It was 35 degrees when I headed out the door this morning. Not quite freezing, but close. I enjoyed the brisk air as my feet whisked along the streets under the bright full moon.
I ran by feel this morning, taking it easy. I ran down School and dropped down the hill on Parkview, took a left on Parkway and ran up to Maple. At Maple, I turned right and began running up the hill toward Highway 61. On the way up to the first curve on Maple, I ran past a couple out walking their dogs. They weren't wearing bright clothing, but at least they had a light so I didn't run into them.
When I reached 61, I turned right and headed south along the shoulder. I ran past the hotels, Hamm Auction and Real Estate, several other businesses and then turned left onto Highway 54 at the truck stop. I ran along 54 to Fincham and turned there to run past Wal-Mart and on down the hill to the Green Sports Complex on Sixth.
I ran along Sixth thinking I would run over the Sixth Street Park and take in the lights again, but when I got to Country Club a car coming from the left changed my course. Rather than stop and wait for the car, I turned left and ran up Country Club. Just past the bridge, a slow moving car went by me. A deer ran across the road and they shone a flashlight or a spotlight out their window to follow it. Since they were going fairly slowly, I used them as a rabbit to speed up my pace. I chased them till they gave up their deer hunt and drove off.
At Lake Road, I turned right and continued climbing. I ran up and over the hill, meeting up with a car at the crest. I thought another car was coming, but then figured out it was the street light at the highway. It was on the back side of the Lake Road hill that I first noticed the light of the bright full moon. I guess to that point, I'd not thought of it because of other lights around or things that kept me distracted.
When I got to Highway 281, I turned north to run back into town. A couple of cars passed me before I turned on Tenth Street to run a little farther west. I wasn't sure how far to go, but I knew I needed a little more distance so I could use up the time I had before breakfast.
I ran to Mound and then headed north. Two or three times on Mound I had sharp pains in my lower back near my right hip. They weren't enough to take my breath away, but they certainly weren't pleasant. I ran on and they didn't return.
At Cleveland, I turned east again. I ran down the short hill at full tilt, expecting any moment to trip and fall flat on my face. Somehow I managed to stay upright and continued on my way to Jackson where I did a little one block jog north and then ran over to Main.
On Main, I ran north to Maple on the sidewalks. Traffic buzzed by going both ways. Thankfully there was a break when I got to Maple, so I was able to turn east on Maple without having to pause.
Running east along Maple, I just maintained an easy pace. I ran down the hill, then up it. I ran past my office and past Lawrence to Larimer before turning south toward home. I hit seven miles just before School and ran on around the corner and to our front steps. (Firestarter, 7.08 miles, 1:07:16, avg. 9:30, 34 degrees, garmin data)