Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ten-Point-Two Idyllepic Miles

First 3.63 miles
Second portion route-loving all of the yellows and greens!
Today I had the run of my life. I couldn't decide if it was idyllic or epic so i just smashed the two words together and made a new word :) It wasn't a special race or a particularly new distance. It was just a wonderful run, with awesome conditions. It was one of those experiences that runners live for. When the proverbial stars align and all the world is right.

We're "glam-ping". That is the term for our travel-trailer version of camping ("glamour camping"). My 31st birthday is tomorrow and we pulled our travel trailer up to Washington to stay at Sequim Bay State Park a few miles from my in-laws' pad. They wanted to celebrate my sister-in-law and I's birthdays with us. We have the same birthday.

So anyway, this brings us up here to the Olympic Peninsula, right on The Olympic Discovery Trail, a paved trail for aficionados on foot or pedal. It's a spectacular trail that winds along the bay, through the forest, across bridges, & past views of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains. It is my favorite place to run so far!!

I got up and had breakfast and my husband took the kids to run errands, leaving me free to go for a run (apparently the dozens of references to my only desire for the day were noticed and it was one of my birthday gifts). I was proud of myself for packing what I needed in a separate bag, ready to go. This was the first time that it worked out for me to go for a run while camping. Usually we are busy/distracted with other things and a run does not mesh. I am happy that I am figuring out how to make it work, because trying out new trails and runs is part of the fun!

I suited up, turned on my iPod and headed out for a long run of 10 miles. The first mile I was cold and felt rickety and had a tinge of a headache going on. I knew I would loosen up as my body warmed and I had committed a "runner's sin" by taking a mild dose of Ibuprofen pre-run.

Right from the get-go I thoroughly enjoyed the sunshine peaking through the tree leaves, creating a dark/light puzzle on the trail. Around mile 2 my digestive system kicked in and I had to take a 30 second potty break. Thankfully John Wayne Marina on West Sequim Bay Rd was part of my route. My headache subsided around the same time.

Speaking of West Sequim Bay Rd, my in-laws' house is located there, and it was cool running past it! Miles 2-4 were pretty much a consistent, gentle hill. I hardly noticed, I was so distracted by the breathtaking views of Sequim Bay.

Around mile 4 I rounded the crest of the hill to reveal the Olympic Mountains! So gorgeous I couldn't not stop to take a photo. Unfortunately I pushed a button and "ended" my workout so I had to start a new workout (hence to two represented at the start of this blog entry). I just don't know how to document my runs with photos without making a big fuss. I would really like to though, especially on runs like today where the views are plentiful.

The next few miles took me toward the town of Sequim and rounding parks with pretty ponds housing mallard ducks and geese. I passed a softball field where adults were playing and a very active dog park. I also passed a Mile Marker 21, which reminded me that my mother-in-law has mentioned that there is a marathon every year on the trail.   Wheels were turning in my head and the race (Half marathon) is going on the calendar!

Around mile 6, I was headed on the back portion of my run,  running through the woods and enjoying the sun. I kept it around a 9:15 pace, just enjoying the run.

Around mile 8 a huge hawk flew over my head. I honestly thought by then I would be struggling but I felt awesome.

Around the 10 mile mark, my body started to stiffen. This is when I typically have trouble and my mental toughness has to push me along.  I finished strong at the trailhead where I had started and finished at 10.26 miles. I was really pleased with how my body performed. I had no problem breathing, no calf or shin pain. My left-inside ankle hurt some around mile 7 or so but that usually happens around mile 5. I was ok hydration-wise even though I had a glass and a half of Pinot Gris the night before. I had drank a few cups of water leading up to the run and ate a Chomp. I ate the rest of the bag post-run.

I loved all of the sights and smells along the run. It was the best of spring to be sure. Wildflowers, cherry blossoms, daffodils and tulips, fresh mulch and freshly cut grass were just a few. I just can't say enough nice things about this run!

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