Monday, August 14, 2006

Then again, maybe not...

A few days ago, I had a brilliant idea. Rather than running on the streets of my neighborhood and the nearby industrial area, I'd take off on a dirt road that starts not too far from my house. Sure, why not?

Once on the dirt road, I notice a pile of clothing on the ground. Hmmm... And then a second pile of clothing, this pile having a woman's bathing suit in it - well, probably just some trash that got blown around. Next, a toothbrush lying on the ground. Yeah, I started to think the same thing you're thinking. It wasn't clear until I turned around to come back and saw an encampment made out of a blue tarp under the bushes.

Yeah, maybe this isn't the place to be running on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong; I have nothing but sympathy for the homeless, but I'm not an idiot. I was a bit surprised because we're pretty far from downtown, where most homeless live, but I later realized that this spot is really close to the bus route.

So, back to pounding the pavement, except for those times that I drive to a local trail good for running.

Today was a really tough run, though. In fact, I ended up walking most of the 2.5 miles + warm-up and cooldown. At one point, I figured that if I can't run, I might as well go home early, but decided that I came out to go 2.5 miles, and I was going to go 2.5 miles, even if I walked it. So, I alternated running and walking to my comfort level, completing the 2.5 miles in a rather depressing 38 minutes. But, I did finish. That counts for something, right?

After long walking breaks, I'd resume running, but I'd be forced to go back to walking very quickly. I don't think that it was hot, but my legs were just shot, and I felt miserable. I developed a headache in short order, and even felt nauseated while trying to really push myself. It could be that 72 degrees is too hot for me without shade, or it could be that I just do much better on an empty stomach. I'll have to figure it out eventually.

So, two steps forward, one step back. This one just felt like three steps.

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