A Photo-Jog In The Countryside In The Rain

I think I must have taken about 50 pictures on my run today in the country. I couldn’t help it. I consider it part of my ultra-training (you ultra types are nodding knowingly as you pat your compact cameras.)  I always like to say that when I’m old and gray and can no longer venture off on these long distance runs, I’ll be able to pull out my photos and relive my healthiest days again through the picture story of my running life.
It was raining, 40 degrees, overcast with 5 mph winds when I headed out this morning on my run. My husband and children were still snoring. Since visibility was lower today with the weather, I wore my bright yellow reflective “crossing guard” vest over my running jacket. I’m glad I did. I could tell that cars could see me for quite a ways before they approached and that made me feel safer. The only driver who tried to mow me down got the angry “Mom” look, as I put my hand on my hip and wagged my head and my pointer finger “no” at him for trying to run down an innocent runner. I think he looked ashamed. Mom looks can do that. It’s my secret weapon and I sharpen it often on my kids when they misbehave.
I don’t run with music very often and today was no different. Instead, I often take the time to sing along with songs that pop into my head. Today, for some reason, Mr Bo Jangles was the song I had playing when I started out. I took the time to notice my scenery as I passed today. I saw horses, cows, sheep, chickens, a pair of turkeys sitting on a fence, a content llama sitting in his pasture, hunters walking the canal banks near fields, and a nice selection at the little business with humongous stones for sale. I ran, I saw something beautiful and I stopped for a picture with my camera phone. Then I ran some more, saw something else I wanted to remember and took a picture. That was my pattern today.
I’m cold. I’m wet and I’m home. I’m proud of myself for getting in 16 miles today. I had intended on a 20 miler yesterday, but my pal had to get back to her family early, so we did 13 instead. I hadn’t decided what to do for today’s run until I got up this morning. When I headed out, I was intending on running to the next town (about 6 1/2 miles away) and back. Once I got there, though, the rain had eased up a bit and I was enjoying myself, so I took a new turn and just went with it. I saw a sign that told me the next town down the road was 6 more miles –and boyyyy was I tempted!!! But, I figured my husband and children have been incredibly supportive of my running time lately and I shouldn’t push my luck. So, I just ran until I was 8 miles from home, turned around and came back the same way.
My legs were tired from the increase in miles the last few weeks and yesterday’s 5 hours in the mountains, but I felt pretty good overall, in spite of the fatigue. On the very last mile I decided to give it a little bit of gas and see what I could do after about 3 hours of running on the road. Turns out I had an 8:11 mile still in me at that point. Sweetness!!!! I think I deserve a nice warm bath and a cup of soup now, while I cuddle up with my family and watch some football.

Stats: 16.01 miles. 11:45 pace (elapsed time) 3:08 total time. 40 degrees. 5 mph winds. Raining. HR ave: 152. Max HR:190. Corrected elevation gain: 95 ft.

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