It has been a while since I've done any sort of serious training or running -- I have been enjoying biking, the pool, and the generally laziness of summer. I told myself I would begin my training for the half marathon this weekend which did not happen and Monday I started to panic a bit about it.
To quell the anxiety, I decided to do a long run, heading out from my place over to the South Side, to the South Side Works, across the Hot Metal Bridge and back to town via the Eliza Furnace trail -- here is a link to the the route on Google pedometer, for those who are curious.
Thanks to a passing thunderstorm earlier in the day, the air was cool and the sun was not incredibly brutal. I armed myself with a bottle of water and some funds in case I deemed some sort of sports beverage necessary. I started out strong, feeling well, coasting across the Allegheny and then the Monongahela rivers with relative ease. Heading out along the South Side trail I began to feel fatigue set in, I worried that my route was too ambitious and decided on a shorter alternative and to keep going for a bit. When I reached the point to turn around, I decided to stick with original plan, not wanting to give up on my first longer run of my training.
At the South Side works I popped into REI for a water bottle top off and a shot of air conditioning then continued down the trail towards town. Luckily the sun had disappeared in an overcast haze so the relatively shade free surface was bearable, almost pleasant. When I got into town I decided to head over the Fort Duquesne bridge back to the North Side and end my run with a dip in the water steps. Nothing feels quite as wonderful after a long, sweaty run as wading into cool running water. I relaxed for a minute and walked the rest of the way home, content that I was on my way to a successful half marathon. 8 miles down, hundreds more to go!