Elemental, you’re wondering? Basic? I’m describing a run as basic? No, but I guess that could work. After I finished this morning’s run I felt good. Really good. Like if I had needed to, I could have run another couple miles. Maybe even 11.2? Which is super surprising after all of the crap I consumed yesterday. Grease is needed when kickin’ a mini hangover. Apparently Oreo’s are as well. Guess I had McRunner on the brain.
Anywho, elemental was me having difficulty coming up with a short title that would let you lovely readers know that not only did I conquer my LONGEST DISTANCE EVER this morning, but I did so in very cold, very annoying rain. And part of that distance brought me to the top of a small mountain. Yes, I accidentally climbed a mountain while on my 15+ miler today.
I woke up at 6:45 this morning and KrazyKatie who often makes an appearance in the wee hours of the morning when the alarm is going off made an appearance. “It looks cold out. And rainy,” said Krazy. “You better just snuggle back up in bed and stop trying to pretend you’re a runner.”
And today, I didn’t really listen to her much. I decided the last few 13.1 mile runs went really well, so there was no reason why I couldn’t handle a distance of a smidge more. I breakfeasted on a honey stinger with some peanut butter, grabbed some water, and hopped in my uncle’s car for the quickie drive down to Ben Geren Park. Of course, as soon as I snapped my seat belt, big drops of rain started hitting the windshield and for a fleeting second I considered going back in and snuggling up in bed. But then I reminded myself, it could very well be rainy on Nov. 12th, and a heck of a lot colder. So off I went.
The trails were not marked too well, and even the maps in the park were difficult to decipher–quite unlike good ‘old Central Park where you know the exact distance of every possible little piece of path. And with the watch still in disarray and a garmin expensively far off in my future, I had to figure out the 15 miles blindly.
The first path was very woodsy, and had small sloping hills, very much like Cat Hill….one big one nearer to the height of Harlems.
I know I very, very rarely run a 10-minute mile… I think I’m usually somewhere between 8:45-9:00 when I’m just out on a leisurely run, and closer to 8:15-8:30 when I’m “racing”. But I decided since I had questionable paths and no working watch to pretend I was going at a 10-minute pace and judge everything off of the total time out on the roads. So I went 25 minutes out, and 25 minutes back to the car for the first “5″. Since I was back at the car anyway, I ditched the hoodie I had been wearing to protect against the cold and the rain, chomped down a few stinger chews (and btw, they were realllly good, might be my new favorite “chew”) and took a slug of water.
I had planned to follow a similar routine for miles 6-10 and 11-15, but curiosity got the better of me and I re-routed. That route somehow ended up taking me up the side of the mountain. No seriously…I took a photo but stupid nonsmart phone lost it…I somehow wound up at some overlook with a view of all of Fort Smith below me. And I ran up every very scary incline that led me there. They were far more terrifying than those hills I thought I was so bad ass for hiking in Richmond a few weeks ago, and needless to say…I think my legs will hurt tomorrow.
The mountain was, however, perfectly located in the center of what [may have very well been] a 10 mile stretch. So once I got up and over it, and nonsmart phone told me it had been another 50 minutes, I turned around and retraced my steps. As I was coming down its sloping side one last time, for what I believe were the last five miles or so, the threatening skies opened up and cut loose. Thank you, Mother Nature, for that little sprinkle (note: it was not so little. not so little at all).
Just as I was coming in for the finish, I noticed some mile markers on the path, and snuck a quick peak at my cell phone. I was definitely moving at a pace at under 9 minutes. I can only hope that means that a. I was probably moving even faster 13 miles prior. and b. I may have very well run more than the designated 15. Woohoo!
And here is the greatest greatest part: I felt AWESOME afterwards. I was soaking wet in rain (and okay, probably just a tiny bit of very feminine perspiration), had gone a greater distance than I’ve ever gone before, and truly believe that if I needed to (if there was an Arkansas chainsaw massacre man chasing me), wanted to (if I wasn’t so diligently following Hals orders) or had just spent 16 weeks pretending I might be able to (hello, marathon day) that I COULD run a full 26.2 miles. Luckily, I am…on November 12th.
The rest of the day has been spent with mini celebrations at my favorite FS joint, ED WALKERS (check out the amazing tee in the banner photo kids) where lunch was topped off with free pie. Wahoo! [Note: Ed's does not have a website to link to--only adds to its 1950's small midwestern/southern smalltown charm?] And tonight, two of my cousins and I will be hitting up The Electric Cowboy. I wish I could say I made that name up, but it’s actually called that. And people actually frequent it. If that doesn’t fit everyone’s fantasies about what Fort Smith is like to a tee, I don’t know what does! Can’t wait to give the recap on this little gem
- What’s the longest distance you’ve ever run in the rain?
- Do you like knowing your route to a tee or do you like the element of surprise? I think that may have helped today’s solo run drag a little less!
- What do you have queued up for this weekend?