I was on an unfamiliar road, headed uphill when I saw him.
Slowly, laboriously, he wandered into the middle of the intersection, glowing in the morning light. He stopped, an oddly unsettling look on his face, almost resembling a smile, as though he were daring any person or automobile to challenge his dominance of the road. I shuffled past with no further consequence, but his appearance was an unmistakable sign.
The crossing guards are out. School is back in session.
To be honest, I hadn't realized that my new 9-mile training route ran past a school, or I might have rethought it while mapping last night. It was a bit of an adventure navigating the one way street where parents had long since learned a pattern of drop-off traffic that completely baffled me. I couldn't run on the sidewalk for fear of toppling children. I couldn't run in the road for fear of a car toppling me. In the end, I kept my head on a swivel and weaved in and out of cars until I had run past to safety.
It's this time of year that reminds me how of my time in life. I'm at the point now where "summer" means nothing more than hotter temperatures, and the rapid approach of September matters only in proximity to payday. Some day, I'll care about the school year again, but that is not this year. For now, I view it as a reason to avoid driving at 3:00pm and a chance to go to fun places on weekdays.
Even though I'm not in school, I'm still learning. Today, I (hopefully) learned a valuable new lesson. I did not conserve energy during the first part of my run, though I did not push the pace either. Instead, I simply let my legs choose their own speed, and I found it to be a little faster than expected. Since I now believe my endurance issues to be more related to time than distance, I wanted to see how I would do if I tried to complete a slightly longer run at a slightly faster pace. I learned that letting my legs make decisions may just be my best bet. We'll see how that goes the rest of the week.
As far as I'm concerned, though, I passed.
78 Degrees / Clear
1 Hour, 11 Minutes, 51 Seconds