People were skating over on the left there.
Scary times on the trail today. I'll preface the story by saying that nothing actually happened and Bailey and I are sitting pretty (well, she's actually aggressively ripping apart the new toy I just bought her), but it was a potent reminder of the importance of being aware of your surroundings and doing what you can to minimize risks.
Since I'm on "Spring Break" for the day and it's too sunny out to work more than a few hours (come on, "good weather" is totally a legitimate excuse for ignoring responsibilities), I took the dog to the Coastal Trail. There weren't that many cars there (you mean some people have real jobs?) and after we pulled into a parking spot, I saw that I had some new emails so started messing with my phone. I happened to look up at my rearview mirror and noticed a creepy guy rolling by very slowly in his car. I could see that he was staring at me, and his car came to a stop right behind mine. He sat there for a few seconds before slowly pulling forward ten feet or so, as if to turn back onto the main road. Instead of leaving, however, he paused for much too long and then backed into a space a few down from me. This whole time he was looking at me. I had locked my doors and put my key back in the ignition as soon as he pulled up behind me because there was obviously something wrong with him, but I was still very concerned about what he might do.
After parking, he got out of his car wearing only a t-shirt (it was 10 degrees out - he clearly didn't plan to stay out for long) and walked slowly down the trail I had planned to use. Okay, buddy. You're crazy if you think I'm following you. Really, this guy's idiocy is kind of astonishing. I mean, did he think he had me fooled? He sure as hell didn't look like he was out for a casual stroll; he looked ready to rape and pillage. Anyone could take one look at him and realize he was bad news. Sorry, I don't mean to trivialize the situation; humor is my way of dealing with uncomfortable situations.
We did the smart thing and PTFO'd the second he was out of sight. Fortunately, the Coastal Trail extends for miles in either direction, so we drove about three miles before parking at another access point at a much more popular section of the trail. All was good, although I was definitely alert and on the lookout for creepy Viking man (he had red hair). This (and moose) is why I don't wear music on outdoor runs.
[It didn't occur to me to call the cops until much later, at which point I couldn't really remember what he or his car looked like, but that probably would have been a good idea. Lesson learned.]
Moving on from that awfulness, it really was gorgeous outside.
Yes, this is essentially a repeat of that first photo, this time with less grass! Variety is the spice of life.
It was totally average as far as runs go, but it felt great to be in the sun. We're on, like, day 14 of sun now. Crazy.
Let's take a look at some of the sights I got to enjoy! What did you look at during your run today? Probably not mountain-lined, frozen ocean views.
More frozen ocean!
Last frozen ocean!
The other awesome thing is that I found the perfect spot for speedwork. Not only is it completely flat, long enough for longer repeats, and not too curvy, but it's also completely ice/snow-free. Driving along, I couldn't believe it - straight pavement as far as the eye can see! Well, at least for a mile or so. It's not all that scenic (it's right next to the airport, actually), but it will definitely get the job done. I've seen people running down this road before and always thought they were heading towards a nice lake or something, which is why I finally decided to check it out. Turns out they're just looking for flat pavement like me! The only downer about this place is that it's an approximately twenty-minute drive from my house (and another fifteen minutes or so to work/school). Whatever, better than a window-less basement!
Following my run, I went to Target. I am most definitely going back there to buy all the clothes, but since I was a post-run mess I opted not to share my sweat with everyone by trying stuff on. I may just head back this weekend, though. New clothes are definitely not budget-approved but then again, I've been wearing the same crappy garments for what feels like decades now. I could use some new threads. And hey, at least my tastes aren't expensive!
Wow, that was sort of a tangent. I really just wanted to say that I bought sunscreen and that you should too. I wore sunscreen religiously when I lived in New York, but got out of the habit once I moved back to Alaska. Like I mentioned, we've been getting a lot of sun here lately, so I thought I'd do my skin a favor and lather it on. I usually just use it as my moisturizer so it doesn't require any extra effort. Say no to skin cancer! PSA over.
- Ever been in an iffy situation like my Viking man encounter?
- What kind of scenery did you have for your run today? Concrete jungle, woods, a television?
- Do you wear sunscreen? If no, get on it!