Monday, December 12, 2011

The Simple Joy of Walking

As you might have read in a previous post, I tweaked something in my right calf during a track workout at UNC Chapel Hill about a week back.    It was pretty painful for a couple of days afterwards, but things have been loosening-up pretty nicely.   I managed an easy run on it on Saturday and all was fine except the hills.   Despite this, The Puppeteer has me taking things easy so that I can fully recover and has scheduled a couple of walks over the past few days to keep things loose (thankfully I don't feel it at all on the bike).

The weather has been beautiful - crisp and sunny - and I have really enjoyed just heading out for a walk - without any training goal, target pace or HR objective - something that I don't do very often.  

I have spent a lot of time on these walks just enjoying the scenery and feeling thankful that I can walk out of my door and pretty quickly be in rural Wake County or even in local neighborhoods and enjoying places like this:

The covered bridge in Barton's Creek - decked out for the holidays...

It's also amazing at how much more you notice when you slow down a little (and when all of the leaves are off the trees!).  I discovered a nice little trail system that I can make good use of - a series of short interconnected gravel paths through the woods:

Finally, in addition to our resident wild Tom Turkey, who is still hanging out and still chases me occasionally (see post from earlier this year) it's nice to see so much wildlife.   I see whitetail deer almost every time I run (and generally think of them as a pest because of the damage they cause in the yard).  I had an unusual encounter on Saturday though and can only assume it's because someone is feeding them....     As I was walking I could see four whitetails just off the road perhaps 100 yards ahead.  Two does and two juveniles.  I'm used to them either running off or watching cautiously as I pass by and was fully expecting "the usual treatment".  This time, however, all four started walking towards me as I approached.  I slowed down and, to be honest, became a little cautious as they got closer - even a doe can give you a pretty good butting if she chooses to!   It was pretty apparent though, that they were in fact being friendly and they came within literally just a couple of feet.  I might have been able to pet them if I tried.  Beautiful animals, even though they are a pest - just hope that they don't turn up in our back yard!

The best news of all is that my calf is feeling pretty good again and after my bike workout tomorrow and swim on Wednesday, I hope to be back to my scheduled run workout on Thursday.

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