When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn’t matter. Am I tired? That doesn’t matter, either. At this point, willpower will be no problem. – Emil Zatopek, winner of four Olympic Gold Medals
It is Summer’s Eve and here in Kansas we are ringing in the solstice with a heat advisory and what is expected to be the hottest day of the year thus far. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when I set off this morning. It was 6:30 when I got to my starting point (above) on the Riverwalk Trail. I picked the Riverwalk today because it is relatively flat, close to the house, and shaded. My right ankle/foot region has been giving me problems on the hills lately. I’m not sure what the problem is but after a hilly stretch it just throbs and I can barely handle it. The last few runs from the house (which are pretty hilly routes) I’ve been walking the uphills which has allowed me to keep training. Anyway, this morning I was running a flat trail and I wanted to try to make it from my parking point over The Republican River all the way to the parking lot near Fort Riley. I didn’t know how far it was, but I felt confident that I could make it.
I felt pretty good starting off and decided not to push it too hard. This was supposed to be a long run. I just wanted to get some mileage in, and hopefully, over 6 miles since I’m still looking towards the 10K on August 1. It was already in the 70s when I started with 80% humidity. It popped in my head to take a picture at each mile. I figured this way I would get the mileage in without killing myself in the heat.
Came across this little guy at 1.86 miles. It wasn’t time to stop, but I had to get a picture for my daughter so it was just a quick phone picture before continuing on. She always likes to hear about what I see on my runs and even better if mommy has a picture. 🙂 What I didn’t get a picture of was all the moths. I’ve never seen so many moths. I would come up to a spot where it looked like a ton of leaves on the ground, but then they would fly up all around in moth whirlwind. It wasn’t like that the whole 7.5 miles, but there were several areas where it was that thick. I thought, well….at least it isn’t a whirlwind of spiders.
I just kept trucking along. It was nice to look forward to the stops each mile. I drank water with each stop so I think that helped a lot. On Wednesday when I ran, I left my water bottle in the car on accident. I was wondering why my pack was so light and when I stopped for a drink I discover the reason. Today I double checked before leaving that I had it. The water bottle adds quite a bit of weight, which is motivation to drink it along the way.
The mosquitoes were awful if I got too close to the grass. I got eaten at Mile 3. It is very hard to take a good picture when you are sweaty, your arms are shaky, and there is a mosquito whining in your ear.
Finally I made it to the turn around point. I was pretty proud of myself. I decided to just snap another phone picture since it was not quite 4 miles. And then when I hit 4, I decided to press on to a spot where I could see the river again.
I skipped a picture at mile 5 because I just wanted to get back at this point and I figured I didn’t need another stop. I pushed on to mile 6 where I stopped again. I was starving. The sun was much higher by now, but I was still in the shade.
Only 1.5 miles left at this point. I was getting tired.
The end was in sight. I had an idea to take the same picture from the start again at the finish to compare, but it turned out there were people fishing when I got back so I couldn’t.
This was the longest I’ve run all year. I nearly doubled my mileage for the week in just one run. There is nothing more satisfying than getting to the end of a long run. My shirt was soaked and my legs were wobbly. I hadn’t pushed it really hard, but I was happy to have made the distance. Now that I know how far it is from end to end, I think next time I’ll be able to do it faster. Oh and I held back at first because I wasn’t sure how my ankle was going to feel, but it gave me zero problems the entire run. And then later on, I was just getting worn out and hungry. It was a long run and though the stops helped battle the heat/humidity, it made the run even longer overall. That’s sort of the tradeoff with picture running. It’s hard to be efficient with both the running and the picture-taking.
Now I’ll be spending the rest of this hot, hot, hot Summer’s Eve indoors doing glamorous chores like folding laundry and cleaning the bathrooms, but at least I can say, I say 7.50 miles this morning 🙂
ok, till next time 🙂