Wild irises and other running diversions

I’ve been ramping up my running mileage lately to prepare for races later this year—a half marathon in August and a full in December. The already-blistering summer heat has me questioning the sanity of these plans, as they’ll require solid training through the summer months.

To take my mind off the running, the weather, and the cruel sun that gets up earlier and earlier each day, I’m always on the lookout for distractions along the trail. Yesterday it was a coyote watching the dog and me from a safe distance. Today, deer and jack rabbits were doing the same.

Along the river, I’ve discovered one of the best diversions: wild yellow irises.

WildIrises2016_1FT

I’m enjoying these blooms on my morning runs.


The river level is up because of snowmelt off of the Sierras, and, combined with the rainier winter and spring, all that water has encouraged flowers to bloom that I didn’t see last year. The irises are a delightful example.

WildIrises2016_2FT

A good excuse to pause for a few moments

Whether on the near side of the river or in the middle, these irises provide reason enough for me to rest and look at something other than the trail in front of me.

WildIrises2016_3FT

This weekend, I’ll be running in a place I’ve never run, participating in my first relay race with a team. The race director has sent out warnings about heat. I’m excited about the race, but I’m less happy about the forecast.

While I don’t expect to see any wild irises, I’m hoping there will be other beautiful distractions along the way. Next week, I’ll let you know what I discover out on the run.

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