running a different route


I have the same route I run from my home to the university where I teach. It’s a long sloping uphill and coming back is great because it is downhill. The familiarity of it all too, I can daydream when I run, and still know how much further I have to go, what my time should be, if my time is off, where to pick it up.  Runners who have the same routes know this, and also know, it can get boring.

So, the other day, I decided instead of turning heading West and going South, I turned North for a bit and headed East.  It was interesting as I passed my son’s preschool, downhill, then a small uphill past the local cemetary.  I noticed that some of the headstone were right up to the fence, about 2 feet away from the sidewalk I was on.  Some faced me, some faced the other way, and I wondered if there was someone buried there, or was it a memorial headstone? Other headstones had green and orange brown lichens over the names so you couldn’t read them.  I also wondering, I have lived in this area for four years and didn’t know how people got into the cemetary, where was the entrance?  Oh well, as I ran along, the sidewalk ended at the city limit sign, and I continued on a two-way road with no sidewalks.  I know it was dangerous because I did know a lot of people drove on this road way too fast, and it had hills, hills that were very steep, but I decided to keep going until I went twenty minutes. Twenty minutes was my magic number today, not too far and not short, I trudged up the hill, ran down the hill, then trudged up another hill to see a sheriff at the top.  Strange seeing a sheriff pulled over the side of a road with really no sides…but I figured was good for me because cars would see him and slow down maybe.  Maybe not, as a car blew by and the cop waved…oh well.  I continued down the hill and ran over train tracks, and finally hit my number.  Turning around, I noticed a bunch of cars coming up, I decided to run on the small patch of dirt on the side of the road.  I started back up the hill, past the sheriff, down the hill and back up another monster, wondering what the cop thought of me pushing myself up this hill, while he sat in his car, doing whatever he was doing. Finally making it to the top, I started to move a little faster and I hit the sign that said city limits, and then my savior: the sidewalk.  I know most people don’t like running on the sidewalk but when cars are roaring past you at 4o miles an hour I don’t mind the sidewalk.  I get to the cemetary once again, and the wind is picking up blowing leaves in all directions.  I didn’t wear an Ipod today because I didn’t want to be distracted, and listening to the leaves rustle almost sounds like someone walking through leaves.  I have a kind of eerie feeling since I am on the outside of a cemetary, but, I continue running back home, through a park and to the familiar sounds of the KU football game going on. Yeah, it is that loud I can hear the stadium! I am glad that I did my run before it was over because there was no way I could navigate roads with all the post game traffic.  All in all, this route was pretty interesting, I just may have to work it in every now and then.

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