Just broke through in to what I consider the "long runs." I don't have a really good reason for 20 miles being this distinction but I do know that after running 20 or more miles I feel different than after a shorter run. The rhythm of the run changes somehow and my mental state morphs into a sort of sustained low level survival mode, as if my body senses a need to sustain for the long haul and quietly adjusts. A wonderful and rare state for me as I don't run 20 miles or more in one push all that often. Right now I can get away with doing it once a week and even in my strongest training weeks of the year I don't do it more than a couple times a week.
The trails I chose for this adventure were the Brin Mesa Trail (starting and end point), part of F.S. Road 152, the complete Dry Creek Trail, the complete Bear Sign Trail, David Miller Trail and the Secret Canyon Trail.
The whole thing went better than expected. I was thinking that I would be pretty beat down after running my first 20 miler of the year (it has been almost 3 months since my last 20 mile run) but I felt really good at the end, running the second half faster than the first half. I will saver the feeling as I suspect there will be plenty of 20+ mile runs that will kick my ass this year.
Some highlights of the run...
-Observing some Javelinas near the start of the Brin Mesa Trail.
-Exploring Dry Creek and Bear Sign, two trails I have not explored before. Bear Sign trail is a fantastic trail that wanders along the bottom of a narrow canyon through thick forest. Very enjoyable running as it's climb is very gradual, almost feeling flat, and with little to no rocks, roots or other things to disrupt the rhythm.
-A unique group of "frozen Lilly Pads." Ice in Dry Creek that broke up to form interesting Lilly Pad formations. These little floating disks were there when I ran up the canyon and then 30 minutes later on the way down they had completely melted away. I felt very lucky to see such a fragile formation.
Yet again, a wonderful run in one of my favorite places anywhere, Sedona.