I guess I’d seen something in the paper that Kunkle Lake was being drained at Oubache State Park, for some reason that now eludes me, but it was still kind of stunning to show up for a trail run Wednesday and see it all empty and surprisingly shallow looking.
That was surprise No. 1. Surprise No. 2 was that after all these years of griping about our least favorite part of the trail — and frankly having skipped it altogether a few times this summer — we wound up enjoying that part of our run the most.
I’d been a bit nervous about getting in one last trail run before Sunday’s team triathlon. Specifically, I was nervous about trying to go very fast on a trail, because the last time we tried that I fell. Hard.
This time, though, it was a beautiful fall day, and after getting past the longish grass near the buffalo we attacked rather than shied away from that challenging last section. As we picked up the pace, we naturally lifted our feet more, giving us more clearance over the roots and stumps. Yeah, if we’d skimmed one we would’ve tumbled harder than usual, but we were feeling strong and unusually confident and for once we didn’t even stumble.
We made another (rather obvious) discovery as well: That last section goes quicker if you run faster.