That's how far I ran yesterday. It was a good chance to decompress. Last week my middle two kids got scuba certified and yesterday I had to get up at 6:00 am to take them to their last checkout dive. Since I was already up I took the dogs with me and we went to the lake to run. Even though it was only 7:30 am the temperature was already 80 and it was 90 by the time I finished a couple of hours later. It's been increasingly difficult to get out the door to run each day as the Texas summer has hit full stride and made it nearly impossible to run while the sun is up. Running in the evening makes me sleep poorly, and getting up in the morning is nearly impossible for me so my running has suffered.
I listened to my MP3 player as I ran and just enjoyed the beautiful day with all of the other people out walking and running. It felt so good to be healthy and even though the heat made me walk a bit, I finished the twelve miles feeling good. In the past week I've had a hectic vacation, worked long hours to try to make up for being out on Monday, met my daughter's new horse, and started looking for a new job but for a couple of hours I got to just enjoy being alive and healthy. It's a wonderful feeling when you get 45 minutes or an hour into a run and running becomes effortless your legs just move you along without thought for the next hour or more. Even though you're hot or uncomfortable, you know you're within your limits and it feels good to just be. I don't really think deep thoughts. My mind is able to just wander and drift and in some ways it's almost like a waking dream where my body is drained, but my soul is refreshed and filled.
My hips are a little sore today, but I'm ready to start ramping up for my next marathon. Last year I started in September. At that point the longest I'd ever run was 8 miles and the ramp was very hard on my body. This year I'm starting a little earlier with a better conditioning base and I'm hoping to have an easier time. I'll be signing up for the Austin Endurance Challenge again this year as part of my training and the first race is a 10k on October 1. Last year my goal was just to finish the marathon. This year I'd like to average at least a 10 minute mile pace.