Running Up & Down The Driveway: WWWP5k
Start/Driveway

Start.

Today I ran up and down my driveway for 3.1 miles as part of the Worldwide WP 5k.  It’s not as mind-numbing as it sounds.  Including the turn-off to the north pasture oil pump and the hill that gently rises to the western treeline and yet another oil pump – along with the jog down to the gate and the gentle curve up to the house – our driveway is approximately .65 miles long.  A complete circuit – as if I were going ’round a track – is about 1.3 miles.  Which means it takes about 2 and 1/3 circuits to complete 3 miles.  It certainly beats the treadmill.

Follow the Dog

Follow the dog.

I’ve nearly given up running on the road near my home.  The scenery is lovely, to be sure.  There’s a nice mix of flat and slope; sun and shade.  And though the speed limit on this winding, rural road is 35, that is regarded as just a suggested rate of speed and apparently considered far too slow for most drivers.  I’d really like to avoid getting nailed by someone who is speeding while texting/talking/munching on something from Sonic/reaching into the back seat, etc.  And I’ve been the unwilling participant of a kind of runner vs. car dodge game a few too many times.  I’ll stick to the treadmill and the driveway, thanks.

Cattle Guard

Go over the first cattle guard. Slippery when wet.

Running up and down the drive is not without its hazards, however.  There are the two cattle guards.  Intimidating under the best of circumstances, but downright treacherous when wet.  There are the deep, muddy ruts left by the oil trucks; the skeins of webs weaved by the fat, orange “night spiders” who during the evening string their sticky strands across the tree-lined part of the driveway.  One doesn’t see them until it’s too late.  Both spider and runner flail arms and scurry away from each other as quickly as possible, thoroughly creeped out.  Parts of the driveway are not actually driveway, but are grass-covered paths – long, tall grass that could and does hide any number of beasties from snakes, skinks, scorpions, salamanders, box turtles and snapping turtles to chiggers and ticks (not to mention industrial-strength burrs).  Part of my pre-run ritual is to spray with insect repellant.  My baseball cap has a deer fly “catcher” on the back.  It works.  (Deer flies are wonderful at helping one achieve PRs, by the way.)

Past the Barn

Go past the barn.

Oil Pump Turnout

Turn right at the first oil pump.

Cattle Guard

Take it slow over the second cattle guard.

Pump Two

Head up to the second oil pump.

Of course the pay-off to all of this peril is the unobstructed views, the fresh air, the sights and sounds of nature that keep me company as I crunch over the gravel: wild turkeys chattering from somewhere in the woods as they prepare to start their day; bluebirds softly calling to each other from the electric lines; a blue heron coming in low over the southern pasture, its destination the pond teeming with tiny frogs and succulent minnows; a brilliant orange sun rising above far off trees, my dog looking back at me with a tongue-lolling grin.  Happy to be in motion.

View from the Top

Enjoy the view.

Driveway Down

Head back down and start all over again.

Finish Line

Cross the finish line.

48 thoughts on “Running Up & Down The Driveway: WWWP5k

  1. trueindigo

    What a beautiful run! I love the deerfly catcher idea. I only ever had problems with them once but it has made me avoid that trail ever since. Now I have a solution. Thanks Annie!

    Reply
  2. biggsis

    Thanks for sharing your morning run. It looks really wonderful. I have experienced the flailing spider encounter myself… always hoping no one was there to witness it, although the humor would have to override the embarassment.

    Reply
  3. Shira

    With scenery like that I’d never leave that beauty for the road either! Gorgeous Ann, a lovely (and giant, winded) breath of fresh green air! Love this post 🙂

    Reply
  4. Richgail Enriquez

    I love how you “bookended” with the start & finish signs, and the nature scenery is very revitalizing, I feel refreshed just by looking at it! Congrats on the run!

    Reply
  5. Somer

    When I got your post in my inbox, I was thinking – oh man, my driveway is only 20 feet long, pure torture. Now I have driveway envy! How fun would it be to run that!?! Unfortunately I live in suburbia and have to travel to run somewhere nice and to dodge cars 😉

    Ikey is gorgeous too. Running with a dog is the best.

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Maybe you remember this from a fairly recent Runner’s World – one of these ultramarathon types (can’t remember his name) signed on to do a run in Cleveland and it was basically just running in a big circle for hours and hours. Torture!

      Reply
      1. Somer

        I totally remember that! Didn’t he get a DNF? Such a crazy story! It was Charlie Engle (he is in the documentary “Running the Sahara, a totally interesting watch.” He seems like a bit of a jerk in the film). He recovered from his drug addiction and began running ultras. I think a lot of those ultra dudes are running from some sort of demon or other (including my brother). You gotta be a little crazy to go those kind of distances! Charlie wrote that article for runner’s world while he was in jail for mortgage fraud! Here is a link to his blog about that experience
        http://charlieengle.com/?p=462

        All that aside, I would rather add an ultra to my bucket list then Boston. Lofty goal since I haven’t yet done a full marathon, but plan to begin training once my youngest goes to elementary school.

      2. An Unrefined Vegan

        Right, right! I remember now…dang, my memory sucks! Bit of a whacko, but I think you’re right – you have to be off of your nut to tackle some of those distances. Considering how you “arrived” at running, I’ve no doubt you will be eating up marathons :-)!

      3. Somer

        I hope you are right! After some races, I’m sure I couldn’t do more. Other times I think it would be easy. My sister that runs 5 or 6 marathons a year says “If you can run 5 miles you can run a marathon, the rest is just distance training.” I got to 18 miles a couple years ago, I was going to run a marathon on my 30th birthday. Then I got sidelined by a colitis flare up. Blast.

        What’s your longest distance?

      4. An Unrefined Vegan

        I have been told that theory (if you can run 5 miles…) before & while it is comforting, I don’t quite believe it! My longest is 16 miles, while training for the Marine Corps Marathon. Then I got sidelined with an IT band injury. Recovered, starting training for the OKC Memorial Marathon and found out I have a degenerating meniscus in my left knee. So…short distances for me now.

      5. Somer

        oh man. that sucks! Is there anything that can help the degenerating meniscus? I should get your address and send you some oils (yes, I’m a freak and I believe in natural therapies too).

        I just re-read the Scott Jurek article in runner’s world as I had only really perused it before. It reads like a condensed version of the China Study. Totally love it and it has a great ‘brownie’ recipe too. Apparently it’s an excerpt from a book he wrote coming out soon called ‘eat and run, my unlikely journey to ultramarathon greatness’ I. Must. buy. it.

      6. An Unrefined Vegan

        The doc told me that either it would keep degenerating…or not (thanks, doc!) and just to keep running for as long as it felt okay. As long as I keep my mileage low, I don’t have a problem, but yeah, it pisses me off. My mom is convinced that I have this problem because of running. Sigh. Love the idea of natural therapies, so I’m open to ideas you have!
        I read the Jurek article, too – and yes, gonna make the brownies! His transformation was really fascinating. It just made me all the more excited about being vegan, learning more, eating better and better, getting stronger…

  6. Lou

    I’m not a runner AT ALL – I have tried, but it just doesn’t suit my body. In saying that, if I had a driveway like THAT I would run it for sure… Oh I am so envious, I love farm land like that 🙂 Beautiful fresh, inspiring land… just lovely 🙂

    Reply
  7. emmycooks

    How beautiful! I like a lot of things about living in a city, but it’s always nice to get out of the city as well, and your photos just helped me do that. Almost. 🙂

    Reply
  8. thisismyeverest

    Oh boy, this sure beats the view from my gym treadmill! What a great workout, running outside is. I just can’t get to that point yet. I’ve tried and failed. The fresh air must be nice and the wonderment of the outdoors keeps me treading towards the goal to do an outdoor 5k! 🙂

    Reply
  9. Sweet Posy Dreams

    You live in a beautiful place. Here’s where my ignorance reveals itself: I didn’t know Oklahoma is so lush and green. I always picture it as kind of dusty and southwest-y. How great that to be able to let the dog run. Dogs never look happier than when they are running free.

    Reply
    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      I know, Lynette. I was surprised when I discovered that as well. The western part of OK is indeed flat, dry and dusty. Think Dust Bowl. But the eastern part, oh to about Oklahoma City, is hilly and green with lots of trees (though not like the big hardwoods in the eastern part of the US). And there are a lot of lakes and rivers. Oh yes, dogs are happiest when on the move!

      Reply

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