Saturday morning we're up at the crack of yeehaw dreaming up our run for the day. We were planning to head up to the Kettle Moraine since the weather was phenomenal (full sun, 30s, rockin' awesome) and began to make motions towards that goal. Some mid-winter camping had been on the agenda as well, but we scratched that idea upon waking Saturday morning. We also wanted to make our usual stop at the La Grange General Store for lunch, so that meant we needed to get the show on the road.
For as early as we got up, we didn't end up heading out the door until close to noon :) What on earth were we doing all that time? I have no idea. So, to the Nordic trail we headed! We're within 20 minutes of our final destination when I decide Facebook needs to know what we're up to, so I post a quick little status update. Almost instantly (not really, it just seemed like it) I got a reply from Brian telling me to check out a post from someone else and to "be careful out there." Ummmmm, what?
I couldn't see the post so I asked what it said and he sent me a text with the information...basically, there was a gunman on the loose on the Nordic trails and a fellow runner was greeted by 20 some odd policemen with their guns drawn when she came off the trails after her run. She ran right by the guy!
In any event, we had no idea what the trail situation would be so we started altering our plan a bit. We pulled up to the Nordic trailhead only to see that it has been blockaded and an officer steps out of his truck to speak with Geof while another officer is off to the side doing nothing out of the ordinary...you know, just strapping on a bulky bullet proof vest and tossing an enormous gun across his back. Gave me chills!
So it turns out, allegedly, some dude not wearing blaze orange (i.e. in plain clothes) shot directly at a hunter and his son, the hunter shot back, and then the dude took off. Police were on the hunt for him, choppers were called, area houses were put on lockdown, and the Nordic trails were closed off. But, according to the gent Geof spoke with, it was okay to run the trails across the street. Seriously? How was that expected to be safe? Heh.
In the end, all we could find out was that the search was "called off" later that evening. No explanation of what happened, or why it was called off, or if they caught their perp. Nothing. Isn't that strange?
We ended up driving up the road to the Highway 12 trailhead and ran to Rice Lake and back. It was AWESOME! Lots of hunters out on the trail, which is always creepy feeling, but they are always very nice to us. I love this section of the KM100. It's technical, it's hilly, it twisty-turny. Lots of rocks, a miniature pine tree alley that makes me feel extremely tall as we run beneath the stunted canopy of pine. I endeavored to run the entire way out; running every up and every down, maintaining a consistent cadence the whole way. I did it, too :) It burned on some of the steeper climbs, but I was able to keep moving at the same pace regardless. We reached the turnaround at Rice Lake and headed back the way we came. I kept the same goal in mind, but at two of the sections with railroad tie stairs (going up this time) I let myself reduce to a brisk hike for a moment, but still the same cadence. It felt so good. The weather was just fantastic, and other than the sprinkling of hunters alongside the trail near County Road P, we more or less had the trail to ourselves. Some spots were a little mucky, but for the most part it was in great shape.
I wore my La Sportiva Quantums and enjoyed a solid ride the whole way. When you step in tacky mud it sounds like peeling velcro as my foot leaves the mud. It sounds pretty funny, but it also means I'm getting great traction even on the slippy-slidey stuff.
After wrapping up our run we quickly changed and headed for the warm goodness of the General Store. We shared a hot Fajita Pita for lunch, and I enjoyed my very first kombucha tea (ummmm, holy deliciousness!). There was a specific dinner spot we had in mind on the way home, so we didn't want to spoil our appetites before we got there.
After sufficiently relaxing our legs and bellies we hopped back in the truck and headed for Woodstock, IL an hour or so away. The Woodstock Public House has the sort of charm and ambiance I think only exists in movies or made-for-TV-dramas. I'm pretty sure I mentioned it before (when we went apple picking back in the fall), but the town square is so perfectly perfect it makes me squeal with delight when I see it. We parked on the far end and walked around the Square to the Pub where we grabbed a high-top in the front room (it has the best people watching :)). I ordered the most divine pumpkin harvest soup and melted into the bowl as I drained it of every last drop.
A nearly full moon over Main Street
We walked around the Square once more on the way back to the truck, and we dreamed up Sunday's run/workout. The day wasn't even done and I was already chomping at the bit for the next day's run :)
And, in closing, I stumbled upon Joe Grant's blog yesterday (if you don't follow it you should consider it :)) and fell in love with the writing. He's got great style. He wrote a short post on his 2011 streak and I cannot get this clip from his post out of my head...it's some serious truth:
"There's something special about devoting, even the smallest amount of time, each day to something that you love. In many ways, it is no longer a question as to whether or not I will run today, but rather about the excitement and anticipation of what the run will bring."
And that is yet another reason I run...for "the excitement and anticipation of what the run will bring."