This week I have had to change things up a bit. Instead of running long on the weekend I had to go long on Thursday, due to the fact that it is my weekend to work. Only when Thursday came it took everything I had to not talk myself out of running. I really just wasn't feeling this run. Mentally I was tired, I was tired from the weeks activities at work. But I managed to pack what I needed, pack what Traildog would need and get to the Auburn Overlook by 6:45. I was ready to run if I wanted to or not.
Now this would be Traildog's first time seeing the DAM hill and also this trail and this would be the second time in 5 days I have run this portion of the trail. Off we went, happy as could be ohh wait that was Traildog. He was happy and having a great time and I was thinking of every excuse in the book to turn around and call it a day. But I kept on going, my legs felt stiff and sore and I really wasn't focused. I was busy thinking of work and all that needed to happen over the next few days.
I kept going and eventually we hit the single track. About half a mile on the single track I decided to let Traildog run free, but for a bit he was suppose to stay behind me. That didn't last long as he was running so close to me that every time I had to take a step up I would accidentally hit him with my foot. So I took a chance and let him run free in front of me. And run free he did. He wasted no time and just took off on down the trail. I took off after him and while I watched Traildog run back and forth I completely forgot everything else that was going on in my head.
Traildog would run ahead and than stop and look back. If he saw me he would make sure I saw him and than take off and run some more. When I was too slow for him he would run back to me wagging his little tail. He was having a blast just running back and forth and waiting. I thought it was pretty cute and soon we had made our way to the bridge. Pretty soon we would be turning around as I had decided to turn around at Avery's Pond, about 8 miles. My legs were not liking the trail and my hamstrings were pretty tight, plus I had some things I needed to get done back at home. At least I pushed myself this far, I mean I still had to get back up the DAM hill.
At Avery's Pond Traildog enjoyed some puppy chow while I took in a GU and a salt and than we headed back. Mt attitude had change slightly, I was still in a rough place mentally but I knew I had to pull it together. I focused on following Traildog, he was setting a nice and steady pace and I just followed. I let my mind go, I stopped thinking and just ran. I ran and I ran, slowly the miles clicked by and I was slowly nearing the DAM hill. My legs were still feeling funky.
Traildog was setting a nice pace and than out of nowhere he picked his pace up. Almost seemed like his puppy chow had kicked in. This was a nice surprise as it brought me back to my running and I ever so slowly increased my pace trying to keep up with him. I caught him just as we neared a split in the trail and he went the wrong way. I yelled for him and he eventually came. We were near the base of the DAM hill and unlike last time where I had visualized myself running up it before I arrived, this time I just left defeated
This is of course not what I needed to be thinking at this time. It was going to be a slow climb out this time. I was tired and feeling it, I probably should have eaten more as I only had 2 GU's. My stomach was growling. Traildog on the other hand would have run up the entire thing if I could have kept up with him. Slowly but surely I made my way up, running some but not much. My legs were stiff and hurting. Once I finally made it back up it was 16 miles all said and done in 3 hours. A bit slow, but it is time on my feet.
I know that every run isn't going to be fantastic and it is the tough runs that makes one stronger. But it doesn't always feel that way when one is in the moment. Lessons learned; eat more, get focused sooner, don't talk myself out a run. In short, get it done!
I am glad I managed to get the miles in, I am also happy that Traildog did so well on the trial. He kept a nice and steady pace, listened when he needed to, and I am pretty sure that if he hadn't come with I probably would have turned around sooner. A tough run indeed.