With every step, I can hear the creek water squishing past my wrinkled toes and forcing air out of the tops of my shoe. The escaping air is blowing tiny water bubbles that I can see when I glance down. My thigh muscles tighten and bulge as I shift the weight from my left to my right and lean into it again. It’s a steep climb now. The hill assaults my will but I hold on and push upwards. I’d like to clean the spider web from my glasses but that would disturb my rhythm and besides, I don’t have anything left clean enough to make a difference.
We were climbing out of a small canyon where the confluence of two creeks crosses our path on the Pinhoti Trail. For the last 4 weeks, this creek has been our unofficial aid station and something I look forward to from the first step. It’s seven miles into our trail run and the perfect spot to cool off for a few minutes before the sharp climb back into our flow.
The sweat drips from my saturated shirt and falls onto the single track trail. I am warm all over and loose and strong. When we started out this morning we walked for the first mile. I could feel the cold, wet dew from the night splashing on my calves as I brushed the coarse leaves and grass along the sides of the trail. My shoes were dry and I withdrew from the idea that they would get wet and along with them, my socks and feet. I smelled like Dial soap and privilege and I was stiff and apart from the woods.
Now, all of those feeling are gone. Now, my heart is moving so rhythmically I can almost immediately perceive a change in grade or pace. My body is loose and warm and filthy. We are gobbling up the trail with our steps like a train that cannot be stopped. When I touch the bushes along the sides and bits of mulch and dew pepper my legs, I don’t flinch. Its normal now. I just keep moving… Breathing… It’s a wild feeling and I love it.
I hope you all are well. My brothers and I are four months into training for the Blood Rock 100 in Birmingham, AL and since training is going well, I thought I’d put down some memories to look back on someday. What are you training for right now? How is your training going?