I got out a little early than usual this morning, 6AM instead of 6:30 and I’m really glad that I did! Nevermind the much cooler temperatures, but I was able to get across Columbus Drive before the Rock n Roll half marathon start! I sprinted across just as they were finishing the national anthem. Any later and I would have had to find an alternative way across (at least a half mile away) or wait out the first wave start. For some reason, the big BP Bridge was closed. I don’t understand that at all.

The air was still heavy with humidity, but the low 70s temps and lake breeze made today’s effort seem a lot easier. Granted, I still had to take part of the flyover “hill” at a walk. It’s a 21 foot climb according to various city planner websites. In any case, I was trying to concentrate on form. I’d been told before by the CES coaches to tuck my elbows in. So, that was the mantra, shoulders back, slight lean forward, elbows in.

I made my way north again, turning west at Fullerton, getting a little splashed by the lake (whee!), and back down the shaded gravel path by the lagoon. The ever-present geese looked like they wanted to start something. North Avenue bridge was a welcome old-school obstacle, even if I did walk most of the switch back ramp to get up it.

I was on my way back south on the concrete “steps” above where the running path should be when I felt it: the tell-tale burning of a spot I missed with Bodglide. I lifted mu right arm and saw a good sized chafed spot about 4 inches down the underside of my arm. I don’t know why, but I poked at it. That was a mistake! I walked for a bit with my hands on my hips thinking that might help, but it wasn’t going to go away. I even asked two other runners if they had any glide on them. Of course, they didn’t, but it was worth a shot.

I spent the last two miles running back with my arms slightly raised. It didn’t feel great and I cursed myself for being careless with the initial application and then not taking the tiny size glide with me. Ya know, the one designed to fit in a shorts pocket. I ducked into a public bathroom thinking soap would act as a lubricant long enough to get me home. All it did was sting, so I rinsed it off as quickly as possible.

I tried not to think about it and was gifted some entertainment in the form of an off-leash Vizsla living it’s best life stalking and chasing gaggles of Canadian geese. It was hilarious until those geese came flying right at where I and a few others were running.

I finally found some relief closer to home. Volunteers were beginning to pack up the half marathon support stations. The runners were long gone from the area, so I did not feel bad making a bee line for the one marked “Medical.” I’ll call it Steelhead karma because one of these wonderful volunteers let me have a scoop of vaseline on a wooden stick to slather over the worsening underarm hot spot. Several “thank yous” later, I sent to finish my 11 miles able to lower my arms a bit.

As I continued west I saw a group of trucks slowly creeping east toward me, all shepherding the very last race participant. I didn’t know how much further she had to go to finish and decided to cheer her on as we passed each other. I’m not sure if she heard me over whatever was coming through her headphones.

I got home. I felt pretty good. I frantically searched for Aquaphor and drank half a beer enjoying the relief