First, I ran 7 miles! I know, pathetic, right? What can I say. I'm working my way back slowly. I'm happy with this.
So yesterday was my 7 mile run. Well, a 2 and a 5, broken up by a little driving from one location to the next. I'm still counting it as 7 though. First I met my friend Kathy (who, btw, is awesome) at 5:30 am! to run 2 miles. We did it and it went well. Then I drove out to the lake to put in some miles on the trail. My intention was to run 7 miles there, but only got 5. More on that in a minute.
So my 2 mile run was in the cemetary in Independence. It was still dark when we ran and as it got light you could see fog around the graves and stuff. Kind of creepy, but cool too. We were about 1.5 miles into it when I heard something running up behind us really fast. As I'm turning around I see this dog coming full speed at us. I yelled "Holy Sh!t!" and Kathy turned around. She screamed. The dog sniffed a little then turned around and ran away. Freaked us out! I'm not entirely thrilled that the dogs owner was in the cemetary walking with the dog without a leash. He never did yell at the dog to come back either. Anyway, we finished the run and then she had to leave quickly to get home for stuff she planned before she decided to run. Or, to be accurate, before she gave in to my annoying texts to come run with me.
I drove out to the Elk City lake. I wanted to do part of the trail that Flat Rock is on and drove to Oak Ridge where you can run back towards the lake or towards Elk City. We've had a lot of rain and even pretty bad flooding this week, but I wan't too worried about it. I knew I might have to wade through a little water at a couple of creek crossings, but there are usually rocks you can sort of hop scotch over on. My plan was to park my car and run to the end of the trail, which is actually only about 2 miles from my house. Rick was going to pick me up and drive me back to my car. That didn't happen. A little over a mile into it I came to a spot that was so flooded I couldn't find the trail for a few minutes. To cross the water I probably would have been knee-thigh deep. Nasty flood water mind you. With lots of stuff floating. I found a way around it and decided to keep going. Stubborn a little? I haven't been able to run on the trail for months. I wasn't going to let a little water stop me. I ran another mile and a half or so and the trail disappeard into water again. This time there is no way I could find another way. The trail runs along the river and it is so far out of it's banks I could barely see to the other side. No clue where the trail was. I called Rick to tell him the change of plans, which was me just running back to my car. He said "DO NOT TRY TO CROSS!" Ummmm, duh. No problem. There is no way on earth I'm touching that water. Plus, I assume it would have been over my head. And no clue what's under it. Just a bad, bad, bad idea. I was extremely disappointed, but I turned around and went back. About half a mile from my car I called the Keli Mart and ordered some biscuits and gravy. Don't you love technology? They always run out and I was afraid that by the time I was done, in my car and to there they would be out. I just told them who I was and that I was still running and I didn't care if it got cold, just don't give it away!
Besides the water problem the bugs were horrendous. Mosquitos and who knows what else. I felt like I was being pelted by them. Also, it was 70 degrees, which isn't bad, but 94% humidity! I've never been so wet with clothes on. I really don't think my clothes would have been more wet if I had swam in them. Also, it was muddy. My shoes were caked with mud. I had mud all over my legs. When I got back to my car (brand new, remember? Still all clean and shiny) I just took the shoes off and placed them gently upside down so that I wouldn't get mud all over my car. The problem is that I had ordered food. When I got there to pick it up I see a new sign on the door that said "No Shoes, No shirt, No service." Uh Oh. I poked my head in and said, "Umm, I just got off the trail and my shoes are horrible, can I please come in?" Obviously I know everyone that works there, small town. Mickey cracked up laughing and said of course I can come in. I got my powerade and biscuits and gravy and went home. When I walked in Rick quickly questioned when I was taking a shower. I don't think I've ever been so gross in my life.
All the water, mud, bugs, whatever aside, it was awesome. I haven't run on the trail for a really long time. It was freaking hard, but it was great. My pace was an average of 15 something per mile, which is pretty decent for me on that trail. It's extremely technical, and I'm extremely out of shape. I ran quite a bit of it though, only walking on the really tough parts. I think I could have done it faster without all of the mud. Sadly, I have a feeling it will be flooded for a while. They aren't letting a ton of water out of the lake because people downriver of us are already flooded too, so it would just make their situation worse. I do think some sort of sign on the trail would be helpful. I assume they know that when the lake is at a certain level it's going to be buried in flood water.
I will probably run a few miles on Monday, but then I have to take the rest of the week off for a medical thing. No, not injured! That's why I went ahead and did more miles today than I normally would have. I knew I had a week off in the near future to rest up from anything I overdo today.
I'm really pretty happy with my running these days. Mostly it's just boring. I just get out there and get it done. I had someone run another day with me this week too. She's just starting and isn't quite up to where I am, but I have a feeling if she really sets her mind to it she could be. We ran together for a while, then she walked in our local cemetary for a bit, then when I got back there we walked back to my house together. It's fun to have company sometimes, but I don't think I'd want company on every run.