07 June, 2014

mmmmm... That 'New Track' Smell...

Not only is our region blessed with some terrific trail running just beyond our subdivision, but now a nearby public high school has laid down an 8-lane run track. It is so new that when I went for an exploratory run this past week I found its red top coat had just finished curing, and I was one of the first to ever run on it; the chalk lines for the as-yet-unpainted stripes had been just laid down.
Eight lanes, no waiting -- and no excuses not to do speed work...
sure, it's quiet now; in time the dog walkers, the skateboarders, the tottering old coots, and arm-swinging, Fuel-belt toting inside-lane yakkers will discover it. Until then: an awesome public space!

crunchy on the outside, cushy-squishy underneath!
I quickly laced up and set off around the pristine, primer-coloured oval, feeling quite studly through my first eight, ten strides. As I got up to 'speed' (which for me, entails 'quotation marks' due to how relative my 'speed' is to a state of actual 'speediness') I found my panting lungs exchanging huge, loud volumes of whatever odoriferous solvents lingered from the new surface's treatment. In a trice I was whisked back to memories of my dad driving up in his spanking new '66 Buick (all fun and games until finding out that our inaugural ride around the block hinged on us taking our shoes off before entering.)
Google sat. view - several months outdated - under my GPS plot; actual run experience was much less crude.
By the time I hit the backstretch I found myself already doing the math in my head - that special calculus instinctively conjured up by undertrained athletes everywhere - that results in compromises and deals with the devil to make this end sooner than planned. This unsullied course was not going to gift me any shortcuts to fitness; my slow road back from autumn/winter injuries now stretched out further into the horizon than I'd thought possible. After a few 400m intervals I was completely spent.

So much was going right, too: it was a gorgeous, late spring afternoon; there were no adolescent malcontents idly cracking armpit farts in the stone bleachers as I passed; I did not have that second burger that beckoned to me at lunch beforehand. As I returned to my car, sweat dripping off the tip of my nose, I laughed at my enthusiasm from a half hour earlier. Sure, I'll be back... and if I never quite match the paces I once had, I just hope the armpit fart-crackers won't have found me. 

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