Sunday, August 31, 2014

Two firsts

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend!  Friday night, I had a great family night with my guys.  We went a did a little shopping, had a nice dinner out, and snuggled while catching up on t.v.  Yesterday morning I went for a run, but more on that in a bit.  I also did a bit of cleaning and went to the grocery store.  In the afternoon, the boys and I went to the park and met up with a dear friend and her family who were in town for the long weekend.

We had a great time at the park and then we watched my friend's daughter so she and her hubby could have a date night while they were in town.  So often, I take for granted the fact that Matt and I have family close by so we are able to go out for some quality husband and wife time, so it was really nice to return the favor and spend some quality time with a really sweet little lady.  I miss you, Dana!  I loved spending time with you and your sweet family!  Here's to seeing each other again soon!

My run yesterday was really nice and included two firsts for me as a runner; a snake encounter and getting caught in the rain.  I was looking forward to trying out my new shoes and when I noticed that the forecast called for rain, I decided to head out around 11 a.m. to beat the storms.  The forecast at 2 p.m. called for an 80% chance of rain while the 11 a.m. - 12 a.m. forecast only called for a 30 - 40% chance of rain.  It was mostly sunny with a few clouds when I set out and the temperatures were rather pleasant.  It was a bit humid, but there was a nice breeze.

I decided to do a quick 3 miles to give the new shoes a whirl.  When I got to 1.5 miles on the trail, I turned around to head back to my car and I noticed a biker (one of many I saw, as usual) coming towards me on the opposite side of the path.  He was pointing to the ground on the path in front of me rather urgently.  I nodded because I saw what he was pointing at, something that appeared to be a big twig on the path in front of me.  He kept pointing furiously and I guess realized that I did not see what he saw so he yelled "snake!"  Yes, that "big twig" I saw was actually moving across the path.  I stopped because, in typical Laura fashion, I wanted a picture of the snake, but he was too fast for me.  He was black and blue, just a typical garter snake, I suppose, but it was kind of neat.  I'm surprised that for all the times I have run that path, and others like it, that I've never seen a snake.  I've seen frogs, deer, and a raccoon, but never a snake.

Shortly after the run in with the snake, I came to a stoplight and started talking to a nice woman who was riding her bike on the trail.  She asked "Do you think we will make it back to our cars before the rain?" and I said that I hoped so, especially since I was just about a mile from my car and the sun had come back out from the clouds.  I asked if her car was at the parking lot just ahead where mine was but she indicated that it was at another lot in the opposite direction.  After we crossed the street, I wished her good luck and we set out on our separate ways.

I felt the first drops of rain when I was just a little over a half mile from my car.  It didn't bother me too much, and in fact, it felt rather refreshing.  There was a family in front of me taking a walk; Dad was out with his 3 older children and he had a fairly new baby in an infant carrier in front of him.  Shortly after I passed them, it started pouring.  I would have kept going since I was so close to my car, but I was worried about my phone getting wet (just the top of it since I had it in my armband), so I stepped off to the side to get under the trees.  I also thought maybe this was just a quick rain shower and that maybe it would blow over in a few minutes.  It didn't, so I put my phone under my shirt and just headed back to my car.  The woman on the bike who I met at the stoplight passed me in the opposite direction shortly after that and we just laughed and I said "I guess we didn't make it!" 

The rain felt really good actually and the trail was really beautiful in the rain.  I felt bad for the Dad and his kids, though.  The older kids seemed to enjoy the rain and he did have a towel of some sort covering the baby (I guess it was a burp cloth).  He did not look like he was having as much fun though; poor guy.

The view from my spot under the trees; it's hard to see, but it was raining pretty good at this point.
I made it back to my car and dried off for a bit before I headed to the grocery store.  I have definitely run in the rain before, but this was the first time I have been caught totally off-guard by it.  It was really refreshing and rather cleansing, though!  It figures, of course, though that I had the new shoes on; Murphy's Law, I suppose.  Speaking of the new shoes, they were wonderful.  I was able to run without the horrible calf cramping that has been plaguing me lately and I returned to nearly my normal pace (about 20 seconds slower, but I'll take it over the nearly 2 minute slower pace I've had recently).  It was a great run and definitely needed!

My new, soggy shoes! 
Have you had any animal encounters lately on a run or interesting weather phenomena? 

"The best way to shed negative energy...run."