Sunday, September 25, 2005

And The Rains Fall Soft Upon Your Fields

Epps/Lowry 4mi

I managed to procrastinate for long enough that I had to wear a headlamp for my morning run because the sun was setting.
I spend the first of four miles trying to zero in on my pace. I’m starting to get the feel for what different paces feel like in the 8-12 minute/mile range. Today I’m trying to break my ten-minute miles into smaller increments, judging which landmarks are a tenth of a mile ahead and checking my one-minute splits against them.
I round the corner on Hanlon and remember my idea for the water tower view map as it looms into view. With its new footlights it reminds me of the Mayan ruins at Uxmal lit up nightly for the tourists.
In the coming darkness of a post-football Sunday night my familiar route takes on a new feel. Three men sit on the bank by Andrew’s shop dipping their cane poles in the black, swirling water. A couple gazes across the river from their parked motorcycle, and a group of teenagers passes a joint around a picnic table.
I dance between the pools of yellow streetlight until I reach the park where the trail shrinks to the size of my headlamp’s faint glow, and I watch the reflections of the docks and houses slide by on the river’s slick surface to my left.
Crossing Sligh Avenue again, I take the shortcut trail through to Epps Park and think again about water balloon launchers in the trees. I marvel at how we were able to simultaneously break every single rule on the park’s “WARNING:” sign during this year’s New Years celebration. At night the park’s elevation changes seem more pronounced, and as I turn west onto a section of North Street devoid of streetlights, I kill my headlamp and run in the darkness, feeling my way up and out of the river’s pull as the pavement rises to meet each step.


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