02 December 2013

junk miles or not

Not sure anything I'm doing right now can be classified as junk miles since I'm not exactly training for anything formally or I suppose they could all be referred to as such since that's the case. Personally I'm just calling it running for the fun of it and to learn as much as my surrounding area as possible.  Junk miles for those who aren't familiar with the term are miles ran that aren't serving a specific purpose in a training plan, ie not a speed workout, long run, recovery run, etc.  It can also refer to miles ran just to hit a certain arbitrary number because you think you have to run x amount--kind of like running around a parking lot when you are at 5.89 because you must have 6 or running an extra mile for the week to round up to 40 miles instead of 39, that sort of thing.  Personally I have no problem stopping my garmin whenever I have reached my car or front gate and it's driven several friends crazy that I will pause it at 4.98 or 4.99 instead of running that extra few seconds for it to "click" over.  You know I really like you if I will run with you that extra little bit so that you can have the even number for your run :-)

Today would have definitely been classified as a junk mile day, my only goal was to get out and move a bit while checking out a few public pathways I'd passed on previous runs.  That and to get Elsie out for a bit since she didn't get to race with me yesterday.  What an amazing time it turned out to be! I spied a very fat hog that I'd never noticed before and Elsie got to "meet" another Miniature Schnauzer just after I stopped to take pics of Mr. Oinker.  I always forget she is small even for a mini until she is standing next to one that is a normal size for the breed.

That's a happy pig

After that we continued on our merry way until I reached the public pathway that cut off from the one I'd always taken and received a "hullo, luv" from an older man we passed (sorry but that never gets old!).  So far so good, right up until we reached a field that the path was supposed to skirt the edge of according to the OS map.  The only problem was that the farmer had tilled up the field up to and OVER the path, I knew I was in the right spot for once and I could see two people ahead of me wearing small day packs with one clutching a map that were tripping through the clods of dirt.  We had no problems catching up to the two confused looking women who looked even more so when I asked them if they were searching for the path as well. I think it was a combination of my accent, saying "y'all", and the fact that I looked like a wannabe ninja in my black tights, black top, and black trainers.  They would have been even more freaked out if I'd been wearing the GoPro on a chest harness like I'd initially planned for today.  Alas the battery was dead so it will have to go out on a maiden run some other time when I work up my nerve to look absurdly conspicuous.  

Once we got out on the main trails again we met up with ANOTHER miniature schnauzer that was beautifully groomed but before I could ask its owner who did it we were all beset by an over friendly cattle dog who kept trying to herd both the smaller dogs, lol.  With them staying on the lower trails of the country park I decided to head up the higher one through another field where we were greeted once again by more dogs, this time 3 huge (compared to Elsie) farm dogs.  She was none too happy with their attention and fortunately their owner was out in the garden who walked down to shoo them off. I was so glad to see her though because in addition to the canine company, there was a small herd of red and black highland cattle standing on the path just on the other side of  the stile.  It was nice having reassurance that it was safe to pass by them and according to her they were very spoiled. They were certainly beautiful.  

You would think that was the end of our adventuring but nope, once I reached the end of those paths and had to make the decision to head back home or continue running, I chose the latter.  While it was a damp cold that felt like it could start snowing at any moment I just wasn't ready to quit (hello endorphins!).  That was a good decision because we ended up finding this:

Up the stairs we went and lo and behold another photo opportunity was at hand. This time I decided to make Elsie model for me. 

A bit scruffy but she's loved

It truly amazes me how much I find every time I venture out, a little further down on the path (well further and another fork later) we came upon an apple tree.  Of course the phone came out again for a few more pics. This little section reminded me of a fairy tale for some reason, guess it was the combination of apples and the winding path through the trees.  

I came home a little over-excited I suppose. Barely managed to unleash Elsie and slip off my running shoes before I started gushing about everything we'd seen and done to my partner so much that he laughed and told me to take a moment to just breathe :-) 

Which way Elsie?

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