Back to back long runs are, what’s the word, well, hard. Sorry to be banal about it, but 19.5 very hilly trail miles on Saturday tend to wear me out. When I wake Sunday at 5 a.m. things ache. Glutes feel tight. Lower back, too. Quads need stretching. I need coffee. I wonder: really? Another 15? Now?
Sunday was Ernie’s Memorial Run. The Trail Runners Club went back to the place where our friend and leader Ernie Chalekson passed away on a gorgeous Sunday morning last Fall. A lot of people showed up by the trail hear near Calabasas. The new club president, Ann, said a few nice words and we quietly headed to the small shire at the spot were Ernie died. Some laid flowers. It was a perfect morning for running and remembering: cool, still, green, happy.
Then we were off.
It was time to shake off the back to back blues. Warming up, I began slowly, then let go and ran hard for 15 miles. Legs felt good, lungs too. I thought of Ernie as we flew down the narrow trails, right by the spot where I last saw him, running and laughing on that very similar, sunny, fateful morning in November.
Back home I put up my feet. I thought about it: consuming enough calories is challenging, the process of waking in between these long runs is tough, but doubling up in the weekend is ultimately pretty cool.