First, I have to tell the story from the drive home. I was listening to MPR's The Current, as it frequently alerts me to music I wouldn't have heard otherwise. I liked the new song by Grouplove, so I cranked the radio and then I opened the window slightly to help dry my sweaty hair. The next song up was "Dangerous Kind" by the Cars, a song I doubt I've heard since it came out - and I was never a fan of robotic synth pop - but I laughingly sang along, wondering how that could ever have been a hit. Unfortunately, at that moment, I was driving around the lake in my neighborhood, where young men cruise continuously, trying to impress young women and a pack of girls saw me and started to laugh. I wanted to shout, "No! I'm still cool!! I'm enjoying this ironically!"
I am too old to ever be cool again.
Saturday we had a snowstorm. Read reports from Trail Mix to see what April in Minnesota can be like. By Sunday, the snow was gone, so I headed out to Afton to run. It'd been a bad week, by any measure, and I needed a real trail run to test the waters, to see just where I really am in training. Half a mile from the park, there was snow on the ground; it hadn't melted here yet. I already had images running through my head of the attempt here a few weeks ago. It turned out that the trails were okay.
I planned to run the new Afton 50K course, doing the first lap fairly fast, but expected I'd drag by the end of the first loop and just plod a few more miles to get in my minimum time goal. It was not warm but I overdressed and, as usual, I headed out without food and with one water bottle (I don't learn). I didn't push, but I did the 16 miles - either the new course is long or I ran it wrong - in 2:35. That would've got me 85th place of about 250 in the 25K race last year and it was a training run in a sweatsuit.
I'll take it.
Just as I got back to the parking lot, where I was going to load up on food and water before heading back out, I ran into a group that'd just finished their lap a little earlier (at my mile 1, I saw them at their mile 6) and they were headed back out, so I asked to join them - Alicia, Jason and a woman whose name I've never known - without having had any of the food I'd planned on eating. After a few miles, I'd hit my 20 and said I was heading back (20 miles on maybe 50 ounces of water and 300 calories was adding up to misery). I cut my way along some deer paths and discovered a patch of hepatica in bloom. The first flowers of spring!
I needed that. It's supposed to snow again tomorrow.
Lovin', touchin', squeezin'
1 week ago