We're back from a week-long trip to Colorado, where my husband and I hiked, drove to the top of Pike's Peak, explored caves and mountains--and where I ran, for the first time this year, without the burden of humidity slowing me down.
It's amazing how much easier it is to run without the sensation that you've got several damp wool sweaters tied around your neck. Running on a breezy path by Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, it took ten minutes before I even broke a sweat--and even then, it wasn't the familiar, blinding sweat of a person trapped for a week in a sauna, but cool, refreshing droplets dribbling down the sides of my face. So pleasant was my run that I actually lost track of time. The only reason I stopped and turned around, in fact, was that I figured it probably would not be a very romantic vacation if I stranded Barry in the hotel room while I kept going till my legs gave out.
Which they did, eventually.
No matter how much I enjoyed running while I was encircling mountain paths or following the Cherry Creek trail in downtown Denver, doubling my mileage led to some major calf, quad and hamstring pain the next day. I pretty much spent the whole week complaining of one leg ailment or another (ah, the sweet talk my husband got to hear this vacation!).
But I'll tell you one great thing to come from my happy trails out West: I'm now pretty certain that I can handle the half-marathon in Miami. January is one of the few months where the weather in South Florida is absolutely lovely, and when you run, you feel beachy breezes rather than the burden of humidity.
I told Barry that I thought I could handle a half-marathon in Colorado, given its glorious weather conditions, today. He then showed me in the Denver Post that there was in fact a half-marathon being held this weekend: up Pike's Peak, more than 14,000 miles above sea level.
Considering I got a little breathless just walking into the Pike's Peak gift shop at the mountain's top, I don't think I'll be able to run up the side of one of the country's tallest mountains anytime in this lifetime.
But for me, being able to run 13.1 miles in flat Florida will be a pretty big victory in and of itself. Especially because I'll be running it for a special little girl...(click here to read about WHY I'm training for this half marathon in honor of Leah Alhadeff and other leukemia and lymphoma patients.)