Summer is coming, but spring running is here

Work in progress

Today’s run (street): 3.3 mile

Our house has been taken over by tree service people, who are taking care of some much needed trimming. The pool is now open, but the water color is closer to Pantone 364C than sky blue. That should clear up after a few days of shock treatments. The only thing left is to replace the fence on the outward side of the pool that was damaged by overzealous county workers doing Sandy repairs. The new fence goes up next week. Summer is coming.

Happily, it’s still spring, and the humidity and gloomy skies have finally moved on. I went out for my run this morning, right after the last school bus exited the neighborhood. There aren’t too many days in the year where running conditions are near perfect, but today was one of them. It may have been the lack of heat, or perhaps the cooling breeze that made my start effortless. This run came after my one weekly rest day, so that could have been a factor as well.

Before I knew it, I’d passed my first mile and I was tempted to do a true distance run, rather than a standard weekday 3.x mile workout. I reminded myself that, although I follow a flexible schedule these days, I still have work to do. Especially on a day like today, when business will keep me in the city late into the evening.

I enjoyed my run today and finished with an overall pace that was lower than any run I’ve done in the past week. The great weather certainly helped that happen. I enjoyed the run a lot and, like so many great things, it was over all too soon.

Autumn running brings front loaders and pumpkin bread

Today’s run (street): 5.3 miles

A runner’s reward

 I needed to drop off my car for inspection this morning and that delayed my run until 9:00 AM. That was no big deal, but the world is far more awake at 9:00 than at 7:00. People who are awake tend to drive their cars, so the streets were busier than I prefer. Worse, the tree trucks and front loaders were also out in force, attending to the remaining pockets of destruction caused by Sandy.

On weekend runs in the neighborhood, I usually stay fairly free-form in terms of my route. That way I can run distances as they play out: 4, 5, 6 miles or more, depending on where I am when I decide to head for home. Today I pre-mapped the streets I’d follow, because I wanted to cover at least five miles. With a couple of exceptions, my run went fairly well.

The temperature was in the 40’s but it still felt cold, probably because there were strong winds blowing from the north. The combination of wind and a slightly rising road made for a tough start. At one point something – a leaf, twig or small acorn – hit me in the face, right above my brow. Fortunately, my glasses had prevented it from hitting my eye.

Along my route I encountered crews of workers that were blocking the road with their trucks and equipment. I saw a few large sanitation trucks that were picking up some remaining debris. I avoided a couple of streets that looked impassible, and stayed on the sidewalk while I managed around a particularly big work operation. I ended up running my distance a little faster than I thought I might. I wasn’t concerned about speed, but it was nice to see that I beat my performance expectation.

When I got home, my wife and kids were in the process of preparing their famous pumpkin bread that they bake every year around Thanksgiving, for friends and family. To a ravenous runner, the smell of pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon was intoxicating. After a quick shower, I was treated to one of the mini-muffins that were baked from the batter. Recovery food doesn’t get any better than this.