Monday, March 7, 2011

Patches of Tartan

The moment I woke up, I knew that yesterday’s little jaunt through Lynnfield and North Reading with Mark and Dan had been a little bit of an effort. There was that good, solid, whole body fatigue—the kind you know is doing the good work. I had to drag myself out of bed and get ready to run but there was never a doubt I’d get up and go. Since I would be traveling all day, it was either then or never.

It was still raining but not hard enough to shake the house, as it had been in the night when I woke up soaked in my own sweat with memory of whatever work-related dream that had caused my panic attack sitting just beyond the consciousness barrier where I couldn’t quite get to it. I would be leaving on flight to Denver for a big customer briefing in a few hours so I’m sure it had something to do with that customer, whatever it was.

Down in the kitchen I checked my phone to see the outside temp—55 and raining with winds from the southwest at 12, gusting to 30mph. Shorts weather. I put on my heaviest, clunkiest trainers for a slow jog in the rain.

Walking down my hill, the snow banks were noticeably smaller than yesterday and I even saw some bare patches of earth here and there. Spring is not far off and we will be able to finally close the books on this ridiculous winter. But damn it’s ugly out—the retreating gray snow banks reveal a whole winter’s worth of trash and sand and branches and muck.

After about two and a half miles, as I was loping past Birch Meadow Park and the YMCA noticing an awful lot of melting had happened on the open spaces of the fields, it appeared—a vague image the kind you’re not sure is real at first but you get closer it becomes real. Buds on the trees, flowers blooming and robins pulling worms out of the ground will all be nice signs of spring and I look forward to seeing them in due time. But for now, that beautiful red surface of the RMHS track was a sight for sore eyes.

One end of the track and infield is still snow covered but it won’t be for long. Sometime soon—possibly even this coming Thursday evening—the track will be open for business. And lane one will once again be for runners.

Later, as I was sitting in Terminal E at Logan Airport doing some work while waiting for my flight, my friend Marc—one of the founding members of the Reading Track Club and a Thirsty Thursday protagonist—sent out an email with the subject “Could it be spring?” including a picture of the track that he’d grabbed from his phone on his way to work. I’m not the only one.

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