I recently noticed that the dirt roads around my house have cleared enough to run on again, and I am ecstatic. I feel like the bonds of winter have been untied. No more long, repetitive runs on Route 201 with log trucks screeching by, slinging wind and slush and rocks at me. Now I have choices, lots of choices!
The only caveat is that I need to run early. Running later means you run in mud. Not just a little mud. I am talking about mud caked on shoes, up your legs, down the back of your shirt, on your face mud. Yes, we are in mud season a little early this year, but right now, I will take it for my own, personal piece of running paradise, with a network of dirt roads to run on away from the roar and monotony of Route 201.
Early doesn’t really bother me. There is just something fantastic about getting out the door and busting out a few miles before most folks wake up. I love to chug along (I think I can, I think I can), enjoying the light playing on the river and dancing the trees as the sun rises. This morning was no exception, but I got a little excited and was out the door earlier than usual. Actually, it was dark, and I needed to wear a headlamp for the first half hour of my run. Yes, I was that excited.
This run was made even better because I had friends to run with me, willing and eager to get up early in the dark too. Proof that I am not insane. Or at least that I am not the only one.
Beth and Austin are my best running buddies, I love when it works out and we can run together. That isn’t a photo from the run this morning, but it is a photo of them at least. Dirt roads opening up means that now Austin gets to go on runs with us anytime he wants, which somehow just makes the whole run that much more fun.
We are in a leash-free zone in Caratunk, my friends and I go on long dog walks, often with more dogs than people, and not a leash (well, I mean, I have one. Somewhere…), a growl, or a fight among the pack. I take that luxury for granted sometimes, and am sure that I would have a hard time adjusting to a place that was different.
Today I was running, watching Austin happily trotting ahead, tongue lolling, tail wagging. He occasionally darted around chasing squirrels, or would just sit, watching and waiting for us to catch up, and I was reminded about how lucky I am to live where I live, where open access is the norm and both my dog and I can be unleashed to run around in the woods as we please.
Speaking of my dog – you may notice that Bailey was not on this run. Or any run for that matter. Well, I asked him if he wanted to go, and as usual, he gave me this look:
I think he is saying, “Are you kidding me? I’ll keep the couch warm.”
He is more of a walker than a runner I guess.