I've finally found a running route I like in Valley Forge park. It has very few other runners to make me feel bad about myself, it's not too hilly, and it's not entirely paved. And it's brought a few new characters into my life.
prolly the least remarkable of these are the deer. It's that time of year where the bucks antlers are getting bigger but they're still completely covered in velvet. There are still fawns, completely uninhibited and crisp with white spots. And they have the same fields where they always hang out at the same time of day. it's all very pastoral and reassuring.
Similarly uplifting are the walking couples. The white haired couples who walk together in matching jackets or hats. You see them and wonder if they've been married for a long long time, or if they met more recently and are still getting to know each other. They're so cute together it's hard to tell what relationship stage they have.
There's a man who brings his dog to the park, and sets up a laptop on one of the picnic benches next to the parking lot. He's there just about every morning, and sometimes we arrive at the park at the same time. He sits facing the trail where everyone walks and runs. I have to disagree with him on this point. I think I'd rather face the field behind the trail, if I were setting up camp with my laptop and a dog.
Finally, and most amusing, is Parasol lady. I'm not even sure if it's the same woman every time, but now and then I see a woman who walks with an umbrella or parasol on sunny days, or even overcast days. It's just an amazing amount of dedication to sun safety, and I love seeing her when I can't even find a sunscreen that doesn't make my face break out.
I'm choosing to interpret the fact that I've even noticed this many characters on my morning runs means that I'm getting into this running thing more and more and worrying less about whether I'm going to drop dead on the trail.