I was asked by 3 Rivers Running Co in Fort Wayne, IN if I could come talk to runners and walkers about trail running. I would be one of three speakers. The first was Mike Pfefferkorn. Mike is the Race director for a new race, the Indiana Trail 100 at Chain o Lakes park in Albion, IN. Mike spoke about the trail race and what to expect when preparing for a race that long. Next was Jonathan Clinthorne. Jon is an Ultra Marathoner of exceptional talent. He is also the “Biochemical Ultrarunner”, and spoke about the nutritional needs of Ultra Marathon running. Then it was my turn. If I haven’t mentioned it before this, I’m a salesman, I sell to Running Stores and Bike shops and one line I sell is in fact 2Toms. I have been a 2Toms customer for nearly 6 years. And so I spoke about…blisters and chaffing….and how to prevent them when trail running…but that my friends, is a tale for another time.
Before the meeting, 3 Rivers Running held a 18 mile trail run, this was a 2 lap run thru Franke Park, just behind the Fort Wayne Zoo. As I was in the midst of stepping up my walking, I jumped into the “run”…with a 1 lap walk. My goal was simple, don’t get lapped!
The runners quickly dropped me, which left me and the trail all to our selves. I was enjoying the walk, working the up hills, careful on the down hills. An hour went by and still I was huffing along. Occasionally I could hear the runners ahead of me. They were on a different part of the trail that would double back towards me and I would think…”Hah…I’m catching them!” Only to later see that it was a double back a few miles down the trail.
A bit of frustration started to set in. Even though I was moving at 4-5 mph walking, at 6 miles/hour running, they were using less energy than I was…and pulling ahead! So I started a quick short run…just a few steps. But they were glorious steps indeed! A down and up was coming up and I ran thru the bottom and up the hill! Again, elation surged thru me…I WAS RUNNING! Even if it was just 5-10 yards at a time, I was running!
I did it a few more times always through the bottom of a hill into the uphill. And it was a good thing I did…remember my goal of not getting lapped? Less than 1 minute after I stepped out of the woods at the end…so did the first runner.
I was really sore afterward. I changed slings (the one I had walked in was soaked!) Took a few ibuprofen and then got ready for my part of the trail running presentation.
But thru it all, one thought kept coming back… I had run! I was in fact becoming…
The Recovering Runner!