With the advent of cooler weather, I am not as motivated to wake up before the crack of dawn to go running. This has lead me to run after work, since it's no longer 100 degrees in the afternoon. It so happens that there is a lovely canyon just minutes from my home that has a handy path for walkers/runners/cyclists etc. I have walked this trail many times but running it always seemed a bit crazy. There are hills, you guys. Big ones. But all the other runners I know run hills, and they're pretty darn speedy runners. So I was thinking maybe hill running would make me faster. And so far, it has! (I think it's the coming back down them part that improves my time though.) Another thing that makes me faster is getting caught in the canyon after dark. You had better believe I run faster trying to get out! There are skunks, people. Stinky ones. I always picture myself running right into one crossing the trail in the dark and BAM! Skunk spray in my face. Blech. By the end of my last canyon run, my pace was an incredible 7:45 minute per mile! The threat of skunks is a powerful motivator. Now I just need to be able to run that fast, on flat ground, in the day time, without threat of skunks and I will beam with pride.
This Saturday I have my second half marathon, the Halloween Half, that comes down Provo canyon. I feel much more prepared for this one than I did for my first one. I even did a 13 mile long run last Saturday and felt fantastic afterwards, no soreness or anything! For the Halloween Half, I will be dressed as an astronaut and I promise to take many pictures.
Happy running! (and watch out for skunks!)