What an incredible day I’ve had! It is such an awesome feeling waking up each morning and not knowing what’s in store for you. Usually I get up and just imagine what the run will be like. But by the end of the day I am always surprised by how many other things have happened and how much other mischief I’ve managed to get myself into other than just running.
Today I woke up to the smell of pancakes…delight numero uno. I got everything ready to go, packed some pancakes, and headed to the fitness center, HealthWorks, where my host Marcus interned along with his two awesome roommates : ) I got a tour of the gym and met all the staff there- cool to again be in the athletic atmosphere. Then I met with the El Dorado news for an interview before I took off, and I also got to meet Billy, the face of the Boys& Girls Club of El Dorado. I was stoked about that because El Dorado has a great club and I hadn’t gotten to visit it yesterday because I finished running so late. Billy noticed my shoes were falling apart, and offered to take me to the sports shop to help me get a new pair. So now I’m striding strong in a brand new pair of Asics! Normally I wear Adidas but the store didn’t have any and I always wore Asics racing flats for indoor track and they feel grrreat, so I definitely can’t complain!
After the store I strolled around downtown for a bit with Marcus, sent a package home to my parents, and had some coffee and fresh fruit. Finally around noon I set off for Strong, 20 miles east. Not much to say about the run, mostly because it started out fantastic and by mile 13 every single part of my body wanted to stop. Good thing my mind always beats my body. Guess I was feeling that 38 miler?
I got into Strong around 430 and met Paula and Bubba Meldin, my absolutely wonderful hosts for tonight. They just took me out to dinner (buffet dinner!) at the ‘Old Feed House’ where I had two bowls of my new favorite dish- Gumbo! The real-deal Gumbo! So good. The buffet was an interesting display of Southern cuisine- fried catfish, fried chicken, fried pork chop, fried shrimp, fried cornbread, fried frogs legs…notice a pattern here? They also had a whole thing of pickles -buffet style-so I couldn’t believe my luck that I could eat as many pickles as I wanted. They’re one of my favorite things in the world : )
After some good conversation and loud laughs with Paula and Bubba, (who seemed to know everyone at the restaurant) we headed out, me with a little take-home cup full of vanilla ice cream. It was a wonderful day indeed. Full of gracious people, interesting places, and warm smiles.
And oh yeah, 20 miles of running. Almost forget about that aspect of this trip ; )