1. I still can’t get over how awesome it is to take off on an open-ended run, but paranoia is a crazy thing, and though I work hard to live in the moment, sometimes I get anxious about things that shouldn’t even be in my head.
2. No matter how many times I run into the park I always forget that dog on the corner and his bark scares the shit out of me.
3. This racial tension in our society is really a bummer and I have no solution.
4. I have this fantasy that one day we will be so evolved as humans that cops won’t need guns.
5. For the first two miles of blacktop I contemplated whether or not I would turn off into the trails. It was getting dark and it’s just one of those, “Maybe the best decision is to play it safe.” I wasn’t that worried, but then I started thinking about all the BS we’re exposed to these days. My first thought was that I would step into one of those traps that lasso your foot and spring you upside down while a bunch of hillbillies contemplate their method of torture. I also feared I might step on a pile of leaves disguised as a Vietnam jungle pit with long spikes waiting to pierce my plantar fasciitus. Then I thought about the Seinfeld episode where George did the opposite of his first instincts and that convinced me to turn into the dark trail at mile 2.
6. This section of trail is my favorite because it’s more or less a single track covered with foliage. But as I turned into paradise, I noticed tire tracks and immediately started hearing the theme song from “Deliverance.” Then I realized a park maintenance crew had completely raped the forest. Instead of a single track it was now wide enough for two cars. At first this pissed me off, but then I was slightly relieved because of the aforementioned fears.
7. Running alone on a trail during the day can be freaky enough, but at dusk, the strange sounds are amplified times 3 (I was going to say times 10, but I think society needs to back off on the exaggeration a little and that was my contribution). It’s so quiet that even running down a leave-covered-hill can sound like someone is chasing you.
8. I always think park benches or tree stumps are wild dogs and brace for the worst.
9. For the life of me, I wish I could do these trail runs as the sun was coming up!
10. As I closed in on the park exit, I thought I was alone, but at the last intersection looked to my right and saw a guy walking toward me with his hood up. I made a friendly “hello gesture” with two fingers in the air, but immediately feared he may have thought I was flipping him the bird. I kept my 8:22 pace for the last 50 yards of the trail and the whole time I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was about to get shot in the back.