30 Feet From Nothing

An earlier start than normal.  A 10 mile run in the rain in the dark.  Heaviness in my legs from yesterday’s two-a-day.  All of this has left me with nothing.  So, I will just write and see what comes of it.

Clearing the cobwebs.  No rules.  Just write.  Don’t stop.  You keep going and see where you’re writing takes you.

My running routes are like that.  When I run by myself, I come up with my route as I go.  Sometimes I follow the shade.  Other times, I wait until I am literally at the fork in the road to decide which path to take.  Lately, for tempo runs, I plan a route so that I can focus on my pace instead of where I am going next.  On days like today, I stay where the streetlamps are and avoid dark corners and strange people.

30ft.  30ft away from a potential attacker.  Any closer and a quick attack is possible. 

I don’t like running in the dark.  The trail by my house runs next to the Dart Train, and it is not lit very well.  The neighborhood roads near my house have several pot holes, and the streetlamps are scarce.  Running from my house in the dark is not enjoyable.  This morning, I ended up making a big loop around my immediate neighborhood, the park, and some apartments.  I ran ‘the loop’ more than 9 times.  I was surprised that I didn’t see any wild animals this morning.  Usually I see something on my early morning runs near my house.  A coyote, a bobcat, owl, or hawk, but this morning, I had the streets to myself.

One morning, I thought I had the streets to myself.  Most Sundays, I run with my training partner, but on this particular Sunday, he was out of town.  At 5:30 with my route planned out, I set off towards the lake by myself.  It was still dark outside, so I was on high alert.  My plan was to run to the lake trail and then run the loop.  Part of the run to the lake was on a road next to a graveyard.  The road by the graveyard was lit up by a full moon and then swallowed by a tunnel of trees that led down to the lake trail.  Just before I entered the tunnel, a large shadow darkened the ground around me, and something swooped down from behind me, flew directly over my head, and disappeared into the darkness.  I forgot my pace and sprinted through the darkness to the lake.  So much for a steady pace.

Have you ever been startled by wildlife on a run?  What animals have you encountered? Do you run in the dark by yourself?

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5 Comments

  1. I love that you come up with your route as you go. Sounds fun, but I don’t think I have it in me to do it that way. I’ve run in the dark alone a few times and there’s something invigorating about it. Maybe that hint of fear and uncertainty picks up my pace a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My training partner is the same way. He always knows where he is going.
      The only time I enjoy running in the dark is when I am at the lake on the trail with no large owls trying to take my head off! Knowing the sun is coming up soon is a plus too! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love finishing a run at T & P Hill just as the sun comes up.

    A Coyote came out of nowhere and crossed the Santa Fe trail a few feet in front of me one morning two years ago, haven’t seen it since. The most terrifying though was a squirrel that walked out to the middle of the trail at White Rock, stopped, turned stood up straight facing me and wouldn’t back down. I let him have the trail.

    Liked by 1 person

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