Today's lunchbreak run begins in much the same way as maybe a hundred others. I quietly close my office door, change into my running shorts, and then sneek out to the back of the building. The only sounds are the latching of the building's heavy metal door and the staccato beep of my watch.
I jog through the parking lot, turn left onto the sidewalk, and make my way past the broken glass beneath the overpass. Then I climb the paved path up the hill and get across the railroad tracks.
Most of my run is along the maintenance/quad path beside the tracks. The house with the less-vicious dogs goes quickly by. Although the dogs always bark, the people here have seemed friendly.
My legs are feeling good. The miles I'd gotten so far this week are not slowing them down much.
I stop to pee on the scrub bushes that somehow grow up through the railroad rocks. After I start running again, I toss my shirt into the brush, and note that it's directly across from a solar-panel powered contraption on the other side of the tracks.
The clouds above are parting, and the sun warms my back and neck as I run northward. I stop for a walk break, not so much because I'm tired but because it feels good to walk, to listen to the air moving quietly all around, to smell its autumn husk. I don't hear the screech of the cooper hawk today, but I know he's there, watching as always.
The home with the more-vicious dogs looms ahead, and I look around for railroad spikes to carry as I pass by. The thin, slimy ropes that hold them back look more rotted than ever. The wolf in them knows that their freedom is close, and the lunatic mutant dog in them is raging. I don't have any spikes in my hands, but I know where some are, along the path, if I would need them. And there's always the rocks, if it comes to that.
I jog by, and the usual adrenaline rush makes the next mile easy. I don't take a walk break again until I nearly reach the huge turnpike underpass, called Freedom Bridge. As I almost always do, I think about that name and the desperation of those who have jumped from it. I've reached my turnaround for today.
As I begin the gradual descent back to work, the sun in my eyes reminds me that I didn't wear a baseball cap. The breeze feels perfectly cool, though, on my balding crewcut head.
I find some good spikes to carry, not just to defend myself with but to make into ultramarathon tropies for next summer. The weight of them smooths my stride, and I soon reach the place where my shirt is laying. After putting it back on, I'm soon descending the path from the tracks, and then getting back through the parking lot to the office building's back door. About 6.5 miles in a little over an hour, with a few walk breaks. My pace has been improving.
Midway through the afternoon, I find that I've finished a minor project and have a few minutes to write. I hope you like it.
Live the Adventure. Enjoy the Journey. Be Kind. Have Faith!
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