It’s training season for long runners in the ATX and I ran 20 miles (and change) yesterday morning (ultra marathon coming up in November). Before my run I ate my standard piece of whole wheat toast slathered with a sliced banana, apricot jam, and nutritional yeast.
This did the trick as my energy level never flagged during the run, which we did at talking pace. To recover, I had a kale/mint/turmeric/banana smoothie from Juiceland made by Bryce (on right) and a soft whole wheat taco with faro, chia seeds, avocado, hemp seeds, and lentils. The recovery, assisted by a 30-minute nap, was immediate. Was able to swim laps with ease later in the day and, this morning, do eight more miles, again slowly, on the Greenbelt. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I could never do any of this before going vegan.
Then I met friends, running buddies, for a beer. A delicious pint of local beer. We drank our local beer, we admired the woodwork (longleaf pine), we appreciated the table that held our beer aloft (live oak wood), and we talked about, well, running, and we made running plans. I had to leave a little early and, as I hopped on my bike, a squall came out of nowhere. I began to ride. White clouds crowded out the blue sky (pic above), layers of gray formed in the distance, and winds of 40 mph flew in from the south to turn the intersection where I rode into a swirling dustbowl.
I pedaled off in a mild panic as this little weather event unfolded. It’s hard to explain (it always is) but it was if a mini tornado had exploded in the ten square feet around me. The gusts, which had been channelled into a funnel by the loft high rises around me, were strong enough to almost blow me off my bike. I veered without meaning to veer very close to a row of parked cars. Dust covered my eyes and as I pedaled down the middle of the street into the teeth of the gale and a rock the size of a blueberry landed in my mouth. I spat it out and, as I did, I found myself staring down at an impossibly beautiful speckled hen.
I thought she was an apparition. But she was real—an escapee, no doubt, from the land of the locavores– and she seemed scared. We locked eyes for a moment, as if we were both saying what the hell are we doing here and then she skittered under a parked car. I envisioned placing her in my saddlebag and riding home, but then began to wonder how my dogs would react. In any case, I got off my bike to take a look, peeked under the car, and she was gone.