Twenty miles. When I started running just over two years ago, I never thought that I'd ever run that far in a single workout. I had no intention of running a marathon, let alone a 100-miler. I should never have bought that first pair of shoes. What was I thinking?!
I set out with the modest goal of running fifteen to twenty miles this morning. I want to get in the habit of running long distances every Saturday and today seemed like as good a day to start that habit as any.
The plan I formulated was simple enough. Run 2.5 miles out in a single direction and run back. If I did that for three directions - west, north, east - I'd get 15 miles. If I added south into the mix, I'd make it twenty.
I ran west first. I felt great. It was 61 degrees again at just after 7:00, so running shirtless felt awesome! I couldn't run straight west - or any direction for that matter - without a few turns this way or that. I just ran till I hit a T in the road and went south or north to the nearest westbound street or road and kept going. I made it clear out to West River Road before the Garmin told me to turn back. On the way back, I nearly got hit by a pickup truck on Jackson. I wasn't paying attention. Yikes! I made it back in one piece, stopped in for a pit stop and some liquid refreshment before heading out again.
I went north next. I had anticipated less traffic than there actually was on this section. Evil Dog's owners were having a sale at their house, though, so there were actually an unusually high number of vehicles passing me by as I made my way north. I ran out on Highway 61 to the paving company's asphalt production place, then turned and ran back along the same route. I must say it was nice not having to worry about Evil Dog. I knew he wouldn't be out since they wouldn't want him eating customers. I drank Gatorade and ate some Shot Bloks during my break after ten.
I ran east next. This took me out onto Highway 54. I ran along feeling the best I had the whole time. I hit half marathon distance at just under two hours. I felt pretty good about that considering I really hadn't been pushing my pace at all the whole time. I ran back to the house, took another short break, downed some Gatorade and a PowerBar gel.
I was a bit surprised by the slight hitch in my get-along when I started my final five-mile leg. My quads were getting sore and they let me know they weren't especially keen on the idea of going further. I told them to shut up and kept plugging away at the distance. Saving south to the last was a BAD idea! There are more steep hills to the south of town than any other direction. I was creeping up and down them, trying not to give up. I succeeded. Take that, hills! I hated them coming back, but I managed to keep going despite a strong compulsion to stop and walk. I ran back into town. Stopped for a break in traffic before crossing 54 again and made it back to the house just as my Garmin clicked over to 20.
I was done, so I walked for a few minutes to cool down. When my heart was a bit happier, I stretched a bit before sitting down on the front step. That was a bit of a mistake. Once I was seated, I didn't want to get up. I rang the doorbell. My middle daughter came to the door. I begged for a drink. She rolled her eyes at me, but went and got it. I gulped it down. My youngest came out. I asked her for a second glass of Gatorade. She complied in much the same way her elder sister had.
Eventually I made it inside. I drank a half gallon of Gatorade, showered and got ready for the day. It's time now to go see my daughter off to her second year of college. Two hours in the car. I hope my sore legs recover. (garmin data)