Yay, I finally got in a long run. Cheez loueez it felt like a year since I had done something over my normal time of around 1hr 20m. Not real sure what happened on that, I guess I was really wanting a break from long running after the marathon or something. Whatever the reason I forgot how great it felt to run easy and just take off into the wild blue. Well not really wild, but down the sidewalks and paved trails for mile after mile. At first I was like uh-oh it's been like a month since I ran long and I felt like I was struggling - but the first part of the course is a gradual uphill that just keeps going. After I made it over that I felt a little better and about 20 minutes into the run something just clicked.
I was floating, effortless and feeling great. I was doing my new favorite route which is to run the trail by walmart out and back, then make a pit stop at walmart for water. Today I decided to try a GU gel during the run, so it was a good test to see if I should start using those. I normally use cliff bloks, but during the marathon they were hard to chew (didn't help I was utterly exhausted and using every ounce of energy I had to keep moving forward). So I passed the ice cream shop on the way out to the right turn to walmart, which is about two miles from that point or so and was really feeling good.
Made it to the turn and then down about a half mile or so to the trail entrance, which is a really tricky curvy path to get on, you have to make really sharp turns. The trail starts out going over a creek, then there is a tunnel under a road and then into a forested area. This area was completely "dead" last time I ran here and I could see through the brown landscape and notice the housing units a few hundred meters away. But this time it was green and lush, it felt like I just ran into a jungle somewhere and I could barely make out the houses. It was nice and cool and really refreshed me. This path goes on for at least two miles I'd say, plus it enters a shopping center at the end and I like running by the shop windows so I can check my form, see if my back is straight, shoulders in line, not leaning etc.
From there it's just a turnaround back through the whole thing. I finally made it back to the entrance, which is very close to walmart and climbed the little hill leading to the parking lot. I decided to start eating my GU here. It took a little longer than I thought. There is a ton in that tiny package, and I had never had one I just assumed it would go down in like a few gulps. So I ran around the parking lot, carefully peeking around cars as I continued my stride and eating. The GU was so much easier to eat, although I have to admit the bloks taste better. Either way I got some water and was out the door. At this point I was around 1:12 into the run, with about 45 minutes left.
The trip back to the park was mostly uneventful. I was definiely feeling good (GU?) or maybe I was just excited to be out enjoying a long run. It really was nice to just go out there and do what I love to do without any expectation or anxiety. My legs were getting a little beat up by about 1:40 and that's when I wanted to get the show on the road. I suppose this long run was better because it really wasn't that long compared to some of my others where there is much more pounding and I'm out there longer. Made it back to the park and still had a few minutes left, so I did a loop around it and really felt good. I wasn't too exhausted or anything, just the legs were a little achy.
So the thought of the day was: "I forgot I could do that!" I was just finishing and I was like man I forgot I could run this long. It feels good to be able to do that, not because it's easy, but because I know how much hard work I put in to be able to - the privilege was earned. So I left this run feeling great, and excited for the 10k, and even my next long run.
2:01:01(17.50) gf 694
AHR 156 MHR 169