I ran 7 miles yesterday. SEVEN. I can hardly believe it myself.
After taking the weekend off from running, I pretty much felt I could do a 5+ mile run. My 'favorite and comfortable' run is 4 miles, relatively quick (45 minutes or so) and around 500 calories burned. I'm okay with those numbers, but I know all runs can't be 4, 5, or 6 miles...can they? I never really know how far I'll be running until after about a mile or so. Do my hips feel ok? Are my quads tight like they love to be? Any discomfort I can't mask with ibuprofen? (and yes, I take ibuprofen before almost every run because I am old, and things just .... ache). So, yesterday being beautiful, and I was feeling pretty good, running to my new play list, I thought to myself "Hmm, maybe I could run 7 miles today."
I started with what I call 'Lawson Loop', and it's a small graveley 'track' around the new high school baseball field. I've attempted to figure the distance and IF it's what I think it could be...it's around 3/4 of a mile. I think. Maybe. Or not. Who knows. I did two loops and thought I'd be crazy to run a billion loops for seven miles, so I hit the road heading out of town.
There are some 'not-as-busy' roads in the country, but most are pretty busy being they are arteries. I hopped onto a side road, found my groove and ran, and ran, and ran. Now, I'm running on gravel because when you live in the sticks, all roads eventually turn to gravel/stone/loose dirt. The gravel was ok, just have to watch for extra large boulder size, ankle twisting stones, which thankfully, I avoided them all.
Still running 'out of town', I notice a water treatment plant that I had no idea existed. I see many, many identifiable footprints of deer and dogs or maybe those are coyotes and wolfs, but since I'm running in their territory, I'll call them something non-scary, like, chihuahuas. Up ahead and around the bend, I know there's a turkey farm. However, I realize the turkeys are probably gone since I'm noticing 12358425 white feathers along the road, which of course happened when they were attacked by the killer chihuahuas, or, when the were loaded up for slaughter. Ugh, the smell of a turkey farm is not a pleasant one, time to turn around. I check my ipod, and I'm just over 5 miles...which is perfect. Oh, but I'm hot. Long sleeved black shirt with a t-shirt over it, and it's 58 degrees and I'm sweating like a whore in church. Like, Biggest Loser sweating. My back is soaked, oh, the sweat.
Heading back, I'm now back onto the familiar paved roads, waving to any vehicle that makes room for me. Not really a 'wave' more like...I'm flashing them deuces to the side. And, by 'vehicles', I'm speaking of dump trucks, farming things, trucks towing fertilizer and semi-trucks. They're all real friendly, slow down, move over ... and WAVE.
I cut back over the Lawson Field and see a snake. A snake. I noticed it was gnawing on something red and meaty as I screamed and ran away. I've just hit the six mile mark and realize I'm closer to home than I need to be, so I will need to extend my run in the neighborhood, and that's just what I do. I'm starting to feel dehydrated and a bit fatigued, but at this point there's no way that I'm not going to put a seven miler in the books.