Monday, March 16, 2009

Life post-marathon and weekend binges

To veteran marathon runners: the recovery and post-first-marathon life - the reality has been a contrast to numerous stories willingly shared by runners of other individual's lives being destroyed (exaggeration). There were tales of: those people not being able to run for weeks; severe illnesses; debilitating injuries; and other horrible events. But, since the marathon several weeks ago, I have already returned to the double digits and weekend binges. This weekend was no exception.

Saturday, it was raining, and since I recently have proven my love for running in horrible weather, I loaded up my dog in the back of the station wagon, and we rode out to the favorite Chattahoochee national forest for some rainy fun. We were on a time crunch, so I allotted us 50 minutes, and we took it in stride.

Sunday, thankfully, the weather was gentle, and the rain left us alone. I smiled more as I tried to perfect my trail running. [Aside: new trail running goals: increase my time going down the hill and lessen my fear of tripping over rocks and roots to fall on my face and run faster!!! notwithstanding the danger]. We found a new trail; a lovely and calm single track that followed the roaring river for several miles before heading North. The trail was an easy 4.3ish out and back. But, there had been a recent burn, which filled the air with the smell of smoke (not visible but attached to the humidity)! But, realizations (in the areas of proximity of trails and geography of this expansive forest) were made. The Chattahoochee National forest contains a Wildlife Management Area that covers several counties, yet the areas containing trails are very close (difficult to briefly describe here). For example, yesterday, after we finished our over 8.5 mile relatively flat run, I realized our closeness in proximity to Currahee Mtn. Delighted, we paraded (albeit slowly) up this familiar mountain where the weather was dryer and the views were better.

In retrospect, again - another brief ode to the marathon - the enjoyment of running for several hours, as of now, seems to be quasi-permanent. [illustrative example: Saturday - my legs were confused as to why we had to finish after only 50 minutes]

Perhaps another trail marathon soon?

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