Saturday, November 17, 2012

Autumn running brings front loaders and pumpkin bread

Today's run (street): 5.3 miles

A runner's reward
 I needed to drop off my car for inspection this morning and that delayed my run until 9:00 AM. That was no big deal, but the world is far more awake at 9:00 than at 7:00. People who are awake tend to drive their cars, so the streets were busier than I prefer. Worse, the tree trucks and front loaders were also out in force, attending to the remaining pockets of destruction caused by Sandy.

On weekend runs in the neighborhood, I usually stay fairly free-form in terms of my route. That way I can run distances as they play out: 4, 5, 6 miles or more, depending on where I am when I decide to head for home. Today I pre-mapped the streets I'd follow, because I wanted to cover at least five miles. With a couple of exceptions, my run went fairly well.

The temperature was in the 40's but it still felt cold, probably because there were strong winds blowing from the north. The combination of wind and a slightly rising road made for a tough start. At one point something - a leaf, twig or small acorn - hit me in the face, right above my brow. Fortunately, my glasses had prevented it from hitting my eye.

Along my route I encountered crews of workers that were blocking the road with their trucks and equipment. I saw a few large sanitation trucks that were picking up some remaining debris. I avoided a couple of streets that looked impassible, and stayed on the sidewalk while I managed around a particularly big work operation. I ended up running my distance a little faster than I thought I might. I wasn't concerned about speed, but it was nice to see that I beat my performance expectation.

When I got home, my wife and kids were in the process of preparing their famous pumpkin bread that they bake every year around Thanksgiving, for friends and family. To a ravenous runner, the smell of pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon was intoxicating. After a quick shower, I was treated to one of the mini-muffins that were baked from the batter. Recovery food doesn't get any better than this.

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