Running in circles

scenic world

There was a man with a leaf blower at the state park this morning trying to clear the sidewalk that leads to the pier of sand.  The sidewalk that cuts over the beach and is surrounded by sand.  The sidewalk that ALWAYS has sand blowing over it because well, it’s the beach.  And it was indeed windy this morning.  I’m guessing by the time he got to one end of the sidewalk, the other end was already dusted with sand again.  Oh Sisyphus…

I was supposed to be riding my bike 120 miles over actual hills in Ohio this morning, but the race got cancelled because of all the thunderstorms in the forecast brought on by the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, and my weekend opened way way up.  So instead, I woke up early this morning and went for a long run.  From my house to the pier at the state park and back – 18 miles.  My legs were still sore from being up and about all day yesterday, and it took me 50 minutes to warm up and feel comfortable.  And then I just floated for the next hour.  I had the highest of runner’s highs.

And later, because I didn’t eat enough, I suffered and had to shuffle the last several miles home.  But I’m still learning, every day.  It was the longest run I’ve ever done that wasn’t a race, and because I’m actually pretending to follow a training plan this year, I’m feeling stronger every week.  I am so so confident that the Chicago Marathon this year is going to go off well for me.  The only weird thing is that I’m trying to focus on marathoning and cyclocross at the same time.  One requires long, slow endurance, the other requires sprints and short, max efforts.  The first cross race of the season is on Friday night at Cannonsburg, and luckily those don’t get cancelled because of rain.  Muddy terrain is the goal.

There’s been an algae bloom for the past 3 weeks in Lake Mac.  You won’t believe me, but when the water is still, like it was this morning, and has been for most of my runs past the Heinz plant in the evenings, it is glowing green.  Not quite neon, not quite Simpsons-style radioactive, but green like the Chicago River when they dye it on St. Patrick’s Day.  But completely natural.  Well, if you count massive fertilizer runoff from the watershed feeding algae that consumes all the oxygen in the water as natural.

I finally got around to reading On The Road for the first time.  I’m upset that no one ever made me read it earlier.  I dog-eared a dozen pages of Kerouac’s stream of consciousness excellence.  I felt less alone reading his stories.  I also felt like maybe I need to go out and see more of this country, without any plans of what to really do along the way.

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