Sunday ended up being long run day. I had to shuffle the weekend plans a bit… and of course, heading out to the trail, the dark storm clouds were overhead. I decided I was running regardless. Steven asked if I would like some company and threw his bike in the car.
I decided I wanted to run Flint Hills in hopes of getting some shade since it was hot out. I thought it might be nice to get some new scenery, so I ran Rantoul out to Osawatomie and back.
I made it a mile before my calves cramped up, so I stopped to stretch them out at a post and then again at a big rock. I noticed my right leg was itchy when I stopped at the rock, so perhaps I had gotten into some poison ivy at the post?
We came up on an old bridge that had a deep cliff next to it, and I decided I wanted to check it out. I climbed down the slope and made it into a dry river bed. I also noticed the supports under the old bridge were rather scary looking!
Good thing that the only traffic it gets is from horses, runners and bikes!
I climbed back up to the trail and started off again. A mile later I spotted an old bus high up on a hill. It looked like it had been pushed over the edge and had rolled down the hill to its final resting spot. I didn’t want to do another big climb since the rain was moving in, so I continued my run and Steven checked out the bus.
I ran alone for 3 miles. I crossed an older man wearing a full-on Canadian tuxedo (ha!) on a mountain bike. He pointed out to me the rain was starting and I gave him a wave. When I reached 6 miles, I turned around and headed back. I was concerned that Steven hadn’t caught up on his bike yet and I hadn’t had a drink in 3 miles. I was sweating my butt off and welcomed the rain.
I finally met Steven after another half mile and stopped for a drink. He ate a Honey Stinger waffle, and looking back, I should have to. I just wanted to get the run over with since the rain was picking up.
Soon, the trail got dark and I was forced to turn on my headlamp. I normally don’t mind my headlamp, except tonight every single gnat on the trail was drawn to it. I was waving gnats out of my face like I was kung fu fighting. I thought maybe the rain would discourage them, but they didn’t seem to care. This is when I got sort of crabby. I kept running on and in the last mile, I started repeating my mantra, “I can do hard things.”
Soon, I was back at the car. Sweaty. Soaked. Tired. Itchy. But I got my 12 miles in and held my pace. That is all I could hope for. Next time I will be smart and take some fuel around mile 7.