I Run This Town (Part 6: Weeks 18-19)
Week 18: October 28-November 3, 2017
Today I ran a very busy section of road. I had to wait until a Sunday morning, on a weekday this route would be dangerous to run. There was not much traffic but there was no sidewalk and only a small shoulder on the road. I ran as far to the side of the road as I could and the drivers gave me a wide berth. I was shocked at the amount of trash. I saw screwdrivers, scissors, license plates, and several shoes. Who loses just one shoe? I am almost 50 years old and I have lost a lot of things, but I have never lost one shoe. Yet today I saw three individual shoes on this run. I put it in the Google Machine and came up with some crazy theories but was more shocked to find there is an entire Facebook page devoted to, “Shoes on the Side of the Road.”
I felt so good later in the day that I did a second run in a different section of town. This area had homes with four car garages. It was quite a contrast to the area I had run in this morning.
I emailed the mayor of my town today. I gave him an invitation to do my last run with me. I have no idea if he runs or if he would be interested, but it seemed like it might be a cool way to end my project. I know I still have a ways to go, but I am already thinking of that last mile and how amazing it will be.
The next day the mayor emailed me back. He said that he wanted to join me for the finish. He was also wishing he had thought of the idea of running all the streets himself. He thought it was a pretty cool.
The areas I ran this week were quite diverse. I ran by some fancy houses on a golf course one day and another day in a trailer park. When I started the project someone from the Sheriff Department said that there really weren’t any “bad” parts of our town, but that this trailer park has had some issues. I found it to be a nice place to run and most of the trailers were nice and well kept. I never felt unsafe and the residents I encountered were friendly. On the flip side a lot of the residents that lived on the golf course community would not even look me in the eye as I passed by. They did not even reply to my hello. I found this quite surprising. I guess to them an almost 50 year old woman running with a border collie was suspicious.
Getting this project done before any substantial snowfall is now a major goal. Today I saw the first big, wet snowflakes and real feel was only 29 degrees.
Another day, I happened to be running as school was letting out. I soon realized that speed limits and stop signs are only suggestions to people who pick their kids up from school in this area. I suppose since it was Halloween they were anxious to get home and get their fun started. I saw a little girl dressed as a witch walking home from school. It brought back memories of an awesome witch costume my mom made me when I was a kid. Too bad in my hometown (Marquette, MI) you typically had to wear a ski jacket over your Halloween costume. Later, I saw a dog in a costume. He was a little thief helping his partner get away with the big bag of cash.
When I get home from a run, I upload my Garmin data to my computer. Then I double check to make sure I didn’t miss any streets. Today, I missed a street. It looked like it was a driveway but after checking on Google Maps, I can see I was wrong. I made a note to go back and do that street the next day.
I parked my car in a local shopping mall and my husband dropped me off a few miles away. I picked up that street that I missed the other day, even though I had to run an extra half mile to get to it today. As I ran to the end I was treated to seeing a deer. The first one I have seen in weeks.
As I approached my car I saw a disturbing thing. Christmas lights. It’s barely November. The village mall was having them strung up in the trees bordering their property. As I got closer to my car I discovered that they had the lights up in every tree and half way up the tree that my car was parked in front off. Their equipment was parked in front and on the side of my car. I’m sure they were glad for me to return so they could finish their job.
Weekly stats: 28.54 miles
Square miles done: 26.5
Square miles left: 6.5
Week 19: November 4-10, 2017
We were up north for the weekend. When we got back it was raining. By the time I went for my run, it as pouring. Ironically I ran down a street called Raintree. I found a Free Little Library on this run.
The next day I took my dog Kirby out with me. As we came around a corner and a dog came charging at us. We were one house away and across the street as it got to us. The owner was in his yard raking leaves and I yelled for him to come get his dog. He took his time coming to get the dog and didn’t say a word to me or his dog. His dog kept getting in Kirby’s face. Thankfully nothing happened but I was miffed that the guy never even said he was sorry. This is the eighth time in 19 weeks that a dog has been running loose and left their yard to charge at me. I find this troublesome that people are that irresponsible. If your dog is loose and stays in your yard, I’m cool with that. But as a runner, when I’m across the street, your dog should not be approaching me. Several other times dogs have been on what I suspect is an electronic fence and they charge right up to the curb barking like crazy but never leave their yard.
I’ve been trying to run on most days to keep making progress. I finished one square mile in three days. I found a few gated subdivisions but fortunately either their gates were open or their was a pedestrian gate to enter through. I took Kirby out on my run another day and we found a car covered in cling wrap.
I felt good so I did a second run today. I now have only the top row on my map to complete. I’ve had a few of my runner friends from work ask if they could be there to run me into the finish. I’m suspecting they will string a roll of toilet paper across the road to pretend I’m breaking the finish line tape like at a major race. It’s fun that other people are getting excited about this too. I’m starting to feel a strange mix of happy and sad that this journey will be over in the near future.
I got out for one last run this week and absolutely loved the area I ran. It was so pretty with the leaves falling. It was the coldest morning I had run yet and I can’t believe there are still leaves left on the trees. I saw a glider plane trailer in someone’s driveway, that is kind of unusual. But the most interesting thing I saw was a yard that was filled with the most beautiful bird feeders mounted on poles. There must have been 30 of them that I could see.
While I was running I got a voice mail from the mayor. He was quite excited about the project. I decided today where my ending location will be. It wasn’t planned until just now, yet I think it will be a fitting place to conclude my journey of running every street in my city.
Weekly stats: 28.93 miles
Total miles since start: 418.14
Square miles completed: 28
Square miles left: 5