i woke up five minutes before my alarm was set to sound reveille, got out of bed quietly and felt my way to the bedroom door. i fumbled around a bit trying to locate everything in the tight quarters which is my in-laws’ bathroom. i had to pull nearly all my gear out to find my socks and get started dressing.
once i was in my full get up, i headed to the kitchen and grabbed a banana. i snooped around a little as i enjoyed the squishy sweetness of the fruit, but couldn’t find anything else portable to eat, so i headed out the door.
all the way up to gorun, it rained. big drops. little drops. by the time i reached the dillon’s marketplace at maize and 21st, a steady, drizzly mess had settled in. i snatched some Gatorade off the shelf and a couple powerbars, then drove the remaining four or five blocks to gorun.
it was 5:55 when i pulled into the parking lot. empty! not one car was there for the 6:00 meet up. i wondered if they’d called things off due to the weather. i drove back to dillon’s to see if anyone was there. no dice. i drove back and found two cars in gorun’s lot. a short time later a couple more cars pulled in.
at just after 6:00, a two or three car caravan left for the fabled kingman hills. i’d read posts about this route, but never had the chance to run it. i sat excited and nervous in the back seat of Fernando and Karlee M.'s honda as the miles fell behind us.
we turned off on ks-17 and headed south a few miles, then turned west on se 10th avenue. we followed the sandy thoroughfare until we reached the rural water tower at the top of a hill, our start/finish line. fernando pulled to the side of the road and, after gathering all my stuff, i jumped out.
there were seven or eight of us all together when we started running, a small crowd for a saturday i was told. two strong runners shot of the front immediately while the rest of us gave our legs a chance to get used to the terrain. the pace was conversational. i talked with tom s. without too much heavy breathing. then the climbs began. the hills, small rollers, came one after another after another in rapid succession. after two and a half miles, i fell off the pace, my belly doing strange and wondrous things I did not know it could do. no nausea, just weirdness. Marcello, an argentinian by birth, dropped back with me and we talked about this and that until, at around three and a half miles out, marcello sped up to catch the others who were going for ten miles.
when kevin s’s turnaround and the four-mile mark met up, i decided i’d had enough. rather than continue on, i decided to finish out eight and call it a day. i just felt too lousy to keep on trudging along. kevin held back and talked with me for a mile or so, making sure i knew how to get back to the cars, then he was off to the races. he had to get back to gorun to open at 10:00.
i ran on alone, feeling icky. i downed a tri berry gu and drank some gatorade. i somehow kept moving. less than a mile later, i downed a blueberry pomegranate roctane and drank some more. in a little bit, everything changed. my legs and lungs perked up and i was able to pick up my pace again. kevin was still in sight, so i locked my eyes on his back and let him pull me home.
when i made it up the final hill, i was feeling strong, so i decided to turn around and run back toward the ten-milers, thinking i might be able to get in ten after all. i ran down the first hill and up the next and just before my garmin read nine miles, i passed the remaining threesome. i ran on down the hill and turned around. less than a mile to go!
the last mile was up, then down, then up and i ran with all the power i could muster. i ran clear up to the water tower where the others were stretching and talking. i ran passed them and then passed fernando resting in the car. i didn’t stop until i heard the ten mile alarm. I hit stop and slowed to a walk. i walked up to the intersection, then turned back toward the impromptu parking lot. my legs carried my wearied body back to the others. i stopped and talked with tom and gene and karlee while I downed the rest of my gatorade while i cooled down. it didn’t take long. in fact, with temps in the mid 30s, i shot right passed cooled down to chilled.
back at the car, fernando took a quick shot of karlee and me with my camera, then we piled in for the trip back to gorun.