Saturday, April 18, 2009

21 miles of chasing turkeys and dodging hawks

It was a fantastic morning for running. Low 50's, overcast, and really comfortable. Were it not for a somewhat stiff west/northwest wind, it would have been ideal. But it was close.

I ran just a shade over 21 miles today. Fargo is three weeks away, so this was my peak long run. It went well. My legs were still a little tired from the previous day's run, but all in all, I performed quite well.

Somewhere between miles 14 and 15

And Mother Nature contributed mightily to today's run, which made it all the more enjoyable.

Lots of interesting stuff today. I saw a couple of deer, along with my first wildflowers of the season, the Dutchman's breeches (sorry, I tried to take photos, but they all turned out blurry!). They were everywhere in the woods along the trails.

Birds were incredibly active, including many wood ducks, a loon, Cooper's hawk, great blue herons, pileated woodpecker, eastern phoebe, goldfinches, and song sparrows. I also heard at least four different pheasants crowing, and I even chased a wild turkey across a road. And man, did he get moving after he saw me!

Some of my first sightings of the year included the great egret, killdeer, ring-necked ducks, northern flicker, and a sharp-shinned hawk who buzzed no more than five feet above my head in hot pursuit of his breakfast. It scared me half to death, but was pretty cool to see!

Towards the end of my run I was starting to chuckle because I had seen so many neat things. And that is when I saw my first warbler of the season, the yellow-rumped (which will always be known to me as "Myrtle"). These are usually among the first of the warblers to arrive, and he was gorgeous. His yellow patches were positively glowing (my yard became invaded with these warblers as the day went on...the first wave is moving through!)

Now that is what I call a good day in the Great Outdoors! :)

I felt really good after the run. So good that I went out and did a little wine shopping (one of the local stores, Haskell's, is having their annual spring sale, which is always a good one). And when I returned, I realized I had forgotten an ingredient for dinner, so I took a walk to the closest grocery store. Nobody can accuse me of not getting my exercise today!

Tonight's dinner; a spicy beef and vegetable stir-fry. A well-earned and tasty reward, if I do say myself.

Spicy enough to make your nose run! :)

Until next time,

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