Saturday I hit the roads of the Waterloo Recreation Area for my 20-mile run. I left my house for this ten-mile out-and-back around 9:45 AM. The temperature was about 30 degrees F and the sun was shining in a cobalt sky. It was a perfect day for a run. I had my CamelBak full of water strapped to my waist, my iPhone, a bunch of packets of Gu for mid-run refueling, and my iPod cued to my "Obsessions of the Moment" playlist. (Yes, I carry a whole mess o' shit with me when I go for my long runs.)
Around mile 9 I paused for a moment, completely overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the scenery through which I was passing. I took a picture looking one way down the road and then the other.
This is why I run, folks. Look at this. Just look!
I absolutely love running on this road. It's so lightly traveled that most of the time it's like having my own private trail. The scenery, no matter the season, is beyond compare. One just does not truly appreciate one's surroundings until one takes the time to move slowly through them on foot. I experience so many things I would otherwise completely miss if I were in a vehicle. It's so rewarding.
I believe I would not be stretching the truth when I say my 20-miler Saturday was the most pleasant 20-miler I have ever done. I finished the run at an 8:55/mile pace, which is not the fastest I've ever done a 20-mile run, but I felt so energetic throughout the whole thing, maintained a constant pace, felt completely relaxed and happy, and just enjoyed the hell out of every mile.
NYC is 11 days away. I am SO READY.