These runs have taken just a little over two hours so I guess that's a half marathon (give or take a bit) as I wasn't running at my "race pace". Some of the time I was trying to figure out which way to go. I know most of the local footpaths but there is something really nice about exploring new tracks....
"Where does this go?"
"What's it like on the other of that hill?"
"I've never been along here"
That's the beauty of running and cycling - exploring new areas, seeing familiar things from a different perspective. Profound, almost.
I do admit to feeling some anxiety especially when I run as I never take a map or reading glasses with me. Probably the trickiest is running into a woodland area in which taking lots of twists and turns it is easy to lose my sense of direction and even more so when I pop out on the other side and recognise nothing at all. Interestingly any feelings of tiredness seem to evaporate - no time to feel tired, more important to figure out where I am and how to get back. I know I could always turn around and retrace my steps if all else fails but I've not needed to do this. Somehow it's a rewarding thing to do but only after I've got back home and I recount where I've been; often to a politely interested look which hides a certain ambivalence.
So now I have a longer run in mind for a few weeks but I only know the first 6 or 7 miles, so building up the next few miles is looking very promising!
It is probably worth mentioning the Runner's High from this run yesterday. As it was a long, slower run than normal, I didn't get that dramatic rush. Instead it was a good feeling that lasted for hours afterwards. That was a feeling of satisfaction and well-being combined with a sense of achievement and accomplishment. Already looking forward to next weekend, albeit with a couple of shorter, faster runs in the meantime.