I was feeling stiff this week. So Tuesday morning rather than run, I did an hour of yoga. Thursday morning I also did yoga rather than run, but that was because I was just dragging. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I just didn’t feel like running. By late Thursday afternoon, I knew what was going on—I was sick. My throat got progressively more sore and I barely got any sleep Thursday night because every time I swallowed, the pain woke me up. So I took Friday and Saturday off.
Laying around all day Friday on our old couches without support tweaked my back pretty badly. Saturday was painful, even though I tried to be very careful. Sunday morning, I was happy to wake up without any major pain. My throat wasn’t sore and my cold seemed to have abated. I decided to go for a run and see how I felt.
Things started well. I didn’t get out until nearly 8am, but it was overcast and therefore relatively cool. I went up the ridge beyond the residential area. I thought I’d follow a road I’d been on before but this time go all the way down to the main, paved road. But when I got to that intersection, I decided to mount the final hill and see what was beyond. This led around the hill and then down, down, down. Because I was beyond where any cars or trucks go, the wet ground had few rocks in it and was quite soft. My feet sunk in and the mud built up on my shoes. At several points I had to stop and hunt out rocks to scrape the now heavy mud off. When I got to the bottom, I was faced with either going to the right or straight. Two girls were walking along (the only people around) and I asked which way led to the road. They looked at me quizzically (that should have been a clue) and one said I should go straight (which also happened to be straight up). I went up the hill and at every curve I thought I was at the top, only to realize there was more up to go. When I did finally reach the top, I ran into a logging operation. Clearly someone had figured out how to get some piece of heavy equipment up there ‘cause there were deep ruts in the mud and it looked like an enormous elephant had gone on a rampage. I thought this might lead to a road, but I ran around every path that looked like it might go somewhere until I realized that the only way out was to go back the way I came. That was probably just as well because I had no idea where I was. All I could think was, “I can’t wait to see what this looks like in SportTracks (where the GPS track will show on a satellite map).”
When I did get home—feet soaked, shoes heavy with mud – I saw that, had there been a path that continued on the direction I was heading, I would never have found the road I was looking for. I was heading pretty much due south into the forests of Guadalcanal. (The main road runs east and west on the north end of the island.)
It was a great adventure, but the downside is that the run really reactivated my back and the rest of Sunday was spent in a fair amount of agony.