New iPod Nano showed up at the house today.

Yet, somehow, I avoided heading straight home and managed to do a couple of miles over on Jamestown tonight. And what a run it was! My initial urge was to take the camera along, as I think this was my last run with green trees for the year, and I hit the soccer field parking lot just as the “Golden Hour” began. Blue skies, barely crisp air – what a day to run!

With worries about my ankle (blister’s pretty much healed), my goal for “during the week” runs this week was to run three times, instead of sticking religiously to my scheduled 5/6/6 for Tu/W/Th. So, I did the 3.5 Monday on base (easy), the phenomenal five on Tuesday, rested W/Th, and wanted to run for running’s sake today. So as not to press things, I decided I wanted to do about 4 miles, so, starting, I wanted to do 15 minutes out, 15 minutes back.

Fired up the old iPod, dialed up a Chris Lydon podcast I hadn’t heard yet. Not the Sox/Yankees one from last night, which is downloading as I type, and which I am rabid to hear, ‘specially since the Sox are going to kill the Yanks, I’m finally going to finish in the top 3 (assuming my players post some numbers this weekend) in my fraternity’s Fantasy Baseball league, and who doesn’t love a pennant race or playoffs regardless of the sport? I LOVE OCTOBER! The ‘Stros are winning it all this year, people. Bigs will get to go out on top, and Roger Clemens will announce his retirement with yet another ring on his finger. Though this one won’t stick, either

In any case, I didn’t stick to the same old loop I’ve been doing. Once I got near the top of my two mile hill, I went and meandered through a neighborhood on the west slope of the island, ran down to that shore until I’d listened to about 20 minutes of the podcast on the folks from N’awlins that Katrina relocated out to Cape Cod. They were talking to the third or forth person, and were hearing yet again about corrupt local politicians when I turned around.

The run was going great – I kept making an effort to slow down, enjoy, keep the heart rate low and just focus on the joy of being outside, healthy, and having great places to run.

At the corner of N. Main and Carr, and decided that I’d head on down to the reservoir property and see if I could use that to cut across to the parking lot. The sign said something about being on protected property and punishing polluters. Figuring I had no intentions more sinister than leaving a little bit of high-carbon rubber and sweat, I jumped the stone wall (these things are everywhere!) and headed across the dam.

I really, really, really apologize for not having brought my camera along. I’d hit the heart of the golden hour. The water near the dam was glassy, with little ripples at the far end where the wind finally bent down over the trees. The forest surrounded the pond like a green wall. The leaves were still all green, but at the dry and pale stage just before they turn. The grass was thick and tall from the recent rain, and a bunny scampered down the dry side of the dam as I stepped onto it.

Once I got to the far side of the dam, I had little choice but to press uphill and hope I didn’t come out in anyone’s backyard. The trail forked a few times, but I kept taking the road more traveled (sorry, Ralph), cresting the hill into a field that I hoped would dump me out near the car. Came over one last rise, and saw a deer grazing in the middle of the trail, about 150 yards ahead of me. Figured she’d jump almost immediately.

She didn’t. I’m hoping she’s not deaf or anything. I was approaching from upwind, so maybe my form was so sweet that my footfalls were as silent as that of the bunny I’d seen earlier. Or, maybe she looked at me and chuckled at the thought of running from that joker.

Either way, she stood her ground until I was about 50′ away. Then she bounded about 3 times, stopped about 20′ off the trail to re-evaluate (move off the target’s track, slow down to get in a good search and try to re-establish tactical advantage), saw I was continuing to plod along, and she bounded off down the hill (know when to disengage).

I was spellbound. The power in the deer’s leaps left me awestruck, as did the proximity to something wild and large.

The field emptied out exactly where I thought it would. The funny thing is that for the whole summer, I’ve been parking in the soccer lot and running down the hill towards E. Shore road, so I’d never seen the gate to the reservoir lands. I’ve seen it now, so expect one of next week’s runs to be exploring the trail network. Not sure how long it’ll take, but I’ve realized that I’ve got to keep the legs moving to keep them loose. I think I’ll be all right if I trade some mid-week mileage for keeping pain out of my left foot, provided I put in this weekend’s 20 miler and another high mileage run the weekend after. Were I planning to do the marathon any faster than an LSD pace, I might try a more serious taper.

Unless I change my mind.

This week’s been good, especially getting the angst and jitters off my chest. Execution remains.

Night, y’all.

8 thoughts on “Happy”

  1. beautiful, bill. it sounded absolutely beautiful. the appology to ralph cracked me up. best of luck on the 20 this weekend. fluids, fuel and rest!

  2. I am bounding along the resevoir trails in my head and it feels good. It all feels good. Glad to hear you’re there too.

  3. Enjoy your new iPod! What a great run! Do you run in Newport on the weekends or just during the week? I’m going to be staying in Newport with some friends during the first weekend in November, maybe we could meet up for a run?

  4. Deer are the funniest creatures aren’t they? They run away but then want to turn and look at you. You are right I think, they must be chuckling inside about some joker runner towards them. Maybe its a fun deer game. Run from the silly biped. :)

    How’d that 20 miler go?

  5. Shucks–maybe another time. You must be getting excited for NYC. Just a few more weeks to go. You are going to do very well in the marathon. Best of luck with your continued training!!

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