Nice, easy miles, at last

When your bones and joints need a break from serious trails, you can't go wrong with the flat, scenic canal towpath.

Another long run is in the books. It was the tamest weekend run I’ve had in a month. And that was just how I wanted it.

I purposely wanted to take a break from the gnarly trails that have over-stressed my body lately. For the past three weekends, I’ve run one challenging trail race after another. They were been a lot of fun. But they have taken their toll. For the past week, I’ve been trying to recover my an over-stressed right ankle and a mild fever.

This weekend, I didn’t want to tempt fate with another tough outing. It was time to crank out the miles nice and easy, without shoe-sucking mud, chilly creeks, lung-busting hills or leg-scratching briars.

And that’s what I did. I ran 13 easy miles this morning on flat ground — a mix of trails and road. I kept the speed down and stayed light on my feet. I listened closely my body for any problems.

And I got the job done without any setbacks.

That means this is a boring report. I didn’t fall down. I didn’t run into a tree. I didn’t slide down a hill.

But sometimes, boring is good. It means you did what you had to do, without any big problems.

The weather was great for most of the run — mid-50s, cloudy skies, a cool breeze. That was a pleasant surprise, after days of hot weather.

I ran the first 10 miles on the towpath. I had the trail mostly to myself. It was kind of surprising. This is a holiday weekend, when people have a little extra time, and might want to be enjoying the outdoors. t I saw only maybe five or six other runners this morning.

After about nine miles, I noticed the sky getting really dark. I could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. A minute later, the sky opened up, drenching me with a flash flood kind of downpour, while the lighning put on a laser show.

I scampered the last mile back to the parking lot, hopped in my car, hoping to wait out out the storm.

I don’t mind running in rain, or snow or sleet. But I’m not dumb enough to run in a lightning storm.

 Ten minutes later, with the rain still beating down on my Jeep’s canvas top, I decided to head home and finish the run later.

By the time I got home 15 minutes later, however, the lighting had stopped and the rain had let up to a light shower. What the heck, I thought. I grabbed my coat and a hat, and decided to run three quick laps around my neighborhood on the one-mile loop road.

Well, quick might not be the right word. My legs were a bit stiff from sitting in my Jeep. But I managed to get the 13-miler done, rain or no rain. My time was 2:01:36.

Overall, it felt so good I just might stick to the towpath next weekend, too.


I know that I’ve fallen a bit behind in my training for The Big Race. So here’s a “new and improved” weekend training schedule for long runs for the next eight weekends. It’s just a rough guide that I will still modify as needed, but a rough roadmap is better than none. And it gives me hope that I can still get there from here.

May 30 — 15 miles (or 2 1/4 hours)

June 2 — 17 miles (or 2  1/2 hours)

June 9 — 19 miles (or 2 3/4 hours)

June 16 — 21 miles (or 3 hours)

June 23 — 23 miles (or 3 1/4 hours)

June 30 — 25 miles (or 3 1/2 hours)

July 3 — 27 miles (or 3 1/2 to 4 hours)

July 11 — Scale back to 12 miles

June 18: The race: BT50K


One other thing that I have to squeeze in between now and July is three hours of volunteer service at a local race or trail-maintenance effort. It’s an entry requirement for the BT50K. I haven’t got a plan for that yet. Suggestions are welcome.


One Response to “Nice, easy miles, at last”

  1. Just keep the fire burning inside you! We are passionate people and running is our life. I believe we are always ready for life’s booringneess! : ) thank you for this post!

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