ORN: 18.4 miles, 3:21:15, R2/W1, 10:57/mile
It's a beautiful thing when a perfect fall day lands on the Saturday when you have a long run scheduled. And oh how rare for such a thing to happen in Indiana.
Yet today was just such a day. In addition to the sunny, 58F weather, there was a Big Ten football game. The underachieving Michigan State Spartans were in town to play our frustratingly inconsistent Purdue Boilermakers. With a noon kickoff, activity was rolling early. During the first five miles of the run, the south wind carried the Purdue Band's pregame show to my Indian Trail loop, enlivening the run. There is a special sound to a college marching band. Interestingly, since we don't have a music school at Purdue, all the band members are Biology or Communication majors. What we lack in musical finesse we make up in volume.
Grinding the run closer to campus got me in the flow with a lot of folks walking to the game. Looping around the crowds tailgating, the smells made me realize why so many "fans" don't even bother with the football game. By the time I got home, the Boilers were already ahead 10-7. Alas, they could not hang on and lost the game.
Yet the run was good. I had decided earlier in the week to seriously pursue entering the 50K trail race on December 19. After my knee issues at Portland, I had thought about scrapping it. Yet several of you urged me to not give up on it yet. After the successful half marathon last week, I sat down, reworked my schedule and realized I needed a long run this weekend to have a shot at 50K. So I threw in the 18 miler, and went out at a simple 2/1. It was fun. Just knocked off the miles...nothing hurt, nothing twinged, it was just enjoyable. I'll do a 22 miler sometime over the Thanksgiving weekend and, if that goes well, it's game on for my first bona fide ultra.