Saturday, April 23, 2005


Today was a beautiful day to be out running-- cool in the shade, warm in the sun, blue skies with just a few high white clouds. The flowers were blooming, the trees and grass were green, there were garage sales on nearly every block... yes, it's springtime in the city!

I decided to avoid the Waugh-Sabine loop of the bayou trails because I had reason to believe that either the International Festival or the Earth Day Festival would be taking place there. As an aside, am I the only person who sees enormous irony in the fact that the Earth Day Festival involves lots of diesel trucks pulling up with generators to power electricity for the various tents and kiosks selling commercially produced beer in plastic cups in support of environmental sustainability? Am I the only person who sees the grounds all white with litter after the Earth Day festivities are over and wonders if we're doomed as a species?


Okay, back on track here...

So after I crossed the bridge to access the bayou trails, I headed to Shepherd and around to Allen Parkway where I crossed the street just before I got to the old Jewish Cemetery. This put me on the sidewalk outside of Allen House where a big multi-family garage sale was being set up to benefit tsunami victims. I wandered around a bit, examining books and furniture. I was inspecting some pans that looked like they might be good Farberware when a volunteer pointed out that the sale didn't begin until 9. Okay, fine. I didn't have any money on me, anyway, and was staying out of people's way, but I could see her point. If they let one person preview stuff, they have to let any local who happens to wander by, and the next thing you know, they might as well be open for business.

So I continued on my run, stopping at some other, single-family garage sales as I found them, but not making any detours to do so. Eventually I made my way to Rice University, used the restroom at the Tennis Center, then continued around the trail to the Med Center and finally to Sunset Blvd. I crossed over to Hermann Park at that point and did the trail there, too. I had never done the entire perimeter, and I have to admit that when I found myself so close to Hwy 288 and saw downtown looking so far away, I had a moment where I felt very intimidated. But I put such thoughts aside and finished the trail to where it ended near the rose gardens. Then I made a detour into the park so I could see the ducks. Some of them were still asleep, but many were already awake and paddling around the two ponds, where the breezy day had whipped up a surprising amount of waves. I half-expected to see whitecaps.

After visiting the ducks, I crossed back to Rice and finished their perimeter trail, then went back toward home. My mileage was way short at this point, so I made a detour on South Blvd, past my university president's house, up Graustark to Banks, to little Bell Park on Montrose. I've always liked this little pocket park, with its trees, trails and bridges. When I was in the restaurant business, it was a popular late-night place to go with friends and a bottle of wine. When I lived in an efficiency apartment on Banks, it was a nice place to go and relax after work. There was a tree with a low-lying branch where I could lie on my back and gaze up at the sky through the lace of green leaves. Bell Park is a peaceful spot in an otherwise busy part of town.

But today I only stopped for some water, then cut through the park to Milford street on the other side, back to Graustark and North Blvd, paralleling my earlier route on South back to Poe Elementary. From there I headed back home the way I had come earlier that morning, stopping at an antique mall to check the wares it had set out, but otherwise with no digressions.

I had a good strong run overall and surprised myself by barely noticing the long uphill part of the bayou trail as I neared the bridge that would put me back on my side of Memorial Drive. Even so, I was glad to get home, ice down, take a shower and rub my legs down a bit. I'm glad Monday is my massage day. It's getting to be about that time.

Recent Workouts
Monday: 45 min core and strength training, 30 min elliptical
Tuesday: 45 min core and strength training, 15 min elliptical, 30 min run 8:30 pace
Wednesday: 45 min cycling - 1st 45 minutes of Spinervals 5.0 Mental Toughness, 1 mile treadmill at 8:00 pace
Thursday: 45 min core and strength training, 45 min elliptical (intervals)
Friday: 45 min core and strength training
Saturday: 14.5 mile long run

1 comment:

Wil said...

You have a massage day!? I'm SO jealous!

I love your writing, too. It really feels like the reader is there - lots of details :)