March 30, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

FromThe Wizard of Oz

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! 

Let’s just say that running in the woods can be quite an adventure.  Imagine running along, minding your own business, grooving on the music.  The weather is cool and clear.  I'm finally able to leave the treadmill behind and run outside.  And then I start thinking about bears.  It is the end of March and the bears could be waking from hibernation and they just might be a touch grumpy – and HUNGRY!!! 

And then out of the corner of my eye I see a large creature come looming out of the forest.  Let me tell you, I had a momentary fright before I realized that it was a deer!  (Gottcha!  You thought it was a bear, didn't you?!)  She just crossed right in front of me at her leisure.  That happened three times, but the first one is the one that caught me off guard. 

I am, however, fully prepared.  I run with a pistol in a fanny pack that is especially made for that purpose.  And a Motorola radio is clipped to the fanny pack so I’m in touch with home if anything comes up – cell phones don’t work where we live.  And I have a Spyderco clip-on folding knife clipped inside my pocket.  Just saying – I’m prepared!  But it’d still be scary....

I’ve only seen one bear in the area, though.  We have lots of deer, some foxes, coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and blue jays.  And I heard there was a mountain lion attack not far from here, but the credibility of that is under question.  And I’m pretty sure there’s a fox den in the area.  I keep getting a whiff of a skunk-ish odor which I learned at the local Wolf and Wildlife Center ( is actually what fox’s smell like.  No wolves in the wild near here, though, thank goodness - only bears! 

I’m sure you’ve heard the joke about the two guys in the woods who come across a bear.  The first guy puts his tennis shoes on and the second guy says, “Are you crazy?  You can’t outrun a bear!”  And the first guys says, “I don’t have to outrun a bear, I only have to outrun you.” 

It’s too bad I don’t have anyone to run with, LOL!  Oh wait!  I’d be the second guy!  Damn! 


March 21, 2011

Running in the Rockies AKA Tortoise Training

Yay, Spring is finally here!  I’ve been running on the treadmill all winter, and it can get kind of boring.  The weather had been nice all week and so I decided that last Friday I was going to do my eight mile “long run” outside.  Imagine my amazement when I opened the blinds on Friday morning to two inches of snow! 
I just couldn’t face eight miles on the treadmill; I was starting to feel like a mouse on an exercise wheel going aimlessly around and around, and not getting anywhere.  Plus, I had too much fun the night before (St. Patrick’s Day) to even think about going around and around and around.... you get the picture.  The Irish do know how to have fun – just sayin’. 
No matter, I put my run off until Sunday and it worked out great!  The weather was in the forties with clear blue skies and some high clouds.  Eight miles seemed incredibly a little daunting to me.  I knew it would take me two hours and I just didn’t know if I could run for two whole hours!  Oh, and let me just mention that we live in the mountains and there are hills outside!  Something you don’t get on the treadmill – unless you set the incline, which I would never actually do on purpose, lol.  Needless to say, I was working muscles on my backside that may never be the same.  I’m walking kind of funny now, like a corn cob is stuck somewhere it shouldn’t ought to be, but I just have to trust that someday I’ll be normal again. 
Here’s my tortoise training update!  I began training for the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in January running 3, 3, and 4 (Three miles twice per week and four miles once per week for a total of 10 miles per week).  Now at the end of March I’m at 4, 4, and 8!  That’s not bad considering my “long run” was only four miles last year. 
And since I couldn’t possibly post a Run Gwen, Run! blog without poking a little more fun at myself, here’s a true story:  I was laying in bed the other morning, trying to wake up, my hand on my stomach.  I patted my tummy a little and thought, Huh!  My stomach is feeling a little flatter these days!  And then I shifted a little and realized that I was sort of laying on my side – and Crap!  The rest of my stomach was still there, only it was laying there on the downside.  Damn gravity!