Saturday, March 09, 2013


I've had about a 1/2 dozen titles for this post. The one above is simply what I happened to think at the time I started typing. It's been 5 weeks since my last venture on the Sakonnet Greenway Trail. Life's been busy. February's ALWAYS the toughest month of the year for me. Sh-t happens. But the latest Nor'easter had passed and it was clear, albeit windy, and I NEEDED this run to regain my emotional balance. I started off okay this last week, but it started to go downhill and by Friday I was done. Rather than risk an unfortunate comment to my family last night, I opted to avoid and go to bed at the same time as the kids. You see I needed TODAY.
Well I got to the trail head and sure enough my head was telling me, "You can't run that! It was crusty snow over snow drifts separated by muddy marsh-like stretches of muck and all in 20mph winds. I had not gone a quarter mile and serious thought about calling it. Maybe put the road shoes on and run road. NO! Just get tot he bottom of the hill. It's probably better (it wasn't). But I got to the bottom and actually had a very normal turnover albeit at a slower pace.

"Okay, let's keep going."
"No not sloppy wet feet!"
"Shut up head."

And that was the thing, it was my head. My body, if this makes sense, didn't mind the circumstances. Snow drift? Don't puss out. Drive your foot in like a man! Much better footing. Much better control and rhythm. Water? No worries. There's solid footing underneath it. And so it went, and as I let go I kept extending the time I planned to be out there. First it was try to make 90min. Then 100. Finally, screw it I can make the whole trail in 120min. And I had given myself the extra time this morning to fit that in, so that "I have to get home to take the kids" excuse was just bunk.

This run was amazing. I had the only human footprints on many parts of the trail. There were LOTS of coyote tracks. Absolutely fascinating how they travel single file and step EXACTLY in each other's prints. You can't tell how many there are until they finally separate and you see 3 or more distinct sets. And the birds, I've always loved birds of prey, far and away my favorites. They were out in force because the crystal clear skies and fresh blanket of snow must have made this a hunter's paradise. I came around a corner and there was a giant barn owl on a branch in front of me. There was a pair of red tailed hawks circling above. And a couple miles later, something bigger than the red tails. And to think I almost missed all this because my head was telling me "you can't."

And that's the point. There's so much of life just there to be seen if you will just ignore the voice saying you can't. My head thought this trail was unrunnable. My body and spirit thought otherwise. Thankfully I listened to them!