Actually, this wasn’t the view for the entire fourteen miles, but it was for the hardest part….which is good. The BEST way for me to BEGIN a Saturday is with a LONG RUN. This morning I met with my running group just around the corner from my house. Then we piled into two SUVs, driven by kindly family members of people in the group (yes, very kind to get out of bed early on a Saturday to help out a bunch of crazy runners). Then we drove a mile down the road, made one turn and took that rode through the outskirts of town, past the very last houses that border this gorgeous conservation area, and were dropped off FOURTEEN MILES from the start. The objective: TO RUN BACK HOME. I guess we could have walked home, but when you’re that far away you had better run if you want any time left of your Saturday to enjoy :-).
It wasn’t an easy long run, as some are. The first ten and a half miles were somewhat hilly. At about mile 4 the fastest runners stopped at the top of a pretty significant hill to wait for everyone behind them. When asked why we had stopped, the defacto leader of our group replied, “This run is not about pace or time, it’s about DOING THE DISTANCE.” So we continued to wait until everyone had climbed the hill, shared some words of encouragement and started running again. I was surprised to see the leaders again waiting at 6.5. After everyone had regrouped again, and having shared a few tips and some playful banter, we took off again. At 7.5 I downed a packet of goo and 8 oz. of water, then caught up with a friend and chatted for a while. By mile 9 civilization was in sight (though said civilization was not actually reached until almost 12). At 10.5, there everyone was again…waiting and enjoying the company, as well as taking in the beautiful view of RED ROCK from this the highest point on the course. I picked up a small Gatorade here and was homeward bound with my friend along side. On all of our runs everyone waits at the end, but this run was unusual with all of the stopping and waiting along the way. Again, this run was just about getting the MILES in though. One of the earliest finishers drove back to pick up one runner who was having a pretty hard time today. I love the CAMARADERIE of our group. Anyone is WELCOME; Everyone is ENCOURAGED; Help and Advice freely flow.
AND THE BEST PART: 1,870 calories burned
What a way to start a day!
Now I need to get out of this chair and go stretch….