Friday, April 26, 2013

Commuting with Presidents

I wanted to post this yesterday, but since I took photos, I didn't want to do anything that could be seen as compromising security, so I waited until today.

As you may know, I run to and from work 2.5 days per week (I work from home 1, drive 1, and get picked up .5).  It's just under 4 miles each way. 

Originally, I thought I'd vary my commuting route, increasing distance sometimes.  But instead, I always run the exact same route.  There have been very slight variations due to construction, but minimal; it has always been the same route, never any other streets or anything -- just sometimes up onto a sidewalk or grass, or onto the opposite side of the street, if something was under construction.  Never anything that would be measurable on my Garmin.

There are several "points of interest" in my mind along my commute.

On my way to work, I start in our 'hood, filled with restaurants and furniture shops.  Then I'm in a more residential area for a little while, then past an auto repair place (where my hubby's car was yesterday!), then onto a running trail. 

I run on the trail only about a third of a mile, then I'm in one of the little "cities with a city" in Dallas, generally known for its higher property values.

After that little section, I'm onto the SMU campus.  I run between the track and the pool, past several buildings, and down a street with several fraternity houses.

Then I run past the new George Bush Presidential Library, and onto another street.

Then it becomes less exciting.  I'm still within the "cities within a city," but it's mostly just houses, some prettier than others.  So the landmarks I count don't mean anything to anyone other than me.  There's one house that I've never been in, but I have run with someone who lives there and I know his wife's name, so I consider it my emergency bathroom stop.  Then there's another section of the street under construction (in this section, I run straight through the construction, one side of the street has always been paved, and no one seems to care if I run around the little barricades).  Then I eventually pass the house of one of my best friends and her husband, who was formerly my boss at my last job.  Then there's a hill, a turn, and then into a strip mall parking lot, where the office tower where I work is at the far end.

If you've seen the news lately, you may be able to guess which part of my commute was exciting yesterday.

I started the first mile plus of my commute with a friend who met me.  She's generally joining me for part of one commute most weeks as she took a break from running and is just getting back into it.

Well, yesterday 5 US presidents were in town for the dedication of the Bush Presidential Library.  Which is almost exactly at the halfway point of my commute. 

Here's my normal commute route:

Yesterday's route had a very slight detour around the halfway point (my turn to the right was a couple blocks north of where it usually is). 

That was because of all the security checkpoints. 

There were 5 Presidents right there on my commute route attending the dedication ceremony:  Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Carter. 

I felt so underdressed for my run, it was odd.  Usually I see a few runners on the trail, then a few students at school, then a bunch of construction workers, then occasionally some neighborhood dog walkers or a few runners.  But yesterday, practically every single person I saw on my commute was in a suit. 

My local bestie got to attend in her official work capacity, but I didn't see her among the crowds entering the security checkpoints.

Another interesting note was that instead of the usual vehicles along my run, I saw lots of sedan limos, black SUVs, and charter buses.  Plus almost all the SMU golf carts, and of course lots of official police vehicles. 

I figured the occasion was significantly momentous that I'd stop to take a few photos.  Usually I never stop on the run, and today I was worried I'd look suspicious when I'd run, stop, pull off my i-fitness belt, pull out my camera, take a photo of security, then put it all away and do more running.  But no one said anything. 

The slight detour resulted in less than 5 hundreths of a mile longer than my usual commute, so basically no extra time.  And it will be a commute I'll remember. 

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