It was raining so hard when I pulled into the trailhead parking lot for Wednesday’s long run that I called my sister even though she was parked right next to me.
“You wanna go stretch in the woods?” I asked, thinking the trees would shield us from the downpour.
“It won’t help,” she said, noticing something I hadn’t: “The leaves are gone.”
The difference was apparent as soon as we entered the woods. Not only were we getting drenched from above, but the trail itself was filling up with water. We decided to do just one 5.6 mile loop instead of the three we’d planned and emerged back at the parking lot as soaked from head to toe as if we’d gone for a swim.
By Saturday, though, the trail had dried considerably. Our shoes didn’t really get wet until toward the end of our 16.7 mile run, and though we were both feeling the start of blisters, none actually formed. It was a good reminder that we ought to duct tape our feet for the Huff 50K, a lesson learned during last year’s 50-mile run/walk.
Our time was pretty slow: 3 hours and 50 minutes. But that included two bathroom stops, a water and phone-check stop, and some pre-planned walk breaks. We got a little stiff toward the end but felt pretty good for the most part, even toting some large pieces of bark a quarter-mile or so at one point to lay down over a troublesome swampy spot.
The best part was we never fell, despite the fact that I almost stepped on a rabbit. It had to have heard our “thundering hooves” approaching, but I guess it must’ve frozen in fear instead of fleeing. Then, realizing I was headed right for it, it finally bolted when it was practically underfoot.
The funny thing was, the bunny was back in that same spot the next time we came around, too. But it must’ve learned its lesson, because this time it fled as soon as it saw us coming.