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RMTC Moab Spring Training: Last Day

Today was our last day in Moab and my longest run. 3.5-4 hours and/or 20-22 miles. Either way, I was a tidge bit nervous as I had put my body and, more particular, my legs through a lot so far that weekend. On top of that, this was gonna be a climbing run and I had no one to run with-- everyone else had a shorter run. I knew I had to start early in order to get done in time to recover and get checked out of the hotel, so it was a 6 a.m. start time for me. 8:30 for the rest of the crew running.

I got up and got dressed and off I went. About 8 minutes in I heard my phone say I had a text. Who would be texting at 6:08 a.m.? So I stopped, got my phone from my pack to see it was Charley. "Anyone running this morning?" it said. I texted back I was already on the trail. I got off the trail and made my way up to the road. Sitting there at the road was Charley in his truck. Unbeknownst to me, Charley had been waiting in the hotel lobby for me. He checked in with me and, even though I had a headlamp on, he drove along slightly in front of me for awhile till the sun came up.
The moon as I headed up the canyon
The road snaked up and I ran along through the darkness, just trying to keep it steady. Around 5 miles, the road turned to gravel, the sun came up and Charley took on up the road to drop off some water.

Making my way up the canyon
 I continued running up the canyon. Shortly after, Charley came running back down and paced me up the rest of the climb, showed me where the water was and took off for the day.  Got to the top and then the rest of the run was down into and through the canyon. Once I dropped down inside, it was just as gorgeous as the sun came up. I ran along for about 4 miles, then turned around at the 11 mile mark.

Sun rising in the canyon

11-mile mark. Time to turn-around and head home... well, back to the hotel.

At the top of the canyon again, mile 15.5.
 From the top of the canyon, it was down, down, down-- with a little up. I guess I didn't realize that in the darkness on the way out. Oh well. I felt good. I was happy my legs were holding up after such a long weekend. As I got further down, I saw some of my fellow rmtc'ers heading out. That juiced me up and was fun to see-- even got some high fives. :) And I just kept heading back. It is funny. I find the longer the runs get, sometimes the *easier* (although never truly easy) the ends get. When you are doing 22, it is easier to think "only 3 to go", versus when you are doing, say, a 6-miler.

Getting back, I realized this run was a real confidence builder for me. I did it. With climbing. By myself. In the dark (with Charley's help). On tired legs. And I still held a decent pace considering.

Once back, it was all about recovery. A coupla Mix 1's and a great BIG breakfast at the Jailhouse Cafe. Perfect way to end a weekend of hard training.

It was an AWESOME weekend with the RMTC and I can't thank the officers enough for putting it on, everyone I rode with (Jen, in particular, for sticking with me), my roomie for tolerating me, HR for traveling with us and Charley for all of his help and guidance! What a weekend... followed by a high-mileage week. Gotta love the it.