Long Run - Outdoor Adventure

I'd been wanting to do this run for some time.  Rain, fatigue, and some other sad circumstances kept me from it for a while.  Once I saw my schedule and geography for the day, it seemed the right time to try it again.

Plan: Have a running adventure.  It will be hilly but try to keep the heart rate in check.  Have fun!

Route: This is a lollipop route, down a long path, around a loop and then back up the path.  I've seen and been on parts of the out/back path and the loop in the past.  It took me a while to figure out this combination of paths and starting/stopping points to get the correct distance for my current training.

Weather: It was projected to be cloudy.  Those clouds were making my crazy nervous.  I felt a total of 3 drops of rain, mostly in the cool down.  The wind was for real too.

Part 1 - Panic and impatience.  I started running what I thought was a reasonable pace and my heart rate just kept climbing.  It took me several miles to figure out that was mostly up hill.  Miles 1-4 did not have a lot of even nice paced running.  It was just up or down. 
Part 2 - It doesn't look flat, but the running got easier.  The 'loop' for miles 4-8 was actually quite runnable except for a couple of awful hills. I was starting to enjoy myself.
Part 3 - Fast finish.  I told myself that for the last 4 miles, I could just run and not look at my watch.  This always means I go faster than any other time of the run (and my heart rate climbs quite a bit too).  It was fun.  It was also good to have a push at the end, bit of a confidence builder for the half marathon I just signed up for.

Note to my future self - I need 2 bottles, 8oz, for a run of this distance.  3 or 4 bottles is overkill for temperatures below 75*.  Obviously I carried more water than I needed.  I had a bag of gummies too.  I took a few at miles 3, 6, and 9.

Bonus: I saw a Pileated Woodpecker.  I tried to take a pic but it flew away. But I saw it in real life.  So that's two so far this spring.  Since I couldn't get a pic of the woodpecker, here's my face when I realized I was almost done running.

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