Air Force Half Marathons and bald eagles

I know I sound like a basic white girl broken record, but I am so glad that fall is upon us. Today’s reason for gratitude: cooler, comfy running temperatures.

This past Saturday was the original date for the Air Force Marathon. Had it not been for Covid-19, I would have taken Friday off to make it to the expo in Fairborn. Like I did in 2018 I would have probably picked up some cupcakes from Gigi’s off Colonel Glenn Highway that would have gone with dinner. Then on Saturday morning my mom and I would get up with the roosters and drive down to the Air Force Museum to get to the start line before 7.

I was thinking about that first race two years ago when I started my race in Westerville this past Saturday. For starters, the weather this time around was so much easier. Then we had humidity, heat and a black flagged race after too many runners were stopping at the medical tents. This time was a little chilly at the start, but the sunshine soon came out and all was better.

I tend to make up my routes as I go along, and Saturday was no different. I started at Inniswood Metro Gardens and ran the bike path north. At Walnut Street I made a right heading east towards Hoover Reservoir, where I ran along the water.

Usually I run north on Sunbury Road to Towers Park, but I wanted to see if there was a road that would take me towards Uptown Westerville. College Avenue was just that road, so I took that and ran into Uptown Westerville, through Otterbein University and along Main Street to Heritage Park.

The park was my turnaround Miles 6 and 7, and while running the loop around a soccer field I missed my turn to head south.

I got lost running in a circle. Yep.

The way back seemed to go by pretty fast, even though I was feeling tired. I finished my race in 2:22:24 (Garmin time) and enjoyed a short recovery walk around the children’s garden at Inniswood, followed up by a large root beer float from Arby’s.

The next day my boyfriend and I went out to visit my grandparents. I showed them my virtual medals so far and my grandpa, who does woodworking as a hobby, gave us each a gavel he made. I’m afraid Boyfriend and I are going to use them less for judicial decision-making and more for pretending to bop each other on the head.

Grandpa has had a few hobbies and creative outlets over the years. For a 15 or 20 year stretch he enjoyed painting landscapes similar to Bob Ross and keeps them hanging up in his workshop. I’ve been wanting to bring two or three of his paintings home to hang up in my place, and this time around I finally remembered to do it. I brought home three paintings from 2009 that have matching red frames and hung them up Sunday evening once we got home.

And before I forget – the bald eagle referenced in the title. I told Sam I wanted to show him one of the local hiking spots before we went back to Columbus, since we’re making an effort to get outside as much as possible before winter arrives. Tucked away between West Milton and Troy is the Bruckner Nature Center, which is a field trip/family day favorite spot in Miami County. We took our Chinese takeout up for an evening picnic and then followed that by a brief but fun hike.

Bruckner has a mini zoo where they keep animals native to Ohio. We were able to say hi to the coyote, owls and bald eagle, who wasn’t too interested in talking to us.

Then we walked the Trillium path down and back up, through the trees and over the ravine and back the nature center. There was a monarch migration path we decided not to follow, so instead we walked the boardwalk around the pond.

All in all, this weekend was a fun, mostly relaxing way to say good bye to summer and usher in fall. I’m looking forward to the season of change, harvesting and brown before the fracas of the holidays and winter.

Enjoy yourselves,


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