The down and dirty (and I mean dirty!) weekend recap:
Friday: At 5:10 AM my alarm goes off. I think: Get out of bed. Get your miles in. Get out of bed. Get out of bed. Get out of bed! I push back the covers, stumble to the bathroom and switch on the light. Ugggggghhhh. Too bright! Soon enough though I’m out the door. I get in 8 miles before the sun rises. Victory! It’s no easy task, getting up early to pound the pavement before work, and it seems a thousand times harder when it’s cold and dark. Miles complete, I race back to the apartment for a quick shower and commute to work. The rest of the day passes in a blur. My co-workers discuss Portland area restaurants and weekend plans.
“What about you, Heather, any big plans this weekend?”
“Nope, but on the bright side, I think I may be dating running.”
Saturday: Big adventure run day! With a cup of coffee, some sliced turkey and NPR playing on the radio, I motor out of town and into the country. My destination is Hagg Lake and my goal is to run a 15.5 mile loop on what is described as “some of the best single-track outside of Portland.” Liars! The run turns out to be an exhausting, muddy failure. A recent windstorm has ripped down trees and the trail is covered in debris. I cut myself on blackberry brambles, I trip, I fall, and I’m whacked in the face by a pine branch. Is it me or is this mud particularly slippery? I am ankle deep in it. I loose the trail for a bit. I suck it up and the run only gets better when I strike the following bargain: Finish this run today and if you want to run long tomorrow too, you can, because honestly, this stinks. Once the Hagg Lake Loop is complete I changes socks. Oh goodness, those feel so good, zip up a sweatshirt and put Hagg Lake in my rear view mirror. Later, during a conversation with my mom I lament:
“Mom, there was only one good thing about today’s run.”
“What’s that, Dear?”
“The avocado I bought on the way home.”
Sunday: It’s 11 AM and I confess that my big plans for the day include. . . running. You’re surprised, right? My original plan called for 10 slow miles, you know, just to make up for yesterday’s catastrophe. But plans change and I take up an offer to run with someone else. Soon I find myself chasing a boy/fellow marathoner up a long series of muddy switchbacks. My legs are not thrilled with their predicament:”Two long runs in a row? Are you joking? And I’m thinking: Oh dear, what have I gotten myself into? This guy is seriously fast. If I had been by myself I would have chugged slowly and cut my run short. But you can’t do that sort of a thing when you run with someone (especially for the first time) So I huff and puff. If I had been alone I would have “checked my shoelaces” or stopped to “adjust my watch,” or paused “to admire the view.” Ha! But I could not, would not, do that with a guy thundering behind me. Or rather, it was muddy and rainy, so we weren’t thundering as much as we were squelching. But you see what I’m saying. We squelched quickly with a GU break here and there. I ran the first 15 miles with him. My legs went from being grumpy to being physically spent. My shoulders tightened and everything just felt… limp. I decided that as much fun as I was having squelching through the forest, I’d better cut it short. And by short I mean I only ran 16 of the 20 miles. Seriously. So while he finished up, I jogged to a cafe and ordered coffee.
1. The Hagg Lake adventure may have been this side of awful, but it was still an adventure.
2. My legs are amazing machines to put up with such muddy abuse. Thanks guys and are you available next weekend?
3. And finally, after two long muddy runs I can say with absolute certainty: I love dry socks.