Sunday, May 2, 2010

Attack of the Killer Gnats

AM: 58 mins.
8 miles
PM: Travel

Today is a new day. When I woke up I resolved to shut down my pity party and change my attitude for the rest of the trip. A bad race is simply that, a bad race. Life goes on.

Though Sunday is traditionally a long run day, Coach Simmons wanted us to keep this jaunt extremely easy and short. Recovery was more important than gaining fitness from a longer run, and we needed to get showered and packed up in order to head to the airport on time. We set out for the same place we did our Sunday run last time we were here, a dirt trail in the marshlands just off the bay. Tanya and I had liked it because it was completely flat and simple to navigate, so we brought Pezz and Sean along with us this time.

Today we found the trail to be just as agreeable as last time, save for one minor difference: gnats. Lots of them. Tons of them. A veritable swarm of them. The first mile of our run we felt like we were in the midst of some sort of plague. Fortunately I wore sunglasses, which kept them out of my eyes, but my nose and mouth and ears were fair game. Every time I wiped my brow I murdered an entire extended family of the little pests. We were thisclose to turning around and abandoning our effort--with absolutely no Plan B in mind--but we passed a woman walking with her husband who noticed our choking and gasping and assured us that things got better "just around the corner." Clearly we have different conceptions of distance because it was at least another half mile until the little bastards relented. This was hands down one of the grossest running experiences of my life--and the worst part was, we knew they would be waiting for us in the same spot on our return trip. My legs felt pretty crappy on the run, but that paled in comparison to the Hitchcock-ian terror that we had to endure. Needless to say, we all took extra long showers after this one.