Monday, September 22, 2008
All Things Being Equal...
Autumn officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere this morning at 11:44 EDT when the Sun was exactly over the equator at noon local time. That point on the equator this year was located on the north bank of a stream that is unnamed on any map I could find, in the tropical rainforest of Brazil, some miles north and west of the nearest town...Obidos.
It was warm and summer like in Richmond, although the nights are now a little cooler. It was just right on Saturday morning for the 9th annual Virginia Naturally 5k run in the James River Park to benefit the Virginia Junior Academy of Sciences. The cool morning help me turn in my best 5k time out of the last 6 races I've run at 31 minutes, 30 seconds. More than a hundred other runners turned in faster times, but at age 70 I'm delighted to be running at all! My goal is to finish a 5k in less than a half hour.
We went for a long sail on Sunday, moving along briskly on a broad reach, powered by a steady wind from the North East. We explored the eastern shore of Mobjack Bay as far as the mouth of the East River, put in briefly at the very small Compass Marina and mad a tight U-turn in the narrow confines before heading back out into the bay. The wind slackened to the point where we were making only about 1.5 kts, and at that point I started the motor and headed back to Mobjack Bay Marina under power.
Signs of Fall are beginning to appear. As we approached Greenmansion Cove I spotted two beautiful white swans near shore, something I've never seen here before. As the StarLady motored on past, they took flight and silently headed due south in the late afternoon sunlight.
On the way back to Richmond you could see long rivers of enormous flocks of small birds undulating across the sky. Back in Richmond several days earlier I had spotted another pair of swans on the James River. They hung around for two days, and were also gone.
Now that cooler days are on the way, it's a good time to be outside. I took my new bicycle out for its first spin this afternoon, and it felt good to be pedaling along the road. I was quickly reminded however, that the muscles used for pedaling a bicycle are not the same muscles used in running! I'll have to be consistent to get those muscles, long neglected into better shape.
I've put a nice gel-cover on the seat, but my backside got sore anyway, even though I only rode 5 miles. How on Earth do the competitors in the Tour de France survive those incredibly narrow racing seats?