|"A few years ago my fantasy was to lace up my shoes, go out, and run 20 miles without it being anything special. I never dreamed of doing it the day after running 30!" Three white-tailed deer cross the trail in front of Dr Stephanie. We're in Prince William Forest Park at sunrise, previewing the course of the Race That Shall Not Be Named.|
"Beware the Widowmaker!" Gusty winds sway trees. Half-fallen branches creek and groan, like a giant's violin bow scraping across rusty strings. Leaves blanket the earth. Stephanie trips on a hidden rock and falls hard, scraping a hip; I stumble on a concealed root and go down, tearing up a hand. We turn left instead of right and trot half a mile off course down Old Blacktop Road. I lose a glove. Our feet hurt. And It's All Good! (And Dr SF finds my glove!)
|"Is it Boxer Day?" Beautiful big brown dogs tug their owners along the trail. We start at 7:12am, ahead of the main group of runners but far behind Lucas who began solo in the dark. We find his aid-station-cooler in the woods, refuel, and text him thanks.|
"You're going the wrong way!" A speedy trio that passed us earlier is stopped at mile 15, confused at a trail intersection. They set off purposefully, but we call them back, turn their map around, show them where they are, and send them along the proper direction. Soon they're out of sight again.
"Let's try to be, not just to do!" We resolve not to obsess about achievement, not to worry so much about mileage, not to fret about the future. The shorter trail back is good, even if it leaves us under 18 miles. We give ourselves a gift of time to breathe, to think, to share stories, to take photos, to appreciate the beauty around us, and to get home and relax before starting to work on family duties. We're worth it!
(trackfile) - ^z - 2016-12-31