Saturday, November 1, 2014
Friday’s adventure run was fun and long and satisfying. I went to the cabin Dad built way back in the day and did one of my old routes, only I added some distance with a long out-and-back over on the highway. Instead of turning off the pavement at my usual spot, I stayed on the main road and ran to Mount Olive Baptist Church an addition of 2.75 miles one way.
On the return trip, I visited the track that sits in a flat field in a creek bottom. There is small set of bleachers overlooking an oval 200 meter asphalt track. If I had to guess, I would say most likely it is a go-cart course. I did a sub 8:00 minute 200 and then headed back to the road to continue my journey.
When I got back to the gravel road where I always turn, I had travelled over nine miles and consumed just a single gel. This time, however, I was drinking Gatorade instead of water and that seemed to help as I never bonked. I wasn’t strong, my legs never had any pep, and I shuffled slowly. But I enjoyed myself all the way and never had that I-just-want-it-to-be-over feeling. My feet are toughening and they never got sore although they did hurt a little late in the outing. There are twenty-six bones in the human foot and if you stay on yours long enough you will feel every one of them as well as the joint between each.
My course after turning off the highway was a maze of gravel roads that I have been intimate with since my youth. When we were in high school, my best friend and I used to ride the roads and run coon hounds and do all sorts of legal and illegal stuff. On one of them, I heard a big truck up ahead but out of my sight. It sounded like he was heavy loaded and blowing black smoke. Odd, I thought, because all I ever see or hear on this road is coyote crap and the wind blowing through the trees. Just before a major turn, however, I saw a new dirt road to my right with eighteen-wheeler tracks coming out. Was the county building a new one? Is there a gravel pit recently opened down there? The road was smooth and hard packed but dirt, not a rock on it, and it split a forest of pine trees winding its was into the back forty of who knows what.
I had to run it.
I felt a little wicked. I was possibly a trespasser and subject to arrest. With close to thirteen miles on my legs now, I couldn’t outrun Granny on her walker if I were to be challenged and chased. Thankfully I wasn’t challenged or chased and didn’t go too far before the mystery was solved. It was a logging operation, so I turned around and made my way, unscathed, back to the main road.
At 13.2 I took my first walk and went a bit over 1.3 miles before I came to the next big hill. I had to run it, of course, although shuffle is a more apt description of what I did up that long gravel incline that in the past had a huge, dead pine tree at the top where a buzzard often perched and peered down at me with suspicious eyes. The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak, though I did make it to the top and beyond. I shuffled another 2.51 miles before I walked it in for a total of 18.07 miles, feeling tired but terrific.
Now my mind is racing around the world and back searching for new adventure. Finally I am fit enough to have some real fun.