Sunday, November 9, 2008

Stones River Greenway Long Run

1 hour 50 mins.
~15 miles

I woke up this morning in Knoxville, Tennessee. Good times. After fulfilling my various work duties I got in the car to drive toward Nashville, my home away from home for the next few nights. I texted my friend Taylor, who lives in the Nashville 'burb of Murfreesboro, to see what she was up to for the day. Much to my surprise, she was on board with doing a long run with me, so I headed straight over to her house at the end of my three-hour drive and prepared for our outing.

Taylor planned a scenic route for us that started at the Middle Tennessee State University track. I'd never heard of the school before my first visit to Murfreesboro in July, and was surprised to learn that it actually has almost 25,000 students and is the largest university in Tennessee. You learn something new every day. Anyhow, we started from the track and ran a few miles on the roads/sidewalks through the town square before jumping on the Stones River Greenway. We ran out for 3-4 miles on the greenway and then took a spin around the Stones River National Battlefield. Apparently the battlefield was the site of a pivotal conflict during the Civil War. Today, it was the site of a pivotal moment in our run: the moment when we both realized we were deeply, ravenously hungry. My only sustenance on the day was a bagel (admittedly with peanut butter) that I'd eaten about six hours earlier, while Taylor had only eaten cereal or oatmeal or something. We spent almost the entire rest of the run discussing (read: fantasizing about) what we might want to consume as soon as physically possible. This included but was not limited to soup, egg nog, sandwiches, hot chocolate, pizza, sushi and pancakes.

One thing I noticed, both on the drive over and on the run, is that it looks much more like winter here than it does in Atlanta. Most of the leaves have already fallen to the ground and those that haven't are faded to brown. Today's cold temperatures (45 degrees at the start of our run and steadily falling throughout the afternoon) plus the overcast sky (were it cold enough I would've expected it to start snowing at any moment) definitely made it feel as though the seasons had already changed. I suppose it is almost Thanksgiving, but I'm reluctant to see autumn's departure.

We reached the stoplight near the track at 1:43 and Taylor decided to walk it in. I opted to jog back to the car and then anally looped the parking lot for a few minutes to make it an even 1:50. I had planned to do 16 but didn't want to make her wait around in the cold for another 5-10 minutes. Plus, my foot was bothering me quite a bit toward the end of the run, and that was enough to convince me to wrap things up a few minutes early. We hopped in the car and headed to Jason's Deli to enjoy a meal of food. All in all, it was a successful run that passed ten times more quickly thanks to the company and great conversation.