Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Traveling Through An Unmarked Land

That's a rather poetic title for a post of somewhat, shall I say, subtle interest.

We live in an area that is very flat.  Very open.  Even the home sites are few and far between.

This has made jogging a bit intimidating for me at first.  When I walk, I don't have that problem.  I really enjoy walking and listening to the sounds and seeing the plants and animals.  I anticipate eventually experiencing that same enjoyment running.  But it just isn't happening yet.  To put it plainly, when I run, it feels like I am getting exactly... well...No Where.

When I do go out for my run/walk, I have been walking for one half mile to the minimum maintenance road near my house.  Then I turn and walk on the minimum maintenance road for one mile.  At that point I turn around and jog that same mile back toward home and then cool down by walking the final half mile home.  Is that too many details?

Tough, you're getting more.

Now, imagine with me.  Along that mile and a half route, before I turn around and get the same view from the other direction, there are no houses.  There is one woods back from the first road about one quarter mile.  The minimum maintenance road runs along a woods for about one quarter mile.  Other than that, there is nothing to look at.  Nothing to mark my progress coming or going.  Straight north, then straight west., Then back again, east and south.  It is flat enough that I can see the stop sign at the end of the minimum maintenance road when I turn around to jog my mile.  There it is.  Glowing red at me for a little over ten minutes.

So I have learned to mark my progress in little landmarks.  Micro-scenery. Very little things that I may not have even noticed, had I not been looking for a way to feel I was covering ground.

After I turn back toward home, it's always tough getting started.  That red-glowing stop sign is so very far away.  Do I really want to jog that far?  No.  Absolutely not.  I do not want to.

I make myself go as far as the culvert that comes into the ditch on my left.  Just that far.  Then I'll see how I'm feeling.  Next  I look for the (very little) rise, which is followed immediately by the fence post that has a diagonal support.  At this point I get to coast down a (very little) hill.

Somewhere along this first little bit is the gopher hole obstacle course.  I first swerve to the right and then to the left.  And then I see I am almost to the mound right in the middle of my wheel rut.  It has been shining ahead, a light tan, ever since I turned around.

Now I anticipate the drainage from the south.  Then the half section fence corner.

Next I come to the woods on the north.  Along that woods, I see first a section of young brushy growth, with a mound of dirt in front of it.  The mound of dirt has a "No Hunting," sign stuck on the top.  Then I pass a drainage.  And some bigger birch and poplar trees with another sign.  This one has no words.  The warning is worn off.  I suppose one might say it is a "worning."

We are almost there.  I have to jog up another small rise.  There is a small tree along the ditch just about at the top of the rise.  And then a short decline and back to the main road. 


Once I get to the top of the last rise, I usually get my little second wind. I pick up my pace like the proverbial horse to the oats waiting in the stable.

Once on the paved road, I walk home, huffing and puffing until my heart rate returns to normal. 

Having found my a little landmarks in an otherwise unmarked land, I am encouraged along my way.

Once I'm  home, the fun part.  I get to move my tickers! About 45 minutes of exercise and one more mile of jogging.

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