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Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Little Too Quiet

An eerie quiet settled over Austin this morning.

It's a feeling with which I am actually quite familiar. There's the same kind of silence on the Notre Dame campus the morning after a football game, or on Clark Street in Chicago after a Cubs game. Come to think of it, it's like that almost any morning on Clark Street. Lots of bars on Clark.

But it's a little different, too. Today's hush feels less like a good night's sleep and more like an afternoon nap. It's a momentary respite before the craziness begins anew today, and in this moment of calm, I took my chance to get out and do my run, which I think was an excellent choice. If the absurdity of this morning's workout is any indication, running later in the day would not have been an issue.

Example one: more fences. I got to spend a little more time in the street this morning as I found a few of my expected fence gaps had been closed in the last 24 hours. While I can't really see what purpose this particular fence is serving (since the concert is on the other side of the street), I'm guessing it has a lot to do with crowd control, and if their crowd is one guy going for a run first thing in the morning, then they've succeeded. I had to stop the clock and find my way around, as it wasn't particularly climbable. I might have tried to jump it if I hadn't rolled my ankle shortly beforehand.

Example two: darker. This is the one issue that would have been fixed by running later, and may honestly have been worth it, given the aforementioned ankle roll and how invisible I felt on the trail. The good news here was that there were many other invisible people on the trail with me, appearing around corners and from the very limit of my vision. With the ever earlier sunrise and ever later wake up time of my summer, I had forgotten what it was like to hit the trail in the dark, so it was good that I had headlamp-bedecked company to help lead the way.

Example three: more bodies. So, yeah, this was the really weird part. As I passed my 3-mile course turnaround point, I noticed something in the sidewalk, and it only took me a moment or two to realize that it was a person. After mistaking various bags and garbage for people for over a mile and a half, I was genuinely surprised to find that this one actually was human. It was a heavier woman lying on her side, and I had to stop. There was no one around, but I did know that there was a police officer just a bit down the road if I needed him. I yelled to the woman to ask if she was okay and a rather loud snore was the only answer I got. I stood rather stupidly for a moment, deciding what to do. Clearly, she was okay if she was snoring, but something had to be wrong for her to sleep on the sidewalk as she was. I didn't have a phone, so I was about to go and get the officer when I heard the sirens. A firetruck came around one corner and an ambulance came around another. The situation in hand, I got back to the road.

Needless to say, it's been a bit of a morning.

But now I've got a wonderful day ahead. I'll spend my morning attending to business, and the rest of the day attending to fun.

And staying as far away from the park as I can.

Saturday's Run:
75 Degrees / Dark, Humid
6.01 Miles
45 Miles, 6 Seconds

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