As it happened, Bill is in town this week. He invited me to come downtown for a run with him.
After Bill was such a fabulous host a while back, how could I resist?
Speaking with Bill on the phone the night before, it was hard not to notice his enthusiasm for running in Ottawa. He'd already seen the parliament buildings, run across the river, and down the canal. Hearing his joy, I remembered loving running those paths, back before I exiled my running to suburbia. Back when I ran.
The day had promised nothing but sunshine, but dark clouds were rolling in when I met Bill. Undeterred, we set off to expore eastwards, down the Ottawa River.
I've only met Bill twice, but I can tell you he's one of the easiest people to get along with that I've ever met. He's enthusiastic, laid back, is a geek, loves running, loves cycling, works in the same industry as me.... There was no shortage of things to talk about (though there may have been a shortage of breath - one of us was clearly in better shape!), and the miles flew by.
The downriver run is probably the least "pretty" of the 3 runs, but it's still fairly nice. I tried to play tour guide, pointing out the art gallery, the mint, Rideau falls, the prime minister's residence and Rideau Hall. Rather than being on the water, we were high above it, with important buildings overlooking the water.
As we crossed over Rideau falls, it started to rain. Within minutes, it was raining hard - a cool, drenching fall Canadian rain. Bill bore it stoically, and we looped around Rideau Hall before heading for home.
It was over all too quickly. 45 minutes, what the gmap pedometer called 7.4 km. And before I knew it, my exile to suburbia had been reinstated.
I can only thank Bill for the superb company (again!), and for reminding me how lucky I am to live here.