I am awakened to what sounds like hail pounding on the picture window and it takes me a few minutes to remember I am not at home in my Philadelphia apartment. It does not however take me a few minutes to remember I have a run to get in this morning and the sound of inclimate weather outside does not excite me. I check my phone, only to realise it is 3am and i get at least another five hours of sleep before I have to get out of bed.
I am awakened again, this time to sounds of Tom getting ready for work in the kitchen. This must mean that it is around 5 am and again I still have hours to sleep before I have to be out of bed and on my feet.
A second time I hear rain on the window. Interupted only by the loud and prominant boom of thunder. 7am. I force myself to go back to sleep unable to tell if it is the time diffrence (one hour) or simply the anticipation of my goal of eight miles that is keeping me from sleeping soundly.
The fourth time I wake up it is becuase daylight is pouring into the bedroom. It's only 8am but I give up and get dressed. When I open the front door I am not prepared for the humid morning that awaits me. I am used to cold crisp mornings. It is only april and I am not ready for this. But still I take off down the road. I am not really left with many choices, left or right and then the road just goes on for miles so I decide to time my run instead of pick a distance. This way I can also pay more attention to the scenery.
The first mile felt great, the weather was warm enough, the sun was shining down in small rays onto the open green fields and in the air a scent of country. The hills were rolling and hard enough to feel like I was acomplishing something but not too hard so I thought I would die. How out of place I might have looked to anyone up and about looking out their windows as I ran by in my bright orange tshirt and black running shorts. I thought perhaps I was in for an easy eight miles, that was of course until I embarked on a short downhill and around a sharp left curve and was hit smack in the face by a hill, one that im sure was hiding many exactly like itself.
The next forty minutes were literally a roller coaster of up and downs, the road so slick with overnight rain I was sure if I took a leap and landed on my stomach I would slide clear across the state like a penguin on the ice.
So much for an easy eight. I had never been so discouraged by one straight road. Remembering that this was only base training, and that I was also on vacation, I stopped running after fifty minutes and decided to do high-knees up the last stretch of hill.
If I hadn't looked out of place before, I sure did now. And I imagine if there were a hell, it would pretty much be like this. Slowly clibming up an endless hill, knees lifting as high as they would go, quads screaming out in pain for me to stop and walk normally.
I couldn't help but notice however that the few cars, and many trucks that did drive by me, as akward as I might have looked, actually waved. And not in the 'hey baby how you doin" way that I was acustomed to seeing in the city. More like in the genuine 'how are you doing today' kind of way that you would only find in the south.
Id have to say it was quite the experience. But I also have to say that I'm a little afraid to go out there and try it again