"The track is closed, Sir; there's a men's soccer game today," the UM staffer tells me as I approach the gate of Ludwig Field where Kehoe Track is located. He's wearing a Boston Red Sox cap, but my attempt to flatter him with "Go Boston!" doesn't work. I've already lost four quarters feeding the parking meter in hopes of some speedwork, but today I have to look for my fun elsewhere.
So west on University Blvd I go, to Adelphi Manor Park where on 12 Sep 2007 I had a good jog along Northwest Branch Trail. (cf. "Oakview Hill Work" in Phone It In) Today I'm about 1 min/mi faster than I was then. Perhaps some of the training is having a small effect, or maybe it's the few pounds I've attempted to trim off, or the cooler weather? For whatever reason I'm able to maintain a sub-10 min/mi pace on the flats, and even after the steep gravel hill climb to Oakview Dr at the midpoint I manage a final sub-9 blitz. I've forgotten to wear a wristwatch this morning, so I time myself using the cellphone and counting seconds until I see the minute flip over. Later I learn that my phone has a built-in stopwatch function. Next time!