This past weekend, I took my second trip to beautiful central Indiana to visit the Morgan-Monroe and Yellowood state forests. More specifically, I went to train on the Tecumseh Trail where I will be running my first trail marathon (first marathon overall) on December 1st of this year. I’ve been training for months now, but there’s nothing quite like hitting the Tecumseh (nothing in my neck of the woods anyway). With 3500 vertical feet of ascent and 3800 of descent, running Chicagoland doesn’t quite compare. The weather was a mild 64 degrees, clear, with a slight southerly breeze–good running weather and a great time to be in the woods (wearing a little blaze orange for safety, of course). Despite my best efforts, the hills continually reminded me who was boss, as my pace was slowed a good 3 and a half minutes from my usual training pace. With about four miles to go, I ran out of water. This proved to be discouraging. I respect the trail, the terrain, and the distance–truly I do. After a good 4 hours and 55 minutes, I staggered out of the trees and across my 20 mile mark south of Yellowwood Lake–a little beaten and bruised, but still breathing and feeling very much alive.
Psychologically, this 20-miler has served me well. I know what I’m dealing with, so I will remain humble come the first of December and dance with lady Tecumseh once again. I hope she receives me kindly.