Went out running as the sky turned dark, and at about the one and a half kilometer mark I did not turn away from the Bay where I usually do, but instead, on a whim ran up a bayside hill. A few blocks on well-lit streets to a trail that snaked around behind the houses, and I ran that trail around a duckweed-choked pond, through a copse of eucalyptus. There were muledeer there, flanking the trail as they browsed. They looked up at me, started as I passed, paced me easily. We ran together for a few yards: They stopped when they realized I meant them no ill, went back to trimming the coyote brush.
Past a tule pond and catttails, up a long, sloping trail behind more houses and back onto the streets, and I ran breathing hard through sterile suburban streets named Titan and Olympus and Zeus. My hair kept out of my eyes by a bandana, it streamed back over my shoulders. I watched it in the streetlight shadow, a distraction from my burning lungs.
And then the intersection with my usual route, a few feet shy of my usual 100-foot “summit,” up and down toward the railroad and the stable, and back again into the streets. Three blocks from where I usually reach the bay again, on a long slope downhill toward the levee, I eyed the hill I’d just come down. The wild hair stood on end again. I ran uphill, away from the bay again. When I reached my starting point, at 6K and change of solid running and a climb a bit shy of 200 feet, I felt no impetus to stop except my judgment, which I heeded.
I won’t run tomorrow. I have a walk in mind.