Saturday, June 21, 2008

Exploring new territory

Ever since I got my Garmin just over a month ago, I've been making an effort to explore some new territory. Before, I had always limited myself to a few different loops and out and back courses where I knew the mileage. Now, I have the freedom to run wherever I damn well please while letting the Garmin keep track of my mileage. How I ever lived without the thing is beyond me....I shudder to even think about it.

I ran my long run yesterday, a day early, because my wife is running hers today (at this very moment, in fact. That's right, we are both training for marathons at the same time while attempting to care for two young kids and balance jobs. We are indeed Superman and Wonder Woman, in case you're wondering....or maybe we're just crazy as a couple of shithouse rats. Probably the latter. In any case, back to my point, I ran my long run yesterday and set out to conquer some new territory.

Here's a link to my route:

You'll notice that at one point it appears as though I go off-road. One valuable lesson I've learned since I got my Garmin is that not all of the roads that appear on Google Maps actually exist on the ground and not all roads that exist on the ground appear on Google Maps, especially when your talking about country roads. Yesterday's run proved that point as I headed up and over Redwater Ridge and through the Hat Ranch subdivision, which offers stunning views of the Black Hills to the south and the wide open plains in every other direction. It also offers homes far beyond my means, but they sure were purty to look at.

Of more interest is the elevation profile from yesterday's run:

My total elevation gain for the entire run was 1400 feet. That massive spike in the middle would be my ascent up Redwater Ridge to Hat Ranch and then back down to Highway 85. It sucked, but the view from the top made it worthwhile. Having said that, though, I probably won't be running that road again real soon. There's too much other unexplored territory for me to discover.

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