Monday, July 9th 2012: 5 miles @ 10:31 minutes per mile. Early in the morning. Pretty sure I was asleep during the entire run. Those of you who have trained for distance races understand that it is possible to run while being sound asleep.
Tuesday, July 10th 2012: 5 miles @ 10:38 minutes per mile. I may have been asleep for this one also.
Wednesday, July 11th 2012: 10 miles @ 11:08 minutes per mile. I remembered that I am not madly in love with the idea of waking up early enough to run 10 miles before work. (Although I was madly in love with the fat cinnamon roll I ate for lunch. Unshockingly, I bonked at work around 3:00pm when the sugar wore off.)
Thursday, July 12th 2012: Nada
Friday, July 13th 2012: 22 miles @ 13:02 minutes per mile. I ran to the top of Smith Mesa and got to the rim right in time for one of the most incredible sunrises I've seen all year:
I sat on a rock for about 15 minutes to watch the sun rise and try to get the lava out of my lungs. There was a total of 3,636 feet climbing during the run, with some very steep sections that are lung-burning on the way up and knee-crunching on the way down. I was more than willing to take a little break at the top.
The clouds were rolling all over the place and some areas looked like an ocean flowing across the sky.
The only other time I have run up here was during the Zion 100. I got goosebumps seeing some of the same scenery that I saw during that race. That was one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences of my life.
My pace for this run is not at all accurate. I stopped my watch when I stopped to take pictures. And, ladies and gentlemen, I took more than 100 pictures. Whoops. This area was so beautiful that I couldn't help myself. I didn't cross any fences that I shouldn't have.
I don't think too many people go up this direction. I only saw one solitary soul over those five hours running. It was a very senior citizen who stopped to ask if I needed a ride. (Remember that line from Dumb and Dumber: "Senior citizens, although slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can serve a purpose!") I appreciated her concern. I passed some cows who seemed just as surprised to see someone up there:
I was feeling overheated by the end, but thankfully we had a cold spell come through so it was only in the 90's. (I'm serious. That is a cold spell here.) The clouds gave some much-appreciated shelter from the sun for most of those 5+ hours. I will definitely be running up here again.
Saturday, July 14th 2012: 3 miles @ 13:17 minutes per mile. I ran with Mel and this was the first time she's been out running for a few months. We had a good time. And in summary, I'll leave you with this awesome quote by John Bingham:
"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get in. You just run."