Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Phoenix

In my never-ending quest to find irony and meaning in the random coincidences of life and running, I herewith submit this little tale of my running here in Phoenix. And my running in general has seen a rebirth from the ashes of injury and failure.

Granted, I’d been starting to get better anyway. And granted, I did all right – better than expected, even - at the Run with Scissors Marathon the other day. What’s rising like a phoenix, however, is my overall fitness. I know this because I was actually able to run again the very next day after scissors. It was an easy five-miler from my downtown Phoenix hotel and over to a small park, and it wasn’t super fast, but I felt surprisingly well – sore, but well - much better than I’d have predicted.

For my second run in Phoenix, I ventured out a little further. It’s always a challenge to find the best places to run whilst on the road. I usually start by looking at google maps. From this location in Phoenix, things didn’t look all that promising; no long bike trails or large parks nearby. Last time I was nearby, it was in Scottsdale, and there were some very nice areas to run there. Here there only appeared to be major roads and traffic. Sidewalk running on downtown city streets is okay – it beats not running at all - but I can think of better things. I did a lot of back and forth, up and down, zigging and sagging, yin and yang, dipsy doodling, etc., all around North Central Avenue. In spite of myself, after nearly an hour of wandering, I actually did find something.

It was a bike trail along a canal. Or maybe it was a Phoenix style river. It wasn’t a bad place to run at all. Unfortunately, after only a couple of miles on that path, it was time to head back. This run was somewhat slower than Monday’s however. That may be because of the aimless wandering. It turns out that that bike trail meanders all across the city.

Now for the third and final run, I finally had a destination. I’d go east on Thomas, catch that same bike trail, follow it northwest, and then come back on Central as I did yesterday. I managed to do just that, for a run of about ten miles. Just like Tuesday’s run, this wasn’t quite as many as I’d wanted. But like Tuesday, I ran out of time. And gumption.

The perfect weather here in Phoenix – extremely clear, with low 60’s for these early morning runs, and upper 80’s for highs - is in stark contrast with the devastation caused by storm Sandy in the east. The difference is almost surreal.

So yes, I’ve risen from those ashes. I’ll need to rise further as I get back, but that’s another story.

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