Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Orchard and the Berries

I flew to the West on Sunday to get away from it all. My contract ended at work (although I am being renewed on a similar project) and the time was right. So in lieu of normalcy, I opted to visit a friend in Eugene, OR. Normally this would have been great; run a lot of miles during a non-work week in THE running Mecca..but this Hadj won't likely contain the type of mileage/intensity I’d like.

After feeling like shit run over twice on Saturday, I stubbornly decided to run again on Sunday. The reason: surprisingly I often feel better running the day after running a bad run. My legs buckled as I lumbered down suburban Eugene last night. The cross country flights and 2 hour drive from Portland to Eugene had rendered me useless…or so I thought. Soon I picked up the pace and I felt a-okay. I found my way to an orchard, what type I don’t know. I ditched my shirt (it’s somewhat cool in Oregon) and proceeded to run through the unlabyrinth that was the orchard. As far as the eye could see there were rows and rows of trees. I think this is common here. After about a mile I emerged on a main drag and headed down towards suburbia. To make a long story short I ran about 5 miles sans any pain. Weird, but good…however, I am not winning the war. The path to Chicago cannot be won this way. I can’t get to the starting line running 5 days a week with 12 mile long runs. If I have 5 good days and 2 bad days, that is still a bad training week. Dickson and others tell me to “stick to the plan”. I will. At least for another week.

After paying homage to Pre’s Rock, I found myself on Monday morning climbing a butte called Mount Pisgah. During the first minute of my hike I found myself surrounded by blackberries. I looked around, wondering if it was okay to snatch them out of the brush. I shrugged my shoulders and began to devour dozens of sweet, sweet blackberries. After I had my fill I continued on my trek. Every minute or so I’d eat another hundred berries. Soon, hot sunny hillsides gave way to lush, moss-covered old-growth forests. I decided to snake my way through a seldom used trail which resembled the Amazon. After negotiating my way around a couple of deer, I emerged at the top. Someone hiked past me and said hello. I shoved a handful of berries in my mouth, smiled and walked away without saying a word. I then proceeded to eat another thousand blackberries.

A half hour later I jumped into a pool in Eugene proper. The water was warm and the pool was festive. People were everywhere. It was a shit show. I water ran in the deep end and negotiated my way around a dozen tweens playing with masks, snorkels and corny inflatable kayaks. I picked up my cadence but felt a million blackberries whirling their way through my stomach. Good god. I had eaten more blackberries than a black bear in spring. I moaned in agony but continued the workout until I got to 50 minutes.

Tomorrow I will run.


Towpath said...

Update: Hajj or Hadj is the pilgrimage to Mecca. Hajji is an honorific for a person who has made the trip to Mecca. I think you meant to use the former, not the later.

KLIM said...

Hmmm, not sure what you are talking about. It clearly reads "Haji" in my post.

Towpath said...

Haji is the person making the trip. Your sentence says "this haji won't contain much mileage." If your trying to say that your trip won't contain much mileage the sentance should read "this hadj won't contain much mileage.