Another day on the road, this time in Oxford, Mississippi to speak at a small conference. The training benefit is that I’m staying on campus, which offers a lot of hilly terrain for Beast preparation. Also, it is something entirely different and for the first time I was almost looking forward to running. At 5:30 a.m. I fired up the iPod shuffle and took off. I Love Rock n Roll by Joan Jett got me started. See, I told you the last time that I had an eclectic mix. I warmed up by running through The Grove and then just ran in whatever direction looked promising. My route probably looked like those comics from The Family Circus. Every 5 minutes or so I stopped for some type of obstacle. I started with 25 jumps onto a stump in the middle of a clearing. Second obstacle was 25 Jeffees beside one of the dorms. Ran up and down some hills, across the road and into the woods. Was met immediately with a thick spider web. As I got deeper into the woods, I started thinking about poison ivy, copperheads, and rattlesnakes so I made a quick exit. Ran over more hills to the baseball stadium…25 squats and back over those same hills again. Stopped by the tennis courts for 100 jumping jacks. Note: jumping jacks and iPod ear buds don’t mix. My route then took me over to the Ford Center with a couple of trips up and down that steep hill. The thermometer showed 84 and the humidity had to be > 50%. Stopped for 25 sit-ups and sprinted over to The Rose Garden for 25 jumps on to the benches. The best part of the run was the 2 sprints/climbs up a 50 foot hill with a 70 degree incline. Then back to The Grove and I ran half the circumference with agility runs through the iron posts (5 feet spacings). Stopped by one of the buildings that was once used as a hospital for Civil War soldiers and did 25 incline push-ups on the steps. Over to the library for 25 power jump squats before the final segment. I started noticing a possible blister formation on my right foot, so I decided to call it quits. Can’t be having anything that will slow me down.

The cool-down walk back to the inn gave me the time to realize that I was completely, totally, 100% drenched in sweat! I don’t think I have ever been that sweaty. It’s not pretty, but my clothes were stuck to me like I had fallen in a swimming pool. Even though I only ran for 47 minutes, I’m satisfied that the hills and terrain brought me one step closer to my training goals. Now I just have to figure out what to do tomorrow morning.