The Viper should have just hidden under a rock instead. Sunday was the hottest run of the year so far. And to make things a little more challenging, it was a hangover run.
I doubted my own sanity. I was tired and wonky-eyed, but I needed to get 12 miles in the books.
Just to be clear, I didn't follow anyone's advice about running in the heat.
Noon came far too quickly. I had been up for a couple hours, but I needed to eat, needed some coffee and needed to calm the bizarre feeling left over from the 12-pack of Beck's the night before.
[Drunkard's note: Not exactly preventing dehydration.]
The run started slow and got slower, as I settled into a rhythmic pace that matched the drumming in my head. Cottonmouth had me sucking my teeth in desperate search for saliva. Salt encrusted my forehead within a few miles. I was half delirious by halfway. The only saving grace was that this was as close I might be able to approximate how I'll feel during latter stages of the Summer Solstice Challenge.
Now, I just need to replicate that in my head for about six more hours and the 21st should be cinch, right? Right?
Beating the Train
There is a train that travels more or less along the Towpath Trail where I was running. There is one point near the village of Peninsula where you go through a tunnel beneath the train tracks. (You can see it in the background of this photo.) It's a corrugated steel pipe through a block of concrete.
My turnaround point for Sunday's run was between that tunnel and Peninsula, and I could hear the train whistle blow as it was leaving the station. My pace had been right around 10:30 for the majority of the run, but I kicked up my speed when I heard the train coming down the line. I wanted to run beneath it. I hit the tunnel just as the engine was passing overhead. A surreal moment during a surreal run, as the tunnel echoed with the train's vibrations.
After my run, I went to dinner at Shooter's, which is along the Cuyahoga River in an area called the Flats in Cleveland. Shortly after a I received my Balsamic Glazed Salmon the Cuyahoga sank a docked motor boat into the Cuyahoga.
I had a clear view of the boat, as the 600-foot freighter mashed it and lifted it about 15 feet out of the water against the dock. The boat owner's possessions were floating in the river as Coast Guard and Fire Department boats circled the empty spot in the water.
Yep, just another Sunday.