I took a 20 mile tour of Littleton today. On foot.
Earlier this week I got an email from my client Meredith asking me if I wanted to meet up for my long run. She's doing the Colfax half so she only had 12, but said she could map out my other 8 so I could keep going. In her prime, she ran marathons including the NYC several times. Now that she's got kids and a crazy packed life she runs halves and has a pretty good steady 9:30-10:00ish pace. Because of the kids she asked if I would mind coming over near the salon to meet her. Truth be told, I am very intimidated by running outside for long distances. The treadmill is good to me because it has tvs, water fountains, bathrooms, a place to hold my refuel, and lots of meat heads to distract me. I bit the bullet, drove the 35 minutes through rush hour traffic to suburbia, packed a water belt and some Gu, and made a quick pit stop before she and I took off.
The Garmin Forerunner 305 is by far the best running investment I've ever made, today would have literally been impossible without it. Her husband suggested a loop that he thought was about 11 miles. I'm terrible with direction so I really have no clue where we were most of the time but we can over to Bear Creek Park which is where I did a photoshoot for Edelweiss By Sarah last year, and it is beautiful in the spring. There were some pretty crazy hills and the first one was at mile three and a half. Luckily, at the top there was a bathroom and a cool water stop (with cups!) so we took a quick minute stop before heading through the rest of the park. Poor Meredith is probably only 5'2" so I have a good 9 inches on her and it wasn't really fair to try and tackle the hill side by side. This was the only hill her husband had warned her about, it was by far the worst, but there ended up being several others that were a good challenge. It was kind of cool to see some new parts of Littleton and other than the wind, the weather was perfect. It turned out that the route was a little shorter than we had thought so we looped through her neighborhood til we hit mile 12, then stopped inside so I could refill my water belt.
Meredith had told me if I ran from her house to C470(the highway), it would be exactly 4 miles. Literally right where the sidewalk ended I hit mile 16. It was pretty hilly to run up Belleview and I might have considered stopping to walk but I knew that when I switchbacked I would get to run down all of those hills. It was nice to have the last 4 miles pretty easy. After hitting 20 I felt good and definitely could have kept going. It made me feel a lot more prepared for the race, and feel less bad about missing the 18 from two weeks ago. I can also say that I REALLY enjoyed being outside and will be doing more long runs outside in the beautiful Colorado sunshine. I never in a million years thought I would be able to say that I got up early on my day off to drive 30 minutes to run 20 miles with someone who is old enough to be my mom.
And as a random side note, lots of love to Columbine this week. Yes, we did have a crazy old man at the mall with a bomb that has yet to be identified.. but we're all A-OK. Remembering those lost that day 12 years ago, and all of those who were directly affected throughout our community. <3
Harper's end of school festivities
4 years ago