My knees are still recovering. Too slowly for me, but I don’t have choice but to remain patient! But I figured I would go test them out on the trails this morning. The normal crew is off doing various and sundry other things either because they are racing today or tomorrow at the Oklahoma Memorial Marathon, so I figured I would head out to the trails closest to my house: Lake Arcadia.
The first thing I noticed is the new sign. It’s OK, but I like the old sign better. The (fake) wood on this sign is thinner and I don’t care for the metal uprights. But whateva!
I was wearing my Garmin 305, but left the heart rate monitor at home. I’m really just out taking it easy trying to get a feel of how far I can go before my knee starts barking at me too badly. So unconcerned with my pace I took off. It felt good to be on the trails again. As you can see above, I was wearing my earbuds. I had downloaded the latest Ultrarunner Podcast and wanted to listen to the the normally one hour show. The long interview today was with Errol “The Rocket” Jones. He’s known as the patron saint of pacing. But he’s got an impressive running history as well. He was a 2:30 marathoner and started running trails in about 1981. He’s done Western States where Ann Trayson(!) helped crew him. He’s done Badwater and too many other races to mention. The guy was really super interesting. Not the normal guy you run into on the trails. He’s 62, a black man, a Vegan for the last 42 years and part of the Haight-Ashbury Ultrarunners Society (HAUS). Very unique dude. Anyway, if you don’t subscribe to the podcast, do yourself a favor and do so. Very inspiring.
So now I’m booking along down the curvy trails and things are good. But when I get to the open portion of the trails (think pasture) it’s clear that Spring has sprung. High grass on both sides of the trail. I had visions of the ticks and chiggers latching on as I ran past!
I keep on trucking and then I’m back into the woods again. There is a small bridge you go over where under the bridge is a lot of fallen timber, etc that forms a small dam of sorts. The upper portion is a stagnant, green pond. Under the bridge and downstream is just a dry creek bed of sorts. Anyway, I stopped to look because the green pond scum was, well, really green. That’s when I saw it. A good sized water moccasin was at the edge on some longs half way into the water. He slithered into the green oooze and disappeared. I didn’t get a picture, but I did take one of the pond I’m telling you about.
As far as my knees go, they were doing OK for the first few miles. At mile three, however, my left knee really started to hurt. At 3.5 miles I decided to walk the rest of the way back to the trailhead. Recovery is such a slow process! I hate it. But I love me some trailz and I’m so glad I got the chance to be out there today.