Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Solstice Run

I went for a really nice run today when I got off work. It was just a little five-miler around the bayou trails, but with the sun setting and casting a golden glow over everything, it felt very pretty and magical. The recent rains had washed mud across the lower parts of the trail, but it was dry and the uncertain surface forced me to slow down and look around a bit at the trees, the muddy bayou, the people walking their dogs, at the sunset painting its rapidly fading colors across the sky.

I don't know how fast I ran because I haven't worn a watch since I became injured. Trying to beat a preconceived notion of time is bad news when you're hurt. But I think I was slightly sub-9:00 most of the time.

The bayou trails are really a bad place to try for speed, anyway. The surfaces are too varied and uncertain. There's a spot near the fountain where the asphalt is so badly broken that you don't so much run as dance across that section as you make rapid calculations of where to place your feet where you'll be least likely to twist or break something.

There were quite a few tourists at the bat bridge at Waugh Drive. Funny, I've been running under there for years hearing the bats, smelling the stench of the guano, never seeing anyone other than homeless people. And now that they've put up a few signs about the bats, it's a regular tourist attraction.

There were quite a few runners out this afternoon. Some were dressed for snowstorms, but it really wasn't so cold as all that. Even I, cold-weather wimp that I am, found it warm enough for shorts.

Someone was walking a dog off-leash. I didn't see the owner, but I saw the dog-- a black mutt with a pink plastic day-glo ribbon tied to his tail for easy locating if he darted off into the bushes, I guess.

A nicely-dressed woman was walking home from the Kroger on the other side of the bayou from where I live. She was walking across the Shepherd bridge, a bag in each hand, blocking me from passing on the narrow sidewalk. Luckily a guy in a pickup saw my impatience and slowed down long enough for me to step into the street and sprint around her. It felt good to sprint.

On the last stretch up the hill to the Jackson Hill bridge, I passed a guy who was a fair bit younger than me. No sooner had I passed him when I heard a rustling in the dry leaves behind me. I couldn't let him pass me back, could I? He might be younger, but he was wearing cotton! So I kicked it in a little and by the time I got to the bridge and looked back, he was trudging, looking tired. Ha!

As soon as I got home, my lungs tightened up and I couldn't breathe. One of my least-favorite things about running in the winter. As long as the adrenaline is going, my lungs stay clear, but as soon as I slow down or stop, my lungs freak out and it can take as long as thirty minutes before I'm breathing normally again. Oh well. I'm used to it so it doesn't usually freak me out, which would only make it worse.

A shower, a nice dinner, some blog-checking and a short nap and now I'm ready to settle in with a bit of writing. I was at one of those "How do I want to get from A to B?" places when I stopped last night. Since not much was happening at the office today, I managed to have some good ideas-- ideas that made me laugh because they were evil. I don't know why I enjoy my characters so much more when they're bad than when they're good, but I do.

Lessee… what else? I got nearly all the audit docs collected and copied. If interruptions can be kept to a minimum tomorrow, I should be able to finish up before the holiday break.

Please think kind thoughts for my friend Dalila-- the coolest gal that ever lived. She works for the New York City Department of Transportation and all of a sudden her job is much more exciting than she would probably like.

And finally, a box arrived today for Tidbit from The Busy Bunny. What could it be?

Happy Solstice and Almost-Christmas, everyone!

Today's Workout
5.25 mile run


jet said...

While running errands today in the truck I was thinking how nice it'd be to go for a ride or a run, given how clear and sunny it was.

Then I remembered it was 22F outside with a standing wind-chill of about 9F.

Yeah, right. I think there's a glass of port and a fire with my name on it somewhere back at the house.

nancytoby said...

Good workout! Thanks for taking us along on your run!!

trifit said...

Nice post - I almost felt like I was there too.

Bolder said...

oh, you scored major points with this metrosexual... imagine the horror of having someone pass you wearing -- i can barely say it -- cotton!...


Cliff said...

U anti-cotton? I can never imagine :)..

I never wear cotton to run. I always afriad it will rain and i don't enjoy running in heavy clothing.

Is tidbit got a new bro or sis? :)