Late post today, got busy.
Today being a telework day and I would thus be unable to run a lunchtime with my running buddies at work, I went out the door from home at 5:30 AM for a 5 miler along Harshman Road.
It was 19 degrees F and with a howling wind out of the NW, but the route is basically a rectangular loop, and only 1 segment would be right into the teeth of the wind. The rest of the route would have quartering winds off either shoulder, or be at my back. I bundled up massively, breaking out for the first time my heavy fleece hooded shell, and wore 2 pair of tights.
I was only passed by 4 cars along the route, coming from either direction, so that gives you a feel for how rural these roads are. When the first car passed, I got a strong whiff of tobacco, and thought to myself, ”Enjoy it while you can, buddy. You’ll reap what you sow.”
This was an olfactory run. Just after the smoky car, I passed the chicken farm, always an aromatic treat. Opposite the chicken farm is the abandoned farmhouse with the semi-feral cats. I shined my light on the porch and picked up the eyeshine of 3 cats on the old glider. Then halfway around the loop I was exactly downwind from the Martin’s plant over on Rt 11, where they make Nibble With Gibble potato chips. The smell of oil and chips was good.
Near the end I looped thru Brown’s Mill Cemetery, where I visited the grave of Janet Christiansen, whom I’ve previously posted on. Fresh wildflowers were obviously not in the cards until spring, but I did pick a dried up Chicory flower from along the roadside. It used to be blue, but now was brown, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Also, in deference to the weather, I did not take off my hat and hood, as I usually do out of respect for the cemetery and its inhabitants.
When you think about it, running thru a cemetery at night really isn’t a mainstream activity, but I suspect that most ultrarunners wouldn’t think it strange, either.
I was soon back at home. Oh, and this morning I had my first snotsickle of the season. Again, not a remarkable occurrence in ultrarunning. But it may augur for a long winter....