It's easy to say it was 'just' 2 miles because well that's what how far it was. Actually I think Mike said it was 2.3 but we won't quibble.
I broke through my sluggish haze on Saturday with the bike ride and tonight was my chance to prove I could still do more than walk on two feet. Of course I know I can but I was starting to question whether I wanted to. So I jumped at the chance to meet Maggi, Naomi and Mike at Haverford College tonight. We had thought we were doing 4 but didn't take the extra loop (probably talking too much to notice the cut off) and ended up back at our cars after 2. It was getting dark and no one had any headlamps so it was likely just as well. Here's how it went for me....
We had plans to meet at 6. I get off work at 4 and I did have to resist thoughts of just going home. I was determined to get over this hump though and I knew this was the group to do that with. They would not judge if I didn't finish or lagged behind. They would be very supportive and their presence would carry me I knew. I had also been on parts of this trail before so I could easily find my way back to my car alone if needed.
I arrived at the parking lot and figured I'd read a book while I waited. That made me a little sleepy so with 10 minutes to go I decided to get out of the car and walk around; stretch just a little and perk myself up again. As soon as I stepped out of the car I was hit with a gust of wind.
ME: Really? THIS is how it's gonna be?
MYSELF: Well duh. There's a Noreaster coming up the coast bringing heavy rain for tomorrow what did you expect?
I grabbed my headband and windbreak shell out my bag. So here was the first cool thing about tonight. The shell which was quite tight to zip over my waist and tummy in the Spring just rolled right up smooth as can be tonight! Yay for better nutrition and portion control!
We took off shortly after 6 and it was awesome. I wanted to dance a happy dance. We were not doing anything speedy, rather a nice comfortable - passed the talk test - run. And nothing hurt or twinged. My brain didn't find any excuses to stop. It felt awesome. If you've never done this trail and you are local you really should try it. It's pretty and peaceful. It's mostly dirt, a little grave, some asphalt, some open space and some trees. Just enough tree roots and uneven ground to make it interesting and for the most part flat.
We were doing 3 minute run/1 minute walk intervals. On one of our walk intervals I had a run-in with another runner. Well he was running I was walking like I said. Good thing too or we both would have gone down I'm sure. We were travelling two across more or less and the trail was not very wide. When one of my group yelled "Runner Back" I should have looked back first to see how FAR back. I didn't think though and just moved to the right figuring he would pass on the left. And he likely would have if there had been time. But he was too close and had already (I think) eyeballed a path between us and so my step to get out of his way actually put me right in his path. I really should have paid more attention. No real harm done. I can feel a bruise growing on my right thigh where his knee plowed into it when his momentum swung him around but that will heal quickly enough. We saw him again in the parking lot and he kindly checked on my again. His name is Mitch.
So on we went and all of a sudden we were back at our cars. I said to Mike, "I feel too good for that to be 4 miles". And as I said earlier it was only 2. But it was the best 2 miles I've run since March. I've busted through the mental haze and I'm ready to take on the fun that is winter and night time running! First I have to get a new headlamp though. The one from last year - which wasn't bright enough anyway - died.
Keep smiling and keep moving all!