I was running on a scenic desert trail, below the Tucson Mountains yesterday when I was so struck by the beauty of my surroundings that I decided that I needed to write about it.
Ok, I guess photos probably capture the scene better than I could ever describe it. I started out slowly to warm up the muscles and joints but also to avoid the situation that kept playing over and over in my head: typically clumsy, I roll an ankle, or my toe catches one of many rocks poking up through the trail and I tumble forward, face and palms meeting one of the huge Saguaro, or other, cacti that line the trail.
Thankfully I did not end up fulfilling my vision and meeting only 2 other runners in the 10 kilometers, I felt closer to nature than I have in a while. I was so energized by the environment that when I did get some wide flat trails, I was able to finish the run pretty strong.
I hope to make tomorrow's run a trail run too.
So why am I running so much? I have, in a moment of temporary insanity, signed up for the Paris Marathon, scheduled for April 14th. The training is actually going pretty well, minimal injuries and I'm up to 10 miles on my long weekly training run, over 11 this weekend. I've been really lucky to have the opportunity to run in some great places since I started training too. My long runs sites have included along Town Lake in Austin, TX, and around the mall and white house in Washington, DC.
This training schedule has given me more structure than I've had in a while. Working remotely has its benefits but it also means that I don't have that office time/home time dichotomy. Work often blends into personal time and personal time into work time but I can use running as a bookend.
I know that the hardest part of training for me will be training while traveling in West Africa. In some cases the weather is REALLY not conducive to running; high heat and humidity, and in others safety could be an issue.
In any case, the beautiful city of Paris will be the motivation I need to power through. Bring it on, 2012!