Saturday, May 12, 2012

On the road

Well, look at that! It’s been three months since my last confession… err, post. Oops.

I’d like to have a decent excuse- a secret overseas mission, the birth of new triplets, my enormous Lotto win, but sadly none of these apply. It isn’t like I don’t have any free time. I guess I’ve just been choosing to spend it elsewhere. Like afternoons with Norman (my regular riding school horse), and running.

Yep, I’m back on the road, after more than 5 years and numerous half-arsed attempts- still more penguin than Pheidippides, but we’re getting there.

Most of the time we’re going around the paddocks. The downside to this off-road route is that if I have to take the pram, I’m pushing an extra 30kg through sand and mud and basically, I nearly die. The down side to the other option- running on the bitumenised road- is that I may well actually die, courtesy of the many country vehicles, including huge grain and sheep trucks, that hammer up and down our road. This is a rural area, so the idea of using one’s legs to move from place to place is quite foreign and not something drivers here would expect to encounter. Also, the black plumage of a penguin tends to blend into the background. 

But this is my newest bit of running gear (thanks to the lovely Boss, who really doesn’t want me to die because then he’d have to do all the reading of Hairy Maclary, every single night):

running shirt

The other obstacle to be overcome in my quest for regular running time is winter, daylight and the lack of it. Generally if I want to squeeze a run in before school and work, I have to go around 5am. In case anyone isn’t up and well into their day by that time, at 5am in May, it’s very dark. Most paddocks have sheep in them (generally rather pregnant ewes at this time of year), and even though most of the dogs in my running pack have pretty good recalls, it isn’t beyond some of them (hello, Mabel! Ziggy! Elvis! Queani!!) to accidentally drop behind in the dark… and meet us at the gate with five hundred woolly friends. Here’s my solution:

Taking a few of the pack out to test drive the new gear was brilliant. Running through the paddocks below the silhouette of redgums against a clear starstrewn night sky, the dogs orbitting around me like huge blue fireflies- I was in heaven. As we went across White Dam paddock on a path halfway up the hill, a car passed along the road about 400m below, slowing abruptly and then crawling along until they rounded the bend, stopped at our driveway- I wondered if they were considering warning us of approaching alien life- and then took off again. I’m hoping we make Today Tonight!

Of course, being able to see the dogs is one thing, being able to see the ground is another.

leg edit

Some of our paddocks have quite a few rocks in them.

(and yes, I’m aware that with such massive expanses of fluorescent white doubling as legs, my high-vis gear is probably redundant)