Monday night I parked at my normal running loop and planned an out and back on my regular loop. I would go 7 miles out and then run to the car. So, looking like I had just landed out of 'Spies Like Us' with an array of reflective gear: hat- reflective, vest-reflective, arm band- reflective with blinking red lights... I hit 'start' on the watch and began running.
Progression Run: My goal for this run was to get in about 60 minutes of running at goal marathon pace, and a little quicker over the final 3 miles. Initially I let myself fall into long run effort taking in the unseasonable warm evening in the high country. Passing by banks I was surprised to see the temperature holding at 58 degrees even after the Sun went behind the horizon. There were occasional chilly spots when the path dipped along the New River but overall I was wishing that I had stayed with only shorts for this one-
After 20 minutes I began to run with a bit more power and was cruising along at marathon pace, putting my mind on that road in Massachusetts. I have been watching the drive by videos of Boston which are available and these are helpful in solidifying what I have seen in snippets and from alternated angles during tv coverage of the marathon. To see the entire course in 8-10 minutes is a manageable time frame to get a virtual feel (behave) of what is out there. I use this imagery in visualization for everything from the bus trip to the final mile of the race itself.
Soon enough I reached King St. in downtown Boone and was weaving in and out of pedestrians as they weaved in and out of drinking establishments. As they clogged the sidewalks, I looked at them like "what the hell" and as I blinked my way along the sidewalk they looked at me like "what the hell"... nothing but perspective. I reached my turnaround and turned to reverse my loop and get in 7 more miles... though I was only 1.5 miles from my car at this point- not logical- but neither was running away from my car in the first place... "what the hell"?
Passing by all the same intersections and store fronts things looked completely new to me in this new era of existence. Traffic continued its march homeward and to the store and as I ran down 'fast-food-alley' I kept a specially keen eye out for texting burger stuffers. One almost got me- luckily I was highly visible. Darting behind the distracted driver I gave a hard slap to the rear of the car and I imagine a substantial startle to the young driver...
Well, in no time at all I was back to the darkness and quiet of the Greenway Trail. I turned off my blinky lights and ran by clouded moonlight at a leisurely recovery pace. Nothing but the sound of feet and the quiet interlude of momentary 'flight' . I had the entire area to myself for 3 miles except for one other runner out having his own experience. In the darkness as we passed we said 'hey' to the shadow passing us and continued to what waited.
4 minutes from the car I was back on a small back road and out of nowhere, (somewhere?) came a car barreling around a corner. Being highly visible I darted off the road in a flash and when the car finally straightened out at 60 mph (in a 25) I was 4 feet back in the brush as the driver momentarily tapped the brakes upon realizes (much too late) that 'he' had nearly collected the maximum points for roadkill... All that peace and tranquility challenged in a hurried moment of stupidity. The story of my life.