Friday, March 6, 2009

The Strangeness of Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek : Nice during the day, very "Blair Witch" at night

I run at Walnut Creek park a lot. It's close to where I live, there are a maze of trails to choose from, I know it really well and my old wedding ring still lives there. It's a very convenient place to get in a nice pre-dawn midweek run, but it's such a weird place early in the morning.

It has a reputation as a gay "pick up" place. When I get there at 5am or 6am it is usually deserted, but within minutes I almost always get a car pull up next to me. I'll look over to see if it's a running friend only to find some unknown guy (and it's never the same one) giving me "the eye". It doesn't really bother me (I like to tell my wife that my "fan club" showed up), and they never make an approach (I make it really obvious that I'm there to run and nothing else), but it's still a little creepy having someone sitting in their car straining to get a better look and mentally undressing you (I can hear all my female readers yelling "now you know how we feel" at their screens). When Clea or whoever I'm running with arrives, they finally take the hint and speed off (one guy even gave me a "huff" as he drove away). I swear I must be featured on some "what's new at Walnut Creek" forum or chatroom somewhere.

This morning was a little different. I got there at 6am and saw a car parked up with all the doors and trunk open, and two bottles on the roof. Thinking it was a friend who had indicated he may show up, I pulled up a few places down only to discover that the guy was quite obviously not a runner. But what was he doing? He had unloaded most of the car and was doing something with a coil of rope in the trunk. Very strange. He didn't take any notice of me (which was fine as far as I was concerned) but I still felt kinda paranoid taking off onto the trail and leaving my car there. So much so that I doubled back to the parking lot after about 2 miles to make sure it was still there. It was, and he was gone. So I picked another trail, headed back into the maze and enjoyed a nice 6 mile run. Weird!!!

I tell you something else too - I think winter is over in Texas (70F at 6am).

Tomorrow is our Texas Independence Relay run - a 203 mile race from Gonzales to San Jacinto. We originally had a team of 12, but 3 folks dropped out yesterday and we've been scrambling to find replacements. I'm not too worried though - I'll just turn up and have a good time. Runtex sponsored us for some really nice team shirts and I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Some of the guys are going down to Gonzales tonight for the pre-race party, but my parents are leaving for the UK in the morning so I'm spending their last night here.

1 comment:

clea said...

I like your comment about the Walnut Creek forum! That is great. I promise I'll meet you out there for a run soon to protect you...