Wednesday, August 1, 2012

'Twas a Dark and Stormy Night....

(Not actually stormy.  It just sounded good.)

I guess I owe you a belated run story from last week (been busy with family visiting and work for the past 6 days).

Basically, instead of running my "normal" middle-of-the-night run (which is a 3 mile loop through my neighborhood, that I repeat as needed, that is well lit with zero traffic at that hour), I opted to do a 6 mile loop on some of the "main roads" in my area.  I took Callie with me for "protection".  She can be very intimidating because she is big and black and will growl and bare her teeth if approached unexpectedly.  Unfortunately that is because she is scared shitless, not because she's trying to protect me or anything, but still, it's better than Molly, who would just lick an assailant to death.  I also put on a headlamp, a reflective vest,  reflect ankle bands, and was wearing a neon yellow tank.  Oh, and of course "my hero", the 10 oz handheld water bottle.  (Noticeably lacking: my cell phone or any other means of communication.  At least I didn't wear headphones.) And I was off.
This photos is old (from like February 2010).  Ignore the extra 30 lbs I had then.  I looked way more ridiculous last week than I did in this photo, believe it or not  Remove one dog (the one with the tan/white chest) and the ipod, and add reflective ankle bracelets, a reflective X across my chest and back, and a neon tank and paisley pink/yellow/black skirt
{Note: contrary to how it sounds below, I am usually not very easily spooked or paranoid at all.  I never carry a phone, rarely ID, never let anyone know my route in advance, run in the middle of the night alone, leave house and car doors unlocked, etc.  (Okay, now I just sound stupid.  Maybe so.)}
Fill in crime of choice (rob/assault/rape/etc).  Please note: this is not meant as a request or invite.  Don't do any of those things.  Thanks. 
Apparently my headlamp battery needs replaced.  The first two miles had basically no light, and I couldn't see much, even with my headlight.  It was woods on my left, and a large road on my right (2 lanes each direction).  At first, I was like, "whatever, nobody is going to be hanging out in the woods at 2 am looking for people to attack when usually there are no pedestrians to attack at this hour."  Then I thought about it some more, and realized that any creeper that saw me while he (or she..) was driving simply had to turn around and go out ahead of me a half mile and then park and hide.  Yay.  Of course I heard rustling in the woods to my left at about the same time that thought occurred.  In my brilliant defense move, I shot a squirt from my water bottle in that direction.  Take that rapist.  (Shit, now I'm down 1 oz of water, when I was already pushing my luck with 10 oz for a 6 miler (I usually go through 10 oz in 3-5 miles in the summer)).

I took this photo on my run.  Not sure where all the leaves on the trees went.  There actually was a small stretch where I had woods on both sides like this, and it was pitch black, except for my piss-poor excuse for a headlamp.
 Of course it was probably a deer or groundhog or something.  At this point I thought about turning around, but I decided I'd rather run the other 4.5 miles (with streetlights from mile 2-6 on the remainder of the loop), than turn around and run that 1.5 mile stretch again.  So 0.5 mile left in the dark corridor of doom and I realized I have to pee like crazy.

I came up on a high school (and street lights, YAY!) and saw they had a porta-john by the baseball field.  Not sure why, but opening a portapotty at 2 am is also scary.  I was pretty sure that there was going to be a family of bears in there.  Very small bears?  Okay, raccoons.  Or snakes.  Or a homeless crazy guy with a knife.  Something bad.  So I stood behind the door and put Callie right in front of the opening as I opened it.  She gave me the all clear and I was set to go in and pee.  But no.  Disaster strikes.  You know how when you have to pee really bad and you can still hold it for basically forever, until you get to the front of your house or to the public bathroom stall door and then you're "committed" so to speak?  No turning back, have to go, finally arrived feeling.  That's where I was.  And I couldn't get my running skirt off.  It was that stupid effing maternity skirt that goes way up to the bottom of my sports bra, that, when wet with sweat (and it was tight and not all that stretchy anyway), sticks to you like glue.  I was trapped.  I peed at least the first 25% before I finally got the damn thing off.  Figures.  Onward then.
This was not my porta-john.  Christmas lights would have made it less scary, I think. 
Callie seemed to really slow down after the bathroom debacle, so I did a lot of finger snapping and encouraging her along.  Dogs are not supposed to be slower than people.  The next stretch was flat and mostly well lit.  Callie slammed on the brakes at one point, refusing to run over the metal seam in a bridge.  I had to stop and coax/drag her over.  Which is when I realized that if  Callie got really scared, I wouldn't even be able to run away, because she would freeze in one place.  Great. 

The last 2 miles were uphill, and very slow, despite the fact that I very much wanted this run to be over.  There were a lot of cars for the time of night that it was, and I just kept looking at them to make sure I didn't see the same one twice.  (Looping back is bad!)  Then we ran by McDonald's, and the sprinklers came on.  They should have been called hosers though, because they were definitely more powerful than "sprinkles".  My ankles stung and poor Callie got soaked.  And I'm pretty sure there was fertilizer of some kind in it, because it smelled kind of chemical-y. 

I actually stopped and walked as soon as my GPS hit 6 miles since that was what was on the schedule and my loop was more like 6.3 or something.  I will not be doing that run again.  At least not at 2 am.
Your random photo of the day.  (Me and my nephew on Monday).  I've decided that he will call me "Aunt Bob" from now on.  (He points at me and says bob-ob-ob-ob.  Actually it's more like bah-bah-bah-bah.  And he actually points at lots of things and makes the same sound.  But I'm going with it anyway. 
I wanted to write two posts, because I have race report to give you from Sunday and some other things too, but I have to get to bed.  Work again tommorrow, though I am hoping (as usual) that they're overstaffed and I'm offered the chance to stay home.

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