Friday’s plan was to get in 8 miles with some fartleks in there. That didn’t happen. I was exhausted and crabby. I opted to switch around my plan a bit and take some needed rest.
Saturday, Steven needed to mail some packages, so we went into Lawrence. While downtown, we stopped at Lady Bird Diner for lunch. The food was amazing, as usual, but the desserts were even better. Coconut cream pie? My favorite! Also, the tap for PBR was pretty magical.
The plan was a rest day to gear up for my long run, but I went ahead and did the 8. Atlas and I got a late start on Prairie Spirit. We were trucking along and it felt really great. At 4 miles, I really loosened up and thought I could definitely keep cruising for a while. 6 miles, and I knew I could do at least 10 or 12 easily. The problem is, once we passed the Princeton trailhead and started toward Richmond, things got creepy.
A few times, we ran up on big glowing eyes, and Atlas would stop running. In one case, it was a bob cat! Yikes! I didn’t have pepper spray or anything to really defend us, so I started clapping loudly to make myself sound bigger. And animals don’t tend to like random movements and sounds, so that seemed to work. We kept going, and came across what must have been a deer because it was really big and ran away very smoothly.
We hit 7 miles and that is when the coyote howling, as well as something that sounded like a dying cow, kicked in. That is when I decided I was done, and I think Atlas agreed! We took off sprinting toward our crew that was waiting in the car at the end of 8 miles. I should note that I am really lucky in that I usually have a volunteer to meet me every 2 or 3 miles on a long run. We just never know how my body is going to react, so it is pretty important to have those checkpoints. It also makes me able to cut a run short if I need to.
Sunday, I was to do to runs totally 12 miles. That did not happen as I was not feeling well in the morning, and then we had company over for lunch. I started drinking mass quantities of hi-caff tea after dinner. That stuff is the only thing keeping me moving right now!
I ended up not running until 7 or so. I had planned to run Prairie Spirit again, but I could not find my pepperspray and after the run we had the night before, we were a little spooked. I decided to do the big loop at the Lawrence river trail. Atlas and I had the trail to ourselves, save for one biker and one runner we met. Other than that, it was quiet and calm.
When we got to the sugar loop, things fell apart a bit. I am not sure if Atlas really liked the sand, or was confused by it. Previous times we had run it, it was frozen and covered in snow. This time, we got ankle deep sand. He started bounding around, which would jerk the leash and nearly rip my in half since the leash connects to my waist. I gave him a few stern warnings and he settled down. But man… running through sand is hard work. I slowed down a lot for that section.
After that, we ran around in the dark. The trails diverge a lot back there, so I just played it safe and kept taking right forks, until I got to the section where I recognized the big tree we needed to run through. Lots of wooden ramps and bridges, which Atlas is kind of tentative about.
Atlas was really working hard and I could tell he was tired. A couple times in the last 2 miles, he just stopped and stared at me. He didn’t need to pee or poop, he just seemed to be looking at me like, “Are we freaking done yet, crazy lady?” I gave him some extra, “Good boy, Atty” pets and he finished out the last miles with me. At the trailhead, he drank all the remaining water in my handheld. Next time, I will take my OM double barrel so I can carry an extra bottle for him.
I wonder if a small treat might have helped? On one hand, he might have chucked it up. But maybe it would have helped since he seemed to bonk out there. I don’t know anything about nutrition for dog trail runners! L
I got back home after 10:00, took a quick shower and went to bed… to lay there… staring at the ceiling all night. Insomnia is a bitch. I am the Walking Dead today at work. I doubt I will be doing much of anything when I get home.