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Seeking a distance run – the twists and turns and ups and down of my day

Sunday, January 13, 2013

As my status says, I have new motivation to increase my distance running.
As I wrote last Sunday, I discovered a beautiful running trail 25 miles away from me.

I haven’t run a race longer than a 5K since my retirement 5 years ago since my rural roads don’t lend themselves to distance training. My definition of “long run” changed accordingly.

Yesterday morning I set off to channel my former self, the woman who used to reserve Saturdays for a long run. The day began beautifully.

It was 42* when I left the house. Arriving at the trail 50 minutes later (country roads and city streets!) it was warmer. Hmm, maybe my long shirt, vest and tights are too much?

There was a shelter house by the parking lot. (good)
The bathrooms were locked (bad)
There was a portapotty (good). It stunk. (Of course, it did)

Now, which way to run. According to the marker, I was at mile 21.8.
I went left and ½ mile later the trail ended at a city street with an arrow pointing to the rest of the trail. I guess the trail consists of segments.

I retraced my steps and went the other direction.
Very nice scenery along the river and markers every tenth of a mile. (Good).
Oops, I’m running very slowly (Bad?) Not really, this is exploratory and it’s supposed to be a LSR (long, slow run).

Lots of people are on the trail – runners, walkers, bikers, families with kids and dogs (all on leashes!). The trail is wide with lots of passing room. All bikers use their bells and faster runners announce “passing on the left” (Very Good & Safe). I’m very happy!

It’s getting much warmer (bad) so I slip out of my vest and leave it zipped around my waist. In ½ mile, I realize that I put my glasses in the pocket and now they’re NOT there (VERY BAD). Aside from the cost, I need them to drive home.

I retrace my steps, walking VERY slowly and squinting to search the ground.
On a whim I ask a couple coming towards me if they saw a pair of glasses on the trail.
YES! They found them in the middle of the trail and put them safely on a manhole cover at the edge of the grass. (VERY GOOD)

I kept walking. There were about a dozen manhole covers along the way.
Finally I saw my glasses shining in the sun, not broken or even scratched. (VERY GOOD).

Back to running. I’m wearing my glasses this time even though they keep slipping down my nose in the heat. I run/walk back to the car. The heat and stress of losing my glasses have taken a toll. Finally, a 1 mile walk to cool down.

I’m very hungry and reach for the energy bars I keep in my car. There are none left! (Bad)
People at the shelter house are having a cookout. It’s January but must be nearly 70*.
I’ve got to get something to eat and they tell me about a Co-op a few minutes away.

What a surprise! It’s a huge, healthy foods/organic Co-op. (GREAT)
I found all kinds of vegetables and products I didn’t think existed around here and bought a bagful as well as some energy bars to replenish my car supply.

So I count this as a very successful day. I know this has turned out longer than a marathon report, but it was a milestone day for me - 7.2 miles total. Yeah, I even counted the distance looking for my glasses. At my age if my feet are moving forward, I’m going to count it. It’s a benchmark and something to improve on. I hope to make this a habit.
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