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trail run

Yesterday was perfect for trail running. Not too hot, not too cold, and spring was in motion. I found a comfortable pace quickly. My breathing also found its rhythm soon after. All seemed right with the world as I felt the first tingling of sweat condense on my forehead. Yes, perfect, until it wasn’t. Suddenly it felt like my right knee might crack apart. Ouch. It was a sharp pain, enough to literally make me week in the knee(s) so I slowed down and then hobbled over to a wooden post along the trail. I leaned in bracing myself on the pole and stretched out that calf muscle. It pulled the skin tight from the back of my thigh to my achilles and I could feel the tightness like someone inserted a large rubber-band ball into the back of my leg where my calf muscle once resided. Breathing into it, I held the stretch until a few of those bands loosened a little and the pain subsided. About 45 seconds later, I started running again.

Admiring the lush abundance of nature around me, I actually found myself feeling grateful to be running. Let’s face it, running was better than sitting in a meeting, behind a computer screen, or doing my taxes. I wasn’t running hard enough to be breathing heavy, just a slow comfortable jog, and that made a world of a difference in my mood. Unfortunately, I’m still dealing with the remains of a sinus cold with awful pressure behind my teeth, runny nose, and cough, so the occasional wipe-my-nose-but-make-make-it-look-like-I’m-wiping-sweat-with-my-shirt action happened more than I’d care to admit. But my red nose tells the story anyway.

The run was starting to feel pretty good now that my knee didn’t feel like a knife had skewered itself through the side of it. The birds were chirping. Squirrels squirreling. I felt that I had hit about a mile and glanced down at my watch to see how I was doing. It showed me all zeros. What the – ? I stopped, stared at my mac-daddy Timex GPS Ironman watch trying to make sense of what it was telling me. I didn’t do all the steps to start the tracking. Apparently at the trailhead, I connected it to the GPS, hit the Chrono button, and either hit the stop button (which would have been really smart) or just started running. What I should have done was connect it to the GPS, find the Chrono mode, pressed the Start button, and made sure it was tracking. Idiot. So now that I’ve been running a bit already, what are my choices? Start now and keep going unsure of how far I’ve come, not use it at all and don’t bother tracking the run, or start tracking and turn around so I can figure out how long I’ve come then multiply it by two to get the total distance I actually ran. I mumbled a few unkind things to myself, decided on option three, turned around, and started running.

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