I have to say, there is a marked difference between running in the country rather than the 'burbs. I can't say I prefer one over the other as they both have their strengths and weaknesses. And here in Dewitt, we get to do a little of both. Take it to the South around here and you are running in the 'burbs. Running on the pavement, dodging kids riding bicycles and curious dogs, smelling summer bbqs and freshly mowed grass, hearing the occasional hoot/holler from a car-load of teen aged boys (we are a good looking group of runner girls after all).
Take it to the North though, and you are in a different world. Pavement turns to gravel and dirt, a delight to the knees for sure. The cookie cutter houses of suburbia give way to scattered farm houses and rows and rows (and rows and rows) of corn. The smells out here...not so pretty...a mix of cow manure (sometimes so unbearable you have to breathe through your mouth) and stinky farm animals. And speaking of animals...you get so many spectators along the way. From the random farm dogs that greet you on the road, to the cows and horses that stand quietly by the fences and look at you as if to say "what in the HECK is that THING doing?". Country runs are so peaceful and quiet....just listening to the crunch of your feet on the dirt road.
And the occasional SCREAM of the divas. Which is what happened at the end of our 11 mile run Thursday evening. After winding through the country roads of Dewitt we paired off the at last few miles of our sweaty journey. About 1/2 mile away from my house and sweat soaked, Staci and I are happily chatting about something food related I am sure when out of nowhere we hear a strange guttural noise and a loud hissing from the side of the road. Staci (closer to the source) screams and lunges toward me. I scream because she is screaming. All the while...we are still running and screaming! I turn to look to see what is causing this reaction from an otherwise quiet gal. Crouched on the side of the road is a crazy looking raccoon...NOT your Disney movie variety for sure. This guy had WILD looking eyes, crazy fur that was half missing on his body, and he just kept hissing at us with teeth glaring! Our hearts skipping like 10 beats, we pressed on home, figuring the crazy looking 'coon had scampered away. Don't they say animals are more afraid of us than we are of them? Not the case with Ricky the Raccoon here. He paid a little visit to Sara and Danielle who were a minute or so behind us, equally scary the bejesus out of them!