I began by running up and out on this dirt road for 1.5 miles. I didn't realize how "up" it was until I turned around to run back and felt the downhill slope.
It was an interesting run because I didn't get out there until after 8 this morning, so it was already starting to get really warm. As I slowly and heavily put one foot in front of the other on the first half, I felt quite tired, like bricks were in my shoes weighing me down. Because of that, my average pace for the first half was around 12 min./mile. Blah. But...as I quickly picked up my pace and basically just "rolled" down the trail for the second half, my average pace lowered to just over 9 min./mile. Talk about negative splits! And even though I only ran 3 miles, when I finished I was dripping with sweat and my skin felt like it was starting to burn. Good training for the last part of the marathon, I guess! I won't be surprised to find myself running in the sun and heat on that day, too.
Oh, and another great thing about this run? I didn't encounter any rattlesnakes! Although I did have a couple of mule deer bucks bounce across the road in front of me from out of the shrubs. I sure wish I could go as fast as they do... :)