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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dirt Side Diaries- 12/29/11

7am December 23rd, 2011.  As I start to awaken from a night of very restful sleep, a rarity, I soon realize I'm sore.  At first I’m confused. Why the hell am I sore?  I didn't do anything out of the ordinary yesterday, did I?  Oh, wait! I did go on that six mile trail run, but I've run six miles countless times, that couldn't be it.  Plus, for me, I was running slow.  I couldn't be sore from....Really?  A six mile run, at a snails pace and I'm sore?!  WTF  My lower back, my butt, my quads.  I felt like I had run a marathon or something. Gotta say I didn't see that coming.

December 22nd 2011 was the first time I had ever run trails twice in a week.  Like I said I didn't run fast but considering how I felt, I think I ran effectively.  A fellow trail runner.  Can I call him a 'fellow' trail runner yet?  Anyway, the same guy who recommended I check out Silver Springs told me about a local running club, the Midwest Misfits.  I’ve had no true exposure to a running club or running with other people, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  I contacted one of the two people in charge of the club, Kristen, by an email I simply titled ‘I WANT IN’.  Kristen’s response was quick and friendly.  I was instantly a member.  No trial period, No sign up fee, nothing.  Just a simple welcome to the club and here's what's going on. She informed me the group would be meeting for a 10k run at 9am on the morning of the 22nd. 

I arrived a little early (didn’t want to be the new guy showing up late.  Little did I know someone already held that reputation.  Stan. ) and Kristen arrived a short time later.  Our group consisted of myself, Kristen, Katie and Stan.  We headed out onto the trails at a conversational pace.  Several observations I made while on this run;  Conversational pace on the trails is much slower than on the road.  The scenery was much nicer than the neighborhood scene.  We saw no fewer than 15 deer.  Most ran as soon as we got close, but some seemed as fascinated by us as we were of them.  We walked a couple of times (which totally messed with my running mindset) to overcome hurdles on the trail, cross bridges or watch the deer.  A mud, lots of mud.  I don't know how I ended up with so much mud on my legs but I was nice and muddy.  

The highlight of the run, for me, was when I took the death defying flying leap off a bridge. No. Not like the line your mom used to use “Well if your friends told you to jump off a bridge....”  It was a small wooden bridge built over a rocky, muddy, little creek.  The bridge was angled (like the vortex bridge in a haunted house) and wet.  I was about 3 strides into the crossing when I started to lose my balance and realized I was about to fall.  I took the only option (other than falling)  I had to avoid complete embarrassment.....jump.  Fortunately, I landed on my feet.  Not only did I save myself from a painful fall but I think I may have slightly impressed my new friends.  “Dude, nice save!”  “That was awesome!”, etc.  On a side note, I made sure we avoided the bridge on the second lap around.  I knew that save was luck.  There was no point in tempting fait and tarnishing the spurious B.A. reputation I had gained of my new friends.

I made a second trip to the trail today, which was a whole new experience.  Kristen’s husband, Al,  joined us.  I quickly discovered Al runs much faster than I do but I think this will be another benefit to running with a group.  I know I would have never continued at the pace I was running today, if I had been by myself.  We finished a little over 5 miles in about 45 minutes.  It was a milestone run for me.  I surpassed 1,250 miles for the year.  The most I’ve run in a year.

I don’t know if I will be as sore as I was last week but I’m already feeling a little more worn than I usually would.

Happy Running!

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