2013-06-02 - Wheaton Regional Park Ramble with Caren

~4.5 miles @ ~19 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Wheaton_Regional_Park_severed_hand.jpgIn the final mile of our figure-eight trek on the trails of WRP dear friend Caren Jew and I see a severed hand on the pavement, clutching a cellphone. What is its story, we wonder?

Early today I practice cross-training for an hour by attempting to mow the lawn at New Place with a mechanical push-mower. I learn a lot about how to unjam the reel (rotate the blades back an inch using foot or hand so the twig falls out), the best time to mow (early, before the sun begins to beat down), and the best pattern to follow (as in artistic drawing, a fractal route so that one may quit at any time and have a plausibly-incomplete sketch of a finished job). Hmmmm, perhaps gloves would be wise too; I develop a small blister on my thumb from the lawnmower handle. Maybe I should stay home from work tomorrow?

To recover I sit on the front porch, drinking a Diet Coke over crushed ice and reading The Philosophers' Magazine. Caren arrives at New Place and after a tour of the back yard and the still-mostly-empty rooms we're ready to run. I ask the proper color-name for her pretty shoes, and she tells me simply "Purple!" We discuss the nuances of violet vs. indigo. Four miles later, when I hold the anti-deer gate open for a couple to walk out behind us, the tattooed lady of the pair admires Caren's shoes. She sports brilliant hair, dyed turquoise, that matches her blouse, shoes, and socks. I'm clad in a slimming-gray "Lean Mean Running Machine" technical shirt, a gift from Caren long ago, accompanied by the black-and-green Seneca Creek Greenway 50k shorts that were finisher's prizes when Caren and I ran her first ultra together (cf SenecaCreekGreenwayTrailMarathon2006).

The woodsy pathways in WRP are a lovely delight, as is our trail talk. At every turn we're surprised by dog-walkers. Five people practice Tai Chi by Pine Lake. I whisper to Caren that I'm skeptical of qi energy and acupuncture in general as a cure for cancer and the like, but could accept it possibly affecting the ill-understood autonomic nervous system. Crowds of slow-walking tourists intermittently block us inside the gardens.

Runkeeper credits us with 4.55 miles @ ~18.6 min/mi but the Garmin is more conservative and only says 4.36 miles @ ~19.4 min/mi pace.

^z - 2013-06-21