Running on Country Roads

The Lake Road in Winter and Carolyn's Cottage

The Lake Road in Winter and Carolyn's Cottage

I’m a runner. Not a very fast or athletic runner, but I run consistently and frequently participate in running events. So it will take quite a bit for me to miss one of my thrice-weekly runs. I often bring my running gear with me on trips to Lodi.

There aren’t a lot of options when it comes to running trails that I have discovered so far around Lodi, though I’m sure there are some hidden gems. When we stay at the cottage, I run along the lake road which is rough, gravel in parts and also one lane wide in certain areas. However, it is a great advantage to be able to jump right in the lake at the end of hot run.

When we are staying up in town I typically choose to run along the two lane highway that runs through Lodi, Route 414. This is not the world’s best running route for a number of reasons. It is a highway: cars, trucks, motorcycles, farm machinery and tractor-trailors all pass by at an alarming rate for a small little human chugging along on the shoulder. I often feel like I take my life in my hands when I take off on my country highway runs.

Another aspect of running along the highway route is the fact that I pass by farmers fields. I certainly get a unique perspective on the crops and livestock as I pass by. I see chickens, sheep, horses and sometimes wave at the farmers at work in the fields. Sometimes the more curious animals will even come down to the fence by the road to get a better look at me. I try to say hello but rarely get a response.

An Amish Carriage

An Amish Carriage

Which brings me to the most interesting and potentially dangerous aspect of my running along this route. There has always been a population of Amish and Mennonite in our area of the Finger Lakes, but it has been growing in recent years. It’s a common occurrance to see members of those communities at work in thier fields using Clydesales or families riding along the shoulder in thier horse-drawn carriages.

Every time I set out on a run I wonder if this will be the day that I meet one of these carriages up close and personal, unable to hear them approaching because I’m listening to my iPod while running. Will I see the shadow of the carriage bearing down on me? Will I feel the horses’ breath on the back of my neck? Will I be able to get out the way in time?!

I expect this will never happen and that I will have plenty of warning should a horse-drawn carriage ever approach. But it certainly does add a level of excitement to my regular running routine!

Advertisements