Running in the dark/Encounters with Wildlife

It’s 5:30am.

It’s dark.

I fervently wish for extended sleep.

But, I need to run, so I dutifully start running up the hill toward intervals and certain pain.

And almost have a heart attack.

About 50 meters up the hill there is a pine tree.  There are always pine cones on the ground, so I am sure to have my headlamp pointed at the ground during this stretch.  I wouldn’t want to roll an ankle after all.  My eyes pick out a particularly large pine cone and I step carefully to avoid this hazard – and it JUMPS!  Apparently it was a frog (or toad, whatever).  I did a little jig that strongly resembled Shaun T’s “Heisman” move in Insanity.  Fortunately for my sleeping neighbors, I avoided the girly scream that almost came out.  After my heart rate when back to normal, I laughed the rest of the way up the hill.

My intervals went well (10 minute warmup, 4 x 8 minutes with 2 minutes rest). 5.99 miles total / 50 minutes.

And I’m glad I didn’t squish the frog.  He can live to scare another runner who isn’t expecting movement near their feet in on a pre-dawn run.

My current tally of wildlife seen on runs (in my neighborhood):

  • Deer (frequent)
  • Foxes
  • Coyotes
  • Skunk (once was enough)
  • Jed the Black Snake
  • Copperhead Snake (again, once was enough)
  • Frogs
  • Squirrels (watch out for these guys – have you seen this?)

Have you had any exciting wildlife encounters?


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