I’m am always thankful to be a runner. Always. Running has taken me places I would have never gone without it. Running has introduced me to people I would have never otherwise met, both in person and virtually. Running has made me realize that I can do things that I never thought possible. Running is always an adventure, good, bad or indifferent.
Today I ran a new area. Because I was afraid if I didn’t get my run in early, I wouldn’t get it in at all. Yeah, it’s been a crazy week! So I parked the car and ran right after I dropped Michael off at school. I didn’t drive to familiar territory. Didn’t want to waste anytime. I just parked the car and ran. Visor or no visor? That was my only thought. I grabbed the visor because it had been raining all night and more rain was predicted. Now where am I? Got my bearings and took off down a long sidewalk that Michael and I always talked about as we passed it every day. The long sidewalk took me to a country road where I proceeded to run out of Small Town USA. It was at that moment, less than a 1/2 mile from my car when I realized that I didn’t have my Personal Savers Pepper Spray. I always take my Wrist Saver on new runs. On most of my runs to be honest. But I didn’t want to go back for it.
When you run in the country, it’s inevitable there will be loose dogs. It’s only a guess as to whether the loose dog will be friendly or not. I’ve been bitten 3x by unfriendly dogs so I now assume if a dog is charging me and barking that it will be followed by a bite. Beware, if your dog charges me, I will spray it with pepper spray. Not because I want to hurt your dog but because I don’t want your dog to hurt me. I love dogs. Have 3 of my own. But that doesn’t mean I’m stupid and want your dog to bite me. So ……how long do you think it was before a loose dog saw me? 1.95 miles. I was in a time crunch so I had planned to run 2 miles out from my car and flip to make the return trip. Just enough mileage to shake out the tightness from my landscaping duties this week. But alas I had a potentially crazy dog between me and my car. UGH! Said dog didn’t see me until I was almost past his house, then he had to run the long yard to the road to get to me. By that time, I was far enough past that he didn’t give chase. Thank goodness. But he was laying in the yard, by the road, awaiting my return. What a sweetie, right? Yeah, probably not. So I kept running forward to WhoKnowsWhere. Scenery wasn’t too bad.
I was immediately thankful that not only am I a runner but a MARATHON runner. It doesn’t matter that I’m on a road to nowhere, I’ll eventually get back to my car. I quickly calculated that I was a half marathon or so from my house. I wasn’t really sure how to get home but I knew the general direction, like as a crow would fly. I also knew that my car was just to the right of that creek (pictured above), no more than a mile away across that field. Worse case scenario I could cross that wet, muddy field. But let’s just bag that idea for now. I’m not lost. I just don’t know exactly where I am at the moment. I’ll just keep running down this road and see where it takes me. And that’s when the rain began. I immediately gave thanks for my visor! Running in the rain. Refreshing. I think. If I knew how to get back to my car it would be a bit more refreshing. But alas, I’m a marathon runner. I’ll get back there eventually.
Fortunately, most country roads are set up in a grid like pattern. Usually with each segment between intersections being a mile (or so) in length. I tried to focus on the grid and hope that these roads followed the general rules of country road infrastructure. I was assuming I could run a rectangle and be back to the car. That’s why I wasn’t panicked and didn’t feel the need to tromp across that wet, muddy field. I just didn’t know any of these roads and the north end of “the grid” was the key. The road eventually curved away from the direction I needed to go but without a cross street/road I just followed along. It eventually popped me out on a busy road that connects our town and the one where Michael goes to school. It wasn’t a road that I would normally run (or bike), due to the heavy traffic volume, but at least I knew my location and the direction of my car. I managed a mile down the busy street. In the pouring rain. Trying to look smooth and as if I were enjoying myself. Ignoring all thoughts of what people must think of this crazy lady (me!) running along a busy road in the rain. Turned back into town at the first opportunity, the rain eased, and I found my long sidewalk that was the start of this running adventure.
All runs are an adventure. Some are just more interesting than others. Keep running and keep making memories. As I see it, I’m just banking stories for the grandkids!
** Adventures In Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz