Part 2-Buckeye Trail 50K 16 Mile Run in Reverse-Pine Lane to Oak Grove
We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. The weather was forecasted to be sunny high of 78 degrees and low humidity. I opted to make the early trek to Oak Grove and drop off the car. I drove back to Pine Lane with Roger, who was finally able to join us. It was downright nippy standing around the Pine Lane trail head waiting for the mass start. Seemed kind of pointless starting with this group of trail running cheetahs, since I anticipated we'd lose them after 30 seconds and never see them again. But it was nice chatting with some new people. I recognized E-Speed from her blog and introduced myself as Sensationally Red. I later told her my real name of course! She mentioned that she feels a little funny now that more and more people she's met or knows check in with her blog, because at first she had a largely unknown group of readers. I told her I don't care who reads my blog--guess you have to be part exhibitionist to be a fearless blase' blogger. I used to really care about the impression I made on people, but now I don't care. At this rate, by the time I'm a crotchety 90, I'll be farting in public. It feels good. I figure...if you don't like what I have to say, then don't read it! Pretty simple, huh? Anyway...love to run into blogger runners; funny how we all seem to find one another.
I was well equipped for today's run. I'm getting used to my makeshift refurbished soft canvas CD holder for holding all my stuff. I didn't even mind running carrying two water bottles. I have one running flask, but I carry another 20 oz. bottle of Powerade; it actually balances me out. I'm also running in a new strappy shirt. After reviewing the pictures, I may never wear it again. It's one of those spandexy tight strappy things with a built in bra-shelf, so technically you don't have to wear a sports bra with it. My sports bras have been bugging me lately so this seemed like just the ticket for breast bobbing freedom. Unfortunately, it compresses my boobs into a uniboob---and not a good uniboob, either. My uniboob clearly attests to my age and the fact that I breastfed my kids WAY too long. It was embarrassing. They looked like a couple of wadded up undersized empty tube socks stuffed into a sausage casing. This is the one area where exercise just can't help you; all the Bulgarian squats in Europe can do much to lift a sagging behind, but can't do much for empty tube sock breasts. Sigh....
What a beautiful day. I took a ton of pictures on our reverse run of the other half of the Buckeye Trail. Debi disapproved of nearly every picture I took of her today, but I don't recall that she has ever liked a picture of herself. I can totally relate, but Debi is a beautiful woman and people need to see her! Jim wasn't sweating in sheets of water this week. We were all feeling much better about our run today. Jim took a tumble over a tree root early in the run before we got to Boston. Have you ever heard the adage: "There are cyclists that have crashed and cyclists that will?" Well...I think the same can be attributed to trail runners. There are trail runners that have fallen, and those that will. The women ran vertically today, but the guys took two tumbles apiece. Roger, is a graceful trail root tripper. He fell on directly on his plastic trail bottle and he bounced back up as graceful as a dancer. It was so fast, I missed it. Another time he took a spill and hit the ground pretty hard, but he scrambled right up like it was nothing. It's a good thing I haven't fallen yet....but I know I will. I feel like I'm just biding time on the issue, running as I do with size nine running shoes, with many innumerable near trips and stumbles that get me cussing like a sailor. I'm glad I've spared my group the specter of a fall, cause it would be a scene--I'd probably cry, too. I'm worried that I might be too much of a baby for this trail running stuff.
At one point, Roger mentioned that we weren't even half-way done; I couldn't help but wince at this, cause with trail running I think it's vitally important to stay in the absolute present...to concentrate only on the present moment and the terrain under your feet. I guess this is why I like to stop frequently along the way and take pictures--it finally gives me a chance to really take in the beauty of the forest. I like to think of trail running as good spiritual staying in the moment practice--a form of enlightened thinking that I'm not very good at. Too often, I find myself in a daydreaming zoned out place where I ruminate about things that have already happened and can't do a damn about, or worrying about things that probably won't even come to pass. I like to think of my Sunday trail runs as my church service. Jim likes to say that he sweats like a whore in church...well then I'm sweating like a whore in my trail church. I get more spiritual fulfillment from these runs than I could ever get in a church.
Here was a tricky part of our trail. There was a stand of several trees down blocking the path. There didn't seem to be any easy way around it. I think there was a way around it, but we failed to see it, so like I do often in my life...we just blundered ahead crawling over the trees. I led the way. Jim was right behind me and his nose was like 3 inches away from my butt, so I made some off-color comment and he lost his balance and toppled backwards. Sheesh! I took a 6'3" man down with one comment. He was OK, but I need to be careful in the future. Here they are coming across!
We were making much better time this week and we all felt so much better. Kurt didn't run with us today. I think he got tired of babysitting us trail running virgins, so he went ahead today; he's focused on his own training for the Burning river 100, so he was running today's 16 mile trail two times. We figured we'd run into him at some point when he was doing the return run. We wondered about running this by ourselves. I certainly wouldn't advise a woman to be running this alone, since you could fall, break an ankle and feasibly not see anyone for a very long time. I don't think many criminals have the athletic stamina to venture onto the Buckeye Trail and lay crouched in hiding waiting for trail runners to assault, but you never know. Our beloved metro parks was the final horrific scene in recent breaking news concerning the missing pregnant Jessie Davis case. The body of her and her unborn child were found in the Hampton Hills area. The father of the child was arrested in the case. It just sends a chill that a place I associate with such joy and beauty was this young woman's dumping site at the hands of a monster.
Finally, we saw dirt-covered Kurt; he warned us about a tricky upcoming section of the path where we need to go a ways down a one-way street before picking up the path again, ending at Oak Grove. Well, we missed it, but we ended up totally overshooting the trailhead. We probably added another 2 miles to our run. Even still we finished much better than last week's 16 mile struggle. We all felt much better. The magic of training and the blessing of less humidity were surely at work. I was happy to be done. I noticed Debi had brown crap all over her shirt--it looked like she had a colostomy malfunction, but really just cola-flavored remnants of G.U. coming out into her white shirt pocket. This just struck me as insanely funny and I couldn't stop laughing. It was great nurse humor that only a nurse could appreciate. Great run today!