“Sun screen,” Suzanne turns and whispers to me. We are looking for the marathon connecting trail out of Nags Head Woods. Sure we could ask but it’s more fun to find the make shift markers. We sort of know where it is but not exactly and so have found ourselves running out of trail. When Suzanne asks what should we do. I tell her we need to turn back. She has been following me because she doesn’t like the endless spider webs. They don’t bother me. Now that we have turned back Suzanne is in the lead. Why is she talking about sunscreen I wonder since we are in the shade of the trees. As I get closer to her she repeats, “Sun screen,” pointing upward. I look up and scream. I also instantly figure out that, “Don’t scream,” is what Suzanne has been actually saying.
A deer hunter complete with bow and total camouflage is sitting in a tree watching us. I tell him that we are looking for the marathon trail. He says that he is thinning the herd. We move on. Suzanne and I sprint for the car to get the camera, this is too good a photo opt to miss.
Of course he is not there when we get back we have ruined his quiet woods, but his perch is, “Let’s climb up,” Suzanne urges me. This time I am the hesitant one. What if he comes back. He has a bow. He looks fierce with his face all blackened. Finally I relent. After all it’s an opportunity not to be missed. Probably my favorite story of our training adventures.
Along the way we have run at night. We have run in the early morning on golf course cart trails. We have run in circles to round out the needed miles on our Garmin. We have run past the famous yellow house in Nags Head Woods more times than we want to know. We even got a look inside before it got boarded up.
We have found the wild horse hangout behind the dunes in Corolla after which for a lark we drove eleven miles up the beach to Virginia. Yes we could have run but it was unknown to us and we wanted to scope it out first. And then we just never got back to run on that flat glorious beach. On another training day we spy a guy and his dog biking. We drool over the idea of cycling over running but both of us want to be the one in the basket so we jog on.
We have gotten lost. We have lost things. And found them again even when not looking.
1. one cheap watch lost and found when not even bothering to look for it.
2. one expensive digital camera lost and found when seriously looking for it
3. one jacket lost and found when neither of us even realized it was lost (we were circling the monument that day too)
4. one crystal lost, among the briars we thought, and then found in the laundry weeks later (okay so not while running but still found)
5. one 5K bib lost and then found two weeks later quite by happenstance.
6. AND, the latest, one gel energy pack lost but not worth looking for when we discovered the casualty miles later. Curses, I think, there goes our perfect l&f record. We’ll never find such a small thing, it could be anywhere. Oh me of little faith, upon our return, which was not an exact repeat of the going out course, we find ourselves eventually back on the original trail anyway and therein layeth the lost gel pack squished once by a bicycle but mostly intact.
We take all this to signify, we occasionally wander but are pretty much on the right course.