I’m glad I started going to Memorial Park on Saturdays to start my weekly long run mega-early. I still think it’s ridiculous to drive in order to run, but it’s the closest safe place I know for running in the dark and this way I get my long run done before temps get into the 90s.
I got to the park a little after 5:00 this morning and did three loops before heading out to do the Buffalo Bayou trails. It was one of those good runs where my body felt mostly-good and my brain was on board with the plan. As every runner knows, there are days when your brain spends most of the time trying to sabotage your run, thinking of all the reasons you should stop early, whining and being generally bratty about the whole thing. But not today. Brain kept itself occupied by pondering this and that, freeing my body to do the simple task of putting one foot in front of the other.
It didn’t start getting warm out until I was heading back toward the park with about three miles to go. When I got there, I saw that today was HARRA’s annual Party in the Park. The event was free to all runners, with music, booths for many of the local running groups, cold water, cold sports drink, and best of all, free ice cream! There’s really no describing how it feels to be greeted with music and an ice cream cone at the end of a 20-mile run in a Houston August, but suddenly I didn’t care that I was wet and stinky, my socks were squishy, and my shoes had created a small blister. The sunny day turned sparkly and all was right with the world.
After I finished my ice cream and changed into dry clothes, I went to check out a drug store I sometimes run past on my Chimney Rock run. I had seen some stuff in the windows that I usually order online because it’s hard to find around here, and the store looked cool in general. So I went there and was very excited to find all kinds of things I needed. It’s so hard to find a store that stocks all the things you want, as if the buyer were your psychic twin. Now that I’ve discovered this place, it’ll probably close down. Seems to happen every time. But I’ll try not to be too cynical.
After all, today was an ice cream day!