I have finally returned home after a long journey around the U.S. At least it felt like that… Well, I did pass through quite a few states and flew over a few more. I had to go to Crescent City, CA to say my final farewell to my Paps. I must say that is was an eye-opening experience and not as depressing as I thought it would be. The eye-opening part was due to the fact that I had not seen my family in quite some time and it felt wonderful to be blessed with their presence. I realized that I had been missing out for a few years and now understand how important it is to stay connected. We even played charades one night and I laughed so hard that I nearly fell out of my chair.
I stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house (along with everyone else it seemed) and woke up each morning dressed head to toe in my running gear. Oh, the jokes and comments started almost immediately. “Do you get up every morning to go run?” “What is the point of running when you can drive there?” “Don’t you need some fat in order to run because how to you get any energy?” Yes, I had to walk through the crowd hovered in the kitchen in order to get out the door. Then, there was my dad. “Where are you running to? How far are you going? When will you be back? I am going to get in the car and drive behind you!” Come on dad, I am 33 years old!
The journey past the comments and stares was well worth it when I stepped outside. I know they thought I was crazy for stepping out in shorts and a tank top (okay, maybe they are used to it and I just thought I was crazy because I spent the whole time walking around in pants and a jacket… even while indoors). Yet, it was so refreshing to actually feel a chill. All I could think of was that I had stepped into runner’s paradise. As soon as I started running I warmed up and it felt perfect… absolutely perfect. I enjoyed the scenery of the nearby mountains covered in fog and the expansive redwood forest just beyond the fields. I didn’t quite know where I would end up, but I just wandered up and down roads.
I had to run on the roads because there were no sidewalks. I also found it interesting that I did not see anyone else around. No one was running, walking or riding a bike. When a tractor or a car would pass by, they would just stare at me like I was some sort of alien. I think they were wondering what the heck I was doing. Did her car run out of gas? Is she running away from someone? I just didn’t get the feeling that people understood what I was doing. I don’t think they run for fun out there. That’s okay because I had the road to myself. Almost.
By “almost” I mean that it had just rained the night before and when that happens there are things that come out. These things are known as slugs. Slugs are basically snails without a shell. I am not sure why they weren’t given shells to protect themselves, but they have an ugly, slimy appearance so I suppose that helps in warding off predators. Well, they were populating the roads that day and I literally had to weave in and out of slug traffic. I could tell that some never made it across the road before a car came along. I am sure there is no need for me to describe how I know that. I must say that they were the only ones not criticizing me for running that day. That is why I have named my running route after them: 6 Mile Slug Lane.