Running alongside a canoe and some super cool bikers

Posted: 07/20/2013 in Uncategorized

So, here in Cincy, we have a lot of water. There’s that big Ohio River thing which forms our state’s Southern border. Everyone knows about that.

But besides that, we have a whole lot of lakes and reservoirs, and tributaries. Water, water, everywhere. What’s my point?

My point is that really, this is all just a buildup (not really a buildup) for me telling you that Eric has caught the canoeing bug in a BIG way lately.

Now, we both enjoy canoeing and together. we’re pretty good with the paddling.  But Eric, he’s got CANOE FEVER. And it’s only getting worse – probably because we realized a bit ago that we both enjoy kayaking more than canoeing, so every time we go canoeing it’s leaving an unsated hunger for kayaking (in both of us) that creates a feedback loop with the needing to canoe because right now we have access to a canoe, but not kayaks.  See the problem?


I am also fairly certain that the Enthusiasm Vacation Fatigue Slide (which is a made up thing that I just made up but should totally catch on) is involved in here somewhere. Kayaking was a vacation thing.


Which explains why every time I clean the bathroom, I think about how I really need to hire some housekeeping I need a vacation.

I digress. Also, I suck at Paint. It’s part of my charm.

So anyway, there was this morning last weekend where Eric woke up and was all LET’S GO KAYAKING CANOEING!! And my mouth said Sure! but my eyes…my eyes…

My eyes said “Are you fucking kidding me? You were up when I came home from girl’s night, right? Also, you’re doing all the paddling”. Then I went to get dressed.

Which was the same time that Eric’s friend responded to a text to say he’d take my place in the canoe. Because there’s a god the universe knows 6am is not a good time to wake up your hung over wife on a Saturday morning. Unfortunately she was already up. And I’m one of those people, that even at 6am, once I’m up – I’m up. This was about the time that Eric started explaining to me where they were putting in and pulling out – the canoe – and the conversation took an interesting turn. You see, they were going to canoe a waterway that runs parallel to a well-known running trail.

I needed to get a run in.  Then I needed to get dressed all over again, because what you wear to kayak canoe in is not at all what you would wear to run in. Usually. Unless it’s a themed run.  And so it was decided that I was going to ride along on the canoe trip to drop off the boat, find the trail that runs parallel to the water, and essentially run alongside their canoe for 5 miles.

Which honestly, worked out rather lovely. The Milford/Terrace Park section of the Little Miami Trail is nicely shaded, VERY FLAT, paved and populated by other athletes riding and running. The water alongside peeks out between trees here and there, as do some nice properties. Right at the 5k marker, I came up on the Avoca Trailhead – which I’ve run through before – and in its most glorious gloriousness, it has restrooms and a water fountain. Runner Nirvana! I took a risk in not carrying water on a very warm day based on the notion that I would be passing through that trailhead as a water stop.

It was at Avoca that I ran into The Two Bikers. Not sure exactly what about me it was that worried one of them (okay – in the interest of being honest, I was running hung over. That’s just not a pretty look.) , but let’s just say – he took a bit of concern over the fact that I wasn’t carrying a water bottle on my run. A mini-interrogation started. Where was I coming from? How far was I going? Was I worried about not having a water bottle? I know I’m making them sound a little stalker-y, but really, I think they were just being nice and concerned. And neither of them asked how long it would take for me to be reported missing, so I felt like we were new friends.  The one that did most of the talking finished the conversation by offering to give me his water bottle (he had a Gatorade too).

What? He offered me his water bottle? Yes! He offered to give me his water bottle! HOW SWEET IS THAT?! Is this a secret of the cycling tribe – that they give away water to strangers? I am unfamiliar with this phenomena.

As seasoned as I am on this whole athlete thing – I think I’ve only had someone offer me a chug off their water bottle once or twice – same in turn. I can count a handful of times on hot Summer runs that I’ve offered someone a draw on my supplies.  With runners, it’s kind of an unwritten rule that you carry what you need – and usually, not enough to share unless there’s a desperate circumstance. We gotta keep our gear light. But dude was offering me an entire bottle of his water (and it was an expensive brand too)! I just thought that was really nice – though I turned him down. I had a cooler waiting on me at the meetup and not much further to go.

In fact, I had less to go that I thought – I got to Bass Island at around 4.2 miles and then did some extra mileage to get to 5 miles before settling in to alternate stretches and a push-up progression while I waited on the boys. Who I beat by a fair 30 minutes.  Then I volunteered to walk the dog around another mile or so while they ran up and switched cars to lash the canoe up. Piece of advice: If you want to keep friends that will get up at ohcrapearly to save your hung over ass from canoeing with your husband, you do not put your stinky, river-mud coated shed-master dog in their car. Instead, you walk the dog around in circles til your husband gets back with his car. Even if you’re tired and hung over – you walk in circles for as long as it takes.  These are friends you should keep.

So all in all -by embracing a little creativity, the whole thing was made a win-win situation what with the husband getting the canoeing and me getting the not-canoeing on a hangover getting my run in. Which we made even more winning by heading out for a late breakfast. A thing we all agreed on.


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