This week’s long run was once again bumped to Friday, this time because my new shoes arrived on Wednesday. Yay!!!
I of course wanted to wear them right away but didn’t think a 10+ mile run would be the best way to christen them. Friday is a better day anyhow because my kids have a half day. I can drop them at school (as I guzzle coffee and water) and head to a park (or combination of two parks) with a long running route, run, go to the grocery store all sweaty and gross (I just pretend my hair is wet because I recently showered….yeah, that’s believable.), then head back to school to grab the kids. Bam! That’s one productive Friday morning. Sadly the rest of my day does not maintain such an impressive level of productivity.
Friday is also better for the long run because it forces me to do it in the morning. That’s important for the next couple weeks; maybe if I’m used to running in the morning the half marathon that starts at 8:30am won’t be quite as painful. A morning person I am Not! So off I went Friday morning to the local state park.
It was dreary and, thankfully, cooler than it had been all week. There was a chance of rain which I had not prepared for and by the time I was ready to start running a light drizzle was falling. I resisted the strong temptation to overdress, but just barely, and headed out. First thing I noticed is that there were not many people at the park that morning. The second thing was the birds. There were SO MANY BIRDS!
No, these were big, menacing Canadian Geese gathered in large multi age groups where the youngsters were just old enough and bold enough to be threatening. Breaking up the monotony of so many giant, dark geese were a smattering of cranes. You know, the ones that would’ve been cool to see ten years ago because they were a rarity but now are everywhere. Oh, and, they’re almost as tall as me with beaks the size of my forearms. Basically these bastards have small swords attached to their faces. Luckily they tend to be less aggressive than your average goose but in the parks they are somewhat over socialized and, therefore, totally lack the natural fear of humans. I’ve seen one of these bad boys walk right up to a woman pushing a toddler on a swing. Right up to her!!!
I’m not a fan of birds in general and especially not birds in large groups. They take on the mob mentality way too quickly and one running human is an easy target for all their pent up bird aggression. A large flock of sparrows will motivate me to move further away. My strategy for dealing with the overpopulation of birds along my running route is to ignore them. Don’t make eye contact and keep moving. So far it’s worked. Most of my two hour run was free of fowl conflict but the last mile of the path seemed to be more highly populated with Canadian geese. My usual tactics were becoming less effective. For one, I was running slightly slower than I had been five miles ago. My time exposure to the evil beaked animals was lengthened plus there were more…and they were surrounding the path.
You know that scene in like every cheesy horror movie where the heroine is being chased by the murderer brandishing a knife (or whatever their weapon of choice happens to be)? That’s pretty much what I looked like running through the herd of geese especially when (two separate times) a particularly menacing specimen stared me down and hissed. My heart was racing and it wasn’t from all that running.
Maybe I’ll employ a new tactic and try waving my arms wildly and yelling like a crazy person when I’m forced to run through flocks of scary fowl in the future. At any rate, I got my twelve miles in and felt okay. A few days later I do have some soreness but I think that’s too be expected. Maybe in the next couple weeks all the Canadian geese will migrate south and leave me in peace to run this half marathon.