Saturday. Cold, low 20s. Sunny.

Tights. Long-sleeve shirt with SSRMC t-shirt on top. Hat. Sunglasses. Sunblock on nose. Black gloves. Headphones/iPod. RoadID. No Watch. Good to go.

Having read Herb’s description of his Rockies 18+ this morning — I mean you and one other guy I can think of are just making the rest of us look bad so get with the program — I hesitate to crow about my 9, that’s right, 9 (does 14K sound better?) this morning.

It was quite a fun run. The trouble with out-and-backs is that you must decide at 3 whether you’re trying for 8 and at 4 whether you’re going to 9. These are convenient turn-around points on the BRP trail. It’s 3 to Scarsdale Road, 4 to Crestwood, 4.5 to the Leewood tunnel, etc.

The plan was 9 and I decided that I would make it to the Leewood tunnel. Without the watch, I was aiming to keep it easy, and I have no idea whether I did. But the watchless mind-set seems to help me relax about the task at hand. I was apprehensive as I crossed Scarsdale Road. I did 7.5 on Tuesday, and that was pretty fast, so I was highly somewhat confident I could make it. Part of this is getting a base-line of a run. And while it doesn’t seem like much, save for that 7.5 I’ve been pretty much in the 6-6.5 range.

Approaching Crestwood I went left at the fork; going right is for a turn-around there. I committed to the half-mile stretch to the tunnel. Slight uphill and fine. Turn-around.

Now this all sounds more analytical than it is. Yet I do calculate landmarks, and how far it’ll be once I get to them. It’s a pretty flat run, except for the final mile, which is slightly up.

After the turn-around, though, it was pretty straight-forward. Why is a run easier at 6 than it is at 3? The head, I think. But mine was relaxed, and the strides, and miles, just clicked along. Such a beautiful morning for a run. Exhilirating and fun. Not that I could have gone much farther.

So that finishes a good week of just over 40 miles, with one day off. The best in a while.