I've become a person who goes away for the weekend and packs athletic gear.
I've become a person who takes a few days away, and registers for a race in her destination city.
This person is pretty much unrecognizable to me sometimes. I still giggle - yes, giggle - when I open up my suitcase and find running shoes. It's a little crazy, but it's all me.
So, on November 11, I flew to Tucson to visit my dear friends Mike and Racheal, and their daughter, Kaylee. (Curious about the trip? Read about it here.) Calling them friends is like calling chocolate merely good. These people go so far beyond friends, it defies description. They are family. So it should have come as no surprise that they were willing - or, at least Racheal was - to get up at the ass-crack of dawn to drive me to Sahuarita for the Pecan Festival ... and the 3.7 mile Nut Run that was part of it.
It was one of the most beautiful runs I've ever experienced. The run was through the Green Valley Pecan Orchard. I don't ordinarily refer to the desert as green and lush, but this place? Yeah; all that and more.
The aroma of pecans hit us almost as soon as we got out of the car; the parking lot was covered with pecan shells, and they gave a satisfying crunch/crunch under our feet. Soon, it was time to head off to run 3.7 miles. This is what it looked like:
Trees, soft dirt path and mountains in the distance. I've been on lots of runs, but there has never been anything quite like this.
At the end of the run, my time for 3.7 miles was 51 minutes, 34 seconds, at a pace of 13:56 per mile. That's slower than it felt, but those are the official results.
And now, we're nearing the end of November. Between now and the end of the year, there are two more races scheduled. It's been a helluva year, and 2012 is showing a lot of promise, too.
Yeah, I've become that girl.