Standing Indian Run – 6/4/16
Standing Indian Run:
Last week I was at a wedding in Murphy, NC and wanted to get some miles in while there. I knew nothing about this area other than the Hiwassee was near and I saw mountains on the drive in. What is it with me and mountains? Every time I see one I just want to run around it or climb to the top. I wonder if people get as excited as I do when I get in view of them? Long story short my good buddy Matt Denton from Alabama proposed that I do a 22 mile loop starting at Standing Indian campground. I met Matt at one of my races. I can’t remember which one, but I do know he brought beer and a smile. These two things are a staple for Matt.
I started the run and was amazed at how fast the trail was. Even the uphill to the AT was easy. I told myself it was just because I was so strong… Telling myself lies helps. Within the first 5 miles you make it to a beautiful overlook with a fire tower. From there it gets a little technical for a mile on some downhill rock but then it eventually gets smooth and fast. On this run I saw several AT hikers. They all seemed shocked when they saw me alone with just a handheld. Almost each one wanted to know where I was going and how far. Or often they would crack a joke like “You need to pick up the pace” or “Stop slugging around” For some reason I could not come up with a quick response in passing. I would say things like “Yeah.”, “I’m slow” or “You got that right.” Alone these comments would be okay but one guy said can you speed it up and I replied with “You got right”….. Not even a complete sentence…I wanted to run back and tell him I’m actually funny and that they should just know this. But then I would just make it more awkward. I finished the run and felt a great runners high. I jammed out to show tunes on the way back to my cabin with some heart shaped sunglasses I found!
* I sang the new Lost Boy song by Ruth B the WHOLE TRIP…. I could not get it out my head. It made me think about my days in Kensington Park, while living in London. I would sit underneath the statue of Peter Pan at the end of each day as it was right beside my apartment. I’m a little obsessed with many aspects of the Peter Pan story FYI.
* I also thought about my bear tree strategy on this run. A few of my friends know this is my go to strat when getting away from bears. Its pretty simple really. It goes like this.
Step 1 – If a bear attacks quickly find the largest tree around you
Step 2 – Keep running around it until the bear gets tired.
You might think it is too simple and almost cartoonish. But I guarantee that a bear cannot turn as fast as human and that I can run for much longer. I really wish I could test this without the possible downside. Just fyi I also have a plane crash escape plan, and a way to get away from charging hippos, wild hogs and Elephants.