Great Run Through the Old Neighborhood
Well, thanks to a very bizarre and bad dream (probably the result of watching too many talking heads on TV after the Obama & McCain debate), I awoke suddenly at 6:00 AM today… just in time to get myself out the door for an invigorating 4 mile run on the chilly and dark streets of our town. 34 minutes total or 8:30 a mile. Not great at all, but right about where I’ve been lately, which is better than nothing!
My four mile loop actually takes me under the highway and over to the neighborhood where I lived during middle school and high school — the very first place I ran for enjoyment. (Circling the field before and after baseball and soccer practice wasn’t for fun, that was torture for a “big boy” like me.) In fact, this four mile loop includes about 90% of my very first two mile loop.
It’s always interesting running over there, especially in the morning. I pass all of the kids walking to the high school or waiting for the bus to the middle school, and oddly enough they basically look the same as I remember all of us looking at those ages… just with iPods and cell phone now.
On this loop, I actually run right by my parents’ old house. They sold it in 2000 when I was a sophomore in college and although their new house is very nice indeed, there are days I wish they had hung onto that little brick rancher. Then again, although our old house hasn’t changed a bit, the two on either side of it are in bad shape. An “investor” bought them and turned them into rentals, unfortunately.
It’s a great neighborhood otherwise. Very safe, and the township came in some time after my parents moved and replaced all of the bad sidewalks and added handicap ramps at all of the intersections. MUCH better than when I was running in high school, usually in the dark late at night, leaping over up-turned sections of sidewalk decimated by 40 years of tree growth; bounding up and down the curbs at the intersections. The last stretch of sidewalk coming up to my house was the worst section of all — being on a hill at the end of the loop certainly didn’t help matters.
I guess there’s probably been a lot of turnover in the neighborhood. There weren’t many kids when I lived there, just a lot of older couples who have since moved on from what I can tell. Although a lot of other things have probably changed, an awful lot seems the same, and I find that kind of comforting at 6:30 in the morning when I’m running in the dark and trying to push myself harder and faster.