Posts Tagged With: animals

Running with Armadillos, Skunks, Kanyes & Humans!

I’m tired, kids. Gone over 500 miles the past 2-3 months getting ready for the Chicago Marathon. That’s a lot of 3:45-4:00 am wake-up alarms. The good news is that I still haven’t missed a single day of training. That, and I’m relatively healthy – no major injuries to report – just the odd aches and pains and colds and coughs. It’s going relatively well, all things considered, if you must know, I do declare, but I digress.

The past weekend saw our 2nd 20 miler of the training plan.

If we make funny faces, it'll mask our pain.

If we make funny faces, it’ll mask our pain.

Oh, that reminds me, in August we ran 198 miles. And yeah, I thought about running an extra two, but then I unthought about it.

So close to the double century mark.

So close to the double century mark. Oh well, there’s always next month.

Back to last week – One nice surprise was the rare “short” weekday run – Only a 5k! That’s a far cry from the 12 miles scheduled we ran just 7 days richard prior. Decided to do it on the track – just a few pre-sun 800’s amongst friends.


It was dark. Used a flash. My shoes glowed.

And is it just me, or are there a lot more varmints out and about lately? On the track there was a skunk…a SKUNK…On.The.Track!!!!

There’s also been some coyotes, frogs, bobcats, bunnies, more skunks, and some giant roly poly bugs…

Happy to report we outran the armadillo.

Happy to report we outran the armadillo. And we were sure to cautiously approach the dangerous HS XC team behind us – oh how I hate them with their short shorts, long hair & zero body fat.

Not sure what’s going on…are they all foraging for winter sustenance? Do I need to do the same? Should I start hoarding choco-sprinkle donuts like these smelly critters…?

Strange beasts indeed.

Strange beasts indeed.

Oh, and did I mention the snakes? Indiana Jones would hate it up in hurrah..

It's totes real.

It’s totes real.

That pic above is courtesy of Thursday Night Social Run – as always, things got crazy with TNSR. There is so much going on below, that I don’t even…

Da Fu?

Da Fu?

There’s been some more runs and funs, but I’ll get to that, like later, or whatever, no big whoop. For now, I gotta go lay down, put my feet up and watch the new episode of Drunk History. Hasta luego, playas!

How bout you? Been seeing any critters on your runs? Armadillos – cute or dangerous? If you were an animal, what would you be?


Categories: chicago marathon, dallas, fitfluetial, marathon, run, runner, Running, shops at legacy, texas | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Wildlife Run

Unlike most people, I like to run in scenic places.  Problem is that I live in a suburb of a city and it’s not very scenic.  So I try to run in parks whenever possible.  Occasionally I’ll run at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.  I like it there as there are both paved and non paved trails.  They wind all over and there are endless possibilities for routes.  Also, there are usually lots of other folks out there being active too.  Only thing is that it’s a nature preserve, so there are wild animals out there.  I have no problem with that, but I will tell you one thing – it keeps you on your toes.

There have been several times I’ve been out there running where I’ve had to jump over a snake on the trail.  That’s freaky, but that adrenaline keeps you running, I tell you!  After you jump over a snake, every single stick and root on the ground looks like another snake in my mind!

A couple of times I’ve been there either early in the morning or in the early evening when it’s dark out.  There are no lights on the trails, and if there’s no moon out, it can be hard to see what’s around you.  But what is freaky deaky is that you can hear animals scurrying about.  Chances are most of them are rabbits, but there could be bobcats, coyotes, snakes, or even mountain lions (I’ve been told).

I tell you this because in each of those experiences, I definitely picked up my pace.  I read a Matthew McConaughey story one time where he recommended running in perceived dangerous locations to keep your adrenaline pumping and your feet moving.  Let me tell you, it works.

This is all on my mind because last night I was running through a park near my house and I came upon a wild bobcat.  The sun was setting and it was getting dark.  I was on a paved trail that went through a wooded area.  I saw a few rabbits take of frightened into the woods as I startled them.  That was jumpy enough for me as I didn’t see them until I was right on top of them.  But then, I turned a corner and apparently startled a bobcat that was on the trail right in front of me.  It shot off into the woods.  But I could see it’s glowing eyes looking at me from the woods.  I didn’t know what to do, so I stopped.  I decided not to continue on that path as the bobcat could be up ahead.  Luckily there was another path to my right, and I took it.  The rest of the run though, I was looking over my shoulder to see if it was behind me.  I know that I scared it more than it scared me, but still.

Don’t get me wrong, it was cool seeing one in the wild, but freaky.  And I definitely picked up my pace a bit to get out of the wooded area as soon as I could.  I also made it a point to make loud noises the rest of that portion of my run, hoping that it would warn them I was coming and hopefully they’d be gone before I got there, if that makes sense.

So there you go, if you want to run faster than you are, just put yourself in a scary situation.  Most of the fear is going to be all in your head, anyway.  I’ve actually heard of an app that puts zombie grunts, footsteps, etc. in your ipod when you’re running.  They noises gradually get louder and more frequent until you’re at a sprint, then it calms down and starts over again.

Something to think on.

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Running for Rhinos #blog

I ran this 5k at the Dallas Zoo in the fall of 2011.  My sister actually organized this entire event.  It’s called Running for Rhinos ’cause it coincidentally helps raise funds to support Rhinos who need help.  As a runner and zookeeper, this was a combo of her passions.  Seeing someone put on a race from behind the scenes really showed me how much crap goes into doing so.  It took a couple years to make it happen, and she did a great job.

It was a banner year for the race.

It was a banner year for the race.

The race started off with a ceremonial start by a bunch of penguins wearing race bibs.  That was actually kind of cute and funny.  Then the course took us through a neighboring neighborhood before finishing back at the zoo.

My rhino headband looked better before it got all sweaty.

My rhino headband looked better before it got all sweaty.

As you can see in the photo, the course was a little hilly.  It was a challenging course, but I wanted to represent and do well since it was my sister’s race.  And I did so, as I was lucky enough to finish 2nd in my age group!

Accepting my dope Rhino medal!

Accepting my dope Rhino medal!

After I finished the race, I turned around and kept running backwards to find friends and family to help them finish.

With the toddler.  I'm doing all the work and he's waving to the crowd like he deserves the applause.  Sheesh!

With the toddler. I’m doing all the work and he’s waving to the crowd like he deserves the applause. Sheesh!

The Dallas mayor was there, as was runner/mc/sports radio host Corby Davidson.  There were also lots of people in animal costumes.  So it was a fun event!

Looking for more friends.  Smiling cause Running is fun...until you get too tired.

Looking for more friends. Smiling cause Running is fun…until you get too tired.

One of the cool things about this race is that it included free entry to the Zoo afterwards.  I wish Disney would offer a similar incentive for their races!!!

After my sis gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the exhibits, it was time to get some brunch in our bellies.  We had a nice group because several of my sister’s friends had flown in from around the country to participate.  They did so partly to support her and partly because the race also helped support the Stephanie James Foundation.  She was a friend of my sis who was accidentally killed by an elephant while working in a zoo.  These people also knew her.

This was the first year for the race and everyone involved did a great job!  Unfortunately my sister took a job at another zoo shortly after this so she wasn’t able to help organize the 2nd year.  The zoo still put on the race, but I wasn’t able to make it.  Hopefully they can make it an annual success!  Running for a good cause in a fun place is fun.  Fo’ real tho.


Categories: Race Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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