For those of you who read Landy's top ten list below and thought, "Yeah, you know, I SHOULD get up early and exercise... maybe I'll take up cycling?" I will offer the above photo as a visual for REASON #11: because running is SO much cheaper than biking. Sure it's tougher on joints and ligaments, but think of all the money you'll save up front! They haven't started making $5,000 running shoes...yet.
Easton is way too big for running tag. I determined that on my rare Wednesday Rise Up run this morning. I figured this out because I ran from 4:10 a.m. to 6:05 a.m. and during that time, I don't think I saw a single Rise Up Runner out there ;) Alright, I am actually pretty sure I saw Lori go by on Washington Street, as I was coming up Harrison, but that was a fair distance away.
I like to call my running route for the morning a "Deluxe Charlie TTZZ." For those curious just what a Deluxe Charlie TTZZ looks like, I roughed it out on Map My Run--voila. 13.1 miles from my crib, go up Aurora, wait for a couple minutes at 4:30 a.m. at the RUR corner, then follow Washington Street out to the bypass; bypass back to Oxford Road; Oxford Road up to Cooke's Hope (vs. the regular Charlie that goes to Cedar Point Road); back to Washington Street; Washington Street to Harrison; back up Harrison to Idlewild; Idlewild to Rails to Trails; RTT all the way to the North Easton Sports Complex; victory loop around the baseball field loop; then back to my house. I did a few pick-ups during the run and finished in 1:55, without ever really pushing the pace--the goal was a distance day about 10 days out from our 50K in Delaware.
With no RUR peeps and no ipod, it was an observation day. I startled a fox going out over Papermill Pond, who scampered back into the brush. I likewise disturbed the deer grazing at the Doe Cafe across from Easton Club; I caught a couple Talbot Sheriff cars zipping off to somewhere down Oxford Road, only to return in less of a hurry; saw a dead deer in the ditch by Cedar Point. And then the most memorable man meets nature scene of the morning.
As I was making my way back to the bypass to cruise back into town, a Chevy pickup truck turned onto Oxford Road, as a raccoon decided to scurry across. PLUNK! Front bumper caught him and spun him into a heap. I thought, this will be pretty as I got a little closer. The raccoon was laying still in a pile; I am not sure if he was stunned (I sure would have been) or part possum, but as I came closer, he literally shook it off, looked around and continued his scamper to the other side! As of this writing, his status is unknown, but I was pretty impressed by both his tenacity and his stealthiness. He's got a quite a story for his mates for the mid-morning raccoon coffee break.
With Keene's 70.3 triathlon under his belt, the next RUR runner with a race is Landy, this weekend at the Lake Placid Marathon. His wife Megan is running the half-marathon, so good luck to the Cooks on the road course on Sunday! We'll expect photos and a good report after the weekend.
And after that, Derek, Lori, Landy, and I are off to Delaware for a 50K fun run. Stay tuned and stay hydrated!