Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Another Run: In Which I Suck at Preparation

Today I went for my FIFTH run. This is probably the longest I've stuck with any running program. So, gold star for me.

I went to the trail I like best, but this time I was by myself, so I repeated my earlier warning to The Brother. If I don't come home in about an hour, I've been murdered and call the police. It's a good general rule.

As I ran down the trail, wishing I were dead (this is normal for me while running, I think "Thank God I'm still alive!" during the walking sections), I suddenly saw movement. This thing flew (or was thrown?) over my head, and then it hit a tree next to my face. I turned quickly to look at the tree. And it was a hawk, which had just missed grabbing a very lucky squirrel. The hawk was trying to remain aloft while making desperate grasps at the squirrel, which was rapidly shuffling along the side of the tree to avoid the hawk.

"RUN, SQUIRREL!!!" I shouted. (Really.)

Except there was a man on a bicycle behind me, who had not seen the hawk/squirrel drama unfold, so he thought I was a special kind of crazy.

He terrified me, because I was generally shocked at that moment, pretty much because a hawk had flown inches in front of my face moments before.

"Did you see a deer?" He was a really friendly guy. Probably mid-sixties, and he seemed like he could tell I was about to have my heart explode from my chest. Maybe he had a daughter that was high-strung, and he knew the look.

"No," I replied. "It was a hawk, and it was trying to grab a squirrel."

(That was when my grasp of reality went away a little more than normal. That should have been enough. But my internal narrator is wordy, and it wants all the observers of my life to be aware of exactly what each moment really was like, so they will fully understand me.)

"It was like real-live National Geographic. I hope the squirrel got away. I told it to run. I hope it listened. I have never had a bird of prey fly so close to me before, and I've never seen one grab at prey when I was close enough to HEAR it. I hope the squirrel is okay."

All this happened as the poor man tried to keep his bicycle from going too far forward so he could hear me without actually stopping it and causing it to fall down. It was a fancy bike, you see. With clips. The Yarn Harlot taught me about clips. You clip in, you ride. You have to unclip in order to put your feet on the ground. If you fail to unclip properly, you fall down and bleed at the side of the road/trail.

I think he said something innocuous, like "Wow," or "Really?"

And then I said something like, "That's the great outdoors!" And then he kept riding and I went back to running, trying to put as much distance between myself and the Animal Planet special going on around me.

Also I forgot to bring water on this run. And I forgot to fill my car up with enough gas to get home after driving to the trailhead, so I had to go back to my car post-run, drive into town, get gas, and then buy water. I did all of this while red-faced and dripping with sweat. I was quite alluring. It's shocking that I didn't get any marriage proposals on my walk from the car to the gas station attendant's booth.

To make matters more awkward, I felt it necessary to tell the gas station attendant all about the hawk and the squirrel and the forgotten water. She was patient with me in the same way I am patient with overly-talkative and exceedingly boring patrons at work.

I really shouldn't be allowed to talk to people anymore.

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