I have been busy tending to many little errands.
Some of these are because I am on the Board of Trustees at my church and we are in the process of upgrading our sound system and installing a new one in our fellowship hall.
Since I am the sound guy at church, it has fallen to me to determine what to buy, procure the equipment and install it.
Most of the stuff I have purchased online and had it delivered to my house.
This is because sometimes there is no one at the church building to receive a delivery.
So, it is easier to have the stuff delivered to me and have me take it to the church when I come for whatever regular service is next.
I am going there anyway.
Today, was our annual church picnic.
There was abundant foods and desserts, games for old and young, and lots of talking/visiting among the saints.
I had a good time visiting with the church and eating the many yummy items that were available.
I also set up the new sound system in the fellowship building for the first time and tested it.
I works well, and will be useful from time to time when we gather for various reasons.
There are still a couple of items I need to acquire to complete the planned system – some microphones, a box or bin in which to store all the cables, and I need to build a small cabinet to house the mixer, CD player and cable bin.
The shortening days are a nuisance.
I arose nearly half an hour before my usual de-beding time, why, I do not know.
I slept with the windows open and it was quite cool, but I was adequately covered and slept comfortably all night.
When I got up, I was ready to go.
I got ready to run – shaved, dressed, collected the post-run towel and shirts to absorb whatever excess liquid I might exude, filled my water bottle, gathered my neck chain with car and house keys on it, installed my watch on my left wrist, dropped my knife (for self defense) in my tote bag along with my drivers' license (for ID should it be required by a law enforcement officer).
I wore my long-sleeved top this morning.
The thermometer on my outside wall said that it was 58 degrees.
That meant that it could be as cool as 55 or so.
I brought along leg, ear and hand warming clothing just in case it felt too cool at my running course.
They were not needed.
The cool air was nearly still and merely refreshing rather than chilling.
I started out at 5:57 with a three-quarter moon overhead.
The eastern sky was just barely lighter than the rest of the dome above me.
I hate winter.
Shorter days (yes, I know all days are 24 hours, but less daylight is more precisely what I mean) is just one reason.
I felt strong today.
Like a race horse wanting to kick the gate down and get down the track.
Part of me enjoyed the feeling (prolly the runner in me).
Another part of me was signaling caution, as it is easy to outrun one's strength when emotionally revved (prolly the coach in me). (BTDT)
There was no rapid breathing on hill number one, and it did not start until I was at the top of hill number two.
It mattered not, I was going the distance today.
I even flirted with the idea of taking a left at the new road and trying for four miles.
That was immediately rejected by Running Central and the coach in me.
“Maybe next week,” was the diplomatic response.
As if to confirm the wisdom of the rejection, the outside of my right knee began to complain at the end of mile two.
Every time I came down on my right leg my knee said hello.
Soon after, one of the flexors in my left hip started to whine – probably my iliacus.
So every time I lifted my left leg, it squeaked.
These two complaints settled in for the duration of the party.
In fact, my right hip flexor joined in on the festivities before I was finished.
Some of this may have been residual stress from the 30 leg lifts I did on Thursday and Friday in a gut tightening effort.
Anyway, as I came into the parking lot for the finish, I was firing on all cylinders.
Rapid breathing was still several hundred feet away.
My right knee was complaining in a way that gets my attention – it did not just hurt slightly, it was wanting to collapse.
This has happened before near the end of a run.
I have never fallen because of this problem, but I have come close.
In spite of all the sirens and flashing warning lights, I powered toward the finish line/crack.
Finally, about two hundred feet from the line, my breathing kicked into overdrive.
I crossed the line at 6:37.
There is still some juice in grandpa.
The knee and hips all stopped whining (like I knew they would).
I felt great.
It is a blessing to be running again.
As I got into the car, part of me wanted to drive to the old railroad depot near downtown Huntsville.
In just over an hour, there would be a race there.
You see, today is my racing anniversary.
It was eight years ago today that I ran my first race – the Big Spring Jam 5K.
The race horse in me wanted to give it another go – just for fun.
That is me in 1999 in the upper left corner, third from the left edge and fourth down from the top of the picture.
This picture does not portray the discomfort I was in.
I had run too fast the first two miles.
Now, I was out of breath and facing a finish line half a mile away.
I could see it but had few resources left to contribute to the effort.
The clock tells the story.
In spite of my discomfort, I was very pleased with my performance that day.
I had not run a race since high school - 37 years earlier.