Nature’s Gentle Push

Chapter 30

How do you test what you are really made of? Six miles into your long run scheduled for 12, 1.50 miles from your car after the turn, the sky lights up like the fourth of july. But let me begin at the beginning.

My alarm just gets ready to sound at 6:00 AM but I’m already awake trying to decide should I or shouldn’t I. Since my mind was already in over drive mode before my head left the pillow I thought, “yeah I should”.

So I jumped out of bed, grab my new shoes with lots of cushion, slid on padded socks and stuffed my heel lifts in. My foot should grately appreciate all I do for it…. Anyway I had 12 miles scheduled for today which as I walked out the door seemed like a great idea. It was 66 degrees which is a 30 degree break from over the past couple of weeks, over cast with a slight breeze.

I arrived at the trail 30 minutes later and headed on my way. I began around a 10 mm which felt very easy. After about half a mile, I just let me legs do what they wanted. I seemed to bounce between 9:30 and 10:00 for the next 5.50 miles. This brought me to the turn around by the parking lot. I decided this was a good time to gel up.

So I took a three minute walk break to refuel and test my foot. All seemed well so I took off at a trot. Within those last 50 minutes, it rained off and on which I loved. I had yet to notice any sparks flying or thunder humming in the background. This changed about five minutes later.

The distant sound of thunder concerned me just enough that I stopped half a mile from the lot and looked around for darker clouds or lightening. Since nothing appeared, I continued. About another half mile I heard the rumble again only slightly louder. But as before, no lightening.

1.50 miles from the point I made my turn it reared it’s beautiful head but struck a little too close for my comfort. After verbalizing an explicative, I did a 180 and took off like a bat out of… a cave. So how fast was I trucking? I covered the last three miles in 28:44 and remember I did the first half of that at a 10mm pace. Every time I felt I must slow a little, the sky reminded me why I was hauling tail.

For anyone who does not quite understand my extreme worry, other than the obvious threat, the trail I run is skinny, paved and surrounded by trees on both sides. This is one of its attractions, its pretty and the trees keep it shaded and cool in the summer sun, but during a storm it is not the place to be.

I made it out and home safely completing 8.50 miles in 1:20.32. I keep thinking about the four other ladies who started out and passed by me .50 before my turn as they would have been about three miles from their vehicles when the party started. Hopefully they made it to the rest area and decided to hold off or call someone to take them back to the lot and not chance it.

Originally posted on The Loop June 5, 2011

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