I'm on a roll! On Tuesday, Greg met me at work for a simple, 1-hour bike ride up-and-back on the coast. I kicked myself for not putting on my arm warmers as we rolled off. It was windy and cold! My arm warmers lay forgotten in the front seat of the car. I felt good on the mostly flat ride and quickly settled into a nice pace. Until Torrey Pines hill, the final obstacle between me and the end of the ride. I used to be faced with this hill on every ride, and it would kill me every time. Seems like this pattern continues. Greg sped away as I toiled laboriously upwards. I climbed tediously for what seemed like an eternity before reaching the top. Ah, Torrey Pines, my good old friend. However, in the end, I was victorious. I reached the car, put my bike away, and returned to work with a smile on my face.
I was exhausted the rest of Tuesday and pretty much all day Wednesday as well. My body is just not used to working out...yet. Wednesday evening came and as darkness fell, I decided to put on my running clothes. Greg and Travis were at the skate park but I still had one running partner left, Floyd. I put on a long-sleeved technical tee that aptly read, "My running partner has four legs", grabbed Floyd's leash and my running shoes, and out the door we went. Floyd was whining with excitement. We charged through the neighborhoods, stopping only to wait for the light to turn green. A large shadow flapped overhead. I caught a glimpse of an enormous white barn owl, lazily moving from the telephone pole to the top of the lamp post. He's a regular in these parts. I hadn't seen him in awhile and took it as a good omen. As we reached a small trail that wound behind some houses, I took off Floyd's leash. Relishing in the freedom, he cavorted in the adjacent fields, stopping to sniff every now and then but always a stone's throw from my feet. At the end of the path, I called him and he quickly and obediently returned to my side. I snapped the leash back on and we continued without hesitation. Floyd, at 7 years old, is a natural runner. Part cattle dog, part border collie, he has innate endurance and a born passion for running. I almost forgot the leash was there; he was so expert at keeping a consistent pace and constant light tension on the leash. It almost felt like reins connecting me to a horse. We reached the turn-around and I signaled to Floyd to double back. Even though he seemed like he could've gone farther, he instantly made a u-turn, and we headed home. Tantalazing aromas of dinner wafted through the air as we ran through the neighborhoods. Terriyaki chicken, grilled salmon, stuffed turkey, and the pungent but unmistakable odor of...spam? Okay. Different. We returned to the front door, and I covered Floyd with pats and kisses. Both of us were exuberant. Floyd didn't even seem out of breath. He's amazing! I followed up the run with 30 minutes of weights. Boy, am I sore today!