... 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!