|Umstead trail picture found on net|
The weather is getting much cooler and the leaves are just beginning to turn, so I don't have to get up before dawn if I want to run when it is cool; however, I wanted to get going at 5am this morning. It didn't happen. The alarm went off, but I just couldn't get up. I slept in until just before 7am, but I managed to get out the door just after 8am. There was already a high probability that this run was going to be difficult because I had run more in the last two weeks than I have in a long time. Yesterday had been a rest day, but my legs felt more heavy than rested when I got up and started moving around. My suspicions that this run was going to be kind of sucky were confirmed when I stumbled in the parking lot before I even started running. It got worse as I walked the trail to the Company Mill Loop. I kept misstepping and stumbling, which had me a little concerned about falling. To make matters worse, I had a hitch-hiker in my shoe and felt like I was going to had to make a numerical pit stop before I even made it to the bridge to begin my actual run. But, I ignored all of the discomforts and started my run without any delays or stops. I spent the whole first mile and a half debating about going off the trail somewhere and finding a nice tree to stand behind, but by the second mile my legs felt sacks potatoes, and I knew that stopping anywhere meant my legs were not going to start running again. By the time I reached the last inclines keeping my legs moving was the only priority. I actually push myself to run harder up the hill, not because I was trying to prove anything, but because I wanted it to be over with. Grunting out the last three quarters of a mile was difficult but I actually managed a bit of a sprint because I just wanted the run to end. after crossing the bridge, I couldn't manage to look more than two feet in front of me, and I had absolutely no aspirations to run any bit of the trail back to the car. I didn't appreciate nature, could care less about any of the wildlife, and sure as hell didn't want to interact with any of the people, who were passing by me all excited to be starting their hike or run. I just wanted to get back the parking lot stretch and go home. Some people would be proud of themselves for gutting out a run like this, and maybe am a little. But mostly, I am just thinking that I want runs like this one to crop up less often, I want to get better conditioned and understand my body more, so grunting gut runs are an infrequent occurrence.