Monday, September 6, 2010
Clinton North Shore
As I sit down to write this morning, my left foot is throbbing from a large blister which is situated over an even larger blister. I couldn't run yesterday or today, and probably won't be able to knock out any real mileage for the next few days as I recover. The cause of this pain?... The Clinton North Shore Trail Run put on by the Trail Nerds. The course was said to be an 8.5 mile loop, but in reality stretched over 9 miles. I also got slightly lost by meddling with my sunglasses and missing a sign; a move that caused me to add somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 mile to the excursion (as well as a trek through a nice patch of poison ivy to get back on the correct trail). I haven't mentioned the mirror image (but slightly smaller) blister I have on my other foot, or the blister that straddles the majority of the top of my pinkie toe.
Let's just finish all of this nonsense now... the discomfort I'm feeling presently is in direct proportion to the amount of elation and fun I had running the wonderful race. I loved the run so much, that even as I felt the monster blisters making their way across my feet like Sherman marching across Georgia, I didn't want it to end. I mentally focused on the endorphin-release that the blisters would add to those already churning as a result of the exertion .
The day was cool and sunny. The runners gathered for a rather late, 9 a.m., start. I had a friend, Jeanne, visiting from Boulder. She's training for a half marathon and thought the trail run would be good to incorporate into her schedule Eric Henry, my regular trail buddy, was also present, having driven himself over to the race from where he and a bunch of other friends had been camping the night before.
Jeanne with the crazy socks and her friend (also named Jeanne)
Eric and I have run these trails on a number of occasions recently. We usually ended up covered in mud. I usually end up with bug bites galore. But the race day was different. For some reason (even though it had rained a lot in the days leading up to the run), there was little or no mud. I also am happy to report that I didn't get even a solitary bug bite. I showered with poison ivy preventative soap after the race (having run through a large patch, as I mentioned previously). And, other than the raging blisters, I suffered no ill-effects from the race. I didn't even feel too bad about missing a sign and doing a side excursion during the run, because my friend, Kurt, who finished 9th, also mentioned that his group had run into a couple of confusing stops in the course of the competition.
Eric on the run
All in all, it was a great experience and enjoyed by almost everyone I spoke with after. This included the woman who edged past me in the last mile. I saw her take two spills (apparently these two accounted for one third of her total falls). She just kept bouncing back up and cruising - like those birthday candles that continuously re-light once they've been blown out.
So a big thanks to all who put the race on and to those who participated. The combination of the excellent course and the participants made for a great day.