The work/academic portion of my visit has been fantastic so far, but what I really want to tell you about is the running. (Of course!) And I really want to share my first "blind date" story with you! (Note to Hubby: just keep reading.)
Before the trip, I exchanged emails with one of the professors here. Unfortunately, I used the wrong signature block on one of my emails. Rather than list my professional contact information, I accidentally used the signature block that says:
San Diego / Pensacola / i-run-like-a-girl.blogspot.com
In correspondence with a professional colleague, my signature should have listed my "day job" and my teaching gig, not announced that I run like a girl!
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. The professor clicked on the link, realized I'm a running fanatic (who? me?), and sent my contact info to one of his students who is ALSO an avid runner. She and I got together for a run this morning before work, and I'm very glad we did!
I have to admit, I was a little nervous about a running blind date. What if she was way faster than me? (She is.) What if we have nothing to talk about? (Um... that would never happen with two running geeks. Why was I worried?) What if she's a running skirt-wearer and looks down upon my collection of mismatched race T-shirts and time-worn shorts? (Also turned out not to be a problem... She was wearing a race shirt, too!)
My pre-run anxieties were just like a blind date! (And I'm a married woman, for Pete's sake! I'm supposed to be past pre-date jitters!)
I can't speak for Runner-Student** but I thoroughly enjoyed our morning run. 7am is much darker here than it is at home. (Hello new time zone!) While I've been known to throw caution to the wind for the sake of running, I've never been in Tallahassee before, so I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to run alone, in the dark, through a strange college campus. (Ok. Let's be honest. I would not have run through campus in the dark. I'd have wussed out and run on a dreadmill at the hotel gym.) Having company was a huge bonus this morning.
Plus, while RS and I were talking, I discovered that the match-making professor also used to be a runner and would organize group runs for conference attendees. I have no idea why the tradition ended, but you can bet we'll be bringing the group run back at the next conference!
RS and I ran around campus, stopped at the track so I could get some sprints in (so thoughtful of RS!), and ran back. I have no idea what route we took or how far we went. I tried to map our route upon return to the hotel, but quickly realized that I have no idea exactly which turns we took. I do know that we ran from the east end of campus to the west end, and that we ran past a cemetery and crossed one busy road... It was dark. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!
The campus is quite a bit hillier than I was expecting for a Florida run, but it felt good to run on rolling hills again! The fact that it was a glorious 38 degrees outside when we started certainly didn't hurt either! (Hello autumn! I'm so happy to see you again!)
So, all in all, this was a great way to start the day!
Now it's time to get back to work...
Have you ever had someone "set you up" for a running date? (Purely platonic, of course.)
This is definitely my first "running blind date" ever, but it was an excellent experience!
*Ok... by the time you read this, I'll have moved on. But you get the idea.
**By now you know I don't use names unless I get the person's permission to do so. ;-)