American Diabetes Association Step Out

The kids, wife, and mother-in-law were heading out to participate in the American Diabetes Association Step Out at Henson Robinson Zoo.  The event started at 11:00 and involved walking laps around the zoo raising money to help fight Diabetes.  So I thought what a great way to get in a long run on an unfamiliar course.  Sounds like fun, right?  Right?

I left my house around 10:00 with sunny skies, barely a wind, and temperatures already in the mid 70s.  I headed west on Washington St. and over to Washington Park.  From the Park I headed down Park St. to Outer Park Dr.  I then headed south east and ended up crossing the tracks on North St. and heading south on 4th. 
By this time it was getting kind of windy.  I forgot how long 4th St. is.  On a bike it doesn’t seem that long.  It seemed forever getting to the end of 4th with a stiff headwind.  I exited Southern View and ran around the new Wal-Mart.  Here is where it kind of went wrong.

At the top of the overpass I went straight.  In retrospect, I should have taken a left Toward Hazel Dell Rd.  The new roads around UIS still confuse me.  So now I was heading south toward UIS with temps in the low 80s and not a tree in sight.  Not only was I getting hot but it was windy and there was no coverage.  This is really a barren road.

I got back on track after circling UIS and finally making it to the lake road.  I felt somewhat refreshed running on this unique terrain.  It was neat running around the lake with the trees and sinous road but the hills kind of hurt after 12 miles. 

I ended up at the zoo shortly after 12:00.  Totals were 15 miles on the dot with an average pace of 08:52.  Not bad considering the heat, stop lights, and I haven’t run that far since the Spring.  However it was truly a cool experience.  Needless to say I was exhausted.  I entered the zoo looking like hell and feeling delirious.  I got more than a few stares.  Oh well, I’m used to being a freak.