Sunday, March 21, 2010

My First Run of Spring

First, this was my best run ever! I didn't care about pace, didn't care about time, I just ran for the sheer joy of it. Plus, this was my first double digit run in about 7 months.

Date: March 20, 2010
Distance: 12 miles
Avg pace: 10:40
Temp: 29F
Winds: 10-15 mph with gusts up to 30

Long (Pics at the end):

I wake up on this fine spring morning to a fresh coat of 3-4" of snow on the ground and a big smile starts to form. I felt like a kid on a snow day from school. I still had about 90 minutes before heading out for the run so as normal I brewed my coffee and ate a bowl of honey nut cheerios.

The time passed, I gathered my supplies, and headed out the door to my Jeep. I had one solemn fact reinforced when I got out to the Jeep, I am too short to clean off 5" of snow from the top. I tried, mind you, but it just wasn't happening. So after about 15 minutes of snow removal, I was on my way.

The roads were better than I thought they would be and I made it to the trail, Little Blue Trace in Independence, MO, and started my 5 minute walk. At the end of my walk, I started on my 12 mile journey of bliss.

My first step of mile one and my shoe gets completely covered in snow, wind is blowing in all directions, and surprisingly, the Cardinals are out singing their song. I realize I am in for quite the journey, put my headphones back in my jacket pocket, and listen to the beautiful soundtrack that nature is providing for me. Songs of cardinals, tufted titmice, the snow crunching underfoot, and the soothing sound of the Little Blue River traveling on it's own voyage.

As mile one passes, I am realizing how lucky I am to be out here. I have run through snow and slush that covered my shoes; been sheltered by a canopy of trees; supported by a bridge, and accompanied by a cottontail rabbit (for about 50 feet). Does it get better than this?

The wind was relentless. The snow and slush kept covering my shoes. The smile, stayed on my face. The miles just seemed to tick by effortlessly.

I was having one of those runs where everything fits so perfectly and you lose yourself in the beauty of your surroundings. It has been a very long time since I had a run go so smoothly. It at once confirmed and strengthened my addiction. That's right, My name is Eric and I'm addicted to running. There is no cure, no overcoming the addiction, just a few moments of pure bliss to keep the addiction going strong.

Before I knew it, I was at my turnaround point with only 6 miles between me and the Jeep. Did I feel overwhelmed? Did the task seem daunting? No! I was looking forward to continuing the journey and enjoying the best run I have ever had.

As I approach the end of mile 10, I realize this is the farthest I have ran so far this year. I still had a little over 2 miles to go and I still had that smile on my face.

I reach the end of mile 11 and can finally feel all the miles my legs have on them. The running is still easy, but now my quads are starting to whisper to announce their presence.

It is about this time that close to 20 deer are crossing the path roughly 200 yards ahead of me. There they are bounding effortlessly across the path, through the snow, and disappearing into the woods. It was a beautiful sight and just what I needed to keep me energized to finish the last mile.

I run across the first bridge, up a slushy incline, under the overpass, and arrive back at the Jeep.

As I walk around for my cooldown, I am elated with the feeling of accomplishment; the smile from my first step is still plastered across my face; and I feel refreshed, not exhausted. The weekend has started on such a high, that it just can't get any better.

May all of you experience the same feeling on at least one run this year!

Now that my long -winded run post is finished, here are the pics I promised way up at the beginning.

Mile 1 pics:
About 0.1 miles into the run

The sheltering canopy:

Near the end of the mile

Mile 4 pics:

Random scenery pics:

Mile 5:

Mile 7:

It may look like the path is cleared, it's foot covering deep slush.

Mile 9:

Same bridge as in mile 4, just from the opposite direction

Mile 10:

If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed the run report and pictures.

Thanks for reading,


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