Happy Sunday! It was another beautiful day here in TN with nice cool temps and breezes, and a little more sun than yesterday. We got a few things done around the house and headed out for our long run a bit earlier than usual so we wouldn't end up lost in the dark. Since it was cooler starting out in mid afternoon was a really nice option to have. I guess as it turns to winter we'll move our long runs to Sat mornings or really early in the afternoon on Sunday. Anyway, the plan was to do either 12 or 13. 12 was actually what was on my plan for today, but since we accidentally did 11.5 last week Brent wanted to push it to 13. We started out over by the Airport trailhead and then headed towards the Sharp Springs Park. About a mile into the run a freakin' groundhog ran across the trail. I don't know much about groundhogs, except for some bizarre reason we let them predict the end of winter each year. I think they look a lot like beavers, but they seem like they would really bite so I don't want to get too close to one. About a mile later we saw another groundhog running across a field. Weird, but I know they don't have the same issues skunks have so I happily traded last week's skunk sighting for the two groundhogs. We also saw deer in the exact same spot we see them every week. Freaky. They seem to be pretty predictable deer, and I'm guessing the only thing that keep them from being shot and eaten around here is the big fence keeping them away from the street. So, we headed into Sharp Springs Park. The trail takes you through a subdivision and then into a couple of miles of heavily treed trail before you're in the main hub of the park where all the ball fields and pavilions are. Brent was having a really tough run today, but I'll let him share what he wants to about all that on his blog. We stick together for the majority of these long runs, at least until close to the end. Sometimes this does mean I run at a much slower pace than I would like to, but that's not necessarily a bad thing because I know I will need to conserve energy during the marathon. Today I was really having to slow it down, a lot. His pace kept getting slower, and slower, and I would try to slow down so he'd catch up but he seemed to slow down even more. So, I'd jog in place for a few seconds and let him catch up. During one of these 'in place' jogs I turned back to look at him and he yelled 'GO GO GO NOW' very loudly as he pointed at the ground next to my feet. Now we do go back and forth on runs like this where he'll tell me to go on and run my own pace, but he's never been THAT angry about it. So, fearing danger, I highstepped it and bolted up a few feet and looked back to where I was just a few seconds earlier. WTF & OMG. There was a freaky looking snake, curled up in strike position, aimed at where I just was. I **HATE** Snakes. Ask anyone who really knows me and snakes and birds are my two least favorite things in the world. (Birds are just gross and they **will** peck your eyes out. Don't say I didn't warn you). I don't know what kind of snake it was, I think it may have been one of these but I'm not for sure. It was black with thin, yellow stripes. I would have looked through more pictures of snakes online but I don't even like looking at pictures of them. So, we continued on and I'm telling you my eyes never left the pavement again. The rest of the way through the park I was thinking about the fact I'd have to go back through there, all by myself (Brent had decided to cut it short and so I was alone now). Luckily he had moved on to terrorize other people and I actually didn't see any unusual animals the rest of the way. I did see one of my coworkers as I was crossing a 3-way stop over by the Smyrna Town Center. (She was in her car stopped at the stop sign.) It took her a while to recognize me, which kind of cracked me up on the rest of my run. I'm sure I look pretty rough and crazed around 10.5 miles, I doubt I would recognize myself!! Smyrna Rec Park was pretty crowded today, prob because we were quite a bit earlier and it was such a pretty day. All in all it was a pretty decent run. Some of my splits were really fast, and then some of the first miles were pretty slow as I was trying to stay with Brent. I finished the 12 miler in 1 hr 59 minutes, which is pretty good considering the slow start. Most of my later miles were between 9 - 9:30 minutes. My 1/2 marathon time from April was 2:15:01, so I would have beaten that time for sure tonight.
We're signed up to do a 15K Saturday morning at Shelby Park. Shelby Park is one of my favorites, it runs right along the Cumberland River next to downtown Nashville and has several miles of greenways. (Greenways are long trails/paths they're building around here to connect various parts of town. At some point in the future, years and years from now, the goal is to connect downtown Nashville all the way out here (20 miles from downtown) and then 15 more miles from here to Murfreesboro. That would be very cool!)
That's about it for tonight! Just a few more days until Friday.........
Sunday - 12 mile run