Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: Unforgettable Runs: Ogle Lake, Indiana

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Unforgettable Runs: Ogle Lake, Indiana

     If you've read any of my Unforgettable Runs posts (or even my most recent one, Unforgettable Runs: Indiana University, IN) you would know that I have the tendency to a.) get lost, or b.) do something stupid on just about every run I'm on.  The good thing is, I always have something to laugh about or be grateful for afterwards.  My run the day after we visited IU was no different.
     We were hiking out a Brown County state park-- it was absolutely beautiful-- but I began seeing runners as we got further onto the trail.  The fact that they were doing some real distance-- indicated by their Camelbacks full of water-- made me pang even more for a run.  I'd done a shakeout 10 min. jog that morning and had been planning to give my legs a break by doing the elliptical that night, but I couldn't resist for long.  "Man!  I wish I hadn't worn my coat," I finally remarked as we saw yet another runner go by.  My mom offered to hold my coat, so I shed a couple of layers and told them how long I'd be and where I'd meet  back up with them.  "Take your phone with you," my mom instructed as I tried to hand it to her.  I knew that it made sense, since there was no other way to contact her if there was a problem.  "I'm just scared I'm going to drop it," I worried aloud.  But I realized that it was probably important, given my track record for getting lost and what not.
     The trail itself was beautiful.  I started my run out by Ogle Lake, and made my way around the trail.  The best part was the roots and bumps along the way.  For most runners, those are a hassle to be avoided.  For me, they are a fun challenge that keeps my mind engaged and having fun.  I was thoroughly enjoying myself crossing over little footbridges and jumping over ruts in the ground.  After a mile or so, I came to a fork in the path where I could go further or turn to circle around the lake the rest of the way.  I had plenty of time left in my run, so I kept going.  There weren't a lot of people other then runners on any of the trails, but this second trail was even more desolate then the first. I love it.  The wide path thinned out to a single track, and I ran along not knowing where I was going or even how long I'd continue before turning around.  After another mile or so, I came to a large hill upward.  I charged up the hill, only to see a large platform ahead that rose from 20 or so steps.  I urged my legs up the steps and stopped at the top as I saw the trail continue upward.  I'm all for a challenge, but I'd done a long run the day before, and a hard run the day before that.  My legs were aching pretty bad by that point, so I figured it was best to turn around.  Not before I snapped a few pictures though!
     My run back to the original trail was pretty uneventful.  Again, the nature was beautiful and I was so grateful for the change of scenery in the tall trees and vast wooded landscape.  Back at the original trail, I forked left to continue my loop around the lake.  At that point though, I had to actually cross the lake, which was pretty cool.  There was a wide footbridge of planks that crossed over and onto the other side, which was on much greater of an incline.  By that I mean that the trail was hugging the side of some pretty steep drop-offs to the lake-- not too high, but high enough to provide for a pretty dangerous fall.  It was really cool though, as the trail was not at all straight and predictable.  At times, I would be weaving the side of the drop-off and a few minutes later, I would be right down by the lake.  I was almost back to the lake front where I would continue back the way we had hiked out there, when I saw the mud was getting pretty bad ahead.  I was down by the edge of the lake though, so it made sense that it was getting so darn muddy!
     A little ways ahead, I saw a nasty spot of mud.  Trying to be proactive and smart, I sidestepped it to the right.  Before I knew it though, I went down.  My feet quickly slid and I frantically looked for a tree to grab. In that split second I realized that there were none.  Come on!  I'm right next to a forest for goodness sakes! I slipped down into the mud, coming within a meter of the cold water, before I caught myself with my hands. Looking like a muddy fool, I stood in that same crouched position for a good minute.  I had been sure I was going straight into the lake, and now I was sure that any move I made would send me straight for that reality. After gathering the last bit of my dignity, I made a giant leap up to the trail and then surveyed the damage.  My purple running tights were completely covered in mud, my backside looked like a giant mud spot, and my hair and face were spotted with evidence of my little mishap.  That's when I looked down: my phone-- just a three week old baby-- was completely, utterly, covered in mud.  I'm not big when it comes to technology, but it was an investment and I take pride in being unbelievably responsible with all my possessions.  Forget the fact that I was unharmed and not soaking wet: I ruined my new phone!  I debated whether or not to touch the screen to call my mom, but finally did.  I was crying like a baby as I told her, "I...I fell...and I'm okay...but I'm covered with mud and so is my's ruined!!!"
     Ya..not one of my better moments.  Believe me, I learned quite a bit from that experience.  FYI- a muddy phone is not worth crying over when the alternative was a wet injured runner and a phone at the bottom of a lake in Indiana.  Looking back, there really is no better option when falling into a lake: catch yourself with your hands without dropping your phone or losing your balance.  By the way, the phone's fine.  Absolutely not a scratch (it had a case on it), except for some dried mud in the speaker.  I'm hoping I can blow that out with that stuff people use on keyboards.
     Anyway, I walked back to meet up with my mom and brother-- still crying-- and recounted the rest of my story.  Eventually, I ran the rest of the way back to the car.  Mostly to clear my head at that point: I was still freaked out that I'd almost fallen and mad about my phone.  Back at the car, I walked up to the top of the outlook post and stretch by a picnic table while I waited for the rest of the crew to return.  It was gorgeous to be up there surrounded by the trees and woods, and although I didn't appreciate it as much as I should have at the time, this blog is my chance at redemption!  All in all, it was a very memorable run to say the least.  It was so beautiful, scary, and frustrating all at the same time.  I'm amazed I can pack that many emotions and events into one distance run, but that makes it all the more unforgettable.

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