As I'm sitting in a Borders Bookstore writing this I can help but think about all our fellow surfers and friends in Hawaii who are evacuating to higher ground right now as a 3-to 8-foot tsunami rushes toward them at the speed of a jet airplane. My thoughts go out to them and hope that since they've had so much time and warning it won't be anywhere near as bad as Thailand tsunami was a few years ago. Mahalo my friends.
In other news, I've got a great run to recap from yesterday!
Jenny and I are having a lazy Saturday here in Gainesville. She's writing Rockstar Energy drink right now about possibly sponsoring her relay team for the upcoming Sunset to Sunrise relay race across Florida and I'm monitoring the Hawaii situation. It was forecast to be rainy and cold this morning, which is was, but now it's turning out to be a beautiful day. We had planned our first official long run for Seattle Marathon training for this morning, but when we saw the forecast we opted to do it after work last night at dusk instead. It wasn't nearly as cold and since it was only a 6-miler it works perfectly for me (getting back into the swing of things) and Jenny (recovering from her kick ass finish at the Donna Half Marathon last weekend).
Jenny mapped out a route through the University of Florida campus and sent it to me via MapMyRun.com and I was instantly stoked! I graduated from UF in 1999 and while I've been back for football games (Go Gators), I haven't really explored the campus in more than a decade. This would be a great opportunity and to share memories with Jenny!
We met at the Publix on University and 34th and started our run just minutes before sunset. As we ran down 2nd and past the University Golf Course a walnut fell into the road right next to us missing a passing car only by inches. I looked on the road for the nut and was confused because I couldn't find it. Then Jenny realized it was a golf ball. Amazing. A stray golf ball missed us only by about 10 feet and a car by only inches! We continued on past the law school and toward Ben Hill Griffin Stadium; a.k.a. The Swamp.
This is the spot where I was T-boned by a short middle eastern man that wanted to kick my @ss until I got out of the car and he saw how tall I was back in 1998! Ahhh the memories!
This alligator was not built when I was a student, like so many things, but we had fun running past it as it stands sentinel to The Swamp!
After passing the stadium we kept going west through so many new and old parts of the campus. Between buildings, dorms and stores that I walked thousands of times back in the day. It's funny what you remember vividly and what memories are triggered by seeing your old college, or old band marching field or the hill on Newell Road that I used to charge on my bicycle. As we turned back west the sun was setting and the sky was on fire.
When we crossed North South Road (it's called something else today, but I'm going by what it was when I was a student) a group of about 20 students walked by all wearing bandannas on their heads. Another oddity. Then we saw a student running in the road barefoot. No frog feet, just plain old barefoot. That's hardcore. I'll run barefoot on the beach, but not on a road. As we arrived down at Lake Alice it was twilight and a beautiful site!
Then I noticed there are now TWO bat houses at UF! Those bats must have been breeding like mice! There were a few dozen people standing around watching the bats leave the house for the night just as I remembered it, but we didn't stick around. We had a run to finish! (Plus, I see more bats near my house along Riverside Drive in the summer).
From here on out it was a simple shot up 34th Street back to our cars. As we pass the famous wall on the hill near University I get goose bumps as we pass the memorial to the 1990 slayings of five students by a sick twisted douchebag serial killer. When I was a student this wall stood memorializing their memory and it still does today. I remember once that someone painted over the memorial and within hours it was painted back.
I'm happy to say how much fun this run was; laid back and relaxing. The weather was beautiful and I received no complaints from Mr. Achilles! Finally tally for the week:
15-miles down. . . 413 miles to run before Seattle RNR Marathon!