Team Building

Man, so there are some days when the running is just GOOD.

Today was completely one of them.

Stressful day at work today, believe it or not. An event I’ve been planning for a long, long while went off without much of a hitch in front of an out-of-town crowd. They were completely in my court, but y’know how there’s always a chance that something’ll go wrong, whatever?

Not today.

It started near disaster – I forgot the keys to the room we were using, where we’ve been set up for quite literally weeks. But, it was padlocked, and we were working with a small boat – almost guaranteed they’re going to have either a bolt cutter or a pry bar. Which, to tell the truth, kind of made my day – there’s not much more fun than getting to do a little bit of sanctioned destruction first thing in the morning, before the coffee’s really had a chance to work.

So, we briefed, and negotiated, and made minor changes to the plan, ’cause, what, really, is a plan except for a document guaranteeing that something else will happen?

And the day was good. We got the data we wanted, we swapped stories, and the team really started to gel.

After the event was done, I asked one of the engineers from out of town with whom I’ve been working if he wanted to go for a quick run. He’d done at least a half marathon (picture on his desk with a 2:00 finish), so I knew he was a runner. “Sure”, so we headed on down to First Beach and hit the road.

Newport after Labor Day – suddenly it’s just a small town on the water. Rock on. There were still some retiree tourists strolling on the Cliff Walk, but traffic was nothing compared to what it is in the summer. I haven’t run from First Beach since before Memorial Day (How the heck did that happen?), and, man, do I need to do it more.

I think that New England’s finally seeped into my bones. Today dawned grey and misting, and it frankly warmed my heart, as I was getting tired of the blue skies and sunshine we’ve been having. The grey over the bay and the steel color of the water was picture perfect, the complement to the green-gold of the leaves beginning to turn. As we started to run, the ocean was moving in in small rollers, breaking just off the beach, the breeze was near calm.

We headed down the north end of the Cliff Walk, veering off of it after the Breakers and the first section of broken boulder sea wall. Just as we got to Salve Regina, we were passed by what must have been most of their women’s Cross Country team. Man, can I pick a team-building exercise or what?

We cut across the island, too far, if truth be told, until I saw the sign for Fort Adams. “Crap. Right turn, Clyde”, and we began straggling back towards town. Up Thames Street through the tourist district, and up and over the Memorial Drive hill. As we crested the hill, Brian said “Hey, look strong – the XC team is on their way up the other side.”

Rock on.

We did a quick little sprint on the hard sand, and wrapped up. Man, did the run feel good. 4.8 miles (think that’s pretty severely on the short side, measurement-wise), 9 minute pace. Not too speedy, but I completely finished with gas in the tank. I think Brian was taking it easy on me – he’s one of those darned tall and lanky guys who way about a buck-fifty soaking wet, and take one stride for every two of mine.

Life is good.

3 thoughts on “Team Building”

  1. I have many happy New England memories starring coastal towns, gray skies, and damp cool air. Not enough of those memories involve runs … I’ll have to work on that.

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