I took a much needed break from running this past weekend. I wanted to run but I didn’t. My body had been aching for a few weeks and I was so exhausted all of last week. So, this past weekend was a lazy weekend and I make no apologies for it. Today, though, I returned to my run and ran 7.03 miles and felt great. The temperature was ideal at 70 degrees with humidity at 52%. The wind blew the entire time so that kept the mosquitoes away.
I ran to the end of the rails, hung one prayer flag about Easter and then headed back. The only thing I carried during my run was my iphone wrapped snuggly in an oversized freezer ziplock bag, my car key and that one prayer flag. I didn’t see a heck of a lot of wildlife but there were a heck of a lot of people running and walking the rtt. I finished up the last mile on highway 80. I ran east on hwy 80 for about a third of a mile and then turned around and ran to the entrance of the zombie trail and turned around and headed back to the mid-section of the rtt.
We must of had some pretty high tides over the weekend because much of the trail was newly heavily eroded with lots of golf ball sized rocks scattered all about and big ruts in the trail as when water runs off. I had to truly rely on the force as i ran this evening due to the whole new host of rocks scattered about the trail. Also, the boardwalk to the rails to trails was severely damaged with long planks of wood curled up about 6 to 8 inches off the boardwalk. I’ve not seen the boardwalk that bad before. I hope the county fixes it soon. If not, then I guess we’ll have some warped wood on the walkway to the rtt.
1 red male cardinal
From now on you will see some significant changes to my training. I’m geared up and hungry for the Cremator Ultra 50 coming up this July. I’ve been thinking of ways to execute this race and keeping myself cool during it.
I talked to my brother about having an ice water chest at the two aid stations and whenever I get to one of the station’s lean my head into the cooler and with a large sponge douse the back of my head with it to bring my core temperature down. Also, thinking about getting some small bags that look like nets and filling those with ice at each station and plopping them on my head and putting my hat over them letting the ice melt as I run. I’ll talk about it more on another blog entry.
Today is national Gypsy Day. So, in honor of that I am posting some pictures I took of my dog, Mr. Gypsy, yesterday at the internationally known, The Zombie Trail. Actually, I made up the national gypsy day thing because i just want to post a few of the pictures I took yesterday of my dog at the Zombie trail.
Yesterday, after work I followed my regular routine of walking Mr. Gypsy before going on a run. During the walk Mr. Gypsy seemed a little more excited than usual. Perhaps, it was the cool weather or the low pollen count…I don’t know. Any way, yesterday was a beautiful day in Savannah with very cool and windy conditions. It kind of felt like a wintry day…It was the type of weather that Gypsy really enjoys and makes him frisky. So, as we walked around the neighborhood Gypsy seemed to have a little more steam in his pace and seemed to be a little more playful than usual.
Well, we did our typical 1.x mile walk and as I was preparing to head out for my run I could see that he certainly wanted more hangout time with me. Before I walked out of the house I looked at Gypsy and I swear I could see the disappointment on his face that I was leaving and he was staying behind. I closed the front door and walked down the steps toward my car and just turned back around and grabbed Gypsy and off we went to the rails to trails together.
Gypsy is an excellent dog. As I was driving toward the rtt I would look over at him and could see how excited he was to be going somewhere with me. I thought, you know, he’s 10 years old. I don’t know how much longer I’ll have him with me but while he’s with me I’m going to continue to enjoy life with him. When I got to the rtt I could see that it was quite a popular spot. So, I thought, you know, I want to take Gypsy some to a place where I can unleash him and let him run to his heart’s delight. That’s when I thought of the Zombie trail. So, I did a U-Turn at the rtt parking area and headed to the zombie trail which is only a third of a mile away from the rtt.
The Zombie trail is the old Tybee highway. You can pull into the old sandy highway just before you hit the Bull River bridge that takes you onto Wilmington Island. The old highway runs parallel to the new Bull River bridge for .52 mile before abruptly ending at the Bull River.
I only drove so far into the deserted road for fear of later getting stuck in the soft sand. Gypsy began his normal excited whining as I leashed him in the car. There’s a big obstruction placed on the old highway about fifty yards from where I parked that is meant to keep people from driving further into this old abandoned road that is slowing getting gobbled up by nature. The obstruction is a huge pile of dirt about four feet tall. It was beyond that dirt mound that I intended to unleash Gypsy and let him run wild because beyond that point it was completely safe from any cars (that is unless a car were to fly off of the Bull River bridge and onto the old Tybee highway). I was doubtful that would happen, though. So, I set him free and, that chubby little Australian Shepherd took off running down the old Zombie trail chasing imaginary zombies made of pork chops and bacon, I assumed. Gypsy sprinted for about fifty yards before he forgot about the bacon zombies and suddenly, peeing on trees became more interesting. The zombie trail a popular place for me to add that little bit of extra mileage when I’ve run the rails to trails but I’m not quite satisfied with my distance.
The old Tybee highway (zombie trail) is on McQueen’s Island. McQueen’s Island is a narrow island that’s mainly made of mud and marsh but spans the “6” mile rails to trails in it’s entirety and also includes the entrance to Ft. Pulaski. The island is in between Wilmington Island and Tybee Island. No humans live on the island except for the imaginary zombies in my mind but, there is an occasional Marsh Bigfoot sighting there. Some years ago there was a rumor that a Marsh Bigfoot was hit by a drunk driver on his way home from Tybee Island. The Marsh Bigfoot (a sub-species of the Rocky Mountain Bigfoot) jumped into the marsh and disappeared in the mud before anyone could take a picture. So, that’s an unsubstantiated sighting. Occasionally, you’ll also find a bunch of deer carcasses on the zombie trail. It is because of these cleaned-out deer carcasses found on the trail that many Tybee Islanders believe that the Marsh Bigfoot truly exists still in McQueen’s Island. I, of course, do not believe such nonsense. I believe that the Marsh Zombies ate those deer!
So, the zombie trail was new terrain to Gyspy. So, being new terrain he had to mark every tree that was there. Claiming ownership of new territory is very important to Mr. Gypsy (and I guess, every male dog in the world). So, I let him go about his business as I explored this old road for the first time at a leisurely pace. It was nice to take in this island from a walking perspective rather than a 7 minute per mile pace.So, here I was finally able to walk around the trail snapping pictures at will with no particular pace to care about. It was fun.
As I walked around the zombie trail I began to think that this really could make a good prayer flag project annex. It’s out of the way and no one really ever comes here. This old highway is just a piece of real estate that could be utilized as a small dog park or a fishing spot if the county were to build a pier to the water. Right now it sits abandoned with sand, marsh, bushes and salt water adapted trees reclaiming the old highway. There is a large pine tree (about 20 to 30 feet tall) that has encroached on the old road, cracking the asphalt into large chunks as it claims new ground to expand upon. It’s really cool. There is a part of me that is so intrigued at how quickly nature can reclaim what man has built.
I do not know what the future plans are for this decaying road and nice piece of land but for now, it is my very own secret garden. Instead of tomatoes and peppers and flowers growing in this garden there are pine trees and oak trees and marsh grasses growing there. Imaginary zombies live here as well as a few million fiddler crabs and lizards. I once saw a red tailed hawk there, too. Oh yeah, and the occasional Marsh Bigfoot.
Anyway, here are some pictures of my favorite little buddy, Mr. Gypsy, at the old Zombie trail. If you would like to see more pictures of the zombie trail please visit my google+ zombie trail photo album: zombie trail album
I ran 6.14 miles this evening at the rails to trails. It was spectacularly beautiful at the rails this evening as a thick, dark curtain of clouds formed from what seemed the northwest and began devouring all the day light on a persistently easterly path. I managed to make it to the end of the rtt and hang some prayer flags without the clouds and rain catching me. On my way back, though, it was a race between me and the dark ominous curtain of clouds. Who would make it to start first where my dry car awaited…the storm or me? I think it was a tie. I finished my six miles, stopping momentarily here and there to snap a few pictures and off I was again with dark nasty clouds lapping at my heels. It was a tough but enjoyable race. I think I ended up tiring out the storm, though, because it barely rained after the clouds eventually overtook me and my car on the drive home.
A little rain hit me as I was crossing the Thunderbolt bridge on my way home. So, either I tired out the storm and it just didn’t have the energy to unload rain on me or, Savannah sucked up most of the rain (from what I heard on the radio). The islands seemed to have gotten spared.
1 great egret
4 fiddler crabs
1 yellow winged butterfly
1 million mosquitoes at the end of the rtt where the prayer flags are.
3 bumble bees
After my painful 15 mile run this past Sunday I ran 6 miles on Tuesday but did not run on Wednesday. My allergies have been pretty bad and I’ve been working pretty late into the day.
Tuesday’s six mile run was pretty bad. I was hurting again just like I was on Sunday during the 15 miler. Yesterday, I felt sick and very tired after work. I took Gypsy for a 2 mile walk and then spent the rest of the evening with my butt planted squarely on the couch watching Rango. It wasn’t a great movie but it held my interest for the entire duration. Amazing animation! That rattle snake was very impressive.
I felt a lot better during tonight’s run. And, I was very antsy to run! Before today’s run, though, Gypsy and I walked 1.09 mile. I hope I feel this good tomorrow after work becauseI really want to run again. I really hate feeling so sick while running due to allergies. It’s crazy but my entire body will ache when I run when my allergies are acting up. I feel like a rickety old man when I run with allergies. It’s terrible. When I finish my runs I just want to go to sleep because I am so exhausted. But then, on days like today where my allergies are not bothering me at all I finish my run and I’m still full of energy even as I write this blog. I feel good tonight! Life is good.
I am writing this blog entry from my bathroom as I soak my feet in hot water after a very feet painful 15.1 mile run this evening. I woke up this morning with major allergy issues. So, I knew that today’s run would probably not be the best one. Still though, run, I must. So, around 5:00pm I embarked on my long run. Little did I know that the problem with my run today would not be caused by allergy probs but by the bottoms of my feet becoming incredibly tender as the miles added up during tonight’s run. Ugh, my feet hurt!
The traffic going to Tybee Island was grid-locked as I headed to the rails to trails for my run. Scanning up ahead I noticed several police cars on the bull river bridge and knew I was going to be here for awhile. So, rather than wait it out I did a U-eee (I don’t know how you spell that) and parked next to a restaurant that’s off of highway 80. I slipped on my yellow nathan reflective vest, threw my iphone in the front pouch like a good kangaroo, snapped on my nathan water belt pack, grabbed my camera and took off running toward the rails to trails. I was not about to let a little fender bender on the bull river bridge slow me down.
By the time I reached the Bull river bridge the two cars involved in the minor fender bender had been pulled off the bridge and the traffic was flowing again. There was a lot of traffic on the long narrow, winding bridge and that made me a little nervous but onward I push! Off the bridge I quickly caught the zombie trail and followed it to it’s end at the shoreline of the Bull River. I turned around and ran to the rtt. I ran to the end of the rtt where the shrine and prayer flags are at and I quickly hung two prayer flags – one for Micah True – Rest in peace, and the other for a dear friends daughter which has started running. She’s the child of the lady that sold me my house almost two years ago. She’s also the child I ran the Shamrock 5k last month with. She’s an amazing young athlete. We’ll be reading about her one day as she breaks records world-wide!
I ran back up the rtt (because I had no choice other than swim to highway 80). I left the rtt and ran back to Wilmington Island or Talahi Island…I don’t know where I was. All of these Islands seem to merge into one another without me even knowing it. So, I ran back to that island and then ran up Quarterman until it ended in front of a concrete manatee mailbox. I took a picture of it and ran back up that road and then took a left at highway 80 until I got to my car but my mileage was only 14.2 and I wanted 15. So, I kept running. I ran in circles and back to the bull river again and back and finally finished up a 15.1 mile run.
2 bumble bees
1 concrete manatee
3 wood storks
1 great egret
100,000 mosquitoes at the end of the rtt. I hate those things!
a few gnats that I inadvertently ate, unfortunately
1 snowy egret
1 cushion with ducks on it
1 cargo ship
1 red female cardinal
1 mocking bird at the end of my run – how ironic
1 dead decomposed rat on the bull river bridge
My feet were killing me from mile 8. I don’t know why the balls of my feet felt so tender but they did. I kept telling myself that the pain in my feet is subjective. That didn’t work very well because my feet really were hurting! I sang along with my playlist hoping that would alleviate the pain but that didn’t work…Down with the Sickness by Disturbed didn’t go very well with my current feeling while running. Get Off by Prince only made me want to get off of my feet. Two out of three ain’t bad by Meat Loaf made me think about my two hurting feet…to make a long story short, my run today was a very painful one. Even now, my feet are still very tender. Unless I can get some super natural healing in the next 24 hours I do not think I will be running tomorrow. So, please pray that my feet get healed. Thanks.
I have to crank out the miles next week. By the end of this month I want to be able to run 25 miles comfortably in my vff’s. That may be asking a lot but I have to push it hard. I signed up for the Cremator Ultra 50. It’s happening in July. I refuse a repeat of last year’s Cremator experience. This year I’m going to complete that race and I’m going to complete it well. I’m through screwing around. Well, I don’t know if I’m through screwing around but I think you know what I mean.
Thank you so much for stopping by.
All the very best to you and yours.
Take care and God bless.
Running, Hiking, Traveling, Exploring, & a dog named Mr. Gypsy