The last two weekends I skipped my long run due to travel so today I was ready to get outside and pound some pavement. That is until I stepped outside around 9 am. Brrr…it was cold! Low 50’s–hello October! It’s officially fall now. The rain sprinkling overhead also added to the chilly morning. So I took to the trails with more tree cover to help keep me dry. The trees helped block out much of the rain until I made it back to the open clearing of the trail. My brain was playing tricks on me at this point and I was not even at mile three. “Just go back home…get a warm cup of coffee. Finish the run on the treadmill.” So I turned and began heading back in the direction I came from, but then said to myself, “what are you doing? You are a runner. Don’t be a wuss. Days like this make you stronger.” Ok, so change of heart and I took off down a side trail that I had never been on before.
I was off on a new adventure seeing places in my own backyard that I never knew existed. For example, I found a nature center that would be a great place to bring kids for exploring. One of the things I like to discover when I am on a trail run is to figure out where I am in proximity to what the cross streets are off the trail. It is such a sense of accomplishment when you come to the trail head and see a big sign noting a highway is up ahead or that you are running under a street that you drive on all the time. I always feel empowered by the notion that my legs can take me places that even seem far to get to by car!
When I turned back towards the main trail it was no longer raining so I knew I could finish my long run without doubts. Plus I was now in my groove and feeling good. I meandered my way back to the open trail area and was met by other runners who stuck it out like me. I was thrilled that the steady stream of bicyclists passing on the left was much slower than usual.
Sometimes a run that does not seem so awesome at the start ends up being a lot of fun! I knocked out 15 miles (even though my plan called for 20, but I’ve already accepted that the plan is too difficult). I stretched well when I got home and as I sit on my couch typing I am feeling remarkably well and happy at where my training is at this point. Seven weeks to go!
Week 9 Recap (9/25-10/1): 3 days of running totalling 25 miles, 1 cross training day (weights), 1 day of sprint training (double- header soccer game where I assisted on one goal)