Friday, September 09, 2005

Down The Middle

Ola/YMCA 4.5mi

The run from my house to the Fort Brooke YMCA is becoming more familiar, and I can tell that my body is adjusting to the distance. What felt like a long run just a few weeks ago now truly feels like a short training run. It actually has gotten shorter because my pace is slowly improving as well.
From an aerial perspective, I like this route because it is direct. The mapped route runs due south most of the way, only taking a few jogs to the East to find the finish. The stretch along Ola is shady and traffic is sparse, allowing me to run in my favorite part of the road. Like my grandfather used to say, “Everybody is entitled to their half of the road – I like mine in the middle.”
I can feel that I’ve got a decent pace going without overdoing it. This pace would still be considered “conversational” if there were someone here for me to talk to. Thankfully, there is not.
In the last week or so the weather has begun a subtle shift away from the doldrums of summer. The temperatures haven’t really fallen any, but the humidity has broken, and suddenly I can feel that there may be an end to this heat. It’s this hope precisely that makes September the hottest month in Florida. After five months of summer, it just seems right that September should be the end, but it’s not and it never is. We could represent this cycle as “The Map of Experienced, Perceived, and Expected Temperature for Tampa, Florida.” The intersection of these three metrics defines “The Zone of Disappointment.”
Today though, the hope for new beginnings is palpable, and the feeling literally puts a little more spring in my step (and I mean ‘literally’ in the literal sense that my legs actually feel better, not in the figurative sense that the word ‘literally’ is usually used.) For the last half-mile or so, I stretch out and work on impressing the office workers on Franklin Street, checking my form in the windows as I pass.


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