Saturday, January 5, 2013


Workout: 8 miles, 10:04 average

In case you missed my title, I made the BEST DISCOVERY EVER today: I found miles and miles of trails I never knew existed!

Let's back up. I really didn't want to run today, since I figured running outside was going to be so slippery that I'd have to go crawling back to the hell hole gym to get my miles in, a prospect I found more than a little daunting. I figured I should give outdoor running a shot, though, so Bailey and I hopped in the car, stopped at the store to pick up some new Yaktrax, and headed over to the dog park just to see how things were.

Turns out, things were fine! More than fine. Perfect, really. It was around 28 degrees, so not stupid cold but also not melty and gross. I had been trying to justify running fewer than 8 miles but as soon as I got going, I knew I was going to do it.

Unfrozen pond = heat wave!!

Misty because my phone had just come out of my pocket.

I started on a trail I've run on enough to be kind of tired of and hit the turn-around point with only two miles under my belt. After Thursday's out-and-back-and-out-and-back-a-million-times, I wasn't feeling another day of out-and-backing, so when I noticed a fork in the trail on my way back, I took it. I assumed I would run on it for a quarter mile or so and then hit a busy road, but that was so not the case. Instead, it lead me to what I'm pretty sure is a huge trail system!! It was like going through the wardrobe and coming out in Narnia. There were so many intersections, each full of signs pointing out new trails in every direction. So awesome.

There were a few neighborhood-y bits where I ran (neighborhoods and treadmills are my running kryptonite), but for the most part it was relatively secluded and woodsy. Take a look!

Obligatory creek photo that I just realized is blurry. 

Them thur be mountains (look hard).

Finding new trails took my run from somewhat dull and routine to "I'M THE HAPPIEST PERSON EVER!" in like two seconds. I felt great. Initially there was some shin soreness I'll have to keep an eye on, but it went away within a couple of miles. Mentally, 8 miles is a pretty pathetic long run distance for me (despite the fact that it's the farthest I've run since last May when my foot fell apart), but it felt reasonably long run-y today, which was nice. I certainly could have kept going, but once the run was over I felt like I had actually accomplished something fitness-wise. I even gave myself a post-long run reward, something I haven't done in ages because I haven't deserved it. My reward? Subway. Trashy, poor man's food? Sure. But you'd be hard-pressed to find a tastier poor man's food, in my opinion.

I had my concerns about bringing Bailey, since only a few months ago three miles seemed to be about as much as she could handle, but she did great. I kept a close eye on her and her energy levels and am happy to report that she was her usual spaz-tastic self for the duration of the run. We finished by walking about a mile around the dog park and she was still running around and happy as can be. She didn't even make me stop that much during today's run! So proud.

Here, look at these if you care.

It's interesting that I seem to get faster as my runs go on despite not caring at all about pace (ignore that last mile-it was at the dog park and we had to stop a lot so Bailey could cower next to me as other dogs tried to sniff her. What a pansy).

I was super happy when I finished this run. You know, if I just multiply 8 miles by 3 and add another 2.2 miles, I've got a marathon! Easy as pie! Although I think I may have lost one of my Yaktrax. Yes, I'm referring to the Yaktrak I purchased immediately prior to my run. I hope it's lying somewhere in the car because if not, I'm stupid dumb.

Here's to discoveries!


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