Well, it was bound to happen. After nearly 830 miles in 45 days (over 9,000 feet of elevation in the 2 previous days), I am pooped. I decided to take a slow day, and went just under 15 miles.

I’m really behind on keeping up with my journal, because at the end of the day, I shuffle to camp, take a shower, eat, ice, stretch and barely have enough energy to pull up the blankets or text Murphy and the kids before I fall asleep. I’ll do my best to keep uploading pictures after ever day, but some of the journal may not be finished until I get back.

I ran over 190 miles last week!

Two days ago, I ran from the eastern side of Stone Mountain up to the Blue Ridge Parkway with over 4900 feet of elevation gain. Yesterday, I started and finished near the Parkway, but still added over 4600 feet of elevation gain.

I have run for many years, but other than age group awards, I have never been tops on speed, but when checking out Strava’s assessment of 172,959 runners, I’m number 5 in total distance for the month of May!

So today was short but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting. I started off from West Jefferson, found a pace that didn’t make me scream, and weaved back and forth across the Parkway for almost 2 miles when I came across the Laurel and Hardy of labrador retrievers.

After I climbed over a cattle turnstile to get back onto the trail, I came upon male chocolate and black labs. Both looked to be about 75 pounds each. They were obviously well cared for, and they both had collars, but neither had ID tags attached to the collars.

I said, “Hi guys!” enthusiastically when they came up to me, and that was my mistake, apparently. They were attached to me for the next 12 miles. They deftly scaled steep trails and stayed off the road whenever a car was near. They were old pros, and I learned a thing or two. Together, we forged streams, soaked our feet when we could, chased chipmunks (I actually let them do that stuff without me – on account I’m not a dog), and ate sandwiches whenever we ran into Dean.

When I had cell service, I put out an all-call to the Facebook world, and Murphy called a local animal rescue place in Boone. The puppy parents were found and apparently these two hoodlums were well known to the Parkway staff as this wasn’t their first adventure. I’m glad they found their home and that they’re safe, but I have to admit. I miss them already.

As I mentioned, I ended the day a little early to work on recovery. I had enough time, after I made it to camp, to eat, shower, ice, nap and do a radio interview with the local ESPN radio station out of Asheville. Thanks, Pat and Bill (the WISE Guys)!  I have the legs for radio.

Sometimes – maybe all the time – it’s not as important to get there fast as it is to just get there. Be smart. Move – Rest – Recover. Repeat. Keep moving forward.