Saturday, September 15, 2007

I fell asleep early last night and was able to easily get up at 3:20 AM. I remembered to lay all of my gear out so that I would be able to be as quite as possible so as to not wake up my wife. I ate my banana and granola bars, drank my water and got out of the house at 4 AM.

The sky was beautiful! There were so many stars and no moon (that will be an issue later.) It was cold…40 degrees and an 8 mph WNW wind. I started out running down N Green Bay Rd. and turned onto Rapids Dr. I am always surprised at the amount of traffic on Green Bay so early in the morning.

The run down Rapids and Mt Pleasant were very non-eventful and I picked up the Root River Bike Trail here. It is much nicer to run on the trails than the side of the roads. It was very peaceful and allowed me quite a bit of time to think.

By the time I came near Colonial Park it was around 4:30 and sunrise was still 2 hours away. I had originally thought that this part of the trail would be hard due to the tree cover but didn’t realize that there would be no moonlight. I got to the bridge to enter Colonial and realized I could not see the trail at all…all I could see was blackness. This meant that I had to change course and run back up the hill and get into Lincoln Park via the roads and connect back up with the trail there.

Once I was back on the tail there were no problems. I got a little spooked when at about 6th Street and the trail (near the Rotary Overlook) a coyote came out of the underbrush and ran across the trail…I nearly wet myself at this point!!!

I hit Main St. right on schedule and started heading south, by now you could see the sky lightening in the East.

Once I hit 14th Street I knew that I was going to end up a bit short on my mileage but things were still pretty good other that I was now running straight into the wind! I followed Washington out to Ohio and then Ohio to 21st Street. Since I was going to be a little short and I still had some time left I decided to venture toward the mall before I hit Durand. This allowed me to put an additional 1.5 miles on just to be sure I had the mileage. Durand was a straight shot to West Blvd. where I was meeting the rest of the group.

My wife stopped to check on me about 5 blocks from the group, I told her things were going well and that I’d met her at the start. I got to the start and found about 8 of our loyalist waiting for our morning run. The majority decided they were going to head south on the bike trail and I decided to run north (I didn’t feel like dealing with the gravel) so off we went. I was quite a bit slower now…I really have to learn not to hang around and chat at this point but to just move out and catch up with everyone at coffee, but I’m sure I’ll never learn.

I finished my 20 miles (actually 19.8 miles) in under 4 hours so I was overall very happy. Only 3 weeks to Chicago!!!

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