Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's Your Running Route?

We are creatures of habit, often doing the things we feel most comfortable and safe doing. Repetition, routine, repeated successes...they provide a sort of bedrock in our crazy lives. I was thinking during my afternoon run yesterday about my route so I thought I'd share it and maybe you'll think a little deeper about your own...perhaps see the things not always seen at first glance.

My route gives me multiple options in distance. I can run a 5, 6 or 7 miler on any given day and I know those spots where to turn and head back. I even have a loop course that provides a 6 or 7 miler on a similar course. I also have a 8.2 mile loop option and modified just a bit, that becomes a 10 mile loop. The 8.2 mile loop is dubbed "Karen's Loop" because a friend (yea...Karen!) came out one very early morning and ran it with me.

Cereal Bowl in the distance
Hills. Lots of them. They have names, too...at least a few of them. One is called the "Cereal Bowl" simply because it feels and looks like one. Another one is even named after a family member...but I'll leave that one alone. :-) Some are steep and quick while others drag out the pain. Not boring in any way, and always twisting/turning.

"Wildlife." Oh my my. My route seems to never have a lack of it. I think a car recently killed it, but there was a resident skunk that everyday, was at one particular house and under one particular bird feeder. I watched its white-striped tail held high as it ran to the bushes. There are a lot of deer out there, too. Often in herds and often heard clicking across the street in the dark of morning. Birds are everywhere and lately, I keep seeing hawks that are totally white on the bottom and brown on top. Looks brilliant over the white fields. Then we have dogs. A few days ago, my own dog (on a leash) and I were chased no less than 5 times. I'm quite sick and tired of it. It's the one pronounced black eye on my route. This one here is the main nuisance. I grabbed this photo yesterday. I can always stop it in its tracks by yelling directly at it but it charges full bore towards us EVERY SINGLE TIME. There is also lots of cows grazing and also a few pastures of horses. The one that stands out is "the white horse." It's always there, no matter the season or time of day. Peaceful, beautiful, but seemingly a bit lonely. Never running and no one ever with it. I look forward to seeing her (or him) each time I crest the hill. (it's also the same property as the aforementioned canine)

Landscapes. My route runs among farm houses, soy bean fields, corn fields, creeks, and even a century old Catholic church. With so much wide open space, every season and time of day is unique and beautiful in its own right. The lack of traffic certainly helps, too. A full moon to light up the route no matter the time of year is the icing on top when it happens. It's a great route to have some "vertical" conversation and completely lose myself for awhile. That is, until a dog comes chasing or a herd of deer emerge from my left or right. :-) If it should come time to move someday, the landscapes is what I'll miss most. Here are some of my favorite pics that I've taken from time to time. 
Our #1 spot. Gorgeous no matter the season. A sepia version is on canvas over our bed, if fact. :-)

Entrance to my route off of the main state highway.

Usually, there are Black Angus grazing in the water or on the hill. Little waterfall on the left but not in the photo. Century old Catholic church after I pass this spot.

Coming up out of the Cereal Bowl on one side. Sunrise often happens right there.

This was during yesterday's sunset run over the harvested corn field.
So what about your route? Could you tell the story if someone asked?

Have a great day! It's One Three One Three!!!

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