It feels pretty good, to be honest. Pre-run, I felt good. Mid-run, I felt good. and Post-run, I feel pretty damn good.

Before last week, I had never run on a trail in my life. Nor had I ever run a distance greater than 5 miles. Considering that, I’ve gotta admit that I’m pretty impressed with myself right now.

The first couple of miles were a pain, but eventually I hit my stride and started feeling decent. Early on, I decided to try something I had previously read – cruise the flats, walk the uphills, and blaze the downhills. This strategy worked perfectly. Before mile 10, that is. During mile 9, I felt wonderful. I was planning to push on and tackle the half-marathon distance of 13 miles. As soon as I began on my 10th mile, however, I quickly decided against that.

Regardless, it was a good run – I averaged right around 9 minutes and 10 seconds per mile. My heart rate was 145 within a minute of finishing the last mile. And as I’m looking through the open windows of my living room right at this moment, it seems I beat the rain by a very short amount of time. Lucky me.

As a side note, I carried a Camelbak weighing around 8 pounds. I finished most of the 3L of water that I had packed, and one of the gels. Lemon Sublime, yummy.