Monday, October 17, 2011

10 Miles, 4 towns, 6 turkeys and a snake.

In the two weeks since the Brooksie Way Half Marathon, I managed to run a total of just over 10 miles. This lighter running schedule was not necessarily done by choice, but it did allow me to heal up a bit. My right leg is discomfort free while running for the first time in at least a couple months. The bad part of the rest is that I feel like I am out of practice and my legs, while "healthy" are not in the best condition to do long runs.

This morning, I decided to do a long run, thinking I would do 7 or 8 miles. I headed out to my normal starting spot and took off. It was nice to be running though it took a bit to get my breathing down. It wasn't bad, but I usually don't have any issues when I am in practice. I tool the scenic route and after a couple miles, I was on a dirt road which could have been mistaken for a country road in the middle of nowhere. The road itself was ideal - damp enough to keep the dirt down with just the right amount of give.There were horses and a six-pack of turkeys in a driveway. Great temperature outside, nice shade and I saw just one moving vehicle the entire time I was on the first dirt road. It is strange to many to think of running as fun, but I was having fun.

The fun continued until near mile 6 when I made a questionable decision. I could have continued back toward home on the loop I planned and got my 7.5 or 8 miles in, but I felt good and decided to make a turn to extend the run. With the turn, I was running against a strong, gusting wind and largely uphill. This road was busier and I ran on the gravel shoulder much of the time. About a mile in on this road, I almost ran over a BIG SNAKE.

The snake was just curled up on the side of the road and, as I noticed it, I side stepped it by a couple feet. I don't know if it was dead or alive and I didn't look back to find out. Looking it up, I think it was a Blue Racer. Not venomous, but I don't think I wanted to step on it anyway. Did I mention it was a BIG SNAKE? :)

After the snake encounter, I really started to lose energy. I didn't drink or eat anything before I took off and was starting to weaken. It seemed like it took forever to get to the road I was planning to turn on and I was fading. I made it to the last turn and was hoping to make it back, but I was running out of gas. I made it past the 10 mile mark and I was done.

I walked for about a mile, but figured I was still about 3 miles from home, so I called for a rescue from my better half. While tempted to call before on a run, this is the first time I actually did. I walked nearly another mile and she picked me up and brought me home.

It was a good run, but was more mileage than I should have done after 2 weeks with no long run. (I forget that this was only my fifth run of 10 miles or more) Next time, I'll stick to my plan. Next weekend, I will either find a race or I may do the "practice run" taking place at mountain bike trail at Pontiac Lake Rec Area. This was the site of perhaps my toughest run ever. It would be nice to take this on with others.

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