Tried out a new route this morning. The first part took me south on Rt. 420, down Gov. Printz Blvd. through Essington, Tinicum and back up Bartram Ave to 84th St. Temps in the mid twenties and dark, with a tail wind turning on me at Bartram Ave and my ears registered the wind chill. Running in the cold and dark on strange terrain was a lonely experience. GPB was the main drag through Tinicum, and I could run in the middle of the road past still closed shops and houses that were still dark. It got to that point where I was far enough out not to return but still aware of the long, uncertain distance left. I thought of the Dylan line, “They say the darkest hour is right before the dawn.” That captured the feeling perfectly.
On 84th past Lindbergh the shoulder all of a sudden disappeared and I was in the road facing multiple lanes of commuter traffic. No way this was going to work. Fortunately my brain was not as frozen as my ears. I quickly judged the oncoming dawn and happily decided it was light enough to turn back down Lindbergh, where the north entrance to the Tinicum Wildlife Refuge lay about a block away. With stars beginning to fade, I really felt fortunate as my timing was perfect here. I hit the trail by the Nature Center as the sun was coming up over waters skimmed with ice. Spooked deer outkicking me with white tails in the air, hawks, herons, cardinals, and other assorted little birds flying over and around me. Loneliness here turned into solitude. I could take the adversity handed me and turn it to my favor. My pace increased with my strength as I headed back.
Call it 10.5, conservatively by the run time, in 89:05. A bit longer than the 8 that was on my agenda for today.