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Is it weird that the common theme of my workouts over the past month has been….retirement communities? I ran (OKAY, I walked) my first 5K yesterday. It was the annual Town Square 5K — organized every year by Pleasant View Retirement Community, adorable little village with apartments, town homes, cottages, and assisted living.

The 5K left the village, meandered across some beautiful countryside (with some major hills!) and returned to the village center. Of the 100-odd runners, only a handful were actually of retirement age, and the ones that WERE certainly didn’t look it. The guy who placed first in the 60-69 age group looked like he was 45 years old! The proceeds from registrations fees support residents who are unable to continue paying for their care, so it’s a great cause.

SO, I’ve been training by doing 5K (and/or 45 minute) walks a couple of times a week, usually with Bailey. Our preferred spot? Brethren Village Retirement Community, of course!

Right across the main road from our neighborhood, it’s a great change of scenery, with mature trees, beautiful flower beds, and fewer cars. Every time we’re over there, we meet at least one friendly older couple who seem to take in stride the fact that Bailey towers over ALL the other dogs that reside there (the men do call him “Big Fella”, though, without fail). I’m always especially proud of his total indifference to the little yappy dogs that bark their heads off when they see us, while trying to drag their owners – usually 80-pound elderly women – over to see us.

Sometimes the boys walk with us, and they’ve been teasing me – saying that Bailey and I are “under surveillance” – by the small security force (two guys, as far as I can tell) that patrol the community. We almost always see one of the them – out patrolling via bike, and we make a point of being very friendly.

What’s your favorite place to run, walk, or bike?