Good thing there's a package of Cool Mint Oreos in the pantry!
My cat went through one of her "wild cat" routines at 6:30 this morning. Just wanted to make sure I was awake and moving. Nice of her to do that. I stumbled over the disheveled bathroom rugs as I made my way in the dark. Her favorite thing to do while in "wild cat" mode is to skate on the bathroom rugs, sliding them on the tile floor until they're in heaps against the wall and cabinets.
I pushed forward with my run preparations. Don't want to think about it too long or I'll talk myself out of going. Just get the running clothes on, set the Garmin watch, drink some water and grab a stick of gum, put some folding money in my little hidden key pocket in the shorts, and then walk out the door. Don't look back. Don't linger. Just....Go!
Nine miles. This meant doing about 2.5 miles within my neighborhood then exiting onto McHard Road, taking a right and running down to Cullen Rd and onto FM-518. Along this stretch of McHard I saw a runner coming toward me and, as we closed the gap, we smiled at each other and he declared, "Perfect weather for running!" "Definitely!" I shouted back as we passed each other.
fuel belt, so he was clearly doing his long run. This would be about right if he's training for the Houston Marathon in mid-January. Those runners should be getting about 10-11 miles on their long runs at this point in their training schedule.
And it was absolutely perfect running weather! 55-56 degrees out, with a nice cloud cover to block the sun and keep the temps low. Shorts, running cap, and light-weight long-sleeved shirt were all I needed to keep me comfortable.
Now it was just "keep my mind empty and let my body do the work." As I neared Cullen, I spotted that same giant rabbit I've seen in this same location on other runs. He froze for a few moments when he sensed me coming and then bolted into the woods. But I was glad to see him. Aside from the small herd of cattle in the large field across the street, no other wildlife were out today. No wading birds, no turtles in the bayous, no ducks.
The miles went by easily. I thought about how different this is today. Last time I ran this route was in mid-August when the heat and humidity forced me to slow down, even to walk for long stretches at a time. Today, though, my legs were on auto-pilot and I recalled what my former running coach and mentor used to call me: The Energizer Bunny, because I would just run and run and run. Not fast, mind you, but still...I kept going, didn't stop for much of anything. Truth is, I was always afraid to stop for fear I wouldn't be able to break into a run again.
A quick stop at McDonald's on FM-518 for a little yogurt parfait break. Then over to the Kroger store to use their bathroom, since renovations at McDonald's had the bathrooms closed to customers. Then...back the way I came. Back down Cullen to McHard. Back past the rabbit again, who bolted as soon as he saw me. Again. Back down McHard to CountryPlace. And then back into my own neighborhood.
A quick check of my Garmin watch and I confirmed that I'd be about three-tenths of a mile shy of 9 miles, so a little detour onto a side loop and then home. 9.2 miles total. All running...no walking. As I sit here and write this, I am amazed at the difference that 20 degree cooler temps can make!
Next weekend: Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon/Half Marathon!! Meanwhile, think I'll jump in the shower and then find a football game on TV and eat some Oreos for lunch.