Saturday, March 8, 2008

A 3-Week

Tuckahoe State Park, bridge from Tuckahoe Valley Trail to Griener's Fishing Road and one time scene of Mike Keene as "The Horse Whisperer" to a spooked horse.

The theme of this past week's running was embracing my schedule. Rather than try to jam a run in mid-day or evening, when it's tough for me to make em happen, I ran at times when there were no conflicts and nothing else going on. The result? My first week of three runs (roughly 6, 7, and 7 miles) in who knows how long.

This past Sunday was a postcard day at Tuckahoe State Park, with morning temperatures moving into the high 40s, with mostly dry trails and a trifecta of runners as Joel Shilliday and Landy Cook, and I rolled out for a 56-minute tour of parts of the Tuckahoe Valley and Pee Wees Trails. A few mountain bikers and anglers were kicking it on a Sunday as well.

My other two runs were 5 a.m. specials, through Easton, and motivated in part by tying in with Landy for 00:dark:30 miles. Beginning my runs in the dark, wicked early, has always been what has worked best for me--whether Mike Keene and I have been hitting Wye Island with the muzzle-loading hunters, or I've been catching sunrises on St. Michaels Road, four miles into a run. My problem has been the snooze factor, which is combated when you have agreed to meet someone to run.

In stark contrast to Easton at 5:30 p.m., when cars sit molasses-stuck at downtown traffic lights, the town at 5:30 a.m. is empty, sleeping, and surreal to run. I have always enjoyed a kind of connectedness to places by running them early, when no one (or few people) has accepted an invitation to see what's behind the pace of commerce. There is also a sense of accomplishment in knowing that at 6 a.m., I have finished my run, have 7-or-so miles under my feet, and have the rest of the day ahead, which is already filled with work, girls, gymnastics, making dinner, etc.

Tomorrow (3/09) is on the books for a 10-mile Tuckahoe run, likely a mud-hopping run, based on rain last night and today. Looking forward to enjoying the trails, getting dirty, and hopefully beginning another three run week.

Stay tuned for a post early in the week about the new book Barguments, by Oxford native Doug Hanks, and how a local "bargument" that went on for about a year--Who would win in a race, a swimmer swimming across the Oxford Bellevue Ferry route on the Tred Avon River, or a car, driving the speed limit, driving around from Oxford to Bellevue?--inspired me to take on the only swimming "race" I've undertaken to date. Swimmer vs. car, next on the 4-1-Run.


Stephen Bardsley said...

M.V., Tuckahoe two sundays in a row? Make it three, and do a slow 10.1 with me next sunday. Im planning on that being my gut check, HAT run decision run! Later, Stephen

Michael Valliant said...

Hey Bardsley - glad to hear you are preparing for a good run! I am not sure I can swing a third Tuckahoe Sunday in a row, we have a big doin' Saturday night, but I'll stay in touch this week.

Joel said...

BS Mike I am back from the Keys and my gut needs a push. I'll bring the Gatorade.. For all who can help me back into shape.