When I look out the window it's hard to remember that it's August. Overcast, windy, cool, drizzly. Yeah, lots of Bay Area summer days start this way, but this year it doesn't clear out. Except for a few days where the sun shone and the temps rose to the 90's, it's been cool and gloomy. I'm not complaining (oh wait: yeah, I am) because it's perfect for those morning long runs, but it's strange to have SAD in the middle of summer. I wouldn't want the sweltering heat that the eastern and southern parts of the country are experiencing, but sunshine would be welcome.
Saturday morning I wasn't complaining about the weather (oh wait: yeah, I was) while I was running. I deeply appreciated the cool temps in the 50's, appreciated the overcast, didn't mind the mist that made water drip off the brim of my cap, but I wasn't too thrilled with the constant wind in my face for the first 7 miles. I was running merrily along in my tank top and shorts, passing walkers bundled up for the arctic. These people had on parkas and gloves and scarves while I sweated my way past them. We all looked at each other as if the other were crazy.
The run went well. I met Bree at the Lafayette-Moraga Trail at 6:30 am (yawn) and we started running together. We ran together for less than 2 miles and then I sped up to a more comfortable pace and she slowed to her own comfort zone. I stopped at the bathroom at Moraga Commons to release and refill fluids, then continued on. The trail that was so beautiful in the winter and spring was dried and weedy, with only the prickle vine weed (whatever it's really called) and blue star thistles showing any color. A few of the oleanders are still in bloom, adding bits of brightness to the overcast gloom. Strangely enough, I really love the look of dried California summers. Whether you call it golden or brown, it looks like home to me.
I kept up the 9:1 run:walk except for the 9% grade hill leading to the end of the trail where I extended my walk break. That gave me a chance to talk with a little bunny hanging out on the side of the trail. No, he didn't talk back (sheesh, bunnies don't talk!). I ran to the end of the trail, tagged the post and started back the other way. I passed Bree going the other direction, continued on.
Back at the Commons I refilled my fluids again and then went on. With the wind at my back it was easier to breathe but I was getting a bit bored. Luckily the trail was busy with walkers and runners and I stayed busy saying "good morning" or "hi" to everyone. There weren't many cyclists on the trail (except for family groups), probably because those weeds are excellent at puncturing tubes.
Another way I kept myself busy was tying to figure out how far I had to backtrack to get in my 16 miles. My math skilz are absent once I've been running for an hour or so. I really didn't want to run more than 16 but I wanted at least that 16. Lessee, according to Mr. Garmin it was 7.3 miles to the turnaround. That makes the trail 14.6 round trip. That means I need an additional 1.4 miles. If I turn around at mile 2 and head back toward mile 3, I only need to run ... oh! lookit the rose blooming in that yard! Wow, I'm thirsty. Is it time to walk yet? What was I doing? Oh yeah, it was 7.3 miles to the turnaround. That makes the trail ...
Pitiful. I ran past the Senior Center, deciding that I'd run to the 2.25 marker and back and then stop to refill and empty fluids. All of a sudden I saw the 2 mile marker and realized I'd gone too far. I certainly wasn't going to run an extra half mile so I refilled my bottle at the fountain behind the fire station. Bree and I encountered each other again (hey, how'd she get ahead of me??) as I headed for the last couple of miles.
I ended with 16.2 miles. The sun was just starting to peek out and it was getting warmer (oooh, it was in the 60's!) so timing was good. I stretched out and waited for Bree who wasn't too far behind me. I was happy with the run; it was the most consistent long run I'd done in ages. Consistent not in the TnT definition of slow (although it was that) but in the true meaning of equal (and almost negative) splits.
A shower and a nap would have been a good thing, but Saturday means Momday so I headed over to see her. We're in the process of putting her condo on the market and she's decided that she needs to be in control and sign everything, so I took the massive pile of forms to go through with her. I read them to her, explained them to her, showed her where to sign. We answered the gazillion disclosure questions, marked those that were questionable, she initialed and signed. In the middle of it all she insisted it was lunch time so we went out for some truly mediocre Chinese food (which had the added benefit of being a zillion calories). Back to reading, explaining, re-reading, more explaining, signing and initialing. We had a major difference of opinion when it came to setting a price; my mom wants to list the place at about $100,000 more than anything has sold for in the past couple of years. I think that's ridiculous and a waste of everyone's time. I told her she needs to speak with the agent who can hopefully get her to see the light.
Next weekend's run will be 18 miles, starting the long runs early. I'm looking forward to it!