We had a storm blow through Friday night, bringing beautiful weather this weekend. I had been planning a longer run for Saturday anyway, so I was excited that I'd be able to exercise in cooler temperatures. My schedule had not worked out for me to run Thursday or Friday (in other words, I was a lazy bum), so I was further away from my 20-mile goal for the week than I had wanted to be. A crazy thought entered my head...if I could go 10 miles in one shot, I'd hit that 20-mile mark for the week! My longest run ever had been 8 miles, which I hadn't done since we were in Idaho at the end of June. I had done 7 miles just a few times over the summer since then.
I got on the computer to play around with mapping routes, thinking maybe I could plan a route with several options depending on how I was feeling. My final route allowed me three options: run 8 miles with a one-mile cool down, run 9 miles and end at the gated entrance to our subdivision, or come through the gates and make a loop around the neighborhood to actually hit 10 miles.
I didn't leave the house until 8:45 a.m., which tells you (if you're familiar with LV weather) that our temperatures were nice indeed Saturday morning. It was a wonderful time to run! The air was crisp and clean and smelled so nice with the scent of rain, flowers, and trees. (This was obviously before I made it to the bird sanctuary or the horse boarding areas.) I felt great at the beginning. Between miles 3 and 5 the route was pretty much all uphill. (Sarah, I forgot how steep that hill is by the bird sanctuary! But at least I got to see some emus and ostriches to keep me amused!) Miles 5 and 6 were a nice coast downhill, and I noted with pleasure that the breeze was blowing in my face as I headed back east. Perfect for keeping me cool now that my body was so much warmer! I passed the orchard and resolved to bring the kids back to pick up some melons and squash. At the next stop sign I found a veritable lake and ended up having to run south on the gravel to the side of the road, altering my route just a bit so I could cross the water without getting my shoes completely sogged out. It didn't change my distance at all, and trust me, living in the desert makes one appreciate seeing that much water anyway!
I was still feeling pretty good at this point, just about 8 miles through the route. My legs were only slightly burning, and I didn't feel a need to stop at all, though I was taking quick walk breaks at about every mile to mile and a half to rest just a bit and chug some water from my Fuel Belt. I made it to the gates of our neighborhood--9 miles!!--and reveled in knowing I had already run farther than ever before in my whole life. So I had to keep going! I made the loop around the neighborhood, and the final stretch had me going west again, so I could see the mountains, which had been covered completely by clouds when I had first begun running. It was neat to see them so clearly (and to see snow on top of Mount Charleston!) with the blue sky in the background. Wow! What a rush! I ran 10 miles and made it to my 20-mile goal for the week!
Now do I think I can do the half-marathon in December?! You bet!! What's 3.1 more miles?!