Escaping the sun on a 10-mile trail run

Approaching the end of our 10-mile trail-mapping run Friday, Traci and I were wilting badly.

We've been running into these turtles on trail 5 lately. Must be nice to be able to create your own shade!

We’ve been running into these turtles on trail 5 lately. Must be nice to be able to create your own shade!

It was so hot and humid there’s no way we could’ve finished a 10-miler on our usual asphalt route. The woods had shielded us from the sun, but in lopping off our least favorite section of the trail on the second loop, we’d left the shade as we cut back toward the lake parking lot.

There wasn’t far to go, judging from Traci’s phone app. But suddenly it was more than either one of us could bear.

“What if we go back in the woods for this last stretch?” I asked. “How will that affect our mileage?”

It didn’t matter. We had to get out of the sun.

The shade gave us just enough of a reprieve to keep going. We were fixated on the Powerade Zero waiting in Traci’s SUV. It wouldn’t be long now.

As we emerged from the woods at the edge of the parking lot, I wanted to head straight for the cooler. Traci checked the mileage: 9.95 miles. Looping around the parking lot did the trick.

The nice thing about this route — essentially one loop of trail 5 at Ouabache State Park, followed by a shortened version — is the built-in “aid station” as we pass the parking lot a little over halfway through. We’d slugged down some Powerade and wiped off just enough sweat to feel halfway human again before resuming our run.

It’s nice to have another 10-mile route, especially for this hot, muggy weather we’ve been having lately.

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