I am thankful for the mild winter. Sure we get a taste now and then, but this has been good. Many of the miles are tramped out in the dark mornings. When it is a couple hours before the sun comes up and there isn't much going on, you get to hear many sounds. Who doesn't like the sound of the distant train whistle? If I am heading that way I'll try and gauge a crossing timetable. One of the coolest sounds this winter was a large cracking sound off a huge pond of water in a cornfield. A common sound this week is snow coming off metal barn roofs and crashing into the gutters. At first it startles you. I think the reason it is startling is twice in the last couple weeks I've heard the sound of feet suddenly closing on me. Both times it was a pair of dogs running down the road after me. The one pair jumped the dog and honestly I did not hear them until the last second. Neither did she so we fought first and didn't ponder the situation. I landed a solid shot. The ruckus caused the owner to whistle (you could not see his house back in the woods) and the dogs bolted back over the hill. I think they were probably just being playful, but dang we had no idea and my dog gets like a German Shepherd on a rib roast. She was on a leash with me. That was it. Everything turned out okay.
Out running the snowmobile trails today I heard a woodpecker hammering away. I also heard a screeching hawk which I do not hear often. Pretty cool. On really cool mornings with low wind you can hear the Hoot Owls back in the camp acreage. Speaking of German Shepherds, I saw a huge one off leash back on the snowmobile trails today. The owner was near by. I glimpsed them first so I just stopped about 80 yards away and let them go their way. Look I get it, but I must say about every time I get on the trail just about everyone has their dog off leash. And some of them don't like my sudden appearance, or my very close proximity to the owner. Do people not understand the dynamic here? Okay I'll try and quit complaining until I get served up again.
I used to complain about vehicles, but as a driver myself I have come to the conclusion to just get the hell off the road, or cross way over to the other side. My personal take is that the elderly feel less inclined to budge much. Perhaps it is the secure knowledge they have that they have been licensed drivers for 60+ years and have drove the tractor since being 7. I'm being sincere. Take your own poll and compare. I cannot ride a bike for this reason. I have to be facing traffic.
I'm thinking about 5 more weeks of solid training. This weekend I proved to myself that 11-12 minute miles does not make me slow. I ran pretty well at the John Dick 50k for me and still put in a decent mileage week. Since the 120 week I have went 75.5, 100, and 93.6. I'm a bit beat up from John Dick, but hope to seek a few more high mileage weeks. Somewhere in there I want to get near a 10 hour effort. I am slowly getting used to the concept of being on my feet near 3 hours a day most days. Let's see what happens this week. John Dick is a 5 loop course through the Southern Kettle trails. It is an out and back and another out and back with an upper loop so you see people all the time. Someone and I don't remember who said how far to the barn and I simply replied about 15.5 miles. It only dawned on me about 5 minutes later they may have been referring to the blog!