Runner's World magazine (which is REALLY good by the way, not at all dry like the title sounds) has a feature called "Rave Run". They show pictures of some of the most glorious scenery ever created by God and some lucky duck is running along basking in their good fortune, decked out in the best running clothes money can buy, and looking very light on their feet.
Well, here is the Midwest's version of a Rave Run---somewhere in rural Leavenworth County, Kansas. (Except picture roll-out-of-bed clothes, and tired girls tromping along while talking nonstop.) But I mean this in all seriousness. I love running in the country. I would not trade it for a trail or park for any amount of money. Last week there were corn fields and a church steeple---oh be still my heart---I could have died happily as the sun came up over that Kansas vision. Beauty is where you find it.
Today we got up for a 6am ten mile long run. I detest getting up early. I hate it so much that when my alarm goes off I am forbidden from talking to myself (even in my own head) because I am too negative. My mantra is "Don't think, just get up." I lay everything out the night before, camelbak filled and in the fridge, and I can roll out the door in 10 minutes. If I gave myself time to think I would cry or go back to bed.
I go to wherever our meeting spot is, usually in a foul mood, and think about quitting running and surrendering to being a slug for the rest of my life. Then Traci and Jen roll in, and we usually do things like growl at each other, flip each other off, and mutter comments like, "I so wanted you to cancel." But I don't think one of us has EVER canceled the morning of. Ever. We have even run sick. I don't know what personality trait that takes, but we are all cut from the same cloth.
We start our Garmins and we're off. This morning I looked at my watch to determine at what time I was happy to be there running with my BFF's. Mile 0.22. That is a good day. Sometimes it's mile 4 to be honest. But we usually start earlier, and 6 am is making me happier than the 4:45am times in our recent past.
As the sun was rising in the East we crossed a gravel road/bridge over I-70, farmland all around, and when I looked into the sun a hot air balloon was spotted in the distance. It was breathtaking. I had to stop and take a picture, which everyone willingly did because we love it when someone needs to walk for a second. The picture fell far short of reality (I am blaming it on my iPhone), but join me in the moment:
That teeny, teeny dot was my beautiful hot air balloon.
I was so happy that I demanded my girls stop and pose too. That blur in the upper left corner is my thumb---and that is why the Trooper never ever lets me hold the camera.
This is the kind of scenery we run by quite often---cows, pigs, the odd llama. Gotta love Kansas. And it really is beautiful. It's not glamorous, but it's simple, and honest, and touches your heart in a very real way. It is truly my Rave Run. (Disclaimer: Except I would love you even more Kansas if we could take the temps back down to double digits. It's enough to melt a freckly girl.)
Now enough mushy stuff and on to my weekly stats:
Sunday --- 12 mile run
Monday --- Elliptical x 40 min, weights x 20 min
Tuesday---8 mile run. (HIDEOUS. Waaay too hot! Maybe the worst run of 2012.)
Wednesday---Turn and Burn Class (55 min of biking and running)
Thursday---7 miles on the AMT. (Can't make me do a treadmill, but I can still hang in the A/C!)
Saturday---10 mile run
Some weeks I love training. This was one of those weeks. My heart is full of gratitude for our health and our friendship. God has truly blessed us.