I don't like running with Jason because he is so much faster than me. He claimed fatigue, wanting an easy run having earlier that day won a local triathlon. He collected ribbons for first overall, first 40-44, and first master's athlete. How indulgent, three ribbons (I wouldn't know). Nonetheless, I know I still can't keep up to Jason's "easy" pace, but he seemed keen so I suggested we take the dog (it had been so hot she hadn't been running for a couple of days), a bike, and head to the Cowichan Valley Trail west of town.
I run out there often, near the river, but avoid the area during a heat wave as it is smoking hot that far from the ocean. It was also late evening, and I never run there that time of day. I try to avoid the more remote wilderness area at dusk when I'm alone. I have an over-active imagination, fueled by birthday parties of the late 1970's and early 80's, where my friends and I devoured every campy horror movie with relish. I've done a few sunset solo runs in the woods, and with every crack of a branch in the distance, every shadow, every dark area I can't quite make out, every figure in the distance, my heart races and my thoughts progress from: bear? cougar? psychopathic killer? preternatural monster?
Instead we chatted as I ran, with Jason pedaling his single-speed beside me and Humu romping through the bush. No imagination running wild, no moments of heart-pounding fear, just a family run in the cool twilight.