DAY 1 – PART 2
I ran. And I kept running.
It’s not as if I was going fast, like I was running a 5k or anything, but I was running too fast – between 11 and 13 minute miles. For repeated daily long runs over two months, I might regret this pace.
My legs felt fresh even through the middle of the day, when I stopped at the RV near a bridge. I sat down, Meidad and Chuck made sure that I had calories going into my body. Dean was checking my feet for blisters. We were all moving like a pumped up NASCAR team (except I was driving a Taurus). It was exhilarating, a dream come true, and entirely unnecessary. I had all day to get to Rodanthe (otherwise known as Chicamacomico).
The Outer Banks are fantastic, unusual – dramatic. Its beaches can be sedate and almost sleep-inducing, but yet still feel like your sitting in the percussion section of a large orchestra pit. The breezes push, pull and swirl around you at high speeds. Even when the temperatures creep up above 70 degrees, you need a windbreaker to keep from shivering. The waves that crash, aren’t always huge, but they tinkle like chimes, they deepen to timpani and build to a deep bass boom as they work they edges of the coast. The sound is constant and it allows me to stay mentally away from some of the pain in my feet or legs much of the time that I run through the maelstrom.
Again, the weather was great and I paralleled the beach on NC Highway 12 and crossed the bridge over Oregon Inlet from Bodie Island to Pea Island. The bridges were busy with cars and lots of dead seagulls (why do seagulls have such a tough time dodging cars?), but I really didn’t have too much trouble. Most all the drivers were nice and waved. A few of them scared me when they were obviously engaged with their cell phones. Dang, those things are lethal – cell phones, I mean.
I found a visitor’s center soon after I crossed the bridge, and noticed a side trail. Was this a scenic shortcut? Could I dodge cars the cars for a few miles? Yep. I took it and it went to… the end of the trail and then I turned around. My crew loved losing me for about 30 minutes. While they freaked out, I did get a couple of pictures and saw a big raccoon with a bright red tail. Let’s call that a win for adventure. If you ask Dean, he might call it something else.
Pea Island, interestingly, has existed and not existed over past 300 years depending on the New Inlet (to the South) and Oregon Inlet (on the North), that separate them from the other Islands. In fact, until recently, Pea Island wasn’t truly separated from Hatteras until 2011, when the New Inlet connected the Pamlico Sound with the Atlantic Ocean. These islands won’t stay still for too long.
From Pea Island, I crossed over the New Inlet Bridge onto Hatteras Island, not too far from my ending destination. After crossing this bridge, I had run over 28 miles, and was really starting to feel the aching and fatigue. My enthusiasm for what I was doing hadn’t abated. I was hungry, but nothing that a granola bar wouldn’t sate. I finally turned on my headphones and found some music to distract me. I started off with Foo Fighters, but moved over to Chris Robinson Brotherhood. I just needed something to sing to, to find a rhythm. I felt good and just wanted to fly through the rest of the state exactly like that.
Find the joy in what your doing. It’s there. Some days you just have to look a little harder. Keep Moving Forward.