TITLE: Sixteen Miles
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: May 22, 2005 12:15 PM
DESC: A sixteen-mile run that I enjoyed...
Why do I get the strongest urge to blog about running
on Sunday mornings? Maybe because the long runs give
me plenty of time to think. But I think it's more --
long runs take more out of me, but they also lead to
an endorphin rush that I don't get on shorter runs.
I ran sixteen miles this morning. It was my longest
run since the
Des Moines Marathon.
Since then, I have run a few 14-milers and a couple
of half-marathon training runs, but nothing more.
Sixteen miles has always been a crossover point for
me, where medium-sized runs become long runs.
My first 16-miler two years was my least enjoyable
run ever. I ran it under conditions that were a
recipe for a bad experience, but that never changed
how I felt about the distance. My next 16-miler
came last spring, the morning after torrential rains
had flooded most of the Cedar Valley. I got six miles
from home to find myself running through knee-deep
water coursing over the trail. Great fun, I know,
though the run turned out better than that first.
Since then, I have had better experiences. A couple
of weeksa ago I got the itch to go long again, so I
built myself toward a sixteen today. It was a glorious
morning. The sun was up soon before 6:00 AM, and the
temperature in the low 50s was perfect to start. I
felt good early, hit the usual lull that happens at
ten miles or so, and finished strong over the last
The strangest part of the run came early, in the third
mile, when I ran through a ten-second period where the
outside temperature must have been 20 degrees warmer
than the rest of the run. I was in the middle of a
wooded area on a trail, not near any large source of
heat, so I don't know what caused it. As quickly as
it came, it left; my glasses unfogged, and the run
went back to normal.
I sometimes wonder if I ought to be working so hard
on Sunday. But I don't think of it as work, really,
and I run early enough in the day that I can go to
morning Mass. Besides, if there is a better way for
me to revel in the glory of Creation, I don't know
what it would be.