I got up at the ass crack of dawn Sunday morning to meet my friend Mika at Umstead State Park for a 12 mile run along the Bike and Bridal trails. It was a little more challenging getting out of a warm bed when the outdoor temperature was 41 degrees, as opposed to the last few months where we were running early to escape the heat!
I normally use the half hour drive to the park to fully wake up and prime all the vital organs, but I was feeling sluggish this morning, even with the two cups of coffee I downed back at the house. I texted Mika upon my arrival, and she wrote back she would be there in five minutes and that she was moving slow this morning. Great news!
There were already scores of people at the park. like some kind of mini Vail, CO right in the heart of Raleigh. This was indeed inspiring, but not quite enough to free me from my morning fog.
I greeted Mika, we both talked about how we thought of texting one another about bailing on the run, then we were off!
The crisp Autumn morning air quickly brought me to life and we settled into a nice pace along the trail.
Mika had to take off her jacket by mile one, hanging on a tree along side the trail. ( Which we completely forgot about on our way back)
The sun was up now, and it was a beautiful morning indeed. We stayed at a comfortable, steady pace, only walking in a couple of spots to take in some water and fuel. The conversation flowed, encompassing a wide array of topics, and the miles passed by quickly. We hit the turn around at mile six and spotted four deer crossing the trail ahead of us, including a rather large buck.
Before we knew it we were in the home stretch, blissfully blowing by Mika's jacket at mile 11 and headed for the barn.
Needless to say, we got in an additional 2 mile "cool down" going back to retrieve the jacket.
12 miles in 2hr 11 min. 3800' ft of elevation. 2 mile run/walk cool down, and the awesome feeling of finishing a workout you almost thought about blowing off.
All this before 10 am!