Roads out here often gun straight to the horizon. Take 167, which beelines what must be 20 miles from Mono City to Nevada with hardly a swerve in a horizontal direction. A more average road can, without warning, go a mile no sweat without a curve. Perhaps these cuts through the sage feel drawn out because there's nothing to contain them on either side--no shopping center, city block, or buffer of green to give the overall space a cupped sensation. The basin is a broad platter. Or it could be that lines on this landscape feel narrower, longer, because so little else around conforms to the edge of the yardstick humans are habituated to wheel.
I thought about this tonight, kind of, because my first tempo run on Cemetery Road (great name for a workout arena, right?) included a long straight stretch. Of course, I was hardly thinking about anything at all during the effort, except smooth breathing, an easy arm carry, and an efficient stride (not even how I eventually aim to go faster for 26.2, not 4+ miles). I started at the Mono City-Wilson Creek-Cemetery Road junction and headed northeast, covering at least a mile of dirt before a bend. Since it was my very first workout (of what will be about a 4 month buildup to a marathon), I did it on feel. It felt like a clip, but who knows really--perhaps I'll measure the route later. Figuring I'd manage at least 5:45 pace on average, I planned to go 11:30 out and back. There were some gradual declines (on the way out), and some inclines (on the way back), and by the finish I was feeling it, but still steady. I returned exactly at 23:00. I felt strong, and I'm pretty sure I covered more than 4 miles. A solid first wake up call for the ol' legs.
10 mi, 65 min (3 wu, 4+ tempo in 23:00, 3 cd); O+B on Cemetery Road from Wilson Creek past Dechambeau Ponds turnoff