My first time running on that trail, it proved to be nothing short of perfect. Perhaps the sunshine helped spur my pace; the robins flitting alongside the trail surely helped as well. Up until today, I'd thought the trail passed through open fields where headwinds and crosswinds made for a slightly unenjoyable experience. Was I ever wrong! During the entire run, trees surrounded me. With them, so, too, did the birds make for perfect distraction. Maci and I watched a red-tailed hawk scoping out the hills alongside our trail. Robins darted in and out of trees, surprised by our arrival in an otherwise quiet environment. I also spotted my first yellow flowers in amongst the rocks--a sure sign of spring.
Our feet hit the trail just after 8:30am, and it didn't take long for us to meet other runners and two groups of riders out enjoying the weather, too. Just starting out into my run, I struggled to find much to enjoy. My coach's plan for this 2 hour, 15 minute run looked like this:
30 minutes race pace
30 minutes at 10 seconds faster
15 minutes cool down
Maci didn't know what I had in store for her, so I fed off her naivety and simply started to run. Our first four miles at race pace felt good, but we ran them faster than what I'd initially anticipated. Actually, that seemed to be the trend for the entire run. Maci just kept plugging along, her footfalls clipping the pavement like a metronome, keeping me on pace. She owned her position closely behind me just off my shoulder. I knew she was in the "running zone" when we'd pass other runners with dogs or cyclists and nothing phased her. She started out on a leash, but quickly proved to me she didn't need it. She is the perfect running partner. I am the proud mama of my vizsla redhead.
Boston is just on the horizon, and barring any unforeseen injury or illness, I am looking forward to running a fun race. May sunshine and beautiful scenery make the end of March and the beginning of April perfect for these last long runs before #BostonMarathonFun.