Consider it a sunrise service at Garden of the Gods or the "Church of the Sunday Morning Long Run" to use Shalane Flanagan's term. Whatever you call it, Sunday mornings, I'm convinced, hold a special meaning to runners. There is no other day of the week that you can abandon everything for two solid hours on a trail. For me and two other runners this morning that chunk of time was spent winding up and down and around the Garden. We did 7.75 miles together and I put in another 2.26 at the end to bring me just above the 10 mile mark.
Running with friends is great so the first 7.75 pretty much flew by. The last few miles on the other hand were brutal! After doing the Incline on Friday I took yesterday off (no cross training even, just a hike with people and pups), which is a rarity for me. I was sure that today's long run would be awesome, that my legs would be fresh and ready to climb. Um...not quite. Thankfully my quads woke up after a mile or two and were quite happy up to mile 8. Beyond that, no matter how much I encouraged my legs to dig in for another few miles they couldn't quite find their normal turnover. Even with that lung crushing, quad blasting last bit, it was a beautiful way to spend Easter morning. I'm also much more confident about the upcoming 10-miler in the Garden (the first leg of the Triple Crown). Give me another solid month to prepare and substitute road for rocky trails and I think I may even have fun on that one! I definitely have some work to do, but it seems manageable after this morning's effort.