Deer Lick Fall After Noon.

   Is this going to ever get easier? I keep asking myself, as I pull myself, huffing and puffing, okay maybe even wheezing a little bit up one of the numerous hills in my neighborhood. I’m not a smoker, and I have lived at this altitude for twenty years, this shouldn’t be this hard for me!
   Today is my day off, and I have nothing to do today except write and complete a run. Sounds easy enough. It’s a warm fall day, almost Thanksgiving. It feels about eighty degrees out to me as I pull my exhausted body up Upper Boulder, one of the many steep streets in my neighborhood. I can run, very slowly, about half way up this street, gasping and hating life that is. One day, I hope to be able to run all the way up Upper Boulder.
     It feels almost eighty degrees to my over heated body, as I tie my fleece around my waist, never stopping, going at a brisk walk now, but its probably only in the high fifties in my neighborhood of Deer Lick today.. A storm is coming in this evening, and as I climb the hills to a higher elevation, I can see the fog creeping among the pine trees on the horizon, smothering them in a dense white blanket, It might snow tonight, covering this forest in a white winterness. As I make my way through my neighborhood, I see one or two of my neighbors putting out holiday decorations, something I really should do with the my mostly empty night off. As I circle the small deserted lake across the highway from  my house, stringing Christmas lights with a glass of wine in my hand sounds way more fun then pounding out another two miles of this gut wrenching run.  I can fantasize about Pinot Grigio all I want, I’m two miles from home and not even half done yet.
     As I take in the glorious azure blue sky, streaked with building clouds, golden oak leaves falling in my wake, I think, what a glorious day. I am so very lucky to be here, witnessing this very moment. My feet pound through the piles of leaves collected on the pavement  and as I take in this quiet fall day, I really do feel blessed to be out here free and running, listening to  sultry Shelby Lynne on my Ipod. This neighborhood could be any where in Vermont right now; okay maybe one of the least nice areas of Vermont. Some of the houses are merely shacks, placed so very close together on lots so small. Most of these cabins are very old, from the 20’s to the 50’s built.  Many of them are set back on dirt roads and have propane tanks in the front yard. Yet they are so rustic and feel so small time America with the warm Autumn sun shine on my skin, shining through the golden leaves of the falling foliage.  I am enjoying the rustic quality’s of my neighborhood and the sun shining on the burnt reds of the oaks leaves, when over my folk rock, I can hear dogs barking, and then I’m being chased by a chow. Well, not exactly chased, as I’m running pretty slow, but still nipped at by a orange, furry yapping dog that’s now nipping at my ankles.
    Over the twang of Shelby singing some hill billy rock, I can hear the dog’s owner apologizing, and I just power through, with a wave of one gloved hand, making my muscular legs pounds the pavement faster as I break away from the beast and farther down the woodsy forest road. The Chow is far behind me as I approach my local lake, making a wide sweep around it, still some snow here and there and I continue up Fir Street, running quickly by pedestrians walking some rat dogs, really how can one expect to get a work out going that slow? I think to myself. Its so crazy to think, ten days ago, I was afraid to run in public, Its ridiculous. My neighbors are way to busy making meth to throw any attention my way. These are business hours after all!  
    I never have really explored my neighborhood that much after seven years of living here. After all, I live in the bad neighborhood. Of course, I live on the good side of the highway, and my street is way more family friendly since the skin heads moved out.
    The last few days I have run far far back into the very edges of my neighborhood, up into the highest elevations where the children’s music camp sits. In the summer time you can hear the sounds of various instruments being played echoing all through this little valley.
    Okay, maybe it doesn’t sound THAT bad. It has actually been a pretty pleasant few days of running. Okay well, besides getting chased by the chow and today almost getting attacked by a big black poodle. What kind of a fire fighter owns big black poodles any way? That must be the least masculine dog ever!
    Nearly every person I have actually come across while running in my ghetto hood has actually been really nice. Okay, every one I have come across has been outside working to improve their cabins, or putting up Christmas decorations. Maybe its to cold out for thugs to lurk, and the  chilly wind must be blowing today’s meth smell in the opposite direction, back down to the San Bernardino Valley, where it belongs.  I’m really surprised how many really cute cabins are actually located in my neighborhood. If I dragged a flatlander friend up these steep hills, they might actually think my neighborhood is quite nice!
  I’m thinking all this to myself, as  I skip over the pavement, a little snow here and there, but its mostly melted. Its been in the high fifties here all week for the most part. I run by the house where my cousin grew up, I can remember as a small child playing in that backyard; I seem to recall making cats swim in a wading pool. Who knew cats could swim? The house is now a fading blue night mare, needed a paint job probably when we were still children.  I want to take a picture with my cell phone to text my cousin, but there are multiple private property signs abounding, and I suspect the harse meth smell might come from inside. No pics today!
    There on my right is the cabin that my deceased Uncle Peter owned in the nineties. I try to take in the tiny two room cabin as I scamper past and continue down the hill and back towards home. When I started this run, I felt over welmed and was afraid I would do a mile and puss out, but now I feel invigorated. Maybe the Creatine, one of the many supplements I spend my pay check on, is kicking in. My calves don’t hurt as much as they normally do at this point, and I power through. As I approach the high way, I can see my house in the distance, and I even turn left on the highway and go the long way, running and groaning, as I try so very hard to tough it up and continue up the step grade of Evergreen before making the loop back to my house. In all I have done almost four miles today. Pretty good, when I started out feeling like crap!

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