One obstacle after another, with a happy ending

Well, well, well. Who’s the sleepyhead now?

Just two days after  razzing my son for grumbling about getting up early for cross-country practice, I dropped the ball. 

I overslept this morning. I never heard my alarm go off at 5:30 this morning — if, in fact, it did go off. 

I woke up a few minutes before 6,  or roughly the same time all the other runners were arriving at practice at the school, four miles away. 

After a panicky few seconds, I decided it would be more trouble than it was worth to scramble out of the house and show up late to practice anyway. The team might have been miles away, halfway through a long run, by the time we showed up. 

I went to my son’s room to tell him to forget about running this morning. “I love you, Dad,” he said, with a big smile, and rolled over in his bed for another eight or ten hours of shut-eye. 

Yep, this one was completely my fault.  What could I do? I went back to bed for another half-hour. 

Then I decided I should get the hell out of bed and do a few miles on my own. 

I pulled on my running clothes, walked outside, and began shuffling down the road. I planned to run five times around the one-mile loop in our neighborhood. 

But within a quarter-mile, I ran into an obstacle — a very large, very green obstacle that blocked the entire street. 


It was a huge branch of tree from a neighbor’s front yard. My neighbor is out of town for a few days. 

But this was an interesting sight, so  I decided trot home and grab a camera and Mrs. Trail Boy to check out the scene. 

The limb apparently had crashed to the ground overnight. That was weird, since we didn’t have a storm yesterday –unlike most days this week, when we were hit with one massive rainstorm after another. 

So Mrs. Trail Boy and I gawked at the tree limb blocking the street, unsure of what else to do. It would be a huge job to remove it. 


It also reminded me of all the severe weather we’ve had in Indiana recent weeks, including flooded roads and basements, hailstorms and a few minor tornadoes. 

Here’s a photo of my son in the flooded road by our house on Tuesday afternoon.  Yes, this is the same son was now sleeping peacefully in his bed, while the rest of his teammates were running 800s or half-milers or whatever. 



So the weather hasn’t been our friend this week. And as I stared at this tree in the road, I started to wonder if it was a sign from above that I should not run today. First, I overslept. Then my path was blocked by a tree. What’s next, I wondered. Would my hair catch on fire? 

I snapped a few photos, then handed the camera to Mrs. Trail Boy and got back to my run. I couldn’t afford to take a day off. I already took a day off from running yesterday, although I did ride my bike to and from work, a total of about 24 miles. 

So it was time to get creative. By now, time was starting to run short.  

After a few moments, I decided this would be a perfect morning for one of my favorite drills: SPTRPASNNMHFTOAMAWAMRHRELFTTPOWNRBAVGWWTIS. 

Or, to spell it out: Speed Loops Through Royal Pines, A Shady Neighborhood Near My House, Four-Tenths a Mile Around, With a Mild Rolling Hill, Running Each Loop Faster Than The Previous One, With No Rest Breaks – A Very Good Workout When Time Is Short. 

It’s hard, but not too hard. And I can generally do it in about 40 minutes. 

And the loop runs through a very scenic area, filled with tall pines and European-type chalets. 

So I trotted over to the Royal Pines loop, finished up my 1.5 mile warmup, and got down to business. I ran the loop seven times, trying to increase speed on each repeat with no rest breaks. 

Here are my times: 

Warmup: 1.5 miles at an 8:30 pace 

Loop #1 — 3:11 (equivalent to a 7:58 a mile pace) 

Loop #2 — 3:01 (a 7:33 pace) 

Loop #3 — 2:56 (a 7:20 pace) 

Loop #4 — 2:49 (a 7:03 pace) 

Loop #5 — 2:46 (a 6:55 pace) 

Loop #6 — 2:43 (a 6:48 pace) 

Loop #7 — 2:33 (a 6:23 pace) 

Cooldown: one mile at an 8:30 pace. 

So, believe it or nor, I did get in a decent workout this morning, despite all the odds. 

For a look at the course and elevation, click here. 

For a look at my other geeky data this week, click here. 

Tomorrow, I plan to go to Fort Ben to run trails with a friend. Well, not exactly a friend. We’re blogging buddies, and have decided it’s finally time to run together. 

I only hope I don’t run into as many obstacles as I did today.


One Response to “One obstacle after another, with a happy ending”

  1. Obstacles can make it interesting, but I won’t be disappointed if there aren’t any tomorrow.

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