Middle Road Fun — August 30, 2021

Have you ever had one of those mornings where you start on screech and then everything seems to want to go even faster? That was my morning before I got to run and by the time I got to run, that was the last thing I felt like doing.

I had decided to do the Middle Road Loop at an easy pace yesterday, so that part of the run was done. With the limited choices around the house, figuring out which route to re-use tends to wear on you, so I chose my challenging test course, just to make me work harder than I have been lately. I also had put my Stryd Pod on the Hoka Carbon X2’s last night, anticipating using them this morning, so that was one less decision to worry about.

Sometimes knowing what you want to do the night before, makes a huge difference in whether you do anything at all, when things get a bit busy the next day.

Yeah, heading out the door…when thing settled down enough to get ready for running 5.0-miles, the brain was a bit frazzled and foggy. Which meant that I needed to sit for about 15:00-minutes to decompress before opening the door. Bennie was happy to leap up and sit in my lap, until I got up to run.

Once, I got to the end of the driveway, the dreariness of the day seemed to capture my mood perfectly, and I kept attempting to find a reason to bag the run until I started down Philbrick Hill. When I figured out that I wasn’t going to stop running, I got to work putting one foot in front of the other.

The Middle Road Loop is actually my test course, where I find out a lot about what kind of shape I am in, how injuries and niggles are doing and if a pair of running shoes work or not. Today, it was a test of my resolve to keep running.

Once, I got on Shepard Road, some of the malaise I was feeling began to disappear, and I was able to open up my stride a little and stop thinking so negatively about a lot of things.

Making that left hand turn onto the Middle road is always tricky due to going downhill towards a 4-way intersection that always seems busiest when I am going through that area. It has the loose sand on the corner, a newly cleaned out ditch (which is nice because I could see what was there — for a change) and then immediately starting up a mostly blind corner that goes up a hill.

Vehicles can’t really see you until the last moment, if they are coming down the hill, you soon will be running up. Then the right turning vehicle needs to immediately accelerate up the hill you are descending. It is a difficult intersection to run safely around, if there is a lot of traffic.

This morning as I was coming down the hill, almost to the turn, and a truck came barreling around the corner. Leaving me no choice but to dash into the ditch and then get back up on the sandy corner, quickly turn left to run up that hill on the Middle Road. All without landing on my arse or face.

Yep, the adrenaline sandwich did help a little. I was acting entirely on reflex until about half-way up the hill, when I thought about how close the truck had come to hitting me. It unnerved me for a second. The driver wasn’t trying to hit me or anything, that is how most of us in the area, navigate that section of road when we are driving.

It is one of those places on my runs that I have learned to pay attention and be ready to find the ditch quickly.

Besides that little episode, the run was more a question of getting it done.

At least until I got by the school, when suddenly something in the body flipped a switch and my stride smoothed out, I stopped breathing like an old set of bellows about to burst, and started to run more comfortably.

Of course, this was more than half-way through the run and the sun was peaking between the clouds, driving the temps up a little more each time with over 94% humidity. So, while I was feeling better running, I also was slowing down at the same time.

I went up the Town Office Hill and came up on a woman walking two Corgis who wanted to come run with me. At that point, I would have welcomed them to help pull me up the rest of that hill. We both laughed as I offered to let them be sled dogs for a little ways.

After that, it was running on the dirt road and two more hills to contend with before getting back to the mailbox. I didn’t attempt to go fast, but I did have a stride and worked on maintaining a consistent effort up those two hills.

I know that I was pretty well soaked in sweat and felt a LOT better after I finished compared to how I felt when I started.

Looking back, part of the reason that I felt so crappy and negative this morning was I overdid the sugar treats last night.

Governor’s Restaurant — Peanut Butter pie (take-out), was simply too rich and had put me into a brain-fog that didn’t go away, until I was able to get some hard exercise done. About a quarter of the slice would be enough to put most people into sugar-shock, and I ate the whole damn thing in about 20:00 minutes. The effects are real, and the after-affects do take a bit to counter-act or wear-off.

The Carbon X2’s did great on the tar and dry gravel road down-back. They didn’t do so great, adventuring off into the ditch and coming quickly back up on to that sandy patch on the corner. That smooth bottom may run quietly and great most of the time, but they ain’t worth nothing if you have to have grip suddenly. I didn’t go down, but that adventure was a lot more adventurous than it would have been in a pair of shoes with a little more outsole tread.

Even so, I made it home and finished the workout by pounding on that old tire with a sledgehammer, so any vestiges of frustration or brain fog were gone at that point. Along with the sweat that was dripping off the old eagle beak (nose) while hammering on that tire.

I was supposed to mow the lawn this afternoon, but during my nap, it began to rain and has rained enough that I don’t have to mow until tomorrow. So, a restful afternoon is on tap.

What will I do with myself? Why, I think I will rest, write a bit, and relax a little more.

It doesn’t happen that I get time to simply enjoy the afternoon and write long, meandering posts on runs that not too many read, but it has been a nice change of pace. I wish I did this more often. 🙂

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