Friday, July 20, 2012

5 Miles

I didn't want to run today. I wanted to sit on the couch. I wanted to put my feet on the coffee table and just gel. 

My training plan said - GO RUN! 

Nike said - JUST DO IT!

Settling, I put on running clothes and drove to a 'flat' course. I figured if I am running today, I could at least avoid all the hill drama of my immediate area.

I get to the track that I chose as my base. It has an empty parking lot, other than one lowered Buick Regal and me. The Buick has two young men. They are cruising the otherwise empty parking lot. I leave my car. Lowered Buick Regal drives slowly past my car. I watch. I worry. They keep slowly cruising the parking lot. In circles. Past my car. I go back to my car. I leave.

I drive to a trail. It isn't as flat as what I hoped for, but it has a bathroom. Bathrooms are good. It is muggy. I put on my water belt, take a deep sigh, turn on my music and start my Garmin watch. 

I go.

Up, down and along the trails. First towards an apartment complex I used to live at. Some parts of the trail are rough and hard on the ankles. I then head east to the prettier portion of the trail and find there that parts of the path are so smooth and level it is like floating over it. 

Past the wild roses that are so thick, the air is filled with their fragrance.

Past several small cotton-tail rabbits that watch as I pass them by. Past the singing birds on tall reeds. Under a soaring red tail hawk.

Cool breeze for a moment. Wish it lasted longer. 

Past a pretty pond and countless ducks resting on it's banks. 

Coming around a secluded corner I see a scruffy man, bending over a small brick divider. He pulls up, a very very large, bright red pipe wrench. He looks to both sides as I approach. He holds it. He looks at me. I recall too many Criminal Mind shows and pick up the pace. I pass him nervously. Looking over shoulder, I race. Fast!

A hill. A long long tall hill. I hate that hill. Do I take it today? Yes. It hurt. I was slow. But, I go. I get half way and turn back. If I had been running any slower I would have been walking.

More trails. More birds. Tiger swallowtail butterflies flitting across the trail between blooming thistle. A gnat splats against my glasses.

The last mile - not easy. Does it ever end? Why am I doing this? Sweat is literally dripping off my visor. I finish the rest of my water and relax knowing I have more fluids in the car. 

I make it. I take my time walking it out. Taking off all my gear at the car, I realized my clothes are soaked. Yet, all those endless miles, now feel as if they were but a 15 minute jaunt.  I feel strong. Really really strong. I take my time stretching. I feel relaxed. I feel refreshed. 

That wasn't so bad.

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