What do Morris Day (singer of “Jungle Love” and other ’80s classics), an adolescent copperhead, and a herd of piglets have in common? They all cramped by running style this week! I know what you are thinking and you’re right…It’s hard to believe that the guy below could detract from anything to do with style. With plans to see the performance I opted to rearrange my running schedule so I didn’t have a long, tiring run before the show. I’m known as the grandma in my circle of friends since I like to be soundly asleep by 10:00 pm; I didn’t want to risk being overly sleepy from my run.
Friday morning Justin and I headed out to Chicot State Park with the intention of running the looped 20 mile trail. Summertime at Chicot means mosquitoes, horseflies, giant spider webs, and humidity. After what seemed like 1,349 spiderwebs in my face only a few miles into our run I found myself bounding over a copperhead as it coiled below me. Aside from a momentary spike in heart rate the snake left Justin and I alone but it was a reminder that I need to freshen up on my trail first aid knowledge! A few miles later, only 9 miles into our 20 mile run, Justin suddenly was done running for the day. He was completely out of gas and relegated to walking. Since I was feeling fresh we decided I’d finish the loop to where our car was parked and I would then pick him up 5 miles before at a trailhead so that he wouldn’t have to walk over 10 miles.
About 20 minutes after leaving Justin behind (savage!) I found myself near a few wild hogs. Wild hogs are known to be aggressive towards people without provocation so I humbly respect the speed and power that this animal welds. Immediately, I backed off and made noise providing ample time for the hogs to vacate the area. Surprisingly, this happens two more times! One herd included about 8-10 pink and brown- spotted piglets. Guess when hogs are most aggressive… Yup, when their young are around. Again, I made noise and after a few minutes moved forward slowly hoping for the best. Ten minutes later I came upon three does who startled just as easily as I did! Finally, I made it to the trailhead Justin was to meet me at later when I realized that the state park front office was only a half mile out. Considering the wildlife threats for the day and the unknown shape Justin was in, I decided to heed Chicot’s warning and get a lift to my car instead of finishing out the remaining 5 miles. I’ve been running in Chicot for a few years now and this is the first time I’ve asked one of the employees for assistance (which they graciously and kindly gave without hesitation!). That day I felt a strong urge that it wasn’t smart to go on so I listened and cut it short even though I felt great physically. Once Justin arrived from his march we headed to the shower facilities and called it a day.
Since I cut my miles short Friday I decided to grab a ten mile run in my neighborhood Saturday morning before leaving for the concert. Right before heading out of the door I got a message about a friend, Erin, who was involved in a terrible car accident the afternoon before. Her passenger and friend, Tanya, died in the accident and Erin is facing a long road to recovery. I am devastated for her. With three young children to care for this accident seems so unjust. I was so grateful I listened to myself the day before because I needed the miles to process this sadness and anger that I felt. Erin has since had surgery on her back and her arm with positive results but her healing will take time. Please keep her and her family as well as Tanya’s in your thoughts. If you are interested in doing more for Erin there is a link below.
This week of training was a good reminder about the benefits of being flexible. I have a feeling that this will be a lesson I learn over and over again in the coming weeks.
What to do if you are bit by a snake?
If you are interested in helping Erin and her family with medical expenses please follow this link.
Training Recap for Week 2 of 24:
Monday- 4 miles; body weight workout
Tuesday- 7 miles in parking towers with speed work
Wednesday- 7 miles
Friday- 14 miles at Chicot State Park
Saturday- 10 miles with 3 parking towers; lots of dancing