It could just be me but I have always thought that for a run to qualify as a "long run" it should be 20 miles. I know that's just an arbitrary number that doesn't take into account elevation, weather, trail conditions, etc...but it's always been a benchmark for me. And today, for the first time since Western States in June, I ran over 20 miles. 20.7 miles, to be exact, on the Appalachian Trail in Central Virginia. It was glorious.
Sure, I got dropped on all the climbs by the fit fast guys and I was crying for my mommy when the run mercifully came to an end 3:41 after it started but it was, nonetheless, a real long run and a true sign that I am coming back. For most others it would have been a walk in the park but for me it made me really happy to be alive. Which is, by the way, what running does for me most of the time.
I am in a pretty interesting place right now. On the one hand, I am certainly coming to grips with aging and realizing, at 44, that there is only so much I can do. On the other hand, I also know how important the mind is in all of this and as I slowly grind myself back in to shape it makes me feel good to know that my mind is not aging as quickly as my body. I guess that's the way it's meant to be.
Fun memory for a Sunday evening...