I felt like taking a break, but that's not really enough to make me actually take a break. It's usually just a part of me whining before the other part finally puts its foot down and asserts that the feeling is just temporary, and I'll be fine. So I went running.
Up the local hill, past Lakewood suburbia:
As it turned out, Nature was planning a show. It wasn't the wildflowers, which were everywhere, in all colors of the rainbow. It wasn't the intense wind I experienced as I hiked up the steep ridge to where I intended to run, providing a fun challenge to the run.
It was the weather: one of the biggest thunderheads I'd ever seen, blooming over the land south of Denver. Holy cow, it was massive.
By the time I was well into the run, it had spread all the way north, well past where I was. It appeared to centered over Castle Rock or Highlands Ranch, and extended up into Arvada, and had to be 50 miles wide. I just stood in awe and took pictures, occasionally rousing myself to put one foot in front of the other and keep running.
Then all at once the sun set, and the lights went out. It was just some innocent grey clouds, apparently ordinary.
Distance was 8.13 miles, time 2:14 (moving 1:33), elevation gain/loss 1,223 feet, avg. pace 16:33 (moving 11:30), and best pace 7:37.
I've been pushing things a little with the mileage, and I've had some patellar pain lately. However, if I focus on my form, it responds and recovers, just like it did last year. I think I can maintain mileage without a problem, provided I keep on top of it. A delicate balance, but I've managed to blow through spring with good mileage and no injuries.