Saturday, January 28, 2006

Long Run, Cloudy Day

I so did not want to get up this morning. After yesterday's whine that I was having trouble writing, I had a mini-breakthrough. Oddly, it came from the same character who had helped me out of a previous difficulty. He was only supposed to add a little local color, but I guess he wanted to be more important than that because he solved a plot point for me in a previous chapter. Then last night he went on and did something that really surprised me. It makes me happy when my fictional characters do things even I wasn't expecting. That's always a sign something good is happening with my writing.

So I was up until 3 am trying to finish that particular scene and when the alarm went off at 6:15 I was not happy at all. I reset the clock for half an hour and finally dragged my lazy self out of bed at 6:45. I looked at the cat and told him something to the effect that since the plan was to take a long afternoon nap, it didn't matter if I didn't get much sleep at night. Since the cat has lived his whole life sleeping whenever he feels like it, I think he agreed with my reasoning.

I checked the Doppler and the promised rain looked like it was still in Austin so I got dressed and headed out. I wore one of my new outfits from the expo and felt very trendy and coordinated. Plus the shorts had one of those little zipper pockets in back, which I like. I decided to basically do a repeat of last weekend's run-- bayou trails, River Oaks, Memorial Park and home.

It was an overcast morning, one of those with a lot of low gray clouds moving around, but not a thick enough cloud cover for rain to be imminent. The clouds were fun to watch as they came in on the wind, constantly shaping, regrouping and separating themselves. Sometimes patches of clear sky would open up for a few minutes and we had sunshine, but the wind always brought more clouds to replace them and then the pattern would repeat.

I saw Jack Russell Terrier Guy as I was heading east toward Sabine. He had both dogs with him and I made a point of waving to them. When I got to the part of the trail that goes behind the police officers' memorial, there was a police helicopter sitting on the ground, engines and propellers going like mad. I always enjoy seeing helicopters close up. Or almost any other type of transport vehicle, for that matter. One of my grandfathers worked for American Airlines, the other worked for the Santa Fe Railroad, so I come by my love of transportation naturally.

I crossed the bridge at Sabine and headed west up Allen Parkway, stopping at Eleanor Tinsley Park to have some water and take off my long-sleeved shirt. It was still a little cool and breezy out, but I was warmed up enough to deal with it by now.

Oddly, there were no dogs yet at the dog park, but there were a few azaleas starting to bloom at one of the gardens along the path. It seems a little early for azaleas, but hopefully they won't all reach their peak before the big azalea season in March. When I got to River Oaks, I saw a few more azaleas, marveled over all the January roses at the rose garden, and even noticed a few bluebonnets in bloom at one house. It can't be bluebonnet time yet, can it? Weird weather. It's way too early for bluebonnets.

As I was leaving River Oaks, a white-haired gentleman in a plaid bathrobe came out of his house and down to the sidewalk to retrieve his morning paper. Don't those rich folks have servants to do that for them? He waved and said good morning, so I said good morning, too.

Come to think of it, everyone was pretty friendly today. Except for Memorial Park, it was mostly us regulars out there and the overall mood was very peaceful, very companionable. Just about everyone said hello, and that was nice. I don't know if it was the lack of pressure people were feeling now that the marathon is over, or if we were all just glad that the rain was holding off, but it was a very friendly day to be out running.

My legs felt a little heavy today, but I had a very solid run and my gait felt good. My right foot didn't try to point inward when I got tired, so I think the abductor exercises from hell are helping. The last two miles were a little uncomfortable, but I didn't notice any pain in the usual spots in my hips, knees, or along the IT band. It was only after I had come home and iced a bit that I noticed some pain in my right hip flexor. Oh well. It caused me no trouble on the run, which is the first time that's happened in months.

Small blessings.

Indian buffet was good, as always. The sky was seriously clouding over by this point and the wind was picking up. As we were driving home I told Dan I thought we'd make it just ahead of the storm. And sure enough, we'd only been home a few minutes when I thought I heard a light tapping against the window.

"Hush," I told Dan. "Listen."

We stopped what we were doing and were quiet for a moment. Slowly the light tapping that could've been anything at first grew louder, resolving itself into a steady beat of rain against the glass.

Nap weather.

Today's Workout
14 mile run

5 comments:

Cliff said...

Good job Bunny Girl.

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From Here to There said...

Fantastic run Bunny Girl! What a beautiful area to run in. Glad the rain held off until nap time :)

it's only fuel said...

Sometimes the dark cloudy days are the least motivating...but the most satisfying. I mean, you don't have the rain drenching you and you don't have the sun baking you. You know what I mean? Geeeeeezzz....14 miles?! That certainly deserves a nap:D

Comm's said...

If only I could enjoy the beauty of a hearing a light rain strike a window and grow into a steady rain.

It may rain 12 times a year in Phoenix but ten of those days are monsoons that start with 60 mph, 3 mile high, 20 mile wide dust storms followed by 2" on rain an hour for 3 hours. Not really relaxing.