Just three short weeks and I'll be running my first 50K. So, this weekend I was lucky enough again to run at Hartman Rocks. I ran a very similar route to last week just longer in places, so won't bore you with all of the hum drum details, but maybe just a few little tidbits. Unlike last week, Saturday was about 60 degrees and sunny, absolutely fabulous. As I feared though last week, the lack of water was compounded by the fact that it was 30 degrees warmer this week. I think that with said lack of water I may have found Natty's limit in regards to mileage. About an hour before we were done, she definitely started slowing down and I even started contemplating how if I had to I would carry her out, but she's a trooper and carried on. By the time that we were heading back down within sight of the car, she was about 25 feet behind me and looked as though she was in the "zone" and if she could speak she might've sworn at me. I had packed in water and a collapsible bowl and found some about halfway through, not enough though. I actually sucked my camelback dry about an hour before seeing my dirty blue car again. Bummer, until the trails open up in the Butte it'll just be short ones for the brats whilst at Hartman's. We did 6 hours and 15 minutes of running, which was 24 miles (for the dogs probably twice that). There were heaps of folks out on the trails, especially bikers and you could just see the joy in everyone's faces that some good weather and dry trails had melded for a perfect day.
On Friday, I was talking to my friend Pilates Kenny who asked what I was doing and I said running 24 miles/6 hours tomorrow. Who in turn said he didn't know that he'd want to do anything for six hours let alone run. So, in my time out on the single tracks on Saturday this kept coming into my head, as random things do. I started training for my first marathon in August of 2009 and remember looking at each weeks increasing mileage as a daunting task or just a fearful thing. I looked forward to them because it was a new ADVENTURE! and I was fortunate enough to have my buddy funderson right there with me teaching me the ways of distance running. Still though it was always, I HAVE to run blah miles this weekend not I GET to run blah miles. As this spring/mud season has progressed, I really feel like I've come into my own and I look forward to the weekend's challenges whatever mileage totals it may be. I enjoy being alone with my thoughts out in nature for extended periods of time. I've also embraced that fact that I am a slow runner and it feels good to be comfortable in my own shoes. I know that there will still be GREAT days and not so great ones, but look forward to what each run brings.
The pups ans I hopped back in the car and pulled off just down the road at a little put in area for the Gunnison River and low and behold there is Pilates Kenny. He asks how it went and was wicked kind to say I didn't even look tired (chapped lips, spit on my cheeks, who knows what on my shirt, smelling like an old sweaty sock)...sweet man. Then, he says since you're done why not come kayaking. I laughed out my nose, thanked him and said that for the last hour and a half of my run all I could think of was sitting my arse in the river and that's where the dogs and I were headed. It was absolute awesomeness just as I had hoped for. The swollen river rushing by, happy cooled-off pups playing and wrestling in the water around me and swallows from under the bridge swirling all around above me as my tired muscles were cooled by the snow melt run-off and warmed by the sunshine.