AM I IN TROUBLE WITH GOD? Today was my first run since completing the Run Woodstock Weekend Challenge last Sunday. Kept it short at 8.7 miles, which felt good but enough, plus I needed to save energy for an Aikido clinic this afternoon. Anyway, it put my running distance for the year at exactly 666 miles. Ummm…look, Lord, if this is about what I did last Saturday night, it’s all a big misunderstanding.
Speaking of, back to what I did last weekend. I’d completed one loop of the 50K course, feeling good. With the trail drying out, I figured the second loop would be easy – but Saturday’s surprises were far from over. It started with the loss of my face plant virginity.
Anyone who runs trails knows about the obstacles that require an eye be kept on the path at all times. I’ve tripped during trail runs many times, but had always recovered without falling. And then, just a few miles from the 50K finish, I was blithely cruising along when a tree root jumped up from the ground and grabbed my foot. The resulting crash was not pretty, but I was unhurt; even my pride was okay, as there were no witnesses. After a quick dust-off I was running again, and finished the race without any trouble.
At the finish line I collected my medal and reached for my phone to text my family – only it wasn’t there. What happened? I knew I’d put it in my belt pouch. Then I remembered the fall; it must have popped out of the pouch when I hit the ground. Over to the pavilion to report the loss, feeling oddly calm; I had the feeling I would get the phone back soon, and that someone else would benefit from it.
I went home to rest, and while talking with my wife (she was trying to talk me into buying a smartphone) her phone rang. My low-tech, Luddite flip phone had been found! “My wife found it in the mud,” the guy on the line explained. “She was grateful to find it, because she was an hour and a half overdue, and she used it to call me.” So like the late start on my August bike trip where I found someone’s wallet in the road, a seemingly bad event had turned into a blessing.
I dressed for the occasion that evening, digging into our old clothes bin for a matching set of tie-dye shirt and shorts. This drew enough attention at the evening festivities to get me one of the “Dressed Most Like a Hippie” awards. Here is where I met Jason, the tie-dye superhero in the previous post’s photo. All that remained was to complete the evening run, and after some initial complaints from my quads and knees, I was off into the woods once more.
So what’s the bit that’s causing signs and wonders to appear in my running logs (666 running miles and 2,222 combined running/cycling miles)? It has to do with whether I actually earned this button right here:
Coming up: Did he, or didn’t he? And does he have the balls to tell the tale?