What a treat today to meet a couple of daily mile pals in real life and go for a run! I also had the pleasure of meeting a few of their friends. It was a really great group. We ran the killer (nearly 8 miles of steady climbing) hill that I’d heard about for years and feared that will be the site of the half marathon I’m training for. It was grueling – but a terrific workout and our legs ate that mountain up stride after stride. I felt like the queen of the world standing on the summit! It was SO beautiful and totally worth the work it took to get there. Looking at my running stats after my run today, the Garmin says there was 3586 elevation gain and 3605 loss. Like I said – it wasn’t an ordinary hill. After running nearly 16 miles with my new friends, I headed off to finish my workout. My goal was at least 20 miles and I admit that my legs felt a bit like jell-o after that mountain, but I did the best that I could and ended up running 21.10 miles total. I’m very proud of that!

Stats: 21.10 miles  Ave pace: 13:50 (that mountain was SO hard!), Total time: 4:51:55. Elevation ascent: 3586, Elevation Descent: 3605. 

I thought I’d share the long, huge, mountain’s height gain at each of the first 8 miles just to give you an idea of what it was like:

Mile 1: 209 ft of gain
Mile 2: 117 ft of gain
Mile 3: 315 ft of gain
Mile 4: 482 ft of gain
Mile 5: 308 ft of gain
Mile 6: 331 ft of gain
Mile 7: 323 ft of gain
And just when you think you’re going to die — the last mile to the summit:
Mile 8: 446 ft of gain! 

The view on top was just breathtaking – but, man – I had to slodge through snow (some of it up to my knees – which I admit I only needed to stand in when the cars would pass us on the road and we’d have to leap out of the way. Yes, it made my shoes really wet and cold!!!), there was slush and mud and potholes in the dirt road and puddles and big rocks. It was wild!

I’m so proud of myself for sticking with my plan to keep running after we came back down from the mountain. It would have been so easy to just get into the van and drive home satisfied with about 16 miles – but I didn’t take the easy road. I ate a quick bite to eat, then set off for a bonus 10K you could say.  I did it!

When I got home, Wayne was so sweet. He rubbed my achy legs and feet, let me sit in a warm bath (yes, I know – it should have been a cold one – but I was really longing for a toasty one after being out in the cold for hours ). I’m in my pj’s now ready to take a little nap. I think I’m married to the sweetest guy ever. He never complains when I want to run. He’s always so encouraging when I get home, telling me, “I’m really proud of you!” and “Good job!.” Today he worked in his garden while the children played outside. I think the whole family had a nice day.

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