Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Path Less Taken

Ran 7.25 miles @ 8:35/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 163/177
Trails, fire roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 70s, sunny.

Today's run had another goal in mind other than the usual training purposes: exploration. I had a variation of a route through the woods out in back of my house that I had an idea of where it went, but wasn't sure since I had never run it. One good way to find out...

The cool, mid-40 temperatures from overnight were quickly being replaced with the heat of the rising sun, but it was still quite pleasant out and the trees afforded much shade. The deer flies were back out, but not very numerous and their metabolism still slow from the cooler temps of the night, making them an easy kill.

I ran the first section of 1.5 mile trail over the creek and through the forest before it meets up with the fire road. From there, another 1.5 miles to the lake. Along the way, I noted two paths that I mused I would come out of if my guess for my route was correct.

I stopped at the lake, noting my energy was feeling particularly low today. I directly attribute this to my very poor diet lately, especially yesterday. I've been somewhat limited with the foods I can eat with the wisdom teeth being yanked earlier this week, and unfortunately I've been choosing some not-so-healthy options. Lesson learned (or should I say relearned). I downed a Gu with some water, which would help some.

I was off and up the hill away from the lake. I passed by the left turn I made two days ago and continued straight, climbing a particularly gnarly hill. It leveled off and I soon reached another left turn, which I guessed would take me to one of the those two paths that I noted before. But what if I went straight? Hmmmm. I will have to explore that route sometime soon, but not today, especially given that I'm not feeling particularly energetic.

I cruised along the new path, which winded it's way down the ridge and was a lot of fun to run on. About a half a mile or so later, there it was, the fire road. Cool. And as predicted, it came out on one of the paths that I thought it would.

Jaunted on home, coming across two friendly guys with ATV's who had stopped on the trail to take a break. I reached my house, feeling pretty worn out. Will try to eat some pasta with my homemade chunky sauce today. If I can manage to chew that down, I know I'll be fine for tomorrow morning's trail run at Pineland Farms.

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