Tuesday, November 06, 2012

I Hear That Train A-Coming...Part II

This is Part II because Part I was a while back during a 10K.

Oh, the things that bounce around in your head during a run. Well, my head, anyway. Usually I can't figure out how they got in there to begin with. But this was a little different. Those things sometimes include music of various sorts. Today, for no immediately apparent reason, I started singing Folsom Prison Blues to myself.

But there was a reason. It's just that that reason registered itself in my consciousness about a minute after the song began. Yes, there really was a train coming. Isn't it funny that my subconscious knew it first? There was no danger of being hit by a speeding locomotive; I was safely on the road away from any tracks. But I was scared nonetheless.

The incident occurred 7 and a half miles into my 16-miler this morning. It was the first time I'd run this course in something like a year. Not that I haven't been putting in the miles; I did two tough 9-mile loops at Hinckley on Sunday, and then of course there was My Run With Scissors last week. The reason I haven't been doing this run is because until today, is that I haven't been able to get out the door early enough. I love those rural Medina County country roads, but not when there's even a little traffic. There's never all that much, but it is certainly reduced at 4 to 5 am compared with 6:30 to 7:30 am. The cars that I do see go very fast, and there isn't always a lot of room to get off to the side of the road. Today traffic wouldn't be a problem; I started at about 4:10 am.

And, sauntering at about a 9-minute pace, I was enjoying my run. Until that train started a-coming and made me a little afraid. The course crosses the tracks three times after going underneath a train bridge for a fourth. I had gone under the tracks and was now on the other side for the first of two times. Now maybe my irrational fear is becoming apparent: I fear getting "trapped" on the outer side of the tracks.

I understand how irrational it is. If I got caught:
a)  I could simply stop and wait the train out. They are never that long.
b) In this case I could also run back the way I had come, and go back under the train bridge.

But I also wanted to complete this course. What to do? Run fast, of course. Try to get past the next set of tracks before the train comes so as to be back on "my" side. It worked. I beat the train. And I finished the run as planned. Thank God for small victories.

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