Seeing as my first 50k in 2015 at Rattlesnake Ridge was cancelled due to surgery and the follow-up this September was cancelled due to smoke, it seems only fitting that the planned solo run for this Saturday at Indian Painted Rocks was rejected by State Parks rules. So instead, I'll be running Sunday in the Dishman Hills Natural Area from Camp Caro, starting at noon.
What does this mean? On the "aww!" side, it's rockier = slower and tougher. On the "aah" side, the change of location made me look at the weather forecast and see that Saturday is supposed to be cold and rainy vs sunny on Sunday. Also, The Natural Area is where I first fell in love with trail running a decade ago, so everything's coming full-circle. It's also close to home.
Oh, and the car dealership across the street blasts hits from the '70s and '80s that I'll be able to hear whenever I circle back to the aid station. With any luck, it'll be Jon Bon Jovi singing "Oh, we're halfway there... Living on a Prayer." Or maybe Jackson Browne reminding me I'm "Running on Empty."
The above photo was taken in the Natural Area last December, a couple of weeks after chemo ended, while we were shooting footage for the Proof of Life trailer. At that point, I could barely run the 100 or so feet you can see in the photo.
I've run past that spot on the trail dozens of times over the past ten years and I'll probably pass it five or six times Saturday, if all goes according to plan and change doesn't mess with plans again. And every time I pass that spot, no matter how tired, I can remember the shape my body and soul were in that day back in December and feel blessed.