My legs felt great and I just never seemed to get tired. I wasn't pushing it too hard because of the Zion run a few days ago but I still kept a steady pace and didn't seem to feel the effects of the Zion run at all. Very encouraging!
Also, it was a special feeling, running the tight single track that weaves it's ways through the meadows, pine, alpine fir and aspen of the upper elevations. Kind of like coming home, if that makes sense.
It's the same feeling I get when I drop into the Grand Canyon for the first time in the spring. Like visiting an old friend that I haven't seen for a while and knowing that we will get to hang out, catch up and see what's changed since our time apart. Good stuff.
Man, I love running in the mountains of Flagstaff. I'm going to really enjoy another summer of running up here.
A few thoughts on how I communicate to people about the fact that I am a 'runner'...
Susan and I were talking, last night, about how I communicate about my running to people and how I seem to struggle with how to communicate and not seem elitist about trail running and/or ultra running.
The conversation usually starts with someone saying to me that they 'heard I run a lot'...
I usually respond in two ways:
1) I tell them that I do run a lot these days and leave it at that unless they seem to show more interest and we have a continued conversation about it lead by their curiosity.
2)I tell them that I don't really road run and that I prefer trail running and ultra running and then go on to control the conversation with my opinions about running.
Response #1 is how I would like to respond. I respond this way with climbing conversations. It is a response that is, for me, built on a certain level of comfort with the sport I am active in. I don't have anything to prove in my climbing and don't need to spray about how hard I climb or in what style. I did that a fair bit when I was young but then I grew out of it and realized I really didn't care about what other people thought of how hard I climbed or in what style. I just wanted to climb and have fun doing it.
Response #2 is how I more often respond with my running lately. I find it kind of interesting that I am now going through a bit of the same growing pains with running that I went through with climbing. I seem to feel the need at times to assert my level of running and in what style I do it. Like it matters or something... Maybe it is the competitive side in me, but I definitely feel a need (however silly it is) to be recognized in my running. Almost as if I feel that the form of running I do is so under the radar or different than the norm that I feel like I need to blabber on about it to people that ask me so that I can be sure they understand what I am doing and how 'extreme' it is or something silly like that.
Moving forward toward a consistent #1 response is how I want communicate about my running, I would like to accelerate toward that point where I truly recognize that, just as in my climbing, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of what I do. I should continue to run for the pure joy of it. If that takes me onto a track, road, urban trail or single track so be it and what ever achievements I accumulate a long the way are memories for me to cherish not to flaunt in front of others to get their approval.
In the end, I need to remember that running is just running, just like climbing is just climbing. I do it because I love it. That's all...
Last Week Total: 61.5 miles with 12,500 ft of elevation gain
Yesterday: 6.5 miles (4.5 miles on Observatory Mesa+2 miles running to work and home)
Today: 16 miles (14 miles on Dry Lake Hills and on San Francisco Peaks+2 miles running to work and home)