Alabama In May Is Like Boston In April

Thursday, for the Memorial Day weekend, my dad planned to head down to Alabama to visit my sister and her family.  He invited me and since I didn’t want my 71-year-old pops driving alone halfway across the country, I accepted the invitation and played chauffeur down I-85 and I-20.

We made the drive to the booming metropolis of Ashland, Alabama without incident, narrowly escaping one traffic snag in Atlanta when a multi-car accident occurred mere moments before we arrived.  We snuck past just as highway patrolmen arrived and started blocking off lanes of traffic.  Whew.

We arrived in Alabama and were greeted by my sister Sherry, her husband Craig,  their four boys (yes, four), and this guy, Socks:

Socks is the most muscular dog in the world. When no one is around, he apparently lifts a lot of weights.

2-minutes of playing with Socks left me beat up for the rest of the weekend – that dog is strong!

Friday morning, my first order of business was to locate a place to run.  After Sherry and Craig provided me with a few options, I settled on Lineville Park, a quaint little park with about a mile-long, crushed-gravel trail.  I was pleased when I got there – while it wasn’t quite perfect – I’d prefer more than a mile of trails – it was nevertheless a lovely place to run, a tranquil setting where geese outnumbered people at least three to one, with just enough shade to allow for a little respite from the sun.

It was hot, like Boston hot (this is my new gauge to indicate when conditions are particularly brutal).  I relaxed and settled into a comfortable pace and looped around the park, over and over and over, until I completed 10 miles (I went a little farther than usual as I had missed running the day before).  Luckily, there was a conveniently located water fountain that kept me hydrated and relatively cool.

Afterward, I had my own little private Memorial Day service (albeit a few days early), snapping the following pic.  Lineville Park had a  section honoring fallen servicemen:

This headstone in the park was quite apropos for Memorial Day weekend.

Friday night, we drove to the big city of Anniston, Alabama and went bowling.  There I risked my running career to out-bowl my father and brother-in-law.  I won 2 out of 3 games – yeah, that’s how I roll (pun intended).  Saturday, I returned to Lineville Park where I gutted out an uncomfortable 6 miles (due to a rather sore butt courtesy of doing a bunch of lunges with a 10-pound ball the day before).

And that, in a nutshell, was my Memorial Day weekend.  Now I’m babysitting 4-year-old Seth while everyone else is in church, and in an hour or so, Dad and I will hit the road and head back to Carolina.  Then, it’s back to marathon training where I resume Allen’s Road *Back* to Boston.


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