Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Recovered and ready to go

Last night Pam and I met as usual for our Monday night run. We agreed that either of us would have been glad to have the other call and cancel the run; it was hot out and we were beaten up by our long weekend runs. Too bad that each of us was waiting for the other to call first! To try to alleviate the pain we decided to just run on the Iron Horse Trail; that way if things went really badly we could just turn around and limp back in.

It started out roughly for both of us. Stiff, sore, cranky. Pam was actually limping (she called it "favoring" one leg). We ran for a few minutes, then stretched, then ran on. We needed to throw in a couple of walk breaks but we managed to finish 3.25 miles at much quicker than our normal pace. Amazingly I felt better when I finished than when I started. After stretching again I felt hot and tired, but normal. Before bed I popped a couple of Advil, just to make sure my knee didn't act up again. This morning I couldn't even tell I had done a long run. Yay and yippee! Now I'll just have to see if I stiffen up at my desk; if I do I'll take a walk at lunch time and see if I can loosen things up.

There was something funny I haven't mentioned from our weekend in Chicago. Saturday while we were on the CTA bus taking us to the working train station we saw a street closed off with a lot of SWAT and police vehicles. We saw some people down at the end of the street but couldn't tell what was going on. We thought either something awful had happened or maybe they were filming a movie or tv program. Ding ding, we have a winner! I read later that someone else had seen the SWAT truck, and it said "Gotham City" on the side so I guess they were filming the new Batman film.

Again on the bus, returning from Stitches on Sunday, we ran into a ton of traffic. Then the bus stopped. It sat there, we sat there, everyone else sat there. And sat. And sat and sat and sat and what the hell is going on?? We were told that the bridge was closed. As I stared ahead I saw two military-looking helicopters go buzzing low and tight over the river. What?? Oh, filming another movie. Got it. But the bridge remained closed. The driver announced that she had been told that the bridge over the next street was open and if we wanted, we could get off and walk. She couldn't deviate the route of the bus and it didn't look like she'd be moving anytime soon.

So off the bus we went, trudging down the street, turning the corner, trudging up the next street to the bridge. Remember, I had run the half marathon that morning, then wandered around Stitches for a few hours, and I was tired. As we got right up to the bridge we saw that one was closed too! A couple of people with headsets and clipboards were telling people they could not cross the bridge. That certainly didn't make anyone happy, including one very feisty woman with several children who wasn't about to make them go several blocks further out of their way to cross the river. Especially when we could see other people crossing. As this woman calmly stated her position -- oh hell, she was yelling her head off -- a couple of big dudes started walking across the bridge. The PA (at least I assumed she was a measly production assistant) tried to stop them but they just looked straight ahead and kept going. Since they were twice her size she had no other choice but to back off. And since the big dudes were going, someone else shouted "run" and we all took off across the bridge.

It turned out that Angelina was in town (with Brad and the kids) filming her newest flick. Now, whether the helicopter stunt was part of her film or the Batman film wasn't clear. But everyone around the river that day didn't really care, they were just pissed off at the inconvenience and declaring they weren't going to see any new film of hers. Pretty funny actually. We hung around the other side of the river for a while to see if the action would start again but it looked quiet so we left.

The Gratuitous Bear of the Day is another medal bear. In 2004 I ran the inaugural PF Chang's Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon. It's always a crapshoot whether a new race will run smoothly and this was no exception. There was a late start because of bus and traffic problems which led to more heat during the race. I went out quickly, and blew up quickly. I found the bear in the hotel gift shop and he was absolutely what I was looking for, a western sheriff with his name across the front of his vest. This is Howdy, from Arizona.

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