Monday morning a woke to the sounds of the alarm at 6:30 a.m. But it wasn't my own alarm. It was the Hampton Alarm Clock Radio (you can actually buy these things!). I was in Naperville, IL with plans to visit a customer later that morning. I had flown out Sunday afternoon. As you would expect I had done some Internet searching and found what I thought would be a good place to get in my run.
What I found was the IPP (the Illinois Prairie Path). The IPP is over 40 miles of rail trail throughout Dupage and Cook Counties. I drove over from Naperville to Warrenville and parked at the Warrenville City Hall just steps from the IPP. I jumped on the path right at the 5 mile marker and headed west. My schedule called for 3 miles. Running west from City Hall to Ferry Rd was just a little over 1.5 miles. The out and back gave me a nice little 5K.
The thing I like about these rail trails is that it gets me off the road on a well groomed easy running path. It is nice to be away from traffic, although Warrenvill is not exactly congested.
The IPP is a mostly hard packed dirt and crushed limestone path about 6 feet wide with 3 feet of grass on either side. The trees and undergrowth were thick on either side. It was like running down a green hallway with the sky as the ceiling. At times the trees converged overhead for a run through a green tunnel.
My first mile came in at 8:28. I hit Ferry Rd (0.55 miles) in 4:35 and then headed back. On the way back I started feeling pretty good so I pushed just a little. I finished the last 1.55 miles in 12:19 for a 7:57 pace. That sure felt good. I haven't seen sub 8:00 since I don't know when.
The customer visit went well. The new product was removed successfully. All parties involved; doctor, assistant, patient and patient's Mom and of course me; were all pleased. Mom was so happy in the end with the braces that she had them put on her daughter as well. I was back home before the clock struck 12:00 midnight.
My 5K on the IPP ended the month of July for me with 115.8 miles. Although the hip and foot aren't without their moments of complaining things are coming back together slowly, ever so slowly. I'm about a third of the way through the schedule for MCM.