Compression tights, fallen trees, and eagles (oh my!)

I’ve been home for over a week now and I still wake up wondering, “Why is it so quiet? What’s happened to the hum of traffic?” Then I remember that I’m home and I smile… no matter how gloomy the sky outside may look. I’m home!

I alternate my time between sifting and organizing stuff (or at least thinking about it) and finding new ways to be active. I’ve done a couple of low-elevation, muddy hikes through thick forests. The snow is still lying low on the foothills, so it will be a while before I venture up into the mountains, but I enjoy catching glimpses of them when the clouds cooperate. At the moment it’s partly cloudy and 49; I can’t see the mountains but I have a clear view across the strait. It’s a glorious day.

I’ve taken to running in compression tights again, initially because they are warmer than conventional long pants (and they make me LOOK like a runner), but now because they are working well for my knees and legs. I’m running faster than I ever thought possible. A sub-10 minute mile is no longer a ridiculous dream; I can even string together multiple sub-10 minute miles.

I can even string together multiple sub-10 minute miles when I encounter unexpected obstacles! Today I ran 4.2 miles on a section of the trail that I hadn’t yet done since I got home. The trail in this area runs along the waterfront at the base of the bluff. There were several sections that had recently been cleared of mudslides, but overall the trail was in pretty good shape. Then I came to a freshly-fallen tree lying completely across the trail. I probably lost 30 seconds figuring out how to scramble over and through it — and I still ran that mile in under 10 minutes.

Immediately after the fallen tree I had a closer than usual encounter with two immature bald eagles, each sitting in low branches directly overhead, probably 10 yards above me and 30 yards apart. They watched me closely as I went by, and I returned the favor.

As I was doing an out-and-back run, I got to see the eagles twice and also scrambled through the tree twice. I was a little quicker getting through the tree the second time. Maybe I could get used to running obstacle courses!

I finished my 4.2 miles in just over 41 minutes, feeling strong and very happy. I just love it when everything works so well.

I took my bicycle down to the bike shop where I bought it several years ago and had it tuned up. I had probably put less than 20 miles on it when I parked it, and I’ve hardly looked at it since. Tomorrow I may ride it… or maybe I’ll take another hike… or maybe I’ll do both. On Sunday I’m planning a longer, slower run… maybe 7 or 8 miles.

Then maybe I’ll get back to sifting, organizing, and reducing my stuff. I’m not feeling any great urgency about that. It’s emotionally and physically demanding work, so I’m perfectly comfortable doing a little bit at a time. I have lots of time.


Posted on April 6, 2012, in LIfe_goes_on, Nature, Place, Running, Wildlife and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. The timing of your return couldn’t be better. After a lousy winter the weather has improved dramatically. Maybe we will get an early summer this year!

    • Doug,

      Thanks for the welcome home. Yes, the weather has been glorious even though I have certainly felt the lower temperature and higher humidity! I am optimistic that whatever the summer is like, I will enjoy it much more than last year.


  2. Oh the gift of time! It sounds like you’re using what you have of it very, very well! I know you didn’t see any Bald Eagles in Palm Spring! That must indeed be a thrill. Your running sounds great. I’m so happy for you. The joy of being home comes through in your writing voice. 🙂 Debra

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