16 May 2010


The alarm was supposed to go off at 2:40 AM. It didn't. Probably because I set it for P.M. instead of A.M. What is interesting about this is that I actually woke up at 2:45 AM, after just 4 hours of sleep and without the alarm. Subconciously, I must have know that Richard would have not been happy had I opened the door for him at 3:10 AM in my PJs, rubbing my eyes, asking why he was picking me up early;-) ANyway, none of this took place and by the time Richard did pull up at my house at 3:10 AM, I was ready to go. I even managed to have my usual cup of coffee to move things along;-) No, Richard and I are really not early risers, we just worked out a running route that required more time as usual. In addition, I had a family commitment that required me to be done with my running by 7:15 AM. I also had to be in Decatur at that time, which explains the route for our what I call "Madison Decatur Adventure Run". Thankfully, Richard is just slightly more crazy or masochistic or whatever you want to call it. Of course, real ultra runners would call this a normal training run. I, on the other hand, am still becoming an ultra runner, so I still refer to these kinds of training runs as crazy. However, this had to be one of the most fun training long runs ever. While running, we already discussed how and when to do this again, next time stashing our bikes for the return leg from Decatur.
We parked Richard's car at the old Kmart on Madison Boulevard in Madison and took of West towards Decatur. We continued on the old Higway 20 along I565W. Near the Greenbrier exit and after about 6 miles of running, we crossed I565 and continued along the other side of I565 towards Mooresville. However, the night before the run, Richard had wisely stashed some water all along the route and at that intersection which allowed for a quick waterbreak an hour into our run. The humidity was excrutiating this morning, above 90%, so we had to make sure to stay well hydrated. We were both feeling well enough, but the humidy was going to take its toll. We continued on into and through Mooresville until we hit the left turn onto the dirt road leading towards a boat ramp and Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. We would spend the next two hours on trails and dirt roads through Wheeler Wildlife Refuge and along the Tennessee river. We entered the refuge in darkness, but had planned ahead and were wearing our headlamps, lighting the way through the dense forest sections before we approached the river. Once we exited the forest, the sun was slowly rising at the horizon. It was quite a sight. But the wildlife refuge had lots more to offer. We crossed paths with a pair of coyotes, cranes, a rabbit, and a mother oppossum carrying 6 or 7 babies on its back. Aparently, she had decided touse the same trailas us and was not willing to share the road. Instead, it was turning around and posturing towards us, threatening to charge at us in an attempt to protect its babies, I presume. After about 5 minutes, we managedto coax it off the trail to clear the path for us to continue our run. If you are wondering why we didn't just try to pass the little critter, the answer is easy....neither one of us wanted rabies.
After these brief encounters with the local residents, we continued our run underneath the I65 bridge and towards the Highway 31 bridge towards Decatur. We had to make up a few minutes to manage to get to our meeting spot in Decatur for our pick-up. We exited Wheeler Wildlife Refuge and crossed the bridge just after 7 AM, close to our originally expected arrival time. We finished a 21 mile run in about 3 hours and 45 minutes. We plan to do this run again soon.

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