Saturday, August 30, 2008

The fox and the bunnies

One of my bunny buddies hanging out on a lawn next to the trail early on Saturday morning.

Saturday greeted me with a gorgeous and blissfully cool morning in the lower 60's. Another fantastic day to run.

I did 21 miles today, and it felt great. Nothing too stressfull, just a nice, easy-paced, long run. I drank lots of fluids and ate a few gel packs over the course of the run, and I even felt pretty strong at the end. Overall, a very good day of running. I am happy with the progress of my training.

Lots of runners out on the trails today. I kept meeting a lot of the same people as I made loops of my neighborhood lake, so it is obvious there are several locals training for marathons. I even got passed by a group of eight guys who were running together. Good grief, I felt like I was in a race there for a second!

This was another good wildlife day.

I happened to surprise a red fox. When I say "surprise a red fox," I mean "scared the hell out of a red fox."

Rounding a corner on the trail, I observed the foxy one trotting down the trail in the same direction as me. He was a very pretty animal and looked in great shape. The sun was just starting to come up, and I could see his red fur and the classic white tip on the end of his tail (which practically glowed in the dark light of early morning). My presence was not apparent to him until I got within 30 yards.

Le renard looked over his shoulder and then nearly screwed himself into the ground in a moment of panic. He did this leaping, spinning, 360 degree turn and tore off into the brush! It was so funny and reminded me of a cartoon character such as the road runner when they are running in place and not going anywhere.

These moments make running at 6 AM fun. People have no idea what they are missing!

Calm waters and a reflective sunrise on the lake Saturday morning. This was taken moments after my fox encounter!

Of course, my trail bunnies were out in full force. I saw 13 bunnies over my 21 miles (for a .62 BPM ratio). The dude in the photo at the top was quite friendly. Bunnies seem to enjoy conversation. At least this one did. I chatted with him as I snapped a few photos, and he didn't move an inch. As soon as I said "Thanks!" to Thumper and resumed my run, he took off like a shot. Always good to see the bunnies.

(As I write this, I am really hoping the red fox doesn't read my blog. I am having visions of him taking notes: "Interesting! Bunnies sit still if you talk to them...hmmmm...")

How does one treat himself after a 21 mile run? Why, by cooking up some delicious pasta, of course! I bought some incredible Minnesota grown grape tomatoes, so I made a dish with them, apple wood smoked bacon from a local market, garlic, shredded basil, and spaghetti. Talk about fresh! Man, that was a good lunch. And a good way to fuel up!

My lunch with some positively decadent tomatoes

The rest of the weekend is a bit up in the air. Lots of sports to watch, probably some more cooking, and who knows what else. Love these long, holiday weekends!

Until next time,

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