I hitched a ride with the hubby on his way to work on a Wednesday morning. All three kiddos were staying home with G'ma while I embarked on my longest run yet- 18 miles. The Hubster dropped me off at the intersection of Hampden & Colorado to catch the Highline Canal trail.
The first six miles weaved past million dollar homes, pricey private schools (ahem....Kent Denver), & beautiful open spaces. I felt great & loved seeing new scenery. Only once before had I been on this section of the trail: on a bike, towing two 40lb kiddos in the bike trailer, while 5 months preggo with Lily.
The second six miles took me from the intersection of the Highline and Orchard all the way to Broadway. Still felt great, and around mile 9 I had a fun little pick-me-up when I ran in to a friend from the Y who was on her long run for the week, a 12-miler. She is training for her first iron-man in May, about 2 weeks after my first marathon. It felt like an "only-in-Colorado" moment: running into a friend out on some crazy-long trail, who is training for some crazy-long race, while I am training for a (less)-crazy long race.
The last six miles was tough. I decided I didn't want to continue on the route I'd planned, afraid of what running the steep downhill for the last two miles would do to my already tired legs. Instead I jumped off the trail to meander around the streets near Heritage High School in an attempt to do an even 18 miles. This was the hardest part of my run- watching the GPS slowly tick off the final two miles as I ran up one road (only to find it dead end) and down another road. My feet felt like I'd tied 5 pound weights to them. My ears were tired from almost three hours of non-stop music. My mind was tired from counting down the miles, minutes, and seconds.
I wanted three things when I finished: to sit down, to take a hot shower, and to drink some chocolate milk. 18 miles- check!