Stampede is coming soon. Less than two months to go. It kicks off July 6, and I get that day off work. If I were younger I might get into trouble, but it's not likely these days. However, getting out of bed this morning it FELT like I was deep into a hard bout of Stampeding. As I've said, Stampeding is a very active verb. It involves drinking in many different bars/tents/outdoor spaces throughout several days in a row, preferably on someone else's tab, eating all kinds of greasy disgusting foods you wouldn't normally touch, all while watching/chasing/screwing the opposite sex. There has been many a divorce caused by Stampeding. It is very possible to start drinking at 7am, and be well blotto by noon. One of the more brutally underestimated factors is the mental whiplash of drinking in a bar till lunchtime, and coming outside to have your eyes seared in the noon day sun. There is something just plain wrong with being that drunk at noon.
For some reason this morning as I was shambling into the Talisman pool this morning, I was thinking of the 'Achey Breaky Heart' song, and putting my own lyrics to it. Best left to your imagination. The pools were all a seething froth of swimmers and I just wasn't up to it. The dive tank was empty so I went there. It was very soothing in a recovery sort of way. I did some core and some stretches, some backstroke, and some other stuff for about a half hour. Gently. Relaxing in the water. I could feel myself drawing energy out of the water, and feeling better every minute. It must be the residue after all those synchro girls or something.
About a half hour later the competition pool cleared out so I went in. There was a guy in the next lane who's swimming horrified me. He was doing freestyle with his elbows and still had dry hair. I tried not to look, and settled in to some relaxed but smooth intervals, then some backstroke for about 15 minutes in all.
Getting out I felt like a million dollars! The relaxed approach was perfect this morning.
It's a beautiful day out, so I went for a stroll down Stephen Avenue at lunch time. A stroll. It's hard for me to walk that slow, but there were a ton of people out enjoying the sunshine. I saw one couple in Stampede gear already; I'm guessing they were going to a promo event, but it's not out of the ordinary to see people dressed like that any time of the year. Last year I didn't get out much at lunch, but I think I'll take the time this year when the weather is nice. There's always the chance of seeing someone I know that I haven't talked to in a while.
As soon as I got home I was out for a run down into Fish Creek and back. I didn't care what kind of run. I just ran at whatever pace felt comfortable at the time. The out leg worked out to a 10 minute mile pace which is pretty darn good for me. Coming back was a little slower. I was beginning to feel the heat a bit, and it's uphill all the way back. I should have taken a water flask with me.
My legs felt happy and springy right from the start. Even at the very end when my knees were feeling a bit achey (my achey breaky knees) they were still going spring fairly well. Tonight is what running is about; being outside, relaxed, enjoying the surroundings, having a great time.
These couple of days could well be a significant fraction of our summer. It's almost a pity I was in the office. I know a few people played hooky today, and who can blame them?