Thursday’s Run (8/26/10)
It’s back-to-school time here in College Station, Texas, where all of the Texas A & M University undergraduates are swarming into town and getting ready for classes to start on Monday. The whole place has a hustling kind of energy; pick-up trucks are all over and after a sleepy summer, this city feels ALIVE. It’s exciting! I love it, almost despite myself. It’s been a long time since August was back-to-school time for me—eight years, in fact. When I was a graduate student, fall classes started in September, but before that, I was a college student and classes always started in late August. Texas A & M’s semester takes me back to my own college days, even though my work now is independent of the academic calendar.
With all the excitement on the streets, I felt eager to take my run outside today, even though it’s been almost a month since I last ran outdoors. Nevertheless, there is no time like the present to take advantage of good running weather—not too hot, not too humid, almost like a decent Midwestern August evening. What it reminded me of, in fact, was a cross-country training run early in the season, when the sun still hangs in the sky until 8 PM and the heat of the day lingers until nightfall.
Because I had not run outside in close to a month, I knew this one would have to be slow and easy: 15 minutes nonstop at a very gentle pace—probably not faster than a 10-minute mile. My legs felt fine with this run, if a little heavy. What surprised me is that my lungs were more taxed by this work-out than I would have expected, given that I’ve been running on the treadmill and even doing speedwork. I can only imagine that a “real” run is harder on the cardiovascular system than a treadmill run, so my lungs are working harder than I anticipated.
Still, it was great to be outside. I even got to hear the crunch of dry grass under my sneakers, and during my cooldown, I saw the most beautiful, huge, glowing-pink sunset. I hurried home to get my camera so I could share it with you, but all I got was a glimpse of the sun from behind clouds.
Happy almost-Friday, friends!