Have I said before that I do not like to run?  I especially don’t like to run long distances.  I truly hate running long distances at 4:30 in the morning.  I absolutely despise running long distances at 4:30 in the morning when I only had 5 hours of sleep.  Why I decided to enter a race that involves lots of running is beyond me.  Actually, I know exactly why I did it — for the challenge.  If it was just running then I would not be interested, but add in some freaky hard obstacles and put the course on a mountainside and then you have something.

Anyways, it was dark this morning…really dark.  The first part of the run I could barely see the ground when I wasn’t near a street lamp.  The first oddity of the day was that a late model Corolla seemed to be slowly following me around the neighborhood as I ran.  At first I thought the person might be lost and it crossed my mind that it could be burglars, but I didn’t think they were driving a burglar’s car of choice.  Finally, I figured it out that it was the newspaper delivery person.  I was still half asleep!    I also caught a whiff of skunk and started thinking “I hope that a skunk isn’t near here because it could spray me before I even saw it.  Then just a few hundred feet later, like a flash, a juvenile black panther or maybe it was a black leopard, shot out of the weeds about 3 feet in front of me!  I jumped a little and let out an “aaggh”, but it kept running into the next field.  Thankfully no dogs chased me today.

By the second pass through the neighborhood, it was starting to get a little lighter.  It was then that I was able to confirm the feline species that had run across the street in front of me earlier.  Yes, it was the common black housecat.  It sounded better to say that it was a panther.  At the 8 mile mark, I realized that it was the farthest I had ever run.  I also realized that it was the equivalent of running from the Crossroads to Yosemite (my Casey County peeps will get this).  Who would ever run from the Crossroads to Yosemite??!!  I’ll tell you who…people without cars.  And even then, they probably wouldn’t run and would gladly accept a ride.  I pondered that for awhile and finally came down the homestretch.  I finished off the run by practicing my “gladiator avoidance” move into my driveway.  It’s pretty easy when no one is standing there trying to pummel you.  My legs were aching, but I had run further and at a faster pace than last time so that was good.  9.3 miles in 83:44.

After walking it off, I did 25 pushups and gave the gnarly log some love by doing 20 squats with it.  Then some stretching and foam roller — ouch!  Tomorrow is rest day!!!  Unfortunately, most of it will be spent travelling.