My roommate and I got out to the best nearby park early (for college kids, 9:30) this morning, intending to do 26 on the trails out there. We were both a little eh for the first bit of the run – me moreso than her, since she’d taken yesterday off and had fresh legs, plus my hip was starting to bug me/feel weak – but it was an absolutely gorgeous fall day with nice cold refreshing air and views through all the trees and little valleys now that the leaves had fallen.
Ah – the leaves.
Any trail runner will tell you that while leaves are on the trees, they’re great. They make fall running what it is (along with the weather, of course). But once they’re on the ground, they’re vicious little devils, doing their best to hide every little – or big – rock and root that we poor runners are susceptible to tripping on.
My poor ankles. While I somehow didn’t fall, my roommate fell three times. The downhills with six inches of leaves filling the mountain bike ruts were particularly perilous; we did a fair amount of awkward jogging down those in order to minimize tripping and rolling ankles and whatnot. (My poor, poor ankles.)
But anyway. Leaves aside, it was a really good run. We ended up only doing about 23, since (a) I was worried I’d have to cut it short because of my dumb hip, and (b) we didn’t want to do the same 13.1-mile loop twice. Instead, we did a nice 18-mile loop that I hadn’t run since the 50M in September, which would give me the option of stopping there while she went on. But by that point, I was in the phase of the run where you can just kind of Keep Going For Hours And Hours Until Things Start To Break Down. (My hips were symmetrically sore/weak, so I just ignored them.) It had taken me a while to get there – I wasn’t even really warmed up or motivated until about two hours in. But whatever. After a brief (but too long) stop at the car to drop off some stuff, we creakily ventured back out onto the trail and added on the last 5 miles on a nice loop… where I got lost the other night! It was less scary in daylight. Actually quite nice.
Oh, and my hamstrings/glutes were REALLY sore. But that was it. Weird, right? You don’t usually come out of a run going “Ahh, my butt hurts so much!” But that was me today. Plus my ankles, which I need to strengthen.
Alas, no pictures, but just picture a very leaf-covered trail winding up and down and through equally leaf-covered hills and barren trees, with a couple beautiful blue lakes thrown in for splashes (second pun! oh yeah!) of color.
And now I shall eat ALL the chili (the recipe in Eat & Run is freaking amazing).
peace love and LSD running!