POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- For the first day of my ninth year of my running streak, I found myself not in Atlanta's chilly climate but in proper running (shorts-and-a-T-shirt) weather.
What happened was that I won the second prize in Georgia Tech's Orange Bowl sweepstakes, giving me two lower-level tickets to the New Year's Eve game between the Yellow Jackets and the Mississippi State Bulldogs and two nights in a hotel.
Before the trip I checked to see if there were any races in the area -- I had the choice of running in the Fort Lauderdale Resolution Run 5K.
But thankfully I didn't send in my registration fee, since the bowl game went late and my buddy and I stayed up until 4:30 a.m. playing poker at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
Yet routine is routine and at 8:30 a.m. I found myself out on the trail. Without geocaching I probably would have never found this place, but it gave me an excuse to combine finding caches and running.
This stretch was about eight miles, meaning I would have had a 16-mile run in store for me if I decided to do it all! I thought about bringing my CamelBak just for that purpose.
But I decided not to and ran just less than two miles (for about a four-mile run roundtrip) of this greenway trail that ran along a canal. I'm glad I didn't run the whole thing as the sun came out and it started to get hot on my way back.
For this trip, I decided to pack my ultra-light Skechers Go Run 2s. Because of last year's marathon training, I have no less than five pairs of running shoes (the Go Run 2s, a pair of Go Run 3s that I wore in the Honolulu Marathon, a pair of Saucony Kinvara 5s and two pairs of Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 31s) that are active. I'm trying to bring each shoe to 500 miles before I retire them.
Anyway, I ambled along and picked up geocaches on the way up and then ran the section on the way back. The light running shoes were perfect, as the trail was flat concrete sidewalk with thankfully no rocks.
The run included a unique treat -- along the path were a half-dozen baby storks. I'd never seen this before! As the wife said, "Who brings baby storks to the stork?"
Time: 10:01 a.m.
Temp: 73 degrees
Gear: Technical T-shirt, short (Asics blue), shorts, Skechers Go Run 2.