During the winter, I posted photos from my walks during the summer and fall, so I could remember the warm days. Now that it has warmed up and things are turning green, I’m ready to take a look at my photos from over the winter.
I’m part of a racing team of walkers who are supposed to be getting ready for our big race in August. I honestly do not believe the race will take place, but some of my teammates think there is still hope (so we’ll just keep my cynicism a secret between us). For public safety reasons during the pandemic, my gym was closed and I’m attending University online – so my life is drastically sedentary. It’s not healthy. I take advantage of outdoor “training” to put a little activity into my life.
Where I live, winters are mild. The coldest days are usually in the 30s (around 0-2 Celcius) and it typically rains a nice steady persistent light rain that locals call “liquid sunshine.” Mornings are usually foggy. Afternoons warm up to around 40 (4-5 Celcius). Sometimes it snows and on those days I don’t go out. It’s too much trouble to travel, and typically it will all melt in two days, so I just wait.
In no time the snow is gone and we’re back to our mild winter weather. I have discovered a loop with a perfect length that begins and ends at my front door. It includes steep hills and flat areas and shade and sun. Lots of animals too, which I have been calling my fans who cheer me on from the roadside.
There are so many dogs along the way. Some bark ferociously at me and I keep my head facing forward and I do not change my pace and my heart pounds. So far I have not been attacked. I have been attacked and bitten by dogs multiple times in my life, so it’s always a worry. Some of them have come exploding off their properties, tearing across the grass at me, barking their brains out…and then decide I am their best friend and walk with me. This is the story of the two brown dogs shown below from last summer. My limbs tremble for the next 15 minutes as I try to tell them to “stay!” and “go home!” but these refused and I was stuck with them. Luckily that day I did an out-and-back, and when we passed their house again, their dad was there looking for them, and called them home when we came into view. There’s nothing like a battle cry and war charge to get Crystal to warm up to a dog. (not) The black and white one just popped up beside me out of nowhere once. I tried and tried to get it to go back and leave me alone, but it refused. It kept running out into the road in front of cars, and the drivers would scowl at me as they passed because I didn’t keep better control of what they assumed was my dog. The darn thing stayed with me for over two miles!! Ugh. I seriously do not like dogs.
I pass llamas, which I already showed you. And horses, which I also already showed you in previous posts. And cows. Deer, elk, chickens. Hm. I think that’s about it.
Another thing I was doing to add to my training for the team was to sign up for multiple races. On March 7, 2020 I joined a race to support my local country community and the Columbia Pacific Food Bank. It was their very first year to host a race and to me it looked like a success. It was a bunch of fun and I was grateful to be allowed to speed-walk 10k. Other races I found don’t offer a 10k walk, only a 5k usually. This doesn’t make sense to me, since I walk almost a 10k (6 miles) all the time and it’s a reasonable distance. I was the ONLY person in the 10k walk category though. This may be why races don’t offer the 10k, and it’s definitely why I won a blue ribbon. I also was recognized for being the oldest racer in the 10k walk OR run. Thankfully they didn’t give me a ribbon for that so I didn’t have to go in front of everyone to receive an award for being old. There were some crazy cosplayers there just for the fun of it, called Furries. It’s apparently a thing. These characters take joy in making their own costumes and I think they are fabulous! They wandered around showing support, clapping, cheering, and making the event more festive.
I was all signed up to participate in a much bigger event on March 14th- the annual Portland Shamrock Run. It draws thousands of runners and walkers, and is a joint event with a three-day health fair. On March 12th I went to both my classes on campus at Portland State University, feeling pretty nervous about being there. That day, the Shamrock Run and health fair was canceled. That evening, campus was shut down. I have not been to Portland since then. I have three photos taken on campus that last day. The last day for me that the world was normal.