I ran my first unsupported marathon in training. By myself and without seeing a single soul out on the trails. 26.3 miles in the woods by yourself is quite a long time to get inside your head. Surprisingly, it went better than expected given the 90 degree temps outside and thousands of feet of elevation gain.
I had to muscle through a lot of positive self-talk in the last 3 miles, but I was stupid happy to finish. I celebrated with a bag of chips and a cherry slurpee.
Anyway, after the run, I refueled and got ready to go hang out with my sister, a good friend, and Luke Bryan.
If you aren't into country and not into dude, you probably are like womp, womp. But I like country. And dudes. And trucks on fire.
When we landed in Phoenix, it was determined that 3 of the 4 people in our party had their baggage lost by the airlines. Somehow my obnoxiously colored Vera Bradley bag was right there waiting for me. Score!
The group had time to kill before the Diamondbacks baseball game in the evening so we went for a drive, had lunch, and decided to visit the Phoenix Science Museum. Did you know planetariums are a really great place to take a nap?
When I woke up, I was surprised that I wasn't fighting the urge to bail on my run. The sunrise willed me to get out and explore my beautiful surroundings.
The gang got together (brother-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in-law, uncle-in-law, Adam, and me) and went to the Canyon for our Rim Mule Ride. This is something that has been on my bucket list for awhile. And it was totally amazing.
When we got back to the lodge, we had a late lunch and then wandered along the rim until it got to be late afternoon. Then we retreated to a porch for drinks (noticing a theme here?) and watched the sun dip below the horizon in the Grand Canyon. Yup, didn't suck.
The dog followed. And ran with me for 4 more miles.
The group headed out towards Winslow and enjoyed gorgeous weather on the way out.
We took an obligatory photo in Winslow.
On Thursday, I went out for another run and met the dog owner who informed me that the dog's name was bear. It was sunny and warm, but the lack of humidity and long dirt roads made up for any hardships.
The next adventure was learning to ride a Segway in Sedona. It's hard to not be in love with Sedona. The backdrop is unlike anything back east. I lusted to have an extra week to go play on the sandstones.
But learning to ride the Segway was super cool and I felt pretty confident within a few minutes of being on it. We zipped around the residential areas of northern Sedona and were awarded with some pretty spectacular views.
That night, Adam and I picked up our rental car in Flagstaff and then had a sunset drive in the desert on the way back to the house.
At 3:30a.m., Adam and I woke up to catch our 8:20a.m. flight in Phoenix. Though it was stupid early, we jammed out to Road Trip Radio on Sirius and the watched the sunrise over the desert. When you're with your best friend, these types of things are pretty memorable.
When we touched down in Kansas City, we met my sister and my 3 month old nephew, Rhett, in the airport. Rhett's 92 year old great-grandma (our grandma) lives in the town of Salina, Kansas, about 2.5 hours from Kansas City. My sister didn't tell grandma they were coming and so it was the best surprise I'd witnessed in quite some time.
We came back to Atlanta Sunday night and after properly hydrating, returning to 1000' in elevation, and sleeping in my own bed, I decided I was ready to get those 15 miles. So I went to my Greenway and it was like putting on my favorite yoga pants. Easy and comfortable.
I watched the miles click off with ease and though I had a few waning moments, I felt much, much better. All systems restored.
198 miles for August?
Up to the treadmill I went. 3 more miles. Yeah, yeah, I could have done 2. But 3 is better.
201 for August.
Now it really is time to taper. A few regular runs and then some teeny weeny runs next week. Hard to believe I will be on another plane for another amazing adventure in just 9 days.
Life doesn't suck.