Happy

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Today was an interesting day. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but it was an absolutely beautiful day. I’ve only been in Alabama several days but I think it’s getting the Most Beautiful state award. After spending so many intimate moments with the asphalts and landscapes of so many different places, I’ve realized how much I need green in my life. The desert was incredible, the mountains were beautiful, the canyons awe-inspiring. But surround me with green pastures, blooming wildflowers, and a treeline that’s crowded with bright leaves, protecting the mystery of the forest below, and I am truly happy.

This morning, I started my run with a stop at the local post office to mail a package home to my parents. Goodbye sneakers #6, heavy jacket, and books.  I got on my way and soon lost myself in what quickly became my 3rd favorite run of this trip.

A few days ago I left highway 82 behind, and from here on out, it’s a lot of backroads. Today I flew along the hilly backroads with such joy that I ran right by my first turn and didn’t realize until a mile or so down the road. I got a pretty good clip going, whipping around blind curves, cruising down hills and chugging up them. Felt like I was taking my Corvette stroller out for a ride :  )

As I was ranking the run in the top 3 of this journey, I came to the end of the backroads and linked back up with a busier, 4-lane road. A sharp dose of the negative half of civilization hit me hard-  speeding traffic, complicated intersections, and curbs. Lots and lots of curbs. Not a fun time when you’re pushing a stroller.

Anyway, I tediously picked my way along the avenue, getting stopped twice by police who warned me against proceeding. I finally made it past all the shopping plazas and headed out on the other side of town. A couple miles down the road, I realized I had missed a turn again, and had to backtrack back through all the shopping plazas and intersections to get back on the north side of town. Good grief.

I made it back to my turn, and I’d have to say that’s when the real fun started. Runners- you know sometimes when you’re on a great fantastic run, and then the last few miles or so stretch out over an impossibly long period of time and space? The last 4 miles of today’s run took me an hour and a half to complete.

Imagine a narrow road, twisting and turning like a backroad through the countryside, up and over hills, turning blindly down into sharp curves, crossing creeks and rivers. It’s a beautiful road, one that climbs way up to a peak that allows you to see out over the whole county and up into the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  Gorgeous, right? Now throw in 5:00 traffic coming out of the biggest city in the state, take away the shoulders and leave 2 feet of rocky grass before the land drops steeply downward.  All I can say is that it was a tedious 4 miles and at the very end of the run there was an incredible giant of a hill. It was like a video-game run. I think I made it through quite a few levels :  )

Anyway, it was still a wonderful run, and now I’ve got that great ‘I’ve been running hills’ soreness in my legs. And after a great run, I was treated to a delicious meal with Hannah’s family, homemade turkey fingers, made from fresh wild turkey her Dad hunted last week. A perfect day :  )

(Side note: apologies to my parents for making them worry all day long. I’m sorry Mom and Dad! Love you :  )

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Author: zoegoesrunning

Hello! I'm a runner, a writer, and have run across the United States and the Tour de France course. Most recently, I'm blogging about my adventures in an MFA program that will bring me to Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, and my teaching plans for Argentina.

4 thoughts on “Happy”

  1. As always love you to pieces Sparky just hurry home , be safe & remember we’re with you almost constantly & when we can’t place you , we go a little hay wire ! I think this is a perfect time to once again thank all the wonderful sheriff, highway patrol & police who have taken your safety as their # ! priority. Thank you California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi. & Alabama patrols & all the kind hearted folks who have taken such wonderful care of you- we hold them all so close to our hearts. oxox mom

  2. Running long distance is like a good mystery novel …you know there is this book to read but have no idea what’s between the covers .

    In the same way , you know ahead is a long distance run to complete yet you have no idea what’s around the bend or on the other side of the hill .

    By the end of the book and the run , you know both and with the mystery solved you look forward to the next one .

    We look forward to your next Blog entry , journey descriptions and news of what was discovered during today’s run .

    Write On , dad xoxox

    ( side note : apologies accepted , love you too !! )

  3. Hey Z!

    …been a few days.

    Sounds like a great combination of travel and running. Isn’t it great to get in that zone and just fly by your turns?!

    Those turkey fingers have my mouth watering!

    Big love – UM

  4. Zoe,
    I have to say I am becoming increasingly jealous of all this green you are surrounded by. It sounds wonderful, and as jealous as I am, I am so glad that you are enjoying the change of scenery…As supportive as I am of your run, I have to say I am missing you quite a bit these days. With Fab and Sadie home, it feels like you (and Rosa too of course) belong at home with us around the table. I hope you know that I think of you each and everyday, and miss our adventures in the desert. You are an incredible person Z, and I cannot wait to hear all about your adventures in person. Keep strengthing those legs, warming those hearts, and raising that mulah. P.S. This post makes me want to leave work and go for a crazy run!! Can we do some off road trails this summer together?

    Love ya,

    Gabe

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