according to Coach Tim, goes something like this…
Back in the days of logging in the redwoods near Waddell Creek, there was a tree topper who fell from the top of one of the highest redwoods. He landed on one of two giant tires that were randomly out there in the middle of nowhere. He bounced up into the air after hitting the tire, flipped over twice, and came down to land on his feet. And he lived to tell the story.
We were told this story just before heading out on today’s 14 mile training run. The man in the story was unlucky to have fallen, but lucky to have lived. The tires, perhaps, may be lucky to those who come into contact with them. We would have the opportunity to do just that on the run. As Tim put it, “If you kick the tire, you are guaranteed to finish your event.”
Pretty much all of the participants had begun their run by the time Wave 6 hit the trail. Of the half dozen of us in the group, only 3 planned to cover the 14 miles. The rest would only run 12 miles. And, since the out and back route was only 12 miles, the 3 of us would run out 1 mile, turn back to the start, and then make the 6 mile trek to the falls. Sadly, we were NOT the same pace.
The run was all on dirt with the exception of the first 1/2 mile. It was well shaded, with lovely views of the redwoods, ferns, and other greenery. At mile 3, we arrived at the aid station which is usually manned by one of the honorees. At mile 5, I hit the lucky tires, and stopped to kick them. At mile 7, my knee began complaining about the hills. At mile 8, I was glad to have finally arrived at the waterfall, and took a picture to prove (mostly to myself) that I made it there. Minutes after arriving, I began my return.
The run back was not pleasant. My knee complained here and there, my energy felt drained, and my legs felt fatigued. As approached the aid station again, I was certain that it would have been packed up and gone. It felt like I was the only TNT participant still on the trial. I was, therefore, relieved when I arrived to find it still there (gatorade and all). I thanked the honorees once more as I ran past a couple members of the team – happy to not be the only TNTer out running still.
I hit the beach where the team was enjoying a potluck feast, and my carpool buddies were patiently awaiting my return. My appetite was lacking so I quickly grabbed a cup of java, a nectarine, and a little helping of salad. I sipped my slowly thawing recovery drink on the way home.
It was not my best run, by any measure. It was also not my worst. Hopefully, next week will be better. I am looking forward to stepping back a bit to allow for some recovery from three weeks of harder long runs. I also complete my post-run routine to help in this recovery process.