I had the foresight to drive this in my car before I ran it. What Google maps told me was not actually accurate — this road did not fully connect with the park — so I’m glad I drove it instead of blindly parking and running it.
The road that connects with the park trails was blocked off by cars. Hence my graphic above. This is another run that’s going into my category of “really glad there weren’t any rapists and murders waiting on this road to pray on young solitary female joggers” file.
I had already psyched myself up to go out there and do it and I wasn’t going to go somewhere else now. So I got out of my car, put my belt on and got to it around 3 p.m.
You know, there is something to taking a few days off and then running again. Because I was forcing myself to run this REALLY EASY and PACE MYSELF for running 18 miles. And my heart rate monitor — wearing it again for the first time since the Tough Mountain Challenge, where it took a beating — never said I went over 139 bpm, which is nice and low, right where I wanted it to be.
BUT you will see that it says 11 miles instead of 18. I gave up early.
It is so hard to run alone. I think 2 hours is my greater limit. Maybe I was able to do 17 last week, but it was really tough. Even when you’re running with someone in silence, you feel less … lonely. Less isolated. Less vulnerable. And hour upon hour of that just eats on me. I wanted to go to a shady place but I didn’t feel good being in such an isolated landscape. I have yet to find the real happy medium, there.
The route, in all:
I would do it again. Albeit with company, or a shorter route.
The first loop was straightforward — through the park and back to the car on Empire Road. The second time through I went exploring on park trails. It was pretty. I got lost. Then I sat on a little private beach with my butt in the water around mile 10.5 and decided I had enough of Ana Steel and Christian Grey’s antics and I didn’t want to continue. Because … it was hard. And … on my third time doing this, I don’t feel like I have to prove that I can run 18 miles. I know I can. I just need to do it.
And I usually want it, just today/this week, I haven’t. Fact. Acknowledged without judgment. In this blog. To you.
On my way home, I passed two groups of cyclists. I wished I was on my bike today,