I’m catching up on a few missed blogs, as you can tell. My life has apparently been pretty busy. It’s funny how you never think you’re that busy, but then at the end of 2-3 weeks you’re extremely tired and you can’t figure out why. Between a full-time job, a summer class with exams every two weeks, and the past two weekends out of town, I am tired! I have been sleeping in, skipping runs, rescheduling AM runs to the evening (which is perilous in Florida because of the heat and the spur of the moment thunder storms), so I’m going to backtrack and talk about a run that I HAVE run and really enjoyed. It inspires me to remember the good runs.
Last Sunday I knew we were going to have a packed day – leading worship at church in the morning, then leaving church immediately after worship to drive 2 hours away for a friend’s wedding, and I had to leave the reception early to study for my Monday exam! I wanted to get a run in early Sunday morning just for my own sanity.
I planned to do an easy 5 miler on my usual trail, and I was pleasantly surprised with lots of wildlife sightings! My first few steps off the sidewalk and onto my trail I saw two CHICKENS! Of all things to see in Florida, wild chickens!!! That was already enough to make me smile for the next 10 minutes, but to make it even better, they were standing next to a tiny white bunny! I can just imagine what my fuzzy-animal-loving sister would say if she had been there. She would have definitely squealed and then she would probably have narrated their entire life story for me for the rest of the run. She luh baby animals.
I have seen lots of bunnies on the side of the road, especially during early AM runs, and funnily enough, I have heard a rooster in that section of the trail before and I didn’t think much of it. It was so fun seeing them all together right in front of me. I will say, though, that the size of the chickens made me rethink the chicken breasts I buy at the store because if those tiny things are from the wild, what the heck am I eating in my Winn-Dixie ones??
A few more steps down the road I saw two people sleeping in Enos, which made me laugh because it was so random (it’s not like this trail is actually in the woods, it’s 5 feet from the highway) and it also made me VERY JEALOUS! I want an Eno so bad. When I get one, I promise that I will find a tiny patch of woods right off the highway and sleep for the night, just like these two crazies.
The next bit of the run was uneventful, unless you count passing a group of 5 adult male runners and having that brief moment of calculated fear that every woman experiences every time she finds herself alone among several men. They weren’t even creepy looking, but I still felt it. It’s the worst feeling and it is the reason I am a feminist. Women shouldn’t have to be afraid of men. (Nor should men be afraid of women, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that the current culture would ridicule the woman for running alone on a deserted path rather than ridiculing the men for doing something wrong.) Okay, back to less upsetting thoughts….
Then a huge vulture scared the crap out of me because he was perched on a trash can right by the path and I didn’t see him until I was right next to him. THEN I saw a baby alligator! *pterodactyl screech* I love seeing alligators. They are creepy and a bit terrifying if you think about it too much, but from a reasonable distance I just love them. I’ve seen quite a few large gators in this canal so I would NEVER let Reecy splash in the water here. There are gators in every body of water in Florida, but some are worse than others… it mostly depends on how many humans disrupt the water on a regular basis. This canal doesn’t get many boats so the gators have free reign.
Altogether it was a great way to start my hectic Sunday. Any time I see animals on a run, I count it as a good run, especially baby ones!
I ran 5 miles in under an hour, at an 11:30 pace. Considering that in the past my longer runs (read: 3 miles) used to be at 12:30, I am quite happy with that pace! It felt easy, which was the point.
Now that I’ve officially started my first half marathon training plan I am hoping I’ll see my pace start to improve. While building my mileage base I have just done every run at an easy effort, with my pace landing somewhere between 10:30 and 12 min/mile. We’ll see how that improves as I build mileage and add some harder effort runs. I’m excited to see more progress!