Monday, March 16, 2015

Johnny's and The Eternal Flame

A blonde, a brunette and a redhead walk into a diner. That's not the start of a joke. It's the story of my weekend. But let's start at the beginning.

Thanks to Gustavo for the Johnny's pics!
Johnny's Runnin' 'O The Green on Saturday was my first race of the year. I woke up thinking how strange it was to run only 5 miles on a Saturday. This is not my favorite run in terms of course. It's kind of boring, just an out and back on the roads. Plus I always get stuck in the back at the start and wind up weaving and dodging for the first mile. The real fun of this race is enjoying it with friends. And it feels like the light at the end of the dark tunnel of winter.

The race didn't start until 9:30am so Pete, Steven and I had plenty of time to goof around at Pete's house beforehand. There was some juggling involved. Then we headed downtown to the race. I didn't warm up, which in hindsight was probably a mistake. My body is used to distance not speed. So for the first few miles my stomach and lungs were like WTF is happening here? But if I've learned anything from running it's that you take what your body has to give you that day and do the best you can with it. So that's what I did. Between mile 3 and 4 I finally reached the discomfort demarcation, that point in a race where my body relaxes, the pain subsides (or numbs?) and I feel like I can run forever. The last mile and a half were fantastic. Though long slow distance is my true love, I sometimes miss that feeling of running hard. I forget how good it feels to push the speed button. I crossed the finish line at a little under 40 minutes. It's not fast but I don't care about that. It felt good to get a little turnover in my legs after a winter of slow trudging runs through the snow and cold. And any day I have legs for running, friends for hugging, and second breakfast for eating (at the Golden Fox, which despite sounding like the name of a strip club for the AARP crowd, is actually a family diner) is a good day in my book. Bonus points for Jen(n)s taking over while wearing cool socks.

Sunday the adventures continued when Laura, Sonia and I took a mini roadtrip to Eternal Flame Falls in Chestnut Spring Park. There's a natural gas spring at the base of the waterfall and it can be lit year round. To get to the falls, you need a spirit of adventure. It's about a one mile hike with creek crossings and post-holing through the semi-melted snow and scrambling to find secure footholds. Basically, it's a winter playground for grown-ups. That smells like sulfur. The flame wasn't lit when we got there and none of us wanted to try lighting it. But it's such a pretty hike and it would be fun to go back and see it again when it's warmer. As we were walking, Laura said something about how sometimes the steps you think are secure actually aren't and you fall through the snow, while some of the steps you think are risky turn out to be solid. That's how it goes in the hike through life too. Sometimes you glide effortlessly along, sometimes you slip, sometimes you fall in the creek. But it's a beautiful adventure, made even better with good company. After making our way back from the falls, we explored the park a little then headed to the car. While searching for nearby restaurants, Laura found one called Three Girls Café and we decided it was only fitting that we go there. The menus even had a picture of three girls who looked like us: a blonde, a redhead and a brunette. The food was pretty good, though we didn't try the $ Pancakes or Stuffed Pot Pancakes listed on the menu.

Infinity of thanks to my favorite bromance and some very lovely ladies for an adventurous and laugh-filled weekend. Extra high fives to Sonia for facing her fears and being all-around awesome.

Lyric of the moment: "Close your eyes, give me your hand. Do you feel my heart beating? Do you understand? Do you feel the same? Am I only dreaming? Or is this burning an eternal flame?" (This was the only choice, for obvious reasons. The cheese at the diner was fake, but this cheese is 100% real.) 

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