I ran 38 miles today! Woohoo! That’s the longest run I’ve ever done! And my legs aren’t falling off…yet. haha. It will be interesting to see how they feel tomorrow, but luckily I only have 20 miles on my plate for tomorrow, and as my mom says, that should feel like a walk in the park after today!
I was lucky enough to have a running partner for a few miles this morning, a xc runner at Southern Arkansas Uni, where I stayed last night. And his name is Mickey Hammer, which is sorta the coolest name I’ve ever heard of. I went to dinner with him and Dusty (another SAU runner) and their Coach last night. Coach Tim was awesome and his enthusiasm for all this certainly motivated me today -I met with him before leaving this morning, and he hooked me up with a team T-shirt, shorts, and socks. And I got to meet most of the Athletic Dept/Coaching Staff and share this adventure with them. It was pretty neat to be in the college atmosphere and especially the college athletics atmosphere, even just for the night.
Anyway, this morning Mickey started out the day with me, keeping me company for a few miles. He sent me on my way with 35 miles to go, and just in case there were any doubts about 38 miles being a tough enough challenge, the route was full of hills and ended with a bang- 3 killer hills right as I came into El Dorado.
I only passed through downtown El Dorado briefly, but from what I saw it is one of my favorite towns so far. The downtown is full of tree-lined streets, pretty little shops and cafes, lovely old telephone booths and street lamps, and one of the most beautiful American churches that I’ve ever seen. Since tomorrow is a short day, I might stop at one of the cafes I saw and enjoy some hot coffee and a breakfast treat before taking off.
I’m staying tonight with a couchsurfer, Marcus, who cooked me one of the top 5 meals of the trip. A giant bowl of rice topped with two delicious sides- a tomato stew/curry type dish from Nigeria that he said he grew up eating, and a potato and bean curry that he learned to cook in Korea. So good. Now that I’m all fed and have 38 miles under my belt, I am so definitely ready for bed. 3 days and I’m almost halfway across Arkansas- hard to believe after I spent an entire month working my way across Texas!