Last weekend, due to having a full schedule, I found myself running not on Saturday as usual with my running buddies, but on Sunday, and all on my own. I wasn't sure how my body would react to the distance, and I had no idea how I would personally do on my own for a distance greater than six miles.
And I was running eleven miles.
In general, I adore running by myself. I can go out for an hour and fully entertain my mind with wandering thoughts and sights I see along the way. But two hours running sounded a little daunting. To make matters worse, I left after 8:30am on a very warm day.
Fortunately, I had a plan. I decided to run into the forest. Yes, I live near Forest Park in Portland, and it is an amazingly wonderful resource for runners in the summer months. I highly recommend a nice jaunt through the park to any visitors who like to run or walk in the woods. The temperature had to be at least 5 degrees cooler on the trail, and I was no longer alone, on the street with the sun beating down on the top of my head; the breeze was perfect, shade was plentiful, and the air smelled fresh and green. I was here:
Due to the heat, and due to the fantastic weather, the trail was packed with runners, walkers, hikers, and those occasional bicyclists. Literally everyone and their dog was in the forest on Sunday. Each corner I turned, a new face sprung up before me to acknowledge, send a smile and hello and encourage me to keep going.
By the time I had turned around for the "back" portion of my "out and back" trail run, I was starting to feel the lack in conversation. I found myself feeling a tad jealous of (and annoyed with) those runners with earphones who were entertained and not saying hello to their fellow runners (me). And then I remembered to eat my Cliff Shot (I'm a big fan of the Mocha)... Fifteen minutes later...
I was singing while I was running!
I have to admit, I am known for sporadically singing a tune or two, but this was a little out of the ordinary. But I guess when you put me on a trail by myself, with no one around... spontaneous performances may occur. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
And consequently, I now believe that Broadway is definitely in my future because obviously if I can run and sing, I can dance and sing. Right? ;)
All in all, I found that it is possible to run more than six miles on my own, and I have finally faced and beat the Forest-Park-downhill-knee-pain demon. I finished that entire downhill pain-free.
Week 4 of Marathon training is complete! I finished the week with 24.5 miles, making June's total mileage 77.8 miles. I do not think I have ever run so much. The consistency feels wonderful!
How do you get through the long, lonely run?
Do you sing on the open trail? ;)
As always, with joy, ~Alaina