I've been, mentally, preparing for it all week. 9 miles! Pile on the mileage!
This week was a very good week by sticking to the training plan, except my long runs had to be adjusted.
So, yesterday, I mapped out the route to complete the 9miles. There were 3 routes that I considered and I stuck to the one that was more secluded and I'm so happy that I did. I hadn't run this route since 2004 when I last trained for a half marathon. Wow! The many changes in landscape.
There is now an auto mall that sits on this route and a shopping mall.
As I passed the auto mall of Hondas, VW, Jeeps, Toyotas, I thought... hmmmmm.. wouldn't it be great to visit these places and see if any of the dealerships would showcase their energy efficient vehicles at our Green Awareness Days. That would be great education in itself and marketing for them as well.
My runs, I've noticed, have turned strategic planning on ways to educate our communities about sustainable, green living. People really just need to become aware of the many ways to live sustainably.
Then, my thoughts went wandered over to the City of Flagstaff electric bus. Wouldn't it be great to utilize that transportation by picking up people along the way to one of our events? We could provide snacks and such for the riders and they could donate some cash to our cause. Wow! I was on a roll!
But, my body was not acclimated yet. 2 miles into the run, I wanted to turn around. My shoulders were stiff and my posture was not right.
Come on Claudia
You can do it.
Don't think about the miles
Look around at the beautiful sunrise
You haven't experienced this in a long time
Isn't it nice?
Yes, solo running prepares me mentally on the challenges that I face on a daily basis. I always think, if I can train my mind and body to complete such a task, as 9miles?, what have I got to complain about. The wind is at my back now and I can feel the chilly air at the nape of my neck.
3 mile marker and this section of the route is downhill. As I come into a clearing, I see a herd of deer. Their heads pop up as they sense my arrival. I'm far away from them but they see me. They stand, staring, I'm sure wondering if I'm a hunter. Oh no, I'm just a crazy solo runner and I yell out.. Hello there deer! hahaha.. Am I already delusional and I'm only at 4 miles. The closer I get, they start turning toward the outline of the ponderosa pines. They trot into the woods and leave me all alone shuffling down the road and guess what! I"m at the 5 mile marker!
This is where I turn around and head back towards the same route I've come. O dear, the daunting task of uphills. I tear open a strawberry banana gu, slurp it down and wash it down with some gatorade! I hope my tummy remembers this stuff! By the 6 mile marker, the left knee begins to ache but I'm not thinking about it. I'm thinking of all the many community members that now approached me to hold one of the Green Awareness Days in their community.
I'm thrilled that people are becoming aware. Aware of the situations and issues relating to our environment.
I'm thinking a big juicy steak!
Some beer too! haha
Most importantly, a massage to work out the stiffness in my neck
The last 1/2 mile was an incline and I have never worked so hard to keep my legs moving. This is always the toughest part, knowing the end is near. I pushed to the stop light at Empire and Hwy 89 wondering if I can cross the street, if I stop... then, its still another 1/2 mile to my home.
It was an excellent day!
Water, Ice, bananas, oranges and hoping for a nice juicy steak later this afternoon!
Until next time, enjoy yourselves and think about doing some exercise, physically or mentally! It keeps us healthy.
Run Claudia Run