This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
I had some extra time built up, so I decided to use a little at lunch and do 5.0, instead of my usual 3.0 or so. The temps were in the lower 50's, low humidity, 15 mph wind out of the North, bright, bright sunshine. So it seemed like it would be a good day for a run.
Go out in shorts (that was okay, but the t-shirt wasn't quite enough when going against the wind. When the temps say 50's and you take out about a 15 mph wind (not a gentle breeze), that puts the real feel in my world in the lower 40's. Which made it feel pretty damn chilly going up that wind tunnel called Outer Civic Center Drive. I survived.
Also this route means that I have to go in front of the Marketplace aka Wal Mart and all the other shopping stores and go through the I-95 underpass that is not setup for pedestrian traffic. Those are those first little blips, as I race to get through there before the light changes and I have to fight traffic. There is a single track trail through some of the area, but you still are only a few feet from some real inattentive drivers.
In that short stretch from the Northbound off ramp to the Southbound on ramp, I counted 7 vehicles with their owners texting on the steering wheel - scary and yes, I moved over into the weeds a little further.
You can guess I what I think of texting and driving, talking on the phone is bad enough.
Don't frigging do it!
So yeah, I got through the construction site without too many issues, just playing dodge car to get by the Irving gas station, which is part of the reason I don't like this course that much. However, once I got by the KFC (gonna get a new light there), the running became a lot less dangerous. Still a lot of traffic, but a nice wide break down lane. I still don't know how that first mile split was that good, must have been all the adrenaline burgers I was eating from playing dodge car.
Then there was that nice gentle 15-20 mph breeze straight out of the north in my face, that is where I felt the coldest and I guess I wasn't the only one. There was this guy walking up ahead and as I was gaining on him, I noticed that he had on an orange winter hat and a parka, then as I got closer he had on boots and frigging ski pants!!!
Now, it was chilly, I gotta admit and being dressed in shorts, t-shirt and running shoes, probably wasn't quite enough, but damn, what is this guy gonna do when it gets cold, if he is dressing this way now??? I have a feeling that hibernation in a warm environment with a big comfortable couch will be his first choice. :-)
When I passed him him we both kind gave each other that WTF look and smiled.
Going down the Leighton Road it was nice to get out of the wind, but once I turned the corner the sun was right there, kind of that blinding sun that is just at the right level to annoy the hell out you and it was that way until the slight bend in the road - gave me a bit of headache, but hey it was also downhill and the wind was at my back. So I did pick it up a little.
Then I got a huge surprise when I rounded the corner onto Bond Brook Road. This was a road that I really hated to run on because it was very unsafe. No room to run on shoulders and then blind corners = not fun. So I avoided running down there for the past year, after I almost got wacked one day by a car on the blind corner.
When I turned onto the Bond Brook Road there was new tar and white lines with a nice 3-4 shoulder for pedestrians and bikes to be in!!! Instead of worrying about all the traffic and playing dodge car, I just ran - it was nice. The blind corners were still not great, but that white line made them more manageable. Augusta did that road right.
However, I did start to slow down a bit towards Bond Brook, the extra mile is something I am still not used to yet. Then when I turned back on the main road it is uphill all the way to the light and towards the end I just was running on empty.
I did manage to pick it up again on the path back into UMA to the finish, but it was a tough run, that I was surprised to have broken 9:00 minutes for my pace for the whole run.
The other thing that I did was I left my gym bag in the truck overnight and just went into work with it this morning. Ummm I had planned on running the trails at UMA and I bet you can guess which running shoes were in the bag - yep my trail shoes. The Kazan 2's. I figured I would go to the first and if things didn't feel good, turn there and go run the trails. Everything felt decent and the Kazan 2's did just fine on the roads. They are turning into a nice hybrid running shoe that I can grab for just about any run is nice and really be necessary when the weather turns nasty - probably sooner than later.