When I was thru-hiking the AT, I'd wake up the morning of a 20-mile day and feel this wonderful since of anticipation combined with calm confidence. "I'm going to hike 20 miles today. Cool." By the time I hiked my first 20-miler, I'd already hiked through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and most of New Jersey. My first 20-miler was into "Backpack Site #2 south of Sunfish Pond, NJ.
When I hiked through Shenandoah, I averaged 20 miles per day for four or five days. And I regularly hiked 20+ mile days through southwestern Virginia. My biggest-mile day of the whole hike was 26.2 miles along the NC/TN border. (Hmm ... interesting number, isn't it.)
Three months ago, I couldn't imagine running twenty miles. I still can't run that far (in the same running-session, at least), but I can imagine it. How cool is that?
I woke up this morning with that same awesome feeling I used to get before 20-mile days on the AT. Only this time it was, "I'm going to run 10 miles today. Cool." It's the longest long run I've ever run. I was excited, but there was no doubt in my mind about being able to do it. I knew I could do it because I'd been working up to it for three months.
And I did it. I had a beautiful day for it--sunny and in the low 30s. The leaves around Lake Junaluska (today's route) are turning, and the views were simply breathtaking.
I've started keeping a running log at Buckeye Outdoors. If you ever feel compelled to check it (mom and Kris), just click this Buckeye Outdoors link and pick out "Waterfall" from the Public Logs listing.
No running tomorrow or Sunday ... I'll be on the road to West Virginia, then Virginia, then West Virginia, then Ohio. Have a good weekend, everyone.