Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Eagles Have Landed

On my way to run this a.m. I was listening to a program called 'Acoustic Storm.'  Just as I tuned in, the Eagles were doing a version of Take it Easy.  It really is amazing how much music affects our memories, because in a moment I was 16 again, and transported to a corner in Winslow, AZ where my buddy Dave and I had stopped to rest on our way home from San Diego.

I seems incredible today that parents would let 15 and 16 year-olds drive across country in a broken down Karman Ghia with a driver's side door that was tied shut with a rope, and with a massive F2 Windsurfer strapped to the roof.  But our parents trusted Dave and me enough to let us make the trip for three years.  It was an amazing time to be alive.  We were really 'out there' alone.  Two kids with a shitty car that needed to be pushed (and then pop the clutch) to start the engine - we always parked on flats or facing downhill.  We had no credit cards, no cell phones, not a lot of cash, no a/c (which made driving across the desert hot as hell).

But when I think back upon those cross country trips, I don't recall anything bad or uncomfortable.  All I remember is a sense of freedom and adventure.  It was a time when you really would be out of contact with parents and other friends for a few days.  It was really wonderful.

It is ironic that now, with cell phones and credit cards, safer cars, better services, and more comfort, that no parent in his/her right mind would let their teenage sons (or daughters) drive across country alone (let alone go into Tijuana unchaperoned on several occasions).  The early 1980's may have been the last, best time for teenagers to know any sort of real freedom and adventure.  My thoughts only....

On to running.....

I had a couple of lovely runs the weekend.  On Sat, the rain and thunder beat me a bit, but led to an exciting and quick knockout of the river trails.  Sunday I took the same trails a bit faster (somehow), even with several stops to marvel at how beautiful the area is after a major storm.  I got to see a duck take off on the river.  I love when wingtips repeatedly strike the surface of the water.  Then, almost exactly at the halfway point in a drainage depression, the green and yellow leaves that had fallen created such a blanket I had to stop for a few minutes to appreciate what I was seeing.  The covering followed the stream bed and was so thick that if I didn't know where the wheel ruts were, I would have tripped up.

I was mainly running a 9-10 min/mi pace.  Between miles 6.5-7.5, though, I got an unexpected burst of energy.  I threw down, and completed the mile in 7 min 29 sec.  The final mile was also somewhere in the 8 min realm.  I'm usually stronger as I go, but rarely just get some weird burst of speed.  It was a welcome, if unexpected, feeling.

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