The Journey – 267.2 Miles:
After passing by the Kelso Depot yesterday, the A2B Route turned northeast onto Kelso Cima Road beginning the 20 mile uphill ascent to Cima.  This road runs parallel the Union Pacific railroad tracks for the entire climb.

For the next few miles, one can see the Providence Mountains rising against the east horizon. Conversely, to the west, the landscape falls into the Kelso Wash where water run-off from various mountains and ridges collects.

The Run:
A little bit of rain overnight provided a relatively cool morning for a summer run.

My run started with short and choppy strides, as if searching for a rhythm.  I played with this for a while, trying to help my legs and body find a cadence that felt good and strong.  I tried lowering my arms, which naturally lengthens ones stride.  I changed the music on my iPod a few times.  I also focused on raising my knees and controlling how my feet hit the sidewalk.

No one thing seemed to help.  Then like a second wind, my legs and feet fell into an exhilarating and strong pace, full of energy and focus.  I loved feeling that transition.

The Mind:
As mentioned before, I spent a good part of the run today focused on getting my body and running in sync.  There was some amount of frustration as I gaited along.  Wanting to enjoy my run, I stubbornly kept trying different approaches.   When everything finally came together, there was a feeling of elation and energy.  It also brought a certain feeling of hope.

While continually trying to get everything to work in harmony was important, it seems the real trick was to just keep running. . . . To keep going.  That is something to remember the next time I get frustrated or discouraged by unsatisfactory  progress towards my goals.

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