Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fight or Flight

After a week of running 19 miles, I'm so glad this week is my recovery week. I did complete all of my runs last week, and my mid-week 5 miler wasn't pretty.

But I am thrilled to tell you all about my 9 mile accomplishment. So here we go.

I set my alarm for 4 a.m., which is something I never do. But I wanted to get up and eat breakfast so I could have time to digest before my 6 a.m. run. Y'all, I had it all planned out. I thought 6 a.m. would be the best time to go before it got too hot outside. And as I was loading my ice chest into the car, I didn't think too much about the fact that it was still dark outside. I thought for sure the sun would be on the rise at any time.

Apparently, I missed the memo that the sun comes up a little after 7 a.m. But being the trooper I am, I downloaded a flashlight app to my phone and took off in the complete darkness at Two River Park.

It was dark. I mean country dark. I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face.

Nobody was out there. The parking lot was completely empty, and there were no signs of human life.

But I wasn't alone.

I ran about a half mile when I turned on to my usual trail. With my flashlight beaming, I rounded the corner and was met with four pairs of glowing eyes. I couldn't see a thing but those eyes staring back at me. Ummmm....I almost peed my pants. So I turned around as quickly and quietly as I could, but then I heard some rustling too close to my left.

I hightailed it back toward my car at an 8-minute mile pace. My legs were booking it. I could hear my heart beating in my ears. Fight or flight, y'all. Fight or freaking flight. I have never moved so fast in my life. I was terrified.

I should have known the run wasn't going to be what I thought it was, but I decided to stay on the road instead taking the trails.

It didn't help.

I could hear too much movement along the sides of the road, and there were too many "shadows" moving. But the coyote darting across the road in front of me was the icing on the cake. I was done with the dark and Two Rivers Park.

I ran back to my car, got in it and left. Didn't look back.

So I drove down to the Big Dam Bridge, and when I got there I saw sunshine and people. Just what a girl needs after too much darkness and wildlife.

I did run a mile and a half at Two Rivers. So I completed the seven and a half miles I had left at the Big Dam Bridge trail. And it was glorious.
Here are my stats:
Distance: 9 miles
Time: 1:53:07
Best Pace: 8:39 (darkness and wildlife escape pace)
Average Pace: 12:34 (much more like normal)
Calories: 960

Let me just say this. Running nine miles gives hunger a whole new meaning. I've been eating the contents of my refrigerator like it's my job. And I'm still hungry.........it's Tuesday.

And for the record, I will not be running in the dark 6s again. Not ever. No way. Too many animals. If it came down to me and deer, I feel like the deer would kick my ass....plus they are naturally swift animals so I don't really stand a chance.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate. I live in a state park and one time got caught out running as it got dark. I became hyper aware of every little sound. I did get a good time that day!