Friday, August 13, 2010

Running shenanigans

This is a shock to me, I actually have been keeping a semi-regular running schedule.  I haven't been writing about it each day because I'm afraid if I do, I'm going to jinx it.  I've also been using the P90X videos for strength training.  I can't say I'm up to a whole video at a time yet, but I'm out of shape enough that even half a Tony Horton video is still kicking my butt.  I'm telling myself that some P90 is better than no P90 and since I am not one for getting creative with the resistance training (read: I have no idea what I am doing with weights) it helps me to feel like I have a little focus.

Last night I had a short 3 mile run and I took the creek trail that I take all the time.  I know if I go along the greenbelt from my house to this certain trashcan on the other side of the main road, I've made it a mile and a half and I can turn back.  After last night, though, I am going to have to change my route.  I'm bummed.  I like running along the path so much better than running along the road--I feel so much more peaceful when there are trees and bunnies with me.  But last night I stumbled upon something I wish I hadn't.

I'd made it across the road and down the path along the creek--I only had about .3 miles before I turned back and headed home.  I found my trashcan (which was quite ripe in the heat last night) and headed toward the road.  The last time I ran through there, someone had taken all the dog poo bags out of the container on the post and strewn them all over the path.  I cleaned them up and put them back since it pisses me off when somebody has to ruin a nice place for everyone.  So anyway, when I doubled back and saw a shopping cart on the path, I kind of groaned.  This is about a half mile from the nearest grocery store and I am being haunted by abandoned grocery carts this summer.  Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling up to walking it back to the store.  So that's what I was thinking about as I came up on it and saw a Costco-sized bottle of cheap whiskey in the cart.  On the ground next to it was a black trash bag full of something lumpy, like blankets.

I kid you not that all I was thinking about the bag was please don't let there be a body in there.  I was afraid someone dumped an animal, so I stopped for a sec next to the cart and listened.  Nothing.  Phew.  I considered dumping the whiskey in the trash so little kids wouldn't find it, but then I realized that whoever would leave a bottle sitting there like that probably had a reason for doing so and I didn't want to get in the middle of anything.  I made my way up to the road and decided to run back home along the street, in case there were any shady characters around.

Just as I crossed the creek bridge, I heard two (teenage?) male voices in the brush along the path.  I looked over just in time to see a flash of bodies move in the brush and a BARE @SS.  There it was, westward facing, shining in the setting sun.  I will leave to your imagination the details of what I think was going on between those two, but suffice it to say I BOOKED it out of there.  I was sure whatever it was, I didn't want to be interrupting it.

Don't worry, E gave me a talking-to about where I run, and though it breaks my heart I'm going to stay on the main roads rather than the path from now on.  I'm just so bummed.  I hate that people ruin something for everyone, but I need to be safe.  I gave some serious thought on the way home to attending the local running store's Saturday morning runs in hope of finding a running buddy.  Since I want to switch back to morning runs when school starts, it would probably be a good idea to find someone who would run with me.  But oh, the anxiety about meeting new people and running with another person... I'll let you know if I overcome that or not.

In other running news, I've been trying hard to improve my speed.  I read an article a while ago about stride and posture, and I'm trying to incorporate the suggestions of the article--things like increasing my turnover and keeping my posture in a way that helps to propel me forward.  It's definitely making a difference (one mile I ran last night was 9:50--probably my fastest since I've been running--no laughing) but I can tell my lungs aren't quite ready to keep that kind of pace going.  I figure the more I work on it, I will build stamina.  Right?


  1. Ugh i'm sorry. I know the feeling. I'm from Elk Grove so I think I know the local running area you're talking about...if you do it let me know! I have thought about heading down there as well...just haven't done it for the same reason you have. New people and awkward running..not exactly my thing!

  2. It's always so sad when people ruin a good area for everyone!
    I definitely hope you find somewhere better to run that's safe!!