And just like that it’s June. Wow.
Last weekend when all of you guys were enjoying Memorial Day, I was cooped up in the hospital saving lives (read: cleaning poo). But that meant that I had most of the weekdays off this week so when everybody went back to work on Tuesday, my three day “weekend” was just beginning. I think momma nature was looking out for me because the holiday weekend was rainy & dreary but my days off were, for the most part, glorious. So what did I do? I hit the lake front for a couple of runs.
11 miles south on the lake front in 01:36:35 (8:47 min/mile)
an easy 6 miles south on the lake front in 54:38 (9:06 min/mile)
I have fallen in love with running south on the lake front. Until recently, I would almost always run north. North toward the trendy neighborhoods, the beaches, the cute moms pushing their baby strollers. I think I was ready for a change of scenery. My runs south take me miles past McCormick place. Once you get far enough south the trail is lined with trees, wildflowers and surprisingly large fields of well-kept lawn. It’s really quite lovely especially when you catch a glimpse of the Chicago skyline in the distance.
On the slower six mile run, I was enjoying the ride and enjoying the view. I was running without music, which is one of my favorite things to do (if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you have heard me refer to this as running meditation). It was about 9 am and hot. I had noticed a large police presence along the trail. There were two to three officers every quarter mile or so. And then… out of nowhere… there was Marine One. I’m not talking a little speck of Marine One up in the sky. I’m talking Marine One about to land 100-ish yards from me. There were four large double-bladed choppers (google tells me these are called HMX-1 ch-46 Sea Knights) and the single blade Marine One chopper. The aircraft entourage flew over our heads casting shadows over us like an eclipse. The noise was loud but not as loud as one might expect. Maybe they were in stealth mode. What felt like gale-force wind whipped my ponytail into a knot. It was quite the experience.
Obama was in town for some fundraisers for the Democratic Party. We treat him like a king when he comes to this city. He gets airlifted from O’Hare to downtown and back. Now that’s the way to travel. Avoiding traffic on the Kennedy? Yes, please. I always knew that his helicopter landed near the lakefront and I have heard before that his lands in Soldier Field. Not this time.
Even though it was a work day, there were plenty of joggers and bikers out along the lake front. When Marine One flew over us, everybody stopped what they were doing and looked up. I think we all had chills. It really was awesome to see these amazing aircrafts so close we could taste their dust. We watched them lower toward the ground on a grassy hill south of McCormick place. They touched down just out of sight. Everybody around me, including some police officers, were snapping pictures with their smart phones. That’s when I thought to my self, “something cool would happen on the day I don’t have my iPhone.” I believe that is what we would call a first-world problem. I actually considered asking the girl near me if she could email me her pictures. Then I realized that might be creepy.
I spent the rest of my run thinking about how cool that experience was and wishing I had pictures to share with you guys. I also spent the remainder of my run starving because I ran first thing in the morning without eating, which I never do. I had stumbled across this article on the New York Times Well-Living Blog that outlines benefits to running on empty. I realize that article is a little outdated – 2010 – but I still thought I’d give it try. I can safely say that I was ravenous when I finished those six miles. And there you have my random weekday run that will go down as one of my most memorable runs ever.
Has anybody had a cool presidential experience? What about exercising on empty… Do you do it? I hope everybody has a wonderful weekend. Can you believe it’s June?!