Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Demons, Dogs, and Bees

This was the best run ever.*

36 miles, 17 of them in pouring rain, chased by a demon, 3 dogs and an undetermined number of bees - and I outran them all.

Yesterday not running set-up the Best Run Ever (BRE) today: giving my body enough time to heal and grow stronger. (As my friend Cindy says, "Days off are your friend.") I ran 36 miles in just over 6 hours today with no strain and no pain.

But the break from running, which is what I am here to do, was too long for my mind. Mind got bored so it decided to pick on my soul. I turned in early to get an early start and that's when the trouble began...

Grand-ma told me, "idle hands are the devil's workshop.". (Doesn't everybody's g-ma say that at least once?)

Well let me tell you, an idle mind is the devil's trampoline.

We've all got demons, and it's in the nature of demons that they never go away for good. The best we can do is civilize them so they stop dropping in uninvited all the time. Those of you who know me well know that I've been doing battle with a She-demon for the better part of the past two years. Those of you who don't - welcome to another part of my life.

Well last night - I assume for it's amusement - mind invited the She-demon in, and she accepted with pleasure.

Soul was not happy to have the company.

(BTW - this is the only part of tonight's blog with out pictures. Pictures would be in bad taste.;)

The only constructive response I could find as She went at me was to toss and turn and I felt a powerful urge to start my run to Ponce then and there at 2AM. I held myself back and opted for toss 'n turn. (Wisely in view of what was waiting for me on the road.)

The day started promisingly - I was up early and ready to run (surprise, surprise) and the light was gorgeous:

A few miles out of Paraguera the run cut through a nature preserve. I loved it: almost no traffic and no need for Google 'cause there was only one road.

But as you can see the sky was threatening. (At the time I was happy about it: it was already brutally hot at 8AM and I was worried how I'd hold up for 30+ miles.)

The landscape was very dry with lots of Mesquite trees to my left and salt-flats to my right. I noticed huge mud nests in many of the trees which turned out to be hives. I figured this out when a bunch of bees started swarming around my orange shirt. I sped up and they hung with me for a while before something else happened of importance to bees and they went away.

Chased by bees. Very bumbling. Humbling.

Adding further insult (but not injury as I got away sting free), one over-achieving or daft bee chased longer than the others and went for the top of my head. (I didn't know bees like bright shiny objects.)

Here is a hive:

And here I am after I got away:

("I outran a bee!")

A few miles later I entered a small town and was immediately set upon by dogs. Maybe the residents of this town consider it sport because as I passed from one house to the next the dog chasing me would pass the relay to the next one. Every gate was open. Smart and lazy damned dogs! I didn't notice any other sources of amusement in this one-road town, but maybe I missed something: I was running fast and barking.

This went on for a mile.

(No pictures, but no bites. Score another point for the guy who runs faster than bees.)

More beautiful nature:

But the sky is not happy.

A few minutes after I took this picture the rain started but I kept running. I'd outrun bees and dogs but She-demon was still with me. I could feel she was tiring while I was not, and this run started to become the BRE.

The rain grew heavier. I was soaked. Waterproof shoes with water in them don't let the water out. The secondary road I was running unexpectedly ended (Google...) so I had to run the break-down lane of a bigger road and was showered in grimy spray for 15 miles. I didn't care - I was consistently 2 to 5 tenths of a MPH faster on the flats and more than 1 MPH faster on the uphills then on the previous runs - and I felt great physically. Veryveryveryveryvery wet - and great.

(Me at mile 20 - notice that I am veryveryveryveryvery wet.

And alone.)

I pushed on through and didn't get washed away - but She did.

Once again running had done it's magic, putting things into perspective and transforming my struggles into fuel that gets me on down the road.

This is Ponce:

It's a nice place to be.

Now off to a peaceful night of sleep.

* - Cheers to my TMIRCE friends: Looking forward to our next BRE together.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Ponce, PR.

1 comment:

  1. I've a deeper appreciation for 'struggle'.
    Always have the spirit to begin anew "from this moment", to initiate a new struggle each day.
    Take care my friend. It'd be great to see a pix of you smiling.