Late day at the office, but my lovely, long-suffering, and completely together wife is supporting my marathon plans like a trooper. So, I stopped off on Jamestown to knock out today’s 6 miles, ’cause I’m a man, baby, not a mouse. Plus, how could I not? Browsing today showed me that one of my heroes (and you, RBF readers, are all heroes of mine) was once a mortal, too.
To say today was a perfect end to summer* would have been understatement. Unlimited visibility, perfect temperatures, light breeze. One of those days where you can’t hope for much except a winning PowerBall ticket in your pocket.
I hit the parking lot by the soccer field about a half hour before sunset. Our nearest self-sustaining fusion reaction was hanging just above the horizon, throwing a golden glow over the entire area. Life was momentarily disrupted as I realized I’d left my socks at home. BUT, says I, “I missed yesterday, and I’m only going 6 miles…”
So, I slap on the new shoes, throw the headphones on, hit “Shuffle Songs”, and I’m off…
The first three miles were as close to perfect as I’ve ever had. Passed the surly-looking teen practicing skateboard tricks in the middle of the road. Being it was a perfect day, the boy dropped his cover, and waved and smiled as I jogged by. The iPod served up PoiDogPondering’s “Jack A$$ Ginger”
Life is a long river learn from your past
I been reading my history to lear what the others have seen
Blood in the hollow of my heart
Sweat on the skin of my chest
Run a little bit faster now and breathe a little deeper
(Chorus) Come to me come to me set me free set me free…
So, I kept going, adding the mile loop to the run, stretching out to seven with joy in my heart and lightness in my legs…
Rounding the north end of the island, I caught a glimpse of the west bay lit orange, the sun setting through the pines on the mainland, looking briefly like a forest aflame.
Miles Davis Quintet and “Summer Night” from Love Songs comes on as twilight sets in. Holy cow. I’ve got no clue how they program the iPod, but shuffle is eerie sometimes. What a perfect way to end the last day of summer…
As I came over the top of the hill on main street, about 6 miles into the run, I finally had to check my feet. Much as I love the Gel Cumulus VII’s, they’re not a shoe to run without socks. As (I’m guessing) a weight-savings method, they’re unlined – the stretchy mesh of the outers is all there is inside the shoe. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing, except the Asics logo on the outside is a little bit too rigid. Plus, I’ve noticed my feet swell a bit at about 5 miles.
I finally stopped to check my right foot. Darn. Blister. Tried loosening up the shoe a bit, but that wasn’t happening. So I walked barefoot for about 5 minutes. Thought about running barefoot, but with little light, I didn’t want to step on glass.
Eventually, I put the shoe on, tied it tight around my ankle, and started running again. Somehow, it worked – no pain from the blister. Plus, the iPod was serving up BYOB and “The Ramifications of Shaking One’s …” – So how could I resist? Felt like I was flying. No clue if I actually was – the forerunner’s batteries are dead. But I felt it.
Back at the car, the blister was popped, but not yet rubbed raw, so I’ve got that going from me. But the spark that’s been hiding is showing signs of bursting into flame yet again.
*Yeah, yeah, I know from a strictly astronomical standpoint that today was not the equinox. But y’know what? I’m celebrating it as such. If we are to apply astronomical precision, no one’s going to say “Happy New Year” until about 6PM on 1 Jan 2007, ‘since we’re 3 years into the leap year cycle. So the appropriate 21st when I celebrate the equinoxes and solstices. Science be darned.