The title pretty much sums up my run today. Although I did not need the gail force winds and horizontal rain! Another title choice could have been "I'm a trail convert." Or "fastest LR ever." Allow me to explain.
Hi, my name is Tmart and I am a trail hater. Or atleast I thought. I am the first to admit that I am 100% road runner. Although I did XC in high school and a bit in college, I am not all one for "communing with nature" and all that through the woods crap. Give me a flat, open road and let me fly! With that said, I was anxious today for some long run redemption at a trail I tried to go on 4 weeks back. When I got there that day, a XC SKIIER was putting on his gear so that was a fail. Buttt, because of this and the fact that I figured my shins (that are still alittle bothersome at times) could use some cushioning, gave me the opportunity to try again.
Sunday = my weekend so I always get 12 hours of sleep if possible to catch up from the week. That + DST led me to leave at 11am. I didnt' even look outside and instead just put on my shorts and light running windbreaker that I wear for pretty much every run. Ohhhh man. Mistake. 1/2 mile into the run I turned and began the 5 mile road route to get to the trail. The wind was. so. strong. Seriously. I kept telling myself "its only 5 miles" but this was just the beginning of the run! About 3 miles along I started bargaining with myself saying stupid stuff in my head like 'maybe i can just do a 10 miler and call is a massive cut back week!" or "maybe I should turn around, then drive the the gym and do 10 more miles on the treadmill." Lol. Lame. I wanted to cry though, I really did. People were staring in their cars as I got pelted by the horizontal rain and couldn't feel my legs. And the cars driving by were so loud on the pavement (and the fact that this was a 5 lane road.) Good times.
But, I made it to the trail! And let me tell you, it was great! It felt like a different run because I was sooo much warmer and I turned and started running west rather than north, so I was out of the wind. The trail was soft and wet so footing wasn't great, but it was DIFFERENT. The next 6 or 7 miles FLEW by. I saw a person every half mile or so so it didn't feel totally sketchy. And, I ran under the freeway where there was all this cool graffiti. (yes, i like graffiti) Overall, it energized me and I couldn't believe it when I was already reaching the neighboring town where the trail dropped off. Then, all I had to do was run the roads back! This was hillier and it was raining hard by now, but I felt so fresh still. Much different than last week, when I basically died after 12 miles. I looked at my Garmin for the first time 15.4 miles in. I assessed the situation. I had about 2.5 miles left. I felt fresh. Why was I saving anything/holding anything back?? So, I sped up! I think the last three miles were 8:14, 8:02, and 8:11. The best part was, I actually felt like I could have kept going and done a whole marathon with the same effort today. When I was finishing, I felt so FREE and GOOD. Just the way it should be.
Overall, 18 miles at a 8:24/mile pace. I'm proud of that, considering how "character building" the first few miles were. And what I meant about "fastest LR ever" wasn't my pace or anything, but how fast it flew by in my mind! The mental fatigue of being out on the roads that long never set in and it was like I was in a time warp because the run only seemed to take an hour or so.
And now, it is my favorite part of the week- post LR frozen yogurt dinner. Satisfaction in a cup.