Trophy of the World War 1917-1919 at War Memorial Plaza

I was getting ready to ride my bike down to War Memorial Plaza to join Friday’s protest when my neighbor J. texted me. “You’re not going to the protest, are you?” Actually I was, and though I tend to travel solo, I was happy to have company for the ride downtown. I met him on my bike just up from the alley, and he stayed at least six feet behind me as we rolled down the hill.

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Helicopter and Blue Skies Above War Memorial Plaza

Monday was one of those days where I worked all day but didn’t get anything substantive done. It’s amazing what bureaucracy will have you thinking is labor, but I digress. At the end of it I didn’t really have the energy for a bike ride, but I knew I’d feel better after a ride, and I was right.

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Safety City in Druid Hill Park

Sunday was my long run, and I was so grateful for the drop in humidity from Saturday. I put in my head that I’d go five miles, but would check in at three and see if my body wanted to keep going. It was only 70 degrees, but when there’s no shade, it gets hot fast. I loaded up both water pouches, put on my running vest, and headed out.

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No Racist Police Sign on the Pedestrian Bridge to Druid Hill Park

No Racist Police Sign on the Pedestrian Bridge to Druid Hill Park

I went for a run on Sunday. I had 8 miles on my calendar, but it was hot and sunny, my legs were heavy, and I kept having to stop and walk to keep my heart rate under control. Three miles in and I was calling my sister for permission to stop running, turn around, and walk home. I bailed on my run. Running is a mental game, and bailing felt like a betrayal of the mental work I’ve put into running over the past year, but my body didn’t care what my training plan wanted. It needed to walk. So I did, but even then I started running again a few times on the way home. I thought I’d start running again and it’d feel good, but instead I just had to make the decision to bail a couple more times as I had to stop and walk.

I can be kind of intense about my hobbies.

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Looking up Gay Street Toward Baltimore Street

Looking up Gay Street Toward Baltimore Street

Monday’s weather was perfect for a bike ride–sunny, cool enough, light breeze–and I had time to take one. I hopped on and headed downtown to see what the previous few nights of unrest might have left on the streets. I saw quickly that one thing that was left was a whole bunch of cops. I zipped down Maryland and saw a group gathered in the courtyard by University of Baltimore, and then walking in a group up Cathedral, taking a right on Chase. And then there were cop cars and vans on almost every street.

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Surveillance Camera at the Reservoir at Druid Hill Park

Surveillance Camera at the Reservoir at Druid Hill Park

So, this is a post about what I saw running yesterday, not what I saw on my bicycle. I am training for a half marathon that I will run by myself in seven weeks, and Thursday was my mid-week short run, four and a half miles. I can’t believe that counts as a short run to me, especially because it takes so long for me to complete. I’m a slow poke–speed comes with time, and I’m giving it time. That said, I’m faster and I recover more quickly from a run than I ever thought possible. Consistent effort over time, as my father would say. Makes all the difference.

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Military Police Vehicles in the M&T Bank Stadium Parking Lot

Military Police Vehicles in the M&T Bank Stadium Parking Lot

This Saturday feels remarkably similar to most of my Saturdays. I woke up earlier than I wanted to wake up, alternated between reading and staring at my phone, took a couple of pictures of my cat snoozing hard on my wife who was also snoozing hard, and then finally got up and made coffee and breakfast. She usually makes coffee on Saturdays–sign one that things are different.

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Horse Shit in the Bike Lane at Centre & Charles

Horse Shit in the Bike Lane at Centre & Charles It is April in February, which means many days of breaking my father’s rule to never start a bike ride in the rain. That’s generally good advice, but that would mean a whole lot of time waiting for buses, and when the weather keeps spitting rather than downpouring, I’m generally up for the risk. I’ve been riding in lots of rain, just with my raincoat on and that little cycling cap that I used to think people wore to look cool when riding a bike, but which I now understand is pitched just right to keep the rain off my glasses. So yeah, I’ve been looking like a cyclist lately, and one willing to get soggy in order to maintain some modicum of control over where I’m going, and when I’m going to get there.

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Western District Police Station at Riggs & Mount

20171020_145122_HDRIt had been far too long since I got a ride in that took me on streets I don’t know well to nowhere in particular. Those are the rides that help me feel most like myself, and without them, I was starting to feel not quite at home with myself. Friday afternoon found me with some unexpected time to myself, so I headed west to see what I might see.

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Storefronts at West Pratt & Ackworth

Storefronts at West Pratt & Ackworth It’s summertime, summer school is over, and this is the time when I tend to get restless and glum. I work best when I’ve got stuff to do, so if I’m not careful, unscheduled time can get the best of me, stealing from me this valuable time to let my mind range freely, read new things, and make new connections. I’ve learned this over the past zillion summers, so I make sure to schedule things work, writing, and relaxing-related. Today’s schedule featured a bike ride over to the Be Free Floating┬áin West Baltimore for my second trip in their sensory deprivation tank.

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