This morning's run was on the treadmill to save time (hey... I'm already doing 12 minute miles!) but I am itching to take Solly back out to Oakland. The last time we went, he handled all the commotion fairly well, so he may be "toughening up" a little in his personality. He's been a big wussy about cars passing him and dogs barking. He expects me to protect him.
This is neither me, nor my dog, nor my neighborhood, but you get the idea.
We live on a really long, windy road that is cut through a deep valley and has a scary drop to the "creek" (it would be called a river in Virginia, but it is only a couple feet deep in July and August). So I am a little afraid to run on our actual road, even though it is beautiful. Maybe the section with the scary drop will become our "sprint" section of interval training.
If we keep going and turn right, we go through this bridge:
Then we can turn left and head into Oakland. This road is a great one to run on. There are a few bad blind curves, but for Western Oregon, not too bad. Here the valley's wide enough and it's quiet enough so we can hear cars coming. They don't sneak up on us here, unlike on our own road, where the valley and water sounds drown them out. There are no tall hills with big boulders to come crashing out of nowhere. (Did you know Oregon was the state in which you were most likely to be killed by a boulder crashing through your windshield as you were driving? You didn't? Well, now you do.)
There are several sheep and cattle farms. I always critique them as I go by. This one really needs goats to clean up the brush. This one needs to hire a few 20 year olds to haul the metal out before an animal gets hurt. Boy, that one ought to rotate that pasture more often. It is eaten down to the nubs and they'll be lucky if their cattle don't end up wormy. But there are a couple places I am proud of, without knowing their owners. I always give them a mental thumbs up, even if I am just driving by on my way to work. All this farm thinking keeps me busy. I wish I had started running during lambing season! There is NOTHING cuter than frolicking lambs!
I haven't actually made it to town. I'm not that strong yet. If I want to even WALK in the town (I haven't tried running there yet), I have to drive there.
Oakland is a sleepy town with a kindergarten through high school all on one property, although they did finally separate the high school into its own building. But they still share the same buses, which used to steam my daughter, who was accustomed to Virginia's totally separate school system. The town roads are mixed, so I can run on flats if I choose or on hills. Some of the hills are monsters - about the equivalent of a treadmill 10 incline or higher. They're hard to walk up and down so I can't imagine running up and down them. One, a short but extraordinarily steep hill, is on my list for training towards the end of this month. I am writing it down so I don't chicken out.
The 5k I just signed up for is one I don't know a whole lot about. It may be mostly on pavement and partially on sand. If the latter's the case, I have some specialty training for that, because it is in the Dunes! This is the lighthouse that is at the end. Or maybe the start? It is somewhere, I suppose, because the race is named after it.