Facebook friend and “Postcards from the Curb” fan Thomas Constantine invited me to a little event he put together up in his town of Amsterdam, NY.
4 on the 4th-Independence Day Coffee Run
Time: Monday, July 4 · 8:00am - 10:00am
Location: Burger King, Rt 30, Amsterdam, NY
4-6-8 mile loops from Burger King
Walkers and joggers
Holiday coffee after
Run with us or on ur own
Post ur freedom run here
I got up a little bit before 8 o’clock. I did my best to move out without waking D’Wife. D’Kid’s door was shut [to keep a marauding boy-cat out overnight] so she wasn’t awakened by my movements on this holiday morning. I did a little bit of Punk Yoga to warm up, and loosen the port-side hammy that’s always been a worry of mine [but not an actual PROBLEM, lately]
The sun was TRYING to break through the haze, but that was just warming the wet ground and streets to create MORE haze; haze that was just a couple of dew points away from becoming full-blown fog!!! Not much of breeze of any kind was to be found, and there was the slightest scent of pine smoke from the small forest fires that have been popping up this past week [all quickly dealt thing, thank God, suggesting that they’ve been controlled burns]
Without a real plan of where to go when I left the house, I selected a route for this comp that only CROSSED Atco Ave., not run down it, because I wasn't sure exactly when the Boro's parade would be, and I'd hate to cruise through the festivities, especially without anything Patriotic on. In fact, I was wearing shoes from a Japanese company, whose name is an acronym of the Latin phrase anima sana in corpore sano, which translates to "Healthy Soul in a Healthy Body.” My running shorts were from a company who originally made boots for the Germans in WWII, and eventually bought their way into Olympic prominence with shady back-room cash deals as the era of amateurism came to an end. Even my Old Navy [or as we say at home “Old Shanyblay”] singlet with “Honolulu” across it COULD BE a reference to a sovereign Pacific kingdom that’s been illegally occupied [allegedly] for a hundred years or so.
I made the first mile mark in 8:15; quite quick for me, even more so considering D'Wife & I rode very nearly 20 miles on Saturday. I was fortunate that traffic was sparse and I was able to jump the light without losing much time crossing The Pike. Believe it or not, I was still debating on which path I would take this morning; I have a LOT of options and many decision points along the way. I guess all these little variables keep my runs from being boring, as I can change them up on the fly. Since this WAS semi-official, and kind of on the clock, I picked a familiar course that I’ve measured as being 4 miles exactly … well not TOO far over anyway; maybe a tenth or two???
I crossed a very empty Atco Avenue. It occurred to me at this point that in my WHOLE life, I’d marched in a Fourth of July Parade maybe twice, three time tops. This was would have been when I was in the Boy Scouts, in Haddonfield. I DO remember decorating my bike with red/white/and blue streams in Connecticut, but we just rode them around the neighborhood for the day. I didn’t even join my Little League team [Bliss Market] as I remember. I can certainly recall walking down King’s Highway to music and clapping while in the Scouts, however vaguely … I’m sure I enjoyed the applause.
Mile Two was uneventful: saw a couple of cyclists who agreed the morning was disgusting, but congratulated themselves and me on or determination / dedication by saying "Hey, we're out here, right?" I enjoyed the cool shade of The Green Room, where trees that were toppled by the tornado almost a year ago still lean, broken and splintered, without the landowner’s apparent care to what will become of them. I’m sure the woodland creatures who have made new homes beneath the exposed roots and hanging boughs aren’t complaining. There were a couple kids fishing in the pond, wearing baggy shorts, over-sized skate shoes and flat-brimmed trucker hats cocked just slightly off-center.
Sixteen and a half, AT the Half. I guess I missed that “Slow pace” part in the invitation???
Turning around, I ground up the rise back to the little light at Jackson Road. D’Wife always comments when we’re on our bike rides and have to wait here, “How many Tattoo Shops does Atco need?” … I don’t really think it’s reflection on the town as much as it is a reflection of the folks who pass THROUGH our town. Jackson Road is the only way to or from Atco Raceway. Sometimes, maybe, someone just decides “I need a little more ink; I have a spot that needs filling” I could be wrong
Crossing the NJ Transit tracks again, I passed a couple of families loading up their vans for the day. Proudly sporting their Phillies gear, wondered what they had planned for the day as Phillies-Marlins wasn’t until 6PM. I guess it’s never too early to tail gate??? Perhaps they were on their way down the Shore, perhaps [God willing] to torment some Mets fans while away for the day.
I reached the Assumption School track at the end of Mile Three. Half a dozen walkers were there, doing the SMART thing on this muggfest: Going round and round and taking it easy while getting at least some miles in. One of them [an aging guidette or perhaps a cougar-in-training, I couldn’t tell through my fogged and sweat-glazed specs] had to do things her own way and be the ONLY person doing her laps clockwise]
I must've picked up some time on the drop from our Church to Domino's, [admiring the crop of grapes growing on the chainlink fence adjacent to the Police Station] because I sure didn't FEEL like I strung FOUR 8:something-teens together. That last half mile is always such a drag too. Running on the traffic-facing side, it always seems desolate; there’s always so much gravel, cars-trash and roadkill to step around, and not the slightest bit of shade on the approach home, not matter WHAT time of day. Then there are the JYDs who always come out to say “Good FUCKING Morning!!! ASSHOLE!!!” Yeah, it’s a pretty soul-sucking way to end even the best run.
I got it done in a damn satisfactory 32:50. And no ... not ONE, single, sprinkler was on!!!
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