Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hey Johnny! The Devil is Running Loose in Roswell . . .

You know I love some Johnny Cash.
He always has a place on my playlists.

Today was my planned long run day. My 3rd 21+ miler this month and this marathon training cycle. And already the novelty has worn off.

Don't get me wrong. I do love the 3 hour run but week after week, yeah, it gets a little old. Not to mention it is hard to get excited about running for 3 hours when it is 85 degrees. I could totally get psyched for a 3 hour run in some cool fall weather with some brightly colored leaves. But I've got about 3 months til I see that run.

As I have mentioned before, I am a morning person but the first thing I thought when I woke up at 6 this morning was "Man. I do not want to run for 3 hours."

My recovery run yesterday was pitiful. I had to walk up the big hill. Ever since Dave the Ultra runner (guy who paced me at Chickamuaga) told me I wasn't doing myself any favors by walking up hills in training I have made a concerted effort to run up every hill in training (at least when not injured). But the tight calf issue reared its ugly knotted head yesterday and I walked up one hill. (Hangs head in shame.)

Then my 2000 yd swim didn't go much better. Goggles gave me one heck of a headache and I thought maybe all the pressure was about an impending sinus infection.

But I woke up this morning with no excuses. So I got my crap together. A list, by the way, that is much shorter than the stuff I need to run, bike and swim.

I planned to do the same route I have been running from my parent's house in Roswell. Out to Historic Roswell and then looping back and hitting the Roswell area park and the Leita Thompson trail.

I was actually surprised at how well the first mile went. The first mile never goes well. Usually in the first mile I think of reasons of why I shouldn't run or how I could make it shorter. But everything felt pretty darn good. No excuses. I was further surprised that I was at my first planned rest stop a couple of minutes earlier than the previous weeks. The miles were just falling away.

Had I, unknowingly, made a deal with someone?

As I headed out down Canton St I passed a bunch of police officers in a parking lot. They were all putting on helmets and bullet proof vests. There was probably 10-15 of them. They did look a bit casual so I assumed that maybe this was a training maneuver of some sort and not a real bomb squad emergency.

I did pass a few more patrol cars but then the run was uneventful for awhile.

Well, there was this one guy who tried to pass me on the park trail. I only saw his looming shadow. His shadow was creeping up on mine as we came around a curve, just past the tennis courts. So I picked up the pace.

It just brings me down to get passed.

Also, last time a guy passed me at the park it was Camden's dad. We had raced it out for about a half mile and joked back and forth for a few minutes while running and then I realized after I turned off that the reason he was racing/talking to me was because I knew him. I can never remember his name and it is just getting embarrassing at this point. I run into him all the time and, for the record, Camden's dad is a good looking guy. You'd think I could remember the name, the face of an attractive man. At the very least, I am pretty sure he is not use to women not remembering him and must think I am just a complete moron. Which, I am but nevertheless I couldn't risk it being Camden's dad and not recognize him yet again. So for that reason and also because I don't like getting passed I could not let looming shadow guy pass me.

Note to self: Must make effort to learn name of Camden's dad so I won't have to wear myself out running too fast on long runs.

Next was the always miserable part of my run. And it wasn't fun today either but not as terrible as the first time. It was pretty hot but I maintained and I got over it.

Took my second break to refill water and ran out into some neighborhoods and then hit the Leita Thompson trail. I was around 14 and half miles at this point. Just under 2 hours. I look forward the whole run to running the trail. It is my reward. It is cool and shady in the woods. Well, relatively cool and shady. It is just nice and peaceful. I usually run two of the 2.5 mile loops and then head the 2 miles back to my parents.

All was very nice, very typical until I was coming down the hill to the dam. I had just passed these teenagers walking on the trail and was wondering why they weren't in school when I noticed right ahead of me 4 police cars. (For those that use to live here or are familiar with the park it use to be Richard G's driveway and is on the lake we use to play in-- where his spring house use to be.)

The police saw me coming and got out of their cars. I took my headphones off and stopped right next to their cars. One of them asked me if I had happened to see a man wandering in the woods carrying a pitch fork?

Now I knew this run felt hot as hell but I didn't think I had quite run straight to hell. At least not yet.

"I'm sorry, what? A guy with a pitchfork?"

Of course, part of me, the part that giggles at everything, is thinking: Devil is loose in Roswell! News at 5.

He chuckles, obviously onto my thinking and explains that they had received a call on a guy wandering the trail with a pitchfork. It is probably just a construction worker, he said.

I told him that still wasn't very comforting to hear (I mean yes, a construction worker is probably less menacing than the Devil but still I don't want to meet anyone in the woods wielding a pitchfork. I don't care what your day job is; if you've got a pitchfork I don't want to be alone in the woods with you.)

I assured him and myself, that at least I had my trusty pocket knife!

And yes, all four of the police officers laughed at me and my trusty little knife.

And no, no one offered me a ride or said that I was in imminent danger.

So yes, I ran on.

But I decided to bail on the second trail loop and altered my route to add on the 2 lost miles on the road.

So the run worked out to be 21 miles and a little change in 2 hours and 52 minutes at an 8:12 pace. Do you see how just thinking that the Devil might be after you can make one run faster?


  1. see, now, i'm humming devil went down to georgia.

  2. Bet it was that "witch" man I saw last year on the corner of Bowen and 92. Lala (he did put a spell on me)

  3. Huh?

    Got nothing for that one...

    Except that I bet you wished you could have had Lola and all that unconditional love with you...

    See why people love dogs?

  4. Thats some knife. Great job on that run

  5. I think the pitch fork trumps your little pocket knife....
    Stay out of the woods when you are running alone!!!!

  6. Did the guy with the pitchfork have straw falling out of him as he was signing, "if I only had a brain."

  7. You are SOOOO fast! Wish I had the devil chasing me these days!