Early last Friday morning I was inside the warm office of my dentist, while outside it was raining steadily with a raw wind, the precursor in our region to the landfall in the Carolinas of Hurricane Joaquin. I would have much rather have been outside, however, in the wind and rain than inside at the moment getting permanent crowns cemented onto three sensitive teeth.
I was looking forward to being outside the moment the procedures were done so I could get on the nearby W&OD Trail, a 40-mile paved-over railroad bed that cuts straight and level across Northern Virginia from Alexandria to Leesburg. I was going to run home from the dentist's office, a distance of exactly 10 miles, and thus put my dental woes to rest in my mind directly after this last of half a dozen visits to the dentist's office in a three month span. (In my mind, I was already starting my trip home.)
After having to shoot up all three operative areas with Novocain so that I would sit still, the dentist finally had no further trouble, and I had no further zing moments, and the task was completed by 9 a.m. A week later, the teeth are all doing fine, the doctor did beautiful work and I wish her a long, healthy and happy retirement.
By 9:05 a.m. I had paid the bill (rather, I had put the amount on a credit card) and I was hitting the trail at MP 17, headed east for MP 7 which is exactly where the trail passes by my house. I felt liberated, footloose, happy and free, even though I hadn't run 10 miles in over a year and it was raining steadily with a westward sometimes-whipping wind. (Rain? What rain?)