Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday on the Trail with T&B

My usual Sunday morning routine is to “sleep in,” which means I get up about 7 a.m. instead of 5:30 a.m., make a pot of coffee and read the paper. After I’ve perused the ads and worked the puzzles, I’m ready to take on the rest of my day. At 7 a.m. this morning, however, I was at the entrance to the Buttermilk Trail, ready to begin the 7.5-mile loop with my “play pals” T&B.

We hadn’t gone far when I realized I needed to take off my sunglasses because it was dark in the woods! Then a piece broke off T’s fuel belt so that it didn’t fit properly around her waist, and B. graciously agreed to carry the belt for her, as it did fit him. These adjustments behind us, we scurried along the trail, occasionally stopping to let some bikers pass. As we reached the Boulevard bridge, we saw several police cars and wondered if there had been another incident like the one last week on Belle Isle. Apparently, however, the problem was that a biker had been stopped for riding his bike across the footbridge rather than on the road. T. sped across the bridge, with B. and I several lengths behind. We regrouped on the other side and continued on the trail.

The trail seemed rockier than the last time I’d been on it, about two months ago. Trail running is supposed to be easier on the body because dirt is softer than concrete or pavement. But several miles of clambering up and down rocks, and dodging exposed tree roots, made me question just how much “easier” it really is! (Particularly as I made one spectacular descent – feet sliding and arms flailing.) Running on shady trails, for the most part, is cooler than running on roads and sidewalks, a fact we appreciated as the humidity increased.

Crossing the bridge onto Belle Isle, B. raced ahead, no doubt feeling much lighter on his feet because all the water bottles he’d been carrying were nearly empty. We completed the run in less than two hours. This was nine minutes faster than last time for me, a result worth the change in my routine.

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