Monday, November 8, 2010

Observations on a run, or, Landy may be chasing me

Sometimes on a clear, cold sunrise run, through trees and fields and along the water, you wake up parts of yourself you can't stir any other way. Not every time, but sometimes. Those parts can't be put into words.

I had some of those moments on a solo Sunday Daylight Savings 11-miler. Since those moments will remain wordless, you can have observations from the rest of the run. We'll work chronologically.

Text from Dominic this morning, who had been up all night with a puking child, likely out. Bieber stayed out til 8:40 p.m. and was another likely no-show.

Used my extra hour to drink coffee and read Charles Simic, who says "Everything you didn't understand/ Made you what you are."

I never understood those faucets that float unsuspended in place and yet water runs steadily out from thin air. So I'm a magic faucet. Which is nice.

The stars are bright on the first run I've grabbed a hat and gloves for this fall. It's brisk and I look forward to hitting mile 1 or so, where my legs will be more numb than cold. It's 5:34 a.m. (adjusted time).

I've been on enough runs that start in the dark and finish in the light where I'm the dork running in a reflective vest in broad daylight. Not today. I break bad. I run without reflection.

I run by Lando's house, where some lights are on and he talked about running a 20-miler this morning, so may cross paths later. Run by Lori's and Dominic's and "Da Corner" where we haven't met in a while.

I get to the YMCA and pull up to give folks a chance, in case, since Bieber would have to drive if he posted.

Nobody. But then it occurs to me that Landy knows the route we are running. He's become too fast and focused to run with us most of the time, but he's a social creature (maybe) and might challenge himself by giving "us" (which is now "me") a head start and running us down like Predator. Or to quote Joel, like "The Landimal."

I'm not ready to be prey, not yet, so I start up Oxford Road.

Crossing over Papermill Pond there is a heron standing in the water amongst a number of geese. I wonder how that conversation must go? Or maybe the geese are about to put a beat-down on him.

As I hit the trees around the Easton Club, there's a full-on owl discussion going on, calls and multiple replies.

Running along the trees on Oxford Road to Cooke's Hope, deer own the periphery, rustling and starting as I go by. Turning into Cooke's Hope, I look back along the road, marking time. After all, Landy may be chasing me.

As far as runs along/around town, the trails back there are money. Being able to turn off the road and dip down into the clear still of geese and light on the pond is sweet; surveying the cut fields, well, it's hard to be any more archetypal Eastern Shore.

Running on the back stretch, a doe is next to the trail and freezes like a three-year-old playing hide and seek, hiding in plain sight. I keep a steady pace and don't acknowledge her and she doesn't spook, we just pass.

I'd stay and visit, I want to explain, but Landy may be chasing me.

Startling a heron and watching them fly off, long legs hanging in tow is a surreal experience. It also makes dogs bark, if there is one nearby at the time.

Back onto Oxford Road, there is a runner up ahead of me, running in the same direction, opposite side of the road--running with traffic. Stride is all wrong for Lando, plus I can tell they are moving too slow, so I head out to catch and pass them. As I get closer a mane of long hair reveals itself.

I pass her around Waverly and offer a good morning and it is. She agrees in a smooth, soothing voice you could just listen to. She would kick ass as a books on tape narrator.

I'd love to stay and chat, I don't have time to let her know, but Landy may be chasing me.

Passing in front of the Y and the middle school, Bickford drives by and waves, probably wondering what kind of idiot runs in shorts in 35 degree weather. Then again, Bickford broke open the ice with a 2x10 in January so we could jump in. Bickford knows we're stupid.

Rails to Trails is my home stretch. A little over two miles to go and a place I like to pick it up. I generally turn my mind off and think about stride and pace. Long stretches of visibility and many side/crossing streets make it dangerous territory for a Landimal attack, but none comes today.

Either I have survived or there never was a pursuit (latter more likely). Has gotten me thinking about the Harrier Hash concept and what a perfect weekend fun run that would be for a group run. File it under things to hit the message board with.

Funny where the quiet, un-iPoded mind can wander over 11 or more miles.

I get home and the girls are not on adjusted time; they didn't fall back. Ava is quietly and feverishly coloring and Anna is playing her DS. Robin is still asleep. Breakfast and coffee to come.


Runners on Trails said...

Your words, Michael, made me feel the morning as you experienced it. How the hell do you remember all that? Are you writing in your moleskin while you're running. Good on ya, bloke. Thanks for the extra 11 miles I didn't get a chance to run. Truly, thanks.

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