Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Yet another day of pouring rain.  I dare not complain after years of drought, but it is, after all, Cole's birthday today and we haven't been able to go running.

Rain, rain go away...

.Celebrations were in order!

A grand 6 years old today!
 Not that we should be running anyway.  Cole spent yesterday at the vet's office undergoing tests to diagnose his rear leg lameness.  I had a brief, but painful interlude at my chiropractor's office to relieve some of the pain in my hip by relocating the pain into other parts of my body thanks to his manipulations.  My opinion is that the farm has been hexed.  Three of us have bad right legs.  Tommy has been lame for over a week now and he isn't responding to the antibiotic regiment prescribed to him by the vet.  I may need to perform a pagan dance by moonlight around the pecan trees with a concoction of dog hair, ground up beetles and cow mud smeared on my face.  I'm getting desperate.

Incognito nurse
Think it's easy administering an injection to 3000 lbs of untethered steer, think again.  I have not been able to give Tommy full doses of his medicine.  I attack him in silence, ninja-style, while he's laying down in the pasture.  The disguise is to prevent him from associating me with unpleasant experiences.  Woe to the unsuspecting person who next walks up to him wearing a wide brimmed hat!

Due to the restriction on Cole's running, I have been forced to do most of my running off the farm.  It's unspeakably cruel to him seeing me running in the fields while he's penned in the yard and it torments me to see his sad face at the gate each time I make a lap around the farm. 

Two Sundays ago, I ventured out to Russell Lands Trails by Lake Martin in Elmore county, Alabama.  The RL Foundation has begun hosting a 50 mile ultramarathon on their trail system.  Boasting over 100 miles of trails, I had to check it out. My original plan had been to run the 18 miles my trainer has scheduled for me.  Plans change, what can I say!

17 of the first miles
more miles

and more
just a few more

  Each time my Garmin watch chimed that it's battery was low, I'd stop and save the data I had and restarted a new log.  That's why the run is broken up into parts. 
Grand total miles for the run: 26.  2600 feet of elevation gain, plenty of rocks and roots to make it challenging.  Since I was not running tethered to The Dog, I did not case some of you believe me to be the biggest klutz on the planet.  I was unprepared for a technical 18 mile trail run, let alone 26 miles. The RL website portrayed the trails as easy, flat logging trails.  Not representative of the majority, I can assure you. I had no breakfast in my belly, no gels or snacks in my pack, thankfully I did have 2 liters of water.  I think you could drop me in Siberia with only a map and two pairs of running shoes and I'd emerge a week later in the Ukraine 15 lbs fatter.  Not only did I find the best patch of blackberries, so plentiful that it only took me 2 minutes to harvest 2 cups of them, but I also lucked out by stopping at a lake house to beg for water and received an energy bar to boot. 

I owned the trails that day, not a single soul was sighted.  At the end, I passed the Russell Stables.  Three stories tall and absolutely gorgeous!


The scenery was awesome.  I encountered baby turtles migrating towards water, waterfowl of all kinds, deer, snakes, turkey, I even scared a coyote.

The smile of insanity.
 I love long distance running.  I look forward to the start of the pain and fatigue because that's when it gets interesting. I don't fear it anymore, I welcome it.  Running is a mental game.  I strive to master the pain and fatigue, not eliminate it, but not let it control me. 

And then, of course, there's the post run feeding frenzy to always look forward to.

1 liter of milk, tuna and apples, gone in 10 minutes!

The maps fared poorly in their sweaty environment.
 As soon as I finish running the Boston Marathon next year, I'll focus solely on trail ultras.  I belong in the woods, not on streets.  I'll continue to run some local races to maintain some sort of social life.  Currently, the weekly 5k races are occupying my evenings.  I split my guts trying to keep up (often times passing) the high school cross country boys.  This Summer, thanks mostly to my new coach, I've been finishing races 1st or 2nd overall female.  The $40 gift card to Outback is great, smiling as I pass younger men and women is better, but the whole point is to push myself to be my best.  There will always be someone younger and faster out there, but as long as I give 110% every day, I've won.

This Fall, I'm enrolling in high school.  I figure I could get a track scholarship and get to go to college for free.  Considering it took me until I was 40 to pay off my last student loan, I think I'd like to study Medieval History if someone else is going to pay for it!!! 

Run happy, Jamie