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I Try to Get Back on Track

It’s really not unusual to crash and burn after a run like the Boilermaker. In fact, I wrote it in my datebook: Sunday, run the Boilermaker; Monday, crash; Tuesday, burn. I was only half joking.

It seemed I had escaped that fate when I ran Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday the following week. And then it all fell apart. I woke up Sunday and said, “To hell with it! I run every Sunday of my life, this is my last day of vacation, I’m going to hang with my husband till he goes to work!” It was a very pleasant Sunday.

Who knew it would be so brutally hot Monday and Tuesday? Um, I guess we all knew since it had been extremely hot the whole previous week and it was all over the weather reports, which I did in fact see. Wednesday we had some relief, enough to go for a nice walk with Tabby (I wrote a blog post about it; we heard Fritz’s Polka Band). Thursday we had a wine tasting. Friday I was determined to run.

Of course I tried to talk myself out of it. I had taken five days off, how big of a difference would it make if it were six? It really wasn’t much cooler. Steven and I had evening plans; maybe it would be better to take the dog for a long walk. Et cetera (my computer is underlining that, but the dictionary says it is correct).

Well, I went for the run. I debated in my head for three or four blocks about running hills. None at all? Valley Health? Up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC)? I finally decided on the Unknown Park. It’s a minor hill into the park, then I could run down the forest path and come out on the back road to HCCC. If I felt really ambitious I could go on up that hill. I didn’t seriously expect myself to do any such thing.

I could hear bagpipes and had no idea where they were coming from. It was the oddest thing how the sound echoed. I thought it was down Henry Street. Then I thought it was coming from a house on German Street. The sound faded then got louder. I turned into the park and could hear it loud and clear.

Soon I saw a car parked off to the side, on a path I’ve never gone on, because it’s not really much of a path. I looked over and thought I saw a person standing near some trees. Had that person driven all the way out here to practice? I thought about running closer to check it out, but I didn’t knew who it was or why they were there. You often hear bagpipes at funerals (lovely, mournful sound). Suppose there were people I couldn’t see having some sort of a memorial service? Or if it was the lone player, playing a solitary tribute. I ran on.

Eventually I came to where you run across a little footbridge into a picnic area and onto the forest path. Eek! There was a critter on the footbridge! I couldn’t tell if it was a woodchuck or a beaver or what. I didn’t get much closer. I turned around and ran the other way. I don’t mess with wildlife.

As I ran away, I wondered if I should mention in the blog that I turned tail and ran at the sight of a woodchuck. I’m not afraid of a woodchuck, but I realize that as soon as I say that, many people are going to disbelieve me. In fact, anyone who is right now giving me the “you’re full of shit” look, wipe that look right off your face! I hate that look! I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving a wild animal a wide berth. I believe they prefer it that way. Anyways, you don’t know if it might be rabid or have babies nearby, which can make the gentlest animal turn fierce.

I don’t know why I’m sitting here defending myself anyways. I saw the animal, I turned around. Point and laugh if you must.

The bagpiper was still playing when I ran by. She played Taps and Happy Birthday, so I think that means she was rehearsing. I think it was a girl. I didn’t want to stare.

It was a short run, but at least I did it. Note to self: don’t take five days off again.

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