TITLE: Sixteen Miles AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: May 22, 2005 12:15 PM DESC: A sixteen-mile run that I enjoyed... ----- BODY: 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 two miles. 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. -----