Sunday, May 12, 2013

Running Joke

This morning I went for a jog.

I hadn't been running for about six months due to work and other issues, and I was badly in need of some exercise. Well, the sort of exercise that gets my heart and respiration rate up to where they should be when you exercise.

At this point, you're probably wondering what this has to do with writing.

The answer is: not a lot.

To be honest, the woodland path I run on has a sign at the start with a verse from of one of Robert Frost's poems. As a matter of fact, it's this one:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.  
But I have promises to keep,  
And miles to go before I sleep,  
And miles to go before I sleep.
It's titled Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. It's an appropriate verse for a trail, even if it hasn't snowed for a while. But I had miles to go before I went back home to cut the grass, so I started my run. That's about as close as I can tie writing into this blog post.

The loop I ran today is a little over three and a half miles long, with lots of elevation changes. I ran about two and a half of those miles. I had to walk much of the rest because I'm a bit out of shape and the recent rains had rendered parts of the path submerged or slippery forcing me to make impromptu course changes more than once.

I suppose, too, that I like to take a look around when I run, so I stop often. I'm not training for the Olympics. Due to the cool, wet weather, the undergrowth appeared to be quite healthy and was full of wild geraniums and jack-in-the-pulpits. I don't think I've even seen a many there as I did today.

Image of wild geranium by K. R. Smith - may be used with attribution
Wild geranium

Image of jack-in-the-pulpit by K. R. Smith - may be used with attribution

As a disclaimer, these pictures are ones I took last year along the same path - I didn't have a camera with me during my run. There were also a few bluettes out, and the wineberry brambles were quite healthy. I'll have to check them out in a June.

I'm not sure why bluettes are called that. They're white, not blue. Must have been named by the same guy that named the purple finch (which is red, not purple). Go figure.

Wineberries are an invasive species. They are, however, quite delicious as invasive species go, and I do my part to prevent them from spreading by consuming as many of their fruits as possible.

About a mile into my run, I passed three young(er) girls going in the opposite direction. I raised my hand and said, "Good morning," but they just cruised past, ignoring me.

I also encountered the three Japanese folks that I almost always see when I'm on the trail. I don't know how we time it like that, but they seem to like the peacefulness of the early morning woodland, as do I, so perhaps that is the common factor here. I again raise my hand and say, "Good morning." They smile and nod. I don't know if they speak English, but they understand.

Finally, I descend from the uplands to begin the return route along the river. Once again, the three jogging ladies pass by, and I give a greeting for a second time which is treated with all of the significance of the first. I had the same effect on girls back in high school. And yes, I know they're on their second loop and hardly out of breath. Bunch of young (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted) show-offs.

Eventually I found myself at the end of my run and began the drive back to what those who know no better call "civilization." As an example, I give the person waiting in front of me at a stoplight. It was a young woman in a Miata (top down - on the car, not her) with a Pennsylvania license tag seat-dancing out-off-time to "Sweet Home Alabama" which was blaring from her sound system. Now, I have nothing against Miatas, "Sweet Home Alabama," and certainly nothing against young women. Pennsylvania - I'll have to think about that... Put them all together, however, with the out-off-time seat-dancing, and it becomes curiously disturbing. There must be a story in that.

Oh, well. Time to cut the grass.

© 2012-2013 K. R. Smith All rights reserved


  1. Reminds me of the hikes/walks we used to take on the trails through Northern Virginia. So peaceful. Good for you, jogging. I've finally set my own goal: do the Incline this fall. That means I need to get out there more regularly and actually jog.


    1. Yeah, I needed that jog. It's hard to believe I used to race. Now if I can just do it on a semi-regular basis...


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