The calendar says October 5th, but you wouldn’t know it from the amount of sweat I produced on this morning’s seven mile run. Earlier in the week I’d heard the words “cool front” and “Saturday morning” tossed around, but alas it was not to be. My weather app told me it was 73* this morning, with about 90% humidity. Yippee.
Some of the Rogue marathon runners had gotten an early start, and as I drove down my street, I passed two groups of them. That meant they were a good eight miles from their starting point, still on the way out. I was in awe–I’d barely dragged myself out of bed fifteen minutes before, and I wasn’t fully awake yet. But here they were, probably going 16 or 18 miles this morning. Rock on, y’all.
I finally made my way to Rogue, got my stuff together, fired up my ESPN-U podcast, and headed out. The air was thick and I immediately knew today would be slow-going, but I kept reminding myself that training in the soupy hot weather would pay off in the cooler temps of D.C. for Army Ten-Miler two weeks from now. But in the moment, it was a small consolation.
Today’s route went through Brushy Creek Sports Park, then up a steep trail into the neighborhood. As I ran through the park, a parade of minivans flooded the place. I saw boys wearing flag football uniforms, girls in cheerleader outfits, and moms wearing shirts with their kids’ names and numbers printed on the back. I love college football, but this spectacle seemed a tad over the top even for me. I was glad to keep going.
Through the park, up the trail, and into the neighborhood I ran. When I reached my halfway point, I stopped to stretch my calf muscles on the curb and met the marathoners I’d seen on my street, now on their way back. Someone asked if I was okay, and I waved, then started my return trip.
At mile four I stopped before heading down the rocky trail and back into the park. At the top of the hill, an expensive new neighborhood. At the bottom, Brushy Creek Regional Trail. In the middle, it looked like someone’s ranch in rural Texas. It was a strange dichotomy.
The trip back was pretty uneventful, although the Sports Park was even more crowded than it had been when I came through earlier. I dodged minvan traffic without mishap and made my way back to my starting point. I even managed a little sprint the last 20 yards or so, just to prove that I could.
It took me forever and I was drenched in sweat, but I completed seven miles. I’d only run five last weekend and six the weekend before that, so I was a little concerned about my increased mileage, but with the ATM two weeks away, I really needed to jump up a bit. So far, so good.
Next weekend? Nine miles, plus a meetup with a favorite blogger!