That is my tally for the year, in running miles. There were some good ones in there, some bad ones. One or two on-top-of-the-world outings and some painful ones. There were quiet miles in the early morning and loud, laughter-filled runs with friends.
I don't remember all of them, not even if I scroll through the log, but I can tell you this with near certainty: I will remember my second-to-last run of 2014.
The run and every centimeter of the mud-covered path.
The weekend before Christmas, I put out an APB on the running group's Facebook page: Get me out of the house Sunday morning, the 29th, for a good long run or steal the red velvet cinnamon rolls from my death grip. My usual partners quickly signed on but as the days clicked by, others whom I haven't ran with before joined in.
At 8 o'clock that brisk morning, six of us met at a local park pavilion for what we thought would be some easy miles on the paved Greenway. We headed south to pick up the trailhead, moving a bit quicker than my advertised 9:30 pace, and the frigid air burned my lungs. I didn't want to give in so easily so I kept turning the feet over.
I was just beginning to settle in when we hit a gate, pulled close to indicate the trail was closed. It had no doubt been shut because of flooding earlier in the week but we knew the rivers had dropped ... so we went over and under to continue on. There were some branches to dodge and a few wet spots but the trail was otherwise clear.
Until it wasn't.
In the third mile, we happened upon a silt-covered section, remnants of the week's high waters. There were muddy leaves and thick mud deposits across the entire width of the path. It was hard to gain traction, even when moving over to the grass. At first, it didn't seem too bad - my training partner moving deftly down the way - but we were slowed to a shuffle and then a walk. And, then, since I was moving so slow, I decided that I should stop moving - period.
I took quite the spill but managed to land on my butt, and the mud offered quite the cushion. It took a millisecond to process the event enough to pause my Garmin. Only for a moment, though, as Joe offered a hand and we were on our way.
Red circles are the muddiest miles as you can tell.
The rest of the run continued without incident save for the mud but we got smarter, taking a detour through the golf course.
Although it wasn't the picture of a perfect run, I have to say the outing was one of the most enjoyable I've had. The company. The adventure. Letting go of pace expectations.
Plus, it was a good way to bury my Ravenna 3's and cash in on a sale at the running store.
The week, in training:
Monday: 35 minutes TurboFire + 3.64 miles with Denali
Tuesday: At-home Bodypump (40 minutes)
Thursday: Tabata workout
Friday: 4.11 miles + Barre class
Saturday: 4.13 miles + Bodypump
Sunday: 8 miles