Wednesday, February 19, 2014

There be Dragons

4:30 am – I’m doing my morning pushups in front of the TV, and Holly Strano tells me that the temperature is in the forties. This, after that huge snowstorm yesterday. I finish my exercises, petting Rosy, who’s curled up almost underneath me, in between sets.

5:00 am – Still waking up (those pushups and crunches had been in my sleep) I am now putting on my outside running clothes. It would’ve been faster to put on the inside running clothes that I’d had ready, but dang it, it’s in the forties!

5:15 am – Pulling out of the driveway, I realize I’ve gotten a later start than I wanted. My goal is always to get going by 4:45 so that I can arrive just as the fitness center opens at 5:30. This has yet to happen, however. The most common exit time is 5:00 straight up. Today is a little on the late side of that.

6:15 am – I am finally running (hooray), heading north from the fitness center. The road is clear, but snow is piled up three to four feet high on the sides, and right over the berm, so if any cars come, I’ve got nowhere to go to get out of the way. Luckily, traffic is light at this hour. I reflect that this is my first outside run in a week and a half; it’s been all mill. Of course the reason is fear of (more) wounded knee. Strange that I seem to be able to run at any pace or distance on the mill without encountering problems, but when I push the pace out in the cold, there it goes. A new theory presents itself to the inner workings of my brain: maybe it’s not the pace or the cold by itself, maybe it’s the shuffling through the slippery snow and ice I do on other runs, followed by the days of pace and cold. Then again, maybe not.

6:45 am – There aren’t all that many miles of roads in the park, and I don’t want to shuffle on the snow covered all-purpose trail, so I’m doing a little back and forth, out and back type stuff. It occurs to me that I could make this a worthwhile training run by running down and up Ox Lane a few times. As I’m almost about to turn down that road, I encounter a couple runners coming up. After a brief greeting, we pass each other, but one of them yells back, “Are you headed down the hill? There’s a pack of coyotes down there!”

6:46 am – Did I mention that it’s still dark? And that I’m afraid of large carnivorous wild animals? I decide to not tempt fate and simply go back and forth on the north-south road, Buttermilk Falls Parkway. The hills can wait.

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