We woke up this morning, after having slept in a little tiny cabin that we rented for the night, to get ready for our last run that was longer than an hour before our marathon in two weeks. Our backs were a tad bit sore as Brent and I were cuddled up on a twin size bed that had a not so lovely spring mattress. We got up and ready to go as our backs seemed to loosen up. I was excited because I knew that after this 12 mile run our longest distance would only be 6 miles. That is less than an hour of running every time we hit the pavement until October 9th. We were running in a new location which also meant that it was going to be a refreshing run. Running in new locations always makes me appreciate running. It takes me back to some of those reasons why I love to run. You see the landscape in a completely different light. It takes you places you never thought you would go or do. Even getting out of a simple campground to go and run down the road.
We were running on the highway where we thought there might be some busy traffic but it turned out to be only a handful of vehicles that passed. Through the first several miles, the sun was slowly coming up ahead of us over the hills in front. It was shinning down on the river to our left where there was a railroad running along side it. It was a picture perfect moment in which we did not have our cameras. This is good and bad. We love taking photos and do not like missing amazing opportunities like this one, but it is also nice just to be running and enjoying the scenery as we go by. The run was going great and it continued to as we passed cows in the fields, pronghorn antelope, deer, and birds that were enjoying one of the last nice days of the year. The sun was shinning so beautifully and there was not a cloud in the sky. My legs were feeling great even when we were running up and down those rolling hills. I looked at the hills as we had drove to the campground last night and thought to myself that this 12 mile run would be a much harder workout than I had anticipated. I ended up powering up those hills like I had been training on them all summer long. Loved this run.
We hit the 6 mile turn around and started heading back to our campsite. The sun was no longer in my eyes as we headed back towards those hills that we had just ran up. I thought that the downhill might end up being a little bit hard on the knees, but they did not seem to be as bad as I had thought either. Everything about this run turned out great. We were running it a little slower than our normal pace because we were running with my sister. She was not feeling as good as we were. Her ankle was giving her issues on the hills. Good thing the Portland marathon is pretty much flat. A good place to run your first marathon. As we were nearing the last few miles, we could see the campground ahead. Brent and I took off. It felt way to good to go at a faster pace. I was loving it. We made our way back to our little cabin where my parents were preparing breakfast. What a great thing to run back to. I dropped off my water pack and then turned around. I started walking back in the direction I had just come so that I could meet up with Krista. When she came into sight, I met up with her and ran her back to the finish. We grabbed something to drink and then headed out for a couple minute cool down walk.
I felt so good that I had a lot of energy and knew that I could have kept going if I had to. I was excited as last year 12 miles was a big run for me. Now I felt like I could keep going. The 12 miles felt more like a simple 6 or 7 mile run. Like blue is the new black, 12 miles might need to become the new 7 miles which was my favorite distance. What a good way to start out my tapering. Runs like these make me realize how much I love running and why I continue to do so. Those of you that do not run, you are missing out on some amazing moments. I will never regret having chosen to start running those two years ago.