Grace's driving lessons continue. She had some beginner's luck at first followed by many episodes of stalling until we were both so frustrated there was nothing to do but clench our teeth and stare straight ahead and say nothing. Then at last she seemed to be getting the hang of it. I decided to let her graduate from empty parking lots to the city streets, whereupon there was an unfortunate incident in which she put the car into first gear instead of third and nearly hit a telephone pole in the ensuing confusion. We haven't driven since.
I changed my running route. I've been running the same route, three-to-six times a week for twelve years, with minor changes to add or subtract distance depending on my fitness level du jour. Indeed, I've been running since I was eighteen and in all that time I've had just three running routes. Clearly I am not receptive to change in this area of my life. A good running route is like a favorite pair of jeans, comfortable and familiar. I have the location of all the sidewalk bumps memorized (I usually run after dark) and I know where all the mean dogs live. There's a dog at the corner of Avon St. and Belmont Ave that has been trying to get a piece of me since the year 2000. My running route has outlived some of the other mean dogs who have either moved away or died. To have to get used to new sidewalk bumps and new mean dogs is a hassle.
But then I got a hankering to run through Riverview Cemetery, which is perched on a hill in Woolen Mills. You can see it, briefly, in this trailer to The Parking Lot Movie, (at about the 14 second mark) and can see why I wanted to spend some time there.
I was nervous before starting. There were some douchey pedestrians near Beer Run--I need to stay on the junkyard side of the sidewalk, which is also, conveniently, on the opposite side from the parking lot of Latino assholes. The hills were kind of killer. I used to think that running these hills made me a badass, but actually, it's made me a woman with thunder thighs.
Then, in the cemetery, where it was nearly dark, I saw an animal whose hopping gait made me think it was a bunny. You know how much I love bunnies. Poor soft, sweet, fat, Georgie. I miss him. But then I noticed, barely perceptible in the gloom, a bottle brush tail and I realized it was a fox. I'm not so sure about foxes. Aren't they often rabid? A rabid bear--the first ever recorded in Virginia-- attacked two men here recently. We know bears visit the city from time to time, and even stroll down my driveway.
So where was I? Oh, the fox in the cemetery. He didn't seem terribly interested in me. I don't think his presence will prevent me from running there. Indeed, I am dying to do this route again and it has the advantage of allowing me to avoid the sidewalk-blocking travesty on the Belmont Bridge, although I still want them to patch the damn sidewalk and take the fence down.
Shameless flaunting of hills:
My new route.
My old route wasn't exactly flat:
As you can see, C'ville is a tough town for runners, and for fledgling stick shift drivers.
And that's enough about me for a while. What's up in your life lately?