I woke up at around 7 this morning, wondering how far I'd run. I had set up the coffee maker the night before, so all I had to do as I munched on a Clif Bar was hit the button. I retrieved the Sunday paper from the end of the driveway, weighing my choices. I could run 12 today and go longer Saturday, or I could go long today and "cut back" to 12 or even 11 on the 7th. That way I could be ready for a long run with Christopher and Eric on the 14th.
The air was cool - the coolest since before late spring. I started fast going down the steep incline of Panther Branch. It felt comfortable though. On the first uphill my stride felt natural and I could sense my legs were rested from sitting in the car for four hours yesterday, traveling to Salisbury to visit my parents.
After I got into Umstead, I still felt pretty relaxed and was going at a pretty good clip. I turned right at the T intersection of the Graylyn Trail and the Reedy Creek Trail, figuring that if I wanted to go short today, I'd prefer to get a hill workout on Cemetery Hill on the way out rather than push up the multiple hills going in the other direction.
So I came to the point in the trail where I could either turn left toward home, or go straight and go long.
I was feeling a little tired, because my pace was faster than it had been on the previous two or three runs in Umstead. But I pushed on.
And so I finished 15.3 today in 2 hours and 29 minutes. I finished strong - my legs still had some zip going up Panther Branch. And I had something in the tank at the end!
Amazing what cool weather can do for my running!