Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why I Run: Reason #8

You travel long enough, it's bound to happen. No, I'm not referring to the last flight out of Dallas last night depositing me at Reagan National Airport at 2:15 AM, which it did. I'm talking about leaving home without, uh, well, essentials. With an "s".

In the cab on the way to my hotel, I'm contemplating going to my client meeting this morning in black dress pants, black dress shoes, and white Thorlos. Not quite the first impression I want to make. Where to get supplies at 3:00 AM? Well, I spied a 24-hour Rite-Aid a block from my hotel, and made a mental note.

6:30 AM and I'm back on the pavement. Figured I might as well make a run out of it and swing by Rite-Aid on the way back. I ran west from Dupont Circle, along Embassy Row, making it to the edge of Rock Creek Parkway. Memories of MCM came back, except that the parkway was full of traffic this time.

I turned around and made it back to Rite-Aid. They only had women's socks. WTH, black is black. One problem solved.

As for the other, they apparently don't stock that kind of contingency at Rite-Aid. I spent way too many minutes staring at the shelf, considering whether I ought to just do a Britney. Better judgement prevailed, and I made a no-nonsense command decision. I felt better after that. And smoother.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The People You Meet

5 flights in 5 days is enough, and I finally made it home last night. Along the way, here's a couple of people I ran into:

On Monday at LaGuardia, it was Mike Ditka himself. He looked just like you'd expect, but he wasn't walking too good. I imagine it's from all the hits during his playing days. S. thinks it's from all the running!

On Thursday during a layover, in of all places, Dallas, I saw this guy in the airport when I got off my plane. He was in a wheelchair, and beside him was a racing wheel. When I got behind him, I glanced at the racing wheel and it had a race bib on it from NYC 2006!

I went up and started talking to him about NYC. He said he did "pretty good", and when I asked how he got in, he sheepishly said:

"Well, I uh, did uh, pretty well, and they uh, invited me".


He also mentioned that he's done around 30, yes, 30 marathons. The guy looked like he was 21 years old! I now wished we had talked more, but I had to get to my next flight. I made a mental note to look him up based on his race bib (W12), and this is what I found ... Tyler Byers, professional athlete, 9th place NYC 06, USA Paralympic Team. Pretty cool, huh?

The rest of the week was uneventful. I intended to run during the middle of the week in Jacksonville, but I didn't manage to do so until Friday morning in Chicago. I was up until about 2:00 am working, but I hit the pavement at 7:00 am for my run. I had picked a hotel right along Lake Michigan but didn't have a firm route planned. Following Josh's suggestion, I took the 4 mile loop around Grant Park, along Lake Michigan, the Shedd Aquarium, the Alder Planetarium, and Soldier Field.

It was a great run. On one side, traffic, buildings, people; you could hear and feel the hum of the city starting to wake up. On the other, complete peace, openness, water, sky, clouds, solitude, and duck shit.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Start Packing

After 4 days of work in the new year, the honeymoon is over. Time to hit the road again. Thank goodness for American Airlines miles and Hilton miles, both of which we hope to use in boatloads this summer, by a beach somewhere, soaking it in, resting, recharging. Not much beats running where you can see, smell, and hear the ocean, and end your run by wading into the surf ... sink your feet into the sand ... submerge yourself ... let the waves take over ... float away ...

Yo! Wake Up!

%*#&$?! OK, until then, I'm headed to NYC, Jacksonville, and Chicago instead, next week. %*#&$? again! On the other hand, since I haven't been to Chicago in a while, I'm a bit psyched about getting a run in, but I arrive late Thusday night and have only one shot Friday morning to do so. From downtown, if anyone knows someplace better to run than Lake Shore Drive, please let me know!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Starting Off Again

By the time I got up on New Year's Day, the sun was already shining brilliantly against a blue sky. It was still chilly at about 40F when I took this pic out our backyard.

A few minutes later, I set off on my first run of the year. I hadn't taken December off like I normally do, but I've only run two, maybe three times, since White Rock on Dec 10.

It was a peaceful and refreshing run around the neighborhood. I saw only 2 other runners in the distance, and one couple walking (fully bundled up). I got in 4+ miles and called it quits. I could literally feel the Tiramisu, German Chocolate Amaretto Cake, and Kahlua Coffee Cheesecake melting away ...