Today I got a call from a reporter at the Quad City Times, Jack Cullet, asking me if I was planning to run tonight. Honest answer, no. But for journalism, sure. He was planning on interviewing me about this project I have undertaken.
In hindsight, I realize I was kinda freaking out about this whole thing; I stopped at the convenience store for some gummy bears.
Anyway, the photographer, John, met me to get some photos of me stretching and running. Jack was running late, so I went ahead and got going. We met up a half mile into the course where he interviewed me while we stood on the sidewalk; he's a real man-on-the-street. :D I told him about a cul-de-sac that I was planning on running tonight, a street that I had never visited in all my years in Rock Island.
Interview done, I started out in earnest. I turned into a neighborhood of small houses where I stopped to chat with a couple about their 90lb Pibbie.
The start of the second mile was directly into and back out of a valley. I'm not going to lie, I did not like that hill back up. And to make it worse, because of the street layout, I had to run it twice. I'm going to need to get used to it, there's gonna be more hills coming in this project.
My best experience thus far in the 20 miles I have run occurred at mile marker 3.5. This was the cul-de-sac that I had mentioned to Jack earlier in the evening. It was a looonnngggg curving dead end. As I strove toward the bottom, not yet seeing the end, I wondered what I was going to find at the bottom. Fifteen seconds later, three small dogs came out to greet me with high pitched barks. Their owner came out to get them, so I took the opportunity to introduce myself to him. Come to find out, he and his wife recently started running again. We chatted for a few minutes and encouraged one another. My heart was so light as I started up the hill back to the main road that I didn't even mind the incline. God, thank you for getting to meet this great couple.
From there, it was just a 'short' mile back to the starting point.
This run epitomizes what I dream this project will become: an opportunity to meet people in my community while I explore my community.