Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A weird start to a great run

I have been busy the past few days trying to run my butt off. It's still there. I guess I have more work to do. Actually the past few days I've had some great runs. I have to go back to work tomorrow for 3 days in a row, so it's a good thing I'm depleted and in need of a rest. If you can call 12 hour shifts a rest. This week is a perfect example of why I live here. The fall weather and colors are at their peak, it's perfect outside every day. I don't want to spend a moment indoors if I can avoid it.

My workouts the past few days have consisted of Across the Years-type running, mostly on dirt and in loops. One of my favorite places to go is Riverbend Ponds. There is a 2 mile loop around the big pond and some of the other ponds, and if you go early in the morning now, you get views like this:

Yesterday I took the Buffaloes there and then finished out a 10 mile run in an absolutely perfect, crisp morning. Afterwards I rode my bike a little over 20 miles and went by Boyd Lake to Loveland. The colors are nice down there, too, and all the cornstalks have been cut down, so the views from the north end of the bike path are better than they were a few weeks ago. I had a 20 mile run planned for today so I had this great idea that I would go out to the ponds and do 10 loops. I could use my car as an aid station and run around the ponds, perfect Across the Years training.

This morning I woke up sort of late, I didn't get out of the house until 9:00 by the time I got all my bottles and gear together. I arrived at the Ponds parking lot and there were only 2 other cars there. I noticed some broken glass in the gravel, which made me hesitate. There have been so many break-ins in the parking lots to many of the city's best trail running locations, some scumbag(s) have decided that this is an opportunity to smash the windows and grab whatever they think might be valuable in the car.

I looked at the pile of glass and realized it wasn't there yesterday. I was pissed, those jerks decided to start preying on this parking lot. Then I noticed that one of the other cars parked there had been there yesterday, too. I figured it was another regular user, like me. I decided to go ahead and start my run, since I wouldn't ever be too far from the car. Whenever I park in those lots with the broken glass, I always feel like there's someone out there watching from a distance, with binoculars, waiting for people to leave their cars, then waiting for the right moment to break in.

I locked the doors and took off up the trail. About 30 seconds into my run, I realized I left my water bottle in the car, so I turned around. I was about to unlock the door and I saw this guy's head pop up from below the passenger door of the familiar-looking car, a dark-colored Toyota Rav 4, which was parked on the far end of the small parking lot. He saw me and his head disappeared again. Then I saw him pop up again, this time on the driver's side, and I watched him. He started the car and hauled ass out of the parking lot, turned west onto Prospect Road, and was gone. Fortunately I was able to get his license plate and an idea of what he looked like, through his tinted windows.

After that I decided I'd run somewhere else, but I called the Fort Collins police and told them what I saw, along with the license plate. I'm so tired of going to these trailheads and being worried that someone will break into my car. I have no idea if this guy was up to anything weird, but he sure acted weird, and I did see him there yesterday, and that was before there was any glass. Yesterday I left the Ponds about the same time I arrived today, and yesterday he arrived about the same time I was leaving.

After I got off the phone with the police, I ended up going to Pineridge, another site of break-ins, but there were a lot more people around. I ended up having a fantastic run at Pineridge and up behind Hughes stadium, I did 20 trail miles and felt so strong, I had a negative split my second half, and I wasn't even tired at the end. I've managed to get 4 solid runs in 4 days and no walking. I feel like I'm overcoming the death march.

The fall colors are superb and I wish I had my camera with me today, because I saw some pelicans on the water along with the geese. It was a perfect day, and a perfect run. What would make it even more perfect is if the person who has been breaking into cars gets busted. Make my day...

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