After TARC, a little part of my brain said, hmmm, well, I didn't have the best race, maybe I should run the Pineland 50k. It's a month away. I can do that! I'll take a week off and then have a few weeks to build up the mileage again. Yeah, yeah, why not?! Well, it has come to my attention, via my heart and my legs, that this little hair-brained idea is just not going to happen. Oh, in theory, it was a good one. I mean, I ran 5:08. I thought that meant I didn't leave it all out there, but the honest truth is that those 5 hours out on the trail sucked up a lot of my mental strength, and my legs haven't come back as easily or quickly as I thought they would. I'm not up for a sufferfest at Pineland. I've had enough of those. If I was going to run Pineland, I would need to be in a good place, and clearly I am just not there at this point.
From the start, I knew I would need to get in at least one good long run before Pineland, and had hoped that would be 18 miles this past Sunday. What did I actually run on Sunday? Three whole miles! Oh, well, that's just not going to cut it. And honestly, none of my runs until this morning have been good ones. My legs have felt heavy and leaden. I haven't been happy running. Nothing like a few "bad" runs in a row to have you start questioning why you're even out there. So, there, I've said it. No Pineland for me this year. (Sorry, Zak!) It simply is not meant to be.
After Sunday's 3-miler, I did get out for a late afternoon 5 miles on Monday. Still felt a bit lackluster. Decided to take yesterday off with the plan for a happy run this morning. Ryan nicely agreed to take Sam to daycare so that I would have the time to get in the run I wanted. I drove over to Bowdoin this morning and parked at the field house. I ran out through the Commons, enjoying the sunshine and cool air. The magenta rhodora are blooming in the pine barrens, and although most of the ladyslippers are still just tight swirls of leaves, some had unfurled enough to show the bent necks of the ladyslippers, still green. I stopped to watch a female Hairy Woodpecker at the edge of the first pond, only a few feet away from me, twittering and calling, as she jumped up a branch, stopping to peck a bit at the top before flying off.
Once I exited the Commons, I ran over to the Pennelville fields, ducking off onto the grassy path that leads out to Coleman Farms. Amongst the bushes, I heard the Bobolinks calling, and even caught a glimpse of one of the males up in the brush, the back of his head bright yellow, as he called to his mate. The edge of the wide old woods road was littered with violets, wood anemone, ferns, and even a few red trillium. Stopped to watch a female Yellow-Rumped Warbler flit through the small trees at the edge of the field before running down to the edge of the tidal inlet and along the water. The salty smell of low tide filled the air. Birds called as I ran the singletrack path through the woods, the forest floor covered with trout lilies, although by now most of them had already faded.
I was all smiles. I felt good. Headed back up to the road and back through the Commons the way I came. I felt renewed, refreshed. Got in a nice 7.5 miles in 1:07 and was just so glad to end the run feeling happy. Hopefully this means I'm headed in the right direction.