Saturday, June 9, 2012

Four Things to Love...

... about Cougar Mountain today.

First, a big bunch of soldiers marching down the trail, energetic and high-spirited.  When their drill sergeant spotted me, he barked, "Good afternoon, ma'am!"  And the soldiers, all young and strong and funny, yelled, "GOOD AFTERNOON, MA'AM!"  It was wonderful; I felt like the Queen, reviewing the troops.

Second, the little red-headed boy who wanted to race with me.  I told him that real trail runners run through the mud puddles, not around them, and he jetted ahead of me, sloshing happily through the mud.  Sorry, little red-headed boy's mom and dad!  I told him he was going to be a track star some day, and he said, "I know.  I'm fast!"  Right you are.

Third, the amazing shiny copper-colored salamander, no longer than my little finger, no thicker than a twig, that blended so perfectly with the forest debris, I didn't even see it until it moved on its tiny delicate legs.   I've never seen such a thing before, and I was mesmerized.

Fourth, Zephyr, an absolutely gorgeous chocolate-brown and white spotted Great Dane that I passed twice on the trail.  She was so wonderful, so big and sleek and muscular, with silky soft ears as big as my hand and a football helmet-sized head with beautiful brown eyes, that I couldn't stop petting her.  I asked her lucky owners how big she was (110 pounds!), and how much she ate ("a couple small toddlers a day").  There is no room for a dog in my life, but if there were, this would be the one I want.  I love her.

It was perfect running weather today: cool and windy, with the occasional spritz of rain, just the way I like it.  Martin tells me that it's better to run three hours than to run and walk five hours, so I repeated the three-ish hour out-and-back route I did last week, working on increasing the running and decreasing the walking.  I estimate my run/walk ratio was about 75/25 today.  100, I'm aiming for you!

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