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Training Log: Swampfox

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Saturday Jul 4 #

Note

O' training at Remarkable Flats: 2 x 4.5 km course at near antelope speed (well, at the best speed I could manage.) There were many cows and also one beer can. When I left, there were still many cows, but not as many beer cans.

I ran late in the day, waiting for several nearby fierce storm cells to clear out. In town, we got only a few drops. It had obviously rained a good bit where I ran, to judge by the puddles in the dirt road.

Earlier I had biked south of town and came across a new construction site, which turned out to be for a new county firehouse. This is just outside of the city limits; I'm not sure how the county and city divide up fire fighting responsibilities. No matter how they do it, this seemed appropriate enough:


Firehouse


Friday Jul 3 #

Note

I could not shake the feeling all day long it was Saturday, even as during the day a number of things happened that were Friday things (like what announcer or programs were on the radio at different times) should have put it squarely in mind that it was Friday. That's okay though--I'm going to get one of those rarest things: a two Saturday weekend!

I ran late in the day out at Area 44 (think Medicine Bow Map), which I finally got around to finishing the drafting for earlier this week. This was supposed to have been one of the new maps for the Rocky Mountain O' Festival, but instead it's just going to be me.

Actually, what is finished is only part of what I had intended to survey for the race, and maybe later in the summer I will pick back up where I left off. The new section is quite good terrain and utterly different from the immediately adjoining edge of the NE part of the Medicine Bow Map (also Superfly Marsh)--you would never suspect it from running on the existing map we've used.

While I was running, a nighthawk got off the ground right to one side of me. As usual, I wasn't looking for a nighthawk to suddenly appear, so it caught me by surprise. But I still stopped automatically and tried to put my eyes on the spot where I thought it had flown up from. Meanwhile the bird had only flown off 20-30' and was putting on the "hey, look at me, I'm practically mortally injured with a broken wing and I can't fly anymore" act. I took one careful step to where I thought it had been, and stopped, and looked around at the ground and almost at once noticed two strange looking small bumps on the ground just another step away. Two little chicks. That was extraordinarily lucky--I've never been able to spot any eggs or chicks anywhere near this quickly before.

These chicks, by instinct, won't move for anything. I bent down and moved a finger to within an inch of one of them and it remained absolutely dead still. You couldn't even see it breathe, though I could see one unmoving eye was open and watching. It's remarkable. I got back up and left them where they were. I wonder what the advantage it is to the species to nest directly on the ground? I have no clue.

Gazillioins of campers were up, nearly all gathered into groups of 4-6 or more large RVs, with the essential accessory amounts of dune buggies, ATVs, and XC motor bikes. Quite impressive, though in a very different way from the nighthawks.

Thursday Jul 2 #

Note

Ran trails at Happy Jack. At one point I stopped in a clearing to take in the view, and as I was about to leave, I heard some "whomp, whomp" noises from something out of view to the west. I decided to wait until I could see the helicopter making the noises, and it only took about 15-20 seconds before I could see it. Then it turned out to be there were two helicopters, in a line. Something didn't look quite right however, nor was the sound quite right either. Then I realized these weren't helicopters, but VTOLs--presumably Osprey, though I'm not familiar enough with these aircraft to be sure. Lagging a minute behind was a third VTOL. I've never seen any of these around here before, or anywhere else for that matter. They were moving a lot slower than I would have guessed, but maybe that was deliberate and they were throttled back.

Wednesday Jul 1 #

Note

Intervals at Sugar Hill. I saw one *really* big mosquito (as it developed, it turned out to only be a small blackbird--quite a relief!) and several small antelope. Two ATVs passed me as I was warming up, and wanted to know if I had seen any antelope. I told them about the large mosquito. Otherwise that was it for the whole workout, so the whole time passed very peacefully, and it was beautiful out there. I expect it to be much busier and noisier over the weekend.

While I was warming down, I was thinking about honey locust trees. Why would anyone or anything mess with a honey locust tree anyway, when you could mess around with venomous snakes or yellow jackets or fire ants instead, just to name a few things. When I got home, I looked at a picture of a honey locust tree, and it seemed to me I would much rather take on a few yellow jackets, if it were to come to it.

Tuesday Jun 30 #

Note

O' training at Granite Planite. Sunny, cool when the sun was behind clouds, and quite windy, with not a single mosquito in sight.

I headed over to a friend's house in the early evening for a group get-together, and by the time the sun was setting, two people had on winter parkas and knit caps (no kidding.) I'm not sure if that should be classified as ridiculous or kind of cool, but I guess you have to go with the latter since it was, literally, pretty cool.

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