Full disclosure… This is a story in two parts!
Saturday morning, the weather was glorious. Becky and Bailey got up about 4:15am to head toward Columbia for a barn hunt competition, so I was left to start my morning slowly, albeit very early. They got on the road, and I got my breakfast on, watching the opening matches of the new Barclay’s Premiere League season.
After dallying about for far too long, I started to get gussied up for a run. I noticed that my Garmin had an update waiting, so I let it apply, and headed out.
I’d decided to run on the Monarch Chesterfield Levee. This is the levee that, in theory, protects much of the Chesterfield Valley from the flood waters that area is prone to. It wasn’t lost on me that the Great Flood of 1993 would’ve had waters above my head as I stood atop that mound.
I pulled in, and the weather was perfect — cloudy and about 74°. I rolled out of the Jeep, stretched, and walked up the access path to the top of the levee. This was the first time I’d run atop the levee, and as expected, it was very flat as it wended along the banks of the water. I saw loads of wildlife — egrets, blue heron and turkey vultures who circled as though awaiting me to keel over.
I’d intended to run intervals, and set my Garmin to :15/:30 run/walk timing, and took off. As I motored along, I kept noticing my times were pretty awful. Now, everyone I’ve seen talk about intervals has said their times are faster when they run intervals. I sure wasn’t seeing it, so a little ways into my run, I turned that feature off, thinking it was slowing me down.
Well… remember the Garmin update? As part of the update, it had changed the default units on my watch from kilometers to miles, so all my pace numbers were based on the wrong unit, making it look like I was 60% slower than I should’ve been. When I saw the first kilometer alert pop up, indicating I’d travelled 0.62 “units”, it was obvious what had happened. Good ol’ updates. 🙂
The farther I got into the trail, the farther I wanted to take it. It was that whole “I’ll go to the next power pole” ideology, and eventually I found myself at Baxter Road. I caught my breath for a minute, looked at my Garmin, and I saw that I was lining up a 4-point-something-mile journey for today. Cool!
And then I noticed the heat.
I was looking at the area so much, I hadn’t noticed that the clouds were starting to clear, and temperature was rising. As I’ve mentioned many times, I melt in the heat, and this outing was looking to end on a very toasty, melty note, And as excited as I was to see what was around each new bend in the trail on the way out, I was hoping against hope that each bend on the way back would have my Jeep in sight!
I finally saw the Lil’ Red Rubicon, and made it back, melty, but successful — and saw that it was now 85°. And with that foundational run, I intended to go out later in the day and finish up this 10k event. Little did I know that my evening plans would be interrupted by something totally unexpected…
What interrupted our author’s evening running plans? Did he get his extra miles in? What would the beautiful state of Montana have to do with anything? Return tomorrow to hear how our intrepid hero finished his race…
This event benefitted Action Against Hunger.