When it starts to get cold, dirt and gravel freeze. I highly recommend not tripping on a section of frozen dirt and gravel while running, which is what I did at approximately 7:10 this morning while on my run across the street. Not only does it hurt, but now I look like a tomboy with my knees scraped up (again)... And yup, I'm a klutz :-)
Anyone who knows us realizes that Snowman and I just aren't quite normal... on our summer and fall weekends our way to relax is to pack up our backpacks, drive two to four hours, hike in all kinds of weather, be stinky, dirty, wet, tired, hot, cold, etc etc. But really it is fun, I swear! There's nothing like good hard exertion, combined with being out in the woods, to clear your mind of all its minor daily thoughts and troubles. Hiking might just be the best therapy out there, well, at least for me :-) However, this time of year, we tend to stick around on the weekends, and that gets us wondering what else we can do to wile away our time and keep in shape. In the winters, we tend to xc ski exclusively, but now that Snowman is feeling healthy, he's gotten it into his head to do some running races again. First the Bradbury Bruiser, a fun but truly tough 12 mile trail run at Bradbury Mountain State Park, then the Turkey Trot, and well, what next? Why not run a 10 mile road race in February? On my birthday to be exact! What the heck?! Are we crazy or what?
What better way to burn off all the yummy food eaten over Thanksgiving and the day after than getting up at the crack of dawn on Saturday, driving an hour to Wilmington and participating in the Wilmington 4-mile Turkey Trot? Mom and Dad were troopers, and were wonderful chauffeurs and our cheering crew-thanks guys! Doug and Lucy met us at the start and after a brief hello, we were off. The run was at Carolina Beach State Park, and after a 1/4 mile on the road, we turned off into the woods and ran on the pine-lined, sandy trails. It was a nice, cool morning and the course was well-marked, except for not having mile markers. We meandered through the park, not knowing when the end was in sight, but it came eventually! Snowman did awesome-finishing 14th overall (230 total), and I managed to win my age group, with Lucy coming in 3rd. We both won cool Turkey Trot hats :-) After the "all you can eat" breakfast of meat, eggs, biscuits and grits, we stayed for the awards and then headed to Flaming Amy's for HUGE burritos (Yum!) while catching up with Doug and Lucy! A fun day and a great race!
While my parents and Snowman were frustrating themselves this afternoon with wild shots, bunker shots, water hazards and dealing with the cold wind on the golf course, I was meanwhile happily walking along with them--without golf clubs--looking for birds in the trees. Much more enjoyable! So far this visit has yielded a great blue heron, many turkey vultures, some hawks floating on the currents, two bluebirds (cool!), mocking birds, many sparrows, a house wren, a whole flock of redwinged blackbirds that flew overhead on hole 5 (or was it 6? Who knows?!) and a redheaded woodpecker. There have been reports of the eagles as well as the ospreys, but they stayed hidden today. Maybe tomorrow...
Well, after 11 hours of driving today, and six last night, we finally made it :-) Of course, there was much swearing and gnashing of teeth, but now we can relax for a few days before we do it all again!
Ahhh, the holidays... it's a time for family and lots of eating and drinking... oh yeah, and lots of swearing, especially if you're planning to drive to North Carolina on perhaps the busiest travel day of the year. Hopefully you won't see one of us on the nightly news in the midst of some road rage incident due to stupid people doing stupid things on the highway! Wish us luck :-)
It seems that everyone else we know has a blog now, so can I have one too? It seems like a good idea. Why not have a spot to publish random thoughts, photos and other things no one (or few) people care about :-) So welcome to the Team Snowplug (from the Sparkplug point of view) blog! Who knows where it will go... :-)