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Watching for Skunks and Psychos

Is there any better feeling for your legs than the cool-down walk after a run? I suppose there could be, but I’m not familiar with it.

Steven has two early shifts this week, so I thought I’d take advantage of the early rising and get a run in before the heat of the day. It only partially worked out for me.

I should have suspected the temperature would not be cool when it did not seem to cool down yesterday evening. I put the fan in the bedroom window, realized the air coming in was warmer than the air already here, took the fan out and shut the window. Of course I’m used to warm nights. I’m pre-menopausal (oh shut up, it’s a perfectly natural thing that women go through and I’m not going to pretend I’m not middle-aged). I never know if it’s the weather or hormones. My trick is to tell myself it’s hormones, then I wait quietly for the feeling to pass. It took me years to realize the benefits of waiting quietly, but we’ll save the half-baked philosophy for Lame Post Friday.

It was 3:38 when I left the house. I’m still a little nervous about running before dawn. Today being garbage day I was more wary of skunks than psychos. As I turned onto German Street, I thought I smelled one. Yikes. Um, skunk, not psycho. I don’t know what a psycho smells like.

A note about my breathing. I have dreadful sinus problems. I usually cannot follow the “in through your nose, out through your mouth” dictum, because my nasal capacities are not usually up to it. My sense of smell is unreliable. Sometimes I smell things that other people do not. Sometimes I can’t smell things that other people can. It is most inconvenient. On today’s run, I tried a nose inhale every so often to check for skunk odor. I didn’t smell anything after the initial whiff, although I later caught a nice floral scent.

It was a very lonely run. Block after block of no cars, no people and no lights on in houses. I passed a young man walking on my street almost as soon as I left my house. Heading home after a hard night out? Or a hot one night stand? These are the speculations that add interest to my runs. I either saw him two more times during my cool-down walk or I saw two similarly dressed young men. If it was the same man, perhaps he was out for a long walk pondering a problem. Maybe it was a ghost. How cool would that be?

The mugginess started getting to me early on. There was barely a breeze to relieve me. I felt a little ill-used, running in the dark and not having some cool air to run in. I cheered myself up by thinking about the bottle of water waiting on my deck for me and the cool shower after my walk.

I kept an eagle eye out for skunks. Psychos did not concern me as much, although naturally I watched for them too. I saw an animal cross the sidewalk way ahead of me. A cat, I assured myself. As I approached a trash can and bag, the rustle of an animal startled me. I hear my feet scrape on the sidewalk as I stopped short. A cat flew out from behind the bag and across the lawn. Definitely a cat. Phew!

It was really not a problem to keep running. I can’t say I reached the “I can rock this” stage, though. I am skeptical of my ability to rock anything prior to four in the morning. Then again, if I keep up these early morning runs, maybe I’ll surprise myself.

2 responses »

  1. theblogrunner

    Wow! That IS early! I love early morning runs at the weekend but I’ve never been out before 6 am – then again, we don’t have the same high temps that you get… or skunks! 😉

    • I prefer 6 or 7, too, and that’s what I usually run on the weekend. During the week my shift at work starts at 7. Still, I usually only do the early morning run when my husband has to get up that early (he works retail; his hours vary greatly). For a long time I had overtime at work so got up at 3:30 to be in at 5. I didn’t run before work at all in those days.


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