"So..how about a 4th of July run tomorrow morning at Binder?"
Binder is a big city (state?) park out on the west end of Jefferson City. It consists of a large lake (which I have fished oodles of times with my dad from bank, wading and boat). It also has a campground and several loops of singletrack trails full of roots, rocks and dirt to make all sorts of hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers happy. The Facebook talk identified the "red loop at 7 AM" as the plan.
I got there a few minutes early kicking myself that I had forgotten that starting on time really isn't the Virtus way. I snapped a quick photo of my car's dashboard to note the amazing morning temp (59° on the 4th of July!):
Soon, Bob was driving like a maniac down the causeway past the Virtus van and re-smashing some nasty road kill. Just after they parked, Adam showed up (apparently his firing from the team is never permanent). I had stuck a sign that said "Party This Way" that I found on the side of the road so that it pointed into the trail opening. I should have taken a pic. It was cracking me up.
After hearing about how fat and slow the guys are (yeah, right - my ass!) and a quick game of "not it" for who would lead us off, they took off at a ridiculous pace ahead of me. Within a minute or two, they had dropped me and my heart rate was in the mid-180's just trying to hang on and navigate the really rocky trail. About a mile in, I had my only ankle turn of the day just as I was thinking about how much I hoped I wouldn't fall like I did the last time I was out there in December (for which my ankle hated me for months). Just before I got back to the end of the trail (1.33 miles), I could hear the guys cheering me in. So embarrassing to always have people wait for me. I promptly told them they are full of shit about being slow.
After some brief discussion about time and how much more to do, we jumped in the Virtus van and headed over by the bait shop. We then ran the green loop (which is the first and last part of the Kicks in the Sticks route I did last summer for my birthday). They talked about "dialing it back", but again I was dropped shortly after entering the woods. I tried to pick up the pace when I could and ease my way down the gnarlier terrain while catching my breath. We popped out of the woods about half way through and chatted for a minute as two mountain bikers came out behind us. Then we finished up the loop and they dropped me at my car.
It is always fun to hang out with such great guys who don't care that they have to wait for me and are very supportive and encouraging. Maybe someday I can hold my own better with them. When we were all done, my Garmin said 4.40 miles. Luke posted this pic of us on Facebook pointing out that FOUR of us ran FOUR point FOUR for the FOURTH (and asked where everyone else was). Cool beans! And the Garmin map looked like curly ramen noodles (plus it looked like we drove across the lake). Fun!
|Team Virtus "Where's Everyone Else?" Pose|
Swimming = 14,970 yds = 8.5 mi
Biking = 915.0 miles
Running = 115.5 miles