — including the Beems — canceled their YMCA of Greater Kansas City memberships and chose more community focused, less expensive options.

I’ve found a new fitness home at the City of Independence’s Roger T. Sermon Community Center at 201 N. Dodgion Ave. Although we paid $89 a month for a family Y membership, the Sermon Center costs just $30 a year for individuals and $90 a year for families who live in Independence. It’s closed on Sunday and has limited Saturday hours, but the trade-off in price and benefit are well worth it.

The City of Independence's Roger T. Sermon Community Center.

The City of Independence’s Roger T. Sermon Community Center.

One of the Sermon Center’s downsides is its lack of a pool. But not to worry: The indoor swimming facility at the Henley Aquatic Center at Jim Bridger Middle School is open to the public all year, and the City of Independence’s Adventure Oasis beckons in the warm months.

The Sermon Center has a lot to offer. There are weight and locker rooms with showers in the basement, and a nice cardio area overlooks the gym. A range of Yoga and fitness classes are offered most days for a few dollars each.

What’s most rewarding about my new warm weather running haven are the people. Although I miss my Y friends, someone new lends a helping hand or offers a tip on using a piece of equipment every time I visit the Sermon Center.

I’m grateful to the City of Independence for providing and maintaining the Sermon Center. It’s enjoyable, affordable and convenient.

And it’s been a lifesaver in the warm months since my last post. I’ve logged most of my in-town miles on a Sermon Center treadmill, striving to maintain my fitness as Kate, Tom and I prepare for half marathons on consecutive November weekends.

Kate and I before a trail run last winter in Ladahl Park.

Kate and I before a trail run last winter in Landahl Park.

I mentioned in my last post that Kate and I will run the Big Sur Half Marathon on November 17 in Monterey, CA. Last month, Tom — who turns 11 in October — decided to tackle the Gobbler Grind, his second half marathon, on November 24 in Overland Park, KS. Kate, Maggie and I have run the race before, and Tom’s following a training plan that would carry him over the finish line in under 2:30.

To keep our preparation on track, I enjoyed an eight-mile run in the neighborhood Saturday, and Kate, Tom and I will do five miles on the Little Blue Trail Sunday afternoon. It’s been a cool August weekend in Kansas City, and we’re hoping the running gods keep smiling on us.

Tom chilling on the beach last month in Sanibel, FL.

Tom chilling on the beach last month in Sanibel, FL.

Where are you running and what races are you preparing for as we head toward fall? Leave a comment below for fellow readers.

Happy running!

Kansas City Runner

About Kansas City Runner

Kansas City Runner blogs on cool places to run, walk and cycle in Kansas City and beyond.
This entry was posted in All posts, August 2013. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Enjoying the weekend runs and new fitness home

  1. Betty Snapp says:

    Loved your blog! Liked all the great photos! Keep up the running! Mama Bear XOX

  2. Jo Ann Brown says:

    Big Sur is my idea of heaven!! Good call on location…Today is Grandma ‘s 95th birthday. She and Grandpa would glad you are taking such good care of your health.

    • Thanks, Aunt Jo Ann. We’re really looking forward to Big Sur. Thanks, too, for reminding me today is Grandma Beem’s birthday. I told Kate, and she remembered it’s Lois Schofield’s 102nd birthday, too. Hope you guys are having a great summer!

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