I’m not a very social person. I’m introverted and odd, and majority of the things I love to do are solitary–writing, reading, running and swimming. So when it came time for my birthday I knew I didn’t want a party or a large gathering. I didn’t want to go out to eat or go to a movie or anything fancy. I didn’t even care much about presents or having a cake or any of that. What I wanted was to run.
Namely, I wanted to run 18 miles through the Campbell Tract, some of my favorite trails. And so my partner, the dog and I headed up the Hilltop Loop, the first three miles up and up and up (oh, how I love hills!). We’ve been having horrid weather lately and the high was only 48 and cloudy, with little spits of rain, so I ran with my sleeves pulled down over my hands the first couple of miles. It was that cold.
The trails were practically empty, due to the a holiday weekend and the temps, and it was one of those runs when I stayed in my head most of the time, and while I was aware of the trail enough to avoid rocks and rocks, my mind wandered so that I’d look up every so often and think: Oh, I’m running. I so love when that happens, when I dive down deep inside myself while my body keeps on moving. It’s a lot like meditation.
Anyway, this is my favorite bench on the Hilltop Loop. There aren’t a lot of benches on Alaska trails but this one makes me happy because it’s on top of the last obstinate hill before the long and glorious downhills (whee!). So of course I took a picture. This is from earlier in the week, when we actually had a bit of sunshine. See the Christmas ornaments on the straggly spruce tree in the background? I think it’s a theme this year.
And here’s Seriously, waiting for us to catch up on the top of one of the smaller hills. Seriously loves to run, as long as we keep it to about 5-8 miles. After that, she slumps. It’s not that she’s tired so much as bored. What she loves most is racing off in the trees to sniff out squirrels. After about six miles of that, though, she loses interest and begins to slump. She reminds me of a child in the supermarket: Mom, mom, can we go home now?
My partner and Seriously ran with me to Moose Meadow, almost to Black Bear Trail, and then they headed back and I ran the last 11 miles by myself. But the coolest thing happened on Moose Meadow trail. We were moving along all fine and happy and suddenly my partner yelled, “Bear.” I saw a flash of black and jerked but then we realized it was a very large dog, very black dog. We stopped to chat with the owners and learned that the dog’s name was Bear, hee, hee. So in a sense, we did see a bear though not really, which is fine with me. I’ve seen enough bears while running, thank you very much. I don’t need to see more.
The rest of the run was pretty mellow. My legs felt heavy–I ran 10 trail miles the day before, to make sure that my legs would be fatigued and trust me, they were. It’s funny how your legs can feel dead, as if you’re dragging them along, and then a few minutes later, you forget about it. You adapt. Your legs still hurt, yes, but somehow it doesn’t matter as much. That’s how this run was. My legs were fatigued, I was hungry, even thought I ate half a peanut butter and chia seed sandwich, and while both things bothered me, they didn’t really bother me, if you know what I mean.
When I got home, I lay on the sofa and shoved food into my mouth while watching Nurse Jackie. I got my partner hooked on this show, hee, hee. I love Zoey’s awful scrubs and Akalitus’ snarky attitude.
P.S. We have almost 19 hours of glorious daylight.