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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesday's Run Outside

Mike and I went for an outside run after work yesterday, a rare opportunity so far this month. Overnight, there had been lots of fog and rising temps so the snow and slush had pretty much been eaten away. It was misty out and there were some patches of sidewalk that were still pretty icy where less than conscientious owners/tenants lived. There have been several days where it was possible to get out and scrape the walks or driveways and shovel out the corners covered in after-plow, but apparently it was much more important for these folks to get out and decorate so heavily that it looked like Christmas threw up on their houses. Maybe they thought the heat of a BILLION Christmas icicle lights would melt the sidewalks bare, thereby making scraping to the cement unnecessary? At any rate, we had to watch our steps carefully to avoid slipping ass-over-teakettle on the slippery patches. I really felt like I was cooking along, getting ahead of Mike in several places and feeling like for once I was setting the pace instead of him.
When we got to our usual turnaround spot, I noticed Mike was looking a little green. He said he thought he might throw up and I believed him. I offered to walk back home, but he wanted to keep running but cut right back the way we came instead of veering off on our long leg of our route. I guess that solves the "feeling faster than Mike today" mystery.
It was starting to get dark out and it was still a little foggy which we had anticipated, so we were wearing flashing reflector lights on each arm and Nike safety vests. (By the way, Eastbay has these on clearance right now for a STEAL of a deal - $7.99 for the vest and flasher set) As we started across a busy intersection with a 4 way stop, we noticed a big garbage truck rolling our way. Since we were already in the crosswalk we carefully continued forward with our flashers going full tilt for maximum visibility. The garbage truck driver was apparently a very special guy, since he doesn't need to stop at stop signs like the rest of us nor does he have to yield the right of way to pedestrians. Maybe when you drive the biggest thing on the road it's not important to follow the traffic laws. Maybe he was distracted by the cigarette he was trying to light or the conversation he was having on the cell phone attached to his ear or maybe his big butt had gone numb from sitting on his garbage truck throne impairing his driving ability. He slowed down just slightly and barreled right through the intersection. As we saw that he wasn't going to stop, we did a quick hop back towards the curb. As he sped past us, he made an obscene gesture and yelled something I couldn't hear while shaking a fist. I gave him my own special salute right back. Some people are just assholes.
We continued on towards home, the hardest part of each run. No matter what direction we take, the ending is always uphill to get home. Not just a hill and you're done - you go up a hill only to find a slight flat stretch followed by another monster, another brief flat spot and another hill, and on it goes. I try to tell myself that it's good for training, that hill work will make me faster, or whatever. The bottom line is I hate hills, they suck. The next time we build, my vote is to build the house at the bottom of the hill instead of the top. Wisconsin is nothing but rolling hills, which is pretty to drive, but not as much fun to run or bike!
It's too bad Mike was feeling sick. I was feeling pretty energetic and I think I could have done at least a 10K or farther for a change of pace. Maybe next time!

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