Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rainy Days

The rains came through Austin this afternoon, bringing thunder and lightning with them. I love afternoons like this - there's something about the rhythm of the rain that soothes my soul. So I stacked Tom Waits' Closing Time onto the jukebox and mellowed out. I don't think I can adequately describe the effect this combination has on me so I'm not even going to try, suffice to say it's the perfect setting for sitting in the dark and reflecting on days gone by. His voice is not quite as "gravelly" as some of his later work, but haunting nevertheless (interestingly, if you listen to some of Louis Armstrong's early stuff that famous gravelly voice is also missing).

Like any long distance runner I need that "alone" time (though that doesn't necessarily mean I need to be alone - sitting on the porch swing with my arm around my little boy watching the rain come down definitely counts). And like most ultra runners I have places I can go to in my head during a long run. Sometimes it's nice to visit them at other times just to hang out for awhile, and the lonely sound of a jazz trumpet solo is the quickest means of transport I know.

This morning it wasn't raining and I had the pleasure of running with a good buddy who happened to be in town. We did 15 miles of hills and enjoyed catching up. I have noticed that continually running that 10 mile Ladera Norte loop is definitely having an effect - it's getting a lot easier. 25 miles of hills are on the radar for tomorrow and 11 miles around Stratford/Scenic Dr (with a super fast road buddy) are set for Monday. Good times.

PS. I'm still feeling mellow but that may now be partly due to the excellent "Pine Belt" ale from last week's Sweaty Twenty.

PPS. I love the rain, but I hope it stops long enough for me to get the brisket going tomorrow night.

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