A minor gale came through last night. It was not difficult to predict what sort of condition Bradbury Mountain might present.
A road was closed (flooding? tree down? line down? apocalypse?) and Scout, as it ended up, had parked in a non-standard spot. DDR was the only horseless carriage in the entire paddock at headquarters this morning. I ran a bit, locally, glad for a little time to warm up gently (weird back day). But I was feeling confident that Scout was here somewhere and that we were about to run roughly fifteen miles simultaneously. I hoped so, anyway.
Small oceans and impressive little streams stood and flowed all over the trails and eventually I grabbed a stick and started doing a wee bit of aquatic pathway redesign. And Soon after, there was Scout, running toward me! Elation!
We splashed and trotted a fabulous loop on the East Side, one that I'd never exactly find again if alone. Have you been on this bit before? asked Scout. Not sure, said I. But it didn't matter - it was just right. The footing, though waterlogged, wasn't terrible and there wasn't really much mud.
We stopped to do some work (play) in a transient pond. Water was in the wrong places. It was not right. We simply had to fix it. We did.
Sometimes Scout stopped abruptly to clear away errant branches and several times I almost ran into her. I kept thinking that if Squirrel was there (and it was disorienting that she was not - her Squirrely goodness was much missed) we probably would have had some mildly awkward dominoes-type situations. Oh well; such is the nature of trail running.
Speaking of situations, I was more clumsy than usual today, stumbling a few times and once tripping almost enough to go all the way down. Didn't realize until later but there is actually a scrape on my knee! First trail blood in a while. Minor...but all blood is exciting (bloggable) blood.
I wondered if there was a cause for the clumsiness. The back of knee/hamstring type stuff was totally fine. (Yay!) Maybe the sketchy back contributed to the mayhem; it's sore but it's nothing - just the consequences of a careless moment yesterday with a rambunctious hay bale. I can fix.
We eventually took the Island, which I always inexplicably like, and soon were back at the lot. She looked at the sign I'd left for her earlier (that she didn't see) and I looked at the sign that she left me (which I also never saw). So it goes. Minor communication fail. :)
After we ran to Tryon, and learned the difference between wintergreen and partridge berries (the latter, I'd never heard of) we split up and I ran alone back to my car. I was, by now, out for over 3 hours, and beginning to feel the quiet wave of fatigue now and then, and getting interested in a snack. I finished off my remaining purple carrot/blueberry thing. (It was okay but a bit sweet; I think I'll go back to the kale/sp(?) one with the orange cover next time...need to find one with peas...!)
I found that I was savoring that way that you feel when you run for a long time. Not race, just run. Few things are more relaxing and invigorating at once. And perhaps nothing can bring such a pure sensation of wellness. And then sometimes you feel temporarily like a possessed heffalump because you just ran through a stream that turns out to be a lot deeper than you thought.
Yeah: Trail running.
What a very, very good run this has been, I thought to myself as I headed to blisstastical eats at Edna & Lucys (aka, Mecca). I'm a very, very lucky trail runner...
I didn't realize til I just checked now that today's run is my longest since my 50+k FatAss on Sept 1. Also we're just about at the anniversary of the first time I ever ran 13 miles. Glad to be a year away from that. It was good, but this is better. And glad my feet, today, were covered in mud when I took off my giant weird shoes.
Blundering outlandishly, yet lovingly, forward...
~3hr 47min run
~about 2/3 flattish East side and 1/3 Mountain side
~40 ish, overcast, a little breezy
~Hokas, smartwool-ish socks, pants, grid fleece, Nathan pack, glove liners (carried some, used some), 1 nuun, 1 HT.