So a little while ago I signed up for this thing called a “race”. This will involve me and several thousand other people, large quantities of spandex, and an activity known as “running”. So-called “runners” are strange creatures who think about shoes a lot, deliberately seek hilly terrain, and can tell you exactly how long it takes them to traverse 1km down to the tenth of a second. Odd.
I don’t know if I qualify as a “runner” really, but I have been putting one foot in front of the other for a little over a year and a half. Last May I ran a half marathon, a feat I’d like to try to repeat this spring. In the meantime, to keep my naturally lazy arse motivated, I signed up for a 10km winter fun run.
When I’m in training mode, I try to run 4-5 times a week. During the winter months I often find it difficult to goad myself into donning the requisite eleventy layers of clothing before heading outside. The brisk winter winds that come screaming over the bare, harvested corn fields on my normal route are pretty unforgiving.
Today I waited until the last possible minute…about an hour before dusk…then dragged my grumpy butt outside. Trying to cheer myself up, or at the very least provide a distraction from my own grumbling, I headed in the opposite direction from my usual run (down my road, turn around, come home). We live right at a T intersection, so rather than going west down my road, I went south down the perpendicular. About 10 minutes in I came upon a small, nondescript, gravel road heading east. In all my time living here I don’t think I’ve ever really registered its presence. It was thick with snow from lack of traffic, with two compressed ruts from tires of the occasional truck that must have passed through.
I WISH I had not left at near-dusk…SO many goodies to be seen here! Tracks galore! Deer! Moose! Rabbits! Fishers! Fox! Coyotes! Turkeys! Scat deposited here and there (a quick glance made me think “small canid” but not sure). I ran into two flocks of wild turkeys, one with about 8 individuals, and the other had no fewer than 29. The larger flock was crossing the road about 100 metres in front of me, single file. It was like watching clowns pouring out of one of those tiny circus cars; they just kept coming and coming…I laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of it. There were beautiful half-frozen streams running every which way on either side of the road; pockets of marshy, cattail-ey land; thick pine stands; lovely old dead trees that were obviously frequented by woodpeckers. I had to turn around long before I really wanted to, but running in pitch-blackness is not terribly wise.
Tomorrow’s lunch break, weather permitting, will be me+camera back on this little road. I can’t wait!