It’s been a few months since I’ve been out to Fort Ben for a run.
But as I quickly saw today, the old trail has taken a beating lately.
In a few spots, like the one pictured above, I noticed some heavy erosion.
This is at the lowest spot of the Lawrence Creek Trail, near the Walnut Plantation trailhead. The erosion probably had something to do with our warm, wet, rainy winter.
As I navigated this section, I had to slow down and watch my step, lest I end up on my back.
But to tell the truth, I can’t blame the trail conditions for my slowness.
As I wrote last weekend, my training has gone into the crapper in the past few weeks, due to lots of long days at work.
So I’ve gotten a little slower and lost conditioning.
I know I need to buckle down and rebuild my base.
In that spirit, I went out to Fort Ben this morning. It was the first time I was here since the DINO trail race in November. And that meant, first of all, that I needed to be a new permit.
So I stopped at the guardhouse, plunked down $36 bucks and got the magic pass that will give me entry to every state park in Indiana this year.
While I was handing over my debit card, I had to grit my teeth. I couldn’t help comparing this to Northeast Ohio, where there is no charge to enter any metroparks or the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It’s all free, free, free. Do you hear that, Indiana?
But this is Indiana, not Ohio, so I did what I had to do.
Then, with my newly purchased pass in my paws, I drove to my favorite trail in the park.
The beginning of the trail is a toughie: almost a half-mile straight uphill.
I pushed Start on my iPhone’s GPS app and began climbing.
I went up, up, up. Then I went down, down, down. Then up. Then down.
This trail is about a 2.2 miles, with a fair amount of rocky, rutted terrain. It’s a bit of a challenge, especially with the erosion and mud that I encountered today.
After just one circuit, I had to call it quits.
Yes, I told you my training has been crappy.
Normally, I can take this trail in stride. A few years ago, when I was training for a 50K, I ran this loop 14 consecutive times one Saturday morning.
But that was a long time ago. Ancient history.
Today is all that counts. And today, I was a tired, old guy who had to quit after 2.2 miles.
Oh well. I’ll be back, Lawrence Creek Trail. You’ll toughen me up. Or you’ll kill me.
Either way, it will be an adventure.