Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Breath For The Soul

Yesterday was not a normal day for me.  I had plans.  Big plans.

To start things off, I actually had the day off.  I didn't have a pack walk to lead or a training appointment.  I didn't have any real obligations, so the first thing I did was a race!  I signed up for the Monument Avenue 10k back in February when I figured I'd be completely healed fairly soon.  Unfortunately, healing took longer than expected, and it was a bit of a scramble to get ready for it so quickly. 

If you remember, I first ran the Monument Ave 10k last year, and it was my first official 10k ever.  I was so proud of how well I'd done that I actually signed up for the marathon training team that very night.  So, yeah.  It was kind of a big deal.  Originally, my goal was to try and run it in under 60 minutes, but by the middle of March I figured that probably wasn't going to happen.  So, then I hoped to run it in the same amount of time as last year, 64:18.  I was close at 65:23, but no cigar.  Still, I'm happy with my time, as there were a few factors going into this race that slowed me down.  First, I hadn't trained nearly as much.  The farthest I'd run since January was 4-5 miles.  Second, I'm a little heavier than I was last year.  Not much, but it was enough to slow me down.  Third, and this is the real kicker, was the heat.  I was doing fine until about mile 4 when I was suddenly running in full sun.  I had to slow down just because I thought I was going to be sick.  All in all, though, a good race.

The race, however, is not what made it a great day.  It's what Hans and I did after that made it so wonderful.  Hans and I very rarely have a chance to escape the city.  On the days where we're lucky enough to have off, we usually try to sleep and recuperate a little, but this day was different.  This day, I wanted to do something fun.  I wanted to escape the crowds and the noise.  I wanted to take the chance to just breathe.  So, we loaded the dogs in the car and drove up to our favorite spot in the mountains.

There were a few more people than I would have liked, but other than that it was just perfect.  The trail was fairly quiet, the water was at a perfect level, and the weather was perfect.  We hiked to our favorite spots and let the dogs play in the water.  Lollie even took a moment to get her paws wet, which is a huge feat for this bulldog.  Then we looked at the time, decided we had plenty of daylight left, and continued upward.  We didn't go much farther, but it was just enough to make us happy and to tire out the pups. 

In the end, we hiked a total of 4 miles (which means I'm pretty sure Cody did 8 from all the back and forth he was doing), and we had some stunning views.  Unfortunately I left my camera in the car, so I don't have any pictures, but somehow I think that's preferable.  A photo wouldn't do it justice.

Afterwards, we stopped at a small pizza place we'd been wanting to try for a while.  It was quite good and the perfect end to a lovely day.

Really, though, the best part about yesterday was the fact that we took the time to do something for ourselves.  Sure there was housework to do.  Sure we could have used the rest.  But doing housework or sleeping wouldn't have left us nearly as happy as what we ended up being after that hike.  I can't wait until we have the chance to go back.  Maybe next time we'll do the whole trail, a total of 10 miles!

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