So today was the last of the long runs and one of the shortest since back when there was still snow on the ground. A “short” 12 mile run, on the last weekend before the big race in Duluth. We decided to start in Keota this time since it was a shorter run with less features and traffic on the trail.
We started early because it was supposed to get up into the 70’s later and that is never fun to run in. The Rabbits were out and about…as usual; Along with a few Chipmunks and Squirrels. At one point there were up to 4 rabbits on the trail ( mile 2)
Cheryl said there was only a 30% chance for the rain to begin during the run. Well guess we rolled a losing die….because it came down pretty hard. I luckily had a place to put the camera so it would stay dry. It is a rather expensive piece of equipment after all. Unfortunately, that meant I was unable to take any more pictures for the remainder of the run…..about 8 miles! Just when the rain seemed to let up, it would douse us again. There was no other option than to soldier through.
I would like to take a moment briefly, to point out how awesome of a husband I am. ( Or the most stupid/pushover wimp of a husband…not really sure) because I REALLY wanted to turn back when the rain started. But Cheryl wanted to continue with renewed determination. Saying things like “This is FUN!” I did not share this enthusiasm. But, because I’m so super supportive, I risked pneumonia and several insect transferable diseases to help my Wife finish her final training run.
Which leads me into the insects. Black Flies! Hundreds!…No MILLIONS! I’m not sure why they were not this bad last week, but today was a whole new story. I first noticed several in Cheryl's hair and even snapped a picture of on on her shoulder as we first started out. Even one of these guys is too many, but I thought that this was not too big of a deal and that if we kept running, they would not be able to catch us. I guess last week it was all about clouds of gnats. Those seem down right cuddly compared to black flies.
Not long after the first sighting, they began to attack me. I
complained voiced my concerns about the Man-eating, Blood-Sucking, Disease-carrying vectors of death and pain, But Cheryl did not notice them and urged that we continue on. And, Being the Super Husband that I am, Continued to draw fire away from her ( And onto me, by the way) while keeping her clear and free of insects with my hands. you would think the rain would have kept them away, but that was so not the case…
She even wanted to stop and pick mulberries for home. She brought containers and marked out places that had the most berries. I suggested that picking berries, in the rain….surrounded by biting insects, was probably not a good idea. But Cheryl wanted this last run to be the BEST! She urged me to go sit in the car as she picked the berries. I knew that was not going to last long.
Finally, I got to the car. I hooked up my bike and the black flies were immediately on me. I look back and Cheryl is running with a renewed vigor! You could almost see the black cloud of flies following her! She said the moment she stopped, there were dozens on her legs! We locked ourselves inside the car, dripping wet and covered with bug bites. Cheryl got hit the worst. All that exposed skin I suppose… It looked like she had Chicken Pox! Luckily, having experienced these vermin before, I was hit less hard. ( The key is you have to KILL THEM…KILL THEM ALL! ) I guess bug spray will soon be an addition to the Running Supplies.
So there it is! Only a week left before the Big Race. We had thought we were going to have this week off, but College board still has at least a day of scoring, and Cheryl has been asked to stay on between the break to pull papers for the next session. I should be thankful as a couple additional days of work will help the trip up north go easier. AND I received an additional Pearson Project that will last through the break when we get back. It will be a rare bonus if we can work through summer this year. have not been able to do that since the last days of MCAT.