Today began with a 10-mile run. So, at this point in my training, 10 miles is fairly easy, and this morning was beautiful - about 60 degrees, light southerly breeze, somewhat hazy sun - enough to warrant sun glasses, but not enough to make things hot too soon. For April 2, a truly dandy morning to run.
My run was a nice 5-mile loop, doubled. The last time I ran this particular routine, was September 3. I had planned to see whether I could handle a 10-miler, before registering for Big Sur. But I panicked and registered on opening day, Sept. 1. So this doubled 5-mile loop was, in a sense, moot. Still, I had to do it; my previous longest run had been 8.2 miles. I ran it, went to work, and seemed fine. So this marathon thing was apparently a wrap.
It was fun to run it again today. I wouldn't say I've had a wide array of running routes in the months since. Through the fall I just worked in 5K or 5M runs where I could (more K than M). A week in Florida in November had the least interesting running, but the nicest weather of the season. I started my Training Program right after Christmas, and the early weeks were indoors. Which kind of depressed me. My first 9-mile run on a treadmill (January 9) was my last long run indoors. Man, that was the worst!
The Morton Arboretum has become my long run of choice, for the opportunity to get some variety in the terrain. I've carved out some shorter runs in a nearby neighborhood with "hills." And I still get my shorter runs in my own and a contiguous neighborhood. Anyway, it was fun today to return to the "test tenner" as I approach my last, longest run before the marathon. Nice morning, nice run.
It was "supposed to be" yesterday morning. But I wasted myself on a 14-mile run Wednesday night. Leaving the office at the end of the day, I completed a long loop home. The route included streets and unpaved path; long stretches of flat, and a long though subtle incline; a hilly neighborhood, and a nice shady long hill approaching mile 12. But it was unseasonably hot (upper 70s), and windy, and turned out to be kind of brutal. In a way my worst run yet. I ended with "black toe nail" (another first for me), and with my Karen wondering how long I intend to keep at this. So I took Thursday off, and this morning enjoyed the wisdom of that.
My final approach to Big Sur is about to begin. About 72 hours after today's finish, I will begin a 21-mile run. The last super effort in training. That is on Easter Monday - a day normally devoted to my first long bike ride of the season. So, there will be just a hint of mourning to the run, I'm sure. But from there, I begin to taper off. The last two "long runs" will be 12 and 8 miles, followed my race week, with just a few short runs early on.
Finally, running on the paths today, I found myself enjoying the run, and envying the cyclists who were out. Yes, that is instructive. My compulsions are still on wheels.