Remember that time I totally busted in the mud, but it turned out to be a good run anyway? No? Let me refresh your memory.
I'm excited that I can run again. No injuries, no rules or regulations about when or how far or how fast. It's nice. So, as unfun as it is to get out of the bed at o'dark thirty (which, by the way, why can't it be o'dark o'clock? huh? or 10 after o'dark? why?) running down the mall at sunrise usually outweighs those few minutes of slogginess at 545am...even if the sun is hidden behind a lot of clouds and the entire morning is a comedy of errors.
Yesterday, I got to work, dumped my stuff in the locker room, grabbed my hat because I thought it might rain a little and headed out. I very helpfully left my carefully packed hand held water bottle in my bag, but that's ok, I'd survive. Off I go, down 17th Street, easy warm up, this is great, but there's a dude that's just behind me and that's annoying. I decided to drop him. Done.
There's apparently a lot of construction going on down at Lincoln right now, leaving one side of the path closed off and the other side somewhat dark, at least for this dreary early morning, and crawling with runners. I deicded the dirt path alongside the paved trail sounded like the MOST fun, so I went that way. Did you notice how I mentioned it was dark? And crawling with runners?
Oh this is fun, I thought! Similar to a trail! Look at me, leaping over all these tree roots! I'm so agile! Look at all those Army guys running this morning! Look at - whooooooooooooooooooooa - the ground! It's muddy. And cold. And - geez, get up already. But first, turn off your Garmin. (No, really, I turned off my watch before I even scraped myself off the ground.)
I sat on a bench for a minute and thought I was probably going to have to go to the emergency room for a concussion for jarring my head and neck so hard until I realized, oh, actually, I'm fine. I got up and ran back to the WWII memorial, in hopes that the bathrooms were open and I could wash some of the mud off my legs and hands. They were...NOT. I cleaned up my bloody knee at a water fountain and got the dirt off of my watch (yes, I know! weird, right?) and just about then, it started to rain. Not like, a little bit of rain, but total downpour.
I could either go back where I had just come from, resulting in about a 2.5 mile run/fall/run event or I could continue on. Obviously, I continued on. I'm not wasting a 545 am wake up. Up Independence, down the mall towards the Capitol, puddle after puddle, the mud slowly washed away as I squished through mile after downpouring mile. Slowly, the rain eased up and the sun came out. And just as slowly, I made my way back to work, stopping to wring out my clothes at stoplights.
My shoes are still wet, and my ribs hurt like hell when I laugh. I've got a nasty bruise on my knee and the palms of my hands are a bit sore. But it's the farthest I've run since the Ironman, and I feel a little bit like a badass, so, yeah, it was a good run.