Why is it I can't seem to get my bum in gear when I want to on Saturdays... Blast, I set the alarm earlier and actualy used a checklist last night and still didn't manage to get out the door when I wanted. Of course, the slightly irregular stomach this morning didn't help, I'm sure.
Got up this morning and thought I had plenty of time. In keeping with my normal routine, I had taped last night before bed and I simply made sure I didn't need to retape anything. I noted that my foot wasn't really hurting, this was definately better than last weekend! Then I checked the temps outside and pulled on my clothes. I didn't take a second outer layer this morning because the temp was at 30. Just as I am about to head out the door, my stomach strikes. delay of game - 15 minutes. Finally, annoyed and in a hurry, I move out. I grab one of my Gatorade bars and eat half of it as I head to the start for this morning's run.
So, once again, I started at 7:15 this morning, this time from the Ampetheater. The winds are light and the morning really isn't too cold. The route is to run south to the Pedestrian Bridge, cross the bridge and up the Midland Valley Trail to 18th, then head out to the River Parks Trails and head north around the Southwest Blvd bridge and back to the Ampetheater. I'm already late, so I head out. I leave my headlamp in the truck, as dawn is coming on quicky and since I am on the trails instead of the road, I can see where I am going and I don't need to have cars not see me.
I pass the boathouse and the dreaded docks and for just a moment, I have a thought of going down to the dock and back up a couple of times, sort of a bonus exercise. I remember how much it worked me out on the Polar Bear Plunge. Then I remember how hard it was to keep from falling in and I carry on. I pass under the 21st Street Bridge and am actually feeling pretty good. Everything is clicking like it should and my foot is only a dull ache. I'm running about every 3rd light pole for the span between light poles. Soon, I see the sun coming up and before I know it, I'm at the Pedestrian Bridge.
The Pedestrain bridge is a new experience for me. I've been on it, but never all the way over it. And certainly not from the west side. I think it is fantastic what they've done with this old railroad bridge. the fact that the bridge is flat, instead of arched, makes my crossing it just that much easier. In the morning sun, there is a certain beauty to this part of the run. Coming off the bridge, I turn and head up the stairs to the top part that crosses over Riverside and I take my first break. I take in some fluids and some Sports Beans and get going again.
I really enjoy the scenery on this part of the trail and soon, I am smelling horses. I thought maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me, but then I turn and see 3 horses grazing in someone's back yard. Who knew. It's a little after 8 and I am nearing the 2 mile mark. Slow for my first 2 miles, but steady and my foot is still only a dull ache. Soon, I take a second break and I am watching the steam rise off my back, through my jacket. I guess this is kinda what Sloan was talking about, even though you don't feel sweaty, the steam is my sweat. Emptying my first bottle, I get going again. Before I know it, I'm at the water stop. Half way!
|Look close and you'll see I'm really steamed|
Very familiar territory coming up as I round the trail to the Southwest Boulavard bridge. I take a brief rest here and then I'm off. I run light pole to lightpole on at the first and the last pole spans on the bridge. At the west end of the bridge is a steep hill going back down to the trail and this is my bane. It is steep, but thankfully short. It always hurts going down, my muscles straining and my knees taking a pretty big hit on each step. Finally, I am down and on the last leg of the run. I take one final rest, as the hil really takes it out of me and then In to the Ampitheatre. I even run the last 20 meters or so, a testament to how much better I was doing today as opposed to last week.
After finishing, it was time to start the post-run recovery. Several of our group headed over to Tally's and I joined them for some breakfast, since I didn't eat my normal Breakfast Burrito prior to the run. It was a great time to wind down and talk. All in all, it was a great day to run!