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 phone...it'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.