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Northerly Island c.2015

Nothing about Saturday morning was right. I was dehydrated and woke up a little later than I should have. I forced my oatmeal down even though I really didn’t want it and drank coffee instead of Nuun (with caffeine) like I should have, but I was after the instant buzz.

6:00AM and already almost 80 degrees and a buttload of humidity; the kind of day where you step outside an immediately begin sweating.

I forgot my watch, I forgot to put on deodorant, and (as I discovered once my pace group got going) I definitely missed a spot applying Bodyglide. My stomach hadn’t settled from breakfast and the city had a very special ripeness to it: wet hot weekend garbage and special seasoning courtesy of the “un-domiciled”… mostly pee.

We were approaching mile three on the lakefront and something didn’t smell right. Literally. I noticed a truck with a hose attached to something or other on the park district bathroom. The name on the truck? “Honey Bucket.” I’m confident I didn’t have it as bad as Andy Dufresne, but it was still horrid.

I started heaving and could not stop and I knew the run was over. Actually, I knew it was over before mile one. But, I got three-ish miles in and felt it better to live and fight another day. A cooler day hopefully.

So, I tried again on Sunday. The temperature was definitely cooler but humidity level was even higher, 90% if the internet is to be believed. I did without the oatmeal and opted for part of a pretzel bun and Stinger honey waffle. I love those things!

In the first three miles I felt like I could not get enough air and started coughing. I should have taken an allergy pill, it usually helps. I should have concentrated on belly breathing. With no pace group to keep me in check of course I went out too fast. I cursed a bunch to myself and  stopped to walk for a bit to get my breath back.

Once I crossed Michigan Avenue into the greenery, I tried to enjoy myself instead of thinking about the distance. I brought headphones to combat the earworms but oddly, the wind drowned out the sound for a good portion.

It was cloudy, not too bright. The lakefront was relatively empty on an early Sunday morning and the lake itself volatile from the strong wind. It was pretty to watch. I wound my way out to Northerly Island toward a tent structure housing a temporary Hamilton exhibit. As I loped past and thought, “So, that’s the room where it happens.” I crack myself up sometimes.

Once I got out to the “island” proper, nothing but the wind, wildflowers, and so many butterflies. I had to stop, not because I was tired, but because I had to look around. I hadn’t been out there in a while. The starter greens in the picture above exploded into a lot of colorful wild. I didn’t get all the way around, but it looked like the path near the breakwall where the picture was taken is crumbling. I hope it gets repaired.

I wasn’t entirely happy with today, but happy that I got a second go at the long run. No “Honey Bucket” truck thankfully.