November 20, 2009

Of Travel and Training

So I woke up Tuesday morning 3,000 miles from home. Twenty five stories over Times Square, I could hardly roll out of bed, being 3 a.m. pacific time and all. What? There’s a Starbuck’s on the corner? Gatorade has its place my friends, but not at this moment.

Still sore from last Sunday’s 23 miler, I sipped hot java walking up to Central Park. Drink bold coffee. Walk progressively faster. Warm body up. Run. But wait! Trees glowing of orange, yellow and red beckon me into an out door mosaic. My breath slows. Autumn enters.

Now it’s Wednesday morning, and I’m 1,000 miles west, then a little north. That would put me in the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Land O Lakes, original home of the Lakers. It’s 4:30 am and again I’m struggling to get to my feet. But it’s not the time zone this time, rather the Asian restaurant “Big Bowl” from the night before. I was feeling Big Bowl’s spice, but not in a perky kind of way. I finally made it out the door, five miles along a bike path to the town of Roseville, just in time to see six Canadian Geese fly gently over my head, aloft and amidst a cold, 28 degree Midwestern sky. Yes!

Thursday comes, another day on the road, but now I’m 450 miles due south of the Twins, closer to home, and smack dab in the center of the contiguous 48. As I walked out the door for a late afternoon run, I turned north out of the city, headed for the 12th &Vine Monument anointed by the song “I’m Goin’ to Kansas City, Kansas City Here I Come”. But why don’t tourist maps ever tell you where NOT to run? As I passed the Greyhound bus station and then the city rehabilitation center, I thought, do I want to be in this neighborhood? I finally made it to the piano monument, and promptly turned around as the fading daylight started to outrun me. I passed a very crowded bus stop. Are they yelling at me? I felt my heart rate as a scampered by. From arms length I heard a shout, “what the F*#K! are you doing here? Ruuuunnnnn!!!” And that I did.

Now its Friday afternoon, I sit quietly on an airplane typing this post. A song from the Foo Fighters creeps into my headphones….and the lyrics begin to capture my spirit.

…I, I’m a new day rising
…I’m a brand new sky to hang the stars upon tonight
…I, I’m a little divided
…Do I stay or run away and leave it all behind?
…Its times like these you learn to live again

Travel on!


Mel-2nd Chances said...

I think my pace would have doubled if I heard that !!! I've always been hesitant to run by myself while visiting an unfamiliar city... because you're right, you don't really know where you're at. Great post, sounds like you've taken a bit of every stop with you :)

Clynton Taylor said...

Way to keep the miles up! It's so hard to stay sane while traveling, but you've found a great way to do so. I'm impressed with how you keep getting out there. A true inspiration for me.


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