I'll first backtrack to yesterday evening. I did get in five, doing the lower loop of the Tinicum trail and a little extra around Prospect Park. 44:51 was the time, which should give me more than five but by the pace I was running not much more. Part of the run was through a trail that Reba calls the "carwash" due to the excessive bushwhacking one must endure. I can only run this when I'm in a certain mood, that is when I'm not focused on performance or else I really get frustrated by the impossibility of keeping a good rhythm. Instead I just took it easy and was rewarded by the blooming honeysuckles, which lined almost the whole carwash portion and provided sweet-scented air for me to suck in almost non-stop.
This morning it was hard to get up, and when I got out the door I felt that now familiar creakiness. The exaggerated nature of this feeling is something new, as is the pattern to where as I get into the run it slowly dissipates and by the end I'm feeling really strong. So I must have started today's run at about a 9 1/2 pace and got it down to about 7 flat. Being able to anticipate this and know that I will feel better as the run progresses is now an important tool in my self talk.
It will be hot today, but at 6 this is bearable. The biggest part of my run was that I "hit the cycle". This is a baseball expression for when a batter hits a homerun, a triple, a double and a single in one game. I obviously didn't do that, but I did do an equivalent of sorts with the animal kingdom. I saw mammals, birds, insects (way too many), reptiles, and, for the first time, an amphibian. The last two bear mentioning. I thought I was hot stuff having seen a turtle last week, but as Reba shows this is hardly unusual (though still way cool). I saw a grand total of five turtles this morning, unfortunately two very large ones were post-mortem, i.e., road kill. But the highlight of my run was seeing a frog sitting still on the ground, very green and very lean and about 3 or 4 inches tall. Looked to be right out the frog exhibit that was featured at the Museum of Natural History which me and the kids checked out when we were in NYC over the weekend.
The thistles were also blooming and in abundance, especially in what Reba likes to call the "boring" part of the Tinicum figure 8, where the trail runs parallel to I-95. These thistles attract goldfinches, whose diet consists mainly of these seeds. My mom gets goldfinches at her feeder by putting out thistle seeds, and when I was there last weekend they were still growing into their beautiful golden summer plumage. Not so these guys, who were already in all their glory, sitting on the purple flowers and going from thistle plant to thistle plant with their loopy flight.
Frogs and goldfinches give me plenty of material with which to be oppositional. This stretch of trail is hardly a boring part. Also gave me a high that outdid any psychotropic effect I may have gotten from just the running in and of itself.
Ran Gov. Printz Blvd. out to the airport and Bartram Ave/84th St. to the north end of Tinicum, and then through the refuge. 10.5 miles in 88:17.