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Friday, June 3, 2011

Richmond, VA

This past Memorial Day weekend I was in Richmond, Virginia for a wedding. My wife’s cousin was getting married – coincidentally, to a top US runner – and I was hoping to get in a long run before the ceremony.

After sleeping late and walking around for an hour trying to find a Mexican restaurant serving lunch at 11am, I ate the best breakfast burrito of my life. By the time we came back to our hotel, I had only an hour to discover Richmond by fleeted foot. Richmond is divided by the James River and the hotel was merely blocks from the water. I ran south to find a pedestrian bridge beneath the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge (pictured above); the Civil War was represented extremely well in these parts, a thing we weren't entirely comfortable with.

This footbridge led to Belle Island and much of the breakfast burrito reintroducing its flavor to my mouth. For a guy who may run underneath electrical towers as a means of experiencing trails, Belle Island was a wonderland. Upstream were folks sunning on large rocks and wading in the resting waters of the river. I was tempted to go splash about, but I was on a tight schedule.

I asked one of the many hikers for the time and exactly half of my available time was spent. I had to turn around in order to make my deadline. On the return trip, I nearly took the wrong route back to the downtown footbridge. It would have been an honest mistake by any trail virgin such as myself, but I had zero dollars for a cab and several family members would’ve fumed had I been late to the ceremony.

I should have left more time for myself to get ready, but I’m addicted to rushing. There’s an awkward adrenaline rush that comes over me during these times, but a rush I cannot go without. Being ready with time to spare is a sin. It could have been another mile. Or another set of ab planks. On this date, it was cooling down in the hotel’s pool while swimming a few laps that made it worth the subsequent awkward adrenaline rush to get ready.

Thank you to the Byrd Park Group of the Richmond Road Runners for trying to arrange a run on Sunday. I hope you all had a terrific Memorial Day Weekend!

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