A Perfect Afternoon Run

The late afternoon sun glanced off my skin as I pushed east out of a downtown parking lot.

Swiftly, footsteps covered the concrete below until I reached American Steel, where the path plunged beneath the downtown bridges. A breeze keeps the humidity at bay as I wound along the river.

Thoughts swirled of tasks completed, picking up the dogs and the evening ahead. Sometimes running after work, in the heat of the day, is every bit as rewarding as an early morning outing.

The warmth of an early June day reminds me of summers past. Strangely, these warm runs make me feel clean, refreshed.

Over the years, I’ve modified my marathon taper to 10 days — a time frame that allows me to stay sharp for race day and squeeze out any last benefits from my training. Once inside those 10 days, every year is designed as a confidence booster for race morning. Now there’s just 9 days left before Grandma’s Marathon, one of the great American marathons.