OK. 700.4 miles.
In 2011, my first full calendar year of running, I ran 268.7 miles.
This year, I ran 431.7 miles MORE than that.
Oh. My. Word.
I knew today would be the day. I had 3.4 miles left, and I haven't hit the trails all fall. It was time. My route - 3.7 miles.
|The route I took:|
Zooey barked the whole way to the park, which is about 30 minutes from the house. My new pet barrier only came down on her once. Things were looking up for her, too.
The weather was perfect - overcast, cool but not cold as it has been in the morning lately. The sun was trying to peek through the clouds. It smelled like rain and creosote bushes. The smell of desert rain is one of my favorite things about living in Arizona.
This was only my second trail run, and it's not always easy to navigate some areas of trail, so I did have to slow to a walk sometimes, following Zooey, since she just instinctively knew which sides of the trail to take. I didn't have any music playing and actually heard coyotes off in the distance when I started, although, thankfully, we didn't see any animals save the greyhound out for its own family hike close to end of our run.
Right before I hit mile 700, a group of hikers passed by me, going out as I was headed back in. The last straggler said, "Have a great time!"
And I did.
Then I cried.
Yes, I cried. To know that I'd run that far was just... 11/10.
I still can't believe that I have run the equivalent of the distance between Phoenix, Arizona and Lubbock Texas. I mean, that's freaking far!
Kat told me that next year is my 1000-mile year. I did the math. That's an average of 20 miles per week. I'm not sure I'll hit that number, but I am sure that I will beat 700.4.
|A little celebratory doggie kiss|
|Thirsty girl needed two water bottles today.|
But today, being out on the trails, I ran for me, and I ran for (and with) everyone. I ran for my dad. I ran for Lily. I ran for all 27 victims of Newtown (27 because, regardless of your stance on gun rights and gun control and gun ownership, Nancy Lanza was a victim of this horrible event). I ran for everyone who can no longer run. I ran for my Running Pack in the Sky girlfriends who are scattered across the country. I ran for my own daughter. I ran for fun.
Tomorrow isn't promised, so we must always remember to make today worth every second. And today was a damn good day.