I knew I was not setting myself up for success. I knew it was going to be tough to come out of this run with a great picture, but I was willing to try.
It is fitting that I wrote Defining a Good Picture yesterday because today is exactly what I would call “falling flat.”
Sunset tonight was at 5:27. I left my house at 5:22 and arrived at the River Walk Trail at 5:28. There was plenty of daylight still left though. The end of evening nautical twilight is usually about an hour post official sunset. It was going to be a close shave but I felt certain I had Plenty of time.
And I would have had Plenty of time if I hadn’t spent 10 minutes in a vain attempt to take a running picture of myself. I blame my cousin Vanessa over at Eat, Run, Travel. She posted a pretty nice picture of herself running and I thought I want to try that. Yeah. Right. She wins the picture run for that day :). Plus she is a more experienced photographer than I am. I think I would need a remote to do it. Or more practice. Seriously V, How did you do that?
River Walk Trail is a wide, 4.8 mile path that follows along the Republican River. The trail head is on your way into Fort Riley and has an established parking lot as well as bathrooms. We discovered just the other day that there is an access point not too far down the road from us. There is no parking lot, but you can park along the road by the bridge and then get down to the trail from there. I’ve run from the trail head twice before and it stays closer to the river. This section was more in the woods and I only saw the river at the beginning and end.
So like I said, I was losing daylight rapidly no thanks to my own vanity. We had warmer temperatures today and we’re looking to be in the 50s over the weekend, but there was still snow on the trail. In fact, the snow was only on the trail.
I kept running because I hadn’t really seen much and I was having trouble with the low-light and the settings on my camera. Being in the woods, the trail was shaded and much darker than the few open areas I came across. It finally got to a point where I knew if I wanted to run back to the car in anything that looked like daylight I would have to turn around. I was at 1.25 miles…could I run to 1.5 and get 3? I started to but the darkening forest was starting to unnerve me and I turned around at 1.40 miles hurrying back in long strides.
Rustle, rustle. Crunch, crunch. When you are already on edge, it’s like your ears suddenly tune in to every creepy noise around you. What was that? Oh. Just my hair hitting the pack. Rustle, rustle. Crunch, crunch. What was that? I don’t know, but I can’t see it so it’s probably too small to be of any concern.
I wasn’t too worried about losing my way on the way back because the snowy trail was a beacon in the forest guiding me back to my car. However, I did turn on my phone flashlight. I really didn’t need it, but it made me feel better. When I came around the last corner I could see the cars racing across the bridge and I knew I was almost back. I stopped to snap the picture at the top of the post. It is not a good picture. I don’t even really like it. And I could have not posted. I could pretend that all my runs are victories, but it isn’t authentic. One bad picture is not a show stopper. It’s just a reminder to work hard and to use my daylight more wisely in the future. So I’m looking forward to my next Picture Run on Friday – hopefully in the morning.