I started on Whitehall Road, a rolling stretch alongside Lake Gardner with two great hills and some great views of the town. Down the other side of the hill, I crossed state lines, which felt surreal. I’ve just run into another state. Out on these roads, I saw farmlands and the developments that slowly claim them like blight.
There were Canadian Geese along the Powow River, dozens of them, eying me warily but not yet committed to jumping back into the misty cold water slowly creeping past the banks. A little further up the road, I entered old South Hampton Center, white schoolhouse and church gleaming in the early morning sunlight. Could I really be this far from home? And this is only half my run?
The rest of the run was good old fashioned farmlands, with a mix of old Colonial and Victorian homes out by the road and big red or grey barns topping the sloping hills. I heard a rooster out there somewhere, and mourning doves. I caught sight of a few red birds that looked like cardinals, but smaller. And a woodpecker. He was doing his bit on the side of an old hay wagon.
All this, I saw with only the minimal amount of car traffic, and definitely not another runner in sight. I ran 12 minute miles when all was said and done. My heart rate stayed in the low 140s, and I could’ve kept that pace up for probably another hour or who knows, without any complaint.
I’m starting to think that fast is not my goal. Distance, though. Yeah! Because I really like that I did my first five miles, and ended feeling like I had tons more to give.