I am a bit behind on my training; I was supposed to run 7.5 miles for a long run this week. Instead of beating myself up, I decided to hit 6 miles which is something I haven't accomplished yet this year. I thought the leap from 4 to 6 was enough for one week.
I returned to my old stomping ground the Cedar Valley Nature Trail, which is an old railroad line that's been converted into a 50+ mile paved/gravel trail from Hiawatha to Waterloo. The local cities are working to connect it to the trails that run through Cedar Rapids, and eventually hope to connect them all the way down to Lake McBride. I like to go to Hiawatha and park there, where the "official" mile marker 1 starts. I ran this trail on my training runs for the marathon I ran in 2008, and I remember my last run all those years ago, yelling out "F**k you, mile _! I won't see you again!" after every mile I passed. I certainly hated that trail when all was said and done. Too many miles of frustration, gut cramps, and guzzling water (which I have since learned was waaaay too much drinking on the run). I distinctly remember finishing my last long run and sitting on the bench with my sister and bawling my eyes out in sheer frustration and mind bending exhaustion. The only bonus to that run was watching my sister ride my bike into the weeds as she tried to light a cigarette and steer at the same time.
So I was back today, and talked to myself the whole way there, telling myself it was going to be a good run--I was going to run slowly, not look at my Garmin, and just take in the day. It was cool and cloudy, and so different from the past month of running it's like another planet! And I didn't take any water with me.
Off I went, listening to New Age music to keep myself from feeling like I had to try and run faster. I followed a woman for quite awhile, and dammit it felt good to finally pass her just before the 2 mile marker. I kept going, and she must have turned around since I didn't see her again. It rained a bit, and it felt good. I got to mile three, and turned around and took a walk break. I slowed down on my way back, which was disappointing, but I still managed to speed up a bit on the last mile. Quite frankly, I am pooped. I came home and rolled my legs around a bit on my foam roller. They hurt and were wobbly. My chest is a bit achy (mostly from pushing around fixtures at the store--I think I pulled a muscle Thursday) but mostly I am just so happy I made it through that run, and I could appreciate the trail. It was nice to run somewhere different. I expect I will be out there more and more, as my runs get longer. It's a safe place to run--the only thing I don't like is that there are no water fountains to be had along the trail. You either go without, or bring it along on the run. And pooping? Well, bring your own TP, and either make loops to keep close to the trail beginning, where there is a bathroom, or run to mile 7, where there is a port-a-potty that I've made friends with before. I will be taking Imodium and plan on not having to worry about gut issues.
So yay for me. I am happy. End of scene. Until next week, when I have to do 800's on one day. I am frightened about that and have to find a track with no one around so I am the only witness to my stellar performance!