This pretty much sums up what our running loop looks like. Trees. Trees. Oh, and more trees.
It’s a bit hairy in sections, as the pedestrian area is not more than a whisp hairs away from the road; a mere foot at best. A woman’s foot, that is.
You constantly run defensively with traffic, playing leap-frog from side to side when the path gets too narrow to be safe.
I often look at the ditch or gully alongside that gap that’s covered in thickets and blackberry bushes to see where my escape plan leads me if I need to urgently duck and roll my way into the brush to avoid collision with the semi trucks noisily gushing past and pulling you into them with their gusts of wind.
It’s less handsome of a run, when the strip is littered with beer cans. I think beer must be on sale somewhere locally. Which makes us figure the best time to go out for the 6 mile arduous stretch of forest run, is from 7am-12 noon. Hopefully the drunks slept in and it’s before their lunchtime beer fill.
As lovely as I describe it, the first day on our loop, as we began our incline, I was busy huffing and puffing behind Kevin when he exclaimed, “look at that!”
As I stop (mostly to get my wind mind you. I’ve been doing roller derby, not running… different muscles), I glance over and see what I believe to be taxidermy deer on someone’s lush emerald-green front lawn. They are less than 12 feet away. I think to myself, “what kind of asshole weirdo country bumpkin thinks it’s okay to stuff deer and decorate their lawn with them?!?!?!? They are not plastic flamingos!”
So, as we stood in awe, my breath finally caught, the stuffed deer entrapped in their pose, startled. Yes, they startled. They took off bouncing away into the thick forest. I was never more relieved.
A bit further along, this time walking to catch up to this gazelle of a husband running in lead and barely perspiring up an almost 90 degree hill, (okay, so a bit exaggerated, but that is what my chest and calves told me), we hear a woodpecker and stopped to admire its beautiful red feathers and woodworking. I was very much entranced by this pecker; more rest for the weary!
Finally, we got to the ridge over looking the bay, Kevin still prodding me along like a champ. It is mostly downhill from that point. I can do downhill like nobodies business. Snagged by a berry bush and bleeding along my thigh, did not stop me.
Relieved that I see that light at the tunnel when we turn off the beaten path and onto the safer stretch (well, until winter comes and brings icy roads), I feel I can relax a bit and take in the scenery with more appreciation.
It’s at this point that I remember I’m more of a swimmer. But I seriously love the ass kicking run, and know though I hate it, I love it too. Good thing I have a great coach. Each time gets easier.