Rather than bore you with my pre-run
My runs all begin basically the same way: Out the door to set T’s Garmin GPS watch outside (finish getting ready inside while the GPS finds its satellites), then back out the door, ready to run, put the watch on walk down the driveway, start running.
Quiet morning today, I don’t see anybody outside until just before I get to my first major road crossing. Ah, but there she is, another runner. She passes less than 20 seconds before I reach the intersection. She is running on the other side of the street (she is running with traffic, where I will cross and run against traffic…more practically I’ll be running on the side of the road with the asphalt bike path while she is running on the side with concrete sidewalks – ouch her knees!). As I cross the street I notice another runner coming up the road I’m about to turn onto, she must not pass me. Oh, but she turns off onto the other street, no need to worry about her passing me. I decide I have to keep the other girl in my sights. She looks strong and also like she is moving at a nice clip. Oh, what’s this, there is a guy out walking, he’s wearing black shorts and a white t-shirt, I must pass him. Oh, but he turned off onto a side street; I won’t be able to pass him because I am continuing on. I’m impressed with myself as we reach the next major intersection, fast girl and I peel off in opposite directions on the same road at basically the same time. I was impressed with her pace, but then I was keeping it too, go me! Oh, look another runner going the other way, lots of runners out today. Garmin chirps at me, one mile down 9:19. Not bad I guess, though it certainly felt like I was running faster than that.
Now up the hill. Man do I hate this hill. Why do I insist on taking this route so often? Surely I could find a better route with fewer hills, oh that’s right but then I have to contend with the killer geese. I guess I’ll take my chances with the hills. Stupid hill, my legs hurt. I want to walk; surely walking just a little stretch wouldn’t be so bad. No walking. Right right, no walking, I’ll just run up the hill, I mean the worst part of the hill is only ½ mile long, then it has a few flats in it. I’ve run it many times before, stop whining. Look there is a woman out walking her dog, we should get a dog, I miss our dog. Stupid legs, my quads hurt, I should just walk a little. No walking. Ahhh a flat, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Yes it was, my legs still hurt, and there is still more hill left. I should look at my watch, no I won’t look at my watch until it chirps at me after this mile is done. More hill, but just a little more before we reach the shopping center complex, then there is the big downhill, almost there. Chirp, 10:40. 10:40??? How is that possible? I didn’t walk at all! I did it in 10:40 on Sunday and I walked twice, I didn’t feel like I slowed down that much today. Stupid hill, maybe my GPS lost its signal and I really ran it faster than that. Oh right, but it chirped at me at the exact same point it always chirps at me for mile 2, probably not a GPS error. Crap I’m slow.
Well at least I’m running downhill now. Look a minivan just pulled out of the underground garage in that apartment complex, I wonder if they like living in those apartments. I probably wouldn’t like living there since this street is so busy, but then we have a house so why do I care? Crap, there are geese on the side of the path ahead. There are 3 big geese and a ton of baby geese, they are so totally going to hiss at me and try to attack me. Damn this road is busy; I can’t even run in the road. I’m going to stop and cross the street to run past those stupid geese. Crisis averted, ran in the median for a while to get past the geese. After the near miss with the geese on the other route a few weeks back I just can’t be too careful, that was scary! I swear that goose was going to peck my legs. Okay onto the final stretch, just 1.5 miles from home. That’s just 6 laps on the treadmill; I can do that in my sleep. Why do I equate outside distance to laps on the treadmill anyway? That is weird. The nice little senior coop housing complex has its sprinklers on. Why do they insist on watering the sidewalks? I’m just going to run in the street to get past them. I don’t like running in sprinklers, even if I am hot. Another sprinkler on the sidewalk ahead, this is just so wasteful. How difficult is it to aim your sprinklers so that they don’t water the sidewalks? Chirp, 9:39. Well at least I am sub 10:00 pace again.
Just 4 laps left, and look I can start playing alphabet games with the street signs. This street name starts with L, the next street I cross starts with J. Oh, I’m already to I, then H, then G, look I’m all the way to F, and I get to hit the crosswalk button so I can rest for a minute before going across. Well that was a buzz kill, no wait, must keep running. Look two more runners out, I guess everyone is out running early to try to beat the heat and humidity. Is that the same guy out walking? What is he just walking tiny little laps around the area? I suppose it could be someone else in black shorts and a white t-shirt, not exactly a unique outfit choice. I mean I’m wearing black shorts and a purple shirt, but then this purple shirt has those stupid micro sleeves that flip out. Duck pond, almost home. I should just walk, I’m almost home, stop talking about walking, just suck it up and run the last 0.3 miles. I’ll just run around the next two corners and then I’ll walk, or maybe I’ll just run. Oh it’s a little dog ahead, I think he is threatened by me, yes he is barking at me, ah but now he is turning away and running back home, not so brave after all. Scrubs-wearing guy is out watering his immaculate lawn, and he ferries scrappy little dog away from me. I wonder if scrubs-wearing guy is a doctor. Do doctors wear scrubs other than when they are in the hospital? Look I’m almost home, seeing a neighbor out always stops me from walking. Home. No chirp, still need another 0.1 miles to make it an even 4. Should I bother? Nope. I’m done, at least I didn’t walk. 38:03 for 3.9 miles, not a speed record for me by any means but not too bad for a Tuesday morning.
Now the real work begins, getting the kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door. I suppose I should take a shower first.