The Journey – 367.5 Miles:
Six miles further down the A2B Route.   Leaving the Spring Valley community of west Las Vegas, the route followed Flamingo Road west through a few miles of shopping centers and strip malls.  The last few miles wandered through several golf communities before ending todays run by the Arroyo Golf Club.

The Run:
I recently used an online mapping tool to create some new running routes.  Today I ran a new 6-mile route.  Most of it was unfamiliar to me.  About 3 miles of it runs through parks and greenways.

Regardless of how familiar (or not) I am with a new route, I always allow for extra time when running it for the first time. There are almost always a few surprises along the way.  Today was no different.

The first surprise was when I could not find the entrance to the greenway.  After a turnaround or two, I found it and was back on track.

Surprise #2 came when I discovered that my route runs up a steep and somewhat long set of stairs.  I had not caught that in the mapping application.

Finally, the last 2 miles were on roads that I had driven down a number of times.  However, even on the most familiar roads, the terrain is quite different on foot than when in a car.  There are hills that you never realized were there.  So when I came upon the steeper-than-expected uphill grade in the last mile, it threw me a little.

The good news is that once traveled, the no-longer-new route holds no more surprises.  The now familiar challenges on the route become less intimidating, especially knowing that you already conquered them at least once before.

The Mind:
I typically do not like to spend a lot of time dwelling upon the past.  However, this morning I allowed my mind to wander back.

Very, very early in the morning 22 years ago today, I saw my oldest sons face for the first time.  He came into the world very quiet and blinking.

As I ran this morning, I replayed in my mind a steady stream of scenes from the past 22 years.  They made me smile, laugh, and shed a few tears.

I look at my son now and my heart overflows with love and pride.  He is tall, strong, and handsome.  I watch and admire him for his focus, determination, and work ethic.  He is a much better young man than I was at that age.  I am proud of him.

At a family reunion this past summer, I got to watch him play and laugh with his sisters and brother.  I appreciated how he took time with his cousins, especially the younger ones.  I love those moments.

I am more than grateful for this young man that I get to call son.  I am even happier that I get to be his Dad!

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