The phone rang yesterday at 7 a.m. It was John who asked, "Do you still want to do it?"
I looked outside at gray skies and low light but no rain. "Let's do it," I said.
Thirty minutes later we were underway on a seven mile run from Bluemont Park to Shirlington and back on the W&OD Trail under ominous skies and moisture-laden air. Hurricane Irene was offshore to the south somewhere, working her way north.
We did 9:45s going down and ten-somethings on the way back which is slightly uphill. It was the furthest I've run since Army 2009, at which 10-mile race I suffered a debilitating over-use injury to the tendon in my left ankle.
It was a joy to be out there, knocking off the miles, talking with a friend, nodding to passing runners, knowing the whole weekend would be stretching out luxuriously before me when we finished well before 9 a.m.
We threw in a long exhilarating sprint at the end trying to overtake a runner in the distance pushing a running stroller. One of us passed her just before the end, one of us fell just short. Breathing hard, sweating profusely, we exchanged high-fives at the end of our perfect seventy-one minute run under leaden skies.