Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Ticks, Londoners, Stinging Nettles and Bugs

I love running, I run in cold and hot weather, I run in rain and snow. The only thing that forces me off of road running is ice, even though, I did manage to get slip-ons for my sneakers for ice running but I just use them for hiking.

Dorset is an amazing place for running, beautiful rural country roads, endless number of trails. My normal training run in Boston included the famous Heartbreak Hill of the Boston Marathon, but this is nothing compared to the Dorset experience. West Dorset is nothing but a series of non stop hills, so if you don't mind hill running, Dorset is heaven; beautiful scenery, frequent wild life encounters, empty roads and trails and virtually no snow or ice, but of course lots of mud if you are into cross country running, like I'm.

The Dorset summers are unbelievably beautiful, there is life everywhere, flowers bloom out of ancient stone walls, intense vegetation, amazing wild flowers and never ending beautiful trees, Oaks, Beeches, Sycamores and Ashes. The grazing fields are beautiful with their glover and daisy flowers.

Cross country becomes very difficult because of Stinging Nettles, they are not as bad as Poison Ivy but they are everywhere, the recipe of spitting on a dock leaf and rubbing the sting works but it does interrupt the run. The tall grasses harbor ticks and as I'm always paranoid about Lyme Disease, the sighting of a deer nearby as I run through tall grasses, freaks me out.

Horse flies are a menace, you can overcome them, with seemingly excessive amounts of insect repellants, they still get me, even through clothes, so I just apply more repellant on my running shirt and shorts. The one problem, I really struggle with is ... well, there is so much life, there are so many bugs in the air, it becomes hard not to swallow bugs as you breath in, I try hard to breath in through my nose, and whistle out the air from my mouth, but it is inevitable,  you run in Dorset, you will swallow some bugs and spend the rest of your run spitting.

Last but not least are the Londoners and other tourists, who should not be allowed off the main roads into the Dorset narrow lanes. The intense vegetation and the stingy nettles ( I call them stingy not stinging) drive me off the trails into the lanes. The normally totally deserted narrow lanes get full of the tourists, who have no clue how to drive them. They go too fast and are not used to the idea of the hedges brushing against the sides of their cars, so instead, they attempt to drive runners into the stingy nettles or brambles to avoid scratching their cars, not to mention that they really do believe they have the right of way, over all else, be it farm animals, harvesters or runners.

With my rant finished, I will now head out for another run, in the running heaven aka Dorset!

Keep on running and running even if you whine about it

July 2, 2014

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