My hamstrings were tight. My legs, as a whole, were fatigued. Every part of me was tired after Fort4Fitness.
But, to satisfy some mileage goals for Veterans Marathon, I laced up my Brooks and headed out for a slow recovery run around Foster Park on Sunday afternoon.
The barricades at South Wayne Avenue and Sherwood Terrace were pushed into the boulevard as I headed to the park. The rain had failed to wash away the arrows painted on the street, directing runners toward Pettit Avenue. Near the ball diamonds, I could see a portable storage container where there had once been an aid station.
Rounding into the park, I saw Gu packets and the wrappers of Shot Blocks. There was a painted 10K marker but no sign. The path was all but empty, just a few families out on bikes enjoying the last of the pre-dinner hour.
A place that had been bustling not even 36 hours before was silent. The trees even looked different, leaves starting to turn and fall. Golden ones crunching beneath my feet. The chill of fall was in the air, any sign of humidity washed away by the morning rain.
It was beautiful and sad to think that it was all over. While my training has been focused on the marathon, it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement of Fort4Fitness. It's even harder to let it go when I feel proud of what I did.
I finished the slow run and walked in to an empty house. My medal was on the table in the dining room, dark and quiet. I picked it up, spun it around and placed it over my head. I wore it as I walked up the stairs and into the office. There, in that room, is a rack where my race medals hang. I moved a couple over and put the Fort4Fitness on its own hook.