Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Running Circles

A sliver of a moon watched over me as I jump-started my heart this morning. My protective vest was nothing until low-beams turned it orange. Have you noticed that motor vehicles are especially noisy in the morning after a night of ear-rest? I decided to head to the old Natural Bridge High School track.

Years ago, John Zerger, who first explained ultra-running to me, also introduced me to the benefits of long-distance circles. Running in the round eliminates the need to watch for traffic, potholes or uneven ground, which can become a challenge after four hours on foot. Once you lock into a pace, a watch can keep track of the laps. Best of all, you can call it quits whenever you want, with home not far away.

Boring, you say? Not this morning. I arrived at a track of dark blues and grays, the shiny crescent looking down. Each lap brought a change in hues, as Jill Color (Jack Frost's sister?) gradually emptied her palette. I watched the mountaintops to the East brighten and cast a faint pink light on the Western clouds. Lap by lap turned pinker into redder into white. The last year's football schedule on the side of the old field house slowly appeared in worn pastels. Not until my twentieth revolution did the ball of fire crest the James River Face. Two more trips around and I heeded the warning, "don't look me in the eye."

Drama over, I finished seven more lucky quarters and headed for home.

"You're lucky you didn't have to rush off to work," says Virginia.

Darn tootin! Instead, I soaked in the hot tub with my morning constitutional (cider vinegar and honey in hot water), nibbled a bit of breakfast, and climbed upstairs to my office.

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